Exide Life Insurance not to dilute stakes

Kolkata, July 31 (IANS) Although the Indian government has allowed upto 49 percent stakeholding by foreign companies in the Indian insurance sector, Kolkatra-based battery maker Exide Industries on Friday said it wants to be a long-term player in the life insurance space and its not considering diluting its stakes in Exide Life Insurance.

Asked if the company is considering stake dilution, its managing director and CEO P.K. Kataky said: “We want to be a long-term player and are not in discussion with anybody”.

He was talking to the media after its annual general meeting here.

The Kolkata-based firm had acquired 100 equity in the erstwhile ING Vysya Life Insurance in May 2014 following the exit of Netherlands-based ING Group. Subsequently, it renamed itself Exide Life Insurance.

The central government, in March has approved foreign investors acquiring upto 49 percent stake in the insurance sector post which many Indian insurance firms have started preliminary discussions with the foreign players.

State Bank of India (SBI) is planning to dilute 10 percent stake in its life insurance venture SBI Life, where it currently holds a 74 percent stake, within this fiscal.

The insurance venture had registered a Rs. 65.3 crore net profit during the last financial year, posting 23 percent growth when compared to its standing in 2014. As on March 31 this year, its asset under management stood at Rs. 8,800 crore.

Over its core business, Kataky said the firm will be focussing on the automotive replacement market to grow its business in the coming two-three years.

The company has reported over 16 percent decline in its net profit at Rs.155.20 crore for the quarter ended June 30 in comparison to Rs.185.30 crore during the corresponding timeframe in 2014.

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