News eDaily18 Jul 2017

India:Two insurers file to go public as IPO quest picks up pace

18 Jul 2017

ICICI Lombard General Insurance and SBI Life Insurance have filed for an initial public offering of shares that bankers say could each raise around US$1 billion.

ICICI Lombard, the first nonlife insurance company in India to apply for an IPO, filed its draft red herring prospectus last Friday.

Founded in 2001, the general insurer is a joint venture of ICICI Bank and Canada's Fairfax Financial Holdings. The two partners will sell around 86.24 million shares, or around 19% of the insurer's shares. ICICI Bank is selling a 7.15% stake, while Fairfax is selling 12.27%.

In May, Fairfax sold a 12.18% stake in ICICI Lombard to a group of investors for around $383 million. The deal valued the firm at INR203 billion (US$3.15 billon).

ICICI Lombard General Insurance is the second insurance company from the ICICI group to go public. Last year, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance raised INR60 billion in an IPO. It is currently the only listed insurer in India.

Joining in the action, SBI Life Insurance yesterday filed for an IPO in which State Bank of India (SBI), the biggest Indian lender, will sell a stake of up to 8% stake, or 80 million shares. Joint venture partner BNP Paribas Cardif is selling a stake of up to 4%.

SBI Life is currently 70% owned by SBI and 26% by BNP Paribas Cardif.

Several other insurers, including government-owned and privately held entities, are working on IPOs too. They include the state-owned New India Assurance and GIC Re.

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