News Non-Life28 Nov 2018

India:SBI General Insurance targets public listing in 2020

28 Nov 2018

SBI General Insurance plans to launch an initial public offer (IPO) in 2020, the company's deputy CEO has said.

Ms Lisa Jeffrey told the Indo-Asian News Service that the insurer, which is a joint venture between State Bank of India (SBI) and Insurance Australia Group (IAG), aims to be among the top five non-life insurers in India by investing in technology and launching new products. The company also plans to boost the number of agents and other distribution channels, and focus on health insurance policies.

"We are investing in digital technology and looking at digital strategy. Now there are insurers that are purely into digital technology. The investment is part of our overall budget for information technology," Ms Jeffery said.

At a time when the industry is registering a 12% growth, SBI General Insurance is clocking about 30% business growth.

"We hope to log about 35% growth in our gross domestic premium income (GDPI),” she said, adding that during the first half of the current fiscal year which ends on 31 March, the GDPI growth was about 30% at INR2,067 crore ($292m) and the net profit was INR270 crore. She said SBI General Insurance was one of the few players to have posted an underwriting profit.

Ms Jeffery said that IAG International was not planning to increase its stake in the company from the current 26% to the maximum permissible 49%. This overturns a stock exchange statement by SBI in 2015 that IAG would raise its stake to 49%.

In September, SBI sold a 4% stake in SBI General Insurance at INR482 crore, in what was seen as a price discovery exercise. The sale valued the company at about INR12,000 crore. After the deal, SBI holds a 70% stake in the venture.

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