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Thursday, Jun 13, 2002

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LIC set to venture into Sri Lanka

Our Bureau

MUMBAI, June 12

LIC of India is entering the Sri Lankan insurance market through a joint venture with the local Bartleet Group of companies.

Initially, LIC will hold the majority 75 per cent equity in a new company to be incorporated in Sri Lanka and the balance by the local partner. It will divest its stake by about 25 per cent to the public subsequently, an LIC official said.

Investment details are yet to be worked out. However, according to officials, LIC will initially invest about 25 million Sri Lakan Rupees from its own funds lying in Sri Lanka from its earlier business.

A memorandum of understanding was signed between LIC and the Bartleet Group of Companies of Sri Lanka in Mumbai on Wednesday. Barlette is a diversified group with interest in tea plantations, IT, stock broking and food services.

LIC was previously operating in Sri Lanka till the industry was nationalised in 1961. The re-entry of LIC into Sri Lanka comes in the wake of LIC seeking to expand its operations to several countries.

There is good scope in Sri Lanka as insurance market is not fully developed in that country. LIC hopes to capture a sizable share of the business, said an official.

The MoU was signed by Mr A. Ramamurthy, acting Chairman, LIC, and Mr Eraj Wijesinghe, Managing Director, Bartleet Group of companies.

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