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Friday, Jun 14, 2002

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GMR to invest Rs 80 cr in ING Vysya Insurance

C.R. Sukumar


IN a significant move, GMR Technologies & Industries Ltd (GMR-TIL), the Hyderabad-based Rs 161-crore flagship of the over Rs 2,000-crore GMR group, has decided to invest funds to the tune of Rs 80 crore in ING Vysya Insurance, the life insurance joint venture between the GMR group, Vysya Bank and ING International BV.

While Vysya Bank holds a major stake of 49 per cent in the insurance joint venture, ING International is holding 26 per cent equity and the balance 25 per cent is held by the GMR group.

While the existing paid-up equity base of ING Vysya Insurance stands at Rs 110 crore, the proposal is to raise it to around Rs 300 crore in tranches over the next couple of years.

The move of GMR to enhance its investments in the insurance joint venture was aimed at exploiting the opportunities available in the Indian insurance industry for private participants. This is to be achieved with the help of the existing strengths and reach of GMR group, according to the GMR-TIL Vice-President, Finance, and Company Secretary, Mr V. Balasubramanian.

In a move to maintain its holding in the insurance joint venture at 25 per cent on the expanded equity base, the GMR group management is raising funds from its flagship company with strong financials.

Further, according to Mr Balasubramanian, GMR-TIL is also planning to participate in some of the major infrastructure projects currently being implemented by the group.

Towards this, the company proposes to invest Rs 50 lakh in GMR Tuni-Anakapalli Expressways Pvt Ltd and another Rs 50 lakh in GMR Tambaram-Tindivanam Expressways Pvt Ltd.

Apart from the purpose of seeking approvals for these investments, GMR-TIL is convening an extraordinary general meeting of its shareholders on July 6 to obtain their consent for pledging the shares of ING Vysya, GMR Tuni-Anakapalli and GMR Tambaram-Tindivanam held by the company in favour of GE Capital and ICICI Bank, respectively, towards security, he said.

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