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Aviva may exit Indian insurance market

PTI
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UK-based financial services major Aviva Plc is reportedly planning to exit from its over 10-year old Indian joint venture life insurance company with diversified FMCG player Dabur.

Aviva is reportedly in the process of hiring corporate advisors to find buyers for its 26 per cent stake in the Indian business.

When contacted for comments, Aviva India in an e-mail said: “We don’t comment on market speculations or rumours as a policy.”

E-mails sent to Aviva Plc in this regard did not elicit response.

Various options are being considered for the exit including the sale of its stake to Dabur Group if Aviva Plc fails to find a foreign insurer to buy it.

Started in 2002, the life insurance firm has a paid up capital of Rs 2,004 crore.

Aviva India, a 26:74 joint venture the UK-based Aviva Plc and Dabur posted a decline of 11 per cent in terms of total premium collection at Rs 2,140.6 crore in 2012-13 compared with Rs 2,415.8 crore in the previous fiscal.

Earlier this year, the Netherlands-based ING decided to exit ING Vysya Life Insurance Company by selling its 26 per cent stake to domestic partner Exide Industries.

ING’s exit from the Indian life insurance joint venture is part of the previously announced divestment of ING’s Asian Insurance and Investment Management businesses, the Dutch banking and insurance company had said in a statement.

Last year, the US-based insurer New York Life had exited India by selling its 26 per cent stake in its joint venture company to Japan’s Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company.

Indian insurance sector has 42 private players in life and general insurance business sharing about 30 per cent of the market share in life insurance and 41 per cent of the market share in general insurance sector.

(This article was published on August 5, 2013)
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