GIC may set up arm in Russia to expand global operations

Surabhi Mumbai | Updated on September 30, 2019

State-run reinsurer General Insurance Corporation (GIC) is looking to expand its global operations with a subsidiary in Russia, and is also exploring the possibility of an office in Brazil to cater to the South American market.

“Ideally, we would want a 50:50 share in our foreign and domestic underwriting. Today we are at 70:30, and we want to better it. We are also looking at offices abroad to balance our portfolio and give us balance,” said Devesh Srivastava, General Manager, GIC.

The medium-term objective of the management is to achieve 60:40 domestic-international risk portfolios, he added.

According to Srivastava, property is the “bread and butter” for GIC in the international market. It is the largest agricultural reinsurer in the world, but that is largely due to domestic writings.

London operations

GIC has already started operations as GIC Syndicate 1947 in Lloyd’s of London from last April, and underwrote close to £50 million of business. For the current fiscal, GIC has a target of £78 million from Lloyds, and is hopeful of meeting it.

It started out operations writing only property, a bit of engineering and some agri-business, and this year has added marine.

“Next year, we will include a bit more, and we will gradually make it a full-fledged syndicate. We have granular plans that we want to achieve over the next 5-7 years,” he told BusinessLine.

Branch offices

GIC already has branch offices in Dubai and Malaysia, as well as a representative office in Moscow. It is now upgrading the Moscow office to a full-fledged subsidiary, and hopes to start operations in 2-3 months.

“This will service the FSU and CIS countries,” said Srivastava. It is also exploring the possibility of an office in Brazil to service the South American market, but it is still at an early stage.

GIC already has a presence in the Afro-Asian region, and is a leading the reinsurance programmes of several insurance companies in SAARC countries, Africa, South-East Asia and West Asia.

In 2018-19, GIC’s domestic business fetched gross premium of ₹30,972.21 crore, while the international business contributed ₹13,265.79 crore.

Published on September 30, 2019

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