GIC Re and New India to kick off stake sales: report

January 15 2019 by InsuranceAsia News Staff

The government’s plan to sell initial 10% stakes in New India, India’s largest P&C insurer, and GIC Re, the country’s largest reinsurer, is likely to be completed by the end of the fourth quarter of the 2019 financial year according to Moneycontrol.

“The stake sale process is underway. Through the offer-for-sale route, the government is looking to complete the process by the end of [the financial year 2019],” said a senior source.

Mumbai-headquartered GIC Re and New India were both listed on the Indian stock market in the second half of 2017 after recommendations from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India. During the initial public offerings the plan was floated to sell 25% of the government stakes within three years (or by the end of fiscal year 2020).

At the end of last year the government holding in New India was 85.4% while the government’s stake in GIC Re was 85.8%. GIC Re was the country’s largest IPO in seven years and in fiscal year 2017 the insurer accounted for about 60% of the premiums written by all Indian insurers to reinsurers, according to data from CRISIL Research.

India is an attractive market for insurance investors as it has a combination of a large population, a growing middle class and a lack of penetration. Foreign companies such as Ageas and Generali have been increasing investments in the country over the last few months and further investment is expected in India’s insurance market both from within the country and outside.