New Delhi: Private sector lender UCO Bank, which plans to foray into the general insurance business, is expected to finalise its joint venture partners in the next 3-4 months.
“We are going ahead with our plan (foraying into general insurance business)...we are currently seeking RBI approval for the same,” UCO Bank chairman and managing director S K Goel told the agency.
“We hope to finalise the JV structure and partners in the next 3-4 months,” he said.
The venture would have one more state-run bank and a foreign non-life insurance company and a domestic bank, he said.
UCO Bank will act as a promoter and distribution partner in the business, while it expects the domain expertise from its foreign and private partners, he said.
Several of the leading state-owned lenders, such as State Bank of India, Allahabad Bank and Union Bank of India, already have insurance subsidiaries in partnership with global players.
The Kolkata-based lender has also decided to put on hold its plans to launch a financial services subsidiary due to adverse market conditions, he said.
”We had plans to launch a financial services subsidiary. But, with the downturn in the financial markets and the fact that credibility of rating have suffered in the recent past, we have decided to put the plan on hold,“ Goel said.
UCO Bank recorded a 19% growth rate in its net profit during the fourth quarter ended 31 March, 2009, to Rs102.56 crore over the corresponding period a year ago.
The bank had a net profit of Rs85.99 crore in the January-March quarter of 2007-08 fiscal.
Total income of the lender rose to Rs2,520.62 crore during the fourth quarter of FY’09 from Rs2,053.29 crore in the same quarter a year earlier.
For the financial year ended 31 March, 2009, UCO Bank reported a net profit of Rs557.72 crore, registering 35% growth against Rs412.16 crore of FY’08.
Total income during the FY’09 rose to Rs9,141.28 crore from Rs7,280.69 crore of FY’08.