AXA increases stake in Indian insurance joint ventures to 49%
With this deal, Bharti Enterprises’ stake in both the insurance ventures will come down to 51% from the existing 74%
Mumbai: France’s AXA SA has increased its stake in its life insurance and general insurance joint ventures with Bharti Enterprises to 49% from for an undisclosed amount, the company said in a release.
“This transaction confirms AXA’s long-term commitment towards the Indian insurance market and is another step in our development in Asia,” Jean-Louis Laurent Josi, CEO of AXA Asia, said in a statement.
On 6 May, the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) cleared AXA’s proposal to increase its stake in both the joint ventures. With this deal, Bharti Enterprises’ stake in both the insurance ventures will come down to 51% from the existing 74%.
Axa would invest an additional Rs.858.60 crore in the life insurance company, and Rs.431.40 crore to raise its stake in the general insurance joint venture, Mint reported in May. The companies have not disclosed the actual investment.
For financial year 2014-2015, Bharti AXA Life Insurance recorded Rs.4.7 billion of new business in collected premiums, achieving a yearly growth of 28% on average over the past three years, according to the press release issued by the company on Tuesday.
In the same financial year, Bharti AXA General Insurance Co. Ltd recorded Rs.14.6 billion of gross direct premiums, achieving a growth of 18% on average over the past three years.
“India is one of the most dynamic insurance markets in the world and we remain fully confident in the capacity of our joint ventures to continue building upon and developing our operations as an innovative and customer-focused insurer to offer services and products of high quality to our customers,” Josi said.
According to data from Thomson Reuters, 18 deals have been announced in the insurance sector since the foreign investment limit was hiked in March this year.
Foreign investors started ploughing in capital in their Indian counterparts after they were allowed to increase their stake from 26% to 49%.
Not all companies have disclosed deal values. A Mint analysis of deals where value has been announced suggests that over Rs.9,000 crore in additional foreign investment has come in since the foreign investment limit for the sector was hiked at the start of the financial year.
The largest transaction has been Japan-based Nippon Life Insurance Co.’s deal to increase its stake in Reliance Life Insurance to 49% from 26%, for Rs.2,265 crore.