Edelweiss expects life insurance operations in 6 months

Edelweiss expects life insurance operations in 6 months

Mumbai: Financial services firm Edelweiss Capital expects its life insurance venture with Japan’s Tokio Marine Holdings to start operations in the next 6 months, its top official said on 21 May.

The partners plan to invest a total of Rs5.5 billion as initial capital in the venture and have applied to the insurance regulator for in-principle approval.

“We expect to get all approvals in next 6 months following which we will start operations," Rashesh Shah, chairman of Edelweiss, told Reuters over the telephone.

It also plans to start housing finance business in the next 3-4 months.

In March, a unit of Edelweiss got a registration certificate from National Housing Bank to start housing finance business.

“Opportunities are there (housing finance). We will have to execute well. We will be targeting high quality borrowers, be it in the affordable housing or be it in the upper end."

Earlier, Edelweiss posted a 30% rise in FY10 net profit to Rs342.1 million riding on the growth in investment banking and brokerage businesses.

The investment banking business has risen over 40% to Rs3.5 billion, Shah said.

Interest income from wholesale lending has also risen on growing loan book size, he said, adding its current loan book was at about Rs18 billion, up from Rs6 billion a year ago.

The company, which bought unlisted broking firm Anagram Capital in January, also expects its headcount to rise 5-10% in the current year, from 2,500 now.

Edelweiss shares ended up 0.06% at Rs407 in the Mumbai market that ended down 0.45%.