Final IPO norms for life insurers within a week: IRDA

Final IPO norms for life insurers within a week: IRDA

Mumbai: Insurance regulator IRDA on Tuesday said it will come out with guidelines for initial public offering (IPO) of life insurance companies within a week.

“We will be approaching for the gazetting sometimes later this week," IRDA chairman J Hari Narayan told reporters here on the sidelines of Assocham’s Global Insurance Summit.

For life insurance companies, the clause mandating a three-year track record of profitability as a precondition for tapping the capital markets has been removed in the draft guidelines on the IPO.

As per the draft norms, only insurance companies that have completed 10 years of operation and have strong financial will be allowed to access the capital market.

Insurance firms planning public offers have to seek ‘formal approval´ from Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) and then approach the SEBI for final approval, the draft norms had said.

Hari Narayan further said the IRDA is in the process of drafting guidelines on products. “It may take a little longer, about 10-15 days," he added.

Further, the regulator is also planning to come out with guidelines in schemes guaranteeing high net asset value. Hari Narayan said, “We are examining it because my concern is that the highest NAV guaranteed product may lead to miscommunication. We are understanding the entire issue before coming out with any guidelines".

His comments come amid reports that the regulator is planning to scrap the highest net asset value (NAV) guarantee products that account for about 20% of the total ULIP sales.

Under this plan, customers are guaranteed returns based on the highest NAV a policy has achieved during the full term of the plan.