SBI hires PwC for valuation, IAG ropes in Deloitte for JV Economic Times

Newspaper/Magzine: 
Nav Hind TImes
Publication Date: 
5 June, 2015

MUMBAI: Keen to divest further stake in its foreign partner Insurance Australia Group, the State Bank has hired consultancy PwC to carry out the valuation process for its general insurance joint venture.SBI General Insurance's foreign partner Insurance Australia Group (IAG) has roped in Deloitte for the purpose, industry sources said."Valuation for SBI General Insurance is being done by two separate firms. While State Bank has roped in PwC, Insurance Australia Group has appointed Deloitte for the purpose," the source told PTI.The move comes after the government in March passed the new insurance law that allows 49 per cent foreign holding but with management control vested with the local partner.Already a number of foreign companies have agreed to increase their stakes in the ventures here.Soon after the new Insurance Act was notified earlier this year, the British major Bupa Insurance had said it would raise stake in its health insurance venture Max Bupa to 49 per cent, becoming the first foreign firm to announce a hike in FDI to 49 per cent.

This was followed by the French insurer Axa in March, saying it would hike its stake in Bharti-Axa Life to 49 per cent for Rs 858.6 crore.The Dutch major Aegon also followed suit in its JV with Aegon-Religare Life in the same month, wherein Bennett Coleman & Co bought out Religare EnterprisesBSE 0.83 % entire 44 per cent in the life joint venture.The transaction will mark the exit of Religare from the life insurance business.BNP ParibasBSE 0.09 % Cardif, which holds 26 per cent in SBI Life Insurance, is also in the process of increasing FDI hike to 49 per cent.Similarly, private general insurer Liberty-Videocon General is also likely to apply for increasing its FDI hike to 49 per cent next year.The US-based Liberty Mutual Insurance Group owns 26 per cent in the company and had infused Rs 320 crore into the JV last December.State-run Bank of India too had said recently that it was looking at paring its stake in life insurance arm Star-Union Dai-ichi Life Insurance to 30 per cent from the present 48 per cent.Star Union Dai-ichi Life Insurance is a joint venture between Bank of India (48 per cent), Union Bank of India (26 per cent) and Dai-ichi Life Insurance (26 per cent).Late last month, the Edelweiss Group had said its Japanese partner Tokio Marine agreed to infuse around Rs 500 crore in additional capital into Edelweiss-Tokio Life Insurance by increasing the stake to 49 per cent.