Wednesday, February 22, 2012

New York Life in talks to exit India JV

New Delhi: New York Life Insurance Co is in talks to sell its stake in a joint-venture with healthcare and life insurance company Analjit Singh-led Max India, it was reported on Wednesday citing an unnamed source.
The U.S.-headquartered insurer has a close to 26 percent stake in Max New York Life, India's largest non-banking private insurance company, estimated to be worth around 35 billion rupees ($709 million), the report said.
Around one-third of the sale proceeds would be paid to Max India, it said citing a person familiar with the development.
Our JV is a highly successful operation that provides important insurance products to the people of India. We do not comment on rumours, a New York Life spokesman was quoted as saying.
A spokesman for Max India could not be immediately reached for comment by Reuters. New York Life was not available outside its business hours.
Max India holds a 70 percent stake in the joint venture, and Indian lender Axis Bank owns the remaining 4 percent. ($1 = 49.3650 rupees)

LIC to invest Rs 1.95 lakh cr this fiscal

Mumbai: Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) will maintain its investment in various assets classes at around Rs 195,000 crore in the fiscal 2011-12
“Last year, our total investment across asset classes was about Rs 1.95 lakh crore and I think we will be able to maintain that in spite of the slowdown,” LIC acting Chairman DK Mehrotra said here. LIC’s investments in the current fiscal in the capital markets will also be at par with the last fiscal’s Rs 43,000 crore, he said.
Mehrotra, who has been officiating as the chairman since May 2011, said LIC has invested Rs 1,25,000 crore across asset classes till November which includes up to Rs 28,000 crore in equities and the remaining in debt.
“We are a long-term player and opportunities keep on coming. If there is good value and where have had an opportunity in the recent past, we have picked up good scrips, there is no doubt about it,” he said.
When asked if it will help the government achieve its Rs 40,000 crore disinvestment target and pick up stakes in public enterprises, as is being mooted, Mehrotra said LIC has not received any such proposal but, “If there is value, definitely we will see (to that)”.
LIC, the biggest domestic buyer of Indian equities, is reportedly in the final stages of adopting direct market access and has already formed an initial panel of brokers to route its trades.
Meanwhile, LIC’s housing finance subsidiary LICHFL launched a Rs 500 crore venture capital fund to finance realty and micro-infrastructure projects. LIC Housing and LIC have pooled in Rs 50 crore each and another Rs 100 crore have been raised via external investors to launch the fund.
The LICHFL Urban Development Fund aims to raise the remaining Rs 300 crore in the next nine months, Mehrotra said.
Half of the amount will be invested in mid-income housing projects while the other half will be dedicated to income yielding micro-infrastructure projects like schools, the company said.