CBI probing IRDA’s 'soft' handling of Reliance General Insurance
CBI, which has examined IRDA’s former chairman J Hari Narayan and other officials, is looking at the circumstances under which the penalty was ‘brought down’ to Rs20 lakh from a possible Rs17,500 crore, say media reports
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has started a preliminary enquiry to probe if Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) favoured Anil Dhirubhai Ambani (ADA) group unit Reliance General Insurance Co, while levying a penalty of Rs20 lakh for selling a health policy without permission from the regulator.
CBI spokesperson Kanchan Prasad told the Times of India that a preliminary enquiry has been registered to probe if there was malafide intent in the decision, which was taken in July 2009. The agency said that unknown officials have been named in the preliminary enquiry, which is the first stage of investigation. CBI, which has examined former IRDA chairman J Hari Narayan and other officers of IRDA, is looking at the circumstances under which the penalty was "brought down" from a possible Rs17,500 crore, the report says.
On 23 July 2009, the IRDA penalised Reliance General Insurance for Rs20 lakh. The product filed before IRDA for which the prior clearance of the regulator was obtained was 'Reliance Health Care Policy' and instead, Reliance General Insurance introduced a product named 'Reliance HealthWise policy'. The insurer contended that the change in the name and premium of its product was followed by refund of Rs1.07 crore to various policyholders of the original product. As per the IRDA order, the refund was not supported by any documentary evidence.
As per IRDA's revised guidelines in September 2006, insurers were required to obtain fresh clearance if there is any change in the name of product. In 2008, IRDA found that Reliance General had violated its guidelines while selling insurance policy under the name of 'Reliance HealthWise Policy' when it had obtained clearance from IRDA for 'Reliance Health Care Policy'.
Speaking with Times of India, J Hari Narayana, the then chairman of IRDA, said, "When we received the reply, we realized that one of the changes had actually benefited the consumers, so we treated it as four violations. In my judgment, I had said that the company had sold close to 3.5 lakh policies, we could treat each policy as a violation and in that case the penalty would be Rs17,500 crore. Since the show cause mentioned Rs25 lakh, I couldn't have gone beyond that level while levying the final penalty."
Somewhere in July 2010, Reliance General, which till a year before had lowest premiums among competitors, increased premium for its HealthWise policy by 400% to 500%. (Read: Unhealthy rise in Reliance HealthWise premiums) When Moneylife contacted IRDA, we found that the regulator was not aware about the steep rise. According to industry sources, any increase in premium has to be supported by actuary data needed by IRDA for justifying approval. When we checked with an official from IRDA  about the same, Moneylife was told that the loading has to be specified by the insurance company in the product document that gets approved by IRDA.  
The real reason for the drastic action seems to be poor underwriting when the company started mediclaim policies in 2007 with aggressive pricing of Rs999 'Gold Plan' for Rs1 lakh sum insured for age up to 35. The intention at that time was market penetration in the younger segment with hopes of few claims. After three years of being unable to sustain low premiums, the company in 2010 jacked up premium by 400% to 500%. A hefty increase in mediclaim premium was seen to be a desperate measure from Reliance General Insurance to cover up for losses due to bad underwriting. 
In the past, there have been cases where IRDA's acceptance of group insurance loading was overruled by consumer courts.


Sensex, Nifty may try to rally – Monday closing report

Nifty will move higher as long as it closes above 7,895


Market opened weak today and after hitting the day’s low in initial trade, it started moving upwards gradually. A little before 2.00 pm today, the indices made a sharp move into the positive and continued edging higher. On Friday we had mentioned  that the S&P BSE Sensex and CNX Nifty have turned directionless and the Nifty may rally if closes above 7890.

The Sensex opened at 26,275 while Nifty opened at 7,831. After hitting the day’s low at 26,093 and 7,796, the indices started making a gradual up-move. In the last hour of the session, the benchmarks hit the day’s high at 26,443 and 7,901 and ended the day close to these levels. Sensex closed at 26,384 (up 87 points or 0.33%) while Nifty closed at 7,884 (up 24 points or 0.31%). NSE recorded a volume of 68.12 crore shares. India VIX rose 1.19% to close at 14.5000.

Among the other indices on the NSE, the top five gainers were PSU Bank (1.67%), Bank Nifty (1.45%), Metal (1.30%), Finance (1.18%) and IT (1.11%), while the top five losers were Realty (1.68%), Pharma (1.39%), FMCG (0.74%), Consumption (0.36%) and Media (0.30%).

Of the 50 stocks on the Nifty, 28 ended in the green. The top five gainers were Tata Power (2.72%), NMDC (2.40%), IndusInd Bank (2.09%), Tata Steel (2.00%) and PNB (1.90%).


The top five losers were M&M (3.80%), DLF (3.54%), Cipla (2.69%), Dr Reddy (1.96%) and Sun Pharma (1.83%).

Of the 1,585 companies on the NSE, 797 companies closed in the green, 724 companies closed in the red and 64 companies closed flat.

After the weak IIP data for August 2014 which was released on Friday during after market hours, the market today awaited combined consumer price indices (CPI) for urban and rural India for September 2014.

Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan reportedly said at an event on Saturday, that the rupee is not overvalued at this point in time and that the Indian economy is in the "beginning phases of a recovery which I hope will strengthen over time.”

With Sintex's September 2014 results being declared today the stock was pulled to end the day as the top gainer (19.70%) in the ‘A’ group on the BSE. While the consolidated net sales grew by 25% to Rs1,673.10 crore on a year on year basis, its net profit grew by 47% to Rs107.40 crore.

Rasoya Proteins (4.87%) was the top loser in the ‘A’ group on the BSE. The stock continued hitting a new 52-week low today as well.

Tata Power (2.90%) was the top gainer in the Sensex 30 pack. In response to the clarification sought by BSE in regard to news articles appearing in media, titled "Tatas, ICICI Venture may Team up for Power Play." The company replied saying, "Please note that the Company continues to look at various such options to improve stakeholders value and a proposal similar to one that appeared is at a consideration stage, where no binding agreements or any commitments have been made by the company. The contents appearing in the newspaper reports are largely speculative. The company remains fully committed to comply with the disclosure requirements under the Listing Agreement."

Cipla (2.68%) was among the top two losers aimongthe Sensex 30 stocks. The company was recently in the news for its announcement of a collaboration with Israel's Teva Pharmaceuticals for sales and distribution of the latter's drugs in South Africa. The agreement is between Medpro Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Cipla Medpro, and Teva Pharmaceuticals pty, an affiliate of Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries.

US indices closed in the red on Friday.

Except for Hang Seng (0.24%) all the other trading Asian indices closed in the red today.


Taiwan Weighted (2.84%) was the top loser.

China's exports and imports rose faster than expected in September, today's data showed. Exports rose 15.3% in September, compared to a year earlier, according to data from the General Administration of Customs. September's export growth exceeded August's 9.4% growth. Imports rose 7% in September, from a year earlier, following a 2.4% decline in August. Increased imports saw China's trade surplus narrow in September to $31 billion from $49.8 billion in August.

European indices were trading in the green, while US Futures were trading marginally higher.

IMF meetings in Washington this weekend showed differing opinions over how much more stimulus the euro-area economy needs from the European Central Bank. While Draghi repeated he’s ready to expand the Central Bank’s balance sheet by as much as 1 trillion euros ($1.3 trillion), Bundesbank head Jens Weidmann said a target value isn’t set in stone.




2 years ago

An error in above report. NIFTY ended UP 24 points, not down as mentioned. Makes a big difference :)

Reliance Industries Q2 net profit flat at Rs5,972 crore

RIL’s September quarter net profit increased marginally, even as its total revenues declined 4.3% due to lower crude prices and volumes


Reliance Industries Ltd on Monday reported a marginally higher second quarter net profit, even as its total revenues declined 4.3% due to lower crude prices and volumes.

For the quarter to end-September, the Mukesh Ambani-led petroleum conglomerate said its net profit on consolidated base, increased 1.7% to Rs5,972 crore from Rs5,873 crore, while its total revenues, including sales, declined 4.3% to Rs1.13 lakh crore from Rs1.18 lakh crore, for the same quarter a year ago.

Commenting on the results, Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of RIL, said, "The refining and petrochemical businesses, once again delivered robust results, outperforming regional industry benchmarks. Renewed optimism in the domestic economy augurs well for business and consumer confidence particularly against the backdrop of continuing concerns on global economic growth. We expect to create significant value for our stakeholders over the next 12-18 months as we complete our large investment programme across energy and consumer businesses."

RIL said its second quarter operating profit increased 10.8% to Rs9,818 crore from Rs8,865 crore in September 2013.

As on 30 September 2014, the company said it had an outstanding debt of Rs1.42 lakh crore, while its cash and cash equivalents were at Rs83,456 crore.

RIL said, its second quarter revenues from the refining and marketing segment decreased by 5.9% to Rs1.04 lakh crore due to softness in crude oil prices and lower crude processing. RIL’s gross refining margins (GRM) for the quarter stood at $8.3 per bbl as against $7.7 per bbl in the corresponding period of the previous year. The company said its premium during the September quarter, over the regional benchmark, widened to $3.5 a bbl, as compared to $2.5 per bbl in the corresponding period of the previous year. This was primarily aided by wider crude differentials and sourcing advantage.

RIL closed flat on Monday, at Rs957 on the BSE, while the benchmark Sensex ended the day marginally higher at 26,384.


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