Guidelines for life insurance cos IPOs by early Feb: IRDA

New Delhi: Insurance watchdog Insurance Regulatory Authority of India (IRDA) today said guidelines for public float of life insurance companies will be ready by early February, reports PTI.

"Our regulation for initial public offers (IPO) of life insurance companies must be ready in two to three weeks," IRDA chairman J Hari Narayan told reporters on the sidelines of IBAI summit.

In October last year, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had approved life insurance companies to issue IPOs.

As per the draft guideline compiled by IRDA, insurance companies which are in operation for the last 10 years would only be eligible for coming out with IPOs.

Also, the present IPO guidelines of SEBI require a three-year track record of profit for a company to float a public issue.

However, non-life insurance companies will have to wait a few months to hit the capital market as IRDA is in the process of making a formal proposal to SEBI.

"For non-life IPO, we are still to make a formal proposal to SEBI. The proposal is ready...the calculation of economic capital (of non-life insurance companies) that is taking a little time... then we will go forward," Mr Narayan added.

Several private sector insurers, including Reliance Life and HDFC Standard Life, have already shown interest in tapping the capital market to augment their resource base.

Though HDFC Standard Life has completed 10 years of operations, Reliance Life does not meet this criterion.

As per the disclosure norms in offer document mandated by SEBI, the insurers would have to come up with disclosure of risk factors specific to the companies.

Also the offer document would have a glossary of terms used in the insurance sector.

Currently, most of the 22 private life insurers and 17 non-life players have foreign partners. The Insurance Act caps foreign direct investment at 26%.


Draft norms on health insurance portability by February

New Delhi: Health insurance policy holders, feeling let down due to poor services, will have the choice to switch over to another company with the same conditions under the insurers portability option to be formulated by the Insurance Regulatory Authority of India (IRDA) next month, reports PTI.

"Draft guidelines on portability of health insurance policies will be issued by February-end," IRDA chairman J Hari Narayan told reporters on the sidelines of IBAI summit.

Currently, there is portability on motor insurance policies.

"Under portability, the financial bonuses, pre-existing disease requirement will also get carry forward," Mr Narayan said.

The insurance regulator has been planning to come out with guidelines for portability under which mediclaim policy holders, who are not satisfied with the services, will be able to switch service providers at the same premium.


Montek not worried over November IIP dip, hopeful of 8.5% growth

New Delhi: Notwithstanding the sharp decline in industrial growth in November, the Plan panel in India Wednesday exuded confidence that the country would end the current fiscal with targeted gross domestic product (GDP) growth of over 8.5%, reports PTI.

"I am not concerned about low November number. There is month to month volatility. We are on track as far as GDP growth is concerned," Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia told reporters here.

Industrial growth plunged to 2.7% in November 2010 against 11.3% in the same period a year-ago. In October 2010, the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) had expanded by 11.29%.

The industrial growth during April-November of this fiscal stood at 9.5%, against 7.4% in the corresponding period last year.

Mr Ahluwalia said, "The cumulative (industrial growth) number (April-November) is about 9.5%, that is very reasonable considering the overall (GDP) growth (target) we have."

About ending the fiscal with over 10% industrial growth this fiscal, he said, "I hope that we would get 10% industrial growth with 8.5% or little higher GDP growth in 2010-11."

About the wild swings in monthly industrial growth data, he said, "In the data for week or month, there will always be more volatility than for longer period."

The industrial production growth which had crossed 15% in July, dipped to 6.9% in August and further to 4.4% in September.


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