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Sunday, April 24, 2011

PNB to finalise life insurance partner by June

New Delhi: The country second largest public sector lender, Punjab National Bank (PNB), intends to finalise the partner for its life insurance foray by June.

"We hope to finalise the partner this quarter," Punjab National Bank Chairman and Managing Director K R Kamath said.

The bank shortlisted 10 entities from 41 and further it was narrowed down to three, he said.

The three shortlisted life insurers include Bharti AXA, Aviva and Metlife.

The bank will finalise the partner for life insurance business based on the evaluation of the proposals submitted by these insurance companies, he said.

If PNB picks up stake in any life insurer, either domestic or overseas partner will have to dilute stake in the insurance firm.

Aviva India is 74:26 per cent joint venture between FMCG player Dabur India and UK-based Aviva Plc while Bharti AXA Life Insurance is joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and AXA of France.

Metlife India stakeholders include Jammu and Kashmir Bank, Shapoorji Pallonji and other investors besides Metlife of the US.

Last year, PNB announced its plans for a strategic partnership with an insurance player. The bank had said it has decided to participate in the life insurance venture through "a corporate agency tie-up along with equity participation in an existing Indian life insurance company".

PNB is among the few banks with a large branch network which does not have a stake in a life insurance company.

Last year, PNB decided to part ways with it foreign partner in a proposed life insurance joint venture it set up four years ago.

PNB bought the entire 26 per cent stake held by Principal Financial Group and the 32 per cent participating interest of domestic firm UK (Berger) Paints in Principal PNB Life Insurance Company Ltd.

PNB's stake in the proposed joint venture was 30 per cent, while that of Vijaya Bank was 12 per cent.

Source: Financial Express


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