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March 29, 2016
New India Assurance, the country’s largest general insurer, has confirmed that it is all set to be publicly listed in the next fiscal year which starts on 1 April, according to a top company official.
“We are in the early stages of formalities for listing. The valuation process is yet to start. We expect it to go through quickly once the process starts,” the Hindu Business Line reported, citing Mr G Srinivasan, Chairman and Managing Director of the company. Mumbai-headquartered New India Assurance is expected to be the first among the country’s four state-owned general insurance companies to get listed. The other three are National Insurance Company, The Oriental Insurance Company, and United India Insurance.
In his Budget speech delivered on 29 February, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced that the central government plans to list all four companies to ensure higher transparency and accountability. Mr Srinivasan had said after the Budget announcement that the company was ready for disinvestment as its financials were healthy with its market share expanding in both domestic and international markets. Although the insurance law, amended last year, allows the four companies to raise capital subject to the government equity “not being less than 51% at any time”, the local media cited Finance Ministry officials as having said that the government plans to offload 10% of its stake in the four companies. No insurance company is currently listed on the Indian stock market.