Standard Life has said it would consider a partial IPO of its joint venture with HDFC Life in India "should legislation and market conditions allow."

A spokesperson for Standard Life made the comment after the Financial Times reported that a flotation of the Indian JV could possibly happen in the second half of 2013.

Standard Life’s chief executive David Nish was cited in the Financial Times article as being upbeat about its JV, known as HDFC SL, and saying it was a very valuable business.

Standard Life’s JV with HDFC Life was established in 2000. HDFC SL is headquartered in Mumbai and offers a range of individual savings, pensions and protection products.

The speculation around Standard Life’s strategy with HDFC Life comes at a time of increased interest in the Indian life insurance market. For example, in April this year, Life Insurance International (LII) reported that Japan’s MS&AD Insurance Group is to acquire a 26% stake in Max New York Life (MNYL), an Indian-headquartered life insurance company.

Similarly, in August 2012, LII reported that Japan’s Nippon Life had completed the transaction to acquire a 26 per cent stake – valued at INR 14.5bn ($261m) – in India’s Reliance Capital Asset Management (RCAM).

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Possible job cuts

In a separate development, Standard Life has proposed cutting 139 jobs as part of its efforts to ‘steamline’ the business.

A spokesperson for Standard Life said: "Our proposed changes will result in more streamlined and flexible organisational structures within our UK IT and change, customer and marketing, adviser and investments and workplace divisions, which will allow Standard Life to deliver a greater customer experience."

Paul Matthews, Standard Life’s CEO for UK and Europe said: "A lot of great progress has been made getting Standard Life ready for the Retail Distribution Review and Pensions Reform. These initiatives significantly change the way customers engage with us.

"Our current model and structure has to change to meet the changing demands of this new world where customers will want to interact in different ways for different products."