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January 31, 2019

MetLife looking to acquire additional stake in Indian life insurance JV

American insurance major MetLife is reportedly planning to acquire additional stake in its Indian joint venture PNB MetLife India Insurance Company from its Indian partners.

An undisclosed source familiar with the development told The Economic Times that, “MetLife is now looking to buy stake in the Indian life insurance company.”

“The leadership change at the global level, with Kishore Ponnavolu moving to head Asia region and Michel Khalaf as head MetLife Worldwide, has triggered changes in (the firm’s approach towards) the Indian market,” the publication further quoted the source as saying.

The latest move follows the failed attempt by the partners to divest some stakes in PNB MetLife India through Initial public offering (IPO), for which they secured SEBI’s nod in November last year.

In August last year, PNB MetLife filed for an IPO and planned to list the company in January this year. However, the plan could not take shape due to market conditions.

Now, the JV is planning to launch the IPO later this year, once the market stabilises, the sources told the publication.

In 2016, MetLife planned to quit the JV following the amendment in the Insurance Act as the act  required management control and ownership of insurance JV to be with Indian promoters only.

PNB MetLife is a JV between Punjab National Bank (PNB) that owns 30% stake, MetLife (26%), Elpro International (21%), M Pallonji & Company (18%), and Jammu & Kashmir Bank (5%).

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