Life Insurance Company of India and New India Assurance, have entered into a joint venture with Al Hokair Group of Saudi Arabia, to start operations in Saudi Arabia. The joint venture, Saudi India Company for Cooperative Insurance (SICCI), shall sell both life and general insurance policies in Saudi Arabia.
It has an investment of SR 100 million and the company was announced in
2005 during a Riyadh visit by the Indian Finance Minister. The NRIs in Saudi
Arabia can now avail of insurance services offered by SICCI.
The operating licence is expected by the end of August. Earlier, the JV
had issued an initial public offering (IPO) for 40 per cent shares, mandatory
under Saudi regulations to initiate operations.
The IPO fetched SR 40 million.
The major stake in SICCI is held by Al Hokair Group, with 29 per cent
shares, followed by 20.4 per cent stake of LIC along with LIC International
and the remaining 10.6 per cent stake is held by New India Assurance. 40
per cent of the total shares are reserved for locals.
In addition to this joint venture in Saudi Arabia, LIC is also in talks
with the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA) to seek approval
for setting up representative offices in USA and Singapore. Eyeing the
NRI population in both the countries, LIC is geared up after the successful
stint in its Bahrain operations.
The corporation got the permission last
year to offer its policies to the public in Bahrain. Prior to last year,
it could offer insurance services
to NRIs only.