HSBC looking to expand stake in Indian insurer

Move is part of conglomerate's Asian push

HSBC looking to expand stake in Indian insurer

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

HSBC Insurance Asia Pacific Holdings (INAH) has announced plans to expand its stake in Indian insurer Canara HSBC OBC Life Insurance by acquiring Punjab National Bank’s stake.

“The bank has received a communication from [INAH], one of the shareholders of the company, conveying its intention to acquire Bank's stake in the company,” PNB said in a regulatory filing.

PNB also said that it will conduct further evaluation on INAH’s proposal. HSBC is continuing its push to expand its insurance operations in Asia due to strong growth in the region.

State-owned bank PNB obtained a stake in the life insurer through its acquisition of Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) in 2020, Business Standard reported. OBC held 23% of the insurer’s shares, while Canara Bank owns 51%. Foreign partner INAH holds 26%.

PNB also owns 30% of PNB MetLife Insurance, and is the largest shareholder. Formed in 2001, PNB MetLife’s other shareholders include US-based MetLife with 26% and local partners Elpro and M Pallonji & Company, with 21% and 18%, respectively.

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India prohibits companies from owning more than 10% in a second insurance venture. This prompted PNB to announce in May that it will divest its holdings in Canara HSBC OBC Life Insurance.

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