New market prepping to welcome global reinsurance titans

Several firms poised to set up shop this year as the market is opened to competition from foreign reinsurers

New market prepping to welcome global reinsurance titans

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

A number of global reinsurance firms, such as Munich Re, Swiss Re, Hannover Re, and Lloyd’s of London have been granted licenses to operate in India, just as the sole reinsurer in India, state-owned GIC, is scheduled to undergo an IPO.
The firms are generally setting up base in Mumbai, which Indian officials hope will become another global financial hub in Asia, on par with Singapore and Hong Kong.
Swiss Re is planning to commence operations on February 1, budget day. Its Indian branch will be headed by Kalpana Sampat, managing director of its Bangalore-based business solutions arm.
Two other European reinsurers, Munich Re and Hanover Re, have been granted approval by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) and will likely announce their start dates soon.
XL Catlin of Ireland has also been granted permission to open a reinsurance branch in Mumbai, starting April 1. It will be headed by CEO Joseph Augustine.

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Meanwhile, Lloyd’s of London is currently setting up a trading floor for reinsurance and specialty insurance products, similar to a stock exchange. It plans to debut on April 1, just in time for the market’s insurance renewal season.
Several international reinsurers, such as SCOR and AXA Re of France, as well as RGA and Gen Re of the US, are also looking to enter the Indian market.
Gen Re, which is under Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway Group, is one of the group’s top earners and is headed by Ajit Jain, an Indian. Venkatesh Chakravorty has been appointed to head its India business.
India’s insurance market, currently valued at US$80 billion, is expected to grow four-fold over the next decade. A total of 53 insurance companies are currently operating in the country, with 24 life insurers and 29 non-life insurers.

Related stories:
Swiss Re receives license to offer reinsurance in India
Lloyd’s to open India reinsurance branch in April
Listing of state-owned general insurers given green light

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