The Singapore government has acquired a 1.5% stake in India’s ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company for approximately INR8.42 billion (US$111.5 million).
The shares were purchased by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte Ltd from ICICI Bank, one of the four largest banks in India. Temasek, another Singapore state investment firm, holds a 2% stake in ICICI Prudential, which it purchased in 2015.
After the latest transaction, ICICI Bank now holds 51.40% of the insurer, which is a joint venture with British insurer Prudential.
The bank, in a stock exchange filing, said that the transaction strengthened its balance sheet, and that it is currently looking for other similar opportunities. It also sold roughly 4% of its shares in its general insurance arm, ICICI Lombard General Insurance, through block deals, Moneycontrol reported.
According to reports, Indian banks have been selling shares in their businesses, amid pressure from the COVID-19 outbreak. On June 11, the State Bank of India (SBI) approved a proposal to sell a 2.1% stake in SBI Life Insurance, a joint venture with French insurer BNP Paribas Cardif.