IPO norms to be out once valuation method is finalised: IRDA chief

September 15th, 2011 - 5:36 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 15 (IANS) Guidelines for allowing insurance companies to come out with initial public offerings will be out as soon as the regulator decides on the methodology to adopt for valuing firms interested in hitting the capital markets.

“IPO guidelines are finalised as far as we are concerned. But there are two more knots that have to be tied up. One is that we require comments from the Securities and Exchange Board of India, which I am assured will come shortly,” said J. Hari Narayan, chairman of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority.

The IPO guidelines will deal with minimum norms that a company must fulfil before hitting the capital markets. Besides the state-owned Life Insurance Corporation, 22 private companies are offering life insurance policies.

The general insurance sector has 21 players which include four state-owned companies.

“There is one particular metrics that has to be calculated and the methodology for that calculation has to be prescribed by the Institute of Actuaries,” Narayan told reporters on the sidelines of a health insurance summit organised by CII.

“It is a notional concept which is called embedded value, how do you value an insurance company. Insurance companies essentially, you value what its liabilities are going to be in the future as against its assets. At the present moment there is no standard for it,” he added.

The IRDA chief also said that he was looking at a proposal to allow banks to sell insurance products of more than one player. The proposal was made by a committee to look at ways of strengthening distribution of insurance products through banks.

“The committee on bancassurance has recommended that banks be permitted with two insurance companies. Right now they can tie up with only one. We are examining the implications of that,” said Narayan.

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