ICICI Pru Life mulls bid for Sahara's life insurance biz

ICICI Prudential Life Insurance has shown interest in taking over Sahara Life Insurance, which was asked to close down its business by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) last month. 

In an announcement to the BSE on Tuesday, ICICI Prudential Life said, “We have expressed our interest to evaluate taking over policyholders' liabilities and assets of Sahara Life.” 

It said the last reported policyholders' liabilities of Sahara Life was about Rs 900 crore, less than 1 per cent of ICICI Prudential Life's balance sheet. “We are evaluating the way forward,” ICICI Prudential Life said in its statement.

The regulator had expressed its concerns over Sahara Life running its business in a manner which was likely to be “prejudicial to the interests of the holders of the life insurance”. Owing to irregularities in financial statements, the regulator had appointed one of its general managers as administrator to manage the affairs of Sahara Life on June 12.

Sahara Life had sold 665 policies worth Rs 1.53 crore during the April-May period of FY18. The company had collected a premium worth Rs 44.68 crore from 16,058 customers in 2016-17. Shares of ICICI Prudential Life closed at Rs 489.35 apiece on the BSE, up 3.66 per cent.

ICICI Prudential Life Insurance had reported a net profit at Rs 408.2 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 2017.

During FY17, the value of new business (VNB) increased by 61.7 per cent to Rs 666 crore, compared with Rs 412 crore a year ago.

VNB increased primarily on account of increase in protection business and improvement in persistence.

ICICI Prudential was listed on stock exchanges in September last year.