British insurers to invest 238 mn pounds in Indian JVs

London, Nov 13 (IANS) British Prime Minister Davind Cameron welcomed India’s decision to increase FDI limits in the insurance sector to 49 percent and said it would result in British insurers investing around approximately 238 million pounds in their Indian joint ventures.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Cameron met here to discuss a host of issues.

Noting that the Indian government recently permitted foreign direct investment (FDI) upto 49 percent in the insurance sector, Cameron noted that several British insurers have announced a number of agreements to increase their investments in their joint ventures in India.

“These agreements would amount to approximately 238 million pounds of Foreign Direct Investment in the first instance subject to regulatory approvals,” a joint statement issued at the end of the meeting said.

“This will support the ongoing development of the Indian insurance and reinsurance sectors, which are key elements in promoting sustainable economic growth,” the statement added.

The passing of the insurance bill paved the way for Lloyd’s of London to establish their presence in India and provide local access to Lloyd’s specialist reinsurance services in India.

Life, non-life and health insurers of Britain have their joint ventures in India.

Once the regulatory approvals are given UK based Standard Life, Bupa and Aviva would invest a combined 238 million pounds FDI in their Indian joint ventures.

In addition Prudential and Legal & General, and insurance brokers, Howden, Willis and JLT, continue to grow their operations in India.

Indian insurance regulator is in the process of coming out with regulations to give effect to the legal provisions enabling hike in FDI cap to 49 percent from the earlier 26 percent limits.

The two prime ministers welcomed HSBC’s “Skills for life” initiative in India, a 10 million pound programme to skill 75,000 disadvantaged young people and children over 5 years.

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