National Insurance ‘ready’ with budgetary proposal of listing in bourses

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Kolkata, March 16 (IANS) The National Insurance Company on Wednesday said it is “ready” if the government starts the process of listing of state-run general insurance companies in the stock exchanges.

“In principle, the government announced that government-owned companies would be up for listing. We are ready if they want to start the process. It’s the government’s call, they have to take it,” chairman-cum-managing director K. Sanath Kumar said on the sidelines of an interactive session organised by MCC Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

“Our company is fully owned by the government. So there has never been any need for valuation so far. But for listing, we have to transform our company into a public company owned by the government. For which we have to have a valuation,” he said.

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Presenting the budget for 2016-17, union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced that the general insurance companies owned by the government would be listed in the stock exchanges to promote transparency and accountability.

Sanath Kumar said the face value of shares needs to be brought down to attract participation of retail investors.

“There will be long procedures to follow and all including the brand equity should be valued. If the process starts, it usually takes about 9-10 months to be completed,” he said when asked about the expected time by which the process could be completed.

He also said the company has no idea when the process would start but the government could start interacting after the budget session of parliament.

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“The government would start interacting soon. Possibly, I think it will happen after the budget session, when they will have more time to deliver on these things, perhaps.”

However, the company is facing challenges due to shortage of qualified professionals like surveyors available in the tier II and III cities. Due to this, claim settlements get delayed sometime, he said.

The general insurer collected Rs.11,200 crore total premium in the 2014-15 fiscal and is expecting to cross Rs.12,000 crore this year. “We are experiencing a subdued growth,” he added.

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