PSU insurer’s merger likely to be completed in early 2019

The proposal to merge the three general insurers National Insurance Company, United India Insurance and Oriental Insurance Company is likely to be completed not before early 2019, depending on the timing of the general elections.

An informal committee of officials from the three insurers and Finance Ministry are looking into the modalities of the process.

The committee is expected to finalise the roadmap of the merger of the three companies and the functioning of the new entity.

An external consultant may also be hired. “Their recommendations are likely to be finalised later in the year following which there are a lot of operational issues that have to be looked into for the merger. It is not going to be an easy process,” said a person closely involved in the process.

He added that it could be pushed back even further if the deal is not finalised before the general elections.

“If there is any sort of delay, the merger of the three insurers may have to take place after the 2019 elections, depending on the mood of the next government,” said another official source.

The panel members will chalk out ways for effective utilisation of a sum of about Rs 750 billion and for managing a workforce of 42,000 employees. This apart, issues like products, office integration, and maintaining brand quality are the other aspects that will be discussed.