MetLife likely to raise stake in life insurance venture

MetLife, Inc is considering buying additional stake in PNB MetLife India Insurance Company “MetLife is now looking to buy stake in the Indian life insurance company,” said sources close to the development.

“The leadership change at the global level, with Kishore Ponnavolu moving to head Asia region and Michel Khalaf as head MetLife Worldwide, has triggered changes in the approach towards Indian market,” the sources said.

PNB MetLife had filed for an IPO in August with the idea to list in January. However, the listing did not happen due to market conditions, which led to some senior level exits. Bhawani Singh Pathania, who was chief agency officer, and Niraj Shah, former chief financial officer, left the company after the delay in IPO.

Khalid Ahmad has been named interim CFO after Shah left to join HDFC Life. Pathania has joined ICICI Prudential Life Insurance as executive vice president.

PNB MetLife has now decided to list the company after the general elections later this year, once the market stabilises, the sources said. It has already informed employees about the plan to defer the IPO.

The company has embedded value of Rs 3,400 crore at the end of March 31, 2018. It can be valued at anywhere between Rs 8,500 crore to Rs 12,000 crore, based on the estimates. Its value of new business margin was 17.1 per cent. Its profit before tax rose 37 per cent to Rs 141 crore in the last financial year as against Rs 103.42 crore in the previous year.