Insurance arms of ICICI and HDFC seek to raise $1 billion

Two of India’s leading private-sector insurers are looking to raise over $1 billion this financial year in the sector’s first initial public offerings (IPOs), as insurance companies’ rush to take advantage of a change in ownership rules.

ICICI Prudential Life Insurance and HDFC Standard Life Insurance will likely be followed by SBI Life Insurance in reacting to a relaxation in foreign investment regulation last year that made share sales more feasible, in a country where most life insurers are part-foreign owned.

“The business potential for insurance companies is large. But too many players are in the market, competition is going up,” said New Delhi-based R.K. Gupta, Managing Director at Taurus Asset Management.

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