IRDA grants insurance license to Metlife

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) today approved the application for entry into the life insurance business from the US-based Metlife International Holdings, thus paving the way for the US giant to operate in India.

Metlife International is partnering Jammu & Kashmir Bank, M Pallonji Group, a closely-held private limited company, and other minority shareholders in its Indian venture.

The Indian venture, the Bangalore-based Metlife India Insurance Company, plans to offer several customised products to meet the needs of its customer. Metlife, which hopes to reach 100 million customers by the year 2010, looks at the Indian market as an important step in the acceleration of its global strategy.

The joint venture hopes to use the extensive branch network of J&K Bank to aggressively market its insurance products.