Indiabulls partners French insurance co Sogecap

Mumbai: Indiabulls Financial Services has partnered Sogecap, the insurance part of French financial company Societe Generale (SocGen).

Reports indicate that Indiabulls is looking at capturing around two or three per cent of the domestic life insurance market by 2010 through this association. According to Indiabulls director Gagan Banga, the company has entered into a joint venture with Sogecap as the majority stakeholder of 74 per cent. The venture is starting up with an initial capital of Rs300 crore.

Sogecap is the third largest French insurance company, with a presence in 10 countries.

SocGen has a significant presence in India, with a 35 per cent stake in SBI Mutual Fund, and has also acquired Kolkata-based NBFC Apeejay Finance.

The joint ventures company, named Indiabulls Societe Generale Life Insurance, according to Banga will aim for two to three per cent of the domestic life insurance business by 2010. Reports estimate that size of that business to be around Rs2 lakh crore by then.

Banga also indicated that Indiabulls is keeping its options open for the non-life insurance business at a later date, without commenting on a possible time frame. For the life business, Banga said that Indiabulls was awaiting the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) approval, which it expects within the next four months.

Indiabulls's geographic spread in over 200 cities in India is ideally suited for the distribution of the joint venture company's insurance products. Reports indicate Indiabulls to be the largest corporate agent for Max New York Life, another player in the insurance business it is entering into.