Mumbai: Welcoming the hike in foreign holdings in the insurance sector, IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Chairman T S Vijayan today expressed the hope that the move would finally enable companies to enter capital markets.
"Now I expect insurance companies to get listed (following the hike in FDI in the sector to 49 percent)," Vijayan told reporters on the sidelines of an industry function here this evening.
However, he was quick to add that details would be known once the Insurance (Amendment) Bill is passed by Parliament, "as the increase in FDI limit to 49 percent from 26 percent is comparatively a small development".
Addressing a function to celebrate the foundation day of New India Assurance Company, Vijayan, who was a former chairman of the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) before being appointed to the office of the regulator, asked insurers to come out with innovative products and reduce their expenses.
"Losses are being reported because of high expenses. Either you have to reduce your expenses or increase your efficiency," he said, suggesting that adopting new distribution channels could help achieve this.
It may be noted, that out of the more than two dozen life insurance players, and an equal number in the general category, not a single company has so far approached the market to go public despite the regulatory cap of 10 years of operation was completed two years ago.
All insurers have been claiming to have enough capital even as they have been going slow on expansion and faster growth.
None of the government-run insurers, including LIC and the four general insurers, are listed.
First Published: Friday, July 25, 2014, 00:34