UK-based reinsurer Lloyd’s of London is looking at 8-10 per cent annual growth in its India business, a senior executive said today.
At present, the Lloyd’s annual premium income from within the country stands at USD 200 million (around Rs 1,334 crore).
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Lloyd’s currently underwrites business in the country on an off-shore basis. It has applied for licence before the insurance regulator Irdai and the company is likely to kick off its operations in the country by early next year.
“We are looking at a growth in our business from India operations in future at 8-10 per cent which is slightly more than the country’s GDP growth,” Lloyd’s of London chairman John Nelson told reporters here.
In 2013, the non-life penetration rate in the country was 0.6 per cent, compared with an average of 1.4 per cent in Asia Pacific and a 6.1 per cent global average, he said.
The USD 12.5 billion (around Rs 83,400 crore) country’s non-life market is heavily state influenced, with 65 per cent of re-insured risks staying onshore.
To start with, Lloyd’s, which operates through syndicates, will have small operations in the country.
“Initially, there will be 2-3 syndicates with us when we kick off our operations in the country which is likely from the early next year which will be expanding gradually in future,” Nelson said.
Some of the lines of business Lloyd’s operates in are energy, aviation, property, marine and catastrophe.
“We would grow our business in the country gradually by offering solutions for complex and specialist risks like infrastructure, energy, director and officer liability, trade credit, terrorism and disaster management. For us, Indian market from the day one will be high competitive market,” he said.
Speaking about the regulatory environment in the country, he said, “We are happy to be allowed to operate in the country. However, we do hope that the regulator here will further liberalise its regulations for global re-insurers in the country in coming days.”
At present, the state-run GIC Re is the sole re-insurer in the country and as per the regulatory norm, it will continue to get first right of refusal even as quite a few global re-insurers have applied for licence in the country.
Replying to a query on the GIFT City, which is being developed in Gujarat, he said, “to do that India has to face competition from already existing international finance centres like Dubai, Singapore and China.”