The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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New York Life wants more of JV

New Delhi, Nov. 13: New York Life, the largest insurer in the US, is ready to raise its stake to 50 per cent in its Indian joint venture Max New York Life, if the government raises the equity cap on foreign investment in the insurance sector.

New York Life now has a 26 per cent stake in the venture—the maximum permitted under the rules at present.

Addressing a press conference in India for the first time, Sy Sternberg, chairman and CEO of New York Life, said “Having a 26 per cent stake is not a hindrance to us. But we would prefer to have a higher share as we have a strong capital position. If this happens, it will be a very nice move for us and will be done through a very friendly understanding between us and Max India.”

Speaking at the conference, Max New York Life CEO Anuroop (Tony) Singh ruled out the possibility of the private life insurer entering the health insurance market at present.

“We are currently looking forward to adding health insurance riders to our base product. If the regulatory environment permits, we might look into the options of getting into health insurance. We are a specialist in life insurance and would like to keep ourselves focused on that.”

New York Life is all set to sell its first life insurance policy in China next month, where it has 50:50 joint venture with the Haier group. This also implies that the life insurance company will begin its commercial operations exactly one year after it formed its joint venture in December last year.

“India and China are the two markets which have long-term potential. We hope to get licences in other Chinese cities as well,” Sternberg said.

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