Bupa to hike stake in Indian health insurance JV Max Bupa to 49%
New Delhi: UK's Bupa Insurance today said it will raise stake in its Indian health insurance venture, Max Bupa, to 49 percent from the current 26 percent, becoming the first foreign company to announce a hike in shareholding following amendments to the insurance laws.
Through an Ordinance, the government has permitted foreign investment of up to 49 percent in the insurance sector, from a limit of 26 percent previously.
"Following the Insurance Laws Amendment Ordinance 2014 receiving legislative assent in the 2015 Budget Session of Parliament, Bupa, the international healthcare group, proposes to increase its stake in Max Bupa from 26 percent to 49 percent," the private insurer said in a statement.
Bupa will submit formal applications to the relevant authorities for the regulatory approvals required in order to increase its stake, it said.
Max Bupa, standalone private health insurer, is a joint venture between Max India (with 74 percent stake) and UK-based global healthcare group Bupa (26 percent).
Launched in 2010, the company has a customer base of two million across India.
Commenting on the decision to increase Bupa's stake in Max Bupa, David Fletcher, Managing Director of International Development Markets at Bupa said: This decision underlines Bupa's commitment to the Indian health insurance market and represents a major milestone in the development of Max Bupa.
"With our partners Max India, we are committed to supporting Max Bupa's growth and helping Indian consumers live healthier and more successful lives," he said.
Max India Managing Director Rahul Khosla said Bupa's intention to increase its stake is testimony to the huge opportunity for health insurance in India and Max India's reputation in successfully managing joint ventures.
While Max Bupa is the first insurer to make a concrete announcement of increase in foreign holding to 49 percent, Reliance Capital recently said it is also exploring bringing in a foreign partner with up to 49 percent stake in its health insurance venture.
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