PNB Intends To Divest Its Share Holding In Canara HSBC OBC Life Insurance Co LTD.

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India’s second-largest public sector bank  PNB (Punjab National Bank) intends to divest its shareholding in Canara HSBC  OBC Life Insurance Co LTD, a life insurer that started its journey in the year 2008.

Bank will divest stake at an ‘appropriate time, depending on market conditions’.

Post the amalgamation with Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) from April 1 last year, PNB had become promoter –shareholder, with a 2 percent stake in Canara HSBC OBC Life Insurance.

While Bank has 51% stake HSBC Insurance has 26 % stake in the Life Insurer, which is now an associate company of PNB

At an appropriate time, PNB will divest stake in the associate company Canara HSBC OBC Life Insurance depending on market conditions and available options said the bank in a regulatory filing to the stock exchanges.

IRDAI norm

This plan is in keeping with insurance regulator IRDAI’s norm that a commercial bank should not hold more than a 10 percent stake in two life insurance ventures at the same time, said sources.

Post the OBC amalgamation, PNB had a significant shareholding in two life insurance ventures – PNB MetLife Insurance (30 percent stake) and Canara HSBC OBC Life (23 percent stake).

Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance was set up as a three-way joint venture between Canara Bank, HSBC, and OBC and had commenced operations in June 2008. It has a paid-up capital of ₹950 crore and assets under management of ₹20,586 crores. The life insurer has about 24 products for individuals and seven products for groups. Till December-end last year, the life insurer had sold 11.72 lakh policies.

Last year, in April, soon after the amalgamation with OBC, PNB Managing Director Ch SS Mallikarjuna Rao had told BusinessLine that PNB was not looking at an exit from Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance, and would continue with its shareholding in both PNB MetLife Insurance as well as Canara HSBC OBC Life for the next few years.