Indian Insurer ICICI Lombard Hopes to Raise $892 Million with IPO

ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co Ltd’s initial public offering of shares opening next week aims to raise up to 57 billion rupees ($892 million), the latest listing in what is expected to be a record-setting year for India.
India has already seen $3.2 billion in IPOs this year, according to Thomson Reuters data, and looks set to easily surpass the $4 billion raised in 2016, the best year in six, led by a spate of upcoming listings from insurers.
Ajay Saraf, executive director at Mumbai investment bank ICICI Securities said he expected this year could even surpass the record $8.5 billion seen in 2010, as strong retail investment flows have sparked a 21.4 percent gain in the main NSE index so far this year.
ICICI Lombard looks set to be the next big IPO, after it late on Thursday set a price range of 651 rupees to 661 rupees a share for its IPO. The insurer will take orders on Sept. 15-19.
The company’s two main shareholders – ICICI Bank Ltd ICBK.NS and Canada’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd FFH.TO – are selling a combined 86.2 million shares, or a 19 percent stake, in what is the first Indian IPO by a non-life insurer.
Insurers are expected to be one of the main drivers of IPOs this year as two of the country’s biggest life insurers – SBI Life Insurance Co Ltd and HDFC Standard Life Insurance Co Ltd – are set to raise a total of about $2.5 billion in the coming weeks, according to banker estimates.
Relatively lower insurance penetration and rising income levels helping people buy more insurance products in Asia’s third-largest economy, raising the outlook for the sector.
State-run reinsurer General Insurance Corp of India (GIC Re) and non-life insurer New India Assurance Co Ltd have also filed for IPOs that bankers estimate could raise a total of more than $3 billion. ($1 = 63.9050 Indian rupees)
(Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; Additional reporting by Patturaja Murugaboopathy in Bengaluru)

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