Wednesday, July 28, 2010

IRDA IPO Guidelines Finalized

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda) stated that it has finalized the IPO guidelines for insurance companies.

It also said that for final approval which is expected soon, it has referred the same to the capital markets watchdog Sebi.

Meanwhile, J Harinarayan, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda) chairman said that Irda gave its observations and the matter is currently with Sebi.

Irda has been working on the initial public offer guidelines along with Sebi.

It, however, is expected to come out with a draft for public comments before issuing the final norms.

Many private sector insurers, including Reliance Life showed interest in tapping the capital market in order to boost their resource base.

In the meantime, the government proposed to ease the norms in order to permit insurers to list after 5 years of operation, instead the current 10-year practice.

Moreover, according to the Insurance Act, promoters having 26 percent stake can offload equity after 10 years of operation.

The legislation also empowers the government to reduce the mandatory period.

Irda, however, had already notified the disclosure norms that are required for providing details about the operations and balance sheets on quarterly and yearly basis.

The IPO guidelines will deal with minimum norms that a company must fulfil before hitting the capital markets.

On the other hand, there are three essentials that a company has to fulfil when going for public float.

They are the norms for correct valuation, disclosure of operating results and profit and loss account and filing of the draft red herring prospectus.

Meanwhile, other than the Life Insurance Corporation, 22 private companies are offering life insurance policies.

The general insurance sector has 21 players which include four state-owned companies.

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) is a national agency of the Government of India, based in Hyderabad.

It was formed by an act of Indian Parliament known as IRDA Act 1999, which was amended in 2002 to incorporate some emerging requirements.

Mission of IRDA as stated in the act is to protect the interests of the policyholders, to regulate, promote and ensure orderly growth of the insurance industry and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

In 2010, the Government of India ruled that the Unit Linked Insurance Plans (ULIPs) will be governmed by IRDA, and not the market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India.

Source: Religare Technova