India's Apollo Group of Hospitals and DKV, a subsidiary of reinsurance specialist Munich Re, have formed a new joint venture, Apollo DKV Insurance Corporation, which aims to launch five health insurance products by the end of August 2007, reported the Business Standard.

Under the terms of the joint venture, Apollo will initially hold a 74% stake in the company, while the European insurance group will hold the remaining 26%. Once the smooth running of the company is in place, Apollo will increase DKV’s equity participation to 49% by reducing its stake to 51%, the Business Standard revealed, citing Pratap Reddy, chairman of Apollo Group, as a source.

Headquartered in Gurgoan, the jointly-owned company is reportedly developing a new health superhighway in partnership with IBM, which will connect all doctors and medical experts in the country.

The company will also be developing new health insurance products, which will be customized to suit the needs of patients.

I have told the directors of DKV that the insurance products to be launched by the new company must be patient-oriented and not just commercial products, for which they readily agreed, Mr Reddy said, as cited in the Business Standard.