Bancassurance group Fortis is in negotiations with Industrial Development Bank of India to set up a joint insurance venture, according to a report in the Financial Times.

Fortis did not comment on the rumors, but if it goes ahead would provide the company an opportunity to expand into potentially one of the world’s largest markets. The joint venture may launch early next year unless India’s banking regulators delay the deal with the state owned bank, which restructured bad debts over $1.95 billion last year, the newspaper said.

The Benelux-based financial services company has already said that expanding further into Asia and America is important for future growth, and the deal would represent several years of searching for a potential local partner.