To expand capital by INR2 billion ($42 million) this year to meet growing business needs

The Indian insurance joint venture of HSBC, will expand its capital by INR2 billion ($42 million) this year, to meet growing business needs – reported Reuters(C.J. Kuncheria).

A.C. Mahajan, Chairman of the joint venture and of Indian state-run Canara Bank, said: All partners are committed to contribute to capital as and when required.” It owns 51% of the stakes. HSBC holds 26%, and state-run Oriental Bank of Commerce owns the remaining 23%.

Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance commenced its operations last year with a capital of INR5.25 billion, and by the end of March had written INR3.75 billion of premiums on a gross basis.

Current rules cap foreign stakes in domestic insurance firms at 26%, but many expect the government to raise the limit to 49%.

Naina Lal Kidwai, HSBC’s India Head, declined to answer a question on whether her firm would increase its stake in the joint venture when the rules were relaxed.