India-based Religare Enterprises has signed an agreement with Swiss Re, a reinsurance company, to establish a joint venture with an initial investment of up to INR500 crore ($104.92 million). The new JV will operate as a health insurance company in India and is likely to come into existence by 2010.

At present, foreign insurance companies are not permitted to own more than 26% stake in Indian insurance ventures. So, the maximum stake with which Swiss Re can end up in the JV is 26%.

Switzerland-based Swiss Re has already marked an entry into the Indian health insurance sector by owning a 26% stake in TTK Healthcare Services. TTK Healthcare is a health insurance third-party administrator.