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Bharti AXA General needs Rs 150-200 cr capital in 2 years

Somasroy Chakraborty/Kolkata 03 Dec 12 | 03:34 PM

Bharti AXA General Insurance will need around Rs 150-200 crore capital over the next two years to meet its business needs and drive expansion of its operations, its chief executive and managing director Amarnath Ananthanarayanan said here today.

"We have received Rs 60 crore of capital from our promoters in September. So, there is no immediate need for funds. But as we grow our businesses we will need money. The solvency ratio has to be maintained. It will be a function of growth and expenses. We will probably need around Rs 150-200 crore in next two years," he told reporters on the sidelines of an event here today.

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The joint venture between India's Bharti Enterprises and France's AXA currently has a capital base of Rs 850 crore.

Ananthanarayanan declined to comment if Bharti was exploring options to exit the insurance joint venture. "I'm not a spokesperson from Bharti. I don't know their plans. Hence, I cannot comment. All I can say is that recently the promoters have injected fresh capital in the business," he said.

Bharti, which owns 74% in the general insurance joint venture, had earlier indicated that it was holding discussions with Reliance Industries and its group companies for selling its stake in Bharti AXA Life Insurance and Bharti AXA General Insurance. However, later it said the negotiations have failed and the deal was terminated.

Ananthanarayanan said the talks of Bharti exiting the joint venture did not affect its business and the company was one of the fastest in the industry in reaching Rs 1,000 crore gross-written premium within the first four years of its operations.

The general insurance company now plans to focus on commercial lines (like fire insurance and marine insurance) to drive its business growth. In terms of geography, the company will strengthen its presence in eastern and southern part of India.

It plans to add 10 branches to its existing network of 50 branches and hire 300 more people to take the total headcount to 1,800 by March, 2014.

The company expects to break-even by December, 2014.

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