Insurance sector Current Affairs

Cabinet approves IRDAI’s admission as a signatory to IAIS, MMoU

The Union Cabinet approved Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority’s (IRDAI) admission as a signatory to International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MMoU).

The IAIS is a global framework for cooperation and information exchange between insurance supervisors. The IAIS-MMoU is a statement of its signatories’ intent to cooperate in the field of information exchange as well as procedure for handling information requests.

It provides a formal basis for cooperation and information exchange between the Signatory Authorities regarding the supervision of insurance companies where cross-border aspects arise mainly due to absence of any bilateral agreements.

The scope of the IAIS-MMoU is wider than the existing agreements as it also provides for supervision of other regulated entities such as insurance intermediaries under Anti Money Laundering, (AML) and Combating the Finance of Terrorism (CFT).

Background

With increasing integration of financial market and growing number of internationally active insurance companies there is increased need for mutual cooperation and information exchange between insurance industry supervisors. In this background the IRDAI has become a signatory member of the IAIS-MMoU.

About Insurance Regulatory Authority of India (IRDA)

IRDA is an apex statutory body that regulates and develops the insurance industry in India. It was constituted as per provisions of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999. Its headquarter is in Hyderabad.

The functions of IRDA are to protect the rights of insurance policy holders; provide registration certification to life insurance companies; renew, modify, cancel or suspend this registration certificate as and when appropriate; promote efficiency in the conduct of insurance business; promote and regulate professional organisations connected with the insurance and reinsurance business; regulate investment of funds by insurance companies; adjudication of disputes between insurers and intermediaries or insurance intermediaries.

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CCEA approves listing of five general insurance PSUs at the stock exchanges

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has given its ‘in principle’ approval for listing the five Public Sector General Insurance Companies (2016-17) owned General Insurance Companies in the stock exchanges.

They are New India Assurance Company Ltd, United India Insurance Company Ltd, Oriental Insurance Company Ltd, National Insurance Company Ltd and General Insurance Corporation of India.

The shareholding of these PSGICs will be divested from 100% to 75% in one or more tranches over a period of time as per Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) rules and regulations.

Significance of listing of PSGICs
  • Bring transparency and equity in the companies functioning as listing on the stock exchange necessitates compliance requirements of SEBI.
  • Improve corporate governance and risk management practices leading to improved efficiency. It will lead to greater focus on growth and earnings.
  • Open the way for the companies to raise resources from the capital market to meet their fund requirements to expand their businesses, instead of being dependent on the Government for capital infusion.
  • Divestment in these companies will help government in raising resources and portion of the funds can be used by the company for expansion.
Background

The Union Finance Minister in his 2016-17 Budget speech had announced that public shareholding in Government-owned companies is a means of ensuring higher levels of transparency and accountability. In order to promote this objective, the general insurance companies owned by the Government will be listed on the stock exchanges.

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