24 Nov 2000

Prudential receives life insurance licence in India

Prudential plc today announced that ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, its joint venture with ICICI Ltd, has received a licence from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) to commence life insurance in India.

This joint venture brings together the local market expertise of ICICI and Prudential’s international life insurance experience to meet the savings and protection needs of the people of India. The new venture builds on the success of Prudential ICICI Asset Management which was launched in India in 1998 to provide mutual fund products. Prudential ICICI is now India's No 1 private sector mutual funds company with 11 funds and assets under management of Rs.44.6 billion (over £660 million) at September 2000.

Jonathan Bloomer, group chief executive of Prudential plc said:

"I am delighted that ICICI Prudential has been awarded a licence to begin life operations in India, a very large market with great potential. This is a significant milestone in our strategic objective of expanding our customer base in Asia, especially following the recent launch of our new operation in China, another important market for life insurance."

Mark Tucker, chief executive of Prudential Corporation Asia added:

"We are very excited by the opening of the life insurance market in India and we would like to thank the Indian authorities for giving us this opportunity to re-enter the market after a gap of 44 years. Prudential is totally committed to building a market leading nationwide business in India in partnership with ICICI."

For further information please contact:

Media relations:
Tina Christou: 020 7548 3719

Jennie Campbell: 020 7548 3500

Investor relations:
Rebecca Burrows Office: 020 7548 3537
Mobile: 07718 637264

Notes for editors:

ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company is a joint venture between ICICI and Prudential plc of UK, first set up in 1997. ICICI has subscribed to 74 per cent of the equity while the balance of 26 per cent is held by Prudential plc. The initial capital will be Rs.1.5 billion (£22 million).

Prudential re-entered the Indian market in 1998 through a separate joint venture with ICICI. Prudential ICICI Asset Management Company Ltd was established with the key objective of providing mutual fund products to suit a variety of investment needs. Prudential ICICI had assets under management of Rs.44.6 billion (over £660 million) at September 2000.

Established in London in 1848, Prudential plc is a leading international financial services group with a market capitalisation of approximately £18 billion and funds under management of £164 billion at 30 June 2000. In the UK, Prudential is one of the largest life insurance companies and pension annuity providers. In the US, Prudential owns Jackson National Life, the twentieth largest US life insurance company. In Europe, Prudential has entered into strategic distribution arrangements with CNP Assurances in France and Signal Iduna in Germany. Prudential first established its Asian presence in 1923. Today, Prudential is the UK’s largest life insurance company in Asia with offices in eleven countries and a network of over 26,000 agents and staff.

ICICI Limited, one of India's largest financial services provider was formed in 1955 at the initiative of the World Bank, the Government of India and representatives of Indian industry, with the objective of creating a development financial institution. Over the last four decades, ICICI has stretched the borders of its business to evolve from a traditional project finance institution to a diversified financial services group providing a broad spectrum of financial solutions to corporate and retail customers. As a result of the recent retail initiatives ICICI is now offering the whole range of personal financial products to retail customers through a large distribution network covering over 100 bank branches, over 300 ATMs and 90 service centres stretched across 110 towns.

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Prudential plc is an international company incorporated in the United Kingdom, and its affiliated companies constitute one of the world’s leading financial services groups. It provides insurance and financial services directly and through its subsidiaries and affiliates throughout the world, and it has been in existence for over 170 years. Prudential plc is not affiliated in any manner with Prudential Financial, Inc, a company whose principal place of business is in the United States of America, or the Prudential Assurance Company, a subsidiary of M&G plc (a company incorporated in the United Kingdom).