SBI Life will kick start its maiden overseas operations in Bahrain sometime in April.
“We have completed setting up our Bahrain Branch and would start our operations somewhere in April. The idea is to serve overseas expatriate population. Later on, we can also look at other gulf countries like Dubai. We may also consider entering into Nepal,’’ said Arjit Basu, the outgoing MD & CEO of SBI Life adding that the life insurance company would utilise the synergies provided by the overseas business of its parents company State Bank of India(SBI).
However, SBI Life has decided to drop its plans to expand into Bangaladesh as it doesn't find to be a profitable market..
SBI LIfe, which has growin its premium kitty at over 40 per cent, is also keen on inorganic growth in its domestic operations but with the right buys, said Basu.
“We are open to the idea of inorganic growth but with tge right buys in term of valuation and right fit.The acquisition should fit in to our scheme of things,'' said Basu
For SBI Life, that got listed in the Indian bourses recently, merely 25 per cent of its business is coming from top three states like Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Delhi as of now, said Basu in an interview with Asia Insurance Post..
“We are not No 1 in any of the metros at present. We want to reach out to our customers in those places in future.’’he added.
According to Basu, surrender percentage of ULIP has come down to 4-5 per cent from 7-8 per cent for the company as compared to the existing industry rate of 12-13 per cent.
“Our agency force grew by 20 per cent which is much more than the industry’s growth of 10%. While bancassurance and agency contributed 65 per cent , 30 per cent respectively remaining 5 per cent of its business came from all other channels,’’ he said.
For SBI Life, single premium contributes merely 6-7 per cent of its total business.
“We have got 800 offices as of now including 80 new offices which have come up during past couple of years. We have got 1300 employees and 1 lakh agents.’’ he said.
In a bid to strengthen its IT platform, the company has spent Rs 40-50 crore on technology upgradation.
Eight per cent of SBI Life business has been contributed by pension products. While the company has generated Rs 550 crore from the customers who are buying the pension products at accumulation stage, another Rs 150 crore has been mobilised by the sale of annuities from the company.
The company’s Assets under Management (AuM) as on Dec 2017 has risen by 23 per cent to Rs 1,116.3 lakh crore and its solvency ratio is hovering around 2.06 during the same period.
The company’s profit after tax(PAT) increased by 24.3 per cent to Rs 770 crore in the first nine months of the current fiscal as compared with Rs 620 crore in the year ago period.
SBI Life’s 13th month persistency stood at 81.51 per cent for the first nine months of the current fiscal as compared to 79.81 per cent for the year ago period. The renewal premium of the company grew at 32.7 per cent to Rs 88.6 billion in the first nine months of the current fiscal.
SBI Life listed itself in the Indian bourses in Oct 2017 and BNP Paribas, the French Partner of the life insurance ventured now holds 22 per cent in the company.