BNP Paribas Cardif on Friday sold over 5 crore shares in SBI Life Insurance for an undisclosed amount through the open market sale, bringing its shareholding to less than 1 per cent in the insurer.

The French insurer held a 5.20 per cent stake in SBI Life before selling a major part of its stake in the company.

In a disclosure to exchanges, SBI Life said the foreign promoter of the company has sold 4.99 per cent, equivalent to 5,00,03,480 equity shares on March 12, 2021, through the open market process.

The remaining equity of BNP Paribas Cardif now stands at 0.20 per cent, representing 20,03,612 equity shares of SBI Life.

In June 2019, BNP Paribas Cardif (BNPPC) had sold 2.5 crore shares in the insurer, equivalent to 2.5 per cent, in an offer for sale process for Rs 1,702 crore.

BNP Paribas Cardif has been gradually offloading its stake in the company.

In March 2019, it had sold 5 crore shares of the insurance company for Rs 2,889 crore. While during the same month, Carlyle Group had acquired a 9 per cent stake in the life insurer from BNP Paribas Cardif.

SBI Life was incorporated as a joint venture between State Bank of India (SBI) and BNPPC as a 74:26 equity ratio.

At the end of December 2020, SBI held a 55.50 per cent stake in the insurer and BNPPC 5.20 per cent.

The stock of SBI Life traded at Rs 918 apiece on BSE, down 2.34 per cent from the previous close.