More consolidation may happen in insurance sector going ahead; SBI Life, ICICI Prudential Life among analysts top picks

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More consolidation may happen in insurance sector going ahead; SBI Life, ICICI Prudential Life among analysts top picks
BCCL
  • There are a total of 14 life insurance companies and 13 non-life insurance companies with a market share less than 1%, so acquisition is bound to happen.
  • ICICI Prudential Life and SBI life are among top two gainers in the insurance segment.
  • Reliance Life, Bharti Axa, and Edelweiss Tokio too are good acquisition candidates in the life insurance space, say analysts at ICICI Securities.
The insurance industry is likely to witness more mergers and acquisitions as the competition gets tougher. Recently, HDFC Life acquired Exide Life to strengthen its operations while ICICI Lombard General Insurance has received final nod to acquire Bharti AXA General.

So, mergers and acquisitions will be a crucial part of the growth journey as there are many insurance companies with less than 1% market share.

There are a total 14 life insurance companies and 13 non-life insurance companies with a market share less than 1%, according to a report by ICICI Securities.

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In the listed space, SBI Life and ICICI Life have performed well with 36% and 43% returns in 2021, so far, respectively.

Analysts at CLSA reportedly say SBI Life leads listed life insurers with strong growth and hence is their top pick among life insurers.
Listed insurance companies% year-to-date returns
ICICI Prudential Life43%
SBI Life36%
The New India Assurance21%
HDFC Life9%
ICICI Lombard General5%

“When we look into all the life insurers, beyond the leading ones in the private sector, Exide actually had the largest agency new business premium in FY21 at ₹4.3 billion followed by Reliance Life (₹3.6 billion), Bharti Axa (₹2.9 billion) and Edelweiss Tokio (₹2 billion). Hence, if agency premiums and agent number is taken into consideration, Reliance Life, Bharti Axa, and Edelweiss Tokio too are good acquisition candidates in the life insurance space,” said a report by ICICI Securities.

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More consolidation may happen in insurance sector going ahead; SBI Life, ICICI Prudential Life among analysts top picks
Flourish chart/IRDAI data

The broking firm has given a positive call on the shares of HDFC Life, SBI Life and ICICI Prudential Life. It has recommended a ‘buy’ rating to HDFC and SBI while an ‘add’ rating to ICICI Prudential.

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