New York Life Insurance in talks to exit India joint venture: report

NEW YORK – New York Life Insurance Co. is in talks to sell its stake in a joint-venture with life insurance company Max India, the Economic Times reported on Wednesday, citing an unnamed source.

There are no firm developments in the joint venture to report, Max India said in response to the report.

The U.S.-headquartered insurer has a close to 26 percent stake in Max New York Life, India’s largest non-banking private insurance company, estimated to be worth around 35 billion rupees ($709 million), the report said.

Around one-third of the sale proceeds would be paid to Max India, it said citing a person familiar with the development.

“As a high performing organization, there is interest shown periodically by potential investors, to participate in our future growth,” Max India said. “However, there is no firm development to report as of date.”

Max India holds a 70 percent stake in the joint venture, and Indian lender Axis Bank owns the remaining 4 percent.

“Our JV is a highly successful operation that provides important insurance products to the people of India. We do not comment on rumours,” a New York Life spokesman was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

Shares in Max India rose as much as 6.4 percent on Wednesday, before closing 4.4 percent higher