Old Mutual: Life Insurance Licence Awarded in India

LONDON, Jan. 10, 2001 (PRIMEZONE) -- Old Mutual plc ("Old Mutual") announces that OM Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance ("OMKM"), its joint venture with Kotak Mahindra Finance Ltd ("KMFL"), has received a licence from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority ("IRDA") to commence life insurance business in India.

Old Mutual will initially own 26% of the share capital of the company and KMFL and its affiliates 74%. The total capitalisation of the company will be R1,500 million (£22.25 million, R232 million). Old Mutual is a London listed financial services group with a substantial life assurance business in South Africa and an international portfolio of activities in asset management, banking and general insurance. Old Mutual has approximately £190bn assets under management.

KMFL is one of India's leading financial services companies, with operations covering asset management, investment banking, securities trading and research and auto and consumer finance.

The new venture brings together the complementary skills of Old Mutual in developing and introducing innovative products and the strong distribution capability of KMFL. The first product launch is targeted for April 2001. OMKM anticipates being able to develop rapidly in the deregulated Indian market for life assurance, which is expected to grow substantially over the next decade.

OMKM will be headquartered in Mumbai and operate nation-wide. The Chairman is Uday Kotak of KMFL and the Deputy Chairman is Hasan Askari of Old Mutual. A dedicated management team has been appointed -- including Andrew Cartwright, previously with Old Mutual in South Africa, as the appointed Actuary and managers of Finance, Technology and Marketing.

Old Mutual CEO Life, Jim Sutcliffe, said: "This is an excellent start to 2001. We and our partners are already well advanced in planning the launch of our first products into the Indian market -- one of our key international emerging markets growth opportunities for insurance and financial services. Our team is already in place and excited by the opportunity and challenges."

Kotak Mahindra Chairman, Uday Kotak, said: "We are delighted to have been awarded the licence. We are committed to playing a key role in the development of the life insurance business in India and look forward to the opportunities ahead."



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