SBI Life to launch India's first billion dollar IPO in seven years

 Reuters   Mumbai     Last Updated: September 13, 2017  | 08:18 IST
SBI Life to launch India's first billion dollar IPO in seven years

India's SBI Life Insurance Co Ltd will launch an initial public offering next week to raise as much as $1.3 billion, sources with direct knowledge told Reuters, in what will be the country's first billion-dollar IPO in nearly seven years.

SBI Life, a subsidiary of top Indian lender State Bank of India (SBI.NS), will open the IPO sale to the public on Sept. 20 and close it on Sept. 22, according to a filing. Two sources said the shares will be sold in a price range of 685 rupees to 700 rupees apiece.

The IPO will raise as much as 84 billion rupees ($1.3 billion) for SBI Life's two main shareholders - State Bank of India and BNP Paribas Cardif - which are paring their stakes.

State Bank of India is selling up to an 8 percent stake, or 80 million shares, in SBI Life, while BNP Paribas Cardif is selling up to a 4 percent stake, or 40 million shares.

SBI Life's IPO is the biggest since state-run Coal India's 155 billion rupee ($2.4 billion) IPO in 2010 and market participants expect 2017 to be a record-setting year for India, with fund-raising from IPOs exceeding 2010's $8.5 billion.

The country has already seen more than $3 billion in IPOs this year, according to Thomson Reuters data, and has a number of upcoming listings from insurers, which should take it well past the $4 billion raised from IPOs last year.

ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co Ltd's IPO to raise up to $890 million opens on Friday, while state-run reinsurer General Insurance Corp of India (GIC Re) and non-life insurer New India Assurance Co Ltd have also filed for IPOs that bankers estimate could raise a total of more than $3 billion.

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