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GIC picks up minority stake in Max Financial Services
Photo Credit: 123RF.com

Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte Ltd has acquired a promoter’s stake in Max Financial Services Ltd, the publicly listed holding company of India’s largest non-bank private life insurer Max Life Insurance Co Ltd. 

GIC picked up a 1.75% stake in Max Financial for Rs 601.34 crore (about $81.2 million) from Max Ventures Investment Holdings Pvt Ltd, disclosures showed. 

Max Ventures sold 7.8 million shares for around Rs 783 crore. 

Max Ventures’ stake is now 15.12%. The overall promoter holding has come down to 15.25% from 16.99% at the end of March 2021. 

Billionaire Analjit Singh-led Max group is likely to use the proceeds from the stake sale to release shares pledged by Max Ventures and bring down personal debt. 

In August last year, Singh had sold a part of his promoter holding in Max Financial Services for Rs 350 crore. 

Earlier this year, global private equity major KKR sold 3.62% of its holding in Max Financial Services. 

Max India was renamed Max Financial Services and focused solely on the group's life insurance business through its majority holding in Max Life Insurance.

For the quarter ended March 2021, Max Financial Services reported a profit of Rs 62.34 crore against a loss of Rs 35.09 crore in the same quarter last year. Total income jumped 128.8% to Rs 9,760.31 crore. 

On Friday, shares of Max Financial Services ended at Rs 978.40 apiece. 

GIC 

Among its recent picks in the BFSI space, GIC increased stakes in two listed firms -- Bandhan Bank and ICICI Bank. It also has investments in Au Small Finance Bank, Jana Small Finance Bank, and HDFC Ltd, among other financial services firms. 

Last year, amid the pandemic, GIC made around six partial exits and one full exit from India’s listed banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) companies. 

Earlier this year, it offloaded 2.29% stake from its four-year-old investment in Can Fin Homes Ltd, the subsidiary of state-run lender Canara Bank. 

Its previous investments in the financial services space include HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and PNB Housing Finance, among others. 

Apart from the BFSI sector, GIC has been an active investor in India’s real estate sector market across asset classes. 

In the past month, the fund led a $50 million (Rs 365.4 crore) Series C funding round in logistics management startup Locus and also invested over $200 million in the investment platform of The Phoenix Mills.

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