By 22 May, 2009

Reliance Capital plans to sell between 10 and 26 percent of its life insurance unit in the next four months, its chief executive said on Friday, the latest firm to look to sell shares after a strong stock market rally.

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The firm would consider an initial public offer or selling to a strategic partner or both, Sam Ghosh said over telephone.

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"We are looking at various options at the moment. We are yet to finalise any," he said. "We are set to begin the process and have not appointed any advisors."

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He did not say how much money the firm planned to raise.

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India has 21 life insurance firms, with government-owned Life Insurance Corp controlling a major share of the market.

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An 11-week, 70 percent rise in the benchmark stock index  from its March lows has emboldened Indian firms to tap equity capital for the first time since the global financial crisis crippled liquidity.

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Companies have raised more than $1 billion in private placement of shares with institutional investors in the past two months, including $556 million by Indiabulls Real Estate this week.

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The founders of leading real estate firm DLF  founders sold shares worth $783 million last week.

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