Singapore\'s GIC ups stake in SBI Life Insurance via secondary deal

GIC, the sovereign wealth fund of the island-state of Singapore, has picked up additional stake in SBI Life Insurance via a secondary market transaction. 

Per BSE bulk deal data, it picked up over 1.67 crore shares of SBI Life at Rs 915 apiece, for a total consideration of nearly Rs 1,533.5 crore (nearly $211 million). 

The shares – purchased from BNP Paribas – represent a 1.675 % stake in the company. Through this transaction, BNP sold around a 5% stake in the insurer, nearly all of its 5.2% stake. Another purchaser of the shares sold by it was BNP Paribas Arbitrage, a fund managed by the financial services major. 

GIC had first bought almost 2.1 million shares in the company during its initial public offering in 2017, according to reports. However, within the next six months it sold part/whole of its stake to hold less than 1% stake in the company.  

According to an SBI Life Insurance’s annual report for the 2019-20 financial year, GIC grew its stake to 1.54% in SBI Life Insurance till March 31 2020. Then again, during the 2020 calendar year, the Singapore sovereign wealth fund again brought down its stake to less than 1% in the company. 

VCCircle has reached out to GIC regarding its current stake holding in SBI Life Insurance, and will update this report accordingly. 

Other domestic banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) companies in GIC’s portfolio include Bajaj Finance Ltd, Can Fin Homes Ltd, ICICI Bank, and Axis Bank, and ICICI Prudential. 

Shares of SBI Life were trading 0.23% up at Rs 916 apiece at the time of writing this report. According to VCCEdge, the company reported net sales and post-tax profits of Rs 1,939.5 crore and Rs 1,422.18 crore for the 2019-20 financial year. 

State Bank of India, the company’s majority shareholder, holds a 55.5% stake, per stock exchange data. Other investors in the insurer include private equity giant The Carlyle Group, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and GIC counterpart and Singapore-run Temasek. 

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