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Report: India's finance ministry to conduct performance review of state insurers

India's Finance Ministry is set to conduct a performance review of all state-led insurance companies in a bid to contain their underwriting losses, The Economic Times reported March 27, citing an official.

Underwriting losses of state general insurers rose 43.89% year over year to 155.91 billion rupees in the 2016-2017 fiscal year, from 108.35 billion rupees in the prior-year period.

The review will also set the pace for the consolidation of state-run insurers United India Insurance Co. Ltd., National Insurance Co. Ltd. and Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. In February, finance minister Arun Jaitley said during his fiscal 2018-2019 budget speech that the three insurers would be merged and subsequently listed, as part of a broader plan to float state-owned companies to increase accountability and unlock their "true value."

All three companies were approved in 2017 for listing in principle.

The review can help the insurers prepare for a reorganization of their offices and manpower, the finance ministry official noted, adding that they aim to complete the proposed merger over the next six months.

As of March 27. US$1 was equivalent to 64.88 Indian rupees.