British insurer Prudential Plc, which has a joint venture with Indian private sector lender ICICI Bank, on Friday said that India had a “very challenging” December quarter, primarily due to sharp fall in equity markets and Mumbai terror attacks.
For the fourth quarter, Prudential saw its new business Annual Premium Equivalent (APE) decline to 35 million pounds as compared to the third quarter.
“India had a very challenging fourth quarter with a sharp decline in Indian equity markets as well as the impact of the Mumbai terrorist attacks,” the insurer said in a statement.
Prudential said that new business APE of 35 million pounds was down 26 per cent on the third quarter.
However, the company’s new business for the full year 2008 went up 16 per cent to 208 million pounds as against 2007. In local currency terms, the growth stood at 12 per cent.
“This growth was primarily driven by regular premium business which grew 14 per cent during 2008. The business retains its position as the leading foreign joint venture in terms of new business market share,” the statement noted.
It also added that the full year in India started very strongly as the investment in new branches and the development of “alternative distribution channels during 2007 continued to deliver”.