Signage of IDBI Bank seen at its Prabhadevi branch in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Anirudh Saligrama/BloombergQuint)

India's Biggest Insurer Hunts Synergies With Troubled IDBI Bank

(Bloomberg) -- Life Insurance Corp. of India and IDBI Bank Ltd. set up a task force to implement synergies, about four months after India’s biggest insurer agreed to put more than 200 billion rupees ($2.9 billion) into the troubled lender.

Sales of insurance policies through bank branches are among immediate areas where gains can be made, the lender said in a statement on Sunday.

Longer-term measures include a common investment strategy, efficiencies in property and digital marketing, and rationalizing subsidiaries in mutual funds and life insurance, the bank said.

IDBI plans to extend Managing Director Rakesh Sharma’s tenure by another three years and appointed Life Insurance Corp.’s chairman as non-executive chairman of the bank, the lender said. Hemant Bhargava is acting chairman of the insurance firm.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government sold its stake in the lender to the state-run insurer last year after failing to find buyers. Life Insurance Corp. is helping the loss-making bank, which has among the highest bad loan ratios in the nation, to chart out strategies to revive its fortunes.

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