HDFC Life, ICICI Prudential Life, SBI Life Shares Gain On February Premium Growth
A person filling SBI Life Insurance form. (Source: BloombergQuint)

HDFC Life, ICICI Prudential Life, SBI Life Shares Gain On February Premium Growth

Shares of private life insurers gained as their individual weighted received premium improved.

Weighted received premium — a measure of premium received on individual products — of private life insurance companies rose 23% year-on-year in February compared with 7% in January, according to data released by the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India. That’s higher than the industry’s 17.8% growth as well as Life Insurance Corporation of India’s 9.4% increase.

“From our channel checks, growth has been led by partial recovery in Unit Linked Insurance Plan business, while non-par savings continue to be in flavour,” Prabhudas Lilladher said in its note. “March remains a strong month and with negative base across the industry helping to see better growth in FY21.”

Motilal Oswal expects premium growth to rebound over FY22 with ULIPs showing a revival. “Players continue to focus strongly on non-par and protection segments,” the brokerage said in a note.

  • Individual weighted received premium for SBI Life Insurance Co. increased 53% year-on-year in February, while ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co. saw a growth of 6.3%.

  • This was the first rise for ICICI Prudential after 13 straight months of decline.

  • Individual weighted received premium growth for HDFC Life Insurance Co. dropped to 16% in February from 24% in January.

  • Max Life Insurance saw 33% year-on-year growth.

“We expect growth trajectory to continue improving for ICICI Prudential in to FY22 on a lower base, better environment for ULIPs, traction from new bancassurance partnerships and pick-up in credit protect on improving disbursals,” Jefferies said in a note.

  • Growth in the protection business has slowed over the first half of FY21.

  • For private insurers, individual un-weighted non-single premium grew 22% in February, while individual sum assured declined 19% over the year earlier.

  • Among listed insurers, HDFC Life saw a 28% decline in sum assured, ICICI Prudential saw a 26% fall, while SBI Life saw 29% growth in sum assured.

Stock Reaction

Shares of HDFC Life Insurance gained as much as 2.5% in early trade on Tuesday to a record high of Rs 741 apiece.

  • Of the 39 analysts tracking the company, 25 have a ‘buy’ rating, nine suggest a ‘hold’ and five recommend a ‘sell’, according to Bloomberg data.

  • The average of 12-month consensus price targets implies an upside of 1.3%.

Shares of SBI Life Insurance gained as much as 4.2% to Rs 962.5 apiece.

  • Of the 39 analysts tracking the company, 37 recommend a ‘buy’ and the rest suggests a ‘hold’, according to Bloomberg data.

  • The average of 12-month consensus price targets implies an upside of 15.1%.

Shares of ICICI Prudential gained as much as 1.2% to Rs 484.9.

  • Of the 37 analysts tracking the company, 30 have a ‘buy’ rating, five suggest a ‘hold’ and two recommend a ‘sell’, according to Bloomberg data.

  • The average of 12-month consensus price targets implies an upside of 18.7%.

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