Oriental eyes another West Asian country;approval in a month's time

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Jaipur, Nov 20 (UNI) Oriental Insurance Company Ltd, one of the country's top insurance firms, today said it will soon foray into yet another West Asian country as it expects to get regulatory approval in a month's time to start its operations there.

''Till now, we have not got regulatory approval, but we are quite hopeful to get it in a month's time. After that, we will start our operations in a West Asian country...I cannot name the country as the proposal is yet to be approved,'' company Chairman and Managing Director M Ramadoss told UNI here on the sidelines of a conference, organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).

Headquartered in Delhi, the company has overseas operations such as in Nepal, Kuwait and Dubai.

He said the company is planning to expand its risk capacity to Rs 4,000 crore by next year and with this, it will be increasing its portfolio.

At present, the insurance major's risk capacity stands at Rs 3,000 crore.

Commenting on the impact of global meltdown on the Indian economy, especially on the insurance sector, Mr Ramadoss said it has been minimal due to the strong regulatory system and the government's timely intervention.

According to him, the insurance companies should try to retain as much assets as possible in India to avoid the financial crisis.

The company is the only public insurer to have reduced its underwriting losses to Rs 670 crore in 2007-08 when other public players' underwriting losses are much larger.

It reported a gross underwritten premium of Rs 3,855 crore, about 1.86 per cent lower than the previous year.

UNI SG SBA AS1839

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