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Principal prefers separate co for pensions foray

C. Shivkumar

To enter market with existing JV partners

Bangalore , July 25

The US financial powerhouse Principal Financial Group has indicated that it would prefer to have a separate company for making its foray into India's pension fund market.

Speaking to Business Line, the Principal International (Asia) Ltd's Chief Operating Officer, Mr Campbell Tupling, said, "We would like to have pensions as a separate business." In doing so, he said that the company would prefer to go with its existing joint venture partners in the country. Currently Principal's partners in India, for its mutual fund business, are Punjab National Bank and Vijaya Bank. For its proposed life insurance business, these partners have been retained, but a fourth partner, Berger Paints, was inducted. The life insurance venture is expected to be capitalised at Rs 110 crore.

Non-committal

Mr Tupling was, however, not prepared to divulge the capital Principal was prepared to invest in the proposed pension fund. Instead he said that Principal would prefer to wait for clearance of the pension fund statute by the Government. But he said, "Capital will never be a constraint for investments in India." But Vijaya Bank's Chairman and Managing Director, Mr Prakash Mallya, when contacted was non-committal. He said, "We have made no decision on the pension fund business at this moment. We will wait for the insurance business to take off first," he said.

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