Birla Sun Life Bags DFID Mandate for Micro Insurance in India

Mumbai, India (PressExposure) February 09, 2009 -- In a major development that will see Birla Sun Life Insurance making inroads into micro insurance, the company has been selected to partner a prestigious international development project for promoting a sustainable livelihood program in three states of India - Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

This 4.6 million pound development project has been initiated by the UK-based Research Into Use (RIU) project and funded by Department for International Development (DFID) and spans across the next three years.

GY Associates Ltd, UK is the lead partner for this project with RIU. For the project, G Y Associates has a contractual agreement with Centre for Promoting Sustainable Livelihood (CPSL), a Patna based NGO to form 10,000 Self Help Groups (SHGs) and ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research) to provide technical support to the project. CPSL has identified BSLI as a coalition partner to provide micro insurance to the SHG members.

The project has already been launched in Patna in December 2008 and will directly benefit 2,000 villages and around 10,000 Self Help Groups and over 100,000 group members. It will cover a total of 500,000 direct beneficiaries in the rural areas.

"We are extremely delighted at this unique opportunity to partner a prestigious international project and to work at the grass root level. With this New Year gift, we are positioned to begin a new era in our service. As a partner, BSLI will create awareness of the need of life insurance among the Self Help Group Members formed under the project and thus generate demand for Micro Insurance Products and make the insurance plan accessible and affordable to that segment. Our objective is to provide social and financial security to the SHG members," said Ajay Srinivasan Chief Executive, Financial Services, Aditya Birla Group.

About Aditya Birla Group

The Aditya Birla Group enjoys a leadership position in all the sectors in which it operates. It is anchored by a force of 100,000 employees, belonging to 25 nationalities. Its operations span 25 countries across six continents and are reckoned as India's first multinational corporation. Headquartered in Mumbai, India, over 60 per cent of the Group's revenues flow from our overseas operations. The Group nurtures a work culture where success is built on learning and innovation. The Aditya Birla Group has been adjudged "The Best Employer in India and among the top 20 in Asia" by the Hewitt, Economic Times and Wall Street Journal Study 2007.

Aditya Birla Group has a strong presence across various financial services verticals that include fund management, distribution and wealth management, security based lending, insurance broking, private equity and life insurance.

The consolidated revenues from these businesses crossed the US 1 billion dollar mark, in 2007-08. In the first half of 2008-09, the financial services business continued its strong momentum of growth with consolidated revenues crossing Rs. 2,077 crore for the first half, up from Rs. 1,463.97 crore in the corresponding period, last year.

Aditya Birla Financial Services Group has taken another step towards expanding their footprint and financial offering by entering into an agreement with the promoter family of Apollo Sindhoori to acquire a 56% stake in the company. The acquisition will fast track their entry into retail broking and is in keeping with its desire to be a broad based and integrated player, while further strengthening their position as a manufacturer and distributor of value added financial products and solutions.

About Sun Life Financial Inc.

Sun Life Financial Inc. is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of wealth accumulation and protection products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Tracing its roots back to 1865, Sun Life Financial and its partners today have operations in key markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China and Bermuda. Overall, Sun Life has a high quality, diversified investment portfolio with over $100 billion in invested assets as of June 30, 2008. Sun Life's $60billion bond portfolio is highly diversified across 1400 different borrowers around the world and is rated 97% investment grade. Globally, Sun Life is in a solid financial position, and maintains financial strength ratings which are amongst the highest of all insurers in North America. Sun Life has a strong balance sheet and is well capitalized beyond minimum requirements. The Company's balanced business model is an important pillar of its overall risk management framework. SLF prides itself on its prudent investment style and strong risk management controls.

About Birla Sun Life Insurance (BSLI)

Birla Sun Life Insurance (BSLI) has been operating for 7 years. It has contributed significantly to the growth and development of the life insurance industry in India. It pioneered the launch of Unit Linked Life Insurance plans amongst the private players in India. BSLI has covered more than 2 million lives since it commenced operations. And its customer base is spread across more than 1500 towns and cities in India. The company has a capital base of Rs. 1800 crores as on December 31, 2008. The current AUM of Birla Sun Life Insurance stands at Rs. 7855.4 Crs as on December 31, 2008.

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Press Release Submitted On: February 07, 2009 at 11:56 pm
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