Higher Provisions due to increasing Covid-19 Cases to be made – SBI Life

Higher Provisions due to increasing Covid-19 Cases to be made – SBI Life

Update on Indian Equity Market:

On Thursday, markets ended lower with Nifty closing 42 points to end at 15,680. DRREDDY (+2.8%), HINDALCO (+2.1%), and BJAT (+1.7%) were the top gainers on the index while BAJAJFINSV (-2.2%), BRITANNIA (-1.4%) and INFY(-1.2%) were the top losers for the day. 

Among the sectoral indices,  PHARMA (+0.9%),  AUTO (+0.8%), and FMCG (+0.4%) were the top gainers, while IT (-0.6%), FINANCIAL SERVICES (-0.4%), and PRIVATE BANK (-0.3%) were the top losers.


Excerpts of an interview with Mr. Mahesh Kumar Sharma, MD and CEO of SBI Life on CNBCTV18 dated 30th June 2021:

  • SBI Life Insurance saw a slowdown in their group business in May. The company only registered a growth of 1.35 percent in new business premium, owing to the lockdown.
  • On a YoY basis, the company saw higher claims in H2FY21 over H1FY21. To address the issue of higher claims, the company has taken steps to tackle the negative impact.
  • SBI Life has set aside a higher amount for provisions for any potential spike in Covid-19 claims Rs 1,830 mn vs Rs 400 mn in FY21 and has changed the mortality assumptions for better risk management.
  • If vaccinations continue at this rate, the company expects the full recovery to pre-covid levels by the end of this year. However, the company is confident of a spike in claims during the upcoming quarter.
  • Despite the lockdowns in May, the company expects positive performance due to lifting restrictions and a digital outreach system developed by the company to contact its customers.
  • Individual Non-single premiums are the biggest contributors to the company’s new business premiums due to raising awareness about health insurance and other products due to the pandemic. The company expects to maintain its growth trajectory in the new business premium in the mid-teens over the next few years. 
  • The company hasn’t changed its underwriting policy. The company is confident of the vaccination drive boosting the number of vaccinated insurable population and has no plans to reduce the scope of insurance to the only vaccinated population. 

Asset Multiplier Comments:

  • The insurance sector has been one of the worst-hit sectors due to Covid-19. With the effects of the pandemic tapering and an informed target customer base, there are better days ahead.
  • India’s insurance penetration is very low compared to developed countries. This industry has reached an inflection point from where SBI Life and its peers can achieve steady growth.


Consensus Estimates (Source: market screener website): 

  • The closing price of SBI Life was ₹1,007/- as of 1-July-2021.  It traded at 53x/ 46x the EPS estimate of ₹ 19/ ₹ 22  for FY22E/23E respectively.
  • The consensus price target is ₹ 1190/- which trades at 54x the EPS estimate for FY23E of ₹ 22/-
  • In the case of insurance companies, the embedded value per share is the correct multiple for valuing the company. The consensus estimate of this metric is not available on any of the websites.

Disclaimer: “The views expressed are for information purposes only. The information provided herein should not be considered as investment advice or research recommendation. The users should rely on their own research and analysis and should consult their own investment advisors to determine the merit, risks, and suitability of the information provided.”

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