"We aspire to be the number one private life insurer across all parameters and todeliver the best of customer service"
It gives me great pleasure to place before you the highlights of your Company'sperformance during the financial year
2015-16. Details of the achievements and initiatives taken by your Company are providedin the enclosed Annual Report for the year 2015-16.
Your Company has completed another successful year in terms of achievements. It has notonly shown top line growth far in excess of industry but also excelled in qualitativeparameters. It is definitely a moment of immense pride for all of us who have been part ofthis inspiring journey. Despite a highly competitive and challenging business environmentyour Company's results have been commendable. We are confident that with the support ofall our stakeholders your Company will continue to prosper and achieve greater heights inthe times to come.
The year 2015 was another difficult year for the global economy with economic growtheasing to 3.1% as per IMF estimates. While the growth in advanced economies increasedmoderately the Emerging Market and Developing Economies' growth decelerated amidstsubdued growth performance in the bigger economies of Brazil Russia and persistentslowdown in China. Low oil commodity prices and tighter financial conditions kept therisks elevated.
Global growth has remained subdued in the first two quarters of this calendar year.Weak business environment in the US led to a near stagnation in growth dynamics. Even theEurozone grew at the same rate as the previous quarter and Japan continues to show weakgrowth. However the recent firming up of oil prices and modest increase in commodityprices have provided support to global economic activity. According to the latest IMFprojections the world economy is poised to grow at 3.2% in 2016 and pick up to 3.5% in2017. Growth in emerging markets and developing economies is expected to come in at 4.1%and advanced economies are projected to grow at 1.9%. Brexit was hands down the biggestglobal macroeconomic event in June 2016. The verdict of Britain exiting the European Union(EU) has taken the world by surprise and jolted the markets across the globe in a reactionto this unpredictable outcome.
Against the backdrop of weak global economy India grew at a healthy 7.6% in FY16compared to 7.2% in the last fiscal. On Gross Value Added (GVA) basis the economy grew at7.2% in FY16 against 7.1% in FY15. Forecast of above normal monsoon this year at106% of Long Period Average will support growth momentum going forward. GDP growthis expected to be better at 7.8% in FY17 (SBI projections). On the external frontimprovement in current account deficit has persisted and narrowed to 1.1% of GDP in FY16from 1.8% of
GDP in FY15 thanks to the decline in trade deficit. Looking ahead current accountdeficit will continue to stay within a comfortable range of 1.0%-1.5% even in FY17.
There was exponential growth in the first decade of insurance industry liberalisation.Backed by innovative products and aggressive expansion of distribution the life insuranceindustry grew at a phenomenal speed. However this frenzied growth also brought inissues related to product design market conduct complaints regarding good governance andthe necessity to make course correction for the long-term health of the industry. TheRegulator IRDAI is tightening and standardizing the rules of the business toprotect the policyholders' interest and have introduced many new customer-centricinitiatives.
The Insurance sector also plays a vital role in economic development by providingvarious useful services like mobilising savings intermediating in finance promotinginvestment stabilising financial markets and managing both the social and financial risk.The regulatory framework is now fairly stable and realising the potential of the insurancesector in mobilizing savings for the productive use and social safety Government hastaken various steps to improve its quality reach and popularity. The Government ofIndia with the objective to bring more people under insurance cover has launched threeinsurance schemes last year viz. Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) PradhanMantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) and Atal Pension Yojana (pension scheme). Theseschemes also have the potential to improve insurance penetration and reinforce therelevance of insurance for the masses.
The Union Budget 2016-17 has paved the way for foreign investment in insurance throughthe automatic route potentially simplifying the approval process for foreign partnerslooking to increase stake in their respective joint ventures. Foreign investment of over `12000 crore is expected in the country as more than a dozen foreign companies areplanning to raise their stake in private sector insurance joint venture this year.
Additionally the regulator has released a number of guidelines regulations and otherexposure drafts providing indication of the upcoming regulatory changes in thepipeline. Regulations on Indian Owned and Control Guidelines on Expenses of ManagementCorporate Agency Corporate Governance exposure draft on remuneration to insuranceagent and intermediary and convergence to the Indian Accounting Standards (Ind AS)have been the key highlights during the reporting period.
India's life insurance sector is one of the largest in the world with about 360 millionpolicies which are expected to increase at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12-15per cent over the next five years. The insurance industry plans to hike penetration levelsto five per cent by 2020.
As we celebrate SBI Life's journey with renewed passion and spirit we must maintainconviction and responsibility in our conduct befitting the long lineage of both SBI andBNP Paribas Cardif. In the years to come we see
SBI Life strategizing to benefit from the dynamic economic scenario and the evolvingInsurance industry. Deploying products to meet changing consumer needs developing digitaldistribution strategies implementing data analytics to understand the customer-relatedbuying inclination are some of the areas to focus upon. We aspire to be the numberone private life insurer across all parameters and to deliver the best of customer services.We also remain firmly committed to take all necessary measures to earn the trust of thecustomers.
I thank all our shareholders for their continued faith in our strength andcapabilities customers for their valuable support and trust and our employees for theirtireless efforts towards achieving our goals. I am confident that with such a backingyour Company would achieve new heights in the times to come.