: Gold loan company Muthoot Finance today said it was evaluating options for foraying into the insurance sector and was on the lookout for a foreign partner in this regard.
"We have not started. Actually, we are evaluating the options. We have to take a call. (insurance business) it has huge potential in India. We have to take a call on that," Muthoot Finance Senior Vice-President (Legal, Corporate Affairs and Marketing), George Muthoot Jacob told reporters.
Noting that the company has a gold brokerage licence, he said the company will rope in a foreign partner to launch the insurance business.
"It has to be joint venture. Insurance in India has to have a foreign partner. We are actually are on the lookout for a foreign partner," he said.
Asked about investment plans for launching the insurance entity, he said: "Initially investment cap is about Rs 300 crore. And usually the whole application takes a year for completion".
Commenting about the hospitality business in which the Kerala-based company operates under Muthoot Leisure and Hospitality, Jacob said his company has recently made its first overseas acquisition by purchasing a boutique property in Costa Rica.
"It is a 26 room high end property and 40 acres of land. Actually, the crowd from Costa Rica is from United States and that is a big market for us. Along with this project, we have a total of about 100 plus rooms", he said.
Currently, two boutique properties, with about 16 rooms and 22 rooms each, one near Cochin and Marikaram in Kerala will begin operations soon.
Jacob and senior company officials were here to launch the company's new Asha Gold loan scheme targeted at women customers.
Muthoot Finance has assets under management of about Rs 5,914.11 crore. It has about 4,500 centres across the country.