October 8, 2018 / 10:05 AM / 8 months ago

UPDATE 1-BNP Paribas plans to sell part of its stake in India's SBI Life

* BNP Paribas may sell part of its stake to meet regulation

* BNP Paribas owns 22 percent in SBI Life

* BNP Paribas intends to remain invested in SBI Life

* Stake currently worth $1.7 bln in total (Adds further detail and background)

By Inti Landauro and Matthieu Protard

PARIS, Oct 8 (Reuters) - BNP Paribas, France’s largest listed bank, said on Monday that it plans to sell part of its 22 percent stake in Indian insurer SBI Life over the coming quarters as local regulation requires a larger free-float for SBI Life.

“No decision has been made over the size, the time frame or nature of such a stake reduction,” said a BNP Paribas spokeswoman, confirming a report by newspaper Les Echos.

BNP Paribas, which owns its stake in SBI Life through its insurer BNP Paribas Cardif, will keep a holding in the Indian company.

“We will remain committed to and will keep supporting SBI Life,” added a spokeswoman for BNP Paribas Cardif.

Indian regulation requires the insurer to raise its free float to 25 percent, the French bank said. The stake of SBI Life’s free-float on the Indian stock market is currently about 16 percent.

BNP Paribas is the second largest shareholder in SBI Life after State Bank of India, which owns 62.1 percent in the insurer.

The current market value of BNP Paribas’s stake in SBI Life stands at around 1.44 billion euros ($1.7 billion).

$1 = 0.8715 euros Reporting by Inti Landauro and Matthieu Protard; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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