Sri Lanka Distilleries group insurance unit approved by regulator

Dec 24, 2009 (LBO) – Distilleries group said in a stock exchange filing the Insurance Board of Sri Lanka had approved its application to set up an insurance subsidiary called Continental Insurance Lanka. The Insurance Board said in a separate statement it had given registration to Continental Insurance Lanka to do General Insurance Business with effect from December 18, 2009.

Distilleries Company, the island’s top alcohol producer, said it sought regulator clearance to launch an insurance company with a start-up capital of 500 million rupees after losing control of a former state-owned insurance company.

Distilleries Company had said that it is willing to increase the investment provision to a billion rupees if necessary.

In 2003 Distilleries acquired state-owned Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) in a privatisation deal.

But in June 2009 the Supreme Court reversed the sale, citing irregularities in the 6.0 billion rupee privatisation deal.

Court ordered the government to repay 6.0 billion rupees originally paid by the private firm to gain control of SLIC.

Distilleries Company is a unit of the unlisted Stassens group controlled by tycoon Harry Jayawardena who also