The ownership of Sunlife Insurance Company Ltd, a life insurance company listed in the capital market, is set to change hands.
In a board meeting of the company, which is owned by Health Minister Zahid Maleque, stakeholders on Sunday decided to sell 1.54 crore shares or about 44 per cent of the total shares, held by the firm’s sponsor directors.
Green Delta Insurance, another company listed in the capital market, will buy these shares. The total shareholding of the company is 3.57 crore.
However, the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) and Chattogram Stock Exchange (CSE) websites mention that Sunlife Insurance Company sponsor directors hold 38.29 per cent of the total shares.
When contacted, Sunlife Insurance Company Chief Executive Officer Mohammad Nurul Islam told The Business Post, “The sponsor directors of the company can take any decision they want. How they run their company is up to them.
“The matter is still in the initial stage. The decision of the Board will be finalised subject to the approval of the concerned regulatory body. We would be able to provide more details after the final decision is made.”
Sunlife Insurance Company has made a statement on the DSE website in this regard on Monday. Shares of the company transfer in the block market through stock exchanges.
Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA) Director and Spokesperson Jahangir Alam said, “No document related to this takeover has been submitted yet. As the decision of the board is made, everything will be done following approval of the regulatory body.”
The company's shares were traded at Tk 52.90 on the DSE on Monday.
Sunlife Insurance was listed on the stock market in 2012. At that time, the company chairman was Zahid Maleque. He later stepped down from the post when he became a minister.
According to IDRA officials, Sunlife Insurance has admitted that mature life insurance policies worth around Tk 100 crore are still unpaid.
In March 2021, a Kushtia court issued arrest warrants against five people, including the company's chairperson, Prof Rubina Hamid, in connection with nine lawsuits filed by clients who had not received their claims.
Rubina is the sister of Health Minister Zahid Maleque. Besides, Zahid Maleque's wife Shabana Maleque and son Rahat Maleque and Rubina Hamid's husband Dr Kazi Aktar Hamid are the directors of the company.
The regulator, earlier in February 2021, appointed two of its officials as observers on the life insurer's board. But it retreated from its decision within two days, allegedly due to unknown pressure.
According to the company's January-September 2023 report, its consolidated life revenue accounts decreased to Tk 5.59 crore from Tk 3.61 crore.
On June 11 of this year, insurance regulator IDRA appointed an observer in the company to protect the interests of policyholders and ensure good governance in the companies.