Swiss Re and XL Catlin say they’ve both gotten regulatory approval to open branches in India, following the government’s move last year to open its market to foreign insurers and reinsurers.

In XL Catlin’s case, approval from the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (IRDAI) means it will open an onshore reinsurance branch of its XL Insurance Company SE in Mumbai. The branch will provide treaty and facultative reinsurance and it will be open for business in time for the April 1 renewal period.

Joseph Augustine will serve as branch CEO.

XL Catlin CEO Mike McGavick said in prepared remarks that he sees the insurance/reinsurance market in India “evolving and developing at a staggering pace,” a trend that represents “huge opportunity for reinsurance companies who understand the local market and have a global track record in delivery.”

XL has had service operations in India since 2004, when it opened its first offices in Gurgaon, later adding offices in Bengaluru.

Swiss Re also gained IRDAI approval for a branch in Mumbai. With a composite branch license in hand, the reinsurer plans to offer non-life and life and health reinsurance products to clients and brokers in India. Plans call for formally launching the branch, to be known as Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd., India Branch, as of Feb. 1.

Jayne Plunkett, Swiss Re’s chief executive officer, Reinsurance Asia, said in prepared remarks that the new branch, along with its Swiss Re Global Business Solutions office in Bangalore, serve as the reinsurer’s “commitment and investment in India’s long term future.”

Swiss Re noted that it has served Indian insurers for more than 87 years.

Kalpana Sampat, managing director of Swiss Re Services India Private Ltd., will head the new Swiss Re India branch as its CEO.

In late December, Hannover Re and SCOR gained similar regulatory approval to open branches in India. The insurers’ collective expansion in India follows moves by lawmakers to open the Indian market to foreign insurers and reinsurers.

India offers an emerging market of 1.3 billion people and a rapidly growing middle class.

Sources: Swiss Re, XL Catlin