Health Minister Zahid Maleque and family, owners of the publicly listed life insurer Sunlife Insurance Company, are set to sell their entire holding at the company to Green Delta Insurance Company — a listed non-life insurer — and its subsidiaries.
According to Sunlife’s shareholding report in July 2022, the health minister holds 8.27% and his son Rahat Maleque 8.53% shares. Zahid Maleque’s wife, son, sister, and sister’s husband are the directors at the company.
For all latest news, follow The Business Standard’s Google Channel
The transaction will take place in the block market of the stock exchanges at the prevailing market price. Each Sunlife Insurance share closed at Tk52.9 at the Dhaka bourse on Monday. Therefore, the value of the 43% or 1.54 crore shares to be sold stands at nearly Tk81 crore as per the market price.
Sunlife and Green Delta will sign an agreement for selling and buying the said shares, and both the companies have informed about the share transaction through separate disclosures on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) website on Monday.
The transaction is subject to approval by the regulatory authorities.
The Business Standard tried to reach officials at both the companies for a comment, but none of them responded to the phone calls.
Sunlife Insurance is mainly engaged in individual life, Islamic individual life and group life insurance businesses.
Recently, the company has been facing challenges in settling claims of its policyholders. Some of the clients even sued the company’s high officials including chairman and CEO.
This June, the Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (Idra) appointed an observer to protect the interest of policyholders and ensure good governance in the company.
Idra Chairman Mohammad Jainul Bari told TBS, “When we received complaints from policyholders about Sunlife’s non-payment of claims, we sent the claims to the insurer.”
“Although I’ve heard about the insurer selling its land for settling the claims, I’m not aware of the company selling its shares to another insurer,” he added.
This August, Sunlife Insurance’s board of directors decided to sell four floors of the Niloy Sunlife Tower located at Mohakhali.
According to the company’s half-yearly financials in 2023, its total outstanding claim stood at Tk30 crore at the end of June this year.