Bloomberg News

BOMBAY - State Bank of India, the country's biggest commercial bank, announced Wednesday that it has selected Cardif SA, the life insurance unit of BNP Paribas SA, as its partner for a proposed insurance venture.

The bank had announced in June that it was planning to set up a joint venture to sell life insurance products in India, where annual insurance premiums now total $8 billion.

State Bank of India is one of six private life and nonlife insurance companies to compete with the state-run Life Insurance Corp. of India and the General Insurance Corp. of India.

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