ICICI Bank, a prominent private sector lender, made headlines on Thursday with its acquisition of an additional 25.14 lakh shares of ICICI Lombard General Insurance, amounting to a substantial investment of Rs 431 crore.

This follows closely on the heels of its recent purchase of approximately 81 lakh shares in ICICI Lombard for Rs 1,356 crore, a move indicative of the bank's strategic expansion in the insurance sector.

Regulatory filings reveal that with this latest acquisition, ICICI Lombard has officially become a subsidiary of ICICI Bank.

The bank's board had passed a resolution in May 2023 to gradually increase its stake in ICICI Lombard by 4 percent through multiple tranches, a plan for which it had obtained approvals from relevant regulatory authorities in the banking and insurance sectors.

The disclosure of this purchase through the stock exchanges comes just two days after ICICI Bank's announcement of its intention to acquire close to 81 lakh shares in ICICI Lombard.

This rapid succession of investments underscores ICICI Bank's commitment to bolstering its presence in the insurance industry, capitalizing on opportunities for growth and diversification.

The acquisition of ICICI Lombard shares marks a significant milestone in ICICI Bank's strategic vision for expansion and diversification.

By consolidating its position as a major shareholder in ICICI Lombard, the bank aims to leverage synergies between banking and insurance services, offering customers a comprehensive suite of financial products and solutions.

The move to increase its holdings in ICICI Lombard aligns with ICICI Bank's long-term growth strategy and commitment to delivering value to its shareholders.

Through strategic investments and prudent expansion initiatives, the bank seeks to enhance its competitive edge in the financial services landscape, positioning itself for sustained growth and profitability.

Following the announcement, ICICI Bank shares experienced a modest gain of 0.70 percent, closing at Rs 1,053.45 each, while ICICI Lombard's stock saw a slight correction of 0.61 percent, ending the day at Rs 1,712.75 per share.

This market reaction reflects investor confidence in ICICI Bank's strategic initiatives and the potential synergies to be unlocked through its increased stake in ICICI Lombard.