The government will launch the mega public offer of LIC by March and file draft papers with market regulator Sebi by the end of this month, an official said.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had last week reviewed the progress of the initial public offering (IPO) of Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) in a meeting with top officials of the ministry.
The official said the September 2021 quarter financials of LIC are getting finalised as well as fund bifurcation is in progress.
“We are hopeful of filing the DRHP (draft red-herring prospectus) with Sebi by month-end or early-February.
“One thing is for sure that IPO will come before the end of the current fiscal,” the official told PTI.
LIC IPO is crucial for meeting the Rs 1.75-lakh crore divestment target set for the current financial year ended March 2022.
So far this fiscal, Rs 9,330 crore has been mopped up through PSU divestment.
The government in September last year appointed 10 merchant bankers, including Goldman Sachs (India) Securities Pvt Ltd, Citigroup Global Markets India Pvt Ltd and Nomura Financial Advisory and Securities (India) Pvt Ltd to manage the mega initial public offering of country’s largest insurer LIC.
Other selected bankers include SBI Capital Market Ltd, JM Financial Ltd, Axis Capital Ltd, BofA Securities, JPMorgan India Pvt Ltd, ICICI Securities Ltd, and Kotak Mahindra Capital Co Ltd.
Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas has been appointed as legal advisor for the IPO.
The government is in the process of deciding the quantum of government stake that will be divested through the IPO.
The government is also mulling allowing foreign investors to pick up stakes in the country’s largest insurer LIC.
According to Sebi rules, foreign portfolio investors (FPI) are permitted to buy shares in a public offer.
However, since the LIC Act has no provision for foreign investments, there is a need to align the proposed LIC IPO with Sebi norms regarding foreign investor participation.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had in July last year cleared divestment of LIC.
Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters