Hopeful Of Listing LIC In The Next Fiscal: Economic Affairs Secretary
LIC building at Nariman Point. (Image courtesy: BloombergQuint) 

Hopeful Of Listing LIC In The Next Fiscal: Economic Affairs Secretary

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The government is hopeful of selling minority stake in Life Insurance Corporation of India in the next fiscal, a senior official said.

Economic Affairs Secretary Atanu Chakraborty said it would take about 8-9 months to prepare accounts and do the required legal tweaking before an initial public offering of the insurance behemoth could be launched.

"I am certain that it will happen next year. It takes about 8-9 months for preparation of its accounts. What kind of legal tweaks that need to be made," he said.

Chakraborty said an IPO of LIC would also help to discipline into the organisation and improve depth of the market.

Also read: Multi-Billion Dollar IPOs Are Popping Up in India

"I am quite hopeful that we should be able to finish it before March 31, 2021. The money of course will come through, that's less of an issue. It will be a substantial chunk that not withstanding when you bring into public space such organisation," he added.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her 2020-21 Budget had said that LIC will be listed as part of the government disinvestment initiative.

Currently, the government owns 100 percent stake in LIC.

Also read: Budget 2020: 10% LIC Stake Sale Could Raise Rs 80,000-90,000 Crore, Says Former Top Bureaucrat 

The 60-year-old state-owned firm, LIC, is the country's largest insurer, controlling more than 70 percent of the market share. The insurer has a market share of 76.28 percent in number of policies and 71 percent in first-year premiums.

LIC has many subsidiaries, including IDBI Bank Ltd. It acquired controlling stake in the bank last year.

The government aims to garner Rs 90,000 crore from the listing of LIC and stake dilution in IDBI Bank in the next fiscal out of total disinvestment target of Rs 2.10 lakh crore.

Department of Investment and Public Asset Management Secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey said the government is readying "big ticket disinvestment" for the next fiscal with approvals in place for Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd., Air India, Shipping Corporation of India Ltd. and Container Corporation Of India Ltd.

"Going forward, we have a challenging task and we are ready for it,... With some minority stake sale and big strategic disinvestment we hope to achieve this target," he said.

Also read: LIC IPO May Come In The Second Half Of FY21, Says Finance Secretary 

The government has revised downwards the budgeted disinvestment target of Rs 1.05 lakh in the current Fiscal to Rs 65,000 crore. So far, it has mopped up Rs 34,000 crore and hopes to garner the remaining amount by March 31, 2020.

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