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LIC: The Much Awaited IPO

With the stock market booming and indices touching lifetime highs, the investor’s appetite seem to be growing even bigger. Many are keenly awaiting the IPO of the state-run Life Insurance Corporation Of India. Set up in 1956, the LIC is the jewel in the government’s crown. The state insurer has smartly competed with 23-odd private sector players to command a market share of 70.21%.  With assets over Rs 31.96 lakh crore, the LIC manages 28.92 million customers through a network of 12,08,826 agents and 144,498 employees. Such impressive numbers have made the government plan a mega IPO in 2021. The government hopes to raise around Rs 70,000-100,000 crore by diluting a 10% stake. Based on this figure, the valuation of the LIC works out to around Rs 13-15 lakh crore. Experts say that the IPO could attract a large number of retail and institutional investors. The IPO dates are not finalized neither has the Red Herring prospectus been filed with the SEBI. Reportedly, Edelweiss Financial Services and Deloitte have been appointed as pre-IPO advisors. Now, the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget Speech has indicated that LIC IPO could hit the market in FY21-22. The good news for LIC policyholders is that up to 10 per cent of IPO may be offered to them.