Government-backed Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) is expected to launch an $8bn initial public offering (IPO) on 11 March, Reuters reported, citing sources with knowledge of the matter.

Initially, the public offering of shares will be available for anchor investors and other investors will be able to place their bids a few days later.

The life insurer is looking to secure regulatory clearance for the IPO in the first week of March, which will be followed by the announcement of an indicative marketing price band, the sources said.

Last week, LIC had filed papers with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

LIC plans to float 316.25 million shares on the exchange, which is equal to 5% of the government’s total equity base.

It is working to complete the IPO by the end of March 2022 after reducing its divestment and privatisation targets from INR1.75 trillion to INR780bn for this financial year.

Investor roadshow for the $8bn IPO, began last week, the sources told the news agency.

The embedded value of the insurance firm is estimated at $71.56bn (INR5.39 trillion), which controls more than 60% of the Indian life insurance market by premiums.

SBI Capital Markets, Kotak, Axis Capital, ICICI Securities, JM Financial, Citigroup, JP Morgan, Nomura, Goldman Sachs, and BofA Securities have been chosen as book-runners for the offering.