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March 10, 2022

LIC secures SEBI’s clearance for IPO

Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has given the green light to the initial public offering (IPO) of government-backed Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), media reports said.

This news comes amid rising geopolitical tensions caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine from land, sea, and air.

The invasion was followed by unprecedented financial sanctions on Russia from the US and its allies that have rattled global markets.  

Last month, LIC filed its papers with the SEBI to raise around $8bn by the end of this fiscal year.

The regulator’s approvals for public offers are valid for 12 months from the date of the regulator’s final observation.

However, the Indian government may review the timing of the IPO as the Ukraine crisis deepens.

“Ideally, I would like to go ahead with it, because it is something we have planned for some time purely based on Indian considerations. But now, if global considerations warrant that I need to look at it, I would not mind looking at it again,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said in an interview last week.

The government plans to sell a 5% stake or 316.25 million shares of the life insurer and has approved up to 20% foreign direct investment in it.

Earlier this week, Mint reported that foreign institutional investors’ (FIIs) participation in LIC’s IPO is also facing a roadblock amid the Ukraine conflict.

LIC is yet to decide the price band for its IPO, the proceeds of which are to be used to meet India’s revenue targets for this fiscal year.  

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