India’s LIC gets market regulator nod for mega IPO – source
India’s market regulator has approved state-owned Life Insurance Corp’s (LIC) initial public offering worth about $8 billion, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter.
The approval follows reports the initial share sale was set to be delayed to next financial year due to market volatility stoked by the Ukraine crisis.
The source could not be named as the information was not yet public.
LIC declined to comment on the approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
Reuters reported earlier, citing sources, that bankers advising LIC had pushed the government to defer the launch of the offering that is set to be the country’s biggest yet.
IPO approvals are valid for a period of 12 months from the date of final observation by the Securities and Exchange Board of India, an ET Now report said.
The approval was in line with the regulatory process, the source said, despite the prospect of the deal being delayed.
The Indian government has plans to sell 5% of LIC’s stake this month before the fiscal year ends on March 31. But there has been no formal announcement of the deal being delayed.
A revised timetable has not been set out for LIC yet, the source added.
The offering is seen critical to the government’s plan to raise funds for budgeted spending. If the IPO gets delayed, it will add to the growing list of planned offerings being put on hold as the war in Ukraine dampens investor appetite for risky assets.
Global stock markets including India have become extremely volatile after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorised what he called a “special military operation” on Ukraine.
Indian markets have declined nearly 7% so far this year after gaining about 24% in 2021.