Policyholders lead subscription of India’s biggest IPO LIC, while foreign investors shun it

As per a stock exchange filing, Life Insurance Corp’s (LIC) largest-ever initial public offering (IPO) was oversubscribed 2.95 times as six days of bidding ended on Monday.

However, foreign institutional investors (FII) have been cautious about the IPO, according to an Indian government official.

“Predominantly this issue has been domestically lifted,”  said Tuhin Kanta Pandey, secretary of India’s Department of Investment and Public Asset Management, (DIPAM).

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As per a report by Bloomberg, foreign institutional investors have mostly avoided India’s largest share sale, finding it too expensive in light of currency uncertainties and the global market environment.

However, in the final hours before the subscription deadline on Monday, FII’s pushed up their offers for India’s largest share sale.

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Citing data from the exchanges, Bloomberg reports that overseas investors placed orders for 61 per cent of the shares set aside for institutional purchasers in the $2.7 billion initial public offerings.

According to Bloomberg, the lack of international investor interest contrasts sharply with several of last year’s Indian IPOs like  One97 Communications Ltd., which controls, digital payments business Paytm, and Zomato Ltd., a food delivery company.

While overseas investors only started to come in on the last day, retail buyers have been pouring in since the issue went on sale.

The subscription has been driven by policyholders. The segment allocated for policyholders has been subscribed over 6.12 times. Bids worth Rs 12,034 crore have been submitted by policyholders. Employees’ shares were subscribed 4.4 times, while retail individual investors’ shares were subscribed 2 times.

(With inputs from agencies)