India's govt hopes to raise $17.5b in LIC divestment

Stake sale in insurance giant won't be easy or enough for country's needs: Analysts

Activists of the Indian National Congress party protesting against the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government for proposing a partial listing of Life Insurance Corporation through an initial public offering, in front of an LIC office in Kolkat
Activists of the Indian National Congress party protesting against the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government for proposing a partial listing of Life Insurance Corporation through an initial public offering, in front of an LIC office in Kolkata on Feb 3.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

The Indian government hopes to raise 900 billion rupees (S$17.5 billion) from a stake sale in the country's biggest financial institution. But many analysts say that divesting in the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), a household name for insurance, will neither be easy nor sufficient to meet India's financial needs.

The planned initial public offering (IPO) in the second half of this financial year would be India's biggest. Experts liken it to Saudi Arabia's move to list Saudi Aramco, the national petroleum and natural gas company, last year.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 22, 2020, with the headline 'India's govt hopes to raise $17.5b in LIC divestment'. Subscribe