Insurance behemoth’s exposure in equity portfolios on rise

The financial sector has a pride of place in the equity portfolio of government-owned Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), with 53 of its 309 large picks from the sector. 


A business Standard analysis of data showed with significant holdings in 33 banks, both private and public sector that, LIC’s financial sector investments are a little over than Rs.1 lakh crore or 25.7 per cent of its total equity assets of Rs.4.14 lakh crore as of March. 


The exposure, at par with banks and financials’ weight age in the BSE 500 index at 25.4 per cent, is a slight increase over the previous year. The data is the aggregate of LIC’s stake in companies in which it holds more than one per cent. As the companies don’t have to disclose the names of investor holding less than one per cent, LIC’s holdings in companies below this limit isn’t available in the public domain.


During FY 14, the financial sector accounted for 25.25 per cent. The members assume significance as LIC has been playing a key role in capitalizing of public sector banks. During financial year 2014-15, it bought additional shares of UCO Bank, Union Bank, Canara Bank, Bank of India and Central Bank of India. 


This was offset by profit booking in State Bank of India, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank, keeping the overall weightage around 25 per cent. Over five years, the insurer’s financial sector exposure has remained in a range between a low of 25.3 per cent in March 2010 and a high of 27.2 per cent two years later. However, the number of financial companies has inched up gradually from 43 in 2010 to 53 now. 

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