The £2.1 billion initial public offering (IPO) for LIC received a huge response from domestic institutions and was oversubscribed nearly three times by the time it closed on Monday. LIC’s policyholders, its employees, retail investors, high net worth investors (HNIs) and domestic financial institutions contributed handsomely to the offer. On the other hand, foreign funds - despite initial talk about strong demand from this influential group of investors - turned out to be mostly fence sitters, according to the final subscription figures.
In the post-issue press conference, Tuhin Kanta Pandey, secretary of the government’s divestment arm Dipam that was responsible for taking LIC public, described the offering as an ‘Atmanirbhar’ issue as it was the domestic investors, especially the Indian financial institutions, that saw it through.
The issue had opened on May 4 and, unlike other offers in the past, investors were able to bid in the IPO on all the intervening days as the government had made special arrangements to smoothen the usual last-day rush seen in most high-profile offers.
According to data, the portion reserved for LIC’s policyholders was subscribed 6.1 times, for eligible employees it was 4.4 times, for retail investors nearly 2 times, for HNIs 2.9 times and for the institutional buyers 2. 8 times. The IPO received bids for nearly 480 million shares against 162 million on offer.