In what could be seen as a leap in disinvestment ambitions, the Centre has decided to go for the public listing of the country's largest financial institution, the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC). It will be done through an initial public offering (IPO), finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.
If the LIC shares are listed on stock exchanges, experts had said it would easily emerge as the country’s top listed company in terms of market valuation, overtaking even big names like Reliance Industries Ltd and Tata Consultancy Services. "We are allowing retail investors to participate in wealth creation," Sitharaman said.
The government had listed the shares of General Insurance Corporation and New India Assurance through IPOs two years ago. It will have to amend the LIC Act first before taking the Corporation public.
On November 20 last year, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved stake sale in five public sector entities, namely BPCL, Container Corporation, North Eastern Electric Power Corporation, Shipping Corporation of India and Tehri Hydro Development Corporation.