Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India has booked profits on its equity investments over the last few weeks when the markets have been trading close to record highs, chairman SK Roy confirmed without disclosing how much money the life insurer has pulled out from the markets.
“The last few weeks have seen the Sensex at reasonably high levels, though not within very high bands. A prudent investor would like to take opportunity of such situation to book profits. Especially life insurers where we have to give returns to our policy holders in a fair manner,” Roy told reporters on the sidelines of an Irda event on Wednesday.
LIC will further monitor the momentum of the market for any further profit booking, he added.
For over a month, domestic institutional investors have been net sellers in the market, having sold around R357 crore on Tuesday.
India’s largest life insurer has invested more than R33,000 crore in the capital markets this fiscal and will assess whatever opportunities comes its way, added Roy. LIC had earlier set an equity investment target of R40,000 crore for the year, however, that is not a limiting number, clarified the chairman.
He added that LIC will look at the government’s disinvestment activity closely for investment opportunities, even though there is no fixed corpus set aside for this activity.
“Disinvestment is a government activity, for us it is an investment activity... If it makes good sense to us, we participate in that,” Roy said.
LIC has budgeted a 12% growth in first premium this year, though Roy expects the company to clock higher growth, thereby also boosting first premium growth in the industry. Between the April-September period, LIC’s first premium grew over 7% compared with a 6% growth in the industry.
“We are looking to have at least 15 products in place on December 31. This is excluding the group side products which are approved by the regulator and they are on sale. These are all traditional products,” Roy said.