Life Insurance Company (LIC), a major domestic institutional investor, offloaded shares worth over Rs 7,020 crore (USD 1.3 billion) in companies related to financial, consumer and cement sectors in the July-September quarter this year, says a research report.
At the same time, LIC acquired shares worth about Rs 2,355 crore (USD 436 million) in software and telecom companies, the global research report by BofA-Merrill Lynch said.
LIC sold shares of private lenders ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank and pharma company Cipla, while bought shares of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys, Wipro, telecom major Bharti Airtel, the report said.
"State-run LIC lowered its exposure to companies like ICICI Bank (with sale of shares with an estimated USD 207 million), HDFC Bank (175 million), Cipla (USD 132 million), Voltas (USD 94 million) and HUL (USD 91 million)," the report said.
On the other hand, LIC's major investment during the quarter included Wipro (USD 114 million), Bharti Airtel (USD 97 million), Hero Motocorp (USD 81 million), Infosys (USD 80 million) and TCS (USD 55 million).
The report said that LIC has emerged as net sellers during July-September quarter 2012 and most of the pullout was in private sector firms.
In contrast, LIC was net buyer during April-June quarter 2012 as the insurer had purchased shares worth an estimated over USD 2 billion (about Rs 11,000 crore) in India equities and sold shares to the tune of USD 115 million.
In terms of sectors, LIC sold shares valued at USD 450 million in the finance portfolio during the quarter under review, followed by consumer (USD 198 million), cement (USD 192 million), pharma (USD 139 million), industrial (USD 134 million) and media/hotel (USD 53 million), the report said.
In contrast, the insurance giant's investment in the software sector stood at USD 277 million, followed by USD 112 million in the telecom category, USD 23 million in auto space, USD 19 million in metal and mining sector and USD
5 million in the energy area.
Financial sector accounted for 24 per cent of LIC's total equity portfolio in the country followed by energy 16 per cent, consumer goods 12 per cent and industrial space 10 per