LIC stares at falling value after gorging on public sector stock

Dec 04 2012, 02:15 IST
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SummaryDespite the fact that the Sensex has rallied to levels of 19,300 points, Life Insurance Corporation is out of the money in several of its stakes in public sector companies and banks.

In Indian Overseas Bank (IOB), LIC holds 10.33% — the stock ended Monday’s session at R80.80 whereas last year, the stock was trading at levels of above R90. LIC has also picked up some 10% of Central Bank of India and while the stock now trades at R78.45, a year back it was quoting at levels of R100.

Meanwhile, LIC’s market share of premiums has fallen from 63.5% at the end of March 2012, to 59.6% at the end of October 2012. In October, individual premiums for LIC fell 12% y-o-y compared with an increase of 9.5% in September.

In mid-May this year, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded LIC’s foreign currency rating of to Baa3 from Baa2. Among reasons for the downgrade the rating agency pointed out was the significant exposure the insurer’s balance sheet had to domestic sovereign debt relative to its capitalisation.

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