A whopping 25 per cent rally in the equity markets boosted the net profit, or valuation surplus in the official language, of Life Insurance Corporation by 10.4 per cent in 2014-15 at Rs 36,087 crore.
As per the LIC Act, the corporation has to distribute 95 per cent of its profits with the policyholders, and accordingly the financial powerhouse paid Rs 34,283 crore to its millions of policyholders in the year, while the remaining 5 per cent worth Rs 1,804.35 crore was paid to its owner, the government.
Accordingly, the Corporation chairman S K Roy handed over the valuation surplus worth Rs 1,804.35 crore to the finance minister for the fiscal year ended March 2015.
In the year to March 2014, the Corporation had paid Rs 1,634.89 crore to the government, when its total profit stood at Rs 32,697.8 crore. The payout for 2014-15 is 10.39 per cent more than the previous year.
For the stock markets, it can be noted that 2014-15 was good with the Sensex logging in best gains since 2009-10, a hefty 25 per cent of over 2013-14, driven by surge in foreign inflows after the Narendra Modi-led government took charge. The year also saw the index hitting its life-time high of 30,024 mid-March.
During the fiscal 2015, the Sensex had gone up by 5,571.22 points, or 24.88 per cent to 27,957.49 from 22,386.27 on March 31, 2014. The gauge had touched all-time high of 30,024.74 on March 4.
On similar lines, the Nifty zoomed by 1,786.80 points, or 26.65 per cent, to settle the fiscal at 8,491 after scaling lifetime high of 9,119.20 on March 4.
The chairman presented a cheque of Rs 1,804.35 crore to finance minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi yesterday, the Corporation said in a statement today.
This is the government’s share of the surplus arising from the actuarial valuation as of March 31, 2015, the statement added.
The Corporation is the single largest investor in the market with trillions of rupees invested in many blue-chips and even in mid-caps. That apart LIC is the proxy investor for the government too in many of the state-run banks wherein its holding is over 15 per cent, while it holds 25 per cent in corporation bank.
While LIC is the single largest domestic institutional investor, it also is the largest player in the government securities market, investing more than Rs 2.5 trillion annually, while its incremental annual stock market investment is under Rs 60,000 crore.