Country's largest insurer Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) has invested Rs 32,293 crore in the stock market in the nine months of 2013-14 and will invest another Rs 2,000 crore during this month for picking 5 per cent stake in power equipment manufacturer Bhel.
This was higher than Rs 2,086 crore, it invested in the same period of last fiscal. LIC had invested Rs 33,208 crore in equity markets in the nine months of 2012-13.
At the same time, the insurer had invested Rs 1.52 lakh crore in government bonds, corporate bonds, infrastructure and projects etc during the three quarters of 2013-14, a senior LIC official said.
The Corporation invested Rs 1.32 lakh crore in government securities and other approved securities as against Rs 1.17 lakh crore in the same period of the previous fiscal.
The insurer's exposure in the bonds and debentures was to the tune of Rs 8,797.09 crore in the period as compared to Rs 23,907.70 crore in the nine-months of 2012-13.
So in all, LIC invested Rs 1.88 lakh crore in the three quarters of the current fiscal as compared to Rs 1.96 lakh crore invested in the nine months of the previous fiscal.
Recently, the government has approved to sell a 5 per cent stake in Bhel to state-owned Life Insurance Corporation of India, fetching the exchequer about Rs 2,046 crore.
Bhel shares gained 3.18 per cent to Rs 167.20 apiece at the close on the BSE on Friday, valuing the company at Rs 40,923 crore. A 5 per cent stake would be worth about Rs 2,046 crore.
The Department of Heavy Industries, which is the administrative ministry of the company, has for long opposed the proposed disinvestment in state-run Bhel, citing unfavourable market conditions .
It wanted the issue not to look like a "distress sale" but rather one that would reap "good value."