New Delhi: Cashing in on the current lower value of different stocks, the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) has increased its stake in as many as 11 firms, including SBI and ICICI Bank, so far this year through open market transactions worth a little more than Rs6,400 crore.
The country’s largest financial institution has hiked its stake in seven companies to nearly 10%, while it has raised its holding in another four in the range of 3-7%. The value of the transactions is totalling to Rs6,450 crore based on the current market prices.
Analysts said with the market plunging from its peak level barely a year ago, domestic institutional investors are evincing interest in buying as they are attractive at existing levels.
“During January-March period, insurance companies have cash surplus. As the premiums for different schemes keep coming in, there is no dearth of long-term funds,” Ashika Stock Brokers research head Paras Bothra said.
LIC has been shopping heavily in state-run entities and at present its stake in the largest public sector lender SBI stands at 9.16% against 4.58% in December quarter.
“Banking stocks were hammered in the market meltdown. LIC is on a stake hike spree knowing well that values would be attractive in future when the market recovers,” SMC Global vice president Rajesh Jain said.