The stock market debut of India's largest life insurance company, Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), is slated for Tuesday, May 17, nearly two weeks after its initial public offering (IPO) opened to the public on May 4. The Street is crossing its fingers ahead of the LIC share offering, as grey market indicators suggest a gloomy outlook.
However, the insurer's grey market trend suggests a shaky start. In the grey market, the stock has been selling at a discount due to low market mood and concerns of a lacklustre response from foreign investors. According to sources, it was selling in the grey market today at a discount of 19-20 rupees to its issue price of 949 rupees. While massive fireworks may not be in the cards for the insurer behemoth on the day of its first public offering, experts continue to recommend owning the company for the medium- to long-term.
Employees and policyholders flocked to the initial public offering, which was nearly three times oversubscribed. Retail investors and LIC staff received a discount of 45 rupees per share, while policyholders received a discount of 60 rupees per share. The issue has diluted the government's 3.5 percent share in the insurance. It had planned to sell 5% of the company at first, but due to the uncertain market conditions, it decided to sell less.