LIC IPO: Centre keen to rope in retail investors

New Delhi, Aug 30: The government and the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) are planning a campaign to give a big push to participation by retail investors, that includes opening of demat accounts for policyholders in IDBI Bank, in the run-up to its initial public offering (IPO).
The campaign will aim to make retail investors as well as LIC policyholders aware of India’s largest public offering, said an official. In an effort to give LIC policyholders a chance to own a part of the insurance company, the government has reserved 10 per cent of the issue of IPO for its policyholders.
To ensure the quota is subscribed by policyholders, an awareness campaign is being planned that would include helping the policyholders in opening demat accounts through IDBI Bank, in which LIC owns over 49 per cent stakes. The policyholders can also open demat accounts in other banks, but the idea is to seamlessly facilitate the same for them, the official quoted above said. A same option is likely to be given to employees of LIC if the insurer comes up with stock options.
The government had amended LIC General Regulations to allow the insurer to increase its issued share capital to issue shares to LIC employees.
The plan is to at least make policyholders aware that this option is available to them, and the government wants policyholders to benefit from the IPO, the official said. “The government wants to nudge policyholders to participate in the IPO, and avail of the opportunity to be LIC shareholders,” the official said.
The planning for the campaign has started, and will be finalised soon, the official quoted above said.
The government is also planning a big advertisement campaign for the listing of the IPO, and has also sought bids from advertising agencies.
The ad agency will also have to organise publicity campaigns that would include outdoor media plan.

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