Potential LIC investors fret over govt control even as Chairman allays fears

Prospective investors in Life Insurance Corp of India’s (LIC) $8 billion IPO are seeking assurances from company management that it will not sacrifice their interests to meet the goals set out by the government, its controlling shareholder, sources said.

LIC Chairman MR Kumar yesterday sought to allay investor fears, saying they should not worry about government control post the IPO as decisions in the country’s largest insurance company are taken by its board and not by the government, which will hold 95% of stake post the IPO.

In virtual roadshows for India’s biggest ever public listing, LIC management and the IPO bankers have been peppered with questions about the insurer’s past investments and their quality, four people with knowledge of the matter said.

LIC has in recent years been a key buyer of shares in state-owned firms sold off by New Delhi, often bailing out less-than-successful public issues of shares….

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