Returns to policyholders may even increase as LIC will perform better post-IPO: Chairperson

The listing of Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) on the stock exchanges would bring out version 3.0 of the insurance firm, said its chairperson M. R. Kumar.
“When we nationalised life insurance in 1956, my thought was, that was LIC 1.0. When the market opened and we were subjected to competition and we did well even in the competitive market, that was LIC 2.0,” Mr. Kumar said while answering a question at a virtual press conference ahead of the insurer’s Initial Public Offering (IPO).
“And now, we are going to see LIC 3.0, a listed organisation and a listed, huge, life insurance company. 3.0 will mean that we will be having another family of shareholders with us. We need to cater to their needs,” he said.
Mr. Kumar said LIC ‘needs to be agile, nimble under these circumstances’.
“We are working on many things simultaneously to make that happen,” he added.
He said: “therefore, going forward, it will be an exciting story for LIC. All of us at LIC are very excited about the change that is happening and we hope to deliver excellent results to our policyholders, who have been with us all this while and to our shareholders.”
The government will be diluting 5% of its holding from 100% currently in LIC.
To a question as to how the interest of minority shareholders would be protected as the government would hold 95% stake in the company post IPO, Mr. Kumar said, “LIC has equity in so many companies. We have nominee directors in many of these companies. So we know about minority shareholders,” he said.
“Therefore, when it comes to our own shareholders, do you not think we will be far ahead in what others are doing?” he said. Stating that LIC was watching global events unfolding amid the geopolitical tension, he said the IPO will hit the market as planned in March and preparations for the same were on.
He said LIC would be a board-led organisation and returns to policyholders should not reduce but in turn, it might go up as LIC will perform better post IPO. He added that LIC would continue to have a stake in IDBI Bank in the interest of its bankassurance business. 
Currently, LIC has 49.24% stake in IDBI Bank; the holding is expected to come down in the near future. But LIC will not completely exit its investment in the bank, Mr. Kumar emphasised.

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