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IRDAI directs LIC to reduce stakes in ITC & L&T to 15%
08-Aug-2017 (09:56)

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irdai) has asked the country's largest insurer, Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), to reduce its stakes in ITC and L&T to 15 per cent by December 2018.

The insurer recently raised its stake in cigarette maker ITC by 2 per cent to 16.3 per cent, and has also sought the Insurance Regulatory Development and Authority (Irda's) permission to increase its stake in India's biggest engineering company Larsen & Toubro by another 5 per cent to 20.7 per cent.

The regulator has not asked LIC to sell its stakes in these two companies immediately as it will cause volatility in the market. Moreover, the regulator would extend the time by a year for LIC to reduce its stakes in these two companies if it needed more time to do so, said Sathe.

However, in companies where LIC has strategic investments, like Corporation Bank and LIC Housing Finance, it does not have to reduce its stakes to 15 per cent or less.

LIC could continue its strategic investment in other companies beyond 15 per cent as usual, particularly in Corporation Bank and LIC Housing Finance, said Irdai member Nilesh Sathe on the sidelines of the CIIÆs 19th Insurance Summit.

According to filings with the BSE, the state-owned life insurer held about 16.25 per cent in ITC and 17.97 per cent in L&T in June 2017. The ITC stock closed 0.27 per cent lower at Rs 280 per share and the L&T share closed flat at Rs 1,178 per share on Monday.
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