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Govt may review the timing of LIC IPO amid Ukraine crisis: FM Sitharaman

The government had set a March deadline for the IPO and its IPO document filed on Feb. 13 put LIC's embedded value at Rs 5.4 trillion

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LIC

The government may review the timing of Life Insurance Corp. (LIC) of India’s initial public offering (IPO) following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told Businessline in an interview.

The government had set a March deadline for the IPO and its IPO document filed on Feb. 13 put the insurance giant’s embedded value at Rs 5.4 trillion.

“When I last commented on this matter, the tension was building up. Now there’s a full-scale war. Therefore, I need to go back and review the situation. Ideally, I’d like to go ahead with it because we’d planned it for some time based purely on Indian considerations,” Sitharaman said in an interview with Businessline “But if global considerations warrant that I need to look at it, I wouldn’t mind looking at it again,” she said.

The review could impact the timing of the mega public offering, India’s largest, which made up the biggest portion of the country’s $10.4-billion asset-sale program aimed at stanching the budget deficit for the year through March 31, 2022.

“When a private sector promoter takes this call, he has to only explain this to the company’s board,” she said, when asked if a call about delaying the IPO could be constrained by the government’s annual disinvestment targets.  “But I would have to explain it to the whole world."

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