In India, the country’s largest initial public offering (IPO) is now happening. On Monday, the bidding period for shares in the state-owned Life Insurance Corporation of India closed, and allotments are due tomorrow. On May 17, LIC shares will be listed on the National and Bombay Stock Exchanges, raising the equivalent of $2.65 billion from the sale, which represents 3.5 percent of the firm.
This makes the IPO larger than One97 Communications’ public offering in 2021, which is the company behind the popular Indian payment application Paytm. During an extraordinarily busy year for Indian stock markets, the sale also brought in excess of $2 billion. According to Prime Database, the Indian equity markets raised over $17 billion in the fiscal year 2021-22 (ending March 2022). Major IPOs by the likes of General Insurance Corp of India, New India Assurance Co, HDFC Life Insurance Co, and SBI Life Insurance Co raised almost $13 billion in 2017-18. All four IPOs are among the largest in India’s history.
The statistics from Prime Database indicate how IPOs in India have grown in size over time. While there was a listing craze in the early 1990s, when the National Stock Exchange was established, overall money raised remained low. This started to alter in the 2010s, when a smaller number of listings raised more money overall.
LIC is the biggest of the bunch, despite a slew of insurers entering and growing into the Indian stock market in recent years. According to UBS, LIC, which had a monopoly in the life insurance industry until 2000, receives one out of every ten rupees saved in India. However, the insurer’s IPO did not go off without a hitch, as it coincided with an unexpected rate hike by India’s central bank and saw its share price fall on the grey market, where shares are already traded unofficially.