The Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) bought a majority of shares in a five per cent NTPC stake sale worth USD730 million. Although LIC ended up buying 59 per cent – or 243.15 million of the 412.27 million shares on offer – overall institutional demand, including that from foreign investors, was strong with bids worth 2-1/2 times the shares on offer. However, retail investors ended up buying only 44 per cent of the shares allotted to them.
In August, LIC salvaged a USD1.4 billion sale of shares in Indian Oil Corporation, and previously supported the sale of shares in Coal India, Steel Authority of India and state banks.
Nilesh Shetty, a fund manager at Mumbai-based Quantum Asset Management, said, “The environment is fairly weak right now. Most investors don’t want to buy into these companies. The quarterly results these companies are reporting are weak.”