The country's largest insurer, Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), is likely to file draft papers with Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) by November for the largest initial public offer (IPO) in the country's history, a finance ministry official has said.
"We target to bring the IPO within this fiscal and we have set strict timelines. The draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) would be filed by November," the official said.
Once the DRHP is filed, merchant bankers will hold global and domestic roadshows for investors by January, the official informed further.
The government last month appointed 10 merchant bankers, including Goldman Sachs (India) Securities Private Limited, Citigroup Global Markets India Private Limited and Nomura Financial Advisory and Securities (India) Private Limited to manage the LIC IPO.
Other selected bankers are SBI Capital Market Limited, JM Financial Limited, Axis Capital Limited, BofA Securities, J P Morgan India Private Limited, ICICI Securities Limited and Kotak Mahindra Capital Company Limited.
Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas has been appointed as legal adviser for the IPO.
The government is aiming to list the insurance behemoth within the current financial year.
The ministry is in the process of estimating the embedded value of the life insurer and once that is done, the ministerial panel on disinvestment will decide on the government stake that will be divested through IPO, the official said.
The government has appointed actuarial firm Milliman Advisors LLP India to compute the embedded value of LIC ahead of the initial public offering.
The government is also mulling allowing foreign investors to pick up stakes in country's largest insurer. As per SEBI rules, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) are permitted to buy shares in a public offer. However, since the LIC Act has no provision for foreign investments, there is a need to align the proposed LIC IPO with SEBI norms regarding foreign investor participation.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had in July cleared the initial public offering proposal of Life Insurance Corporation of India.
The listing of LIC will be crucial for the government in meeting its disinvestment target of Rs 1.75 lakh crore for 2021-22.