The much-awaited initial public offering of state-run insurance giant Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) could be pushed to the next financial year, as the government is likely to hold a meeting to reassess the IPO timing in view of the escalating Russia-Ukraine war, sources told CNBC TV18 on March 1.
The meeting for a likely reassessment of LIC listing will be held "this week", a government official privy to the development told the news channel.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has "stated the government position" on the matter, the official said, referring to her remarks during a recent interview with Hindu Business Line, where she suggested that the emerging global situation may warrant a relook at the IPO timing.
“Ideally, I’d like to go ahead with it because we had planned it for some time based purely on Indian considerations," Sitharaman told the newspaper, adding that "if global considerations warrant that I need to look at it, I wouldn’t mind looking at it again".
The draft red-herring prospectus for the LIC IPO was released on February 13. The offer is for the sale of up to 316.25 million shares or around 5 percent held in the insurance sector behemoth by the Centre.
Sitharaman, while addressing reporters in Mumbai on February 22, had said the government was going ahead with the IPO which has generated a positive buzz in the market.
"There is a buzz in the market and there is interest for LIC IPO. We are going ahead with it," Sitharaman had said, but also noted that "we are equally worried if the market situation is conducive".
Notably, the military conflict in eastern Europe has sent jitters to markets around the world. The sanctions imposed on Russia are feared to exacerbate the crisis, with the commodities market first to be adversely hit. Crude oil prices have crossed $100, and Goldman Sachs has raised its one-month Brent forecast to $115.