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Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005

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LIC likely to hike equity exposure of investible funds

Our Bureau

New Delhi , Feb. 15

LIFE Insurance Corporation (LIC) is considering raising its investments in equities to 10 per cent of its investible funds from the existing 8 per cent.

``Our equity exposure is about 8 per cent of the investible funds. If opportunity comes, we can go up to 10 per cent,'' Mr R.N. Bhardwaj, Chairman of LIC, said here on Tuesday on the sidelines of a conference of actuaries. LIC at present has investible funds of about Rs 3,70,000 crore. On the forthcoming public issues, Mr Bhardwaj said that the corporation would be actively investing in the offers of banks, public sector companies and private companies.

Mr Bhardwaj said that LIC hopes to garner over Rs 14,000 crore new premium income during the current financial year. "We have been growing at around 35 per cent till now. We hope to continue this rate of growth. We expect new premium income from individual policies to be over Rs 11,000 crore in the current fiscal,'' he said.

He said that the group insurance business was one of the fastest growing segments. ``We registered a growth of 67 per cent and 127 per cent over the past two years. This year also we hope to do substantial business,'' Mr Bhardwaj said.

On LIC's reducing market share, Mr Bhardwaj said that it was due to market dynamics. LIC's market share fell to 78.43 per cent till December 2004 from 88.21 per cent in 2003.

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