LIC plans to invest Rs2,00,000 crore across asset classes in FY11

Mumbai: State-owned insurance giant, Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) plans to invest Rs2,00,000 crore across asset classes in the current fiscal, up from the Rs1,92,000 crore last fiscal.

"We have internally targeted to invest Rs2 lakh crore across asset classes by end-this fiscal," LIC's chairman T S Vijayan told reporters here after announcing a valuation surplus on investments of over Rs23,000 crore last fiscal.

The targeted premium collection for the year is Rs2,01,000 crore, he said.

In the first quarter of 2010-11, LIC invested Rs39,000 crore, of which Rs10,000 crore was in equities, he said.

Mr Vijayan, however, refused to give the equity component of the targeted Rs 200,000 crore investment, saying it depends on the premium collection from the Unit-Linked Insurance Policies (ULIPs).

For 2009-10, ULIPs' share in the total premium pie of Rs1,85,000 crore was 75% and the total equity investments made by LIC stood at Rs61,000 crore.

If the markets are good, people invest in ULIPs and if the interest rates are good, their preferences turn to non-linked policies, Mr Vijayan said.

LIC also has a head-room to issue infrastructure bonds of Rs5,000 crore this fiscal but has not yet decided on any timeline for it, Mr Vijayan said.

"Under a new policy, we can issue bonds to the tune of 25% of our incremental investments of Rs25,000 crore in infrastructure sector last year," he said.

The life insurer is also targeting to invest Rs1,000 crore in real estate and property this fiscal, Mr Vijayan said, clarifying that it is done under three themes of turning the property into an office, floating a housing scheme for policy holders or as a pure investment to be exited at a later date.

When asked about LIC's expansion plans, Mr Vijayan said the corporation is in "advanced stages" of discussions to set up a wholly-owned subsidiary in Singapore.

On the back of new norms on promoter holdings being announced, Mr Vijayan said LIC is not interested in taking a majority stake in any of its investee companies in the future.

The corporation will be adding more than the usual three to four new policies per year this fiscal due to revisions in ULIP norms announced by industry regulator Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) coming into effect from 1st September. 

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Kotak Life Insurance appoints Subhasish Acharya as head of tied channel

Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life Insurance Ltd (Kotak Life Insurance) said it appointed Subhasish Acharya as its executive vice president and head of tied channel.

Mr Acharya will oversee all activities concerned with the channel, including strategy formulation, effective process and system implementation, service quality, throughput and customer satisfaction, it said in a release.  

In his immediate prior assignment, he worked with Kotak Mahindra Bank. Earlier he held positions of significant responsibility in ICICI Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank before moving to Kotak Life Insurance.

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American Tower unit buys Essar Telecom Infrastructure in all cash deal

India's Essar group said US-based American Tower Corp (ATC) unit Transcend Infrastructure Ltd (TIL) completed a share purchase transaction to acquire Essar Telecom Infrastructure Pvt Ltd. (ETIPL) in an all cash deal.

The transaction values ETIPL at about Rs2,100 crore and is subject to certain post closing adjustments, the Essar group said in a release.

The transaction represents the third tower acquisition in India by a member of the American Tower group since initiating operations in India in the fourth quarter of 2008, the release added.

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