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LIC's shareholders, customers have no need to worry about Adani exposure - Indian official

By Nikunj Ohri

NEW DELHI (Reuters) -Shareholders and customers of state-run Life Insurance Corp (LIC) should not be concerned about its exposure to the Adani group, as the insurer is a diversified long-term investor, a top government official told Reuters.

LIC "has put out the information that their exposure in Adani Group companies should not be any concern for shareholders and policyholders," Department of Investment and Public Asset Management secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey said.

"LIC has a well diversified portfolio and has its investments in many companies and the value of its investments keeps changing. LIC is a long term investor in the market."

LIC holds a 4.23% stake in the flagship Adani firm, while its other exposures include a 9.14% stake in Adani Ports and 5.96% in Adani Total Gas.

Both houses of India's parliament were adjourned on Friday amid chaotic scenes as some lawmakers demanded an inquiry following the meltdown of shares in billionaire Gautam Adani's group companies, which some fear could spark wider financial turmoil.

Shares in Adani group companies have lost about half their market value - or more than $100 billion combined - since U.S. short-seller Hindenburg Research last week accused the group of stock manipulation and unsustainable debt.

The Adani group rejects the criticism and denies wrongdoing.


Pandey also said the government didn't plan to sell any more of its stake in LIC in the fiscal year starting in April.

LIC shares have fallen over 30% since its listing in May last year.

The government has lowered its revenue target from stake sales of state-run companies to 500 billion rupees ($6.1 billion) from 650 billion. In 2023/24 it aims to raise 510 billion rupees.

Pandey said it planned to list state-run Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency and WAPCOS, a government owned water and power consultancy agency.

The government is in the process of selling a majority stake in IDBI Bank, the first sale of a bank in India through a bidding process. The government has allowed a tax waiver if another bank buys IDBI Bank.

"Every investor wanted clarity on tax laws," Pandey said.

($1 = 81.8810 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Nikunj Ohri Editing by Jane Merriman and Mark Potter)