It is now clear that LIC was the main force behind the success of Hindustan Copper disinvestment.

According to the latest shareholding available with the exchanges, LIC bought 2.25 crore shares during the quarter, which is the only company that is holding more than one per cent stake in the Hindustan Copper.

The number of insurance companies having exposure to the PSU company increased from one in September quarter to six. But those six companies put together holding 2.72 crore shares, of which LIC accounts for 2.25 crore shares. In September, the total holding of insurance companies stood at mere 2.8 lakh shares.

The other categories of investors that showed keen interest in Hindustan Copper were financial institutions and high net worth individuals. While till September quarter there was no HNIs presence in the company, this quarter saw 12 of them picking up 6.75 lakh shares, which represent 0.07 per cent of the paid-up capital of the company.

Similarly, financial institutions' stake also increased from 0.03 per cent to 0.87 per cent. They now hold about 80.93 lakh shares, increased from 47,553 shares in September quarter.

This means, close to 70 per cent of the issue was subscribed by insurance and financial institutions.

The Government had opted for offer-for-sale route to divest 4 per cent stake in Hindustan Copper in November last year. Against an offer of 3.70 crore shares, it had received bids for 5.16 crore shares. On that day, till 3.25 p.m, only 3.4 crore shares were bid for. Thanks to the last minute aggressive bidding, the issue was fully subscribed.

The Government, which intended to sell 8.87 crore shares (with greenshoe option), kept the floor price at Rs 155, a steep discount of over 40 per cent to the then prevailing price.

Retail investors have also participated heavily in the auction, as it provided arbitrage opportunity. The number of retail investors has doubled to 57,465 from 27,772. Their holding increased to 1.07 per cent (0.3 per cent)

Foreign institutional investors remained mute spectator, as their holding improved from 1,000 shares to 56,800 shares.

The Government, which intends to raise Rs 30,000 crore through divestment this financial year, is planning share sale in MMTC Ltd, National Aluminium Company Ltd, Oil India Ltd, NTPC Ltd and Engineers India before March 2013.