LIC’s stake in Infosys at record high, buys Rs 2k cr worth shares in Q1

PTI New Delhi | Updated on July 13, 2012 Published on July 13, 2012

Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has hiked its stake in Infosys to a record high of 6.3 per cent with purchase of shares worth an estimated Rs 2,000 crore in the first quarter of the current fiscal.

LIC also one of the biggest investors in the Indian stock market, saw major rise in its holdings in the IT sector from 4.9 per cent to 6.3 per cent during the quarter ended June 30, 2012.

Based on the average market price during the period, the increase in LIC’s Infosys holding could be worth more than Rs 2,000 crore. LIC is the largest non-promoter shareholder of the company.

LIC hiked its stake in Infosys even as a number of foreign investors pared their holding in the IT Company, which has been known as the bellwether stock in the Indian IT space till recently, but is now facing growing concerns about its future growth prospects.

Infosys shares fell sharply yesterday after the company was disappointed with its first quarter results and the weakness was seen continuing in the stock today.

The stock was down 1.65 per cent at Rs 2,227.80 at the BSE at the end of the day.

The overall FII holding in Infosys fell from 39 per cent to nearly 38 per cent during the last quarter, although major investors like Aberdeen, Oppenheimer, Franklin Templeton, Vanguard and Singapore Government’s investment arm raised their stake marginally in the Indian IT firm.

Among the major overseas investors (those holding at least one per cent), only Abu Dhabi Investment Authority pared its stake, that too very marginally from 2.12 per cent to 2.08 per cent. However, all the FIIs together are estimated to have sold shares worth about Rs 1,500 crore during the quarter.

Concerns are being raised about Infosys’ growth prospects for two quarters now, but state-run LIC appears to be keeping its faith in the company, market observers said.

Barring the last quarter of the previous fiscal ended March 31, 2012, LIC has been mostly raising its stake in Infosys for sometime now.

LIC had made its first investment in Infosys way back in 2002, when its holding was nearly two per cent. Since then, LIC’s stake has been continuously rising in Infosys and had crossed five per cent mark last year and then rose past 6 per cent level during the last quarter.

Prior to LIC, the erstwhile Unit Trust of India (UTI), one of the biggest stock market investors of the country before being wound up, used to be the largest non-promoter shareholder in Infosys. UTI held a stake of more than 8 per cent way back in 2001, but it gradually fell to about one per cent by 2003.

Published on July 13, 2012
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