LIC has been subdued in equity investments this year, said its Chairman Vijay Kumar Sharma.

“We are subdued deliberately because market has gone up very high. But LIC has always been a contrarian,” explained the chief of the country’s largest insurer.

In the reporting nine months, Life Insurance Corporation of India purchased equity amounting ₹39,705 crore against ₹64,000 crore in the year-ago period. It sold equity totalling ₹38,000 crore in the reporting nine months.

However, LIC booked 68 per cent more year-on-year profit from equity investments on the back of a rising market.

In the nine-month period ended December 31, 2016, LIC booked a profit of ₹16,000 crore from equity investments as against ₹9,500 crore in the year-ago period.

LIC invested ₹1.83-lakh crore (up to December 31, 2016) in government securities and state development loans. Overall, the debt investment (including corporate bonds) was about ₹1.98-lakh crore.

The PSU life insurer’s total assets increased by 13 per cent year-on-year to ₹24,41,946 crore as at December-end 2016 as against ₹21,64,652 crore as at December-end 2015.

“We are not traders in the market, we are long-term investors,” said Sharma.

Corporate governance LIC said it is keeping a ‘close watch and its options open’ when it comes to corporate governance transgressions in the companies it has invested in.

To a specific question on LIC’s stand on board room battles in companies it invests in, Sharma underscored that, “We are keeping a watch and options open, wherever it is, howsoever it is. Our focus is on corporate governance in the companies we are investing in. “... But saying that primarily we have been passive (investors), it is only partly true. We are very sensitive to protecting the policy holders. Whenever a bad situation arises, we intervene. Otherwise, we have no business to run their business.”