The value of investments made by the government-owned Life Insurance Corporation of India in the crisis-ridden Adani Group has turned negative, CNBC-TV18 reported on Thursday.
The ports-to-energy conglomerate led by billionaire Gautam Adani has been witnessing a stock market rout since January 24, when United States-based firm Hindenburg Research alleged that the group has amassed substantial debt by pledging overvalued shares.
Opposition parties have criticised the Centre over LIC’s investments in the Adani Group and the implications it could have on insurance schemes of citizens.
An analysis by CNBC-TV18 showed that at market closing on Wednesday, the value of LIC’s investment in Adani Group companies was Rs 33,632 crore. On January 27, the state-owned insurer had said that its investments in the Gautam Adani-led conglomerate stood at Rs 56,142 crore.
The CNBC-TV 18 analysis said that if the investments declared by LIC in January were to be calculated according to shareholding data from December, its value would have been Rs 62,550 crore. This value is Rs 6,408 crore higher than Rs 56,142 crore declared by the state-owned insurance company.
The numbers give rise to the question of whether LIC sold shares worth Rs 6,400 crore, or 10% of its shareholding in the conglomerate between January 1 to January 24, the CNBC-TV18 report noted.
LIC has not responded to written queries from CNBC-TV18, the business news channel said.
How LIC’s exposure to the embattled Adani Group has implications for middle-class savings
Two other reports by The Economic Times and Business Today have also estimated that the notional loss in LIC’s holdings in Adani Group companies has run into the range of Rs 30,000 crore to Rs 50,000 crore since the Hindenburg report was released on January 24.
Rise in LIC holdings in Adani Group
The government-controlled LIC, has made significant investments in the Adani Group. The insurer accounts for over 98% of the entire insurance industry’s investment in the Adani Group.
In terms of the value, LIC’s holdings in Adani Group companies have reportedly multiplied 10 times since September 2020. From around Rs 7,300 crore of LIC’s equity assets under management in 2020, the value had ballooned to nearly Rs 72,200 crore as on Tuesday. “Assets under management” refers to the total market value of the investments that an entity controls.
Amid political heat over the LIC’s investments and massive losses in Adani stocks, the state insurer had said in a statement on February 10 said that its exposure in Adani Group companies is only 0.975% of its total assets under management.
The statement added that all of LIC’s investments in the Adani Group companies had a credit rating of “AA” and were in compliance with investment regulations of the statutory body Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority.
“It is also important to note that while the market value of assets can change in either direction, LIC invests from a long term perspective and based on detailed due diligence,” the statement read.