State-run insurer Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) has raised its stake in Infosys to 7.24 per cent, raising its holding in the information technology (IT) major for a third straight quarter, with an estimated purchase of shares worth over Rs3,000 crore. LIC, which figures among the country's biggest institutional investors in the stock market, held 4.92 per cent stake in Infosys at the beginning of the current financial year, which has now risen to 7.24 per cent.
LIC's Infosys holding has gone up during all the three quarters so far in 2012-13, according to the IT firm's latest shareholding pattern data. Taking into account the average market value of Infosys shares, the 2.32 per cent increase in LIC's holding in the company would be worth an estimated Rs3,300 crore.
Infosys shares have been on a highly volatile path during the past few quarters, amid an overall slowdown in the Indian IT sector, while questions have been raised about the company's bellwether status for the sector.
Its stock has moved in a wide range from near Rs2,100 to close to Rs3,000 a share in the past one year and is currently trading near Rs2,350. In the last quarter of the previous financial, January-March 2012, LIC had pared its holding marginally from 5.17 per cent to 4.92 per cent. However, it rose to 6.28 per cent in the April-June quarter, while it went up further to 6.60 per cent in the July-September quarter, before rising to 7.24 per cent as on December 31.
Despite a decline in the first quarter of calendar year 2012, LIC's holding in Infosys rose by 2.07 per cent during the entire year. Besides LIC, a number of other large investors also hiked their stake in Infosys during 2012. These include foreign funds like Oppenheimer, Franklin Templeton, Aberdeen and Vanguard. At the same time, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Government of Singapore have marginally pared their holdings from 2.13 per cent to 2.06 per cent, and from 1.35 per cent to 1.31 per cent, respectively.