Life Insurance Company (LIC), a major domestic institutional investor, offloaded shares worth over Rs 7,020 crore ($1.3 billion) in companies related to financial, consumer and cement sectors in the July-September quarter this year, says a research report.
At the same time, LIC acquired shares worth about Rs 2,355 crore ($436 million) in software and telecom companies, the global research report by BofA-Merrill Lynch said.
LIC sold shares of private lenders ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank and pharma company Cipla, while bought shares of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys, Wipro, telecom major Bharti Airtel, the report said.
"State-run LIC lowered its exposure to companies like ICICI Bank (with sale of shares with an estimated $207 million), HDFC Bank ($175 million), Cipla ($132 million), Voltas ($94 million) and HUL (USD 91 million)," the report said.
On the other hand, LIC's major investment during the quarter included Wipro ($114 million), Bharti Airtel ($97 million), Hero Motocorp ($81 million), Infosys ($80 million) and TCS ($55 million).
The report said that LIC has emerged as net sellers during July-September quarter 2012 and most of the pullout was in private sector firms.
In contrast, LIC was net buyer during April-June quarter 2012 as the insurer had purchased shares worth an estimated over $2 billion (about Rs 11,000 crore) in India equities and sold shares to the tune of $115 million.
In terms of sectors, LIC sold shares valued at $450 million in the finance portfolio during the quarter under review, followed by consumer ($198 million), cement ($192 million), pharma ($139 million), industrial ($134 million) and media/hotel ($53 million), the report said.
In contrast, the insurance giant's investment in the software sector stood at $277 million, followed by $112 million in the telecom category, $23 million in auto space, $19 million in metal and mining sector and $5 million in the energy area.
Financial sector accounted for 24% of LIC's total equity portfolio in the country followed by energy 16%, consumer goods 12% and industrial space 10%.