Friday, 14 September 2018

#TheIndianCapitalist: All You Need to Know about the LIC - IDBI Bank Deal

LIC gets 51% stake in IDBI Bank

The much-awaited LIC - IDBI Bank deal has finally received the green light from the apex regulators and the union cabinet. India’s largest insurer, the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) will now have a controlling stake in the IDBI Bank, one of India’s leading nationalised bank. With a rich legacy of industrial financing for more than 50 years, IDBI was converted into a banking company ie. IDBI Bank Ltd. - to undertake the entire gamut of banking activities across the length and breadth of India. IDBI Bank has serviced millions of Indians through a wide array of banking products and services from its 1900 plus branches and more than 4,000 ATMs.

In August 2018, the Union Cabinet chaired by PM Modi had approved conveying of no objection to the reduction in Government of India shareholding in IDBI Bank to below 50% by dilution. It had also approved the acquisition of controlling stake by LIC as a promoter in the bank through preferential allotment/open offer of equity, and relinquishment of management control by the Government of India in the IDBI Bank.

The approvals on LIC- IDBI Bank deal from Union Cabinet was followed after Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) go ahead on the same. The IRDAI, in June 2018, gave a one-time exemption to LIC to acquire a 40 per cent stake in the IDBI Bank, taking its total holding in the lender to over 51 per cent.

Financial experts are of an opinion that both LIC and the IDBI Bank would be benefited with this transaction. Both the entities will gain in terms of their reach through extensive customer and network base. LIC will get access to IDBI Bank’s 1.6 crore customers and 1,900 branches to sell its insurance products while IDBI Bank may further earn fees and float income from LIC customers that will boost its income and bring down the cost of funds. Also, the reach of LIC would be beneficial for IDBI Bank to target rural and semi-urban segments. The strong financial backup from the LIC brand would help IDBI Bank in its NPA resolution plan.

LIC – IDBI Bank Deal: The Way Forward

LIC is India’s insurance mammoth. Its brand value is immense; a renowned name for every Indian. One out of six people in India has an LIC policy. With a financial inclusion outlook already being saturated in the urban and semi-urban markets, IDBI Bank could reach rural segment with the reach of insurance agents. The Bank can leverage the bancassurance tie-up with LIC as also augment its ability to market its products and services. Taken together, the LIC home finance and the Bank’s home loan portfolio would be the biggest in the segment for the industry as a whole. This could act as a major growth driver for the Bank and could contribute immensely towards its revenues.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Ministry of Finance have shown its strong commitment towards the NPA resolution. Independent media think tanks say that as much as Rs 4 lakh crores of bad loans have returned back to the system because of the new Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). RBI is set to refer 12 big NPA accounts to National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) under the new IBC code. IDBI Bank has received as much as Rs 329 crores as interest income from Bhushan Steel resolution. Media reports suggest that IDBI Bank has also moved to NCLT as a lead banker against Reliance Naval, Lanco Infratech, Jaypee Infratech etc. for bid-based resolution or liquidation for a quick recovery.

Amidst the NPA debate, the financial reports of IDBI Bank shed light on the bank’s lending potential in the long-term horizon. The bank reported an increase in operating profit by 71% to Rs 7907 crores during FY 2018 from Rs 4690 crores in FY2017. Recovery and up gradation improved to Rs. 6,231 crore during FY 2018 from Rs. 4,849 crore during FY 2017. IDBI Bank reported exponential growth in Current Account Savings Account (CASA) deposits and is expected to rise further after the LIC – IDBI Bank transaction.

TheIndianCapitalist.com is of an opinion that the LIC – IDBI Bank deal is a win-win for both the entities. The brand value of LIC and strong lending portfolio of IDBI Bank will create synergy and endless opportunities for millions of MSME lenders and policyholders.


- Chaitanya Kulkarni.

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