*Below the Line – The Hindu BusinessLine

Clipped from: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/below-the-line/article65372841.ece

LIC Chairperson MR Kumar

LIC Chairperson MR Kumar | Photo Credit: –

LIC misses RHP record

With a public offering size of ₹21,000 crore, LIC may have comfortably achieved a record of being the largest IPO ever in the Indian capital markets and added another feather to its cap. But the insurance major seems to have missed a record when it comes to the size of its red herring prospectus.

At 652 pages, LIC’s RHP is easily the largest in the last five years. However, it is still not the largest as it fell short of HDFC Standard Life, which at 806 pages, the largest so far. Next to HDFC Life was Coal India Ltd, had 687 pages in its RHP for its mega offering 2010!

A capital market observer pointed out that LIC’s prospectus was much larger than the offer document size of all the previous mega IPOs over the last five years — Paytm (539 pages); Zomato (420 pages) and SBI Card (485 pages).

Hopefully, LIC will also achieve another milestone to its credit in the next fortnight — a record or mega oversubscription to its IPO!

Bullish LIC chief

A seasoned hack this past week put a tricky question to LIC Chairman MR Kumar during the IPO roadshows. His question was simple — are you disappointed that you are taking LIC to the market with modest enterprise value of ₹6 lakh crore? With this valuation LIC may not make it to the exalted rank of being among the top three companies in India in terms of market capitalisation anytime soon, it was pointed out.

“Not really”, was the prompt reply from the Chairman.

LIC may become fourth or fifth ranked immediately post listing, but the chairman said he was confident of moving up to the top one or two in the market cap league in one or two years. Hopefully the biggies like RIL, TCS and HDFC Bank will take note of LIC’s big ambitions and aspiration to reach pole position on market cap league too!

Wary investment bankers

Investment bankers are usually super networkers. But, when the stakes are Brobdingnagian, social networking instincts need to be checked. At the recent of IPO of ‘you know who’, some scribes found it odd that investment bankers weren’t carrying their visiting cards. They seemed particularly uneasy to share cards with new acquaintances.

‘Not carrying card, sorry’ was a common response. It seemed there was an unspoken rule of limiting interactions to bare minimum with journalists.

No one, not even the senior investment bankers, appeared willing to take the risk of attending media calls and risk disclosing sensitive information ahead of the public issue. It is make or break time, indeed!

Australia’s Quad quandary

A recent announcement by the White House that US President Joe Biden will hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Tokyo during the Quad Summit on May 24 caught some in the government by surprise.

With Australian elections scheduled on May 21 and possibility of a hung parliament very real, planning a Quad Summit just three days later, and announcing bilateral meetings around it, may be a bit premature. Although the Japanese government has now officially proposed to hold the Quad Summit on May 24, it seems the date can be finalised only when all members agree.

It will indeed suit the US President, who has planned a tour to South Korea and Japan on May 20-24, to have the Quad meeting at that time, but will it be worth it, or even possible, if Australia, one of the four members, is not able to attend?

All eyes are now on Australia to see how it reacts.

Feathers ruffled

Nearly eight years after the bifurcation, political flashpoints continue to trigger animated arguments between the leaders of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. An ‘innocuous comment’ made by TRS Working President and Telangana IT Minister KT Rama Rao on the woeful state of roads and non-availability of water and power in a ‘neighbouring State’ has irked the ruling YSRCP Ministers in Andhra Pradesh.

They rebutted the TRS leader’s comments and asked him to set the things right in his own State, before commenting on others. KTR’s comments have come in handy for the Jagan baiters and criticised him for making Andhra Pradesh a butt of jokes.

Seeing the controversy unwittingly created by him, KTR posted a tweet, retracting his words. “It appears that an innocuous comment that I had made at a meeting earlier today may have caused some unintentional pain to my friends in AP.

“I enjoy a great brotherly equation with AP CM Jagan Garu and wish that the State prospers under his leadership,” he tweeted.

Avvayaar still relevant 

Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu while talking to exporters at a function in Chennai recently narrated how the 10th Century Tamil poet Avvayaar’s book is still relevant in today’s context. Avvayaar in her book titled ‘ Kondrai Vendhan’ says: ‘Thirai kadal odiyum thiraviyam thedu’‘ meaning “earn wealth even by crossing the seas”.

“Many youngsters today express their desire to go abroad to study. I tell them that they should go abroad, learn, earn and return to serve their Motherland, and do something for the society. That should be the motto. Undoubtedly, the message contained in that book is relevant for all times.” Our Bureaus

Published on May 01, 2022

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