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Will look at taking SUTTI stakes if asked, says LIC

LIC on Friday said that it has not been approached by the government to pick up the stakes in Axis Bank, L&T and ITC, which are currently held by the Special Undertaking of Unit Trust of India [SUUTI], but added if it is so asked, it will definitely look at it. ‘As far as LIC is concerned, we have not been approached [to buy the government’s stakes in Axis Bank, L&T and ITC]. In case they approach us, we will definitely have a look at it,’ corporation chairman Dinesh Kumar Mehrotra told reporters on the sidelines of a capital markets summit organised by industry body FICCI. SUUTI, created in 2002 after the then UTI was wound up, owns strategic stakes in three listed blue-chip entities: ITC [11.54 per cent], Axis Bank [23.58 per cent] and L&T [8.27 per cent]. Besides, SUUTI also owns significant stakes in unlisted firms such as the Stock Holding Corporation, in which it owns 16.96 per cent valued at about Rs 300 crore. The government is planning to en-cash these holdings which are worth over Rs 40,000 crore, as part of its efforts at meeting the fiscal deficit target by divestment.
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