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Small-Town Retail Investors to Prop Up Demand for Mega India IPO

  • Emotional attachment to 65-year-old LIC is key for many
  • Brokerages line up offers, discounts to attract retail buyers
Pedestrians pass a Life Insurance Corp. of India branch office in Mumbai, India.

Pedestrians pass a Life Insurance Corp. of India branch office in Mumbai, India.

Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

Small-town retail investors with an emotional attachment to India’s oldest insurer and its long-loyal policyholders will likely prop up demand for the country’s largest-ever initial public offering, even as jittery markets forced the deal size to be slashed by more than half. 

State-run Life Insurance Corporation of India is taking orders from retail investors between May 4 through May 9 in a listing that could, at the new reduced price range, raise up to $2.7 billion. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and rising U.S. interest rates are putting foreign funds off emerging market stocks, but investment advisers say the mammoth insurer’s float will likely be lapped up by mom-and-pop investors.