Life Insurance Corporation of India has disclosed its shareholding in the government owned Bharat Petroleum on Tuesday. Since December 2021, LIC has acquired over 2% of shares in Bharat Petroleum worth Rs.1, 598 crores. The shares LIC holds is 9.04% of the paid-up capital of Bharat Petroleum.
According to the relevant norms of the Security and Exchange Board of India, all listed businesses have to disclose their shareholding once it crosses 2%. In this context LIC disclosed its shareholding in Bharat Petroleum from the period between December 2021 to September 2022. “There is an increase of more than 2 per cent in the holding during the period from December 28, 2021, to September 26, 2022,” quoted LIC’s official statement of disclosure.
The shares were sold as any ordinary transaction of the company at a price of Rs.336.43 per share. The Indian Government had approved the privatization of Bharat Petroleum way back in December, 2019. Bids were invited from the Private sector to sell almost 60% of its shares in March 2020. Since then, the privatization of the company has continuously been pushed forward owing to a number of factors, including interruptions in the global energy supply chain, geopolitical tensions, rise in fuel prices, and the after effects of the pandemic. It has been reported that the sale of the company into private hands will be finalized in the financial year 2022-23. The government has been known to develop new strategies for the sale of its stakes.
Headquartered in Mumbai, Bharat Petroleum is India’s second largest publicly owned oil refinery operating at three locations, namely, Mumbai in Maharashtra, Kochi in Gujarat, and Bina in Madhya Pradesh. However, before privatizing the company, the Government wished to consolidate it with the state-owned Numaligarh Refinery of Assam. The oil company ranked 309 on the Fortune List of World’s biggest Corporations, 2020, and 792, on the Forbe’s “Global 2000” list, 2021.