State-owned Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) cashed in on the historic market crash by purchasing 16 stocks as investors and traders were busy counting their losses for the quarter March 2020.
LIC made fresh positions in HCL Technologies, Hindustan Unilever, IndusInd Bank, Adhunik Metaliks, Amara Raja Batteries, Birla Tyres and Tata Consumer Products among others.
The fresh investments came amid Sensex and Nifty crashing almost 40% from record highs in January 2020 to a near four-year low on March 24.
Sensex and Nifty fell to fresh 52-week lows and closed over 13% lower a day before on March 23 after the government imposed lockdown in 75 districts with COVID-19 cases rising across in the country. While Sensex lost 3,934 points to close at 25,981, Nifty closed 1,135 points lower at 7,610.
However, benchmark indices have recovered following a global rally due to liquidity infusion by global central banks to cope with the economic downfall.
Sensex and Nifty have gained 22% and 23%, respectively since March 31 2020. The benchmarks are still down over 12% since the beginning of the year.
Apart from making fresh positions, the state-owned insurance firm also bought additional stake in 43 stocks in March quarter. These include Adani Ports, Ashok Leyland, Bharat Forge, Bharti Infratel, Biocon, Colgate, Cummins, Dr. Reddy's Labs, Havells and HDFC Bank.
LIC held more than 350 stocks in December quarter against stake in 326 stocks in March quarter.
While LIC's shareholding in 186 stocks remained unchanged, the life insurer exited from 47 stocks in the quarter ended March 2020.
During the quarter, LIC also reduced shareholding in stocks such as ACC, Ambuja Cements, Asian Paints, Axis Bank, Bajaj Auto, Bajaj Finserv, Bata India, Bharat Electronics, BHEL, BPCL, Bharti Airtel, Britannia Industries, CONCOR, Dabur India, Garden Reach Shipbuilders, GSK Pharma, HEG, Hindalco, YES Bank, ICICI Bank, ITC, ICRA, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Maruti Suzuki India.