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LIC raises 2018-19 provisions for doubtful assets by 30%

State-owned Life Insurance Corp of India (LIC) has raised provisions for doubtful assets by 30% to Rs 23,760 crore for the year ended March, it said in its just-released annual report.

This came after reviewing asset quality and the performance of investments in real estate, loans and other assets, it said.

The country's biggest life insurer has exposure to stressed entities such as Dewan Housing Finance Corp Ltd, Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services and the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group among others.

LIC had previously set aside Rs 18,195 crore for FY19, having posted a reduction in gross nonperforming assets (NPAs) to 6.15% from 6.23% in FY18. Net NPAs shrank to 0.27% in FY19 from 1.82% in FY18.

In absolute terms, the insurer's NPAs stood at Rs 24,777 crore on March 31, out of a total debt of Rs 4 lakh crore. Of this, doubtful assets were Rs 16,690 crore, loss assets Rs 6,772 crore and substandard assets Rs 1,312 crore. Total loan assets for restructuring rose to Rs 401 crore from nil, due to LIC's exposure to some large power and infrastructure assets.

After rising for seven consecutive years, NPAs in the overall banking system declined in FY19 to 9.3% as bad-loan recognition neared completion and the slippage ratio improved, the Reserve Bank of India said on Friday.

LIC saw a 10% increase in valuation surplus of Rs 53,214.41crore for FY19. It has a market share of 76.28% in number of policies and 71% in first-year premiums. It paid a dividend of Rs 2,610.74 crore to the government for FY19.

LIC saw its yield on investments fall to 7.59% in FY19 from 7.71% in the previous year. According to the annual report, investments in loans, debentures, equity and various social and infrastructure projects, money market instruments stood at Rs 29.84 lakh crore.
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