By Suvashree Ghosh and Vrishti Beniwal

India’s government is seeking a valuation of between 8 trillion rupees ($109 billion) to 10 trillion rupees for Life Insurance Corporation, in what’s slated to be the nation’s biggest initial public offering.

The possible valuation is based on preliminary talks and may change after detailed discussions, due diligence and an official valuation report, according to people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified as the deliberations are private. The government is considering selling 5 per cent-10 per cent of the company, which could raise between 400 billion rupees and 1 trillion rupees, the people said.

A spokesperson for the finance ministry declined to comment, while an email sent to LIC wasn’t immediately answered.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is pushing ahead with LIC’s IPO to help plug a widening budget gap as it aims to raise 1.75 trillion rupees by March through divestments. LIC’s stake sale is crucial for the government to achieve its broader disinvestment target. India may also allow foreign direct investment in LIC to ensure a diversified and strong demand across various segments of investors.

Bankers formally met government and LIC officials last week to formally kick off the process. IFR had reported on the estimated valuation earlier.

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