The debt exposure of the state-owned insurer Life Insurance Corporation to the Adani Group has reduced only marginally despite the recent crash in the conglomerate’s shares in the wake of allegations of stock manipulation made by US-based firm Hindenburg Research report, data shared by the government showed on Monday.

Debt exposure refers to the amount which a company risks losing as it has lent money that may not be paid back.

In response to a question in the Lok Sabha, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Monday that LIC’s debt exposure to the Adani Group declined from Rs 6,347 crore in December to Rs 6,183 crore in March.

The ports-to-energy conglomerate led by billionaire Gautam Adani witnessed a stock market after on January 24, United States-based firm Hindenburg Research alleged that the group has amassed substantial debt by pledging overvalued shares.

Since then, listed firms of the Adani Group have lost a total of nearly $145 billion in market capitalisation. While the conglomerate has rejected the allegations, its responses failed to halt the stock market bloodbath.

LIC’s holdings in Adani Group companies have reportedly multiplied 10 times since September 2020. The state-run insurer accounts for over 98% of the entire insurance industry’s investment in the crisis-ridden conglomerate.

In February, reports had said that the value of investments made by LIC in the Adani Group had turned negative.

Explained: How LIC’s exposure to the embattled Adani Group has implications for middle class savings

Opposition parties have consistently criticised the Centre over LIC’s investments in the Adani Group and the implications it could have on the insurance schemes of citizens.

On Monday, the finance ministry also claimed that the rout in Adani Group shares did not have a significant impact at a systematic level.

“Nifty 50 declined by around 2.9% in the month of January 2023 and by around 4.9% in the two-month period of January and February 2023,” Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary said in a written reply to Congress leader TN Prathapan.

Chaudhary also informed that the Securities and Exchange Board of India is investigating the allegations pertaining to the Adani Group and has been directed by the Supreme Court to finish its probe within two months.