Mumbai: The first six initial public offerings (IPOs) to hit the market this year have received a mixed response from investors, raising concern among merchant bankers about the prospects for a raft of share sales planned by Indian companies.
“These are still very early stages of IPO revival and in an early stage there is always a selective interest. Not all IPOs will do well," said Prithvi Haldea, chairman of Prime Database Group, a primary markets tracker.
Only those with good track record and where valuations are perceived to be reasonable will attract investors," he added. “When the IPO market becomes very buoyant then all IPOs do well."
Companies such as network operator Ortel Communications Ltd and theme park owner Adlabs Entertainment Ltd struggled to attract investors. Share sales by wind turbine maker Inox Wind Ltd and transport company VRL Logistics Ltd were subscribed 18 and 74 times, respectively.
MEP Infrastructure Developers Ltd’s IPO attracted demand for 1.1 times the number of shares it offered. Digital cinema distributor UFO Moviez India Ltd’s IPO was oversubscribed two times.
Bankers and companies are also having to deal with the volatility in the stock markets.
After registering almost a 30% gain in 2014, the benchmark Sensex has fallen 1.8% since the beginning of this year. It has also seen a sharp decline of almost 11% from its record high of 30,024 points on 4 March.
On Thursday, the Sensex closed at 27,011.31, down 0.8%. The National Stock Exchange’s Nifty, too, has fallen 11% from its peak of 9,119 points to 8,181.50 on Thursday. The markets were closed on Friday.
Volatility is typically bad for IPOs, said Haldea. “An IPO requires a stable and buoyant market," he said. “It is difficult to launch IPOs in declining or volatile markets."
The run-up in stock markets last year resulted in several companies queueing up to go public as valuations became attractive. The volatility in the markets, however, is making things difficult for them.
“The volatility in the stock markets is impacting IPOs. We were expecting UFO Moviez to be oversubscribed far higher than the two times subscription that it saw, as the anchor book was fully subscribed at the upper band, by some well renowned institutional investors such as Ashmore and Pinebridge," said a merchant banker involved in the issuance, adding that anchor book subscription is generally a good indicator of an IPOs performance. He declined to be named.
In 2014, five companies raised ₹ 1,200.9 crore through IPOs, while this year so far the six companies have already raised ₹ 2,960.6 crore.