MUMBAI : The initial public offering (IPO) of Ujjivan Small Finance Bank Ltd was subscribed as many as 170 times on Wednesday, the final day of the share sale, making it one of the most subscribed IPOs in the last few years in India’s primary market.

As of 5pm, the small finance bank’s (SFB) share sale was subscribed 169.98 times, according to data from the stock exchanges.

The portion of the share sale reserved for institutional investors was subscribed 113.8 times, while that reserved for high net-worth individuals and retail investors was subscribed 486.14 and 49.5 times, respectively.

Shareholders of the bank’s parent company— Ujjivan Financial Services Ltd— subscribed to shares worth 3.27 times the portion reserved for them.

Some of the most highly-subscribed IPOs in the last couple of years include Apollo Micro Systems Ltd (248.5 times), Astron Paper & Board Mill Ltd (243.29), Capacit’e Infraprojects Ltd (183), and Central Depository Services (India) Ltd (170.15).

The strong interest in the share sale of the small finance bank follows the successful IPOs of state-run Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp. Ltd (IRCTC) in October, which was subscribed almost 112 times, and Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa’s Fairfax-owned CSB Bank Ltd, whose IPO was subscribed 87 times.

The robust response to recent public offerings underscores a pent-up demand for new paper in a primary market that has seen just a handful of IPOs this year, as compared to the last two years.

Till November, only 14 companies had hit the primary market, collectively raising 11,111.65 crore, according to data from Prime Database.

In calendar year 2018, 24 companies raised 30,959 crore through initial share sales, while in 2017, 36 companies raised 67,147 crore through this route, data shows.

The 750 crore IPO of Ujjivan SFB opened for subscription on 2 December. The lender had set a price band of 36-37 for the share sale.

Out of the total issue size, Ujjivan SFB had, on 29 November, mopped up 303.75 crore from 18 anchor investors.

Investment banks Kotak Mahindra Capital, IIFL Securities and JM Financial advised Ujjivan on the share sale.

Earlier in November, the bank raised 250 crore in a pre-initial public offering (IPO) round led by India Infoline (IIFL) group’s funds, a private equity fund of Avendus Capital and Akash Bhanshali of Enam Group, Mint had reported.

Parent company Ujjivan Financial Services went public in 2016 after receiving in-principle licence from the Reserve Bank of India to start a small finance bank.

In September 2015, RBI issued 10 SFB licences.

In October, RBI asked Equitas Holdings Ltd and Ujjivan Financial Services to list their SFB units to comply with its norms, which mandate that a small finance bank with a net worth of more than 500 crore must be listed within three years of the launch of operations.

The only other listed small finance bank is Jaipur-based AU Small Finance Bank Ltd, which went public in 2017 in a 1,900 crore IPO.

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