The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Maruti mesmerises markets Scrip closes at 31% premium on Day One

Mumbai, July 9: It was Maruti’s day out in a dreary session as its share returned 25 per cent the moment it took off.

By the time the country’s largest car-maker hit the finishing line on Dalal Street and NSE, it was quoting 31.2 per cent higher over its cut-off price of Rs 125. Along the way, it went past a key milestone: the highest volume ever notched up by a share in its debut run.

The stock roared off the blocks on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) at an attractive premium of 25.6 per cent, at Rs 157. Its maiden tryst with the secondary market ended at Rs 164.05 in deals worth Rs 267.07 crore. In all, 1.6 crore shares changed hands, and accounted for almost 13 per cent of BSE’s volume. On the NSE, volumes hovered around Rs 583.55 crore, taking the combined tally to an eye-popping Rs 850.62 crore.

At the listing ceremony in the convention hall of Jeejebhoy Towers, Maruti chief Jagdish Khattar hit the gong at 9.55 am — much like the way NYSE begins its day.

“Maruti is always expected to discharge a larger role, which benefits the nation and society. Whether it is in developing the Indian car industry or reviving the primary market or providing a boost to disinvestment, Maruti is called on to play a role beyond its immediate interest. That is our privilege. And, a responsibility as a leader,” he told brokers, employees and merchant bankers jostling for space in the cavernous Rotunda Hall.

The sizzling debut will embolden a government that is keen to ensure that other state-owned companies heading for selloff also get a good reception when their initial public offers hit the markets. Nalco, HOCL, National Fertilisers and RCF are among those on the list.

Delighted with the response to Maruti Udyog shares on the first day of its listing on BSE and NSE, disinvestment minister Arun Shourie said in New Delhi that investors would be well rewarded for their confidence in the enterprise.

“I believe with the success of the Maruti issue, we have another reason to be proud. It is the moment for India today all over the world,” Shourie said.

Asserting that the response to MUL public offer had vindicated the government’s position regarding disinvestment through strategic route, he said, “in Maruti, there was a strategic partner (Suzuki) and it had a majority holding. When the IPO happened Suzuki had a 54 per cent stake. Investors had faith in the strategic investor and that is why the flotation has succeeded.”

The flotation is also expected to provide the spark for a retail resurgence. Uday Kotak, whose company managed the largest issue to have unspooled in four years, said Maruti’s spectacular show revives boom-era visions of small investors swarming the trading floor.

Kotak lauded the government for having pulled off the Maruti stake-sale with minimum fuss, especially disinvestment minister Arun Shourie and Sebi, for seeing the initial public offer (IPO) through its choppy course. The issue was oversubscribed 10 times, at an issue price of Rs 125 — Rs 10 more than the floor-price of Rs 115.

Tepid markets

The Maruti scorcher came on a day when the markets appeared in a correction mode, ahead of Infosys’ results on Thursday that could swing stocks either way.

The BSE sensex was off 8.89 points at its close of 3620.79, while the NSE’s Nifty ended 4.85 points lower at 1141.05. The 30-share sensex is still up 23.8 per cent from its six-month low plumbed in the last week of April.

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