The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Punters jump into the fray

Calcutta, June 19: Following the stupendous response to the Maruti IPO, the kerb operators are back to their old shenanigans.

Punters in Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Calcutta are entering into unofficial deals with applicants to acquire Maruti’s shares even before they are listed. The kerb operators are quoting a premium of Rs 20-25 on the cut-off price, which the street expects to be around Rs 125. Some bullish punters were interested in the stock even at a premium of Rs 30.

The premium increased significantly over the last few days, as retail investors came in hordes towards the close of the issue. The huge retail participation on the last day forced the National and Bombay Stock Exchanges to receive applications till around 11 at night.

“There was brisk trading (on the kerbs) in Mumbai and Ahmedabad, but the volume was in no way comparable with the heydays of the primary market. On Lyons Range, there were more people seeking to get out of the stock than commit money on it,” said a trader.

The market expects Maruti to debut at around Rs 145 and is taking bids above Rs 160 with a pinch of salt.

“These bids could be withdrawn at any point before allotment. Many of them were intended to confuse the market,” contends a senior broker.

Besides kerb operators, private financiers, too, have been quite active over the last few days. Financiers offered loans at an interest of 15-20 per cent, which was slightly higher than banks and finance companies.

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