The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Market hungers for IPO leftovers

Mumbai, March 23: As the dust settles on the public offer carnival, the markets are wondering if investors who could not grab a sliver of the equity on the block will use the money returning to them to buy old shares.

As refunds worth Rs 9000 crore find their way into the banks of those who were squeezed out in the stampede of issues that began late last month, a chicken-and-egg conundrum hangs over the trading floor. Will these investors step into the flailing secondary market now, or will they wait till it bounces back'

The last count isn’t out yet, but the eight public issues with a book size of Rs 12,473 crore are known to have attracted bids to the tune of Rs 99,961 crore. Lead arrangers say around Rs 9000 crore will go back to high net worth and retail investors. Both pay for the shares they seek to buy in advance, unlike financial institutions.

Barring Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), the other seven offers saw the mandatory 25 per cent reserved for high net worth investors and a similar amount for retail players being oversubscribed. The ONGC refunds alone could add up to Rs 6000 crore.

Investors will start receiving the ONGC refund cheques early next week. The Gail refund orders will start trickling in this week itself, merchant bankers said.

A fund manager affiliated to a leading mutual fund house said he had almost 35 per cent of the corpus in cash. The fund had kept a sizeable chunk in cash to pay for new shares. However, he now expects only a small slice of what he had applied for in Gail and ONGC.

“I will, therefore, be looking at every opportunity to invest the excess funds in the market,” he said. Mutual funds may also come under redemption pressure from companies and high net worth investors as they fine-tune their tax strategies and plan tax payments.

Many investors also realise that the primary market would see only ICICI Bank raising funds next month, along with smaller issues such as Data Access.

The subscription pattern of the eight issues make interesting reading. IPCL and IBP saw the high net worth segment undersubscribed as it saw 80 per cent of the total quota finding takers.

The retail portion in IPCL was oversubscribed 1.3 times and the institutions’ quota by almost 8.7 times. In IBP, the institutions came at the fag end to rescue the issue and qualified institutional buyers’ (QIB) quota was oversubscribed 4.3 times, while the retail portion was marginally oversubscribed at 1.3 times.

The high net worth segment in the ONGC offer was oversubscribed 2.6 times, while the retail portion was undersubscribed as small investors applied for only 90 per cent of the quota.

The offer saw the government of Singapore being allotted around 48 lakh shares worth almost Rs 360 crore at the upper price band of Rs 750.

The other big ticket investors to get allotment were Capital International which got 30 lakh shares worth Rs 225 crore. Life Insurance Corporation is also believed to have secured 30 lakh shares worth Rs 225 crore at Rs 750. The Gail offer saw institutions oversubscribing 2.4 times and high net worth investors oversubscribing 2.2 times and retail bids accounting for 1.8 times the issue.

CMC shares attracted all the three classes of investors. Institutions’ interest was apparent in Dredging Corporation (23.2 times the quota), Power Trading Corporation (27.6 times) and ONGC (16.4 times).

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