‘Less is More’ IPOs Helps Primary Mkt

Analysis of More Selective IPO Approvals Creating a Healthier Primary Market Environment in India

Analysis for a Layman

This article examines the trends in India’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) market for the current year. It observes that while the number of IPOs is approaching previous highs, the total capital raised has been lower than in the past. This is attributed to three positive developments. First, a broader range of companies from diverse sectors is going public, which avoids excessive concentration in startup companies. Second, there have been no extremely large IPOs, which helps maintain realistic valuations. Third, regulatory bodies are scrutinizing IPO pricing and allocation more carefully to prevent artificial first-day price spikes.

This combination of disciplined valuations, strong demand, and increased oversight is seen as creating a healthier primary market. As individual investor appetite rises, the article argues that a high-quality IPO pipeline can effectively channel household savings. Additionally, the reduction in government disinvestment eases pressure on capital markets. The analysis suggests that sustained private investment inflow, combined with public capital expenditure, can stimulate industrial credit demand and contribute to broad-based economic growth.

‘Less is More’ IPOs Helps Primary Mkt

Impact on Retail Investors

For retail investors, the approach to IPOs this year reduces the risk of investing in overvalued offerings. Moderate listing gains also discourage speculative behavior. Investors are advised to assess IPO prospects based on fundamentals such as earnings quality, growth prospects, competitive position, capital requirements, and valuation multiples, rather than being swayed by first-day price increases. Scrutinizing the use of funds, the background of promoters, and the objectives of the issue is also recommended. Investors should maintain IPO investments as a minority portion of their portfolios and hold them for the long term. Core holdings should primarily consist of inflation-indexed bonds, debt funds, and fixed deposits. However, high-quality IPOs can provide exposure to India’s economic growth. Investors should avoid pre-IPO grey markets and leverage. In summary, selective IPO investing based on diligence and value principles is appropriate in the current market environment.

Impact on Industries

For the IPO ecosystem, moderation is conducive to long-term health, although it may impact near-term activity. Investment banks must ensure pricing discipline and provide justifications for valuations. Legal advisors should enhance due diligence to avoid regulatory delays. Rating agencies should adopt a conservative approach when assigning IPO gradings. Sectors like consulting may benefit by advising issuers on how to position themselves for success in a selective market. High-growth sectors such as technology, e-commerce, and digital finance may seek more private funding to avoid dilution from public listings. Industries should expect greater emphasis on demonstrating profitability potential. Consumer sectors with stable cash flows are likely to dominate IPO issuances. In conclusion, focusing on fundamentals over hype benefits both companies and investors.

Long Term Benefits & Negatives

A healthier primary market contributes to the development of a positive equity investment culture, redirecting household savings into the real economy. High-quality listings offer investors exposure to India’s growth potential, while companies benefit from accurate valuations and patient capital. However, excessive regulatory caution can stifle innovation and entrepreneurship. Private capital may become stretched if quality issuers shy away from public markets. Retail investors may lose access to high-growth opportunities. Nevertheless, sound regulation ensures the protection of household savings and maintains trust in capital markets. Disciplined capital allocation enhances productivity across the economy. Excesses typically lead to harmful cycles of euphoria and despair. Therefore, the current balance seems appropriate to support robust and sustainable long-term growth.

Short Term Benefits & Negatives

In the short term, curbing speculative activity reduces excessive first-day price spikes, protecting inexperienced investors from risks. However, investment banks miss out on lucrative assignments associated with pricing mega IPOs, and promoters may not capitalize on hype to achieve peak valuations. Nevertheless, reasonable pricing allows room for longer-term growth potential, preventing substantial value erosion that could harm investors. Startups relying on private funding benefit venture capital and private equity firms. Still, the lack of IPO exits can extend their fund life cycles. Overall, disciplined markets favor conservative issuers in defensive sectors, while companies and investors with a higher appetite for risk wait for the right opportunities. This balance appears prudent in the current global environment marked by uncertainty. However, regulatory authorities should be prepared to adjust policies if stability risks shifting towards excessive caution.

Potential Effects of “Less is More” IPOs on Companies:

Indian Companies Likely to Gain:

  • Private Sector Companies with Strong Fundamentals: Companies like HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Infosys, and Reliance Industries could benefit from a more stable and rational primary market with improved investor confidence. Increased capital available in the private sector could also lead to higher investments in new projects and expansions.
  • Small and Midcap Companies with Growth Potential: Smaller companies with promising financials and growth prospects could gain better access to capital through IPOs in a less frothy market. This could lead to increased visibility and potentially higher valuations.
  • Infrastructure and Industrial Companies: A potential uptick in industrial credit demand due to increased IPO activity could benefit companies like Larsen & Toubro, Tata Steel, and Adani Green Energy. These companies rely heavily on bank loans for funding their projects.
  • Investment Banks and Merchant Bankers: Increased IPO activity could boost the business of investment banks like Kotak Mahindra Bank, ICICI Securities, and Axis Bank. They play a crucial role in managing and underwriting IPOs, generating substantial fees.

Indian Companies Unlikely to Be Significantly Impacted:

  • Startups with Unproven Business Models: Highly speculative startups may face more scrutiny and investor caution in a less-euphoric market. This could make it challenging for them to raise capital through IPOs.
  • Companies with Weak Financials or Corporate Governance Issues: Companies with poor financial performance or corporate governance concerns might struggle to attract investors even in a stable market.

Global Companies Unlikely to Be Significantly Impacted:

  • The article primarily focuses on the Indian primary market, so a direct impact on global companies is unlikely.
  • However, global investors watching the Indian market might be drawn to the improved stability and potentially find more attractive investment opportunities.

Market Sentiment:

  • The article paints a positive picture for the Indian primary market, highlighting a shift towards rationality and long-term sustainability.
  • This could lead to improved investor confidence and potentially boost sentiment towards high-quality Indian companies.
  • Companies with strong fundamentals and growth potential are likely to be favored in this new environment.

Disclaimer: This analysis is based on limited information and should not be considered financial advice. Always conduct thorough research and consider various factors before making any investment decisions.

Remember, the actual impact on individual companies will depend on various factors beyond the information provided in this article. It’s crucial to conduct your own due diligence and seek professional advice before making investment decisions.

Proper Citation:
“‘Less is More’ IPOs Helps Primary Mkt.” ET Bureau, 26 Dec. 2023.

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