IPO party on, but retail investors not coming in

It is boom time in the IPO market with companies queuing with their public offers, but it is largely institutional investors who are taking the bait while retail investors and HNIs still appear to be cagey.

While two major IPOs — low-cost carrier IndiGo”s parent InterGlobe Aviation and fragrance maker S H Kelkar & Company — are set to hit the market this week, the last two issues (by Coffee Day Enterprises and Prabhat Dairy) could not get full subscription for the shares reserved for the retail investors.

In case of Coffee Day, even the portions reserved for HNIs, as also their own employees, remain under-subscribed, although both the IPOs managed to sail through on the basis of stronger response among institutional investors, as per the data available with the stock exchanges.

Most of the brokerage firms and investment bankers are advising the investors to subscribe to the upcoming two IPOs, but they remain cautious about the fact that the interest among retail investors was not very strong in recent issues.

Some of them admitted that high price might be keeping individual investors at bay and blamed the promoters and existing private equity investors for this.

InterGlobe will launch its IPO on October 27, through which it aims to raise about Rs 3,000 crore, while the public issue of S H Kelkar is schedule to open on October 28 to garner Rs 500 crore.

The Rs 1,150-crore IPO of Coffee Day Enterprises, which runs Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) chain of restaurants, closed on October 16 with final subscription of 1.82 times but demand from retail investorsipo was not as strong. The portion of the float reserved for them was subscribed 90 per cent.

The shares reserved for its employees saw a subscription of 86 per cent.

The maiden public offering of Prabhat Diary, which closed on September 4, managed to sail through but the shares set apart for retail investors were subscribed just 34 per cent.

A total of 16 companies have launched their IPOs in 2015 so far and have collectively raised about Rs 7,800 crore, making it the best period in four years in terms of money raised through public offers.

However, when it comes to response from retail investors, only 11 IPOs have witnessed full subscription for the portions reserved for such investors, while another six have seen a relatively tepid interest.

Apart from Coffee Day and Prabhat Dairy, shares reserved in IPOs of Pennar Engineered Building Systems, PNC Infratech, MEP Infrastructure Developers and Ortel Communications did not get enough response from the retail investors.

The portion reserved for retail investors in the IPO of MEP Infrastructure saw a subscription of 97 per cent, followed by Pennar Engineered (41 per cent), Ortel Communications (39 per cent) and PNC Infratech (28 per cent).

In case of seven IPOs out of total 16 so far this year, the portions reserved for HNIs remained under-subscribed. These included Coffee Day, Navkar Corp, Manpasand Beverages, PNC Infratech, Syngene, Adlabs and Ortel.

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