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Amid concerns in some quarters over the exorbitant valuation of certain initial public offerings, Sebi Chairperson Madhabi Puri Buch has said the regulator would certainly look into the matter if disclosures on the valuation are meaningless.

The comments have come amid a slew of share sales hitting the capital market recently. Last week, five companies, including Tata Technologies, came out with their IPOs that garnered a record Rs 2.6 lakh crore in application amount.

To a query about high premiums for some shares in IPOs, Buch said, “Of course, we are fully with you on this as the rationale given for high premia are nothing but some meaningless English words”.

“We are certainly going to look into it and address the issue,” she said.

When asked about concerns in some quarters that some IPOs are priced exorbitantly, the Sebi chief said, “If disclosures on valuation are meaningless then we will certainly look into it.”

It can be noted that to boost investors’ interest in little-known companies’ IPOs, the issuers and their investment bankers quote low face value but the issue is priced high citing a very high premium.

On whether Sebi is planning to advise issuers and other market makers to space their issues in a more timely manner and with enough gaps between two issues, Buch said that is not the job of the regulator. “After all, timing the market is not our job”.

“We want to leave issue timing to the market. Else that will be unfair on our part as a Sebi mandated time may not be the best for the issuer and the investors. A company comes to the market to raise money at a time that’s best suited for them.

“Also, we aren’t worried about the issue scrambling as from a regulatory perspective our job is to ensure that the system can take the load which our market is doing perfectly well,” she said, adding institutional capacity is not a problem at all. “At least nothing negative has come to our notice yet on this front,” she said.

To a query on whether Sebi will allow a green-shoe option as is permitted in other market activities wherein the issuer has the freedom to retain over subscription to a considerably larger amount, she said the answer is no as it has to be addressed from a practical and conceptual perspective.

“From the practical side, it is possible but from a conceptual angle, this is not possible as unlike a debt issue or any other market instrument wherein there is no equity dilution, an IPO it precisely is an equity issue. So if we allow a green shoe option it will lead to an undesired dilution of equity which and other implications,” she said while briefing reporters after Sebi’s board meeting here on Saturday.

  • Published On Nov 29, 2023 at 11:56 AM IST

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