To boost primary market, Sebi may drop mandatory IPO grading

Written by PTI | Mumbai | Updated: Dec 18 2013, 02:23am hrs
SebiThe last major IPO was from Coal India in 2010 (Reuters)
In a bid to boost the dormant primary market, regulator Sebi today said it is ready to review the mandatory grading of initial public offers (IPOs).

"As far as further measures (for boosting the IPO market) are concerned, there is a unanimous view now that IPO grading should not be compulsory. We will consider that," Sebi Chairman U K Sinha said here.

A final view may be announced shortly, he said, adding, "We are likely to take them up in a week or 10 days."

The IPO market had been dormant for almost three years. Sebi-approved IPO proposals worth Rs 72,000 crore are yet to hit the market, according to Prime Data, a market research and consulting firm. The last major IPO was from Coal India in 2010.

The Sebi board is meeting on December 24 and a decision on doing away with IPO grading may be taken then, sources said.

Expressing concern over the steep decline in activity in the primary market, Sinha said compared to other markets, the level of deceleration in this segment in India is higher.

Another measure to prop up the capital markets, he said, is to allow shelf-prospectus for corporate bond issues. Domestic corporate bonds are a small portion of a maket that is dominated by government securities.

"The other area is relating to shelf-prospectus. After the new Companies Act, we want to expand the eligibility of companies which can issue shelf-prospectus," he said.

A shelf-prospectus enables companies to issue corporate bonds utilising the same documents more than once, which will help to cut costs and save time.

If a company has Sebi's permission to raise Rs 1,000 crore of debt, it can raise the money in tranches using the same prospectus.

Corporate bonds accounted for 21 per cent of the overall outstanding debt of Rs 62 trillion in the country, with the rest controlled by the government securities market, according to a study by rating agency Crisil last month.