IPO rush: Cos make a beeline as markets rally

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SummaryA mixed bag of IPOs is about to hit the markets; make sure you know what to pick

Billboards in Delhi and Mumbai after a long gap are sporting advertisements of companies planning a public issue instead of hawking home offers. Over the next few weeks three major initial public offers will hit the markets jostling for financial space with the public sector disinvestments the government has begun again.

The three companies which plan to enter the primary market to raise up to Rs 5,700 crore through initial public offerings in the coming days, is competing with a major follow on offer from NTPC.

Bharti Infratel, a tower infrastructure company plans to raise over Rs 4,500 crore, Care, a ratings agency, plans to raise up to Rs 539 crore and PC Jewellers, North India based jewellery company, is looking to raise up to Rs 609 crore to primarily fund setting up of new showrooms. The Bombay Stock Exchange too is looking to get itself listed in the first half of 2013. Having lost market share to NSE over the years and with the imminent entry of the MCX-SX over the next few months, the IPO may help the oldest Asian stock exchange to raise funds and take on the competition.

The three upcoming issues present three starkly different stories and it will be good for investors to choose the one they want to, when they want to allocate their savings.

Should you invest in IPO’s?

There is nothing that should stop investors from participating in initial public offerings. However, it must be remembered that while coming out with public issues, companies are not offering shares at par or at book value. On the contrary, the fact that companies line up with their public issues when the markets are high reflects that the IPO is a bull market product and companies could well be eyeing the highest possible value for themselves.

Invest in public issues but with extra care. Experts say that investors have more experience and knowledge about stocks that are already listed, which is not the case with companies coming out with IPOs. Also, investment in IPOs for listing gains is something that should be strictly avoided.

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