Despite BSE Sensex hitting multiple highs in the last three years, investors in primary issuance aren\u2019t having much to cheer. Nearly half of the companies that went public in the last three years through 2018 are trading below their offer prices, according to data sourced from Prime Database. The equity market, which remained volatile due to a host of factors such as reclassification of mutual funds, trade war between the US and China, rising interest rates and wild swings in crude prices, saw fewer debuts on the Dalal Street this year compared to the previous two years. Of the 24 companies that went public with a combined valuation of Rs 30,959 crore and started trading this year, 58% of them now fallen below IPO prices. The value of IPOs trading below issue prices comes out to Rs 18,409 crore. Market participants said aggressive pricing and ongoing volatility have the investor sentiment, which led to some risk being taken off the table. As a measure to strengthen the primary market, Sebi chairman Ajay Tyagi in a recent press meet had advised investment bankers to set prices of initial public offerings (IPO) at reasonable levels. IPOs are not happening this year is a reason to worry, he had said. \u201cSebi is in talks with other regulators such as RBI for overseas listing of companies,\u201d Tyagi had said. Three out of five insurance companies, which went public in 2017, are trading below their issue prices, with the New India Assurance Company and General Insurance Corporation of India losing as much as 53.9% and 42.1% of their value since listing. Interestingly, the five insurance companies \u2014 General Insurance, New India Assurance, HDFC Standard Life, SBI Life Insurance and ICICI Lombard \u2014 had collectively raised 65% of the total public issue of Rs 67,147 crore. Three state-owned entities, Cochin Shipyard, Hudco and Hindustan Aeronautics, which made their debut in the last two years are also trading below their respective issue prices. However, it is not that all new entrants in the market have done badly over the last three years. Avenue Supermarts, which got listed on bourses in March 2017, with over two-fold listing gains, has surpassed Rs 1 lakh crore in market cap. Similarly, L & T Infotech, RBL Bank, Endurance Technologies and Mahanagar Gas, which went public in 2016, have managed to double their returns since listing . The BSE IPO Index, which tracks the value of companies for two years after listing, is down by 12.8% so far in 2018. In contrast, the Sensex has gained about 4.2% during the same period.