Diwali gift: Retail investors to be allowed 2 lakh in IPO

RETAIL investors will get to double their bets on initial public offerings as the market regulator is set to raise the limit to 2 lakh,the first revision in five years,as it attempts to keep pace with the eroding value of the rupee.
The proposal,likely to be approved by the board of the Securities & Exchange Board of India on Monday,will cut the numerous applications investors sometimes make in the name of relatives to get more shares.
Some say the hike will enrich the wealthy more than the middle class if it is done without an increase in the overall allocation for the retail segment,which is capped at 35%.
The richer individuals,courtesy proportionate allotment,will further eat into the allocation to the small investors,resulting in huge disappointment,due to small or nil allotments, said Prithvi Haldea,managing director of Prime Database and a former member of Sebis primary market advisory committee.If the regulator is keen to increase the retail investor base,it should rather increase the reservation for retail investors from 35% to 60-70 %.
Unlike most developed markets where investment bankers have the discretion to allot shares to their favoured clients in an IPO,the Indian regulator has mandated specified portions that go to funds,wealthy individuals and retail investors.But with the upswing in sentiment,retail investors have demanded more of the IPO slice.The rate of inflation has more than doubled to 12% in the past five years,according to a Sebi discussion paper,which suggested that hiking the retail limit might be in order.
In case of public issues done on a book-building basis,the rules currently in place mandate that 35% of the offering should be allotted to retail investors,15% to non-institutional investors and the remaining 50% to institutions.
I will be very happy if the limit is enhanced, said Ankur Jain,a finance manager at a real estate company in Mumbai.With the enhancement,I will be able to get more shares of good IPOs.Also,I dont need to go through the hassle of applying through different accounts.