Poor bank debut threatens state firm sell-off plans

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 September, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 22 September, 1995, 12:00am

INDUSTRIAL Development Bank of India (IDBI) shares opened at well under the issue price on their debut on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), causing apprehension over several public sector undertakings being considered for disinvestment.

Government-owned IDBI divested 25 per cent of its equity in July this year, charging a premium of 120 rupees (about HK$27) on a 10-rupee face value share.

The public issue of 21.84 billion rupees, the largest issue in Indian corporate history, was over-subscribed 1.62 times.

The share, however, opened on initial listing at the BSE on Wednesday at 125 rupees, and slid to 102 rupees, before stabilising at 104.50 rupees, still 25.50 rupees adrift of its issue price. That works out at a notional erosion of 5.40 billion rupees in the share's value.

Institutional investors who had received fully paid-up shares on firm allotment were offloading their holdings. Thousands of small investors burned their fingers. On application, they had had to pay 32.50 rupees per share; that is, 25 per cent of the issue value of 130 rupees.

The rest was payable on allotment, and IDBI is now worried that allottees will not pay the balance before the final call date of October 31.

Several government-owned firms, including the Oil and Natural Gas Commission and Steel Authority of India, may now have to postpone planned public offers.