Ujjivan shares gain 10% on debut

Samit Ghosh, MD & CEO, Ujjivan Financial Services(pic: Suryakant Niwate)

A day after Thyrocare's blockbuster listing, Dalal Street witnessed another good debut that of Ujjivan Financial Services. Shares of the microfinance lender soared as much as 16 per cent following robust oversubscription to its Rs 888-crore initial public offering (IPO).

Ujjivan, the second small finance bank (SFB) license holder to go public after Equitas Holdings, saw its shares end at Rs 232, up 10.6 per cent over its issue price of Rs 210 per share. The stock touched a high of Rs 245 and a low of Rs 217 on the National Stock Exchange (NSE).

The listing, although positive, disappointed some market players, especially high networth individuals (HNIs) who had made leveraged bets in the IPO. The HNI portion of the IPO was subscribed 135 times with bids worth nearly Rs 12,000 crore.

"For HNIs to break even, the shares should have gained at least 20 per cent. Those investors who invested with borrowed money, are staring at losses," said an official with an investment bank.

Attractive return ratios, relatively less expensive valuations and attractive business models had seen Ujjivan's IPO generating 40 times more demand than shares on offer. Grey market activity had pegged the shares of Ujjivan to list at above 20 per cent.

Equitas Holdings, which made its stock market debut last month, had seen its shares gain 23 per cent on debut.

Market players said Ujjivan's subdued debut relative to Equitas could have been due to limited investment legroom for foreign institutional investors (FIIs) in the former.

"Equitas' IPO led to around 15 per cent legroom for further FII investment. In comparison, it was just 4 per cent in case of Ujjivan," said the banker quoted above.

As per the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines the FII investment ceiling in a SFB under the automatic route is 49 per cent. The FII holding in Ujjivan had come down from 77 per cent to 45 per cent after its IPO, where existing investors sold shares worth Rs 500 crore.

Ujjivan is one of the country's leading microfinance lender with pan-India presence. It had gross assets under management of nearly Rs 4,600 crore spread across 209 districts as on December 2015. Ujjivan and Equitas are amongst the 10 entities to have received in-principle approval from the RBI to set up a SFB.

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