IPO Allotment Process: Here is how it works


With the revival of IPO market, we have got several queries related to IPO allotment process in India. Amid the strong response to the public offer of IRCTC which has already got oversubscribed with one day remaining, investors are wondering how the allotment process works, if they should apply for one lot or more and if applying early will improve their allotment chances. In this article, we take the example of IRCTC IPO to understand how the IPO allotment process works for retail investors.

IRCTC IPO details

Subscription Dates 30 September – 3 October 2019
Price Band INR315 – 320 per share (retail discount – INR10 per share)
Fresh issue Nil
Offer For Sale 20,160,000 shares (INR627.88 – 637.96 crore)
Total IPO size 20,160,000 shares (INR627.88 – 637.96 crore)
Minimum bid (lot size) 40 shares
Minimum investment INR12,200 – 12,400 (adjusting for retail discount)
Face Value  INR10 per share
Retail Allocation 35%
Listing On NSE, BSE

IPO allotment process: Retail quota and lot size  

As one can see, IRCTC is offering  20,160,000 shares in the IPO in the price range of INR315-320 per share. Out of these, 160,000 shares are reserved for employees and 20,000,000 shares are offered to Qualified Institutional Buyers (QIBs), Non-Institutional Investors (NIIs) and Retail Individual Investors (NIIs). As mentioned above, retail investors have a 35% allocation in this IPO which works to 7,000,000 shares.

Since IPO applications are made in multiples of lot size, one can either apply for minimum 40 shares or 80 shares, 120 shares and so on.

Note: The lot size is applicable only for IPO allotment and after listing, investors can sell their shares in market in any quantity.

IPO allotment process: Cut-off price

The price band in this case is INR315 – 320 per share which means investors can make their applications at any price point within this range. The downside of selecting a specific price is that if there are more buyers above your price point, your application will be out of consideration. Investors can also choose cut-off option which is a way of saying that the investor is willing to pay any price within the price band.

Following the IPO subscription dates, the ball moves in the court of registrar of the offer. The IPO registrar is in charge of finalizing the allotment on the basis of guidelines prescribed by SEBI. In October 2012, the market regulator made some changes in the IPO allotment process and the new guidelines treat all RII applications equally. Under the new system, applicants are allotted at least the minimum application size, subject to availability of shares in the aggregate. Let’s see how the system works in different scenarios.

IPO allotment process: In case of under subscription

If the aggregate demand of shares is less than the number of shares available in the retail category, every investor will get full allotment, irrespective for their application size.

IPO allotment process: In case of over subscription

In the event of aggregate demand exceeding the number of shares available, the registrar will try to accommodate everyone by issuing one lot to as many applicants as possible. For our example, 7 million IRCTC shares need to be divided in the lots of 40 shares (under the current guidelines, no allotment is less than the minimum bid lot size). As a result, maximum number of retail investors who can receive allotment = 7,000,000/40 = 175,000.

Read Also: 7 common IPO mistakes and how to avoid them

At this point, two situations may arise.

The IPO is oversubscribed but not by a wide margin. Given that there are some investors applying for multiple lots, the number of applications is less than the maximum allottees. For our example, let’s assume there were 150,000 applicants, including 30,000 who applied for two lots while the remaining 120,000 applied for one lot of 40 shares. In this case,  

Total demand = (120,000*40) + (30,000*80) = 7,200,000 shares

What this means is that everyone will get one lot and there will still be 1 million shares left. These shares will be proportionately to the 30,000 investors who applied for two lots.

The IPO is oversubscribed by a wide margin. In this case, the number of applications is higher than the maximum possible allottees. In our example, let’s assume the number of applications received is 200,000. Since the registrar has to treat all applications equally, the 175,000 applicants will be randomly selected and this means 25,000 applicants will get no allotment.

IPO allotment process: Role of luck

As one can see, it is purely a matter of luck in case of oversubscription. Since IRCTC has already received 6X subscription in the retail quota, there are going to be more unsuccessful applicants than the successful ones.

Despite the important role luck plays in IPO allotment, investors can follow some simple steps and boost their chances in IPO allotment. In case you landed on this page looking for latest allotment status, head to this page.



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