All-time largest IPOs in India at a glance


India’s primary market has been busy in the last couple of years with several companies making their way to the IPO route. As the first time a company issues its shares to general public, IPOs usually find a special place in investors’ memory. Many investors tend to think that big IPOs aren’t good for markets as they end up gobbling lot of liquidity and while these concerns were not unfounded in the past, there is enough liquidity in the markets to handle large offers. Here is a list of largest IPOs in India that proves the market has come a great distance.

Largest IPOs in India

Coal India IPO – Top entry in largest IPOs in India – INR15,200 crore

  • Issue dates: 18 – 21 October 2010
  • Issue size: 631,636,440 shares
  • Price: INR225 – 245 per share (discount of 5% for retail investors)
  • Listing date: 4 November 2010
  • Listing price on NSE: INR291 per share (up 25% for retail investors)
  • Closing price on NSE: INR342.55 per share (up 47.17% for retail investors)

As the world’s largest coal miner and Navratna at the time (Coal India has since been conferred Maharatna status), the IPO of Coal India broke several records and made new ones. It raised a total of INR15,200 crore – the largest sum so far in India – but the offer was subscribed over 15 times, translating into a total subscription of over INR240,000 crore. Despite this high overall demand, employees made bids for only 10.8% of the shares reserved for them.

Nevertheless, Coal India opened at INR291 per share, giving listing returns of 25% to retail investors who received a 5% discount on their bids. The shares went on to reward investors even further and closed the first day at INR342.55 per share, showing a growth of 47.17% on retail investors’ IPO price.

Reliance Power IPO – Most remembered among largest IPOs in India – INR11,700 crore

  • Issue dates: 15 – 18 January 2008
  • Issue size: 260,000,000 shares
  • Price: INR405 – 450 per share
  • Listing date: 11 February 2008
  • Listing price on NSE: INR530 per share (up 17.77% from IPO price)
  • Closing price on NSE: INR372.3 per share (down 17.27% from IPO price)

The IPO that was to be the launch of Anil Ambani, turned out to be a disaster for him and investors alike. Although the company had no operational power plant at the time of the offer, it did not deter investors and a 100% premium in grey market further threw caution out of the window. The IPO, India’s largest ever at the time, was fully subscribed within minutes and eventually garnered 73 times the bids, making it the largest IPO ever in terms of subscription amount.

The Indian market was in euphoria and was suddenly left shaken when the US subprime crisis emerged just before the listing of Reliance Power. The company’s overvalued shares still managed to list at a premium of 17% but lost steam within five minutes. By the end of the day, investors had lost 17% on their investment. While it was not a massive loss, the entire Reliance Group – largely known for value creation till the point – received a big jolt. Shareholders in Reliance Power continued to lose money afterwards as well as shares slid further, even though the company gave 3 free bonus shares to IPO investors.

General Insurance Corporation (GIC) IPO – INR11,256.83 crore

  • Issue dates: 11 – 13 October 2017
  • Issue size: 124,700,000 shares
  • Price: INR855 – 912 per share (discount of INR45 per share for retail investors)
  • Listing date: 25 October 2017
  • Listing price on NSE: INR850 per share (down 1.96% from IPO price for retail investors)
  • Closing price on NSE: INR874.3 per share (up 0.84% from IPO price for retail investors)

The government once again visited the IPO street with the maiden offer of India’s only reinsurance player. GIC raised INR11,256.83 crore by selling 124,700,000 shares in the IPO. The government priced the offer in the range of INR855 – 912 per share but retail investors were offered a discount of INR45 per share on this. The IPO was covered 1.35 times, even though High Networth Individuals (HNIs) and retail investors stayed away. Apart from the IPO’s big size, poor listings of ICICI Lombard and SBI Life Insurance played spoilsport for GIC as it had a subdued listing. Thanks to the discount, retail investors were saved and the stock closed the listing day with marginal gains.

Read Also: Upcoming IPO Calendar in India

Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) IPO – INR10,534 crore

  • Issue dates: 5 – 13 March 2004
  • Issue size: 142,593,300 shares
  • Price: INR680 – 750 per share (discount of 5% for retail investors)

ONGC is the oldest entry in this list and it was the first IPO which raised more than INR10,000 crore – an amount which was difficult to imagine in 2004. In fact, ONGC retained the top slot for another four years and it took nothing less than a mass euphoria and an offering from the house of Reliance to break ONGC’s record. Adjusted for inflation, the IPO is arguably on the top of the list of largest IPOs in India.

When the government came up with the IPO of ONGC to offload 10% shares, it offered a 5% discount to retail investors which were defined by application size of less than INR50,000. The stock has since rewarded shareholders with generous dividends as well as capital appreciation.

New India Assurance IPO – INR9,585.82 crore

  • Issue dates: 1 – 3 November 2017
  • Issue size: 120,000,000 shares
  • Price: INR770 – 800 per share (discount of INR30 per share for retail investors)
  • Listing date: 13 November 2017
  • Listing price on NSE: INR750 per share (down 2.59% from IPO price for retail investors)
  • Closing price on NSE: INR727.1 per share (down 5.57% from IPO price for retail investors)

While there are brilliant examples of Coal India and ONGC in wealth creation, New India Assurance IPO reminded investors that not all PSU IPOs are good. 2017 saw five insurance IPOs and barring HDFC Standard Life, all other IPOs had subdued listing. As a result, investors were not particularly enthused by New India Assurance IPO and it reflected in the way HNI, retail and employee categories remained undersubscribed. Even though the IPO sailed through on the basis of QIB demand, listing was lackluster as the stock opened at INR750 and nosedived to INR727.1 per share by the end of the day.

Once again, the damage was limited for retail investors, thanks to the discount. However, more painful days were ahead for investors who chose to stay put as the stock lost further ground to INR580.1 per share within four weeks. In this timeframe, the IPO was the worst performer in 2017.

Zomato IPO – Latest among largest IPOs in India – INR9,375 crores

  • Issue dates: 14 – 16 July 2021
  • Issue size: INR9,375 crores
  • Price: INR72 – 76 per share
  • Listing date: 27 July 2007
  • Listing price on NSE: INR116 per share (up 52.63% from IPO price)
  • Closing price on NSE: INR126 per share (up 65.79% from IPO price)

India’s largest food aggregator is the latest entry in this the list of all-time largest IPOs in India. The company concluded its IPO in a spectacular way by listing at over 50% premium which was also above grey market estimates. It further increased during the day and closed the first day of trading with overall gains of 65% on IPO price. Following the IPO listing, the unicorn was valued at INR1,00,000 crore, enough for the company to be among the 50 most valuable publicly traded firms. The IPO – a litmus test for further start-up listings in India – has paved way for several other high-profile venture-backed companies such as Paytm, Nykaa, Ola, and PolicyBazaar, among others.

DLF IPO – INR9,187.5 crores

  • Issue dates: 11 – 14 June 2007
  • Issue size: 175,000,000 shares
  • Price: INR500 – 550 per share
  • Listing date: 5 July 2007
  • Listing price on NSE: INR 526.6 per share (up 0.30% from IPO price)
  • Closing price on NSE: INR 569.8 per share (up 8.53% from IPO price)

The New Delhi-based real estate developer came up with its IPO in June 2007. It was a high point for the company that was started in 1946 and started its journey from developing small residential projects like Shivaji Park but went on to shape pretty much all of Gurgaon (Gurugram). The company priced the IPO at INR525 per share – the midpoint of the book building range. The IPO was subscribed 3.47 times even though retail and employee portions remained undersubscribed.

On listing, DLF shares spiked to as much as 35% and closed the day with 8.5% gains on allotment price. The IPO made DLF promoter KP Singh one of the richest people in India. Real estate has since lost much of its sheen and the company also suffered due to a three-year ban imposed on KP Singh by SEBI.

HDFC Standard Life Insurance IPO – INR8,695.01 crore

  • Issue dates: 7 – 9 November 2017
  • Issue size: 299,827,818 shares
  • Price: INR275 – 290 per share
  • Listing date: 17 November 2017
  • Listing price on NSE: INR310 per share (up 6.89% from IPO price)
  • Closing price on NSE: INR344.6 per share (up 18.82% from IPO price)

HDFC Standard Life Insurance offer was one of the few insurance IPOs that performed well in 2017. The brand name of HDFC did wonders for the IPO while other quality names like SBI Life Insurance failed to get a positive start. The company priced the IPO at the upper end of the price band and did not offer any discount to retail investors.

HDFC Standard Life performed in line with high expectations as the best insurance play in India and shares spiked to close the day with gains of 18.8%.

As one can see, three of the largest IPOs in India entered this list in 2017.  Likewise, this list is expected to be revised in the coming years. A good example would be the National stock Exchange (NSE) which has been slow in coming up with its offer but once the IPO is launched, the INR10,000 crore issue is expected to find itself in the list. Before the NSE IPO, SBI Cards & Payments IPO will be included in this list. The IPO of the country’s second largest credit cards player will be launched on 2 March 2020. The IPO is likely to raise INR10,350 crore through a mix of OFS and fresh shares.

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