All-time largest IPOs in India at a glance

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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

#1 Paytm IPO – Top entry in largest IPOs in India – INR18,300 crore

  • Issue dates: 8 – 10 November 2021
  • Issue size: INR18,300 crore
  • Price: INR2,080 – 2,150 per share (discount of 5% for retail investors)
  • Listing date: 18 November 2021
  • Listing price on NSE: INR1,950 per share (down 9.30% from IPO price)
  • Closing price on NSE: INR1,560 per share (down 27.44% from IPO price)

One97 Communications – the parent company of popular payments app Paytm – launched its IPO with much fanfare in the great IPO rush of 2021. The company unseated the previous topper Coal India by a wide margin.

Given the large size of the IPO, it was expected that subscription will be low. Nevertheless, total subscription was abysmally low at less than 2 times with HNIs completely avoiding the IPO. Meanwhile, tepid demand in the grey market also didn’t help the company’s cause. At the time of the IPO, the company ran losses for all of the last 3 years and no hint of profitability in the coming years also dampened the sentiments.

Not surprisingly, Paytm IPO listed at a discount of 9.3% to its offer price. However, it quickly became a horror show for IPO investors as the stock lost over a quarter of its value through the day and closed with 27% losses.

#2 Coal India IPO – Biggest IPOs for 11 years – 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 at the time 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.

#3 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.

#4 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

#5 SBI Cards & Payments IPO – INR10,354.8 crore

  • Issue dates: 2 – 5 March 2020
  • Issue size: INR10,354.8 crore
  • Price: INR750 – 755 per share (discount of INR75 for employees)
  • Listing date: 16 March 2020
  • Listing price on NSE: INR661 per share (down 12.45% from IPO price)
  • Closing price on NSE: INR678 per share (down 10.20% from IPO price)

The IPO of the country’s second largest credit cards player was launched on 2 March 2020. The IPO raised over INR10,350 crore through a mix of OFS and fresh shares. SBI Cards IPO was covered 26.5 times led by QIB and HNI demand. While the demand for the offer was quite good, situations turned sour between subscription closing and listing dates due to emergence of Covid-19 pandemic. Subsequently, the stock listed at a discount of 12.45% and closed the day also in red. Nevertheless, the stock registered strong gains in the ensuing broader market recovery.

#6 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.

#7 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 and it also finds place in all time worst performers among largest IPOs in India.

#8 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.

#9 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. While it comes pretty low in this tally of largest IPOs in India, it was the biggest offer only after ONGC at the time of its launch.

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.

#10 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%.

One common theme going forward among largest IPOs in India is the dominance of technology companies. 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 feature in this list of largest IPOs in India. Before the NSE IPO, Paytm IPO has already included itself in this list, although investors didn’t enjoy the experience. HDB Financial Services is also among the expected upcoming IPOs in 2022 which is also likely to mobilize over INR10,000 crore.

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