The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) will soon ask companies seeking to raise funds
through intial public offerings (IPOs) to complete the bidding process within a maximum five days and get listed in another five days.
Currently, Sebi regulations
require the bidding period to be completed in a minimum of three working days and a maximum of 10, including the extension given pursuant to a revision in price band by the issuer.
However, companies are not allowed to extend the bidding period in case there is no revision of a price band.
To shorten the entire IPO process, the market regulator is also working at faster allotment of shares to investors
and reduce the time-gap between closure of issue and final listing from 12 days to five days.
Sebi is of the view that a faster and shorter IPO period would "induce greater process efficiencies and enhance the investor confidence in the issue", a senior official said.
Consequently, Sebi is looking to shorten the bidding period
in an IPO to two or three working days in normal cases.
Besides, it would consider granting one extension of maximum two working days, irrespective of whether there is a change in the price band.
In case of an extension, all the investors would have the option to withdraw their earlier bids made until the revised issue closure date.
The decisions are being taken by Sebi pursuant to the recommendations given by its Primary Market Advisory Committee (PMAC). The new guidelines would be soon put in place by Sebi.
Some other steps identified by Sebi for the benefit of IPO investors
include reduction of time taken after issue closure to the listing date from 12 days to five days in a phased manner, while it would also look at rationalisation of disclosures in the offer documents filed by the companies.
The regulator has already announced a number of steps recently, after its last board meeting on August 16, intended at reforms in the primary market for the benefit of investors.
These include allotment of a minimum lot of shares to retail investors and setting-up of a nationwide network of brokers to facilitate submission of bid applications through e-IPO process.
Besides, Sebi board in its last board meeting also approved steps for review of the public issue processes and regulatory framework, putting in place a framework for rejection of offer documents and evolving an appropriate mechanism for effective monitoring of issue proceeds.
Sebi has also announced that the companies would have to disclose the price band five days before the issue opening, which is already a practice.
However, regulations require that the companies may announce the floor price or price band at least two working days before the opening of the IPO.