Stocks
IPO Pricing Impact
Will PSU offers get oversubscribed?
 
The Bihar election results seem to have jolted the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) into  realising that people are fast losing patience with the absence of strong economic reforms that swept the BJP-led (Bharatiya Janata Party) government to power. The slew of decisions announced since then includes easier foreign direct investment (FDI) in 15 sectors via the automatic route, reviving 34 stalled road projects, some relief for exporters and restarting the public sector disinvestment programme. The Cabinet has approved a 10% sale of its holding in Coal India Limited (CIL). This is expected to fetch over Rs20,000 crore, bridging a part of the gap in the disinvestment target of Rs69,500 crore announced for the year, of which divestment worth only Rs12,600 crore has happened so far. It has also cleared an initial public offering (IPO) of 2.26 crore shares, plus a sale of the 1.13 crore shares held by the government in Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL). 
 
Despite the usual protests from trade unions, the disinvestment programme will be the easiest to accomplish. After all, success is guaranteed as long as Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) can be ordered to buy the shares. It is a matter of embarrassment that the government has to resort to such cosmetic disinvestment, when ‘ease of doing business’, ‘Make In India’ and ‘minimum governance’ have been the slogans that brought the NDA to power. The single most important reason for this is aggressive pricing. At Moneylife, we believe that investors have nothing to lose by avoiding IPOs because bankers and promoters have always priced IPOs expensively.
 
Of the 16 IPOs so far this year, eight fell on listing and continue to quote at a discount to the offer price. Fortunately, of the three big IPOs in October-November, InterGlobe Aviation (Indigo Airways) and SH Kelkar, the perfume company, posted smart gains. This is a positive development for the primary market. Good IPO pricing requires companies to leave something on the table to attract new investors on listing; but neither investment bankers, nor large institutional investors, who have a say in pricing, have cared about this, for over a decade. Sensible pricing obviates the need for unworkable safety-nets that attempt to eliminate the risk of a high-risk-high-return investment.
 
Consequently, retail and employee quotas in IPO offerings remain undersubscribed, even when institutional and HNI (high net-worth investors) quotas are hugely oversubscribed. When it comes to public sector undertakings (PSUs), institutional investors are rather more sceptical about the investment opportunity, while retail investors are likely to have more faith in a sarkari company. This is probably why the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has, finally, woken up to the disinterest of retail investors in IPOs. Ironically, media reports suggest that SEBI believes that the problem is with the marketing, rather than pricing, of IPOs and plans to take it up with the investment banking industry at its annual summit. 

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Probe launched as man charged with fraud selected for national award
The Gujarat government on Tuesday launched an inquiry into allegations that a person chargesheeted two years ago for committing a fraud of Rs.1,035 crore has been selected by the Centre for the prestigious National Award for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities to be given away on December 3.
 
Samir Kakkad, a mechanical engineer, was arrested by the Gujarat Police Crime Branch in 2013 on charges of non-payment of loans worth Rs.1,035 crore to public sector banks, fleecing his 1,400 employees and being part of a company that duped its dealers and suppliers. He was chargesheeted and is now out on bail.
 
Kakkad, 43, was chosen as the best employee/self-employed with disabilities in the Locomotor Disability category from among 100 entries for the award. He operates from a wheelchair.
 
He was recommended by the Gujarat labour and employment department to the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities under the union social justice and empowerment ministry.
 
Official sources said Kakkar was picked up by Ahmedabad's Vastrapur police station in 2013 after employees of Sai Infosystem (India) Ltd. (SIS) filed a complaint against him and the directors of the company for cheating.
 
It was also alleged that the company had neither paid its dues for taxes and insurance or its provident fund contributions to the government.
 
Gujarat labour and employment department deputy director A.M. Malavade told IANS: "We have come to know about the case and we have begun inquiries.
 
"As it is, we may not have recommended any name but only submitted entries received by us to the union ministry's department concerned."
 
"We may have received submissions from many but we are not in the selection process and we just forward what we get. We are looking into the details. We cannot possibly verify every entry that comes to us," Malavade said.
 
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Dipen Bhadra told IANS: "Yes, it is true that Kakkad was arrested by the Crime Branch and a chargesheet had been filed two years ago."
 
Asked about the award, he said: "We have nothing to do with the award process and we had closed the case after the arrest and the chargesheet in 2013."
 
The case came to light following a report in an Ahmedabad-based English daily.
 
According to reports, his elder brother Sunil Kakkad was chairman of SIS, and a fugitive who had taken huge loans from public sector banks and other lenders, while even Interpol had issued a red alert against him.
 
He was finally traced to Liberia after the CBI alerted Gujarat Police about Kakkad's hideouts. He was arrested in a joint operation by police and Interpol.
 
Sunil was a sponsor of the Gujarat government's Vibrant Gujarat Investors' Summit earlier.
 
In fact, a public sector bank had issued a public notice warning people against dealing with the SIS.
 
When contacted, Samir Kakkad told the media that it was his brother who was involved in the case and that too was over.
 
However, police sources said Samir and Sunil were not only brothers but also partners and directors of SIS.
 
Samir Kakkad said, "I have been selected for a national award for being a role model. These awards are given by the social justice and empowerment ministry under various disability categories for either being the best employee or for providing employment."
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Mallya hints at retiring soon to enjoy life
Once a king of 'good times', business mogul Vijay Mallya on Tuesday hinted at retiring after turning 60 next month and enjoying life thereafter.
 
"At 60, normally people think of retiring and enjoying life. I am also thinking of retiring and enjoying life. There is nothing wrong in that," Mallya told reporters on the margins of the 16th annual general meeting (AGM) of United Spirits Ltd (USL) here.
 
Sporting a French beard and a ponytail, Mallya, however, hastened to clarify that he was not retiring as yet.
 
"But when you turn 60, you should think of retiring and enjoying your life," said the Rajya Sabha independent member from Karnataka.
 
On the appointment of Diageo's Asia Pacific and Africa head Nicholas Bodo Blazaquz as USL vice chairman, Mallya said Nicholas brought huge amount of value, being responsible for the region.
 
"Nicholas is a great help and you cannot be a batsman for the rest of your life. Ultimately, you should think of retirement, isn't it," he said.
 
Mallya's observations came in light of British liquor major Diageo, which bought majority stake (54.7 percent) in USL in 2012 and took control, asking him in April to step down from the board as chairman and director, as it had lost confidence in him.
 
Diageo also appointed global audit firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) India to do forensic investigation of its accounts, following discrepancies, including financial irregularities, which included writing off Rs.7,200 crore from the books.
 
"There is no operational loss. Our brands are doing well, as we have enviable stable portfolio of brands. We are also concentrating on premium plus brands. Business wise, we are profitable," Mallya told investors at the AGM.
 
A shareholder, however, advised Diageo and Mallya to resolve their differences mutually instead of quarrelling like school boys in public.
 
Mallya, who holds a mere 4.07 percent of equity stake in USL has refused to step down. 
 
On questioned about Diageo wanting him to step down, an upset Mallya retorted: "Why should I tell you and respond to media reports?
 
"Somebody triggers a figment of imagination and the whole media piles on to it and asks multiple questions from multiple angles. I have nothing to say on this."
 
According to the annual report for fiscal 2014-15, the Rs.8,353-crore USL has emerged as the world's second largest spirits firm, with over 117 million cases of 140 brands, produced and sold annually.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

S K Gupta

1 year ago

What other options the gentleman has?

M Muralidharan

1 year ago

Wow... I thought that is what he was doing all along... King of good times...

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