SEBI Chairperson Exposes Irregularities in IPO Subscription Figures to Inflate Premium: Three Merchant Bankers Under Scrutiny

SEBI Chairperson Madhabi Puri Buch disclosed that the capital markets regulator has identified three merchant bankers consistently engaging in inflating subscriptions during share sales.

Speaking at an annual convention organized by a lobby grouping of investment bankers, Buch emphasized that Sebi possesses data and evidence related to “mule accounts.” These accounts involve using the credentials of innocent individuals to front-run stocks discreetly.

Buch highlighted the practice of inflating IPO application numbers to create an illusion of high subscription amounts. Sebi has both data and evidence supporting this observation.

The Sebi Chairperson expressed concern about a discernible pattern involving certain merchant bankers frequently being associated with such malpractices. To safeguard investor interests, Buch stated the need for a thorough review of policies and the initiation of enforcement actions.

These comments come in the backdrop of a substantial surge in IPO activity, where numerous companies experience significant investor demand prior to listing.

The heightened interest often results in companies listing at a premium to the offer price, underscoring the challenges associated with market integrity in the face of increased IPO participation.

Key Highlights

1. Madhabi Puri Buch notes a trend of inflating IPO application numbers for a perceived boost in participation.

2. SEBI possesses evidence and monitors merchant bankers engaging in questionable practices.

3. Buch emphasizes the recurring irregularities involving merchant bankers, calling for policy reviews and regulatory measures.

4. Concerns are raised about the spike in IPO applications, indicating high investor demand and potential impact on listing prices.

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