LIC, India’s Largest IPO So Far, Also, Quickest to Get Sebi Nod

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) approved Life Insurance Corporation (LIC)’s initial public offering (IPO) proposal in 23 days- the fastest in the capital market regulator’s history. Bankers said the speedy go-ahead for the country’s largest IPO so far has paved the way for quicker clearances in upcoming issues that would benefit IPO-bound companies.

The state-owned insurer had filed its draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) on February 13 for the public offer, which would fetch the government between Rs65000 crore and RS70000 crore. Bankers said Sebi cleared the IPO on March 8.

The average number of days taken for IPO approvals in 2021 were 75 compared to 82 days in 2020, showed data compiled from primedatabase.com.

However, a couple of IPOs in 2020 were cleared by Sebi in almost a month. The IPO proposal of Mrs Bector Food Specialties was approved in 30 days, while Railtel Corporation of India was approved in 32 days. In 2021, Mumbai-based realty firm Macrotech Developers and Seven Islands Shipping got approvals in 35 days last year. The regulator used to take 214 days for IPO approvals in 2008, 198 days in 2013, or about 100 days in 2018.

Changes in the ICDR (Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements) regulations and standardized disclosure requirements have helped reduced the approval period. Meanwhile, investment bankers are now exercising greater due diligence before submitting an offer document, thereby reducing the approval period. “Sebi has been super-efficient in clearing offer documents of late,” said Dharmesh Mehta, CEO, DAM Capital. “The entire process has been simplified, standardized, and made process-driven.”S-ET

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