BharatMatrimony off to rocky start as shares drop on trading debut
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Online marriage services provider Matrimony.com Pvt. Ltd made a weak debut on the stock exchanges on Thursday with its shares falling nearly 9% due to profit-taking by investors.

Shares of Matrimony.com, which owns BharatMatrimony and a clutch of affiliated portals, began trading on the National Stock Exchange at Rs 985, the same as its initial public offering (IPO) price, stock-exchange data showed.

The stock traded between Rs 896.25 and Rs 1,024 apiece before closing at Rs 899.10, down 8.72% from its offer price, giving it a market capitalisation of Rs 2,030.13 crore.

The NSE’s 50-share benchmark Nifty was down nearly 0.2%.

The weak start followed an IPO that was subscribed 4.4 times led by institutional and retail investors. The offering, however, saw below-par participation from high net-worth individuals (HNIs).

Chennai-based Matrimony.com is the 19th company to list on the main board this year. Eleven out of the previous 18 companies have gained on debut, stock-exchange data showed.

The company had set a price band of Rs 983-985 per share for a total IPO size of Rs 501.07 crore ($78.41 million). Of this, the company issued fresh shares worth Rs 130 crore and the rest of the proceeds went to selling shareholders, including the promoters.

The company had refiled its draft proposal with the Securities and Exchange Board of India in May, five months after scrapping an earlier proposal due to weak market conditions in the aftermath of the government’s demonetisation drive. It received regulatory nod on 13 July.

There are no directly comparable listed peers for BharatMatrimony. Although Info Edge (India) Ltd—which runs BharatMatrimony’s competitor Jeevansathi.com—is listed, its valuation is dictated more by its job portal Naukri.com and its stake in restaurant listing and food delivery firm Zomato.

ICICI Securities and Axis Capital acted as book running lead managers for the IPO of BharatMatrimony.

Matrimony.com was founded in 1997 and started offering online matchmaking services in 2001. Its business comprises three segments: matchmaking services, marriage services, and related sale of products and other services, such as the mobile-only relationship app Matchify.

The company joins a growing list of firms that have gone public or are preparing to go for an IPO this year. These include SBI Life Insurance Co Ltd, state-owned insurers New India Assurance Co Ltd and General Insurance Corp and the NSE itself, among a dozen other firms.

So far this year, 20 companies have raised more than Rs 21,000 crore through IPOs, extending the good run after a blockbuster 2016 when 26 companies had mopped up a six-year-high sum of Rs 26,500 crore.

The IPO market in India picked up pace after four years of slow activity till mid-2014 when the BJP-led government took over. In 2015, 21 companies had raised about Rs 14,000 crore, as per stock-exchange data.

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