Ujjivan Financial climbs on stock market debut

Bengaluru-based microfinance firm Ujjivan Financial Services Ltd rose on its stock market debut on Tuesday, after receiving a strong response from investors at its initial public offering earlier this month.

Shares of Ujjivan began trading at Rs 227 apiece, up 8% from its issue price of Rs 210, and then climbed higher. The shares traded between Rs 217 and Rs 244 on the Bombay Stock Exchange and closed at Rs 231.60, giving the company a market valuation of Rs 2,738 crore ($412 million). The 30-stock benchmark Sensex gained 0.3%.

Ujjivan's IPO had drawn a massive response with investors making bids for 40.66 times the shares on sale. Ujjivan’s offering of about 2.97 crore shares received bids for almost 120.63 crore shares.

Earlier, the firm had raised Rs 265 crore ($40 million) from a bunch of anchor investors including Edelweiss-controlled hedge fund Forefront Capital at the upper end of the Rs 207-210 price band. The firm also attracted a number of mutual fund and asset management arms of insurers as anchor investors.

Ujjivan becomes the second microfinance institution, after Equitas, with in-principle approval to launch a small finance bank to go public. The in-principle approval from the Reserve Bank of India requires small finance banks to pare their foreign shareholding to 49%. Foreign investors owned almost 89% of Ujjivan before the pre-IPO placement and currently hold about 77%. After the IPO, their stake will fall to 45%.

The company raised Rs 358 crore by selling fresh shares while the offer for sale from overseas investors, who are exiting or paring their stakes, was worth about Rs 527 crore. The offer for sale included share sales from investors, including Elevar Equity, International Finance Corporation and Sarva Capital.

Ujjivan had earlier planned to mop up Rs 650 crore through the fresh share issue in the IPO but it trimmed the targeted amount after raising almost Rs 292 crore via a pre-IPO placement, according to its red herring prospectus. The company plans to use proceeds from the fresh share issue to augment its capital base.

Ujjivan had filed its draft papers with the Securities and Exchange Board of India in January and received the capital markets regulator's approval in March.

Overall, Ujjivan will be the fourth microlender to be listed on the stock exchanges; SKS Microfinance made its debut in 2010 while Satin Creditcare is the another MFI listed on the bourses. Equitas, the holding company for the fifth-largest microlender in the country, saw its share price soar on market debut last month.

Shares of Equitas fell 0.6% on Tuesday to Rs 142, giving the company a market valuation of about Rs 4,762 crore.

Kotak Mahindra Capital, Axis Capital, ICICI Securities and IIFL Holdings are the lead managers to the Ujjivan IPO.

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