December 4: The Securities Board of Nepal (SEBON) has not approved the IPO of any company from October 18.
The regulatory body took such decision following complaints that the secondary market has been flooded with Initial Public Offerings (IPO).
On October 18, the Board had allowed Himalayan Reinsurance Limited to sell its IPO at Rs 206 per share with premium price. Since then, the IPO issuance has been suspended.
SEBON Chairman Ramesh Kumar Hamal put the process of issuing IPOs on hold after the board was criticizing even for issuing IPOs of the companies that had completed all the due processes as per the rules. Hamal claimed that even though he was working as per the rules, he had to face many legal battles which have affected the performance of the board.
After he was criticized for approving the files that had completed the legal processes, Chairman Hamal is considering that the IPOs should be approved by the board of directors. He said that the proposal has not reached the Board of Directors as discussions are ongoing with the management on whether or not the policy put forward by him will be effective for the long-term development of the secondary market.
Hamal said that the issuance of IPOs is being done in a clean and transparent manner by forming a department for the approval process..
After the Board delayed the IPO approval process, the investors have insisted on finding a way out soon. Acting President of Share Investors Association (Nepal) Tara Prasad Fullel said that it is not appropriate to stop the IPO approval process. He argued that the regulatory body should not delay the IPO approval by violating its own rules because of criticism.
Lately, the board had given special priority to IPOs. Due to this priority of the board, many companies from the real sector to the hydropower sector have shown interest in IPO. The board opened the way from allowing profitable companies to issue IPO at a premium price to sell shares through the book building method.
The process of selling shares through the book building method was done by Sarvottam Cement. The cut-off price of the IPO sold to qualified institutional investors has been fixed at Rs 401 per shares. Now the company will sell shares to the general public at 10 percent less than this price.