Understanding Grey Market Premium and its Relevance in Current Scenario

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Understanding Grey Market Premium and its Relevance in Current Scenario

Nov 24, 2021

The Indian stock market has been flooded by a flurry of IPOs. And many more are lined up to hit the market soon. In fact, the year 2021 is only next to 2018 in terms of the number of IPOs making their debut on the Indian stock market.

Clearly, the euphoria around IPOs is palpable. (The PayTM debacle notwithstanding.)

One aspect of this IPO punting business that really gets people going has to do with what's happening "outside" the legit markets.

We are talking about the grey market. The market that operates outside the boundaries set for formal markets.

It is here, at least in some portion, that the IPO punters get their kicks. And they get it by tracking what's called the grey market premium (GMP).

Today, let's dig deep into the IPO grey market and understand what this is all about.

Knowledge of the grey market is a prerequisite for understanding the concept of GMP. So, let's start by understanding what the grey market is.

The grey market is an unofficial market that exists in parallel with the official market. In the context of IPOs, the grey market is where unlisted IPO shares are traded.

And the grey market premium or GMP is the amount, over and above the issue price, that traders are willing to pay or ask for to trade these yet to be listed IPO shares.

An example would certainly help to clear any confusion you may have.

Suppose a company announces its IPO. The company offers a single share at Rs 100. The price at which the company offers its shares is called issue price.

Soon after the allotment of shares is finalized, the shares of the company start trading in the Grey Market. Let's assume the GMP of the company in consideration is quoted at Rs 50 per share.

If you decide to buy the shares in the grey market, how much will you have to pay to grab these in demand shares?

You will have to pay, Issue price + GMP = 100 + 50 ⇒ Rs 150 per share.

In the example discussed above, if the GMP of the company is quoted at (-) Rs 10 per share then you would have to pay Rs 90 per share to obtain the shares of the company.

Now that you have understood what GMP is, let's move on...

What is the significance of GMP? Why is it so popular amongst small investors?

You see, it is assumed that the grey market "knows" what's about to happen on listing day.

And that's why the GMP effectively reflects the estimated premium (or discount) at which the shares of the company may list on the stock market.

So, if you thought you needed to wait for listing day to figure out what's about to happen...well, you are not a true-blue IPO punter, yet.

IPO punters know what's about to happen. Whether that transpires or not is altogether another matter.

Let me show how this works in reality with the help of a few examples of recently listed companies...

Example 1: Sigachi Industries

Shares of Sigachi Industries got listed on the exchanges on 15 November 2021.

The shares were being traded in the grey market at a premium of 138% to its issue price.

On the day of listing, the shares were listed at a premium of 252% to its issue price. The premium at which the shares were listed was 2X of GMP.

This implies that the IPO punter who bought shares in the grey market at a big GMP, still made money on listing.

On the flip side, the person who sold, sold too cheaply.

Example 2: Paytm

The GMP of Paytm indicated that the shares may list at a discount of 0.7% to its issue price.

Yes, that's right. A discount of 0.7% was all the grey market expected.

But we all know what happened on listing day. It was a debacle. You can read all about it here...

The person who sold his shares at this almost zero GMP was quite smart as well as lucky to find a buyer for his shares ...and what about the buyer? Well, all we can say is that this time the odds were not in his favour.

Now, let's have a look at the GMP of upcoming IPOs...

Company GMP (Rs) Issue Price (Rs) Indicative listing price (Rs) Premium to issue price (%)
Tarsons Products 161 662 823 26.4
Go Fashion 425 690 1,115 61.6
Star Health 124 900 1,024 13.8

Following table shows the listing price of past IPOs indicated by GMP versus actual listing price

IPO Indicative listing price (Rs) Actual listing price(Rs) Grey Market Verdict
Latent View 462 530 Under-estimated
Sapphire foods 1,310 1,311 Near Perfect
Paytm 2,120 1,955 Over-estimated
Policybazaar 1,115 1,444 Under-estimated
Sigachi 388 575 Under-estimated
Nykaa 1,900 2,001 Under-estimated

Should you trust the GMP?

The GMP gives you an idea of the market's perception of an IPO and how it will perform on the listing day.

If you are looking forward to applying for an IPO, sure take a look to see what could happen on listing day.

But remember it shouldn't be the only factor influencing your decision on whether or not to hold or exit the stock.

If you are an investor, then we would say take the GMP with a pinch of salt.

There have been many instances of investors losing their money as the shares didn't list at a price indicated by the GMP. Paytm for instance.

A factor as volatile as GMP can't be a deciding factor.

Therefore, you should never apply for an IPO just because it commands a good GMP. You should apply for an IPO because you believe in the company's earning potential. Hence more weightage should be given to the fundamentals of the company.

Happy Investing!

Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only. It is not a stock recommendation and should not be treated as such. Learn more about our recommendation services here...

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