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Paytm caps worst performing large IPO over past decade

written by Bella Palmer

The company has seen its stock lose 75 per cent of its market value a year after its $2.4 billion offering, the largest on record at the time in India

One 97 Communications, the operator of India’s largest digital payments provider, Paytm, has capped the worst first-year share plunge among large initial public offerings over the past decade — and the pain is worsening.

The company, whose founder compared its challenges with those faced by Tesla shortly after the listing, has seen its stock lose 75 per cent of its market value a year after its $2.4 billion offering, the largest on record at the time in India.

The dive is the steepest first-year slide globally among IPOs that raised at least the same amount since Spanish bank Bankia’s 82 per cent drop in 2012, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Paytm’s grim first anniversary underscores an erosion of confidence in its ability to become profitable after debuting at a time when India’s IPO market was enamoured with tech start-ups. It is one of several start-ups that listed with valuations seen by many as exaggerated.

The stock’s losses have deepened this week amid concerns over the emergence of a potential competitor owned by India’s biggest conglomerate. Last week, Japan’s SoftBank Group sold shares it held in Paytm as a lock-up period set in the IPO expired, fueling a three-day slide.

November’s 30 per cent slide has taken its decline from the IPO price of 2,150 rupees ($26.27) to 79 per cent.

Tech stocks globally are being sold off as investors shun loss-making companies in a deteriorating macroeconomic environment, JM Financial analysts, led by Sachin Dixit, wrote in a note this week.

This feedback has been well received by company managements and we are seeing all Indian internet companies not just prioritising profitability but also communicating the path forward explicitly, they wrote.

Paytm shares were sold at the top of a marketed range after an offering that attracted strong demand from individuals and funds, although they never traded above the listing price. The sale attracted traditional global stock pickers such as BlackRock and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.


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