24 ASIAN LEGAL BUSINESS – JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2024 WWW.LEGALBUSINESSONLINE.COM India’s initial public offerings market in 2023 was a tale of two halves. Bogged by the underperformance of companies listed in 2022 and general investor caution due to global market slowdowns, the first half of the year saw little traffic on India’s bourses. Then a condom-maker came in and changed the game. Mankind Pharma’s $530 million listing, which remained the biggest in the year, opened the floodgates to make 2023 a record year in terms of number of IPOs. The stock was oversubscribed 15 times its issue price, renewing investor outlook and confidence in the market, and giving capital markets lawyers a busy second half of the year. U.S. law firm Sidley Austin’s Singapore-based capital markets partner Manoj Bhargava, who advised the lead managers on Mankind’s IPO, said the listing “sent a positive signal to the market and triggered a flurry of other IPOs.” This tidal wave of IPOs peaked in Q3 of 2023, with India emerging as a global leader in the number of listings. Dalal Street – Mumbai’s version of its more famed New York cousin, also known as D-Street - recorded a staggering 21 IPOs worth $1.77 billion on main boards, compared to just four in the same quarter of 2022, an EY report found. The small and medium enterprises (SME) segment also recorded significant success by raising $165.76 million via 48 IPOs in Q3 2023, the report said. This momentum continued through the end of the year. All told, India saw 57 IPOs on the mainboard, the second highest in the country in a decade, and “one of the highest of any single market in the world,” Bhargava said. Sidley Austin, which has grown its presence in the Indian capital markets space in the last few years, advised on INDIA REPORT “The India IPO market has benefited from regulatory reforms in recent years, with a number of new measures introduced to streamline the IPO process and protect investor interests. While not hurdles, it is important to ensure that Indian regulators continue to imbibe the best from more developed markets and their regulators to ensure we stay on top of the latest developments, particularly in a dynamic and fast paced market like India.” — Manoj Bhargava, Sidley Austin CAPITAL TIMES ON D-STREET It’s been a record-setting year for India’s IPO market, and law firms have reaped the benefits, representing issuing companies and lead managers. And the party isn’t expected to end any time soon: Lawyers believe there is a lot more is to come in 2024 despite the upcoming general elections. BY NIMITT DIXIT Image: Zakharchuk/