Underpricing in turkey: a comparison of the ipo methods

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This paper addresses the question of what kind of selling and underwriting procedure might be preferred for controlling the amount and volatility of underpricing in the Istanbul Stock Exchange (ISE). Using 1993-2005 firm and issue data, we compare the three substantially different IPO methods available in the ISE. One is very similar to the book building mechanism used in the U.S., another is the fixed price offer, and the third one is the sale through the stock exchange method.

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The empirical analysis reveals significant first day underpricing of 7.01% in fixed price offer, 11.47% in book building mechanism, and 15.68% in sale through the stock exchange method. Finally, we also show that fixed price offers can better control the impact of market information on underpricing than sale through the stock exchange method.

1. Introduction

Extensive amount of research from a variety of different markets have documented the presence of first-day underpricing upon the listing of initial public offerings. The evidence is well documented by Loughran, Ritter, and Rydqvist (1994) and Ritter1 (1998), (2003) in many developed and emerging markets. In developed markets, in the absence of restrictions on intra-day price movements, first-day underpricing is observed in broad price bands. However, in emerging markets, in the presence of daily volatility limits, first-day underpricing is observed in narrow price bands. In contrast to the daily price limits, significant positive short run returns are observed in a number of emerging markets and substantial amount of money is “left on the table” by issuers. Besides empirical evidence, most of the theoretical models explaining IPO underpricing are grouped under four broad headings by Ljungqvist (2005), these are (i) information asymmetry between the investors, the issuing firm and the underwriter, these models assume that one of these parties knows more than the others, (ii) institutional reasons, institutional theories focus on three features of the marketplace: litigation, banks’ price stabilizing activities once trading starts, and taxes, (iii) control considerations, control theories argue that underpricing helps shape the shareholder base so as to reduce intervention by outside investors once the company is public, (iv) behavioral approaches, behavioral theories assume either the presence of ‘irrational’ investors who bid up the price of IPO shares beyond true value, or that issuers suffer from behavioral biases causing them to put insufficient pressure on the underwriting banks to have underpricing reduced. These theoretical models almost always end with the conclusion that the average IPO is undervalued at the offer price, where the initial investors, in most cases, benefit from possessing information by receiving allocations of shares in IPOs and earn the largest first-day returns. The expectations of issuing firms, investors and underwriters in IPO pricing are considerably different. In an offering, the issuer generally wants to receive the highest possible price to maximize cash flows to the firm.

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