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India’s Paytm makes stock market debut


On November 18th, 2021, a man works out in a gym next to a Paytm barcode in New Delhi. This is an Indian mobile-based digital payment platform.

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India Shares Paytm plummeted 24% in their maiden day of trade, with investors questioning the loss-making digital payments firm’s business model despite it having just completed the country’s largest-ever IPO.

The share price was 1,645 rupees for morning trade. It is higher than the offer price at 2,150 rupees. That puts the Ant Group-backed firm at approximately 1.07 trillion rupees ($14.4 million).

It could fall to 1,560 Rupees. At that point, the 20% circuit breaker would kick in, and trading would stop for the day.

“Paytm has been loss-making and there is no sign to turn profitable in near future,” said Parth Nyati, founder of Indian trading platform Tradingo.

You can also count Paytm SoftBankIts backers raised $2.5 billion, with $1.1 billion coming from institutional investors. It received bids of $2.64 trillion for its remaining shares, which is 1.89 times.

Analysts at Macquarie Research said in a note to clients that Paytm’s business model lacked “focus and direction” and initiated coverage with an underperform rating. The note stated that Paytm was a cash guzzler and said it would be difficult to achieve scale while maintaining profitability.

Market participants saw in the stock’s debut crash a signal that investors were becoming disillusioned by recent IPOs at high valuations.

Sandip Sabharwal from Mumbai, an investment advisor, said Paytm’s listing would bring an “end to obnoxious prices in IPO markets”, adding that not all companies had a clear pathway to profitability.

Engineering graduate Vijay Shekhar Sharma founded Paytm in 2010 as a platform for mobile recharges. Uber introduced Paytm in India in 2010 as an option for quick payments. The use of the platform exploded in 2016, when New Delhi banned high-value currency bills.

Sharma, a son of a teacher, has become a billionaire through Paytm. He now owns $2.4 Billion in net worth according to Forbes. In a country with a per capita income of less than $2,000.000, its IPO also created hundreds more millionaires.