India's Paytm's IPO subscribed 48% as fintech firm heads into last issue day

·2-min read

By Sankalp Phartiyal

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian fintech firm Paytm's initial public offering (IPO) of up to 183 billion rupees ($2.47 billion) was subscribed 48% on the second day of the issue period, receiving bids for 23.5 million shares, stock exchange data showed on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board put in an order for about 6 million shares in the main book, a source told Reuters. At the higher end of the price band, this translates to about 12.8 billion rupees.

Paytm has put 48.3 million shares for sale in what is expected to be India's largest stock market listing, surging past miner Coal India's 150 billion rupees IPO more than a decade ago.

Ant Group-backed Paytm said last week it allocated shares worth 82.35 billion rupees to more than 100 institutional investors, including the government of Singapore, BlackRock Global Funds, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

Launched a decade ago as a platform for mobile recharging, Paytm grew quickly after ride-hailing firm Uber listed it as a quick payment option. Its use swelled in 2016 when a ban on high-value currency bank notes in India boosted digital payments.

Paytm's offering opened for retail investors on Nov. 8, the day on which Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the currency ban or demonitisation five years ago.

Founder and Chief Executive Vijay Shekhar Sharma had then hailed Modi's move, calling it "the biggest,the boldest & the most ambitious surgical strike by any government in the world".

A year before that Sharma, the son of a schoolteacher from a small city in India's most populous northern Uttar Pradesh state, had won for Paytm the backing of Chinese billionaire Jack Ma's Ant Financial.

Over the years, Sharma, who has often praised Ma and posted pictures with him, also went on to win other big investors for his firm, including SoftBank and Berkshire Hathaway.

Those stake sales have helped him gain a net worth of $2.4 billion, according to Forbes.

On Monday, as Paytm opened bids Sharma visited an ancient Hindu shrine in Southern India and posted a picture on Twitter https://twitter.com/vijayshekhar/status/1457625259952119809.

"I've come here to seek blessings of God for all of Paytm family," Sharma said.

Paytm is looking to raise roughly $2.2 billion via the IPO at a valuation of $20 billion.

The bids close on Wednesday and Paytm will list on Indian bourses on Nov. 18.

Top investor Ant Financial, which owns 27.9% of Paytm, plans to sell shares worth 47.04 billion rupees.

($1 = 74.1900 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal in New Delhi and Nupur Anand in Mumbai, additional reporting by Vishwadha Chander in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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