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Five milestones that shaped India’s IPO journey

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The spectacular stock market listing of food-delivery company Zomato is likely to pave the way for other large internet businesses to raise capital from the public. This marks the beginning of a new chapter in India’s primary market, which has had a chequered history ever since multinationals were forced to offer shares to the public under a new law and Reliance Industries first breathed life into it in the late 1970s. Since then, there have been four key events that have reshaped the primary capital markets. Each has widened the pool of companies, or expanded the community of investors, or served as a reference point for rule changes.

Reliance Debuts

In 1977, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) issued shares to the public for the first time. The issue size was 2.82 crore and was priced at par value. It set in motion events that would lead to RIL playing a central role in drawing individual investors to equity…

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