As early as 1553, a British explorer asked the public to fund his voyage to the East, including India, in the world's first 'IPO'- 454 years later the word has turned hottest in the great Indian stock bazaar.
The IPO of "The Mysterie and Compagnie of the Merchant Adventurers for the Discoverie of Regions, Dominions, Islands and Places Unknown" the company formed by London-based Sir Richard Willoughby was fully subscribed within days and so were over hundred public issues launched on Indian bourses in 2007.
However, the name of the companies coming out with IPOs are no more that intriguing and the year 2007 was dominated by names like DLF, Idea, Mundra, PFC and PGCIL.
While the names have gone shorter in size, it is not the case with the size of capital raised through IPOs. Realty giant DLF came out with the India's biggest ever IPO and raised over Rs 9,000 crore (more than $2 billion), while all together the proceeds from 101 public issues during the year stood at over Rs 34,000 crore.
And the trend is set to get even stronger in the new year. There are some 170-175 public issues lined up for the new year estimated to raise about Rs 60,000 crore ($15 billion) and as the year progresses more firms might join in the rally to raise funds from the market.
The soaring interest in IPOs is justified given their impressive returns, just like the case was with the voyage IPO of 1553. The shares were then offered to a small group of merchants, who lapped up the issue and reaped huge returns after the explorer returned from his journey with riches collected from the Eastern part of the world.