, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 667-687

IPO activity and information in secondary market prices

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Abstract

This paper explores the link between IPO underpricing and financial markets. In my model the IPO is a mean for a capital constrained initial investor to exit and thereby to raise funds for a new investment opportunity. This investor is privately informed vis-a-vis outside investors about the profitability of the new opportunity and the quality of the firm to be offered in the IPO. He can then use the offer price and the fraction of shares sold as signals of his private information. The model shows that underpricing is not only linked to firm’s characteristics, i.e. firm value, but to elements external to the firm, i.e. new investment profitability and financial markets characteristics. In particular higher market efficiency reduces the cost of listing. This results in lower underpricing and the listing of more valuable firm. Similarly, a higher lower bound of the new investment’s profitability reduces the information asymmetry and hence reduces underpricing and widens the range of firms listed.