Only 11 companies got the regulatory consent to offload shares in the capital market under book-building method since the introduction of such a price discovery method in 2010.
Some 80 companies, meanwhile, went public during the period under the fixed-price method.
According to experts and issuers, the approval of the initial public offering (IPO) was delayed for reasons like the amendments made to the method.
Faruq Ahmad Siddiqi, a former chairman of Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC), said it takes time to approve an IPO under the complicated book-building method.
"The securities regulator should hasten the approval process so that a company can raise funds within six months of submitting an IPO proposal," he added.
The BSEC said it takes to approve IPOs under book building method as the issuers took time to fulfil deficiencies in IPO proposals.
Mohammad Saifur Rahman, a BSEC executive director, said the book-building method was new and the issuers took time to be used to it.
"It can't be said that IPO approval process was slow under book-building method as a company has to go public through different stages, including road show," the BSEC spokesperson added.
Seeking anonymity, an issue manager said an insufficient number of companies went public under the method due to a delay at the securities regulator's end.
Mr Rahman said the regulatory approval is delayed mainly due to the issuers' 'insincerity' to fulfil deficiencies found in IPO proposals.
"There is no reason of delaying if a company fulfils the deficiencies within time."
"The securities regulator can't approve an IPO unless those are fulfilled for the sake of investors and the market," Mr Rahman mentioned.
The book-building method was introduced in 2010.
RAK Ceramics was the first company to go public under the method, getting approval on March 28, 2010.
After the December (2010)-January (2011) period, the method was suspended due to gross allegations on the misuse of its process. In 2014, after about two years of suspension, the method was resumed in a modified form.
Later, the securities regulator made several amendments to the method to reduce loopholes.
On December 7, 2015, the BSEC made book-building mandatory for companies seeking premium. It also amended the method regarding the conduct of eligible investors while taking part in the price bidding process of the method.
Of the 11 companies going public under the method, eight got listed on the stock exchanges. The remaining three companies set to complete the IPO process through determining cut-off prices.
The listed companies are RAK Ceramics, MJL Bangladesh, MI Cement Factory, United Power Generation and Distribution Company, ACME Laboratories, Aamra Networks, Bashundhara Paper Mills and Aman Cotton Fibrous. They raised an aggregate capital worth above Tk 19.15 billion.
The three firms waiting to go public are Esquire Knit Composite, Runner Automobiles and ADN Telecom.
Some 80 companies that went public under fixed price raised an aggregate capital worth above Tk 42.76 billion.
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