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Daily News Analysis


25th June, 2024 Economy


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  • Amidst prevailing weak market conditions, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) made a significant announcement regarding a special call auction session aimed at facilitating fair price discovery.
  • This announcement had an immediate impact on the stock market, particularly on the shares of Investment Holding Companies (IHCs), commonly referred to as Holdcos.

What Is a Holdco?

  • Holdco is an abbreviation for "holding company," which is a firm that exercises control over one or more additional firm(s).
  • The holdco accomplishes this through the acquisition of stock that is sufficient to control or influence the voting by shareholders.
  • The holding company earns money by collecting the dividends from the shares of firms in which it owns a controlling interest.

Understanding a Holdco

  • Holdcos are businesses that own other entities of value, which is usually accomplished through the acquisition of stock that is sufficient to control, or influence, voting by shareholders. A holdco earns money by collecting the dividendsfrom the shares of firms in which it owns a controlling interest.
  • The establishment of a holding company can be both less expensive and legally complicated than a mergeror consolidation, making it an attractive means of gaining control of another company. A holdco is also known as a parent company. The key purpose of a holdco is to "hold" (i.e., own) assets. The holdco itself can be held by a single person or company or a group of individuals or companies. The main purpose of holdcos is to limit liability.

Example of Holdcos

  • Holdcos can be used for a variety of things, but they are more common in the real estate industry.
  • For example, an investor looking to limit personal liability against legal action might use a Holdco to own the real estate and then an operating company for the operations.
  • The operating company would lease the property, land, or assets from the Holdco. Thus, even if something happened with the operating company and it was sued, the assets would be relatively insulated via the Holdco.

Rally of Investment Holding Companies (IHCs) Shares


  • Despite the challenging market environment, shares of various Investment Holding Companies (IHCs) experienced a notable rally.
  • These companies, known as Holdcos, play a vital role in the financial landscape by holding assets and securities of other listed companies, primarily those within their own group firms.

Performance Highlights:

  • The surge in share prices was evident across several Holdcos.
  • Among the notable performers were Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation, the holding company of the Wadia group, and Kalyani Investment Company, affiliated with the diversified Kalyani Group.

Reasons for Surge:

  • The remarkable surge in Holdco shares can be attributed to several factors.
  • Firstly, Holdcos often trade at significant discounts to their actual book value and holdings.
  • This inherent undervaluation presents an attractive opportunity for investors.
  • Additionally, savvy investors foresee the potential for selling these shares at higher prices during the special call auction session announced by SEBI.

Analyst Insights:

  • Analysts shed light on the dynamics influencing the valuation of Holdcos.
  • While Holdco discounts in global markets typically range from 30-40%, the situation in India is more pronounced, with discounts reaching around 70% due to factors such as high taxes on dividend payouts and other legacy issues.
  • Despite the optimism surrounding the special price discovery session, analysts remain cautious about the extent to which it can unlock value.

Details of Special Call Auction:

  • Sebi's announcement of a special call auction with no price bands marks a significant development in the market.
  • This session, scheduled to commence in October and conducted annually by stock exchanges, aims to facilitate fair price discovery for Holdcos.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Holdcos seeking participation in the special call auction must meet specific eligibility criteria outlined by SEBI.
  • These criteria include having 50% of total assets invested in listed companies and maintaining a six-month volume weighted average price (VWAP) that is less than 50% of the book value per share.

Regulatory Guidelines:

  • SEBI has provided clear regulatory guidelines for Holdcos eligible to participate in the special call auction. These guidelines aim to ensure transparency and fairness in the price discovery process.

Market Performance:

  • The rally in Holdco shares comes in the wake of SEBI's proposal for price discovery and is further bolstered by gains in underlying companies' shares.
  • This upward momentum reflects investor confidence in the potential for value realization within the Holdco segment.


Q.   What does the term "Holdco" stand for in the financial domain?

a) Holding Corporation

b) Holding Company

c) Holding Cooperative

d) Holding Consortium

SOURCE: BusinessStandard