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What is Primary Market?

What is Primary Market?
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The primary market plays a crucial role in the world of finance by providing companies with a platform to raise capital through the issuance of securities. It is crucial for investors to understand the primary market to make informed investment decisions and capitalize on potential opportunities.

In this blog, consisting of an exploration of what primary market is, its various types of securities, and the process of issuing securities. Moreover, we will also discuss the role of regulatory bodies like SEBI, and the advantages and disadvantages of investing in the primary market. Let us now figure out the definition of primary market.

Meaning of Primary Market

The primary market is also known as new issues market, which refers to the market where securities, such as stocks, primary bonds, and debentures, are created and issued for the first time by companies or governments in order to raise capital. In finance we refer to the market where new securities are bought and sold for the first time as primary market.

In the primary market, companies or governments sell their securities directly to investors, who purchase them for the first time. The primary market plays an important role in the economy as it provides companies and governments with a way to raise funds, and investors with an opportunity to invest in new securities.

Primary Market Example

An example of a primary market transaction is when a company issues new shares o in an initial public offering (IPO). The shares are sold directly to the public, and the proceeds from the sale go to the company. This allows the company to raise capital to finance its operations, growth, or other corporate initiatives.

How Does Primary Market Work?

The primary market is a vital component of the financial system, facilitating the initial issuance and sale of new securities to investors. It plays a key role in providing essential capital for companies and governments seeking funds for purposes like expansion, research and development, or debt repayment.

In essence, the primary market functions as a conduit for transferring funds from investors to businesses, empowering them with the necessary capital for growth and success. This market is divided into two categories: the public market, where securities are offered to the general public through an initial public offering (IPO), and the private market, where securities are directly sold to institutional investors or high-net-worth individuals.

Functions of Primary Market 

The primary market performs several important functions in the economy. Let’s learn about these functions of primary market in details. The following are few of the objectives of primary market:

Raising capital

The primary market is a vital source of capital for companies looking to expand their operations, invest in new projects, or pay off existing debt. By issuing new securities in the new issues market, companies can raise the funds they need to grow their businesses.

Price discovery

The new issues market helps to establish the fair market value of newly issued securities by setting the initial price through the IPO or other mechanisms. This process helps to ensure that investors are paying a fair price for the securities they are buying.

Facilitating the transfer of risk

In the primary market, the risk is transferred from the company to the investors who purchase the newly issued securities. This allows companies to reduce their financial risk and transfer it to investors who are willing to take on that risk in exchange for the potential for higher returns.

Providing investment opportunities

The new issues market offers a range of investment opportunities to investors, including equity shares, bonds, and other debt instruments. These securities can be purchased by individuals, institutional investors, and other market participants who are looking to diversify their portfolios and achieve their investment objectives.

Regulations of primary market

The primary market is regulated by government bodies such as the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in India. These regulatory bodies are responsible for ensuring that securities issuances are conducted in a fair, transparent, and efficient manner. Furthermore, that investors are protected from fraud and other abuses.

Types of primary market instruments

The various types of securities issued in the primary market are: 

Equity Shares

These are the most common type of new issues market security issued in the primary stock market. Equity shares represent ownership in a company and give shareholders voting rights and a share in profits. 

Preference shares, conversely, provide shareholders with a fixed dividend payout and preference in receiving dividends over common equity shareholders.


These are a type of bond that a company issues to raise capital. Debentures pay a fixed interest rate and have a maturity date upon which the company repays the principal.To rate its debentures, a company appoints underwriters, as well. 


These Bonds are similar to debentures but are issued by governments or corporations. Bonds pay interest to investors and have a fixed maturity date at which point the principal is repaid.

Right Issue

A rights fresh issue is when a company offers existing shareholders the right to purchase additional shares of stock at a discounted price.


An IPO is the first time a company issues equity shares to the public. Companies typically use an IPO to raise capital to expand their business.


An FPO is when a company issues additional equity shares to the public after an IPO. Companies use FPOs to raise additional capital for business expansion or to pay off debt.

Types of Primary Market Issuance

Upon securities issuance, investors can acquire them through various channels. There are five primary market issue types:

Public Issue

This common method involves a company offering securities to the public, typically through an Initial Public Offering (IPO). This allows companies to raise funds from the capital market, with the securities listed for trading on stock exchanges. The IPO process transforms a privately held company into a publicly-traded one, facilitating capital for expansion and debt repayment.

Private Placement

Companies can offer securities to a select group of investors, comprising both individuals and institutions. Private placements, which include bonds and stocks, are less regulated than IPOs, offering simplicity and cost-effectiveness. This method is suitable for start-ups or early-stage companies.

Preferential Issue

A quick method for capital infusion, preferential issues involve companies offering shares or convertible securities to a specific investor group. Shareholders with preference shares receive dividends before ordinary shareholders.

Qualified Institutional Placement (QIP

QIP is a private placement where listed companies issue securities to Qualified Institutional Buyers (QIBs). QIBs, possessing financial expertise, include entities like Foreign Institutional Investors, Mutual Funds, and Insurers. QIP processes are simpler and less time-consuming than preferential allotments.

Rights and Bonus Issues

In rights issues, existing investors can purchase additional securities at a predetermined price, enhancing their control without additional costs. Bonus issues involve the issuance of free shares to existing shareholders, though they do not introduce fresh capital.

Regulatory oversight, particularly by the Securities and Exchange Board of India, ensures due diligence and transparency in public issues, while private placements offer flexibility with reduced regulatory constraints. Each primary market issue type caters to different company needs, providing diverse options for capital mobilization.

Process of issuing securities in the primary market

The process of the issue of securities in the primary market involves several steps, including:

A. Preparation of Prospectus: A prospectus is a legal document that provides details about the securities being issued. Such as, the terms and conditions, risks, and financial information of the issuer. It is prepared by the company and filed with the securities regulator.

B. Appointment of lead managers and underwriters: The company appoints lead managers and underwriters to manage the issue. They help price the securities, market the issue to investors, and ensure regulatory compliance.

C. Pricing of securities: The lead managers and underwriters determine the price of the securities based on market demand and the issuer’s financial health. The price is set in consultation with the company and the regulatory authorities.

D. Allotment of securities: Once the price is set, investors can subscribe to the securities. The securities are allotted to investors based on their subscriptions and the availability of securities.

E. Listing on the stock exchange: After the allotment of securities, the securities are listed on the stock exchange for trading. This enables investors to buy and sell securities in the secondary market.

How Do Companies Raise Funds from Primary Market?

Companies raise funds from the primary market in various ways:

  • Public Issue: Companies frequently raise funds by issuing securities to the public through an IPO, listing them on a stock exchange for trading.
  • Rights Issue: Companies seeking more capital from existing shareholders can offer discounted shares through a Rights Issue.
  • Preferential Allotment: A listed company can issue shares to specific individuals at a price unrelated to the market rate, termed preferential allotment. The company decides the basis of allotment without relying on mechanisms like pro-rata.

Role of SEBI in the Primary Market 

SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) is the regulatory authority that governs the securities market in India, including the new issue market. Its role in the primary market is crucial for ensuring the protection of investors’ interests and the maintenance of market integrity.

Here are the main roles of SEBI in the primary market:

A. Regulation and monitoring of securities issuances: SEBI regulates and monitors the process of issuing securities in the new issue market to ensure compliance with rules and regulation of new issues market. It examines the issuer’s prospectus, pricing, and allotment of securities, among other things.

B. Protection of investors’ interests: SEBI’s primary objective is to safeguard investors’ interests in the securities market. It ensures that issuers provide complete and accurate information to investors, and investors are protected from fraudulent practices and market manipulation.

C. Facilitating fair and transparent market practices: SEBI promotes fair and transparent practices in the securities market. It ensures that issuers disclose all relevant information to investors, and investors are treated equitably. SEBI also regulates the role of intermediaries such as lead managers, underwriters, and brokers in the new issues market.

Private Placement in Primary Market

In addition to initial public offerings (IPOs), companies can opt for alternative ways to introduce stocks to the market. Private placement targets major investors like hedge funds and banks, bypassing public availability. Meanwhile, preferential allotment provides select investors—typically hedge funds, banks, and mutual funds—with exclusive access to shares at a special price.

For those seeking debt capital, businesses and governments can issue new short- and long-term bonds in the primary market. These bonds come with coupon rates aligned with prevailing interest rates during issuance, potentially differing from rates on existing bonds.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Investing in the Primary Market 

Here are some of the main advantages and disadvantages of investing in the new issue market. 

Advantages of Primary Market

  • Potential for higher returns: Investing in the primary market securities can provide the opportunity for possibly higher returns. This is compared to other investment options like fixed deposits or bonds.
  • First access to securities: By investing in the new issue market, investors have the first opportunity to buy securities issued by companies. This can provide a competitive advantage over secondary market investors.
  • Potential for capital appreciation: If the company performs well and its stock price increases, investors can benefit from capital appreciation, resulting in an increase in the value of their investment.
  • Control over investment decisions: Investors have more control over their investment decisions in the new issues market. This is because they can choose which securities to invest in based on their own research and analysis.

Disadvantages of Primary Market

  • High risk: Investing in the new issues marketcan be risky as there is no track record of the company’s performance, and there is a higher probability of the company failing.
  • Lack of liquidity: Securities in the new issues market may have limited liquidity, making it difficult for investors to sell their holdings quickly.
  • Limited information: Investors may have limited information about the company, its financial performance, and future prospects. This can make it difficult to make informed investment decisions.
  • Possibility of overvaluation: There is a possibility that securities in the primary market may be overvalued, leading to the investor paying a higher price for the stock than its actual worth.

Example of Primary Market

Here is one of the many examples of primary market. Paytm, a digital payment and financial services company, exemplifies a primary market transaction through its recent Initial Public Offering (IPO) in November 2022. During the IPO, Paytm directly sold its shares to the public, marking the first time it did so. This move enabled Paytm to secure capital for expansion, providing investors with a chance to participate in the company’s financial growth.

Factors to consider while investing in the primary market

A. Company fundamentals: Before investing, it’s crucial to research and evaluates the company’s financial statements, management team, industry trends, and growth potential.

B. Valuation: Paying attention to the price at which the company is issuing its shares is important. An overpriced IPO or FPO may not be worth investing in.

C. Purpose of investment: Determine your investment goals and objectives, as well as your risk tolerance, before investing in the new issue.

D. Market conditions: Consider the overall market conditions, as well as any specific risks associated with the company or industry, before investing.

E. Underwriters and lead managers: Research the track record and reputation of the underwriters and lead managers associated with the company’s securities issuance.

Impact of Primary Market on the Economy

The primary market serves as companies’ and governments’ initial capital source, enabling them to fund new projects and expand. This capital injection fuels economic activity and fosters job creation, contributing to overall economic development.

In this market, there are various options like initial public offerings (IPOs) and private placements. IPOs are accessible to the general public, while private placements are limited to select investors. Investors need a deep understanding of each type’s unique characteristics to make informed investment decisions, as risk and return profiles may vary. Careful assessment of investment goals and risk tolerance is crucial.

Difference between the primary market vs secondary market

The primary and secondary markets have a few key differences. The primary market is where new securities are issued for the first time. The issuing company receives the proceeds from their sale. The secondary market in India is where previously issued securities are bought and sold by investors. The proceeds from the sale go to the investors selling the securities, rather than the issuing company.

In other words, the new issues market is where the issuing company methods of raising capital by selling new securities. On the other hand, the secondary market is where investors trade previously issued securities among themselves.

Another key difference is that in the primary vs secondary market, the price of the securities is determined by the issuing company. Furthermore, based on factors such as market demand and the company’s valuation. In the secondary market, the price of the securities is determined by market forces of supply and demand. This is based on factors such as company performance, economic conditions, and investor sentiment.

To Wrap It Up…

The primary market offers a unique opportunity for investors to participate in the growth of promising companies. And it can also be an excellent platform for companies to showcase their potential and raise their profile. 

However, investing in the primary market comes with its own set of risks, which investors should consider before investing. Therefore, it is essential to do thorough research, consult with experts, and seek professional advice to make informed investment decisions. 

Moreover, if you are planning to invest in the share market, you can check out smallcase. It is a modern investment product that offers ready-made portfolios for you to invest in.


1. What is the primary market?

The primary market is where companies directly issue and sell new securities to investors. Consequently, serving as a vital platform for raising funds for expansion, debt repayment, or new projects.

2. What role does primary market play?

The financial system relies heavily on the primary market, where corporations and governments generate funds by issuing new securities. This avenue enables them to fund new issues market operations, initiate projects, and explore growth opportunities.

3. What is the difference between primary market and secondary market?

Companies or governments release new securities in the Primary Market to raise funds. On the other hand, Secondary Market involves the buying and selling of previously issued securities among investors.

4. What are the functions of primary markets?

In the primary market, companies and governments raise funds by issuing new securities, which investors then purchase. The underwriting process establishes the initial prices of these securities, facilitating the transfer of funds from savers to borrowers.

5. How is primary market in India?

In India, as in other markets, primary marketing transactions involve investors directly buying shares or bonds from a company. For companies in India aiming to go public and create a new issues marketfor shares, approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), comparable to the U.S. SEC, is mandatory.

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