What is meant by Primary Market?

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The securities market has two interdependent and inseparable segments, primary market and secondary market.

The primary market provides the channel for the sale of new securities. Primary market provides opportunity to issuers of securities; government as well as corporates, to raise resources to meet their requirements of investment and/or discharge some obligation.

They may issue the securities at face value, or at a discount/premium and these securities may take a variety of forms such as equity, debt etc. They may issue the securities in the domestic market and/or international market.

The primary market issuance is done either through public issues or private placement. A public issue does not limit any entity in investing while in a private placement, the issuance is done to select people. In terms of the Companies Act, 1956, an issue becomes public if it results in allotment to more than 50 persons. This means an issue resulting in allotment to less than 50 persons is a private placement. There are two major types of issuers who issue securities. The corporate entities issue mainly debt and equity instruments (shares, debentures, etc.), while the governments (central and state governments) issue debt securities (dated securities, treasury bills).

The price signals, which subsume all information about the issuer and his business including associated risk, generated in the secondary market, help the primary market in the allocation of funds.

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