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The Economics of IPO Stabilisation, Syndicates and Naked Shorts

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  • Tim Jenkinson
  • Howard Jones

Abstract

"Stabilisation is the bidding for and purchase of securities by an underwriter immediately after an offering for the purpose of preventing or retarding a fall in price. Stabilisation is price manipulation, but regulators allow it within strict limits - notably that stabilisation may not occur above the offer price. For legislators and market authorities, a false market is a price worth paying for an orderly market. This paper compares the rationale for regulators' allowing IPO stabilisation with its effects. It finds that stabilisation does have the intended effects, but that underwriters also seem to have other motives to stabilise, including favouring certain aftermarket sellers and enhancing their own reputation and profits. A puzzling aspect of stabilisation is why underwriters create 'naked short' positions which are loss-making to cover when, as is usual, the aftermarket price rises to a premium. We set up a model to show that the lead underwriter may profit from a naked short at the expense of the rest of the syndicate given the way commissions are apportioned between them. We argue that a naked short mitigates the misalignment of interests which stabilisation causes between issuer and lead underwriter, although it does so at the expense of the non-lead underwriters." Copyright 2007 The Authors Journal compilation (c) 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Tim Jenkinson & Howard Jones, 2007. "The Economics of IPO Stabilisation, Syndicates and Naked Shorts," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 13(4), pages 616-642.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:eufman:v:13:y:2007:i:4:p:616-642
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    File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1468-036X.2007.00376.x
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    Cited by:

    1. Antonio Acconcia & Alfredo Del Monte & Luca Pennacchio, 2011. "Underpricing and Firm’s Distance from Financial Centre: Evidence from three European Countries," CSEF Working Papers 295, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    2. Edwards, Amy K. & Hanley, Kathleen Weiss, 2010. "Short selling in initial public offerings," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(1), pages 21-39, October.
    3. Mei-Hua Liao & Chien-Chih Lin & Yinrou Wang, 2011. "The Effects of Removing Price Limits: Evidence from Taiwan IPO Stocks," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(0), pages 40-52, November.
    4. Mei-Hua Liao & Chien-Chih Lin & Yinrou Wang, 2011. "The Effects of Removing Price Limits: Evidence from Taiwan IPO Stocks," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(0), pages 40-52, November.
    5. Khelifa Mazouz & Sam Agyei-Ampomah & Brahim Saadouni & Shuxing Yin, 2013. "Stabilization and the aftermarket prices of initial public offerings," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 417-439, October.
    6. Jeon, Jin Q. & Lee, Cheolwoo, 2015. "A new measure for heated negotiation in the IPO syndicate," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 278-304.

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