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The number of small and medium enterprises listed on BSE and NSE platforms is expected to reach 1,000 in the next two years from nearly 350 at present, leading merchant banker Guiness Corporate Advisory Services said today. More companies will tap the initial public offer (IPO) route for business expansion plans, to support working capital requirements and other general corporate purposes. In the entire 2017, 132 SMEs raised a record Rs 1,785 crore through IPOs, much higher than 66 firms that garnered Rs 540 crore in 2016. Besides, 2017 witnessed more fund-raising than aggregate capital garnered in past five years cumulatively. Overall, the firms mopped up Rs 1,315 crore in the last five years. "Both the exchanges (BSE and NSE) have already listed nearly 350 SMEs in the last couple of years and this number will definitely reach to 1,000 during the next two years," Guiness said in a statement. The firms will be from various sectors such as media and entertainment, manufacturing, textiles, engineering, finance, chemicals, agriculture, food processing and construction. "SMEs have very well embraced the idea of raising equity through IPO route in the last couple of years. There has been a phenomenal change, as they were perennially dependent on debt for their working capital and expansion plans in the past. This change will be a game changer for the growth of the SMEs in the country," the merchant banker said. BSE and NSE launched SME platforms in March 2012, becoming the only two bourses to offer such a segment in the country.
Since then, more than 300 companies have got listed on these platforms. "SMEs have really got benefited from this platform, we are encouraging more SMEs to come out with IPO. This would remain a great source of funds. Many listed SMEs have also moved to main board exchanges because of their growth in the last couple of years. This is also a good gateway for eventually get listed on the main platform of the exchanges," BSE SME Head Ajay Thakur said.
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