Delisting of Shares Explained - Types, Impacts & Investor Actions | Religare Broking

Delisting of Shares

The delisting of shares is a critical event in the stock market that can have significant implications for investors who have invested in those stocks. Understanding what the delisting of shares is and its impact is crucial for making informed investment decisions.

What is the Delisting of Shares?

The delisting of shares refers to the removal of a company’s stock from a stock exchange, making it no longer available for trading on that market. Delisting can be voluntary, where a company chooses to go private, or involuntary, due to failure to meet exchange requirements like financial health, regulatory compliance, or minimum share price.

Once delisted, the stock may trade over-the-counter (OTC) but typically with less liquidity and transparency. Delisting of shares can significantly impact shareholders, often resulting in decreased stock value and limited options for selling their shares.

What are the Types of Delisting?

Understanding the types of delisting is essential for investors to comprehend the different scenarios and their implications.

  1. Voluntary Delisting

    As mentioned, voluntary delisting is initiated by the company. This type can be further categorised into:

    • Buyback Offer: The company offers to buy back shares from shareholders at a predetermined price, usually a premium.

    • Merger or Acquisition: A company might delist its shares as part of a merger or acquisition deal. The acquiring company typically buys out the shareholders.

  2. Involuntary Delisting

    The stock exchange enforces involuntary delisting due to non-compliance. This can be categorised into:

    • Regulatory Non-Compliance: Companies that fail to adhere to regulatory standards and requirements, such as timely disclosure of financial information, may be delisted.

    • Financial Distress: Companies with prolonged financial instability, continuous losses, or bankruptcy proceedings may be delisted.

    • Low Market Capitalisation: Companies that consistently fail to maintain a minimum market capitalisation as required by the exchange might be delisted.

  3. Compulsory Delisting

    Compulsory delisting is a form of involuntary delisting, but regulatory authorities initiate it. This can occur due to severe non-compliance issues, fraud, or legal violations. Compulsory delisting often results in severe consequences for the company and its shareholders.

  4. Listing Suspension

    While not a form of delisting per se, the listing suspension is a temporary halt of trading in a company’s shares. This can happen for various reasons, including pending regulatory investigations or major corporate announcements. If the issues are not resolved, suspension can lead to delisting.

What Happens When a Stock is Delisted?

Delisting shares from the stock exchange can have significant implications for the company and its shareholders. Here’s a detailed look at what happens when a stock is delisted.

Immediate Impact on Shareholders

When a stock is delisted, it can no longer be traded on the stock exchange where it was listed. Shareholders must find alternative ways to sell their shares, such as over-the-counter (OTC) markets. The lack of a centralised trading platform can lead to reduced liquidity and higher transaction costs.

Impact on Share Value

Delisting can lead to a sharp decline in the share price, especially involuntary delisting. Reduced investor confidence and the perception of increased risk often drive the share price down. The buyback offer price might provide some compensation for voluntary delisting, but the share value is likely to drop once the company is no longer publicly traded.

Corporate Governance and Reporting

Delisted companies are no longer required to adhere to the stringent reporting and corporate governance standards imposed by stock exchanges. This can result in reduced transparency, making it harder for shareholders to stay informed about the company’s financial health and operations.

Legal and Tax Implications

Delisting can have legal and tax implications for the company and its shareholders. For instance, shareholders might face capital gains tax on the compensation received from share buybacks. Companies must comply with specific regulatory procedures to delist, which can involve legal scrutiny and potential penalties.

Options for Shareholders

Shareholders have several options when a stock is delisted:

  • Sell Shares on OTC Markets: Shareholders can sell their shares on OTC markets, although this might be less convenient and more costly.

  • Hold Shares: Some shareholders might choose to hold their shares, hoping the company will regain its financial health and relist.

How Does it Affect You?

Loss of Liquidity

One of the most significant impacts of delisting of shares is the loss of liquidity. Finding buyers and sellers becomes more challenging with shares no longer traded on a major stock exchange. This can lead to difficulty in liquidating holdings.

Decreased Transparency

The stringent disclosure requirements of stock exchanges no longer bind delisted companies. This can result in decreased transparency and limited access to financial information, making it harder for investors to monitor their investments.

Additionally Read: Demat Account Definition

Potential for Financial Loss

Delisting can lead to substantial financial losses, particularly if the share price drops significantly. Involuntary delisting, in particular, often indicates underlying financial or regulatory issues, which can erode investor confidence and value.

Impact on Portfolio

For investors, delisting can impact their overall portfolio strategy. It may necessitate rebalancing the portfolio to mitigate risks and maintain desired asset allocation. Diversification becomes even more crucial in managing the potential risks associated with delisting.

Required Actions

Investors need to stay informed and take necessary action when a delisting is announced. This might involve deciding whether to sell shares on the OTC market, participate in buyback offers, or consult financial advisors to determine the best action.


The delisting of shares is a significant event in the stock market that can have profound implications for investors. Understanding what is delisting of shares, the types of delisting, and the impacts on shareholders is crucial for making informed investment decisions. By staying informed and prepared, investors can navigate the complexities of delisting and manage their portfolios effectively.

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