Qualified Institutional Buyers (QIBs)

India’s financial market has steadily grown over the past few years, especially after the introduction of online Demat accounts. With the rise of various financial instruments and products, there has also been a significant increase in the number of participants in this market.

One of the key players in the market is the Qualified Institutional Buyers (QIBs), who play a crucial role in the functioning of India’s financial market. Let’s dive deeper into understanding qualified institutional buyers’ meaning, their role in India’s financial market, and the regulations surrounding their participation.

What is a Qualified Institutional Buyer (QIB)?

Qualified Institutional Buyers are institutional investors with the necessary expertise and financial capacity to invest in the securities markets. In India, these investors are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and must meet certain eligibility criteria.

To qualify, an entity must fall under specific categories, such as scheduled commercial banks, public financial institutions, insurance companies, mutual funds, pension funds, and foreign institutional investors.

Further, SEBI has set minimum financial thresholds for qualified institutional buyers, ensuring that only financially robust entities can participate in the securities market. These qualifications and classifications help ensure that they possess the knowledge and resources necessary to make informed investment decisions and contribute to India’s financial market’s overall stability and growth.

How do Qualified Institutional Buyers Practice Works?

Qualified Institutional Buyers employ a systematic approach when assessing and investing in various securities, including initial public offerings (IPOs), follow-on public offerings (FPOs), and other investment opportunities.

These institutional investors conduct thorough due diligence to evaluate the financial health and growth potential of companies seeking to go public or issue additional shares. They assess factors such as the company’s business model, competitive advantage, management team, historical financial performance, and industry outlook.

This rigorous evaluation allows QIB investors to make well-informed investment decisions and strategically allocate resources. Additionally, they often have access to research reports, market intelligence, and expert analysis, enabling them to identify promising investment opportunities and mitigate risks.

Their participation in IPO and FPO is vital in providing capital to companies and facilitating market liquidity. Through their disciplined investment practices, they contribute to the efficient functioning and development of India’s financial market.

Additionally Read: Difference Between IPO and OFS

Example of a QIBs

The participation of QIBs in IPOs brings a substantial inflow of funds and instills confidence within the broader market. This confidence is crucial for the success of an IPO, as it attracts additional interest from other investors, thereby helping to ensure the offering’s overall success. Their commitment signals a vote of confidence in the company’s potential and the quality of the IPO.

The example of qualified institutional buyers’ participation in notable IPOs illustrates their impact on the success of these offerings. For instance, Vikas Lifecare Limited raised Rs. 50 crore through a Qualified Institutional Placement (QIP) on June 6, 2022. CMS Info Systems established a price band at Rs. 205-216 per share for its Rs. 1100 crore public issue on December 16, 2021.

Furthermore, Apollo Micro Systems witnessed its IPO subscribed 2.14 times on the first day of January 10, 2018. These instances highlight the significant role qualified institutional buyers play in providing capital for companies seeking to go public.

Regulations on Qualified Institutional Buyers

  • Qualified Institutional Buyers (QIBs) in India’s financial market are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

  • SEBI’s regulations aim to ensure market transparency, fairness, and investor protection.

  • One key regulation for QIBs is the minimum investment requirement, set by SEBI for participation in offerings like IPOs and QIP issuances.

  • SEBI also imposes restrictions on qualified institutional buyers, including limits on the maximum number of shares they can acquire in IPOs or QIPs, and regulations on trading and information disclosure.

  • SEBI monitors QIBs’ compliance with these regulations to maintain a level playing field and uphold the integrity of India’s financial market.

Advantages of QIBs

Qualified Institutional Buyers play a vital role in India’s financial markets, bringing numerous advantages to the table. One key benefit is the increased liquidity they provide. With their substantial financial resources, QIB investors can engage in large-scale investments, contributing to a more liquid market by creating demand and facilitating efficient trading activities. This liquidity benefits them and enhances market stability for all participants.

Moreover, they greatly support the fundraising efforts of companies. Their involvement in IPOs and QIP issuances brings significant capital, enabling businesses to expand their operations, invest in research and development, and pursue strategic initiatives.

Additionally Read: Advantages and Disadvantages of Leverage

This infusion of funds helps companies unlock growth opportunities and drive economic development. Additionally, the presence of QIBs in the market enhances investor confidence, attracts other investors, and promotes overall market participation.

Furthermore, they often bring with them expertise and experience in financial markets. Their rigorous due diligence and evaluation processes contribute to improved corporate governance practices and heightened scrutiny of investment opportunities. This enhances the quality of investments and fosters transparency and accountability among companies.

Disadvantages of QIBs

A significant concern is market dominance. QIBs, with their substantial financial resources, can exert significant influence over market dynamics. This concentration of power can create an uneven playing field, potentially disadvantage ring smaller investors and reducing market competition.

Another criticism is the potential impact on retail investors. As they engage in large-scale investments, they may prioritize their interests over those of individual retail investors. This could lead to a situation where retail investors have limited access to certain investment opportunities or face higher costs due to the preferential treatment given to them.

Also, their dominance may result in reduced market transparency. As these institutional investors wield a significant amount of influence, there is a possibility of insider trading or manipulation, which could undermine the market’s integrity.

Difference Between a Qualified Institutional Buyer and an Accredited Investor

Qualified Institutional Buyers and accredited investors are important players in the financial market, but their roles, qualifications, and regulatory environments differ.

They are institutional investors, such as mutual funds, insurance companies, and pension funds, that meet specific criteria outlined by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). The qualifications for QIBs are stringent, requiring a minimum net worth or asset size. On the other hand, accredited investors are individuals or entities that meet certain income or net worth thresholds, as determined by the SEBI guidelines.

While QIBs are subject to regulatory oversight by SEBI, accredited investors have more flexibility and fewer restrictions. This differentiation ensures that they have the necessary expertise and financial stability to make large investments, while accredited investors have the means to participate in certain investment opportunities.

Feature Qualified Institutional Buyer (QIB) Accredited Investor

Institutional investors recognized by SEBI with expertise and the financial capability to invest in the securities market.

Individuals or entities that meet certain income or net worth criteria, allowing them to invest in certain securities.

Regulatory Authority

Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)

Varies by country; in India, SEBI also has guidelines for accredited investors.

Qualification Criteria

Entities like banks, mutual funds, insurance companies, etc., with significant assets under management.

Individuals with an annual income over a certain threshold or a net worth exceeding a specific limit.

Investment Opportunities

Primarily focused on primary markets (IPOs, FPOs) and sometimes in secondary market bulk deals.

Access to a broader range of investments including startups, hedge funds, and private equity.


To enhance liquidity and provide stability in financial markets through substantial capital investments.

To allow sophisticated investors to invest in higher-risk, higher-reward ventures.


As India’s economy continues to grow and develop, the role of QIBs will only become more important in driving the country’s financial market towards stability and success. Investors and stakeholders need to understand the role and impact of qualified institutional buyers to make well-informed decisions.

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