Meaning, Features, Players of Primary Market, Instruments in Primary Market

24/11/2023 1 By indiafreenotes

The Primary market, also known as the new issue market, is a financial market where newly issued securities, such as stocks and bonds, are bought directly from the issuing entity by investors. In the primary market, companies and governments raise capital by issuing new securities to the public through methods like Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) and bond issuances. This market facilitates the direct flow of funds from investors to issuers, allowing businesses and governments to raise capital for various purposes, such as expansion, research, and infrastructure development. The primary market is essential for capital formation and plays a key role in the overall functioning of financial systems.


The primary market, with its features of capital formation, transparency, and direct issuer-investor interaction, plays a pivotal role in fostering economic growth and facilitating the transfer of funds from savers to entities in need of capital.

  • New Securities Issuance:

In the primary market, companies, governments, and other entities issue new securities to raise capital. These securities can include stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments.

  • Capital Formation:

The primary market facilitates the process of capital formation by enabling businesses and governments to raise funds for various purposes. This capital can be used for expansion, research and development, debt repayment, or other strategic initiatives.

  • Issuer-Investor Relationship:

The primary market establishes a direct relationship between the issuer of securities (company or government) and the investors who purchase these securities. Investors buy the newly issued securities directly from the issuer.

  • Initial Public Offerings (IPOs):

IPOs are a common form of primary market activity where a private company offers its shares to the public for the first time, allowing it to become a publicly traded company.

  • Underwriting:

Issuers often enlist the services of underwriters, typically investment banks, to manage the issuance process. Underwriters commit to purchasing the newly issued securities from the issuer and then sell them to investors.

  • Pricing:

The pricing of securities in the primary market is a critical aspect. The issuer and underwriters determine the offering price based on factors such as market conditions, demand, and the issuer’s financial health.

  • Transparency and Disclosure:

Issuers are required to provide detailed information about their financial health, operations, and risks associated with the securities being offered. This ensures transparency and helps investors make informed decisions.

  • Regulatory Oversight:

The primary market is subject to regulatory oversight to ensure fair practices and protect investor interests. Regulatory bodies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the United States or the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), set rules and guidelines for the issuance process.

  • Limited Secondary Market Activity:

Initially, the securities issued in the primary market are not traded on secondary markets. They become available for secondary market trading only after the initial issuance, allowing the issuer to raise funds without immediate price fluctuations.

  • Use of Proceeds:

Issuers must disclose how they intend to use the funds raised through the issuance of securities. This information provides transparency to investors regarding the purpose behind the capital raising.

  • Subscription Period:

The primary market involves a subscription period during which investors can place orders for the newly issued securities. The subscription period is typically set by the issuer and is part of the initial offering process.

  • Minimum Subscription Requirements:

Some issuers may set minimum subscription requirements to ensure that a certain level of interest or funding is reached before the issuance is considered successful.

  • Rights Issue:

In a rights issue, existing shareholders are given the opportunity to purchase additional shares directly from the company. This form of primary market activity allows companies to raise capital from their current shareholders.

  • Debt Issuance:

In addition to equity, the primary market also involves the issuance of debt securities, such as bonds. Governments and corporations can raise funds by issuing bonds to investors.

  • Market Expansion:

The primary market contributes to the expansion and development of financial markets by providing a mechanism for companies to access capital and investors to participate in the growth of businesses and economies.

Players of Primary Market

The primary market involves various participants, or “players,” who play distinct roles in the process of issuing and acquiring new securities. These players collaborate to facilitate the efficient functioning of the primary market.

These players collaborate to ensure the smooth and transparent functioning of the primary market, contributing to the effective allocation of capital and the growth of businesses and economies.

  • Issuer:

The issuer is the entity (company, government, or organization) that wishes to raise capital by issuing new securities. Issuers may issue stocks, bonds, or other financial instruments in the primary market.

  • Underwriter:

Underwriters are typically investment banks or financial institutions that play a crucial role in the issuance process. They commit to purchasing the entire issue of securities from the issuer and then resell them to investors. Underwriters assess the risk, set the offering price, and help market the securities.

  • Investors:

Investors are individuals, institutions, or entities that purchase the newly issued securities directly from the issuer. Investors can include retail investors, institutional investors (such as mutual funds and pension funds), and other financial entities.

  • Regulatory Authorities:

Regulatory authorities, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the United States or the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), oversee and regulate the primary market. They set rules and guidelines to ensure fair practices, investor protection, and market integrity.

  • Legal Advisors:

Legal advisors, including law firms and legal professionals, play a crucial role in ensuring that the issuance process complies with relevant laws and regulations. They provide legal counsel to the issuer and underwriters.

  • Financial Advisors:

Financial advisors assist the issuer in financial planning, valuation, and structuring the offering. They may provide advice on the appropriate pricing of securities and other financial aspects of the issuance.

  • Credit Rating Agencies:

Credit rating agencies assess the creditworthiness of the issuer and assign credit ratings to the securities being offered. These ratings influence investor confidence and the cost of capital for the issuer.

  • Stock Exchanges:

Stock exchanges play a role in the listing process for securities issued in the primary market. Once the securities are issued, they may be listed on a stock exchange, providing liquidity and a secondary market for investors.

  • Depositories:

Depositories are institutions that hold and maintain securities in electronic form. They play a crucial role in facilitating the transfer of ownership of securities and maintaining an efficient clearing and settlement system.

  • Retail Brokers:

Retail brokers are intermediaries who facilitate the purchase of new securities for individual investors. They may participate in the subscription process and help retail investors navigate the primary market.

  • Institutional Brokers:

Institutional brokers serve institutional investors, such as mutual funds, pension funds, and insurance companies. They assist these large investors in acquiring significant amounts of newly issued securities.

  • Auditors:

Auditors provide an independent assessment of the financial health and accuracy of the financial statements of the issuer. Their reports contribute to the transparency and credibility of the issuer’s financial information.

  • Printing and Distribution Agents:

Printing and distribution agents are responsible for printing and disseminating offering documents, prospectuses, and other materials related to the issuance. They ensure that relevant information reaches potential investors.

  • Registrar and Transfer Agents:

Registrar and transfer agents are responsible for maintaining records of the ownership of securities and processing transfers of ownership. They ensure that the ownership details are accurately maintained.

  • Market Intermediaries:

Market intermediaries, including merchant bankers and financial institutions, may assist in various capacities, such as advising on the structure of the offering, managing the issuance process, and helping with compliance.

Instruments in Primary Market

The primary market offers a variety of instruments that issuers use to raise capital directly from investors. These instruments represent ownership or debt in the issuing entity, and they are typically newly created and sold for the first time in the primary market.

These instruments serve the dual purpose of allowing companies and entities to raise capital for various needs while providing investors with opportunities to diversify their portfolios and participate in the growth of businesses and economies. The choice of instrument depends on the issuer’s financial needs, the nature of the project or investment, and market conditions.

  • Equity Shares:

Equity shares, also known as common stock or ordinary shares, represent ownership in a company. Investors who purchase equity shares become shareholders and have ownership rights, including voting rights and a share in the company’s profits.

  • Preference Shares:

Preference shares are a type of equity security that combines features of both equity and debt. Preference shareholders have preferential rights to dividends and assets in the event of liquidation but do not usually have voting rights.

  • Debentures:

Debentures are debt instruments issued by companies to raise long-term capital. Debenture holders are creditors to the company, and they receive periodic interest payments along with the principal amount at maturity.

  • Bonds:

Bonds are debt securities issued by governments, municipalities, or corporations to raise funds. They typically have a fixed interest rate and a specified maturity date. Bonds can be traded on the secondary market after the initial issuance.

  • Commercial Paper (CP):

Commercial paper is a short-term debt instrument issued by corporations to meet their short-term funding needs. It has a maturity of up to 364 days and is usually issued at a discount to face value.

  • Certificates of Deposit (CD):

Certificates of deposit are time deposits issued by banks and financial institutions with fixed maturities. Investors earn interest on CDs, and they can be traded in the secondary market.

  • Initial Public Offerings (IPOs):

An IPO occurs when a private company offers its shares to the public for the first time, allowing it to become a publicly traded company. IPOs provide companies with access to public capital.

  • Rights Issues:

Rights issues involve existing shareholders being given the right to purchase additional shares directly from the company at a predetermined price. This allows companies to raise capital from their current shareholders.

  • Follow-on Public Offerings (FPOs):

FPOs are similar to IPOs but involve the sale of additional shares by a company that is already publicly listed. The proceeds from FPOs can be used for various purposes, including expansion or debt reduction.

  • Bonus Issues:

Bonus issues involve the issuance of additional shares to existing shareholders at no cost. This is often done as a reward to shareholders or to increase the liquidity of the company’s shares.

  • Securitization:

Securitization involves converting illiquid assets, such as loans, into tradable securities. These securities, known as asset-backed securities (ABS), are then sold to investors in the primary market.

  • Green Bonds:

Green bonds are debt instruments specifically issued to fund environmentally friendly projects. The proceeds from green bonds are earmarked for projects with positive environmental impacts.

  • Structured Products:

Structured products are financial instruments created by combining traditional securities with derivatives. They are tailored to meet specific risk and return objectives and are issued in the primary market.

  • Convertible Securities:

Convertible securities, such as convertible bonds or convertible preference shares, give investors the option to convert their debt or preferred equity into common shares at a predetermined conversion ratio.

  • Perpetual Bonds:

Perpetual bonds have no maturity date, and interest payments continue indefinitely. While the issuer is not obligated to redeem the principal, the bond may have call options allowing the issuer to redeem it under certain conditions.