IPO Trading without Market Makers or Underwriter Price Support


  • We would like to thank Jonathan Clarke, George Theocharides, Rob Van Ness, Douglas Foster, Raymond Liu, Marvin Wee, and seminar participants at the 2009 Financial Management Association for helpful comments and suggestions. Li appreciates the 2009 Summer Research Award from the Dean of College of Business Administration at Bowling Green State University. All errors are the sole responsibility of the authors.

Department of Finance, University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Ave., BSN 3122, Tampa, FL 33620; Phone: (813) 974-6326; Fax: (813) 974-3084; E-mail: danbradley@usf.edu.


We investigate the trading behavior and liquidity supply of Chinese initial public offerings (IPOs) that trade in an order-driven market system with pure limit order books where no market makers or price support is allowed. We find large trades and quoted depths dominate the first day of trading, but this pattern quickly reverses as small trades and quoted depths are more prevalent on subsequent trading days. Quoted depths are positively related to the number of shares offered in the IPO and trade size, but are negatively related to underpricing. Trade size and transaction immediacy are positively related, and large and positive (negative) order imbalance is associated with more aggressive buys (sells). Finally, long-run performance is not related to initial order imbalance. Overall, our results suggest that despite underwriters not participating in the IPO aftermarket, liquidity provision evolves very quickly and price discovery is immediately reflected in prices.