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What Are Unlisted Shares 

Imagine yourself at a unique market with a hidden area accessible only to a select few. Here's what it's like to own an unlisted share! The shares discussed here are different from those that are commonly discussed. In contrast to major stock exchanges, these represent ownership in private companies. Being an investor in these companies is like being a member of an exclusive club, where you support these companies before others know about them.

So, let's understand unlisted shares in detail. 

What are unlisted shares?

Unlisted shares are company shares not listed or traded on any recognized stock exchange. These shares are not available for public trading and are generally held by a limited number of individuals or entities, such as promoters, founders, venture capitalists, or strategic investors.

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Here are some critical facts to be aware of regarding unlisted shares:

  • Absence from Stock Exchanges: Unlisted shares are not present on stock exchanges like the National Stock Exchange (NSE) or the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). They are not traded through the regular trading mechanisms for listed shares.
  • Limited Liquidity: Unlisted shares typically have lower liquidity than their listed counterparts. The absence of a public market restricts the ease of buying and selling these shares. 
  • Private Placement: Unlisted shares are often issued through private placements, where companies offer shares to specific individuals or entities. 
  • Valuation: Determining the value of unlisted shares can be challenging since there is no readily available market price. 
  • Risk and Return: Unlisted shares may offer higher growth potential than listed stocks but can be more volatile and less regulated. 

So, why should you even consider investing in unlisted shares? 

Here are some key advantages:

  1. Greater Growth Opportunities: Unlisted shares in developing or early stage companies may offer greater financial rewards than those of established listed companies. These companies may be in the early stages of growth, but if they are successful, their valuations could rise significantly.
  2. Possibility of Early Entry and Lower Valuations: Buying unlisted shares gives you the opportunity to buy at an early stage when valuations are often lower than those of later-stage investments or public offerings.
  3. Ability to Make Pre-IPO Investments: Buying unlisted shares may give you the opportunity to participate in Initial Public Offerings (IPOs). Pre-IPO shares are often made available to certain investors, including those who bought the unlisted shares, by companies that intend to go public. They can exit the company at a potentially higher valuation if the IPO is successful.
  4. Access to Promising Startups: Buying unlisted shares gives you the chance to invest in and benefit from the expansion of cutting-edge startups and developing businesses. Before going public, many prosperous startups and IT companies had amassed sizable market share.
  5. Diversification of Investment Portfolio: Including unlisted shares in your investment portfolio might aid in risk diversification. Compared to listed stocks and other conventional investment options, unlisted shares may have different risk profiles and growth trends. By diversifying your investments between listed and unlisted assets, you can lower the total risk of your portfolio.


Remember to thoroughly examine unlisted equity shares, the company, and its business model, financial situation, and growth prospects before investing in unlisted shares. Unlisted shares, however, have little liquidity, which makes it more difficult to sell them quickly.

Valuation can be difficult, so it may be advisable to seek professional help before investing. Unlisted shares carry higher risk and volatility than listed shares. Lack of transparency is a concern, so gather information from reliable sources. Diversify your portfolio to reduce risk. Understand the regulatory environment and any compliance obligations. Consult a financial advisor or professional experienced in dealing with unlisted shares.

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