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May 19, 2012, 02.04 PM IST
Facebook Inc's modest debut on Friday may have averted a potential headache for the company and regulators, and kept at bay a debate over the role of "odd lots" in the marketplace.
Shares of Facebook traded as high as USD 45, near the price of USD 50 that would keep many retail investors from placing a typical "round lot" order of 100 shares, because the total cost will be USD 5,000 - considered a threshold for many investors.
By the end of regular trading on Friday, however, the stock closed at USD 38.23, just 23 cents, or 0.6 percent, above its initial public offering price.
An order for less than 100 shares is called an odd lot. Two decades ago, this was a forgotten corner of the retail marketplace that accounted for less than 1 percent of trades. But odd lots may account for almost a quarter of trading now, according to one sampling of 120 securities provided for academic research.
Orders can be placed for any number of shares, but odd lots are not reported or displayed on a consolidated feed of all stock transactions. This lapse calls into question whether all market activity is accurately reflected, raising issues of transparency regarding price discovery.
The surge in odd-lot trading has been driven by the higher cost of round lots in such popular stocks as Apple Inc
May 22 2013, 13:11
- in MARKET OUTLOOK
May 22 2013, 10:44
- in Economy