Qualified Institutional Buyers (QIB)

Discover the importance and function of Qualified Institutional Buyers (QIBs) within capital markets and securities.
Qualified Institutional Buyers (QIB)
3 mins read
30 March 2024

Who are Qualified Institutional Buyers?

Qualified Institutional Buyers (QIBs) represent a class of investors known for their financial muscle and expertise in the investment domain. These include entities such as banks, mutual funds schemes, insurance companies, and pension funds, which are considered knowledgeable and capable enough to evaluate and invest in the capital markets. The concept of a QIB is crucial in your understanding of the financial ecosystem, as they play a significant role in primary and secondary market transactions. Qualified Institutional Buyers (QIBs) are institutional investors with the expertise and financial strength to carefully assess and invest in capital markets. These entities take an indirect route using third-party financial services and knowledge. QIBs are recognised as legal entities by exchange boards, which means they require less oversight from central authorities. If you are an QIB, adding established mutual funds to your portfolio, whether through a single lump sum investment or a SIP investment, can play a crucial role in helping you meet your overall financial goals in several different ways.

The QIB full form, standing for Qualified Institutional Buyer, represents a category of investors acknowledged for their financial acumen and investment capacity, particularly in the context of the share market. In the share market, QIBs in the share market play a crucial role, in bringing stability and liquidity through their substantial investments and market participation. These institutional buyers, encompassing entities like banks, mutual funds, and pension funds, are pivotal in underpinning market dynamics with their large-scale purchases and sales of securities. The term "qualified institutional buyer" delineates a specific investor class that meets rigorous regulatory criteria, enabling them to partake in exclusive financial transactions and offerings. QIB, as an abbreviation, is widely recognized in financial circles, signifying an investor class that is deemed sophisticated due to its size, regulatory compliance, and market impact. Understanding what QIB is essential for anyone involved in the financial markets, as it highlights the role and influence of these heavyweight investors in shaping market outcomes.

An overview of the rules and regulations that govern QIBs

The regulations that govern QIBs are primarily established to ensure that only entities with a significant amount of expertise and resources can participate in certain types of financial transactions, which typically involve a higher level of risk. These regulations are put in place by regulatory bodies such as the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in India. They stipulate criteria such as minimum net assets and investment experience, which entities must meet to be considered QIBs.

How do qualified institutional buyers practise work?

The practice surrounding QIBs involves these entities being allotted securities in an Initial Public Offering (IPO) before they are made available to the public. This is done under the assumption that these buyers have the requisite expertise to assess the risks involved. Furthermore, QIBs often participate in private placements of securities, where companies offer stocks or bonds directly to these investors, bypassing the broader market.

Regulations on Qualified Institutional Buyers

Regulations concerning QIBs are stringent and detailed, ensuring that only those institutions that truly have the capacity and the expertise to deal with complex financial instruments and markets are allowed to participate as QIBs. For instance, SEBI mandates certain thresholds regarding assets under management (AUM) and investment experience that these entities must meet. Additionally, there are rules regarding the allocation of shares during IPOs, with a certain percentage being reserved specifically for QIBs.

While QIBs face less legal entanglement and scrutiny, several regulations govern their operations:

  • Placement of securities: Any listed company in the domestic market can place its securities with recognized QIBs.
  • Minimum public shareholding: If a listed company lacks equity shares listed on stock exchanges and does not comply with the prescribed minimum public shareholding patterns, it cannot raise funds via the QIB route.
  • SEBI guidelines: SEBI has comprehensive guidelines that govern the relationship between companies seeking funds and their chosen QIBs.

As of the SEBI (Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2018, QIBs include the following entities:

  • Mutual funds
  • Venture capital funds
  • Alternative investment funds
  • Foreign venture capital investors registered with SEBI
  • Foreign portfolio investors (excluding individuals, corporate bodies, and family offices)
  • Public financial institutions
  • Scheduled commercial banks
  • Multilateral and bilateral development financial institutions
  • State industrial development corporations
  • Insurance companies registered with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI)
  • Provident funds with a minimum corpus of Rs. 25 crore
  • Pension funds with a minimum corpus of Rs. 25 crore
  • National Investment Fund set up by the Government of India
  • Insurance funds managed by the army, navy, or air force of the Union of India
  • Insurance funds managed by the Department of Posts, India
  • Systemically important non-banking financial companies (NBFCs).

Advantages and disadvantages of QIBs


  • Stability: QIBs often bring stability to the markets due to their large-scale, long-term investments.
  • Liquidity: Their participation increases liquidity in the markets, making it easier for other investors to buy and sell securities.
  • Expertise: The knowledge and experience of QIBs can contribute to more informed and efficient markets.


  • Market dominance: The significant buying power of QIBs can sometimes lead to market dominance, potentially making it harder for smaller investors to find favourable conditions.
  • Complexity and risk: The sophisticated nature of the investments QIBs engage in can sometimes introduce complexity and systemic risk to the financial system.


Qualified Institutional Buyers play an essential role in the financial markets, bringing expertise, stability, and liquidity. While their activities are highly regulated to protect the integrity of the markets, their influence is profound, affecting the availability of capital, the performance of securities, and the overall market dynamics. By incorporating these insights into your investment strategy, especially if you are considering leveraging services on platforms like the Bajaj Finserv Mutual Fund Platform, you can make more informed decisions.

Frequently asked questions

Who is a qualified institutional buyer in India?

In India, a QIB could be a mutual fund, insurance company, or bank recognized by regulatory bodies like SEBI, capable of making substantial investments in the capital markets.

Who qualifies as a qualified institutional buyer?

Entities like banks, insurance companies, mutual funds, and pension funds that meet certain regulatory criteria on assets and experience qualify as QIBs.

What is an example of an institutional buyer?

An example of an institutional buyer would be a mutual fund that invests in various securities on behalf of its investors.

Who can apply in the QIB category?

Entities that meet the regulatory requirements set forth by bodies such as SEBI in India can apply under the QIB category during IPOs or other securities offerings.

Show More Show Less