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Comparative Analysis: Rights Issue vs. Bonus Issue in Corporate Financing

Comparative Analysis: Rights Issue vs. Bonus Issue in Corporate Financing

In the world of finance, companies often employ various strategies to engage with their shareholders and meet their capital requirements. Two such mechanisms are the “Rights Issue” and the “Bonus Issue.” While both involve issuing additional shares, they serve distinct purposes and have different implications for shareholders and the company. Understanding the nuances between these two concepts is crucial for investors to make well-informed decisions.

What is a Rights Issue?

A Rights Issue, also known as a “rights offering” is a mechanism through which a company raises additional capital by offering new shares to its existing shareholders. It gives shareholders the “right” to purchase these new shares, typically at a discounted price compared to the market value, and in proportion to their current shareholding. This process allows loyal investors to increase their stake in the company at a preferential rate before the shares are offered to the general public.

Key Points of Rights Issue:

  • Capital Raising: The primary objective of a Rights Issue is to generate funds for various corporate purposes, such as expansion, debt repayment, or financing new projects.
  • Discounted Shares: By offering shares at a discount, the company incentivizes its existing shareholders to participate, thereby minimizing the dilution of their ownership.
  • Shareholder Control: Shareholders must confirm the number of shares they opt to purchase within a given period. These rights can be forfeited either completely or partially, allowing the company to issue additional shares to selected investors or the general public on a preferential basis through a special shareholder resolution.

Benefits of Rights Issue:

  • Increased control of the existing shareholders
  • Enhancement in the value of shares, thus no loss for existing shareholders
  • Increases the goodwill of the firm and brand perception
  • No cost involved with the issuance of shares

Drawbacks of Rights Issue:

  • Potential dilution in the value of shares due to an increase in their numbers
  • May offer a temporary solution to management issues without guiding them in the long run

What is a Bonus Issue?

A Bonus Issue involves the distribution of additional shares to existing shareholders, free of cost, in proportion to their current holdings. Instead of paying cash dividends, the company capitalizes on its reserves or retained earnings by converting them into new shares.

Key Points of Bonus Issue:

  • Share Distribution: These shares are issued as a gift to the existing shareholders depending on the number of shares they hold. For example, a bonus issue of 3:1 means that one bonus share is allotted for every three shares held by a shareholder.
  • No Capital Inflow: Bonus shares do not inject any fresh capital into the company since they are issued without consideration. They do not change the net worth of the entity.
  • Issuance Sources: Such shares can be issued out of free reserves, the capital redemption reserve account, or the securities premium account.

Benefits of Bonus Issue:

  • Improves the liquidity and affordability of the company’s shares in the market
  • Serves as a token of appreciation for the shareholders’ loyalty and commitment
  • Can positively impact the company’s share price

Differences Between Rights Issue and Bonus Issue

AspectRights IssueBonus Issue
Capital RaisingA means for companies to raise additional capital by issuing new shares.Does not involve any capital inflow as shares are given free of cost.
Cost to ShareholdersShareholders must pay to acquire the new shares at a discounted price.Shares are distributed free of cost.
PurposeAims to generate funds for corporate initiatives.Intended to reward shareholders and increase share liquidity.
Shareholder’s EquityIncreases the shareholder’s equity as they infuse additional funds into the company.Does not change the overall equity value.
Share Price ImpactMay not significantly affect the share price due to the discounted offering.Can lead to a decrease in the share price due to an increase in the outstanding shares.
Ownership DilutionCan potentially dilute the ownership of non-participating shareholders.Does not dilute existing shareholders’ stakes.
EligibilityShareholders have the right but not the obligation to purchase the new shares.All existing shareholders are eligible for bonus shares.
Tax ImplicationsNo tax implications for shareholders at the time of subscription. Potential capital gains tax on sale.No tax liability for shareholders on receiving bonus shares
RegulationsRequires compliance with SEBI regulations and stock exchange norms. Companies must follow specific timelines and disclosure requirements.Similar regulatory compliance as Rights Issues.

How to Participate in a Rights Issue

  1. Check the Announcement: Look for the company’s announcement for the Record Date and Ex-Rights Date.
  2. Ensure Eligibility: Hold shares before the Ex-Rights Date to be eligible.
  3. Review Entitlement: Understand the Rights Entitlement Ratio to know your allotment.
  4. Apply for Shares: Apply for the Rights Shares during the issue period, along with payment.
  5. Pro-Rata Allotment: If partially subscribed, shares will be allotted on a pro-rata basis.
  6. Reflection in Demat Account: After allotment, the new shares will be reflected in your demat account.

Understanding Bonus Issue Implications

For a Bonus Issue, shareholders don’t need to take any action. The additional shares will automatically be credited to their demat accounts on the specified date. However, it’s essential to understand that a Bonus Issue does not increase the company’s net worth or raise new capital; it simply capitalizes on the company’s existing reserves.

Common Misconceptions:

  • Rights Issue Dilutes Existing Shareholding: It does not dilute if all shareholders participate proportionately.
  • Bonus Issue Increases Company’s Net Worth: It doesn’t raise new capital, just capitalizes reserves.
  • Right Shares Always Trade at a Premium: They are offered at a discount to the market price.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the primary difference between a Rights Issue and a Bonus Issue in India?

  • The primary difference between a Rights Issue and a Bonus Issue in India is that a Rights Issue is used by companies to raise additional capital by offering new shares to existing shareholders at a discounted price. In contrast, a Bonus Issue distributes additional shares to existing shareholders free of cost, using the company’s reserves without raising new capital.

How does a Rights Issue benefit existing shareholders in India?

  • A Rights Issue in India benefits existing shareholders by allowing them to purchase additional shares at a discounted price, thereby increasing their stake in the company. This opportunity helps them maintain their proportional ownership and potentially benefit from future company growth.

  What are the regulatory requirements for a Rights Issue in India?

  • In India, a Rights Issue must comply with the regulations set by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). This includes disclosure requirements, adhering to specific timelines, and obtaining necessary approvals from the stock exchange.

Do shareholders have to pay taxes on Rights Issue shares in India?

  • In India, there are no immediate tax implications for shareholders when subscribing to Rights Issue shares. However, capital gains tax may apply when they sell these shares, depending on the holding period and the applicable tax rates.


Both Rights Issues and Bonus Issues are important corporate actions that impact shareholders in different ways. While a Rights Issue provides an opportunity for shareholders to increase their investment and for the company to raise capital, a Bonus Issue serves as a reward for shareholders and improves share liquidity. Depending on the company’s strategic goals and market position, either mechanism can be effectively utilized to achieve desired outcomes. InstaFiling simplifies the process of Rights Issues and Bonus Issues by providing expert guidance on regulatory compliance, timely assistance in document preparation, and ensuring prompt filings. For companies, this means streamlined execution and adherence to SEBI regulations. Investors benefit from access to comprehensive information and strategic insights, enabling informed decisions aligned with their investment objectives. InstaFiling enhances efficiency and transparency, making it easier for stakeholders to navigate these corporate actions effectively.

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