Auction process simplified

Auction Process Simplified

by Ankit Jaiswal on Basic Finance, Equity Market

Auction is a mechanism where exchange auctions the investor’s stock holding when the person had sold the stock but is unable to deliver it within a stipulated time period. This mechanism is basically a kind of penalty apart from the fees for the auction. Hence, keep a precaution that your stock doesn’t go into the auction process. It takes place mostly due to investor’s carelessness.

Whenever you sell shares, there’s always a buyer on the other side. So when you sell shares and cannot deliver it back to the buyer for which he had already paid money. In such a scenario, the exchange calls for an auction. So your broker will try to purchase the shares in a buy-in auction market on T+2 day and the settlement of auction shall be done on T+3 day (holidays are not included).

In case of successful auction, the client in default (i.e. you) will have to pay the actual auction price + Brokerage + Penalty (this depends on your broker)

Auction pricing

The auction pricing depends on the stock price on the auction day. The minimum or lowest auction price will be 20% below the closing price of the day before the day of the auction. Suppose if it is lower, you might gain but this difference goes to the Investor Protection Fund (IPF) and it is not given to you (some broker may pass the gain to you). But say if it is higher, you need to pay the difference.

The close out on the auction day (i.e. T+2 day) will basically be the highest price prevailing in the market till the auction day from the day of trading or 20% above the closing price on the auction day (whichever is higher). You can gain an in-depth understanding of technical analysis in NSE Academy Certified Technical Analysis course. The course gives you powerful insights on profitable technical patterns and strategies supported by statistical analysis of markets.


stock auction

If the auction is not successful, no one is ready to sell in the auction (generally happens when the stock hits upper circuit), the sell transaction is cancelled by the exchange and the defaulting member has to pay the highest price prevailing from the day of trading (T) up to a day prior to the auction day OR 20% above the official closing price on the day prior to auction day, whichever is higher. The buyer of those shares gets a full refund.

Auction timing and participants

Auction process is conducted between 2-2:45 pm on a daily basis. It can be participated only by the member broker of the exchange and sell shares which are short delivered.


Let’s understand the concept of auction with the help of a practical example.

On monday, Bittu short sold 1 share of Apollo Hospitals @ Rs 1080.

On wednesday (i.e. T+2 day), on behalf of bittu, his broker is required to deliver the stock to the exchange. Say he default on delivery.

On this day, the exchange notices that these shares were not been delivered by the broker and it accordingly blocks a sum of money from the brokers account which is termed as Valuation Debit.

The valuation price for securities which were not delivered on the settlement day is the closing price of such securities on the immediate trading day (T+1) preceding the pay-in day. Assuming the closing price of Apollo Hospital on T+1 day stands at Rs 1090, the exchange will block sum equal to Rs 1090 from the broker’s account.

The exchange conducts an auction on T+2 day and on behalf of the defaulting seller, it purchases back the stock from the Auction Participant.

The exchange actually delivers the shares back to the actual buyer back on T+3.

Say the stock was bought back in the auction market at Rs 1110. In that case, an additional sum of Rs 20 will be blocked by the exchange (which is the difference between the Auction purchase price @ Rs 1110 and Valuation Debit of Rs 1090).

However, if the stock would have been purchased in the auction market at Rs 930, so the difference amount (i.e. Rs 1090-930) will be transferred to the Investor Protection Fund (IPF).

But in case, there isn’t any seller in the auction market, the exchange conducts the closeout in the following manner.

Close out will be at the highest price prevailing in the NSE from the day of trading till the auction day or 20% above the official closing price on the auction day, whichever is higher.

Now suppose, the highest price from the day of trading to the auction day stands at Rs 1120. Say the closing price on T+2 day (i.e. auction day) was Rs 1110. So the closeout will be higher of Rs 1120 or Rs 1332 (1110 *120%) i.e. Rs 1332 (close out price). In this case, the additional sum of Rs 42 will be blocked by the exchange.

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Can a client profit from this auction process?

Suppose on T+1 day, the closing price of Apollo Hospital was Rs 1040 (This is the valuation debit; which is Closing Price of the share not delivered on T+1 day x No. of shares not delivered.).

Say the exchange bought back the share from the auction market at Rs 1060. So presently, Rs 1060 will be debited from the brokers account and the difference of Rs 20 (The price at which you sold i.e. Rs 1080 and the price you bought back in the auction market i.e. Rs 1060) will be your profit. But this profit is most cases transferred to the Investor Protection Fund (IPF).


A way to avoid the problem of auction can be online trading. When you make all the deals yourself without depending on the broker, it will be easier for you track the stocks you bought and sold and the stocks you hold. You will be able to track your portfolio through online trading portals and thus an effective way to avoid auction of your stocks.

Actually, auction is an effective process from the buyer’s point of view. In fact auction is done to provide the buyers with the stocks which they have purchased from a seller.




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  • Sir,
    On 14th feb i had short sold 94 shares of 8k miles at 821 and forgot to deliver it on same day. On T+1 day the share fell and closed at 788. On 16th feb auction had happened. Today is 20th feb but settlement has not yet done. They have blocked 150% of short sold amount. Could you please let me know when the settlement is going to done and how much amount i am going to get back. Thanks in advance!!

  • Sir, Today ( Friday 09/02/2018) I sold 5 Wockhart shares @ 888/- and could not purchased i.e. short sold. Today’s closing price is 908/-. Let me know the auction date, and maximum how much loss I can expect. Pl. Reply on my e-mail id. Thanks. Raj Kumar Jain

  • Hello Goutam,

    Thank you for your comment

    We are an educational institute and hence we are not authorized to provide any advice on trading.Your broker will be the right person to answer your question.
    Happy Reading!


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