Shares of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, which made its stock market debut on Thursday, made a humble start at Rs 329 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, nearly 1.5% below its issue price of Rs 334. It continued to fluctuate and also dropped by 5.49% to Rs 315.65 at one point. The highest it touched was Rs 333.90. At the National Stock Exchange, its shares traded steadily at Rs 330, PTI reported.

The company, which is the first private insurer to enter the Indian market, had priced its shares within a range of Rs 300 and Rs 334. On September 21, the firm concluded its Rs 6,057-crore initial public offering, the highest IPO in the last six year after Coal India.

An IPO is the first time a private company offers its shares to the public. It is mostly used by new and smaller companies to earn capital for growth.

Before the IPO, ICICI Prudential had raised Rs 1635.33 crore by selling 4.89 crore shares to 38 anchor investors at Rs 334 per share, according to the Business Standard. The anchor investors included Goldman Sachs, Birla Sun Life Trustee Company, Morgan Stanley Mauritius Company, UTI Trustee Co, SBI Trustee Co and Government of Singapore, among others.

With a market valuation of Rs 46,023.66 crore as on March 31, 2016, ICICI Prudential is the largest private sector life insurer in India in terms of total premium and assets. Of the company's 18.13 crore equity shares that were up for public offer, 10% was reserved for shareholders of ICICI Bank. The bank holds around 68% stake in the company, while Prudential has 26%.

The insurer is a joint venture between ICICI Bank and Prudential Corporation Holdings of United Kingdom. Among its major shareholders are PremjiInvest and Singapore's Temasek. It began operations in 2000 and offers life insurance, health insurance, pension products and services. The company gained its goodwill with its claim-settlement ratio at 96.2%, the highest in the realm of private life insurance, according to MoneyControl.