Indian firms raised over Rs 12,500 crore through issuance of shares to promoters and shareholders on preferential basis in the first four months of the current fiscal -- down 31 per cent year-on-year. As per the latest data available with Sebi, funds garnered by listed companies via preferential allotment stood at Rs 12,526 crore in the April-July period of 2016-17, compared to Rs 18,056 crore in the same period of the preceding fiscal. The funds have been mobilised for business expansion, refinancing debt, working capital requirements and general corporate purposes. Preferential allotment serves as an alternative mechanism of resource mobilisation, wherein a listed firm issues shares or convertible securities to a select group of shareholders on a private placement basis. Through such allotments, companies raised Rs 3,829 crore in April, Rs 5,218 crore in May, Rs 2,009 crore in June and Rs 1,470 crore in July.