* Genworth Australia hits high of A$3.02 vs A$2.65 issue
* IPO is Australia's largest for 2014, values company at
(Adds details on Australian IPO market, company prospectus)
SYDNEY May 20 Shares in home-loan insurer
Genworth Mortgage Insurance Australia Ltd rose 14
percent on Tuesday in an upbeat first day of trading for the
country's biggest initial public offer of the year so far.
U.S. financial services giant Genworth Financial Inc
raised A$583 million ($545 million) by selling 34 percent of its
Australian business, joining a rush of companies to capitalise
on the country's buoyant equity markets.
After a two-year delay blamed on unfavourable market
conditions, Genworth Financial revived the listing of its
Australian unit this year as the country's benchmark S&P/ASX 200
Index rallied to a five-year-high.
Genworth Australia shares opened at A$2.91 compared to an
issue price of A$2.65, and hit a peak of A$3.02, giving it a
market capitalisation of almost A$2 billion.
Genworth provides insurance to mortgage lenders, mostly for
high loan to value residential mortgages and has been profitable
for 46 of the past 48 years, according to its prospectus.
Australia's residential property market has been enjoying a
revival in prices and activity after a period of stagnation,
thanks largely to record low interest rates.
Genworth flagged rising mortgage rates, higher unemployment
and weaker consumer confidence as among its key risks in its
IPO issuance in Australia since the beginning of the year
has more than doubled to $1.2 billion over the same period in
2013, according to Thomson Reuters data. Companies raised $6
billion from new listings in 2013, the best year since 2010.
But performance has been patchy. Shares of aged care
provider Japara Health, until Tuesday the biggest float
of the year after raising A$525 million, have traded
consistently above their issue price since listing on April 17.
However, three other mid-range floats - online retail
company OzSale, education group Stirling Early Education and
hotel company Mantra Hotels - were cancelled because of lack of
The Genworth float will be closely watched by Australia's
Pacific Equity Partners which plans to raise A$1 billion by
selling 51 percent of cleaning and catering company Spotless
Group in a listing scheduled for Friday, eclipsing Genworth.
Private equity behemoths TPG and Carlyle
will also be watching Genworth. They are expected to decide in
June whether to sell Australian healthcare provider Healthscope
in a public listing or via private sale, valued at an estimated
($1 = 1.0696 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Byron Kaye and Lincoln Feast; Editing by Edwina
Gibbs and Matt Driskill)