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* Shares up 6.17 pct from IPO price
* Ferragamo 1st IPO completed in Milan this year
* Ferragamo received bids worth 3.6 times offer
* Follows IPO of Italian peer Prada in Hong Kong
By Antonella Ciancio
MILAN, June 29 (Reuters) - Shares of Italian luxury shoemaker Salvatore Ferragamo rose in their first day of trading on Wednesday, defying expectations for a muted debut.
The Florence-based maker of shoes worn by Hollywood stars, such as Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe, trimmed debut gains to be up 6.17 percent at 9.555 euros at 0711. The blue-chip FTSE MIB index gained 0.96 percent.
“We have faced difficult moments on the equity markets, but we made it,” Chairman Ferruccio Ferragamo said at a ceremony marking the launch of trading on the Milan bourse.
A Milan fund manager said Ferragamo had benefited from a launch when markets were more optimistic about a crucial Greek austerity plan getting parliamentary approval. Passage would secure more aid from international lenders and avoid default.
“The stock was not placed at a great price and the multiples were fairly high in our opinion. But the company has an excellent story and the market’s buying that,” said the manager, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The shares had been priced at 9 euros each in the initial public offering (IPO), at the middle of their flotation range.
Larger rival Prada made a solid debut in Hong Kong on Friday, with shares rising by as much as 1.3 percent.
More than 20 IPOs have been pulled in Europe this year. Those who have managed to list have seen lackluster post-launch trading performance.
However, in an encouraging sign for sentiment in the European IPO market, Poland completed the $1.9 billion listing of coking coal miner JSW late on Tuesday, pricing its float above the mid-point of its indicative range.
For a FACTBOX on Ferragamo
Prada debut bodes well for Ferragamo
Breakingviews on Prada
Ferragamo defied a tough European market for new listings, betting on growth prospects in booming Asian markets.
Ferragamo raised 344 million euros ($487.1 million) in the listing, which values the group at 1.5 billion euros. By comparison, Prada raised $2.14 billion in its IPO.
Ferragamo’s offering received 3.6 times the amount of stock made available. But some fund managers had expressed concerns the valuation was a bit expensive for a group with lower profitability compared with the average of its European peers.
“In my opinion it’s a bit far from the fair price in terms of valuations,” Davide Fossati, fund manager at Italy’s Anima SGR, told Reuters at a roadshow in Milan last week. ($1=.7062 Euro) (Additional reporting by Maria Pia Quaglia and Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Erica Billingham and Louise Heavens)