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Banks

UPDATE 5-First Republic, SemiLEDs close up in U.S. debuts

* First Republic closes at $27.92, 9.5 pct above IPO price

* Shares as high as $28.11 in largest bank IPO since 2008

* SemiLEDs shares up 52 pct, closing at $25.76

* Bona Film shares drop 22 pct to $6.60 (Rewrites with closing share prices)

By Joe Rauch and Clare Baldwin

CHARLOTTE, N.C./NEW YORK, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Shares of First Republic Bank FRC.N closed 9.5 percent above their initial public offering price on Thursday as investors flocked to the largest bank IPO since the financial crisis peaked in 2008.

The bank that caters to wealthy customers saw its stock open at $27.25, above their $25.50 IPO price, rising as high as $28.11 before paring those gains to close at $27.92.

In other market debuts, shares of Taiwanese lighting company SemiLEDs Corp LEDS.O rose while those of Chinese film distributor Bona Film Group Ltd BONA.O fell.

SemiLEDs, which makes LEDs for applications including street lights, saw its shares close up 52 percent at $25.76. The shares had opened at $24.01, 41 percent above their $17 IPO price.

Bona Film shares ended down 22 percent at $6.60, after opening flat with the IPO price of $8.50. Bona Film shares went as low as $6.45 per share during intraday trade.

The company, which also owns six movie theaters in China, posted a $7.4 million loss on revenue of just under $35 million for the nine months ended Sept. 30.

SELLING HOLDERS

San Francisco-based First Republic and selling stockholders sold 11 million shares on Wednesday at $25.50 each, raising about $280.5 million. They had planned to sell shares for between $24 to $27 each.

The IPO comes five months after Bank of America Corp BAC.N sold First Republic to First Republic's management, backed by private equity firms Colony Capital and General Atlantic.

Bank IPOs, which once happened in droves, have virtually disappeared since the financial crisis peaked in 2008.

Instead, large banks have been selling assets to address new capital rules, called Basel III, and requirements under the new U.S. financial reform law, known as the Dodd-Frank Act.

First Republic, which was never integrated into Merrill or Bank of America, has long been seen as an easy carve-out that would help boost Bank of America’s capital position.

The Charlotte, North Carolina-based lender -- the largest U.S. bank by assets -- has been focused on selling assets and reducing the number of business units it owns.

In July, it sold First Republic to its management team, which was backed by the private equity consortium. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Yet the quick turnaround from buyout to IPO suggests Bank of America may have sold First Republic cheaply, analysts have said. [ID:nSGE6AS0BH]

First Republic’s closing stock price on Thursday values the company at roughly $3.5 billion for the 124 million common stock shares outstanding.

As of Sept. 30, First Republic had assets of $22 billion, including wealth management assets of $17.2 billion, making it the 44th largest U.S. bank by deposits.

Underwriters on the First Republic IPO were led by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan. (Reporting by Clare Baldwin and Joe Rauch in Charlotte, N.C.; Editing by Dave Zimmerman and Tim Dobbyn)

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