April 28, 2014 / 9:46 AM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 2-Buwog shares rise in Frankfurt stock market debut

* Buwog valued at $1.88 bln on first day of trading

* Market price represents 17 pct discount to NAV

* Immofinanz shares fall 15.5 pct (Adds CEO comment, closing price, background)

By Kathrin Jones and Georgina Prodhan

FRANKFURT/VIENNA, April 28 (Reuters) - Shares in property group Buwog rose in their market debut on Monday, valuing the company spun off from Immofinanz at about 1.38 billion euros ($1.9 billion).

Trading of the shares in the first new public listing for both Frankfurt and Vienna this year started at 13 euros apiece, and the price rose to 13.78 euros in Frankfurt and 13.93 euros in Vienna by market close.

Earlier this year, shareholders in Austria’s Immofinanz approved a spin-off of an initial 51 percent of Buwog to separate Buwog’s portfolio of German and Austrian homes from Immofinanz’ eastern European commercial assets.

The shareholders received one Buwog share for every 20 Immofinanz shares they hold.

“Direct access to the capital markets opens great opportunities for our company and allows us to better exploit the growth potential in both our target markets, Germany and Austria,” Buwog Chief Executive Daniel Riedl said in Frankfurt.

The closing price represented a roughly 17 percent discount to Buwog’s net asset value, broadly in line with German peer Gagfah but cheaper than Germany’s Deutsche Wohnen or LEG Immobilien.

Global initial public offerings almost doubled in value in the first quarter of 2014 with Europe leading the way thanks to a nascent economic recovery, but Germany has seen little activity with only two flotations announced.

Shares in Immofinanz, whose remaining portfolio is weighted towards Russian retail, fell 15.5 percent in Vienna to 2.64 euros, wiping around 700 million off the value of the company.

Analysts said the drop was probably driven by rising Russia-Ukraine tensions after the United States froze assets and imposed visa bans on seven powerful Russians close to President Vladimir Putin and sanctioned 17 Russian firms.

The company still holds 49 percent of Buwog, worth about 675 million euros at Monday’s close. It aims to reduce its stake. ($1 = 0.7223 Euros) (Reporting by Kathrin Jones and Georgina Prodhan; Writing by Arno Schuetze and Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Erica Billingham)

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