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Shares in Lithuania's Ignitis Group slip in market debut

Wed, 7th Oct 2020 10:46

By Andrius Sytas

VILNIUS, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Shares in Lithuania's state-owned
energy company Ignitis Group fell below their initial
public offering (IPO) price on their first day of trading in
Vilnius and London on Wednesday.

The markets have not been kind to new entrants as high
levels of volatility encourage investors to focus on existing
holdings or established companies.

Shares dropped to as low as 21.65 euros ($25.45) by 0854
GMT, after opening at 22.70 euros per share at 0700 GMT.

Ignitis Group, which owns Lithuania's distribution network,
power plants and a power and gas trader, was priced at lower end
of its IPO range of 22.50 euros.

Energy-related stocks are viewed as particularly uncertain
as measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic have cut into
demand and eroded fuel prices.

Viewed as a gauge of uncertainty, the volatility index
stands at 29.5.

"By a rule of thumb, IPOs are easy with volatility in the
teens, difficult in the twenties and markets are all but shut in
the thirties", an equity capital markets banker said on
condition of anonymity.

In another long-awaited debut on Wednesday, shares in
Russian shipping company Sovcomflot lost 11% by 0739
GMT on its first day of trading, after being priced at the low
end of their IPO range.

Some companies, including Germany's Springer Nature and
Switzerland's Epic Suisse, have decided to postpone planned
stock market listings.

An exception to the trend, as people focus on the safest
ways to travel given the pandemic, is German caravan maker Knaus
Tabbert, which opened on Sept. 23 at the low end of
its IPO range of 58 euros. It was trading above 62 euros per
share on Wednesday.
(Reporting By Andrius Sytas; additional reporting by Arno
Schuetze in Frankfurt; editing by Barbara Lewis)

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