May 15, 2019 / 2:03 PM / a month ago

UAE's Finablr slumps below IPO price in London market debut

LONDON (Reuters) - Shares in payments and foreign exchange company Finablr fell almost 8% below its listing price in its London market debut on Wednesday, in a sign that investors may have had their fill of fintech flotations in skittish global markets.

The United Arab Emirates-based firm, whose brands include UAE Exchange, Travelex Holdings and Xpress Money, had cut its price and extended the closing of books for the London public offering by one day to drum up sufficient investor interest.

Finablr was priced at 175 pence per share but fell to a low of 160.00 pence on Wednesday. It was trading at 161.32 pence by 1306 GMT, down 7.8%.

The IPO price was significantly below an initially anticipated 210-260 pence range, giving the company an implied market value of about 1.23 billion pounds ($1.59 billion).

One banker involved with the transaction said that the repricing of the deal had encouraged more investors to buy the firm’s stock despite poor trading performance of other newly-listed fintech companies.

The top five investors, which include funds BlackRock, Columbia Threadneedle, Norges Bank and two UAE investors, got about 50% of the shares on offer, signalling a mixture of Middle Eastern and international investors, another source close to the deal said.

Finablr’s debut followed those of payments peers Network International and Nexi and coincided with an escalation of trade war fears between the United States and China, which have kept markets on edge for weeks.

A number of other market debutantes in recent months have also performed poorly and are trading below their IPO price.

Shares in Uber Technologies Inc fell more than 10% on Monday, after the ride-hailing giant’s poorly received market debut on May 10. They recouped some ground on Tuesday.

JPMorgan, Barclays and Goldman Sachs are global coordinators for the Finablr deal. Bookrunners include Bank of America Merrill Lynch, EFG Hermes and Numis. Evercore is acting as financial adviser.

Reporting by Clara Denina and Iain Withers, writing by Hadeel Al Sayegh, editing by Sinead Cruise and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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