Unicaja Banco became the first Malaga-based firm to list on the Spanish stock exchange on Friday. Company shares were to start trading at 1.10 euros each before the market took over to set the price level. The share launch values the company at 1.7 billion euros.
This valuation was on the low side of what Unicaja had communicated to stock market officials in the middle of June, when it said it expected to start at between 1.10 and 1.40 euros.
The sale of a minority stake in the company to institutional investors -small private investors were excluded- means Unicaja will raise some 687.5 million euros to cover commitments, including the repayment to the government of the 604 million euros it was loaned to rescue Banco Ceiss, another former savings bank group, that was in trouble during the financial crisis.
Analysts said the value of the offer had been influenced negatively by other recent financial events in the Spanish banking sector, including the emergency sale of Banco Popular to Banco Santander for one euro.
Unicaja will still be majority owned by the Unicaja foundation, a legacy of its long history as Malaga province’s main local savings bank.