Standard Life begins trading on LSE

16-07-2006

Standard Life begins trading on LSE
Standard Life will today begin trading on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), making it the country's fifth-largest listed insurance company and qualifying it for membership of the FTSE 100 index of leading shares.

The company priced its shares at 230p each on Friday, ahead of today's listing which will end 80 years of mutual ownership.

The share price values the insurer at about £4.65 billion.

On Friday, Standard Life said there had been "tremendous support" for what will be the UK's largest public offering since 2000.

The company said that its institutional offer was three times oversubscribed, as members of Europe's largest insurer took advantage of an opportunity to buy shares at discounted rate.

Standard Life members will receive shares worth an average of £1,475, with almost 300,000 eligible members, customers and employees having applied for extra shares, the company said.

Commenting on Friday, Standard Life chairman Sir Brian Stewart said: "By increasing their investment in the company, members and customers have demonstrated their continuing belief in the prospects for our business.

"On Monday, Standard Life will start an important new chapter in its history and it is our task to make the most of the opportunities that lie ahead of us," he added.

Analysts said that while Standard Life shares might gain in early trading, the longer-term performance of the company was likely to be less certain.

"Over the next couple of days there could be a slight tick up, but I don't see an acquirer on the horizon, so on the six-month view I'm rather more pessimistic," said David Dodds, an analyst at SVM Asset Management.

"Everything the company produces will be scrutinised in a volatile, if not downward correcting, market," he added.

Related categories: Management / Business, Insurance / Pensions.


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