Market Report: Metro Bank sets tails wagging as it jumps up on debut

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Canine-friendly Metro Bank was no dog on its stock market debut.

The challenger bank, which offers customers dog biscuits and water for their pooches, jumped from 2000p to 2109.5p in grey market trading, having confirmed on Friday that it had raised £400 million, valuing the company at £1.6 billion. 

But that’s only half the story: the loss-making bank, which opened its first branch in Holborn six years ago, was angling for a near-£2 billion float, but the banking sell-off this year forced it into a cut-price listing.

Clydesdale Bank, now known as CYBG, suffered the same fate, but has fared well since its Australian owners slashed the issue price to 180p. Today, they were 5.34p better off at 208.34p.

Existing investors, including asset management giants BlackRock and Fidelity, were among the institutions which increased their stakes in Metro Bank. Retail investors can start trading shares on Thursday.  


Paved the way: Clydesdale bank, now CYBG, has seen its share price rise since listing (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)

Markets took a breather after Friday’s surge, with the FTSE 100 drifting 30.55 points lower to 6168.88 as investors’ gaze turned to Thursday’s ECB meeting, with most economists predicting deeper negative interest rates.

All sectors on the blue-chip index were in the red, but mining was better off than most. Even still, Anglo American was among the biggest casualties, crumbling 18.44p to 573.56p as UBS took the axe to its rating, now a Sell.

The broker said it was concerned the under-pressure miner would struggle to sell its coal, nickel and iron ore assets for a decent price to pay down debt.

Directors selling shares in their own company rarely fills investors with confidence. And so it proved for Just Eat, whose shares slumped 27.4p or 6.5% to 396.7p as chief executive David Buttress and chief financial officer Mike Wroe dumped £12.5 million and £6.6 million of stock respectively.

Choppy waters caused shares in shipping broker Clarksons to sink 57p to 1889p. Although its annual results threw up no shocks, profit growth is expected to grind to a halt this year.

Shares in FairFX were up 1.5p at 30p as Richard Bernstein’s activist fund Crystal Amber injected £5 million into the AIM-listed money-transfer firm in return for a 24% stake.

Watchstone Group, formerly Quindell, edged up 2.5p to 217.5p as it agreed to sell Quintica for £1.35 million to Charles Osburn, the telecoms software business’s chief executive.

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March 8, 2016 |
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