OzForex surges 30 pct in debut, Australia IPO appetite strong

Reuters

* Shares rises as high as A$2.62 vs A$2.00 issue price

* Australia IPO market heats up after sluggish period

* Investment bank, private equity owners exit in IPO

SYDNEY, Oct 11 (Reuters) - OzForex Group jumped 30percent in its market debut on Friday, highlighting a resurgencein demand for new offerings in Australia as well as hopes thatthe foreign exchange broking industry is heading for aturnaround.

Having ground to a halt in 2011 and 2012, Australia's IPOmarket is staging a comeback this year, with offerings expectedto rebound to levels not seen since the financial crisis.

"There is definitely an appetite there," said Evan Lucas, amarket strategist IG Markets. "It means the market hasrecovered, people are starting to look for risk, are starting tolook for capital movement which they haven't seen for the lastthree years."

OzForex, which raised A$440 million ($416 million) inAustralia's largest IPO this year, traded as high as A$2.62compared with its offer price of A$2.00.

The online currency specialist earns its income from fees itcharges to conduct foreign exchange transactions.

"(The forex broking industry) has been a tough market forquite a while, and for them to have a such a strong get-away,shows there is certainly a demand and a belief that the marketsare going to improve in coming years, and therefore theirearnings are going to justify," Lucas said.

Other listings this year include Australian media andentertainment company Nine Entertainment Co Pty Ltd , which is expected to raise around $1.1 billion.

Investment bank Macquarie Group, funds associatedwith venture capital firm Accel Partners and funds associatedwith U.S. private equity firm Carlyle Group sold out ofOzForex as part of the IPO, according to the company'sprospectus.

Macquarie and Goldman Sachs were joint-managers onthe listing.

Ozforex recorded a net profit of A$17.1 million in itsbusiness year ended March 31, 2013, and projects a net profit ofA$18.6 million for the year to March 2014.

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