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StockBeat: Europe's IPO Market Steps Briefly Out of Unicorns' Shadow

By Geoffrey Smith

Investing.com -- It’s hard to grab people's attention for your initial public offering when you’re competing with the likes of Uber (NYSE:UBER) and Pinterest (NYSE:PINS).

Still, two IPOs in Europe this week have confirmed that that market is alive and well, despite the continent’s well-publicised economic slowdown and uncertainties.

Switzerland’s Stadler Rail has even turned the 19th century business of making trains fashionable again for a while, rising over 10% from its launch price as it debuted on the Swiss SIX exchange on Friday.

Stadler’s early success comes hot on the heels of an even bigger pop earlier this week for shares in Network International (LON:NETW), a payments company spun out of the now-defunct middle eastern private equity group Abraaj.

Network International rose 17% on its first day of trading in Europe, with demand guaranteed by a $300 million commitment from anchor investor Mastercard (NYSE:MA). As of 04:15 AM ET (0815 GMT), they were still up around 18% from the IPO price as the initial volatility in the stock eased.

The deal gave an – admittedly faint - echo of last year’s spectacular debut for Adyen (AS:ADYEN), another payments processor. Dutch-based Adyen was caught out by the broad fourth-quarter sell-off in stocks, but remains one of the big success stories of the last few years. It hit a new all-time high last week of 730.20 euros a share.

More broadly, Europe’s bourses are ending the week in positive fashion, after Chinese trade data for March suggested that the government's stimulus measures have at least halted the slowdown in the world's second-largest economy.

At 04:15 AM ET, the benchmark Euro Stoxx 600 was down 0.1% at 386.88. The U.K. FTSE led, rising 0.3% largely due to a dip in sterling, while Germany’s Dax inched up 0.1%. Italy’s FTSE MIB rose 0.2%, despite Unicredit (MI:CRDI) falling 0.5% after saying it was one of a number of banks being investigated for possible anti-competitive practices by its bond trading arm.

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