Stock of Kazakhstan’s Air Astana JSC held steady in its trading debut in the UK, underpinning a long-awaited rebound in European initial public offering activity.
The firm’s global depositary receipts were trading at $9.50 each at 8:34 a.m. in London, in line with the IPO price. The listing values Air Astana at about $847 million.
The carrier raised $120 million in the offering, while owners including the UK defense firm BAE Systems Plc and Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund got the remainder of the $370 million offering, according to a statement. The share sale was increased by $70 million due to elevated demand.
Investors are returning to Europe’s IPO market after a nearly two-year hiatus. There has been about $1.5 billion raised in first-time share sales on European exchanges so far this year, close to double the amount in the same period in 2023, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Air Astana’s IPO is also a sign of the aviation industry’s confidence. Athens International Airport SA started trading in the Greek capital earlier this week after the country’s government led its first-time share sale. The shares closed nearly 12 per cent above the IPO price in the airport’s first session on the Athens Stock Exchange.
Earlier this year, the Air Astana Group announced its fleet has grown to 50 aircraft following the arrival of a new Airbus A321neo from the assembly line in Hamburg, Germany.
Tha airline's strategy is to grow its fleet to 80 aircraft by the end of 2028.