Funding Circle shares tumble 20pc on initial IPO pricing

Funding Circle shares tumble 20pc on initial IPO pricing

Funding Circle (LON: FCH) had a disappointing debut on the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

Shares in the peer-to-peer lender tumbled down to 334.5p in mid-morning trading, down from the listing price of 440p.

Samir Desai, the group’s chief executive, said last month that he expected “ups and downs” but was focused on the long-term.

“We know where we are going in the long term, and we’re not naive – we know there will be ups and downs, but as long as we stay focused on the long-term we will be happy,” he told City AM.

Wednesday also Aston Martin debut on the stock exchange. Shares opened at £19 but soon fell 6.6 percent when trading went underway, valuing the group just over £4 billion.

“We are delighted by the positive response we have received from investors across the world and are very pleased to welcome our new shareholders to the register,” said the group’s chief executive, Andy Palmer. 

Russ Mould, the investment director at AJ Bell, said that the groups were getting a reality check.

“Many IPOs have been a great success this year and you cannot conclude from Aston Martin and Funding Circle’s problems that investors have suddenly gone off new floats. You need to look at them on a case-by-case basis.”

“Peer-to-peer platform Funding Circle lost nearly 20 percent of its value while still in the conditional trading phase, sometimes described as a grey market, yesterday.”

“This is highly unusual, as typically the banks which bring a company to market are able to at least stabilise a share price during this period. It is also worth noting the issue had already come in at the bottom of the guided range at 440p.”

“Funding Circle made £94.5 million revenue in 2017 and a pre-tax loss of £36.3 million. It spent £38.7 million on marketing – so roughly 40 percent of revenue. The company says it expects to significantly increase marketing activity, albeit maintaining this ratio of spend-to-revenue for the medium term.

“You also have to consider the P2P sector has developed a patchy reputation in recent years with concerns about loan default levels and lower returns than some platforms initially indicated,” he added.