Sale of Enel pushes Europe's total stock offerings past US

Oct 26, 2004 02:00 AM

Enel's EUR 7.6 bn ($ 9.7 bn) share sale, the world's largest this year, will push the amount raised in European stock offerings past the United States for the first time since 2000.
The sale will boost European equity offerings this year to $ 104 bn, more than the $ 101.5 bn raised in the United States.

European governments, grappling with widening budget deficits, have sold $ 17 bn of stock in the past two months. Poland earlier began selling a stake in PKO BP, the nation's biggest bank. France, Germany and Italy are preparing further sales as they reduce holdings in former state monopolies.
"Stock prices have recovered, and there's a window of opportunity," for governments to sell, said William Megginson, a professor of finance who advises Italy on stake sales.

US stock sales are lagging European offerings partly as investors shy away before the presidential election. European investors may also avoid US stock sales on concern the dollar will fall further against the euro, eroding any gains from stock price advances.
"If you want to make a profit with IPOs you're not going to put that at risk with currency fluctuations," said Mariano Sancho, a fund manager at Riva y Garcia Gestion in Barcelona, Spain. "You'd rather stay at home."

Source: PIN
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