BUCHAREST, Nov 12 (Reuters) – Shares in Romanian natural gas producer Romgaz opened at 35.85 lei in their debut on the Bucharest Stock Exchange on Tuesday, almost 20 percent up from the price of an initial public offering agreed with international lenders.
The sale of a 15-percent stake in Romgaz is the biggest flotation attempted by the government and part of wider privatisation plans agreed between Romania and the International Monetary Fund under a two-year aid package for the European Union's second poorest country.
Trading in Romgaz GDRs on the London Stock Exchange also started, at an opening price of $10.80.
In Bucharest, Romgaz shares, which had been sold at 30 lei, jumped as high as 35.95 lei but shed ground later to trade at 34.85 at 0936 GMT.
According to a Reuters calculation, Romgaz was valued at about $4.0 billion.
"The outcome of this transaction is spectacularly good for the capital market in Romania," said Ludwik Sobolewski, the Bucharest bourse's chief executive told a news conference.
Romania raised 1.7 billion lei with the flotation, which was heavily oversubscribed, and plans more listings in the months ahead.
Romgaz is the country's largest underground gas storage operator and accounts for 50.1 percent of domestic gas production, with the rest produced by local rival Petrom , controlled by Austria's OMV. It also produces electricity.
Earlier this year, Romania sold a 10 percent stake in nuclear power producer Nuclearelectrica, but failed to privatise its rail freight carrier CFR Marfa.
Other sales agreed with the IMF include stakes in the hydro-power producer Hidroelectrica, the power distributor Electrica and the coal-fired power firm Oltenia.
Sixty percent of Romgaz's Bucharest-listed shares and London-listed Global Depositary Receipts (GDRs) were sold to foreign institutional investors.
Goldman Sachs International and Erste Group Bank AG were joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners for the sale, while Banca Comerciala Romana SA and SSIF Raiffeisen Capital & Investment SA were appointed domestic lead managers.
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