UPDATE: 4:53 a.m. EST -- ABN Amro’s stock, trading under the ticker ‘ABN,’ opened at 18.18 euros ($19.42) and was up 1.1 percent during initial morning trade on the Euronext Amsterdam Stock Exchange.
Dutch bank ABN Amro Group NV’s shares were priced at 17.75 euros ($18.9) per piece ahead of their market debut on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, according to a company statement Friday. Valued at 16.67 billion euros ($17.8 billion), Friday's listing would be the largest European bank IPO since the 2008 financial crisis.
The initial public offering will raise at least 3.3 billion euros ($3.52 billion) by divesting a 20 percent stake, the state-owned bank said. The IPOs’ over-allotment options could lift proceeds higher, to about 4.32 billion euros ($4.61 billion).
Corne van Zeijl, a portfolio manager at Actiam, told Reuters that the Netherlands government had taken a conservative pricing estimate, opting nearer to the bottom of an initial 20-30 percent range.
ABN Amro’s listing will help the Dutch government recoup some its losses after it spent about 22 billion euros ($23.49 billion) rescuing the bank from a failed takeover by Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Santander and the now defunct Fortis in 2007.
The $72 billion euro ($76.8 billion) takeover of ABN Amro -- the largest in the history of the financial services business -- failed due to the financial crisis in 2008. In its aftermath, RBS was propped up by the U.K. government, while Netherlands had to buy out Fortis and ABN Amro to avoid crippling the nation's banking system.
However, Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who gave the final approval to sell a 23 percent stake in the bank, conceded earlier this month that taxpayers are unlikely to recover the entire bailout amount. "There was a much larger price tag on the rescue of ABN Amro," Dijsselbloem said in Brussels, according to reports. "We're just going to try to sell it for the best possible return."
After the bank’s collapse, the Dutch government hired Gerrit Zalm, a former finance minister, as chief executive officer of the company to turn it from one of the largest banks in the world to a smaller lender focused on its home market. The Dutch state has said that it eventually plans to exit the company completely, according to reports.
Last week, the company reported a net profit of 509 million euros ($543.5 million), a 33 percent year-on-year jump, in the third quarter.