Poundland and Pets start trading

 
Michael Bow
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MILLIONS of shares in Pets at Home and Poundland changed hands yesterday after the two retailers officially started trading on the London Stock Exchange.

Poundland boss Jim McCarthy opened trading in a ceremony at the exchange but shares in the company closed 2.6 per cent lower at 375p a share. About 2m Poundland shares changed hands. The company priced its float at 300p last week before conditional trading began.

Meanwhile, Pets at Home managed to claw back some the losses it suffered in conditional trading last week and closed up two per cent at 245p – the price its bankers had originally priced the shares. About 4m shares traded in the firm yesterday.

The two floats take the total raised in London for retail floats to £2.1bn for the this year alone, with £1.78bn raised on the main market and £322m raised on the alternative investment market.

The five floats on the main market – which along with Poundland and Pets at Home includes Boohoo.com, AO World and McColls – has boosted the number of retailers on the market by nearly 12 per cent to 70 firms in total.

“The surge in retail IPO activity over the last few months can be attributed in part to a reawakening of investor appetite for equity,” the London Stock Exchange’s Alastair Walmsley said.