Betters tip Saga stock for strong rise after float

Tim Wallace
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INSURANCE and consumer services group Saga could be worth up to £2.92bn, well above the expected flotation valuation of £2bn to £2.5bn, according to trades on IG’s grey market in recent days.

If the traders are correct, Saga will join other recent initial public offerings (IPO) including Royal Mail, Twitter and Boohoo where the share’s price shot up on joining the market.

Spread-betting firm IG has opened the grey market, allowing traders to bet on where they expect Saga’s share price to close on its first day of trading.

Bets placed with IG put the valuation at £2.72bn to £2.92bn, indicating that even if Saga floats at £2.5bn, the top end of the expected price range, it could rise by as much as 16.8 per cent on day one.

By comparison shares in JustEat rose by more than 10 per cent on their first day of trading, while Royal Mail’s increased by 38 per cent.

Such a valuation would put it closer to joining the FTSE100 – the top flight of stocks includes some firms with market capitalisations of just over £3bn.

“Unlike some of the recent companies to have gained a quote on the London Stock Exchange, a far more significant proportion of the shares that are being offered will go to the retail market and private investors rather than large institutions,” said IG analyst Alastair McCaig.

“Almost 700,000 Saga customers have indicated an interest in the IPO and, should the shares perform well, this would ensure both customers and shareholders are happy.”

Saga hopes to sell a chunk of the shares to customers, as they tend to be relatively wealthy. The minimum bid from an individual will be £1,000.

However, not all IPOs have boomed from day one – gaming firm King and animal goods business Pets At Home both recorded falls in their share price on day one of market trading.