QR National sees second biggest Australian IPO

AUSTRALIAN rail freight operator QR National became the country’s second biggest initial public offering on record at the weekend after selling shares worth just over A$4bn (£2.5bn).

The float is at the heart of the Queensland government’s plan to raise A$15bn by selling assets, in a bid to regain its triple A credit rating.

The Queensland government is keeping 40 per cent of the company, while the remaining 60 per cent has been split between retail investors, who took 34 per cent, and institutional investors, who took 66 per cent.

The state government’s forecast range was between A$2.50 and A$3 a share. It will be listed on the Australian Securities Exchange at noon today (Australian time), with an allocation of A$4.05bn in shares.

The float will be the largest sharemarket listing since Telstra was privatised in three stages from 1997.

Treasurer Andrew Fraser denied the government was disappointed the price was at the lower end of its forecast range.

He said the state government would keep its stake for two years.