December 7, 2018 / 8:09 AM / 3 days ago

UPDATE 1-Investing platform AJ Bell's shares jump 9 pct in London debut

(Adds opening price)

By Dasha Afanasieva

LONDON, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Britain’s AJ Bell bucked a trend of lacklustre European initial public offerings (IPOs), as the investment platform provider’s shares jumped more than 9 percent in their market debut on the London Stock Exchange on Friday.

AJ Bell’s shares opened at 162 pence and quickly climbed to a high of 175 pence. They were priced at 160 pence in their IPO that valued the company at up to 675 million pounds ($861 million).

Analysts had earlier said that the firm, which has almost doubled its assets under administration since 2014 to about 46 billion pounds, could shrug off macroeconomic worries during its market debut and prove to be a bright spot in a lacklustre European IPO market.

“It’s an excellent, cash generative business,” James Congdon, managing director at cashflow returns specialist Quest, had said before the debut. “Our Quest analysis shows the company should be valued at 100 million pounds above the top end of the current range.”

AJ Bell said in its prospectus that a downturn in the global and British economies, particularly in the wake of the country’s exit from the European Union, could hurt its business because people would have less savings to invest in shares.

High profile IPOs of luxury car maker Aston Martin and crowd funding platform Funding Circle flopped in the first days of trading.

In the year ending September, AJ Bell had an operating profit of 28 million pounds and revenue of 90 million pounds, and more than 750 employees.

The listing was led by Numis.

$1 = 0.7840 pounds Reporting by Dasha Afanasieva; Additional reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Shashwat Awasthi; Editing by Edmund Blair and Sai Sachin Ravikumar

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