February 6, 2018 / 1:41 PM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Metrovacesa IPO tests appetite for Spanish real estate

(Adds details, background, updates share price)

By Sonya Dowsett and Andrés González

MADRID, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Metrovacesa began trading on the stock market on Tuesday in Spain’s first initial public offering of 2018 as the residential developer tests investor appetite a decade after the sector’s spectacular collapse.

The shares, which were delisted in 2013, fell as much as 9 percent on their return amid the worst global equity sell-off in years.

They later trimmed their losses, standing down 6.4 percent at 15.44 euros at 1255 GMT, lagging the Ibex index which was off 2.6 percent.

Metrovacesa, which has around a fifth of its assets in politically troubled Catalonia, last week cut the expected range of its flotation price.

Falling equity markets contributed to the company cutting the listing price, a company source said, citing growing inflation expectations and rising bond yields.

The listing price valued the company at 2.5 billion euros ($3.09 billion), below its net asset value of 2.69 billion.

Spanish real estate has bounced back after a crippling property bust 10 years ago to become one of the country’s hottest sectors.

Licences for house-building in the first 11 months of 2017 were up 26 percent to their highest level in seven years.

Watching Metrovacesa’s debut are a pipeline of other real estate companies which are considering flotations.

Residential rental company Testa is working with banks to plan a stock market flotation in May, sources said this month, while residential developer Via Celere and real estate management company Haya are also considering listing on the Spanish stock exchange, according to media reports.

$1 = 0.8062 euros Additional reporting by Andres Gonzalez; editing by Paul Day and Jason Neely

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