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Axiom postpones £500 million London listing, cites Greek uncertainty
[LONDON] Investment firm Axiom European Financial Debt has postponed a planned listing on London's stock exchange due to market uncertainty following the Greek elections in January, a senior official at the company said.
The company, which aims to target tightening capital requirements at European banks, is managed by Axiom Alternative Investments SARL and on Dec. 1 announced its intention to raise up to 500 million pounds (S$1.03 billion) in a London initial public offering, or a minimum of 100 million pounds. "We decided to postpone. We'll wait till the deadline for the Greek discussions and take it from there," Jerome Legras, managing partner at Axiom Alternative Investments SARL, said.
It had initially struggled to attract investors in the lead-up to the Christmas break, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Uncertainty following the Jan 25 election win for Greek leftist Alexis Tsipras on an anti-austerity ticket has already hit business confidence in Europe, and sliding Greek shares continue to weigh on European stock markets.
Axiom had intended to use the proceeds from the float to exploit opportunities from regulatory changes at European banks under so-called Basel III reform, whereby the banks must shift to new minimum capital requirements and new categories of regulatory capital instruments by 2021.
In the process, they will need to shed and replace subordinated debt, which banks convert to equity when normal capital reserves run low.
Axiom sees investment opportunities in subordinated debt that is eligible as regulatory capital, as well as in less-liquid regulatory capital instruments, such as in debt sold by mid-sized institutions and banks undergoing restructuring or those in distress.
Following its listing, Axiom was targeting a 10 per cent annual return, including a 6 per cent annual dividend payment.
Axiom European Financial Debt is based in London and Paris and registered in Guernsey.