Havanna leads the way as firms line up for stock offerings

Source: Buenos Aires Herald
By: Ignacio Portes
05.31.2016

Buenos Aires’ stock market has experienced a somewhat flat period since President Mauricio Macri took office last December — but things look set to be shaken up by fresh movement, with a few companies lining up to make their first stock offerings in the country after years of relative drought.

Havanna, the iconic Mar del Plata-based confectioner which has been expanding into the coffee-shop business, announced yesterday it will launch an initial public offering (IPO) of shares on the local exchange market, part of a bid to attract new investors and raise 250 million pesos to expand across the continent. The IPO is scheduled to take place on June 6.

According to the local brokerage Puente, which will act as underwriter for Havanna, this will only be the first in a series of new launches, with 30 other firms lining up to do the same over the next two years.

Argentina’s stock market contracted brutally after the 2001’s default. According to Puente’s estimates, trade volume in the 1990s stood at US$300 to US$500 million, while now a normal day only sees around US$40 million.

But with the debt conflict now cleared and a party which the firm described as the most closely-tied to the financial sector in power, expansion is expected.

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