March 27 (Bloomberg) -- International Personal Finance Plc, a U.K. lender that makes unsecured loans to low-income households in eastern Europe, rose on its first day of trading on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, the region’s biggest equity market.
The stock climbed 7.6 percent to 23.99 zloty at 12:05 p.m. in Warsaw, compared with a reference price of 22.29 zloty set by the Warsaw bourse yesterday. The shares traded 1.5 percent lower at 444.4 pence today on the London Stock Exchange.
IPF is the 52nd foreign company trading on the Warsaw exchange, attracted by central Europe’s biggest pool of pension and mutual funds. The exchange trades shares of 438 companies on its main market with their combined value of 696 billion zloty, according to data on the bourse’s website.
The Leeds-based company, which started its operations in Poland in 1997, generated 57 percent of 475.5 million-pound ($721 million) sales in central Europe’s biggest economy last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In 2010 the lender sold 200 million zloty of five-year bonds in Poland and listed the securities on Warsaw’s Catalyst debt market.
“We don’t need new capital, but we see potential demand for our shares among Polish investors,” Chief Executive Officer Gerard Ryan said today in an interview in Warsaw. A higher local profile “may be important” because IPF wants to refinance its zloty debt before it matures in June 2015, Ryan said.
IPF was spun off from Provident Financial Plc, the U.K.’s largest subprime lender, in July 2007.
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