I don’t think a lot of people in the Netherlands will have missed the fact that ABN Amro is going to relist on the Amsterdam stock exchange this month. It’s big news in the mainstream media because ABN Amro was nationalized in 2008 at a cost of €21.7 billion for the Dutch tax payer. The bank has currently a book value of €17 billion, and the Dutch state appears to be willing to take a small loss on the bailout. They intend to IPO certificates for a price between €16 and €20 which implies a valuation between €15.0 and €18.8 billion.
I’m not particularly interested in owning ABN Amro, but what is interesting is that Dutch private investors get a preferential treatment in the allocation of shares. Individual investors will get a full allocation for the first 250 shares unless more than 10% of the shares that are sold in the IPO are necessary to do this. To hit that number more than 75 thousand investors have to request the full 250 share allocation, and I think that that is unlikely to happen.
Participating in an IPO is on average profitable, but the problem for retail investors is that you run the risk that you only get an allocation when there is not a lot of interest in the deal. Because of how this deal is structured that’s not going to happen here. At the same time, we know in advance that this is not some hot web 2.0 stock that could make a huge jump on the first trading day. It’s just a boring bank. But I do think that it is highly likely that the IPO will be priced at a point where it is more likely than not that the stock will make a small jump on the first trading day. So I’m going to subscribe to some shares, and we’ll see what will happen :).
No position in ABN Amro at this moment