Finance Ireland, a state-backed non-bank specialising in asset finance and leasing, has suspended a planned €100m (£85m)-plus initial public offering (IPO), the Irish Times has reported.
The lender cited weakening market conditions in the wake of the coronavirus in recent weeks, for its decision to withdraw its IPO listing on the Irish stock exchange, scheduled for May.
Finance Ireland was established in 2002 and has two large shareholders, US investment management firm Pimco and the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), a sovereign development fund of the Irish government. Each own 31% stakes in the company.
The business’s loan book, which includes leasing finance, motor finance, agri-lending and a real-estate portfolio – reached €1bn in 2018 as new lending grew by 13 per cent to €491m, the Irish Times said.
The IPO was put on hold indefinitely as financial market chaos, caused by supply-side shocks to the global economy as governments and health authorities seek to contain the outbreak of Covid-19, hit the stocks of lenders internationally in particular.
A spokesman for Finance Ireland declined to comment on the situation surrounding the IPO plans, the Irish Times reported.
Almost 36 per cent has been wiped off the value of Irish shares so far this year, with the Euro Stoxx 50 index down 32 per cent, as Europe has found itself at the epicentre of the crisis,
Even before the virus outbreak, growth across the Europe Union had flatlined, with gross domestic product expanding by just 0.1 per cent in Q4 of 2019, according to figures from Eurostat, the EU’s statistics office.