The inaugural day of trading in AWB Limited shares has been a success for investors and at the close of trading today AWB shares – which were issued at $3.15 a share – had risen to $3.46, an increase of nearly 10 percent, this values AWB at $945 million.

AWB Limited’s Chief Executive and Managing Director, Mr Andrew Lindberg, said the first trading day was a milestone for the company and for its shareholders.

A total of 273.3 million shares in AWB were listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) today – 242 million representing existing shares owned by ‘B’ Class equity shareholders, and a further 31.8 million new AWB shares.

The 31.8 million new shares in AWB were allocated in the following manner:

  • approximately 19.0 million shares were allocated to institutions;
  • approximately 6.4 million shares were allocated to retail investors; and
  • approximately 6.4 million shares were allocated to existing shareholders and AWB employees.

“For the average investor, the majority being Australian wheat growers, the first-day closing price represents a 29 percent premium to the net tangible asset per share of $2.69 as at 31st March 2001,” Mr Lindberg said.

Mr Lindberg said he was also pleased with the level of turnover in the company’s shares during the first day, as increased liquidity was a key reason for the company being listed on the ASX.

“A total of 8.4 million shares were traded today, compared to approximately 3 million AWB shares traded throughout the 18 months in which the previous share matching system operated,” Mr Lindberg said.

Mr Lindberg said while today’s closing price was heading in the right direction, the company is focused on building shareholder value over the long-term.

Chess Allotment Notices and Issuer Sponsored Statement of shareholdings for successful applications are expected to be mailed out on Wednesday 29th August. Refund cheques for applications that were not successful or were scaled back are also expected to be mailed on this date.

As part of the mail out, details will be available of a special sale facility for smaller shareholders to sell their AWB shares free of brokerage.

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