föstudagur, september 15, 2006

free money!

It's just like the dot-com heyday here in Iceland, as today is the first trading day in the IPO of Exista. Every man, woman, and child in the Land was eligible to bid for shares in the offering, and it seems like most of them did. This IPO worked a little differently than the one I got in on back in the dotconomy heyday (thanks Shoon!) as in this one the price to the public was prix-fixed at the same 21.50 the institutional bidders set a week ago. Also, the fact that the IPO was open to every Icelandic Tom, Dick, and Harry was nice and egalitarian, just the way we like it up here.

And Exista actually seems like a reasonable company. It's a holding company that owns one of the big insurance companies here (VÍS) as well as a leasing company named, well, Lýsing. And then it's got slices of KB, one of the big banks, and Síminn, the Ma Bell of the Land. It's a bit like owning a mutual fund of blue-chip Icelandic bidness. Or maybe those respectable business holdings are just fronts for an Enron-style trading operation. Who can say?

As I write this the shares are up 6.5% in the first 45 minutes of trading. Pop the champagne and take me back to 2000, baby. It's feeling mighty bubbly in the Land.


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