By Anna Banacka and Anna Koper

WARSAW/GDANSK, Poland (Reuters) – Shares in Polish e-commerce group Allegro leapt more than 50% on their trading debut on Monday, giving the company a market value of about $17.6 billion in Europe’s biggest IPO so far this year.

Allegro’s strong start mirrored the performance of some recent U.S. IPOs that have shot up on their first days of trading, demonstrating investors’ willingness to pay for growth.

Allegro, founded more than 20 years ago as a home-grown rival to eBay, is central Europe’s most recognised e-commerce brand, with its website attracting 20 million visitors a month.

At 1126 GMT, its shares were trading at 68.1 zlotys, up 58.4% from their IPO price of 43 zlotys, which was itself at the upper end of the guidance range.

“When pricing deals like Allegro, it is more important to build momentum than to maximize price on day one,” said Christoph Stanger, who co-heads Goldman Sachs’ European equity capital markets business, which helped organise the IPO.

Private equity owners Cinven, Permira and Mid Europa will want to benefit from that momentum in follow-on placements, after only 25% of the Polish company was floated in the IPO, Stanger said.

Europe’s IPO market is showing some signs of picking up, with Britain’s The Hut Group last month making the biggest debut on the London Stock Exchange in seven years.

However, investor appetite seems to be reserved for tech and growth companies – sectors that corporate Europe is light on compared to the United States, where a number of blockbuster tech IPOs have priced this year.

Allegro operates in one of few business areas to benefit during the coronavirus pandemic, as shoppers switch to buying online.

“The recent pandemic highlighted the value of e-commerce for a consumer, and accelerated e-commerce penetration,” said

(Bloomberg) — An upcoming surge in euro-area bond sales should be more than swept up by the record amount cash of sitting idly in the economy, potentially adding fuel to the rally sweeping across the region’s debt markets.

Next week, bond offerings in the eurozone are expected to rise five-fold, with Germany, Italy and France, among others issuing a combined 30 billion euros ($35.4 billion) worth of securities, according to Commerzbank AG. That’s still less than the amount of debt coming due.

The supply also comes as excess liquidity in the euro area ballooned past the 3-trillion-euro mark for the first time ever last week, thanks to unprecedented support from the European Central Bank.



chart: Italy sells debt next week with yields at record lows


© Bloomberg
Italy sells debt next week with yields at record lows

The monetary authority’s liquidity injections have already pushed yields on some of the region’s riskiest borrowers to record lows. With speculation now growing that the ECB will expand and extend its program in December, demand for euro-area debt could prove solid at the auctions, spurring the next leg of the rally.

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“The period from now until year-end does provide a fertile backdrop for further spread compression,” UBS Group AG strategists including Rohan Khanna wrote in a note to clients, referring to the yield premium between peripheral debt and German bunds.

While U.S. election uncertainty could lead to some volatility, “the ECB has enough firepower to fight against any unwarranted widening in spreads,” Khanna said.

Read More: Corporate America Puts $2 Trillion in Bank in Run-Up to Election

Offering additional support will be around 41 billion euros of redemptions from Germany, Italy and Ireland, which will need to be reinvested. Meanwhile, coupon payments from these three nations and Portugal will total over 1 billion euros next week.

Budgets, Brexit

National finances will also

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — With consumers increasingly using cashless ways to buy things, the European Central Bank on Friday took a step closer to issuing a digital version of the euro currency shared by 19 countries, saying it had to be ready to launch digital money if a changing world requires it.

The central bank issued a comprehensive report outlining the reasons why it might need to take the step. The ECB also said it would hold public consultations on the idea with citizens, academics and bankers.

It said no decision has been made, and that any digital euro would complement cash, not replace it. The consultations will start Oct. 12.


“The euro belongs to Europeans and our mission is to be its guardian,” said Christine Lagarde, ECB President. “Europeans are increasingly turning to digital in the ways they spend, save and invest. Our role is to secure trust in money. This means making sure the euro is fit for the digital age. We should be prepared to issue a digital euro, should the need arise.”

A digital euro would be different from current cashless payment systems run by the private sector because it would be official central bank money – trustable, risk-free and likely less expensive to use. A central bank digital currency could also be used offline, for instance, to transfer small amounts between individuals using digital wallets on their smartphones and a Bluetooth connection.

The use of cash is dwindling in some countries, led by Sweden, where most bank branches no longer handle cash and shops, restaurants and museums accept only cards or mobile payments. Additionally, the pandemic has led to an increase in touchless, non-cash ways of paying in shops. Cash still has its adherents because it is convenient and private, and the ECB was at

Welcome to the Brussels Edition, Bloomberg’s daily briefing on what matters most in the heart of the European Union.

The fight over Europe’s money is about to get even uglier. Hungary has already rejected a proposal to tie the disbursement of 1.8 trillion euros from the bloc’s new budget and jointly-financed recovery fund to rule-of-law standards. It’s also demanding that the EU official charged with upholding those norms be sacked for calling the country a “sick democracy.” To add fuel to the fire, the Commission will today release a damning report about judicial independence. The document alleges that “prosecution of high-level corruption” is “very limited” in Hungary, further exacerbating fears among richer governments that they risk bankrolling Viktor Orban’s cronies. If there’s no solution to the spat, the threat of delays in the flow of much-needed EU funds to countries such as Italy and Greece will become very real. Unless someone is bluffing.

Stephanie Bodoni and Alexander Weber

What’s Happening

Carbon Bill | European companies are scurrying to sort out how to pay for the region’s ambitious climate goals. More-advanced technologies are expensive, and the prices of permits to emit greenhouse gases are nearing record highs just as the global economy shrivels because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Brexit Moves | The U.K. sought to unblock stalled trade negotiations with the EU by submitting a new round of proposals on state aid rules. While one diplomat in Brussels said insufficient progress has been made for the talks to head into the intense phase — known as a tunnel — at the end of this week, the Irish are upbeat about a deal. Meanwhile, a vote at the House of Lords could complicate an already chaotic situation.

Merkel’s Foe | Chancellor Angela Merkel’s long-time political adversary is working the phones these