Consumer lender Latitude Financial jumps 15% on Australia debut

·1 min read

April 20 (Reuters) - Consumer lender Latitude Financial Services Australia's shares jumped nearly 15% on its debut on the Australian stock exchange on Tuesday, after raising A$200 million ($155.96 million) through its initial public offering.

Latitude, which offers digital payments and a range of personal loans and credit cards in Australia and New Zealand, is listing at a time when the buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) space has surged in popularity as the COVID-19 pandemic drove increased online spending.

The company's BNPL product, "LatitudePay", will be competing in local markets with similar offerings from sector giant Afterpay, top lender Commonwealth Bank of Australia and U.S.-based PayPal.

With the jump in share price to as much as A$2.990 per share by 0356 GMT, Latitude now has a valuation of nearly A$3 billion, with one billion shares on issue.

Existing owners KKR, Värde Partners and Deutsche Bank hold a 66.4% stake in the company after the listing, while Japan-based Shinsei Bank recently agreed to buy a 10% stake prior to the IPO.

According to recent filings, the company's total operating income was A$823.4 million for the twelve months ended Dec. 31, 2020, while it recorded a loss of A$32.6 million for the period.

($1 = 1.2824 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)