Bankruptcy no barrier to entry for General Growth stock

There were more than a few quizzical looks in the newsroom this week when General Growth Properties said it would again list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange. Wouldn’t bankruptcy preclude the stock from being on the Big Boad? Not only does being bankrupt not keep your stock from being traded, but from the reaction of investors, it won’t even make your stock a sell.

Ilaina Jonas reports General Growth is not alone as having its shares trade on the Big Board while operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. A representative of the exchange did not know how many of the approximately 2,425 companies trading on the New York Stock Exchange were in Chapter 11. But a handful, such as W.R. Grace, have continued to trade on the Big Board post-bankruptcy.

General Growth is a bit different, still. It was delisted after its April filing and has now returned. The company has a market capitalization of over $4 billion, making it the 15th-largest publicly traded REIT of nearly 130 REITs traded on the NYSE. About half of General Growth’s shares are owned by hedge fund manager William Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management and by Chairman John Bucksbaum and his family or family’s trust. Management is still calling the shots, even from bankruptcy, since the pervasive view – though not officially the view of the court yet – is that the company was sent into the tank by the credit crisis and not anything fundamentally wrong with its business. There is even an equity committee taking part in the bankrtupcy proceedings.

Clearly the stain of Chapter 11 is not worrying investors. The stock, on its re-debut, is up nearly 3 percent in early afternoon trade.

KKR’s latest listing missive

nysePrivate equity giant KKR’s latest document on its lengthy route to becoming a publicly-traded company makes the intriguing suggestion that it could list on either the Nasdaq or the NYSE.  

The idea all along has been for KKR, after listing on Euronext through buying its Amsterdam-listed fund KPE, to potentially list on the NYSE, so switching to Nasdaq would be quite a suprise.

Press releases up to now have pinpointed the NYSE as KKR’s possible future home. However, today’s document is a filing to unitholders rather than a statement to the press, so it is more formal and looks at all possible eventualities (such as a long section on risk factors).

Can this hybrid jump-start the IPO market?

nyse1One of the biggest criticisms made of the IPO process is that investment banks turn around and flip hot new stocks for a big, quick profit, crowding out institutional investors with a longer attention span, and showing with no regard for a company’s long term prospects.

But Menlo, California-based InsideVenture, which is backed by major venture capital firms such as Venrock and Frazier Ventures, major institutional investors such as T Rowe Price, and even the New York Stock Exchange, thinks its new Hybrid Private-Public Offering (HPPOs) method of launching IPOs, introduced this week, is a way around that problem and a way to spur a recovery in the IPO market.

Here’s how an HPPO would work: small and mid-cap companies would still have to file standard IPO registrations with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. But the company would then work with InsideVenture to allocate about half the shares to its existing shareholders and any of the 225 long-term fundamental investors that are InsideVenture members. Once it had lined up a roster made up of enough long term investors, the company would launch its IPO.

Nasdaq powers Iraqi stock exchange’s electronic trading

iraqiflagTalk about trying to get a piece of an emerging market.

Nasdaq OMX said on Tuesday that its trading and clearing system was used in the launch last week of electronic trading on the Iraq Stock Exchange, or ISX, as it is known.

It is not the first time U.S. exchanges have partnered with counterparts in the Middle East. Nasdaq operates Nasdaq Dubai, and last year, the New York Stock Exchange bought a 25 percent stake in Doha Securities Market. But it may well be the first time an exchange struck a deal in a war torn country, another sign that Iraq may slowly be returning to a semblance of normalcy.

With 3,800 listed stocks, Nasdaq is well positioned to help out ISX, an embryonic exchange started in 2004 that lists only 91 stocks. About half of those are finance-related companies, such as Bank of Baghdad and Babylon Bank, while others include hotels and agricultural companies. Please click here to see the list.

NYSE vs Nasdaq new listings battle in 08: call it a draw

duel2You win some, you lose some.

The IPO gods doled out more misery than joy in 2008 to both two major U.S. stock exchanges, the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq, with only 29 new companies to fight over in their ongoing battle for listings. That compared with 202 listings in 2007.

NYSE won 13 of those IPOs, including the largest IPO ever, the $17.9 billion issue by credit-card issuer Visa in March, and a $1.4 billion IPO by American Water Works. That fueled its share of IPO proceeds for the year to $24.7 billion, or 94 percent of the total for the year, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Nasdaq’s largest deal, the $500 million IPO by solar equipment company GT Solar, tanked on arrival, finishing the year 83 percent down off its offer price.