You heard all about the largest initial public offering (ever) last week. That is, the debut of the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba. Now, investors are awaiting the second-biggest U.S. IPO of the year.
Shares of Citizens Financial Group are expected to price later Tuesday. It could be the largest bank IPO since Goldman Sachs in 1999.
Citizens Financial Group is one of the largest regional banks in the U.S., but it’s owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland. During the financial crisis, RBS was bailed out by British taxpayers. Now, the UK government wants out, says banking analyst Richard Bove with Rafferty Capital Markets.
“They’re saying, ‘Hey look, we don’t want to be in the banking business,’” Bove says. “’You forced us to bail you out. Now give us the money back, and if that means selling off assets, sell them.’”
Kathleen Smith manages a fund that invests in newly public companies at Renaissance Capital. She says this year has been the strongest for IPOs since 2000, but financial companies haven’t fared so well.
With the Citizens offering just days after the biggest IPO ever, “it will be a test of the market capacity to add additional new product to portfolios,” she says.
Smith says investors may also look askance at the $9 million in bonuses Citizens executives are expected to get from the IPO.