FDJ shares surge in French lottery group’s market debut


Shares in lottery operator Francaise des Jeux surged on their stock market debut, after the most high profile French privatisation of the year that could embolden the government to press ahead with other asset sales.

The shares opened up at 23 euros compared to its offer price for institutional investors of 19.90 euros and for retail investors of 19.50 euros.

President Emmanuel Macron’s government aims to sell government shareholdings in certain companies to raise money to fund innovation projects and boost the overall economy.

The flotation is one of the biggest in Europe this year, and comes after several other initial public offerings were cancelled or postponed due to investor jitters over Britain’s exit from the European Union and a simmering U.S.-Chinese trade war.

The FDJ privatisation will generate 2 billion euros (1.72 billion pounds) in proceeds for state coffers, when including a 380 million euro payment FDJ owes the state to retain its monopoly rights for its lottery and sports betting business.