Markets: ASX capital complete

Australia's publically listed stock and derivatives exchange has sold 18.4 million shares in a capital raising over the past two months.

The ASX, the stock and derivatives exchange that traces its history back 162 years, has raised $553 million equally from fund managers and individual investors to fund its clearing house business and pay back debt.

The ASX today said in a statement that some investors had paid $33.40 for the right to buy stock from some shareholders who did not exercise the right to buy some of the new 18.4 million shares sold by the company this month and last.

About 95 per cent of fund managers who were ASX shareholders exercised their right to buy the new shares, according to a person familiar with the matter. About 75 per cent of the eligible individual investors did as well, the person who spoke on condition of anonymity said. The two types of investors bought the new ASX stock at $30 a share.

At 1551 AEST ASX shares were up 54 cents, or 1.6 per cent, to $34.90. Fund managers bought about $275 million worth of ASX stock on June 11 and 12. Individual investors bought about the same amount between June 17 and July 5.

ASX shares have gained 5.3 per cent since its share sale was announced June 11. The stock is up 16 per cent in the last 12 months compared with the 21 per cent gain in the S&P/ASX200 Index, which it is part of, during the same period.

Last month the company said it expects its net profit in the six months to June 30 this year to rise 5.7 per cent from the same period a year ago to $175 million. It intends to pay out 90 per cent of its 2013 net profit in dividends.

UBS was the sole lead underwriter of the ASX share sale. The Swiss investment bank’s Australian office is run by Matthew Grounds. It has been the number one equity capital markets bank in the country since 2006.

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