Steadfast shares soar on listing debut

Insurance broking firm chaired by former QBE chief Frank O'Halloran rallies more than 20%.

Insurance broking firm Steadfast Group has rallied 21% in its debut on the Australian Securities Exchange after raising $333 million in its initial public offering.

Steadfast was trading at $1.40 at 1425 AEST, against a benchmark rise of 0.98%, after listing at midday at $1.15 a share.  

Sydney-based Steadfast, which is chaired by former QBE chief Frank O'Halloran, raised $333.7 million through the issue of 290.2 million fully-paid ordinary shares.

It marks the ninth listing in Australia this financial year and the 49th for the calendar year, bringing the total number of ASX-listed entities to 2,182 (see Brendon Lau's Making money from small cap IPOs).

Steadfast's strong debut is at odds with health insurance comparison group iSelect, which fell 16% on its first trading day in June.

On its website, Steadfast says it is Australia's largest broker network group, with 280 insurance brokerages and $4.1 billion in annual insurance sales. It provides insurance broking and underwriting services.