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India's Concord Biotech ends 27% higher in debut at $1 billion valuation

By Rama Venkat

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Shares of India's Concord Biotech settled 27.2% higher at 942.8 rupees in their trading debut on Friday, valuing the biopharma company at more than 98.63 billion rupees ($1.19 billion) in a dull market.

The Ahmedabad, Gujarat-based company opened at 900.05 rupees, a 21.5% premium to its initial public offer (IPO) price of 741 rupees.

It rose as much as 33.3% during the day, hitting its highest at 987.7 rupees.

Founded in 2000, Concord Biotech makes active pharmaceutical ingredients - the key biologically active elements in a drug - as well as finished dosages.

"Even in a subdued equity market, Concord has managed to list above the street's expectations of a 15% gain," said Prashant Tapse, senior vice president of research at Mehta Equities.

"We are optimistic (about) the company's fermentation and API businesses as well as the global biopharma sector in the long term."

The surge in trading debut comes when Indian benchmarks have retreated from record highs due to moderating foreign investor inflows, worries over U.S. Federal Reserve's interest rate hikes and growth concerns in China.

India's benchmark Nifty 50 and S&P BSE Sensex closed 0.28% and 0.31% lower, respectively.

Concord's IPO comprised 20.9 million shares on offer from existing stakeholders, according to its prospectus, implying the proceeds would go to the selling shareholders alone and not the company.

The 15.51 billion-rupees offering was subscribed 24.87 times, according to NSE data.

"The company's strong fundamentals and good subscription levels were positive factors. Investors should consider booking profits post-listing," said Anubhuti Mishra, equity research analyst at Swastika Investmart.

Earlier this year, a rally in India's equity market, fuelled by improved domestic sentiment, fired up stock listings, with Mankind Pharma, Blackstone's Nexus Select Trust and drone maker ideaForge Technology all surging in their trading debuts.

($1 = 83.1180 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Janane Venkatraman)