UPDATE 1-Poland's Allegro jumps more than 50% on market debut

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WARSAW/GDANSK, Poland, Oct 12 (Reuters) – Shares in Polish e-commerce company Allegro leapt 51.2% on their stock market debut on Monday, Refinitiv Eikon data showed, giving the company a valuation of $17.6 billion at the opening price after Warsaw’s biggest IPO in years.

The market debut of Allegro marks what could be a turning point for the Warsaw stock exchange, which has struggled to attract new listings and seen a decline in turnover. The initial public offering (IPO) is expected to attract more companies to the exchange.

“…starting this afternoon we go back to focusing on the consumer, focusing on the sellers, focusing on recruitng,” Allegro chief executive Francois Nuyts told a news conference.

The shares opened at 65 zlotys ($17.19), after the IPO was priced at 43 zlotys per share.

Allegro is the most recognised e-commerce brand in Poland, with its website attracting 20 million visitors a month. It also operates in one of few business areas to benefit from the pandemic turmoil as customers switch to online shopping.

The company, founded more than 20 years ago as a home-grown rival to eBay, becomes the biggest company on the Warsaw stock exchange, overtaking video games producer CD Projekt.

The listing is a further sign of a pick up in the European IPO market.

European IPOs recovered in September, with Britain’s The Hut Group pricing the biggest debut on the London Stock Exchange in seven years.

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