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Royal Mail soars on stock market debut

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October 11, 2013 04:06 AM EST | AP


LONDON — LONDON (AP) — Shares in Royal Mail have soared on their stock market debut, though small shareholders will have to wait until next week before they can reap any windfall.

An hour after the start of trading in London, Royal Mail's share price was trading 34 percent higher at 443 pence. The shares were allocated to shareholders, large and small, at 330 pence.

Big financial institutions, such as pension funds, are the main traders Friday. Smaller shareholders will get a chance to buy and sell next week.

Friday's demand will likely bolster criticism that the company was undervalued by the British government.

The government will raise 1.72 billion pounds ($2.75 billion) from the sale of a majority stake which puts Royal Mail under private control for the first time in its 500-year history.