(Adds market debut for company, background)
BRASILIA, June 2 (Reuters) - Insurance broker FPC Par Corretora de Seguros SA marked Brazil’s first initial public offering in seven months on Tuesday, with the offering pricing well above the suggested price range at 12.33 reais ($3.94) per share.
The offering of 48,888,890 shares was worth 602.8 million reais, the website of Brazil’s securities regulator CVM said.
The IPO was only a secondary share offering, in which existing shareholders fully or partially sold their stakes. The company will not realize any proceeds from the offering.
Managers of the IPO had originally set a price range of between 11.25 and 11.60 reais a share.
Par Corretora will debut on Sao Paulo’s Bovespa stock exchange on Friday.
The appetite for the Par Corretora shares came as a surprise given the uncertainty clouding the Brazilian economy, which is heading into its worst recession in 25 years.
Shares in financial services companies, however, have outperformed other Bovespa shares, with investors seeing them as better prepared to ride the economic downturn.
With no shortage of demand for property, health and life insurance, companies like Par Corretora are seen to have guaranteed cash flows despite the slowdown.
Brazil had only one IPO last year, veterinary products maker Ouro Fino Saúde Animal Participações SA, which priced stronger than expected in a issue worth 418 million reais in October.
Other companies put off their IPOs as the economy slowed to a crawl and political uncertainty weighed on market confidence during a heated election year.
Securities regulator CVM has no IPO requests in the pipeline at present, though Brazil’s largest mortgage lender, state-owned bank Caixa Econômica Federal, plans to list its insurance unit this year. The unit is majority-owned by France’s CNP Assurances SA.
Finance Minister Joaquim Levy said in April that the government will do a feasibility study on an IPO by Caixa Seguridade, as the unit will be called.
The IPO would try to replicate the success of state-controlled Banco do Brasil SA, which listed BB Seguridade Participações SA in a $6.7 billion deal in April 2013, the world’s largest IPO that year.
$1 = 3.1300 Brazilian reais Reporting by Aluisio Alves and Anthony Boadle; Editing by Leslie Adler