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French fashion group SMCP shares trade just below IPO price

PARIS, Oct 24 (Reuters) - SMCP shares began trading at just below their initial public offering (IPO) price on Tuesday, following the French fashion label's stock market flotation which valued it at around 1.7 billion euros ($2 billion).

SMCP, which is 51 percent owned by China's Shandong Ruyi , was trading at 21.80 euros by 0706 GMT - just below the IPO price of 22 euros.

SMCP, whose brands include Sandro, Maje and Claudie Pierot, is using the proceeds from its listing to pay down debt and fund its expansion. This includes plans to grow more in China, where a recovery in demand from middle-class consumers has been giving retailers a lift. ($1 = 0.8511 euros) (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; editing by Alexander Smith)