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Messaging app Line sees shares surge 50% in Tokyo debut

Messaging app Line sees shares surge 50% in Tokyo debut

Shares of Japanese messaging app Line have surged by 50% in its Tokyo trading debut, making it the biggest technology listing of the year.

It also did well in the US, rising by 26.6% in its New York trading debut to close at $41.58 on Thursday.

Line, the most popular messaging app in Japan and Thailand, raised more than $1.1bn (£819m) in its dual listing.

The company set its flotation price at 3,300 yen ($33, £25) per share which was the top end of the expected range.

The shares jumped to 5,000 yen in early trading.

Line has about 218 million monthly active users and is famous for selling cute virtual stickers, games and various merchandise.

It is wholly-owned by South Korea’s Naver Corporation, which is looking to raise funds to expand into more Western markets.

However, analysts say the app faces stiff competition from other messaging services provided by Facebook and Google.

In Japan, Line has a strong following and claims more users than Facebook or Twitter. However in markets like Korea it lags far behind rival app Kakao Talk, and it is blocked in China.

 

Source: BBC

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