Messaging app maker Line debuts on NYSE

New York: Japanese messaging-app operator Line Corporation made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Thursday, in the largest technology initial public offering so far this year. Line priced its IPO offering at $42, trading under the ticker symbol of LN. In the morning session on Thursday, shares of Line jumped over 30 per cent, Xinhua news agency reported. The company offered 22 million shares on the NYSE as American depositary shares, and 13 million shares on the Tokyo stock exchange. Line shares will begin trading on Tokyo on Friday. Line priced its dual listing in New York and Tokyo at the top end of its range earlier this week due to strong demand. The opening price implies a market valuation of $8.82 billion, including the shares yet to start trading in Japan, according to the Wall Street Journal. Analysts said the IPO aimed to help the company in its global expansion and growing competition with other apps such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Tecent's Wechat. Line, owned by South Korean internet giant Naver, is a spin-off company headquartered in Japan. The company provided messaging and free voice calls, and its messaging app has broad active users around the world.