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(LEAD) Naver's Line Corp., big hit in Tokyo, New York stock markets

All News 15:50 July 15, 2016

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with details)

SEOUL, July 15 (Yonhap) -- Line Corp., a Japan-based global chat app operator, successfully debuted on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Friday following a strong start on Wall Street overnight.

The subsidiary of South Korea's dominant internet service firm Naver Corp. finished at 4,345 yen (US$41), up 32 percent from the IPO price, heralding a successful debut. Line sold a total of 13 million shares in Tokyo and 22 million on Wall Street.

The dual listing drove up the firm's market value to around 10 trillion won (US$8 billion).

In New York, Line's shares, which were priced at US$32.84 each, surged 26.6 percent Thursday (local time) to finish at $41.58. It is traded there as dollar-denominated American Depositary Receipt (ADR) under the ticker sign "LN".

Line secured more ammunition to expand its business to the U.S. and other new markets.

As the world's seventh-largest mobile messenger provider, it boasts 218 million active users a month, mostly Asians. Line is especially popular in Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia.

Its revenue soared 40 percent on-year to $1.2 billion last year on hikes in the sales of electronic cartoon emoticons, called "stickers," games and other services.

But it recorded 7.6 billion yen in net loss. Some investors voice doubts that Line will be able to score a victory in fierce competition with American and Chinese rivals.


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