Japanese messaging app Line’s stock soars on first trading day

Global Business

Japanese messaging app Line's stock soars on first trading day

Japanese messaging app Line made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday and its share price rose 27 percent on the first trading day. But the company isn’t well-known outside its key Asia markets.

CCTV America’s Liling Tan reports.

Japanese messaging app Line’s stock soars on first trading day

Japanese messaging app Line’s stock soars on first trading day

Japanese messaging app Line made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday and its share price rose 27 percent on the first trading day. But the company isn’t well-known outside its key Asia markets. CCTV America’s Liling Tan reports.

For the average American, the Japan-based, South Korean-owned social networking firm, with its catchy themes and cute mascots, remains much of a mystery for investors on Wall Street, Line is the biggest tech stock to hit the market this year.

Opening at $42 dollars a share and hitting a high of $44.50, Line’s valuation soared to more than $9 billion in early trading, far exceeding expectations.

Line started in the wake of Japan’s 2011 earthquake and tsunami, as a way for people to communicate. Now, it dominates the Japanese market, and wants to expand in Thailand, Indonesia and the region of Taiwan.

“This is a very exciting company, it’s the largest mobile application company in Japan, over 220 million monthly users, so part of their strategy is they’re trying to expand internationally and they’re moving beyond just the messaging piece of it, so by listing in the U.S. and the NYSE we’re giving them access to a new investor,” Garvis Toler, NYSE Global Head of Capital Markets said.

Line derives most of its revenue comes from games, the sale of colorful stickers or emojis, and advertising.

Line’s IPO has kicked off to a very strong start but it is up against some long-established players in the market like WhatsApp, WeChat and Facebook Messenger, so the real question is can it sustain this momentum?

Analysts say that will depend on how it manages to win over markets and the type of new businesses it acquires.

It already has one key advantage over competitors- a very popular retail business thanks to the power of its mascots including Brown the Bear and Coney the Rabbit.


Justin Kuczmarski discusses the LINE debut

For more on what this means for the IPO market overall, CCTV America’s Rachelle Akuffo spoke to Justin Kuczmarski, president of NAV Valuation and Advisory.