The Japanese messenger app operator's shares rose as much as 36 percent, valuing the company at more than $9 billion. As Fred Katayama reports, it's the year's top tech IPO.
It's the biggest tech public offering this year. The Japanese message app company, Line, made a splash on its debut at the New York Stock Exchange. Its stock - ticker LN - soared as much as 36 percent to over $44 in early trading. That values the startup at more than $9 billion. Allianz Global Investors' Kristina Hooper: SOUNDBITE: KRISTINA HOOPER, U.S. INVESTMENT STRATEGIST, ALLIANZ GLOBAL INVESTORS, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "There's just such a lower level of IPOs than we saw last year in terms of the sheer number and the raise up, so this could be the beginning of perhaps more excitement in risk assets." Controlled by South Korea's Naver Corp, Line is the seventh most used messenger app in the world. It gets most of its $1.1 billion in revenue from games and sales of emojis and electronic stickers. The company lost money last year after earning $19 million the year before. Line dominates the Japanese market but has a long way to go before it lines up with its Western rivals. Its 218 million active users are one fifth that of WhatsApp and one fourth of Facebook Messenger.