China’s Weibo Cuts Back Size of US IPO

China’s Weibo Corp, whose messaging service has been dubbed ‘the Twitter of China’, has raised US$286m in its US initial public offering (IPO). The shares commence trading on the Nasdaq exchange today.

The total was less than had been expected, after the company scaled back the size of the IPO in response to a general sell-off in technology stocks and amid concerns over slowing user growth.

Weibo, whose name translates to ‘micro blog’, is controlled by Web portal company Sina Corp, which sold 16.8m American depositary shares (ADSs) at US$17 each, the company. At the offer price, Weibo is valued at US$3.46bn. Originally, plans were to sell 20m ADSs at a price of between US$17 and US$19. Goldman Sachs (Asia) and Credit Suisse were lead underwriters to the offering.

Weibo’s IPO precedes one later this year by the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, which holds a stake in Weibo. Alibaba is expected to raise about US$15bn this year in what many expect to be the biggest internet IPO since Facebook’s listing in 2012. Last month the group confirmed that
the IPO will be held on the New York Stock Exchange
(NYSE), thus ending speculation that it could revert to its original choice of Hong Kong.

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