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Shares of China's classifieds website 58.com soar in debut

Thursday, 31 Oct 2013 | 7:41 PM ET
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Shares of 58.com, an online classifieds company dubbed the Craigslist of China, rose more than 45 percent in their trading debut, a sign that the cloud over U.S.-listed Chinese companies is lifting.

58.com raised $187 million after its initial public offering was priced at $17 per American depositary share (ADS), well above its expected price range of $13 to $15. The company sold 11 million shares in the offering.

(Read more: China badly needs IPO thaw)

The company's shares opened at $21.20 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday and touched a high of $24.83, valuing 58.com at about $3.87 billion. They were trading at $23.92 at 10:25 a.m. ET.

China internet firm 58.com lists on NYSE
Hurst Lin, General Partner at venture capital firm DCM outlines whether the newest U.S.-listed Chinese company in the market will fare.

WP X Asia Online Investment Holdings Ltd, a unit of private equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC, is the largest shareholder in the Beijing-based company with a 26 percent stake.

58.com has 130 million monthly users and had about 4.3 million active local merchants in its marketplace in the second quarter, according to the company's IPO filing.

Read more: China set for best quarterly growth this year)

The company also said its website averaged 1.9 million listings per day from 380 Chinese cities and about 39 percent of its average monthly page views came from mobile applications.

58.com is the second Chinese company to have gone public this year after the debut of online retailer LightInTheBox Holding in June.

The number of Chinese companies looking for U.S. listing has plunged from a high of 40 in 2010, as accounting scandals and a wave of delisting due to plunging stock price raised the bar for firms from the region.

(Read more: Top 3 tech plays? They're still in China)

LightInTheBox shares are trading slightly below their IPO price of $9.50, after a disappointing earnings forecast in August dragged the stock down from a high of $23.37.

The only other Chinese company that's going public this year is Baidu Inc's Qunar Cayman Islands, which provides online travel services.

58.com reported a profit of $285,000 and a revenue of $58.8 million for the six months ended June 30.

Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and Citigroup were the lead underwriters to the offering.

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