Line's Lucky Break
Could the Brexit-inspired global stock market rout have actually helped Line's IPO? It's not such a bizarre possibility.
After delaying by one day, Line's parent company Naver and existing shareholders announced plans to price shares in next month's offering at 2,700 yen ($26.40) to 3,200 yen apiece. That's a pretty nice range given it had earlier planned to sell stock at 2,800 yen.
One of the world's biggest instant messaging apps -- behind Facebook, WhatsApp and WeChat, Line comes complete with a solid business model and growing revenue. Which is a lot more than WhatsApp had to its name when it was snapped up by Facebook in 2014 for $19 billion. Line is extremely popular in the few markets where it operates, and is almost non-existent elsewhere, meaning it has every chance of spreading globally once given the exposure. Revenue increased 40 percent last year, and the company reported a net loss of 7.6 billion yen.
That's all well and good, but what may matter most to global investors is the fact Line can offer a haven amid all the turbulence.
About $1 trillion has been erased from the S&P 500 Index over the past two days, and that sell-off means buckets of cash looking for a home. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose Tuesday amid speculation Japan's government may provide further stimulus.
For those managing an emerging-markets portfolio or a hedge fund, there could be worse places to put your money.
Line said it plans to price its offering on July 11. That gives investors a two-week window to look at the storm raging outside, and consider shelter.
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