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Facebook, Twitter Valuations Fuel Trading Surge to $7 Billion

Trading of privately held companies such as Facebook Inc. is likely to surge 51 percent to almost $7 billion this year, drawing new exchanges such as Xpert Financial Inc. and Gate Technologies LLC to vie for commissions.

Xpert and Gate will be competing with SecondMarket Inc. and SharesPost Inc., which gained popularity last year as investors poured billions of dollars into Facebook, Twitter Inc. and Groupon Inc. The value of the transactions may almost triple to $6.9 billion in 2011 from $2.4 billion in 2009, according to Nyppex LLC, a New York research and advisory services firm.