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Airbnb shares more than double in US market debut


Airbnb is worth more than US$100 billion which puts the company on par with major global firms

Airbnb shares more than doubled in US market debut on Thursday which vaulted the home-sharing platform into an elite group of richly valued companies.

Shares opened at US$146, a dizzying rise after the San Francisco-based firm priced them at US$68 for its initial public offering.

They closed at US$144.71, a jump of 113 per cent in the market debut.

At those levels Airbnb is worth more than US$100 billion, including options and restricted shares, up from the bumped-up US$47 billion at the IPO price.

That puts the 13-year-old company on par with major global firms such as IBM, 3M and American Express, for example.

Airbnb raised some US$3.4 billion in the offering amid a feverish rush for new shares in companies adapting to lifestyle changes imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The company listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the ticker symbol “ABNB.”

Gregori Volokhine, portfolio manager at Meeschaert Financial Services, said interest in Airbnb was high because “investors have the impression that this is the birth of a new platform, a company that can completely disrupt the world of tourism”.

The Airbnb debut comes just a day after meal delivery group DoorDash’s spectacular Wall Street entry with a jump of 75 per cent in its first day of trading.

Airbnb has said its home-sharing model proved resilient during the global pandemic, as it posted a profit of US$219 million for the just-ended quarter.

The company, valued at US$31 billion in its latest private funding round, is confident it will thrive over time.

We believe that as the world recovers from this pandemic, Airbnb will be a vital source of economic empowerment for millions of people, it said in its IPO filing.

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