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Twitter sinks to new low as 'lockup' expires
by Staff Writers
New York (AFP) May 06, 2014

Biggest stock offerings to date
New York (AFP) May 06, 2014 - Chinese online giant Alibaba is set for one of the largest stock offerings in history. Here is a list of the biggest initial public offerings (IPOs) to date:

- AgBank ($22.1 billion). Agricultural Bank of China made its market debut in 2010 in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

- ICBC ($21.9 billion). Industrial and Commercial Bank of China went public in 2006, also trading on the Hong Kong and Shanghai markets.

- AIA Group ($20.5 billion). A unit of US insurance giant AIG was spun off in 2010 on the Hong Kong exchange.

- Visa Inc. ($19.6 billion). The US card payment giant went public in New York in 2008.

- NTT DoCoMo ($18.4 billion). The Japanese mobile operator, spun off from NTT, made its market debut in Tokyo in 1998.

- General Motors ($18.1 billion). The US auto giant returned to the stock market in New York and Toronto in 2010, a year and a half after a government-led rescue.

- Enel ($17.4 billion) The Italian energy group began trading in 1999 in Milan and New York.

- Facebook ($16 billion). The world's leading social network was the largest tech sector IPO in 2012 in New York.

- NTT ($13.6 billion). The former state-owned Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp made a 1986 market debut in Tokyo.

- Deutsche Telekom ($13 billion). The German telecom giant hit the market in 1996, trading in Frankfurt, New York and Tokyo.

Twitter shares plunged to new lows Tuesday, under pressure after the expiration of the so-called lockup period, which banned sales by company insiders after its public offering.

The stock sank 17.8 percent to close at $31.85, the lowest level since the Twitter initial public offering (IPO) last November.

Under US securities lockup rules, some insiders were barred from selling for a period of time after the social network's IPO.

The lockup expired on Tuesday, but Twitter co-founders Jack Dorsey and Evan Williams and chief executive Dick Costolo indicated they have no short-term plan to sell their shares.

Twitter made a spectacular Wall Street debut in November, rising from its $26 offering price to more than $70, but has been hurt by concerns about slowing growth and doubts on profitability.

Trip Chowdhry, analyst at Global Equities Research, said Twitter is under pressure on several fronts.

"Engagement on Twitter is falling," Chowdhry told AFP.

"And there seems to be a shift in the industry from public toward private communication. So more people are using WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, WeChat and others. Twitter is not well-positioned for this change."

Jon Ogg at the specialized blog 24/7 Wall Street suggested the worst may not be over for Twitter, saying it still has a lofty market value.

"What stands out is that Twitter's market cap is still almost $20 billion, and that is after hitting a new low," he said.

"It is also still worth about 16 times expected 2014 sales and closer to 10 times 2015 sales. On expected earnings, Twitter trades at more than 1,000 times expected 2014 earnings and only 165 times expected 2015 earnings per share."

Twitter said in a regulatory filing in March that "the market price of our common stock could decline as a result of sales of a large number of shares of our common stock in the market, and the perception that these sales could occur may also depress the market price of our common stock."


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Alibaba files documents for US stock offering
New York (AFP) May 06, 2014
Alibaba - often described as a Chinese version of Amazon or eBay - filed documents Tuesday for its US stock listing, widely expected to be one of the largest offerings in history. The initial filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission indicates $1 billion will be raised in the public offering, but that amount is expected to be greatly boosted with later amendments. The IPO i ... read more

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