LINE to list shares in New York and Tokyo

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The Japanese phone messaging app Line has announced plans to list shares on the stock exchanges in both New York and Tokyo.

The company is looking to raise more the US$900 million from investors. This would then value the company at more than US$5 billion. The listing is planned for July and would potentially be the world’s biggest tech IPO of 2016.

The company are looking to raise the funds in order that they can expand into the US which they view as helping to compete with their rivals such as Facebook Messenger, China’s WeChat and WhatsApp.

The app was initially launched in 2011 and has gone on to become the most popular messaging app not only in its native Japan but also in Taiwan and Thailand.

The app is perhaps best known for selling animated stickers that users can share whilst chatting. Line also provides free voice calls and music streaming.

Line originally submitted an IPO application back in 2014 to the Tokyo Stock Exchange having looked into becoming public company for a number of years previous but the plans were initially shelved due to uncertainty in the global markets.

As of the end of March, Line had 218 million active monthly users, around 33 million of which are in Thailand.

In May, LINE announced the start of a new on demand delivery service in Bangkok.

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