Visa jumps on market debut

Visa jumps on market debut

Shares in US card network Visa jumped more than 35% in their market debut on the New York Stock Exchange (Nyse), with the stock - which was priced at $44 per share - opening at $59.50.

Visa said yesterday that it had raised $17.9 billion in the largest initial public offering (IPO) in US history and the third largest initial public offering worldwide.

The San Francisco firm said it had sold 406 million shares priced at $44 dollars each - higher than the stock's forecast range of $37 to $42.

The stock, which began trading on the Nyse under the ticker symbol "V" this morning, opened at $59.50 this morning before rising as high as $60.

In a statement Visa chairman and CEO, Joseph Saunders, says: "We operate in a large global market undergoing a significant shift from cash and check to electronic payments. We believe Visa is well positioned to build upon our past success and take advantage of this migration to electronic payments."

Visa disclosed plans to become an independent publicly listed company in 2006, although under the restructuring Visa Europe remained a membership association, owned and governed by its European member banks.

MasterCard shares were trading at $212.21 this morning. The stock has soared since the firm's own IPO in May 2006 when the shares were priced at $39.

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