ecorp Makes Subdued Debut on Australian Market

The most eagerly awaited float of an Australian Internet company, the IPO of ecorp, Tuesday ended on a mixed note after its first day of trading on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).

ecorp listed on the ASX at AUS$1.90 per share, with an issue price of AUS$1.20, before falling to AUS$1.75 at the close.

The volume of shares, 25.2 million, was high considering only 134 million shares had been parcelled out, representing 20 percent of the company. Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd owns the other 80 percent of the company which now has a total paper value of AUS$1.17 billion (US$774 million).

ecorp is the half owner of the most popular portal site in Australia,
ninemsn, and of the Australian version of eBay in addition
to its wholly owned subsidiaries, ticket booking agency Ticketek and
online stock brokerage ShareTrader.

In other Australian IPO news, Web design firm Spike is reportedly readying for a float on the ASX which would sell a 26 percent stake for
AUS$32 million (US$21 million).

The rest of the ASX was quiet, down 0.3 percent on the day.

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