The NASDAQ is up today after reports that Facebook would be listing on the exchange earlier today. The company, which is expected to have the highest profile IPO in years, was speculated to have been the subject of a battle between the big exchange operators. Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. (NASDAQ:NDAQ) shares were up 1.11% at time of writing while rival NYSE Euronext (NYSE:NYX) was down 1.26%. Facebook’s decision to list with the Nasdaq possibly says less about the NASDAQ and more about the company’s impending IPO which is creating fevered anticipation in the markets.
Exchanges often compete when a high profile company wishes to list its shares publicly for the first time. Exchanges will compete on services they can offer to the client and the publicity given to the stock by the exchange’s practices. The NYSE has been successful recently in listing some tech shares which are more usually found on the Nasdaq’s listing. The NYSE is considered a more recognizable brand, though the company’s fees are reportedly higher. Whatever clinched the decision, or whether there was any competition in the social networking giant’s eyes, will be in the back of everybody’s minds, bar perhaps NYSE official’s, in the coming weeks as speculation will center on the date of the IPO and the success of it.
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The IPO has been the subject of reporting across media and across the world as one of the most recognizable new brands of the last decade comes onto the market for the first time. Trade in secondary shares has been the subject of much ire in recent weeks as many companies involved in that market have been accused of unfair practices and the SEC intends to investigate the market fully. Facebook, in a filing made on the 1st of February said that its IPO should be worth $5billion. That would give the company an extimated valuation of $100 billion, making it one of the most valuable companies in the world and its founder Mark Zuckerberg one of the richest people in the world.
Facebook’s IPO will surely have a positive upward effect on the Nasdaq and the market in general assuming the company doesn’t have any major problems before its offering. The company’s long awaited entry into public trading will be an interesting transition as its financials become public and it becomes subject to the whims of shareholders.