China's Twitter Weibo Surges 19% in Nasdaq Debut
The Weibo logo is seen at the NASDAQ MarketSite in Times Square, New York, in celebration of its US IPO.Reuters

China's Twitter-like service Weibo surged 19% on its stock market debut in the US, suggesting Wall Street still has an appetite for loss-making technology firms.

Weibo shares rose from $17 to a high of $24.48 in intra-day trade on 17 April, briefly valuing the firm at some $4.7bn (£2.8bn, €3.4bn).

The stock finished 19.06%, or $3.24, higher at $20.24 on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange.

Weibo raised $286m through the US initial public offering (IPO), falling short of expectations because the firm decided to sell 16.8 million American Depositary Shares from the 20 million planned earlier.

Weibo will use the funds raised to invest in its business and repay debt.

Shareholding Pattern

Weibo parent Sina Corp's stake has dropped to 56.9%, from 77.6%, after the IPO.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is a large Weibo investor. Alibaba, which paid $585.8m for an 18% stake in Weibo in 2013, will increase its holding to 32% and appoint a director to the board.

Weibo had a valuation of $4.05bn at 17 April's close while Twitter commanded a valuation of $26.53bn.

Alibaba's Mega IPO

The Weibo IPO comes as Alibaba prepares to file for an IPO in the US.

Alibaba could raise some $16bn through the proposed stock sale, which is expected to value the Chinese internet firm at as much as $120bn.

Alibaba will use the proceeds of the upcoming share sale to snap up a raft of companies, in a bid to expand its mobile phone services.

Weibo had 144 million monthly active users as of March. Weibo, which means "microblog" in Chinese, logged a $38.1m net loss in 2013.