Online sports-lottery firm 500.com's shares rise 68 pct in debut

Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:24am EST

Nov 22 (Reuters) - Shares of 500.com Ltd rose almost 68 percent in their debut, valuing the online sports-lottery operator at more than $700 million, as U.S investors continued to drum up support for Chinese stocks.

The company raised about $75 million after pricing its initial public offering of 5.8 American Depositary Shares at $13 per ADS, well above its expected price range of $9-$11 apiece.

500.com's debut comes on the heels of successful listings of other Chinese companies in the United States this year including Qunar Cayman Islands Ltd and 58.com Inc.

Chinese companies are slowly making a comeback in the U.S. shores after a series of scandals led to a collapse in their listing in 2012.

The number of Chinese companies listing in the United States plunged from a high of 40 in 2010 to just two in 2012 after a rash of accounting scandals and ensuing share sell-off that led to a wave of delistings.

Shares of microlender China Commercial Credit Inc are up 53 percent since listing in August, while those of semiconductor solution provider Montage Technology Group Ltd are up 41 percent since September.

500.com's shares opened at $20 and touched a high of $21.85. More than 1.6 million shares changed hands, making it one of the most heavily traded stocks on the New York Stock Exchange early morning.

The Shenzhen-based company, which had about 18.4 million registered user accounts as of September, said net proceeds from the offering would be used for working capital purposes.

500.com reported a profit of $3.36 million on revenue of $26.7 million for the nine months ended Sept. 30.

Deutsche Bank Securities, Piper Jaffray and Oppenheimer were the underwriters for the IPO.

Shares of another Chinese company, Sungy Mobile Ltd , are also expected to start trading later in the day. The mobile internet service provider raised about $79 million after pricing its offering of 7 million ADSs at $11.22 per apiece.

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