| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Nasdaq OMX Group Inc is looking forward to a spike in the number of companies going public in the near term as they look to take advantage of the market buzz created by Facebook's listing next week, an executive at Nasdaq said on Thursday.
Facebook aims to raise about $10.6 billion, dwarfing the coming-out parties of tech companies like Google Inc and granting it a market value of up to $96 billion - rivaling Amazon.com Inc's.
"Facebook is obviously the most anticipated IPO in history and once that IPO comes out, I'm sure we'll see several companies look to take advantage of that market," Bruce Aust, executive vice president of Nasdaq's Global Corporate Client Group, said in a presentation to analysts.
There are currently 109 companies that plan to go public on Nasdaq this year and have already filed with regulators. Many of those companies had planned to go public last year, but held off because of the volatile market, Aust said.
New U.S. listings on Nasdaq fell to 151 last year from 195 the year before as investor confidence slumped on U.S. and European debt problems and markets shed gains in the latter half of the year.
Aust added that there are between 200 and 300 companies that have not yet filed with regulators to go public that could do so within the next six to 12 months. Many of them are located in Silicon Valley, he said.
"I go out there pretty much every other week because it is a huge opportunity when we look at what's going on with social media, what's going on with Apple and the applications and the ecosystem that is being created by that, and the gaming industry that is being created by social media."
"There is just tremendous opportunity and we're meeting with 20 or 30 companies a week."
Nasdaq, which is home to the likes of Apple Inc and Google, has faced fierce competition from NYSE Euronext in recent years in the battle for marquee tech names.
(Reporting by John McCrank; editing by Matthew Lewis)