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LONDON, June 18 Shares in Zoopla started trading 5 percent above the initial public offer price on Wednesday, as rising confidence in the country's housing sector helped the property website achieve a valuation of near to 1 billion pounds.
Zoopla, which was majority owned by Daily Mail And General Trust, priced its offering at 220 pence per share on Wednesday, after initially setting the range at 200 to 250 pence.
In conditional trading, the shares were up 4.5 percent at 230 pence, valuing the group at 960 million pounds ($1.6 billion). The offer represents 38.3 percent of the company's issued share capital, with no new shares being issued.
Daily Mail and General Trust said it planned to retain a stake of at least 31 percent in Zoopla, having held around 52 percent before the flotation. Its shares were up 2.5 percent.
Zoopla, which was launched in 2008, trails Rightmove in the online property sector, drawing more than 40 million visits a month to its websites and mobile applications, compared with about 80 million visits for its larger rival.
Shares in Rightmove were up 2.6 percent, valuing it at 2.2 billion pounds.
Zoopla joins a rush of companies seeking to join the London market and follows recent listings by online groups AO World and Just Eat and property agent Foxtons last year. ($1 = 0.5956 British Pounds) (Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Sarah Young)