Renren raises $743 million, debuts on NYSE

China’s social networking giant has raised US$743 million in its initial public offering, and then soared as much as 71 percent in New York Stock Exchange trading today, Businessweek reported today.

The Beijing-based Renren, dubbed the “Chinese Facebook,” is the latest large Chinese Internet firm to debut on the New York Stock Exchange, selling 53.1 million despositary receipts at $14 each, higher than experts had predicted, MediaGuardian noted.

At the $14 share price, the loss-making social network would be valued at 72 times last year’s sales. By comparison, Facebook is valued at 25 times last year’s sales, as valued by Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s investment in the company. RenRen CEO Joseph Chen said a profit is expected “definitely very soon.”

Renren has five million monthly users, and can set a high price because the Chinese economy could grow three times faster than in the U.S., all while two-thirds of Chinese citizens are not yet online, according to Businessweek.

Image: Renren

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