Spotify shares end 12.9 per cent up on first day of trading

NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO: Shares of Spotify Technology ended up 12.9 per cent on its first day of trade on the New York Stock Exchange, a smooth debut that could pave the way for other companies looking to go public without the aid of Wall Street underwriters.

Spotify shares opened at US$165.90 (S$218), up nearly 26 per cent from a reference price of US$132 set by the NYSE late on Monday.

The stock ended the session at US$149.01, valuing the world's largest streaming music service at US$26.5 billion.

"It's a fair market price. It's not manipulated or set by any puts and takes by banks or institutional investors," said Mr Chi-Hua Chien, an early investor in Spotify who is now at San Mateo, California-based venture capital firm Goodwater Capital.

Market-watchers cautioned investors not to read too much into the first day of trading, given the mixed results of recent tech IPOs.

The direct listing by the Stockholm-founded company was the largest on record. Spotify now has a higher market value than Snapchat owner Snap Inc, which went public last year.

Since launching its service a decade ago, Spotify has overcome resistance from big record labels and some major music artists to transform how people listen to music. But it still does not make a profit and faces competition from Apple Inc and other companies. - REUTERS