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Online Game Virtual Item Trading Platform 5173.com to IPO

Sina Tech, 9/13/11

Shanghai-based online game virtual item trading platform 5173.com has filed to IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in Q4 2011, with an evaluation hearing to be held no earlier than this month, and expects to raise between USD 150-200 mln.

5173.com enables game players to trade in virtual items used in a number of different games.

According to one industry source, American investors' waning appetite for new IPOs by Chinese internet companies is one of the main factors which led 1573.com to choose to list in Hong Kong, another being the high cost involved in listing the United States. The source added: "5173.com is different from many of the companies which IPO in the United States. 5173.com is already profitable, making it a suitable choice for a Hong Kong IPO."

Underwriting 5173's listing is French bank BNP Paribas, which began a road show for the company earlier this month.

Public records show that in addition to the virtual item trade, 5173.com also serves as a platform for trading of game player accounts, credit recharge cards, weapons and equipment used in the game, along with other services. The site processes a daily average of 160,000 completed transactions and has more than 15 mln active registered users. In 2010, the site had sales revenue of RMB 7 bln, more than 90% of which was based on the sale of virtual items for various online games.

Keywords: online gaming 5173.com Internet IPO Hong Kong Stock Exchange revenue virtual items BNP Paribas registered users transaction volume

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