Thu, Sep 22, 2005 - Page 10 News List

104 Job Bank set for initial public offering next month

By Jessie Ho  /  STAFF REPORTER

Riding the Internet boom, the Web-based 104 Job Bank (104人力銀行), currently traded on the gray market, is expected to debut on the Taiwan Stock Exchange next month as the first listed human resource firm in Taiwan.

"Our company has done very well in recent years," Monica Chiu (邱文仁), marketing director of the job bank, said yesterday. "With its huge amount of hiring data, our Web site is virtually the first choice for job seekers."

The job bank currently has over 270,000 job postings that range across all industries and all regions. In general, about a million people a year land their jobs via the portal, founder and chairman Rocky Yang (楊基寬) said.

Yang founded 104 Job Bank with his wife nine years ago. The company broke even after almost three years of operation. Now, the company has 300 employees and capital of nearly NT$300 million (US$9 million), the minumum for technology companies to list on the local stock exchange.

For the first eight months of the year, 104 reported NT$650 million in sales, a 20.65 percent jump from a year ago. While many local high-tech companies are seeing their margins shrink in recent years, 104 earned a stunning NT$12 per share last year, according to the company.

Shares of 104 Job Bank climbed 1.67 percent to NT$136 on the gray market yesterday.

One Internet company that has also been successful is PC Home Online (網路家庭), Taiwan's fourth largest Internet portal. PC Home was listed on the over-the-counter market, the Gretai Securities Market (櫃台買賣中心), in January this year, with a floor price of NT$21.9 per share.

As the company saw revenue jump on its online shopping site, along with its popular co-branded Internet telephony service with Skype Technologies SA, shares of PC Home have surged to NT$57.7, as of yesterday.

"It shows that as long as online companies have good strategies, they won't be affected by industry downturns, like the Internet bubble several years ago," Chiu said.

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