Wed, Jan 15, 2014 - Page 14 News List

Shares of Japanese online car dealer jump on OTC debut

Staff writer, with CNA

Shares of Auto Server Co soared yesterday, the first day of its trading on the over-the-counter (OTC) market, amid optimism toward its profitability as it aims to penetrate emerging markets, including China, dealers said.

Auto Server shares rose 14.29 percent from the issue price of NT$105.00 (US$3.50) to close at NT$120.00, with 1.42 million shares traded.

For the listing, Auto Server issued 3.18 million new shares in a bid to raise about NT$334 million (US$11.1 million) as working capital.

The stock opened sharply higher after strong demand during the Jan. 2 to Jan. 6 subscription period, during which it was 275 times over-subscribed.

Established in 1997, Auto Server is headquartered in Tokyo and currently operates an online platform, ASNET, that places bids for its members in secondhand car auctions.

The ASNET platform, which links to more than 110 used car auction operators, ranks as the largest online transaction venue in Japan.

According to its prospectus, the online car dealer currently has more than 40,000 members and processes information on about 8 million used cars up for auction per year.

In the first nine months of last year, Auto Server’s sales totaled NT$839 million and its net profit hit NT$157 million, with an earnings per share of NT$5.5.

Auto Server chairman Masazumi Adachi said at the listing ceremony that the company has established a strong position in the Japanese market and intends to use Taiwan as a springboard to enter the Chinese market.

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