Messaging app Line's stock soars in NYSE debut

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Shares of Line Corp. are soaring in their debut on the New York Stock Exchange amid hungry investor demand to get in on the mobile messaging craze.

Line’s American Depositary Shares closed up $8.74, or 27 per cent, to $41.58 Thursday. The stock will begin trading in Tokyo on Friday local time.

Though little known in the U.S., Line has enjoyed a quick surge to popularity in Japan, filling an important communications hole after a devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011 damaged phone infrastructure. In its home country, Line has more users than Facebook or Twitter.

Line has its headquarters in Tokyo, but is majority owned by Naver Corp., South Korea’s No. 1 search engine.