Tencent-backed search firm Sogou jumps 10 percent in USA market debut

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Shares in Chinese search engine provider Sogou Inc. traded flatly on their debut on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday after the company managed to raise $540 million in their initial public offering.

At the close of trading, shares in Sogou were priced at $18.50, up 3.9 percent on its IPO price.

The total IPO size would be $585 million, assuming the underwriters do not exercise their over-allotment option.

It also represents the latest in a recent flurry of NY listings by Asian companies, joining other Chinese firms as well as startups from Singapore and Taiwan in tapping USA equity markets for capital this year.

Wang said the company intends to use the proceeds to increase investment in AI development, improving cooperation with companies that could provide exclusive and original data sets as well as research and marketing.

Sougou is the second major Chinese tech stock to list this week after Tencent-owned China Literature debuted in Hong Kong on Wednesday. The company's profit, excluding extraordinary items, fell 44% past year to $56 million, as its revenue grew 12% to $660 million.

Sogou was founded as a division of Sohu, a Chinese internet company that has advertising, gaming and other businesses. Most surveys cite Baidu as the market leader with more than 50% share, while Sogou usually finishes third with about 15%, behind No. 2 player Qihoo 360. Sohu.com will remain Sogou's controlling shareholder after the IPO. (SOGO), the online search and search-related services unit of Chinese online media company Sohu.com Inc. The company's net income for the nine months ended Sep.

The flotation was jointly managed by United States banks JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs, along with Credit Suisse and China's CICC.

Beijing-based Sogou, which competes with Baidu and Alibaba's UCWeb, reported net income of $66.7 million for the nine months ended September 30, compared with $45.4 million for the same period a year earlier.