Shares of China’s classifieds website soar in debut

Shares of Inc, an online classifieds company dubbed the Craigslist of China, rose more than 45 percent in their trading debut, a sign that the cloud over U.S.-listed Chinese companies is lifting, affiliated news service Reuters reported. raised $187 million after its initial public offering was priced at $17 per American depositary share (ADS), well above its expected price range of $13 to $15.

The company sold 11 million shares in the offering.

The company’s shares opened at $21.20 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday and touched a high of $24.83, valuing at about $3.87 billion. They were trading at $23.92 at 10:25 a.m. ET.

WP X Asia Online Investment Holdings Ltd, a unit of private equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC, is the largest shareholder in the Beijing-based company with a 26 percent stake. has 130 million monthly users and had about 4.3 million active local merchants in its marketplace in the second quarter, according to the company’s IPO filing.

The company also said its website averaged 1.9 million listings per day from 380 Chinese cities and about 39 percent of its average monthly page views came from mobile applications. is the second Chinese company to have gone public this year after the debut of online retailer LightInTheBox Holding Co Ltd in June.

The number of Chinese companies looking for U.S. listing has plunged from a high of 40 in 2010, as accounting scandals and a wave of delisting due to plunging stock price raised the bar for firms from the region.

LightInTheBox shares are trading slightly below their IPO price of $9.50, after a disappointing earnings forecast in August dragged the stock down from a high of $23.37.

The only other Chinese company that’s going public this year is Baidu Inc’s Qunar Cayman Islands, which provides online travel services. reported a profit of $285,000 and a revenue of $58.8 million for the six months ended June 30.

Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and Citigroup were the lead underwriters to the offering.

Avik Das and Neha Dimri are reporters for Reuters News in Bangalore