724 Solutions stock makes strong debut

There's a new kid in town on Nasdaq-- and the kid is from Canada. The company's name is 724 Solutions and it's going public at a time when investors are hungry for fresh high-tech stories, especially in the high-demand field of wireless communications. Oh yes--being an IPO (Initial Public Offering) didn't hurt either.

There was so much interest in the company's initial public offering that the price was bumped up twice before being set at $26 US.

The 6 million shares that made up the company's first stock offering surged Friday, the first unofficial day of trading, to $71.81 US on Nasdaq and $103.50 in Toronto.

Some brokers said demand for the stock was so high, they could have sold twenty times the number of shares available. It was the most successful IPO in Canadian history. 724 is a Toronto company that makes software that allows consumers to access financial services data using wireless phones and handheld devices such as the Palm Pilot.

The company has licensed its technology to a number of banks, including Bank of Montreal, Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. Each of those companies also owns a big stake in the firm.

In Toronto, 724 traded under the SVN_w symbol on Friday. The shares began trading on the Toronto market on a "when-issued" basis, indicating all regulatory requirements had been met but some paperwork remained. It officially begins trading on Monday.

The company expects to begin regular trading under the SVN symbol on the TSE. The Nasdaq symbol is SVNX.