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Serko falls in first day’s trading

Shares in travel-booking software company Serko fell almost 14% to 95 cents on its first day of trading on the New Zealand stock exchange.

Trading started at 11am at the company’s initial public offering price of $1.10 per share. Early trading saw the shares rise to $1.13 but then dip to 0.91 cents before 12pm.

Forsyth Barr equities analyst Blair Galpin says it’s not clear from Serko’s progress today what the future holds for the company.

“It’s a hard thing to tell – people are more wary about the right time to buy. In Serko’s case it’s been a timing thing rather than a technical fall.”

Another analyst says some technology stocks decided to list last year when the market was buoyant and there was strength in local and overseas stocks, but sentiment has changed since.

“These deals get worked up and priced in one set of market conditions but they can change quite quickly and that’s happened here,” he said.

Other technology companies’ stock values also dropped today including job management software developers GeoOp and accounting software developer Xero.

GeoOp listed at the end of October 2013 at $2.20 per share and rose to $3.64, but today traded at $1.15. Xero opened today at $25.90, had a $2.90 dip and closed at $25.42.

Serko will use the $22 million raised in the IPO to begin market and product expansion in the Asia-Pacific region.

Chief executive Darrin Grafton said before today’s stock exchange debut the company was excited to begin trade.

“We greatly appreciate the support and confidence of our new investors,” said Grafton. “We are now moving forward with our plans to help corporations run more cost effective travel programmes for their employees.”

The IPO was announced on May 26 and was 350% oversubscribed.

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