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Infineon doubles in debut

American depositary receipts (ADRs) of German computer chip maker Infineon Technologies AG (NYSE: IFX) more than doubled their value Monday in the world's largest ever technology stock flotation.

It was a promising start for the sale of 174 million shares, especially considering the Nasdaq opened 200 points lower.

Infineon's issue was up 36 25/64 to 70 5/16 from its price of $33.92 per ADR. The company, which had an estimated pricing range of $28.59 to $34.51, offered 154.2 million ADRs with each ADR representing one common share.

Funds raised in the offering will be used to expand operations and repay parent Siemens AG.

The once loss-making semiconductor subsidiary of German industrial giant Siemens AG could now win a spot in the German DAX index of 30 blue-chip stocks. The total value of Infineon's offering of about 174 million shares, representing 29 percent of the company, is worth more than 6 billion euros, or or $5.78 billion at the issue price -- second only to the 10 billion euro Deutsche Telekom AG offered in 1996.

Infineon said around 60 percent of the offered shares were placed with institutional investors worldwide and some 40 percent with retail investors in Germany after the small investor's hunger for shares swelled in recent years. Investor appetite for the issue has also been whetted by a surge in the market capitalization of Epcos AG, the former passive electronic components joint venture between Siemens and Japan's Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Epcos won a position in the DAX index earlier this year, only months after floating in Frankfurt and New York.

The success of Infineon's IPO marks a turnaround for the company, as the semiconductor market recovers from a long downturn. Two years ago Infineon posted a 1.2 billion mark loss and earned itself the label of Siemens' problem child.

The company's sales growth over the next 3 years is expected to outpace that of the semiconductor market. Sales are expected to rise 31 percent in the current financial year to 5.54 billion euros.

Based on Monday's exchange rate, that would put sales at $5.34 billion.

-- Reuters contributed to this report.

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