Facebook warnings fail to dissuade investors

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The Independent Online

Facebook is on track for technology's biggest flotation this Friday, despite two huge setbacks for the social network.

The planned $13.6bn (£8.5bn) New York listing could see the $3.7bn-revenue company worth more than $100bn.

Last week it issued what was effectively a profit warning for its second quarter by revealing it is struggling to make money from access on mobile phones. It also emerged that its $1bn purchase of photograph-sharing app Instagram will be delayed by an unexpected competition investigation in the US.

Nevertheless, Facebook's recent cross-country roadshow to drum up US investors seems to have paid off, with reports of the stock being oversubscribed by institutional investors.

Shares are set to float at between $28 and $35 each, valuing the social network at up to $96bn. But US sources have said that investors want to buy more than the 337 million shares that will be available on Thursday – which could push the firm's value to more than $100bn.

The company that began life in Mark Zuckerberg's dorm room now has more than 900 million users. However, it has become comercially more savvy since Sheryl Sandberg joined in 2008.

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