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Yes, the long anticipated credit card giant is filing for the IPO. Here is its S1 prospectus. I have not read the S1, but from what I read (from MSNBC), they are going to raise up to $10 billion. That’s the largest IPO in US since 2000, and it’s the category of China ICBC’s IPO couple years ago (1398.HK).
My gut feeling of its IPO is two fold:
1) It will be priced (relative terms) higher than MasterCard IPO couple years ago, the reason goes as follows: MA went up from $40 to $200 in that period. Now people who missed the boat on MasterCard IPO will try hard to get on the Visa ship, thinking they can get the return like MA did.
2) current market condition is not friendly for IPO, because the big investment banks are in financial difficulty now. So, do they expect little guys (like us) to hold the bag?
Business wise, we all know the credit card transaction is booming. From developed countries to developing countries, everyone is addicted to the plastic, as shown by the following pic (from Visa prospectus).
Visa is an Olympics sposor, so pack your visa card if you visit Beijing this August 🙂
(Update Feb 28) My friend LaoZhang (author of StrengthTrader.com) wrote a good piece about Visa IPO (in Chinese), here is the link.
1）相对而言，VISA股票的定价会比几年前MasterCard IPO高，原因是：从发行到现在，MasterCard股票由40美元涨到200美元，于是错过MasterCard IPO 那趟船的人现在会挤破头努力登上VISA IPO 这艘舰，满心以为可以得到象MasterCard那般的回报。