(Yicai Global) Sept. 30 -- Shares in Transsion Holdings, the Chinese smartphone maker that dominates the African market, surged by almost 70 percent this morning in the firm's first day as a public company on Shanghai's new Star Market board for innovative tech firms.
Its stock [SHA:688036] was trading at CNY59.23 (USD8.31) a share as of 10.15 a.m., up 68.5 percent from its initial public offering price of CNY35.15. It peaked some 96 percent higher than its IPO price earlier in the morning.
Known in China as the 'handset king' of Africa, Transsion raised about CNY3 billion (USD421 million) in its IPO, and plans to use the proceeds to boost liquidity and invest in research, development, new factories and mobile internet systems.
Founded in 2013, the relatively unknown manufacturer bypassed the Chinese market to focus on what it knows African consumers want: low-cost devices with cameras and a long battery life. As a result, its shipments to Africa outstrip global players like Huawei Technologies and Samsung, making it the continent's best-selling brand with a 48.7 percent market share, according to industry analyst IDC.
It raked in CNY818 million (USD115 million) in net profit in the first half, on revenue of CNY10.5 billion from the sale of 54.7 million handsets, according to its IPO prospectus.
Between 2016 and 2018, it boosted manufacturing by 28 percent a year on average, jumping to 124 million units from 75.6 million. Sales over the same period grew 39.5 percent annually to CNY22.6 billion (3.2 billion) from CNY11.6 billion.
In the global market, Transsion has a roughly 7 percent market share, according to IDC. IT focuses on emerging markets, such as Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and South America, and runs three major handset brands: Tecno, Itel and Infinix.