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Google is to trade its shares on NASDAQ, ending months of speculation. Some had favoured the New York Stock Exchange, which has redoubled efforts in recent years to lure big technology companies seeking to avoid associations with new economy rivals and the tech sector in general, which was tarnished by the downturn.

Google, one of the techiest of tech firms, has nevertheless decided to give the nod to NASDAQ - a decision that will literally lift the market's fortunes. Some analysts have put Google's likely stock market value at about $40bn, which would make it one of the most valuable US tech companies once it goes public.

Stock exchanges collect notable fees from registrants, some of which,like Google, bring clout to a market. NASDAQ has about 3,300 listed firms, compared to 2,750 companies in the NYSE. But the NYSE claims dozens of venerable and enormous firms, and the total value of firms listed on dwarfs that of NASDAQ.

Google plans to raise some $2.7bn through the hotly anticipated share sale - the biggest for a dotcom since the technology downturn began almost four years ago. The IPO, expected this month, will take the form of an online auction, with would-be shareholders making offers via the Internet in the hours after the stock goes up for sale.

While the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has yet to give Google the final go-ahead, the firm still faces the daunting task of building a computer system that will integrate the 30 financial institutions, led by Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse First Boston, which are handling the share sale.

© ENN

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