Tech companies floating on dangerous waters

Local IT recruitment and consultancy company the HiTech Group saw its shares fall 17 per cent within 15 minutes of listing. After being issued at 70 cents, HiTech stock opened at 65 cents before a sharp fall to 58 cents. However, during early afternoon trade the stock had recovered to 64 cents with 170,000 shares changing hands.

Online etailer bigshop.com.au, which also floated today, fared worse than its more traditional counterpart. Bigshop, which raised $6 million through the issue of 24 million 25 cent shares, opened at 15 cents - a 40 per cent drop on its issue price. Bigshop's managing director, Annie Oliver, said it was disappointing that the company chose possibly the worse day in recent times to list on; however, she didn't expect it to have a lasting effect on the company.

Oliver did not believe that the local market correction, which has been repeated across the world as international markets open today, would set the company back in the longer term. In fact, she said the correction could offer Bigshop an advantage because it would restrict its competitors from listing and taking advantage of the opportunities afforded to public companies.

In early afternoon trade bigshop was still trading at 15 cents a share.

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Greg Canfell

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