​Japanese messaging app Line shares surge in debut in Tokyo

TOKYO - Line Corp.'s shares surged in its debut on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, following its initial public offering in New York, as investors cashed in on the popular Japanese messaging app that features emoticons.

Line rose Friday above its IPO price of 3,300 yen, settling at 4,345 yen. It cost $41.58 in New York on Thursday.

The company's share offerings raised more than $1.1 billion.

Line has grown to 218 million users, mostly in Asia, especially Japan. It's growing in the Middle East but isn't catching on in the U.S. or Europe amid competition from Snapchat, Facebook messenger and other social media.

Line sells pictorial "stamps" to decorate messages, sells dolls and mascot items and offers free voice calls and chats. It's owned by South Korean search engine company Naver Corp.