BBM’s potential lifts BlackBerry

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BlackBerry rose as much as 8 percent in German trading yesterday after Facebook agreed to buy mobile-messaging start-up WhatsApp for as much as $19 billion (R207bn), highlighting the value of BlackBerry’s rival service.

BlackBerry, which offers the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) instant messaging service pre-installed on its phones or as a free download for iPhone and Android smartphones, reached as high as $9.82 in after-hours trading on Wednesday in New York after closing at $9.01.

Yesterday the stock rose to the equivalent of $9.66 at 12.27pm in Frankfurt, after reaching as high as $9.74.

The Facebook deal for WhatsApp, with more than 450 million monthly users, implies a valuation of about $3.4bn for BlackBerry’s BBM service, which has 80 million monthly users. BlackBerry chief executive John Chen has singled out BBM as a pillar for growth to help revive the struggling firm. – Bloomberg

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