Donald Trump’s social media company soars in Wall Street debut

Trump Media & Technology Group closes 16 percent higher, giving the company a market capitalisation of nearly $8bn.

Shares of former Donald Trump’s social media company soared by as much as 59 percent on the first day of trading on Wall Street, boosting the former United States president’s expected windfall as he faces a growing list of legal bills.

The Trump Media & Technology Group reached $79.38 per share at its peak on Tuesday, before closing 16 percent higher at $57.99, giving the company a market capitalisation of nearly $8bn.

Trump Media’s rip-roaring market debut, despite operating losses of $10.6m for the first nine months of 2023, came a day after the completed its merger with shell company Digital World Acquisition.

Trump launched the social media platform Truth Social after he was kicked off mainstream platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, following the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.

The Republican contender for the 2024 US presidential election has since been reinstated to both but has stuck with Truth Social.

Trump holds a nearly 60 percent ownership stake in the company, now worth about $4.6bn.

“I LOVE TRUTH SOCIAL, I LOVE THE TRUTH!,” Trump posted on the social media network on Tuesday.

Trump, who is facing four criminal trials as he seeks re-election in a November face-off with US President Joe Biden, has been struggling to raise money for his campaign and mounting legal expenses.

Trump is currently facing a huge bond payment after a New York court ruled that he, his sons and their family business lied for years about the value of his assets.

A New York appeals court on Monday cut the $454m bond payment that had been due that day to $175m and gave him 10 extra days to pay, which Trump has said he will do.

The original sum had raised the possibility that New York authorities would move to seize Trump’s assets.

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