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26 Mar, 2024 16:33

Trump platform dominates on stock market debut

Shares of Truth Social’s parent company soared by 50% in the first minute of trading
Trump platform dominates on stock market debut

Trump Media & Technology Group, the parent company of Truth Social, former US President Donald Trump’s online platform, began trading on the NASDAQ stock market on Tuesday. Shares rose so quickly they triggered the fail-safe mechanism. 

Shares of the company skyrocketed 50% in the first minute of trading. NASDAQ responded by imposing a five-minute pause in order to curtail volatility. The stock slowed down somewhat after the pause expired, but was still up 40% from opening an hour into trading.

The former president’s company is listed under his initials, DJT. It effectively went public this week, after the merger of Trump Media & Technology Group and the shell company Digital World Acquisition Corp (DWAC) last Friday.

DWCA was originally founded as a special purpose acquisition vehicle, also known as a “blank check company,” with the aim of raising money for the eventual merger with TMTG. Its own shares soared 30% in January, after the 45th president swept the Republican primaries and took the lead in the race for the 2024 nomination.

Under the terms of the merger, Trump can’t sell his shares for six months, unless the board of directors votes otherwise.

The stock has attracted a lot of attention due to its potential impact on Trump’s finances. The merger has increased his net worth to $6.4 billion, according to Bloomberg, making the former president one of the world’s wealthiest 500 people. However, Trump faces multi-million-dollar court claims as a result of numerous lawsuits, which he has denounced as spurious and politically motivated.

As part of a process in which New York State Attorney General Letitia James accused Trump’s business of fraud, Judge Arthur Engoron last month demanded a $454 million bond for the former president to even file an appeal. James was looking forward to seizing Trump’s Manhattan properties when an appeals court announced on Monday that it would reduce that bond to $175 million and extend the filing deadline by ten more days. 

Earlier this month, Trump was forced to raise a bond of $91.6 million to appeal a defamation judgment against E. Jean Carroll. A New York jury had ruled against the writer’s claim that Trump had sexually assaulted her, but said the former president had defamed her by defending himself against the accusation.

Trump Social launched in February 2022, just over a year after Trump was banned by Twitter while still the sitting US president. Later that year, Elon Musk bought the latter platform – renaming it X – and removed the ban, but Trump has chosen not to resume posting from his account.

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