SoftBank's Arm soars in market debut

A British microchip design firm under Japanese tech conglomerate SoftBank Group made a roaring debut on the Nasdaq on Thursday. It was the biggest initial public offering of the year.

Arm Holdings opened at 56.1 dollars, which was 10 percent higher than its offer price. The stock then gradually made gains to close at 63.59 dollars, giving Arm a valuation of 65 billion dollars.

Arm CEO Rene Haas called it "a historic moment for the company" and added that "the fun is only getting started."

SoftBank acquired Arm in 2016, seeing the potential in chips used in most smartphones, tablets and digital TVs. Arm has expanded into artificial intelligence, cloud computing and virtual reality.

SoftBank Group CFO Goto Yoshimitsu said the group had been hoping to make the best of Arm's assets as "an engine" for their success.

SoftBank Group executives had announced a plan three years ago to sell Arm to US chipmaker Nvidia for 40 billion dollars. However, that deal collapsed last year when regulators said it would stifle competition. Now, the executives are seeing the possibilities of AI and are hoping they can play a central part.