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Grab's dismal Nasdaq debut a wake-up call for ASEAN startups

'Realistic valuation' now key after Singapore superapp dives 21% in first day

Grab's CEO Anthony Tan and co-founder Tan Hooi Ling celebrate as they attend the Grab Bell Ringing Ceremony at a hotel in Singapore on Dec. 2.    © Reuters

SINGAPORE/JAKARTA -- Singaporean superapp Grab's much-anticipated U.S. listing turned out to be a bitter debut on Thursday, with shares ending their first trading day down nearly 21%.

While Grab's longer-term price performance remains to be seen, one analyst says the initial slump is a warning for other Southeast Asian startups planning to go public to target "more realistic valuations."

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