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Facebook's market value soars to $33bn

Social networking site's market cap valuation surpasses that of online giants such as Ebay and Yahoo

Facebook is now worth $33.7bn based on secondary market transactions, making the social networking site's implied valuation greater than the market cap of companies such as Ebay and Yahoo, the Financial Times (FT) reported on Tuesday.

Common stock in Facebook is trading at $76 a share and investors are keen on getting a piece of the company before it files for an initial public offering (IPO), the newspaper added.

When the social networking site goes public, it could be the biggest technology IPO since Google's $1.67bn flotation in 2004, said the newspaper, quoting analysts.

Backed by venture capital and investment firms, Facebook has said that it may remain unlisted until at least 2012. However, employees and investors are free to sell their stock. In the absence of an IPO, many are selling their shares to achieve liquidity.

Meanwhile, sources close to the company have told FT that prices on the secondary market are inflated because available shares are scarce and arrived at without transparent knowledge of the company's financial performance.