Shares in Facebook jumped in heavy trading on the Nasdaq. The rise comes as millions of shares held by the company’s staff become available – the largest amount since the social network’s disastrous flotation earlier this year.
About 800 million shares could hit the market as company insiders get the go-ahead to sell for the first time.
“While the lock-up is expiring there is nothing requiring anybody to sell,” said one analyst.
The end of two previous lock-up periods led to Facebook stock suddenly flooding the market, triggering sales and a resultant fall in the share price.
Facebook’s 28-year-old chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg pledged not to sell any shares before September next year.