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Kraft Foods Will Transfer its Exchange Listing to Nasdaq

By Kristin Jones Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT) plans to switch its stock exchange listing to the Nasdaq Global Select Market from the New York Stock Exchange, the latest salvo in the heated battle for prominent stock listings. Kraft previously said it plans to split into two companies by year's end, when it will create a global snacks company called Mondelez International Inc. and another business, called Kraft Foods Group Inc., which will focus on North American grocery products. Both companies will trade on the Nasdaq exchange. Mondelez will trade under the symbol MDLZ, and Kraft Foods will trade under KRFT. The symbol KFT will be retired at that time. Until the spin-off, the name and trading symbol will remain Kraft Foods Inc. and KFT, respectively. Kraft shares rose 8 cents to $38.23. The move comes as both stock exchanges have battled for years to bring in, or poach, listings by offering promotions and other incentives. The transfer provides the tech-heavy Nasdaq with a high-profile consumer-products company. It also highlights how transfer-minded companies are taking advantage of Nasdaq incentives with a close eye on the bottom lines. Kraft noted that transfering to the exchange, part of Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. (NDAQ), is cost-effective. The company recently reported that its first-quarter earnings rose 1.8% on broad-based sales growth, including in Europe. Nasdaq suffered reputational damage recently after Facebook Inc.'s (FB) initial public offering was marred by glitches. The company said it planned a one-time payout of around $40 million to compensate some of the investors who lost money because of exchange errors. Interestingly, Kraft's current market cap of $67.8 billion is close to Facebook's $72.7 billion. Write to Kristin Jones at kristin.jones@dowjones.com

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