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Afterpay Shares Hit Record High, Good Sign For Online Retail

In a potential positive sign for the retail industry, Afterpay shares have surged to a new all-time high after rising steadily over the pandemic.

The buy-now pay-later (BNPL) company’s share price sits above $141 at time of writing, which could indicate strength in the BNPL sector; an American rival to Afterpay, Affirm, listed on the ASX last week and drove Afterpay’s share price up 9.7 per cent.

Despite only listing on the ASX in June 2017, Afterpay currently enjoys a market capitalisation of $38.21 billion – more than Telstra’s capitalisation of $37.34 billion.

After dipping to around $10 per share in March last year, the price rose steadily over the past ten months to its current high, which could reflect the strength of online shopping as more customers stayed home during the pandemic.

Afterpay was also added as an option on eBay purchases in April, and Tim MacKinnon, eBay ANZ managing director, told the Australian Financial Review last month that the BNPL service has helped bolster online sales in Australia – a view shared by RBA governor Phillip Lowe after the Reserve Bank continued to allow Afterpay to insist merchants refrain from passing on instalment fees to customers.

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