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VISA Files for Public Offering

Visa has filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission saying it wants to raise up to $10 billion in an initial public offering.

The preliminary prospectus on Friday listed the underwriters of the proposed deal as JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Banc of America, Citigroup, HSBC, Merrill Lynch, UBS and Wachovia.

Visa operates the world’s largest retail electronic-payments network, and it claims more branded credit and debit cards in circulation, more transactions and greater total volume than any of its competitors, who include already publicly traded MasterCard and American Express. The international company did not reveal in its registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission how many shares it plans to offer or their expected price.

It also did not disclose where it plans to list the stock or under what symbol.

The electronic-payments industry is rolling out new products and services such as mobile payments through cellphones and checkout counters that read a fingerpint. Visa dominates the industry and has aggressively pursued new forms of payment, particularly in debit cards, which are lined directly to bank checking accounts.

The company had unaudited operating revenue of $3.73 billion and earnings of $771 million for the nine months ended June 30. In fiscal 2006, revenue was $3.91 billion and profits came to $437 million.