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Investors set to weigh benefits of News Corp

A sign is seen outside News Corporation building in New York, June 27, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
A sign is seen outside News Corporation building in New York, June 27, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - News Corp and 21st Century Fox will begin trading as two separate companies on Monday, giving investors the choice of a fast-growing entertainment business and a slower-growing but prominent publishing concern.

The new News Corp, which includes publishing assets, such as The Wall Street Journal and HarperCollins, and an education division, started trading on a preliminary basis on June 19, at $15.28 for its Class A shares.

21st Century Fox, whose entertainment assets include the Fox cable network and the 20th Century Fox movie studio, began trading on a preliminary basis at $28.07 for Class A shares.

News Corp will begin trading on the Nasdaq under the symbol NWSA while 21st Century Fox will trade on the same exchange under FOXA.

The new publishing company will be a test for investors and their appetite for print assets.

At News Corp, news and information make up the majority of revenue and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

While the company also has pay-TV assets and an equity stake in a real estate classified site in Australia, it is coming out as a separately traded company during a challenging times for newspapers. Advertisers are choosing to put their dollars elsewhere, especially in digital products. Although News Corp, like other publishers, is a player in the virtual work, advertising in digital media commands lower prices than traditional print publications.

News Corp said in May it would write down the value of its Australian and U.S. publishing assets by up to $1.4 billion.

Shareholders of the old News Corp receive one share in the new publishing company for every four shares in what is now 21st Century Fox.

(Reporting by Jennifer Saba in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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