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Undaunted by recent turbulence in the financial markets, Visa, the biggest credit-card network in the United States, said Monday that it would forge ahead with what would be the largest initial public stock offering in the nation's history.
Visa plans to sell as much as $17.1 billion of stock in late March, following in the footsteps of its smaller rival MasterCard, which went public in May 2006.
Visa and MasterCard are prospering as Americans increasingly flex plastic, rather than use cash, to pay for just about everything. The companies have not been hurt by the credit crunch, because they do not actually make credit-card loans.