TOKYO, July 15 (Kyodo) — Smartphone messaging application operator Line Corp. has applied for an initial public offering on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, a source close to the matter said Tuesday.

The market capitalization for the Tokyo-based subsidiary of South Korea's Naver Corp. could reach 1 trillion yen in the listing expected to take place as early as this year, according to the source.

The company is also planning to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq as it aims to raise funds to expand its business abroad and bolster development of applications.

Line's smartphone application, which offers free messaging and voice call services, had attracted around 480 million users worldwide as of July 8.

An official of the company said that an IPO is "one option," but declined to elaborate on the timing of a listing.

Sales of the company's main Line business surged to 14.6 billion yen in the January to March period, up more than threefold from a year earlier, thanks to rising subscriber numbers in Southeast Asia and South America.