China’s consumer lender Qudian raises $900m in U.S. IPO

Pedestrians walk past the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., on Friday, Aug. 18, 2017. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Qudian Inc., a Chinese online loan provider, raised $900 million in its initial public offering, the fourth-biggest U.S. share sale so far this year.

The company sold 37.5 million American depositary shares for $24 apiece, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, after marketing them for $19 to $22 each.

Founded by Min Luo in 2014, Qudian lends to consumers in China who can’t get credit from traditional financial institutions. The amounts borrowed are relatively small: Cash loans averaged the equivalent of $136 in the six months through June, while merchandise credit averaged $184. The loans had a weighted average term of about two months and eight months, respectively.

Over the same period, Qudian facilitated about $5.6 billion in transactions to 7 million active borrowers, with the average customer drawing on their credit line six times. Qudian has a partnership with Alipay — an online payment platform operated by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s financial affiliate Ant Financial — to distribute cash to consumers and collect repayments.

Qudian became profitable on an annual basis in 2016, posting net income of $85 million on total revenue of $213 million. In the first six months of this year, net income was $144 million on revenue of $270 million.

The micro-lender joins a cluster of Asian companies seeking to sell shares on U.S. exchanges. Sea Ltd., the Singapore-based parent company of gaming platform Garena, is scheduled to price its IPO this week. It’ll be joined by  Bain Capital-backed Rise Education Cayman Ltd., which offers immersive American English lessons at its network of after-school learning centers in China.

The activity is helping push October toward being one of the biggest months for new share sales in the U.S. this year.

Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse Group AG, Citigroup Inc., China International Capital Corp. and UBS Group AG led the offering. Qudian will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol QD.

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Bloomberg

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.