Several Chinese Peer-to-Peer Lending Companies Have Submitted Self-Inspection Reports
With hundreds of peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms having collapsed at the beginning of this year, different district-level financial bureaus recently rolled out a tougher reform on all P2P platforms' risk compliance to ease a growing panic among investors.
This industry reform involves three major steps. First, all platforms have to complete a P2P Compliance Self-Inspection Report and submit it to the bureau by the end of October. Then, companies will be inspected by its local Internet Finance Industry Association, a non-state association. This will be followed by verification of inspection results by district-level Municipal Bureau of Financial Work with field inspection and a possible final check by higher-level government organizations.
New York-listed Hexindai Inc. (Nasdaq: HX) and PPDAI Group Inc. (NYSE: PPDF) both announced that they have completed and submitted the report.
Although the stock price tells a different story, most analysts believe that this recent industry-wide meltdown was beneficial for mature platforms like Ppdai or Hexindai. As investors became more cautious when they select platforms, bigger names with a longer operating history will be their top picks, rather than smaller platforms with higher rates.
Shareholders, on the other hand, are less optimistic about these P2P platforms' long-term growth. Beijing-based Hexindai has dropped nearly 14 percent over the past three month despite strong results for the quarter ended June 30. Shanghai-based Ppdai shared the same pain - despite a recent rebound. Its stock price has plunged more than 50 percent over the past year. Shares of Qudian Inc. (NYSE: QD), a flagging FinTech unicorn, has tanked more than 85 percent since its IPO last October.
"It seems the P2P business sector would work best in a 'market of oligarchs', which would allow a few big P2P platforms with good credit to offer premium services." said Jianjun Li, dean of the School of Finance at the Central University of Finance and Economics. "Hundreds of P2P platforms have gone out of business in the past few weeks because of a combination of reasons: tight financing, economic downturn in the real economy and the platforms' unruly behaviors including raising funds for their own projects."
Hopefully, enhanced regulatory clarity and less blind competition can eventually put the industry on the right track.
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