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趣店股价过山车

Private companies in China are practised at staying one step ahead of their government. Western investors are less sure-footed. A Chinese crackdown on new online lenders extended the selloff in shares of micro-lender Qudian, which listed in the US last month. The stock closed more than a fifth below its listing price on Tuesday.

中国的民营企业都深谙始终比政府先行一步的道理。西方的投资者们却没这么有备无患。中国一份停止审批新的网络贷款公司的通知,令上个月在美国上市的小额贷款公司趣店(Qudian)的股票进一步暴跌。周二趣店股票收盘价较发行价下跌了20%多。
The Alibaba-backed credit service announced a $100m buyback programme amounting to less than 2 per cent of the public float on the same day that the news broke. Given it only just sold stock to the US public, and had negative equity of $357m as of June, this is a curious use of the proceeds. The move may, however, help prop up the value of chief executive Min Luo’s billion-dollar stake in the controlling share class.
消息爆出同日,这家阿里巴巴(Alibaba)支持的信贷服务公司宣布了一项1亿美元的回购计划,该计划拟回购的股票数量不及公众持股量的2%。考虑到趣店才刚刚在美国公开上市,而且截止到今年6月其股东权益为负3.57亿美元,如此处置上市筹得的资金颇为奇特。不过,这样做可能有助于支撑其首席执行官罗敏所持有的十亿美元控股类别股票的价值。
China has not banned online lending for existing companies. But even if Qudian benefits from reduced competition, its business model is exposed to other regulatory headwinds. The People’s Bank of China on Friday said it would prohibit asset-management products that guarantee investment returns from next summer. The group relies on similar funding channels for its own lending activity. It records service fees for facilitating loans by trusts and banks, but remains liable for principle and interest shortfalls.
中国并未禁止既有网络贷款公司继续运营网贷业务。但即使趣店因为竞争减少而获益,它的商业模式仍面临其它监管阻力。中国人民银行(PBoC)表示,从明年夏天开始,将禁止那些承诺保本保收益的理财产品。趣店自己的贷款业务依靠的正是类似的融资渠道。根据趣店招股书,一些信托机构和银行为其助贷并收取费用,但如果借款人逾期未能全额偿还本金和利息,趣店仍有责任代为补足。

 

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Qudian’s IPO occurred a day before the congress of China’s Communist party. As expected, scrutiny regarding financial leverage soon intensified. Peer-to-peer lending platforms such as Ping An’s Lufax were already subjected to tougher rules earlier this year. Qudian’s bad loan ratio has also been called into question, after comments by Mr Luo that delinquent debt had been written off as charity payments to borrowers.

趣店在今年的中国共产党全国代表大会召开前一天首次公开发行(IPO)。正如预期的那样,对财务杠杆的审查很快就收紧了。今年早些时候,像平安(Ping An)旗下陆金所(Lufax)这样的个人对个人(P2P)借款平台就受到了更严格的管控。趣店的不良贷款率也已引发质疑,此前罗敏表示,过期不还的款项都一笔勾销,就当福利送给借款人了。
Investors should give the company a wide berth. A better bet is Ping An Insurance, which is refashioning itself as a financial data sponge. After a 120 per cent year-to-date rally it is the world’s second-largest insurer after Berkshire Hathaway. Even if the Chinese fintech frenzy fizzles, Ping An has a strong and legitimate business to fall back on.
投资者应该对这家公司敬而远之。平安保险(Ping An Insurance)是一个更好的选择,它正将自身重塑为一个金融数据库。今年至今,在实现了120%的反弹后,平安已成为全球仅次于伯克希尔哈撒韦(Berkshire Hathaway)的第二大保险公司。哪怕要是中国的金融科技狂潮以失败告终,平安仍有强大且合法的业务可以依靠。


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