INTERVIEW-China P2P lender Dianrong sees market shakeout driving its growth

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By Anshuman DagaSINGAPORE, April 13 (Reuters) - Chinese online lender
Dianrong.com expects to grow rapidly in the next few years,
benefiting from tightening regulation driving a shake-out in the
nation's $100 billion-plus peer-to-peer (P2P) industry and
pent-up demand for credit and investment.
    "The market place is growing and the players are less and
less. We will take over market share from other small
competitors," Kevin Guo, co-founder and co-CEO of Beijing-based
Dianrong.com, told Reuters in an interview.
    Loan originations at the P2P lender, which is backed by
investors including U.S. investment firm Tiger Global and
Standard Chartered's private equity unit, more than doubled to
16.2 billion yuan ($2.3 billion) in 2016 from the previous
year.
    Dianrong.com matches investors with individuals and small
and medium-sized businesses in real-time, with loan sizes
ranging from 500 yuan to 200,000 yuan for individuals and a
maximum of one million yuan for small and medium enterprises.
    China's P2P lending industry is fast becoming a source of
funds for small businesses overlooked by traditional financial
services institutions that prefer big borrowers with better
credit history and collateral.
    But a series of scandals and failures forced regulators to
introduce new measures last year such as setting limits for
borrowers and banning P2P firms from providing guarantees for
returns to restrain the sector's growth. [nL3N1B51OF]
    "Smaller players cannot meet the requirements from the
government, so they will automatically disappear if they are not
compliant," said Guo, during a visit to Singapore.
    Nearly half of the 4,000-odd online lending platforms in
China were "problematic", China's banking regulator said in
August when it unveiled the rules.
    As at end-March, China had 2,281 P2P platforms in operation
with...

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