Shares of online microlender Qudian Inc. jumped 22% in their New York trading debut, valuing the company at nearly $10 billion, as investors clamored for a piece of the biggest US listing to date by a new wave of fast-growing Chinese financial technology (fintech) companies. The strong performance was partly due to Qudian’s strong ties to Ant Financial, operator of the popular Alipay electronic payments service and one of China’s oldest fintech firms, analysts said. But it also reflects strong investor appetite for the sector, which should bode well for a series of similar offerings set to launch over the next year, according to Caixin. Qudian’s IPO American Depositary Shares (ADSs) had priced at $24, already above their original range of $19 to $22, indicating strong demand for the company. The shares jumped as much as 48% on Wednesday, their first trading day, before ultimately closing up 22% at $29.18. The offering raised $900 million.
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