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P2P firm troubled by lawsuits due to the new rule

Yirendai, the first Chinese peer-to-peer lender that went public in US, was getting into several class action lawsuits on share price decline in US stock market, as foreign investors concerned about the regulation taken out by the Chinese government would hit the firm.

New York and New Jersey-based law firm Bronstein,Gewirtz & Grossman filed lawsuit on Yirendai of "materially false misleading statements" on Tuesday, while Rigrodsky & Long PA filed lawsuit to the Central District of California against Yirendai's failure to disclose "rising fraud related to customer applications for its loan products," and the negative impact "the implementation of new anti-fraud regulations could have on Yirendai's performance" on the same day.

Before the case, law firm Bronstein,Gewirtz & Grossman also engaged in cases against other US-listed Chinese companies such as private school New Oriental Education and Technology Group and travel website Qunar Cayman Islands Co.

Yirendai, the consumer finance arm of Chinese peer-to-peer lender CreditEase, responded today that those complaints are "without merit" as the company intends to defend its interests.

On August 23, Chinese Banking Regulatory Commission imposed limits on P2P lending amid country's concern over defaults and fraud among the nation's 2,349 online lenders. Share of Yirendai declined 22 percent in US one day after, posting a 44 percent decline in a four-day trading.

Market insiders argued that one of the reasons hidden behind the Yirendai's case is the emergence of Chinese companies as a particularly tempting target among US capital market.

Fifteen Chinese companies were sued through securities class action lawsuits in US in 2015, accounting for more than 40 percent of all shareholder suits filed against foreign companies listed on US exchanges, according to research by Stanford Law School and Cornerstone Research.

Yirendai made a tepid US debut on December 18, 2015, raising US$75 million after its American Depository Shares priced at US$10 each. The shares traded at US$26.9 by the end of session on August 30.

Though there were public doubts about Yirendai's allegedly manipulation of its shares as only 14 percent of them are actually tradable in the markets, company's spokesman insist the second-quarter earnings of 261 million yuan (US$39 million) gave a solid foundation of Yirendai's performance.


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