WUJIANG, CHINA -- (Marketwired) -- 08/27/13 -- China Commercial Credit, Inc. (NASDAQ: CCCR), a microcredit company providing loans and loan guarantees to small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs), farmers and individuals, today issued a corporate outlook for the next 12 months. Mr. Huichun Qin, founder and CEO, cited three primary factors expected to fuel the company's growth:
•CCC's improved access to capital to increase its lending capacity. •Continuing expansion of the microcredit industry, in both China and Jiangsu Province, where the company is based. •Ongoing government measures making the microcredit sector more attractive to borrowers.
CCC's improved access to capital. As a result of raising $8.9 million in its recent IPO -- thereby becoming the first China-based microcredit company to go public in the U.S. -- China Commercial Credit is expected to increase its available lending capital from $98 million (RMB 600 million) to $130 million (RMB 800 million). This, in turn, should positively impact the company's interest revenue in the near term, said Mr. Qin.
Mr. Qin, a former Deputy Director of Peoples Bank of China (PBOC) -- the nation's Central Bank -- added that, with its Nasdaq listing, CCC has the option to raise additional equity or issue debt in the U.S. and Hong-Kong, thereby further increasing its lending capacity and accelerating company growth.
Continuing expansion of the microcredit industry. According to recent PBOC data, at the end of June 2013 there were 7,086 microcredit companies in China, compared to only 1,940 three years ago. Since June 2010, microcredit companies' outstanding loans have multiplied by 5.6 times to $115 billion (RMB 704 billion).
Jiangsu Province has seen the fastest growth of any province in China during this period, with the number of microcredit firms rising 4.3 times to 529, and outstanding loans growing six times to $18 billion (RMB 109 billion). Wujiang City, CCC's base, remains one of the most economically successful cities in China, said Mr. Qin, and is home to an increasing number of the world's leading exporters of electronic equipment, chemicals and textiles -- many of which require microfinance loans.
This growth is primarily due to the Chinese government's 2008 financial reforms to ease the country's reliance on lending by State-owned banks -- which had heavily favored lending to State-owned enterprises and large companies -- and allow the creation of microcredit companies designed to serve the borrowing needs of SMEs, farmers and individuals, a group accounting for eight out of ten jobs in China and comprising 60 percent of that nation's GDP.
Since 2008, microcredit companies have played an increasingly important role in financing SMEs nationwide and especially in Jiangsu Province, said Mr. Qin. And because most State-owned banks in China -- due to higher costs and risks -- are still not willing to lend to SMEs, the growth of the microcredit industry will likely accelerate for the foreseeable future, he added.
Ongoing government measures. Three recent policy changes by the Chinese government will likely spur the growth of the microcredit industry, said Mr. Qin. The first are the credit tightening measures, enacted in June 2013, currently affecting the nation's State-owned banks. These measures, which could last for as much as a year, will likely drive additional loan applicants -- including many State-owned enterprises and larger companies -- into the microcredit sector, said Mr. Qin.
The second policy change is the increased government pressure to restrict the activities of private, high interest underground lenders, many of whom have charged SMEs 50 percent interest or more. This excessive interest rate, said Mr. Qin, has caused many SMEs to fail and has produced severe inflationary pressures throughout the economy.
Lastly, the government has also taken steps to curtail off-balance sheet "back-door" bank loans to SMEs. These steps will likely continue, said Mr. Qin, driving further loan business into the microcredit sector.
Due to the above factors, Mr. Qin said he expected CCC could experience "improved revenue and profit growth" over last year's results beginning in the fourth quarter of this year.
For the last 12 months through March 31, 2013, China Commercial Credit had a profit of $8.3 million on approximately $12 million in interest and fee revenue. Since inception, CCC has delivered net revenue and pre-tax income with compound annual growth rates of 22% and 34%, respectively. This rapid growth, said Mr. Qin, is a "strong indication" of China's financial support for SMEs.
"It is an honor to be the first Chinese microcredit company to go public and list on a U.S. national exchange," concluded Mr. Qin. "I deeply appreciate the interest that investors are showing in one of China's lesser known but superior growth industries. I am excited about the future of microfinance in general and CCC specifically, and I look forward to communicating our progress to shareholders on a regular basis."
About China Commercial Credit
China Commercial Credit (http://www.chinacommercialcredit.com), founded in 2008, provides business loans and loan guarantee services to more than 360 small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs), farmers and individuals in China's Jiangsu Province. Due to recent legislation and banking reform in China, these SMEs, farmers and individuals - which historically had been excluded from borrowing funds from State-owned and commercial banks -- are now able to borrow money at competitive rates from microfinance lenders.
Investors wishing to receive CCC's corporate communications as they become available may go to http://www.ir-site.com/china-commercial-credit/default.asp and register under Email Alerts.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities laws. You should not rely upon forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties (some of which are beyond our control) or other assumptions that may cause actual results or performance to be materially different from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements for any reason after the date of this release to conform these statements to actual results or to changes in our expectations. You should review the factors described in the section entitled "Risk Factors" in our prospectus filed with the SEC on August 14, 2013 and other documents we file from time to time with the SEC. We qualify all of our forward-looking statements by these cautionary statements.
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