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Qudian withdraws fiscal 2019 guidance, launches US$500M share repurchase

China's Qudian Inc. withdrew guidance for the fiscal year 2019 due to market uncertainty, and launched an up to US$500 million share repurchase program.

The financial technology company said it would not issue guidance in the near term due to uncertainty stemming from several regulatory developments in China during the fourth quarter of 2019.

The withdrawal comes after the digital lender raised its net income guidance for the full year to more than 4.5 billion yuan in June 2019 from a previous guidance of more than 3.5 billion yuan.

Qudian tightened loan approval standards and suspended its credit trial program in the fourth quarter of 2019 to protect its assets and funding partners from market uncertainties. The decline in transaction volumes during the quarter is also expected to impact the company's revenue for the three months, according to a filing.

The company also expects the rise in delinquency rates to increase loss of guarantee liability and provision for the quarter, and adversely affect net income for the three-month period.

Qudian also said its board approved a plan to repurchase a total of up to US$500 million American depositary shares, effective Jan. 16. The shares will be repurchased during the next 30 months.

As of Jan. 21, US$1 was equivalent to 6.91 Chinese yuan.