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Morning Briefing

Morning Briefing

Tough regulations and mounting bad debts are pushing peer-to-peer lending services in China to look for new business models or face closure. Over 1,000 P2P sites had closed without repaying customers as of October 31, according to research website, with 47 closing in October alone.

Over 3,600 online P2P lending websites were set up in the country since 2006, and regulators have been trying to reign in their operations. Last year, the China Banking Regulatory Commission stopped P2P sites from holding client deposits.

Also in China, Henan province-based Bank of Zhengzhou plans to start taking orders for its up to $723 million IPO in Hong Kong, becoming the third Chinese commercial bank to list in Hong Kong this year.

The bank is selling 1.32 billion shares at an indicative price range of 3.85 Hong Kong dollars ($0.50) to 4.21 Hong Kong dollars a share, according to the Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, Bank of Jinzhou's shares rose 9.4 percent on their first day of trading yesterday, achieving one of the best debut performances in months. It raised nearly $800 million in its IPO.

A judge in New York has dismissed a Saudi real estate company's $10 billion lawsuit against Barclays which had alleged that the bank ceased pursuing lease payments due from the Saudi government on military complexes in order to obtain a banking licence. New York Supreme Court Justice Charles Ramos dismissed the lawsuit brought by Jadawel International, a unit of London-based MBI International Holdings, a Barclays spokesman said.

Meanwhile, Barclays customers in the UK were unable to log on to the bank's mobile app and online systems for several hours yesterday after the bank's systems crashed.

A deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India has said it is too soon to write off a debt-for-equity swap tool intended to help banks manage stressed assets.

Strategic Debt Restructuring (SDR) was introduced in June to allow banks to take majority ownership of troubled firms and look for new owners. Banks are allowed to classify the debt in question as "standard", rather than bad, during the process. So far the tool has been used in nine cases but none have managed to sell assets or significantly reduce debt. "It is a work in progress. You will hear...more from us on this soon," SS Mundra of the RBI told reporters.

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