Online micro-lender Qudian' IPO prices at $24 per ADS - sources

Oct 17 (Reuters) - Chinese online micro-credit provider Qudian Inc’s initial public offering was priced at $24 per American depository share, according to sources close to the matter, above the expected range of $19-$22 each.

The 37.5 million shares offering raised about $900 million, making it the largest U.S.-listing by a Chinese company this year.

At $24 per share price, Qudian has a market value of as much as $7.9 billion.

Backed by Alibaba’s banking unit Ant Financial, Qudian operates a website that allows college students and young white-collar workers to buy laptops, smartphones and other consumer electronics on monthly installments.

Founded over three years ago, the company provided $5.6 billion of credit in H1 2017 to 7 million active borrowers.

Qudian’s net income jumped near eight-times to 973.7 million yuan ($143.6 million) in the six months ended June 30, while revenue rose near five-fold to 1.83 billion yuan ($270.4 million) in the same period.

Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Citigroup, CICC and UBS are joint bookrunners on the IPO. (Reporting by Roopal Verma, Nikhil Subba and Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; editing by Ankur Banerjee)