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Wins Finance Holdings Inc. Reports Unaudited Financial Results for the Six Months Ended December 31, 2017

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Wins Finance Holdings Inc. Reports Unaudited Financial Results for the Six Months Ended December 31, 2017

Wins Finance Holdings Inc. (“Wins Finance” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: WINS), a diversified investment and asset management company that provides integrated financing solutions to small and medium enterprises (“SMEs”) in China, today announced its unaudited financial results for the fiscal six months ended December 31, 2017.

Fiscal Six Months Financial and Operational Highlights

Gross revenue was $5.3 million, compared to $4.8 million for the corresponding period ended December 31, 2016.
Interest income on short-term investments was $7.5 million, compared to $6.8 million for the corresponding period ended December 31, 2016.
Net income attributable to Wins Finance was $9.2 million, compared to $11.0 million for the corresponding period ended December 31, 2016.
“Our gross revenue increased 10% for the first six months of fiscal 2018 as compared to same period a year ago as our financial advisory business increased by 227%, though this was offset by a 26% decrease in our financial guarantee business. However, our net income fell 17%, primarily due an increase in our expenses,” said Renhui Mu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Wins Finance.

“We continue to work to optimize the company’s business and operating structure. The economic slowdown in Shanxi Province’s economy, our main market for our guarantee business, could lead to an increased risk of potential loan default despite our extensive screening process, so we plan to make fewer loan guarantees. Instead, we plan to focus on growing our financing lease business, which we believe will continue to expand in the future.”

“In order to plan for growth and reduce the cost of bank financing, we plan to increase our capital and strive to improve the Company’s credit rating with our lenders. This could take the form of an issuance of securities as outlined in our registration statement on Form F-3,” added Mr. Mu

Six Months Ended December 31, 2017 Financial Results

Gross revenue

Gross revenue for Wins Finance for the six months ended December 31, 2017 was $5.3 million, which was comprised of $1.2 million of commissions and fees generated from our financial guarantee services, $3.0 million of direct financing lease interest income and $1.2 million of financial advisory and lease agency income.

Commissions and fees from financial guarantee services decreased $0.4 million, or 26.4%, to $1.2 million for the six months ended December 31, 2017, compared to $1.6 million for the six months ended December 31, 2016. The decrease was primarily attributable to reduced lending activities due to the economic slowdown in Shanxi Province, where most of our existing SME clients are located, and, as a result, fewer potential clients were able to pass our screening process. Concurrent with a slowdown of China’s economy, competition in our lending business has intensified in the region. These factors are expected to negatively impact our guarantee business in the foreseeable future.

Direct financing lease interest income generated from payments under direct financing leases with customers increased by $0.1 million, or 3.6%, to $3.0 million for the six months ended December 31, 2017, compared to $2.9 million for the six months ended December 31, 2016.

Financial advisory and lease agency income increased by $0.8 million, or 226.8%, to $1.2 million for the six months ended December 31, 2017, compared to $0.4 million for the six months ended December 31, 2016. The increase was primarily attributable to new contracts secured under our financing advisory services.

Interest income on short-term investment

Interest income from short-term investments increased by $0.6 million to $7.5 million for the six months ended December 31, 2017, compared to $6.8 million for the six months ended December 31, 2016. The increase was primarily due to an increase in the average balance of our short-term investments.

Non-interest expenses

Non-interest expense was $2.1 million for the six months ended December 31, 2017, as compared to non-interest income of $0.06 million for the six months ended December 31, 2016. In connection with the grant of stock options to employees, we recorded share-based compensation charges of $nil and a gain of $1.5 million for the six months ended December 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively. The gain in 2016 resulted from the reversal of share-based compensation expense for our stock options that were cancelled in 2016 due to the termination of the holders’ employment prior to vesting.

Income taxes

Income tax expense decreased by $0.6 million, to $0.6 million for the six months ended December 31, 2017, compared to $1.2 million for the six months ended December 31, 2016. The decrease was attributable to the decrease in taxable income, which excluded tax exempt interest income from short-term investments.

Net income

Net income decreased by $1.8 million, or 16.6%, to $9.2 million for the six months ended December 31, 2017, compared to $11.0 million for the six months ended December 31, 2016.

Current Outlook

Management continues to be cautious as to its operating results in future periods in view of the slowdown of the Chinese economy in those regions where the Company operates and which directly effects China’s financial sector. The Company believes that its financial guarantee services business could especially be adversely affected since its exposure to defaulted loans is expected to increase and counter guarantees or collateral provided may become insufficient to cover repayments. Management is undergoing a review of the risk controls for the Company’s financial guarantee business and may reduce the operation of this business in order to minimize the risks of the Company’s exposure.

Conversely, we believe that the financial leasing business offers substantial growth opportunities as SMEs have become an indispensable driver of promoting economic and employment growth and continue to contribute to China’s economic transformation. Many SMEs need to upgrade their equipment and adopt new technologies but have limited access to capital. Although the Company’s financial advisory and agency services are important as they focus on SMEs and have the potential to diversify the Company’s client base, the period-to-period financial results of this sector is affected by the complexity, uncertainties and changes in China’s economic conditions and the regulations governing the industry.

Other Significant Events

The Company’s registration statement on Form F-3, which registers the issuance of ordinary shares, preferred shares, warrants, rights, debt securities and debentures by the Company, was declared effective by the SEC on March 30, 2018. The Company may sell such securities from time to time pursuant to the registration statement. As we have previously disclosed, we have advised NASDAQ that we will seek to increase the public float and potentially the liquidity of our ordinary shares in an attempt to limit the volatility in the trading price of our ordinary shares. If we undertake any offering under the registration statement, it will be, in part, an effort to increase the liquidity of our ordinary shares. However, we cannot guarantee that any actions we take will have the intended effect of reducing market volatility and improving liquidity, and such share issuances could result in significant dilution for current shareholders.

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Fall in UK economic activity bottoms out in February – PMI

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Fall in UK economic activity bottoms out in February - PMI 1

LONDON (Reuters) – British economic output stabilised in February after a sharp fall the month before, as many businesses continued to suffer from lockdown restrictions affecting hospitality and other face-to-face services, a closely watched survey showed on Wednesday.

Hours before finance minister Rishi Sunak is due to set out his economic plans for the coming year, the IHS Markit/CIPS composite Purchasing Managers’ Index gave a reading of 49.6 for February, up from an eight-month low of 41.2 in January.

The figure means businesses reported broadly stable activity for last month after a steep deterioration early in the year, and is little changed from an initial flash estimate of 49.8.

The PMI for the services sector alone rose to a four-month high of 49.5 in February from January’s eight-month low of 39.5, again in line with the initial flash estimate.

“Restrictions on travel, leisure and hospitality due to the national lockdown continued to curtail overall activity, but there were some pockets of growth in technology and business services,” financial data company IHS Markit said.

Britain entered its third national coronavirus lockdown in early January, closing schools, non-essential shops and most other businesses open to the public, though people can still travel to work if needed.

Last week Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out a path for easing the lockdown in England as vaccinations roll out rapidly. Schools will reopen next week but full restrictions on hospitality venues will not go until late June at the earliest.

Sunak is expected to set out further spending plans in a budget statement around 1230 GMT after providing almost 300 billion pounds of support during the past year.

Business optimism in the services PMI has risen to its highest since 2006 due to expectations of a return to normality. But many firms still reported difficulties from new, post-Brexit trading restrictions that took effect on Jan. 1.

(Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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Japan’s SMFG likely to halt all new lending to coal-powered plants, sources say

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Japan's SMFG likely to halt all new lending to coal-powered plants, sources say 2

By Takashi Umekawa

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group is likely to halt all new financing to coal-fired power plants, including the most efficient ones, two sources said, reflecting growing pressure from investors and environmentalists on Japan’s lenders to cut funding to coal.

While SMFG has said it would not finance new coal-fired power plants in principle, up until now it hasn’t ruled out funding projects seen as more environmentally friendly, such as so-called “ultra-supercritical (USC) power plants” that burn coal more efficiently than older designs.

It is now likely to remove that exception from its lending policy, meaning a complete halt to new finance for coal plants, said the sources, who declined to be named as the information is not public.

Japan’s biggest banks are under increasing pressure from global investors and environmental groups over their long involvement in funding coal projects. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has also pushed to achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions, on a net basis, by 2050.

“It’s a fact that the criticism from environmental groups has become so strong,” said one of the sources.

A spokesman for SMFG said nothing had been decided.

(Reporting by Takashi Umekawa; Editing by David Dolan and Edmund Blair)

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Oil rises as U.S. vaccine progress raises demand expectations

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Oil rises as U.S. vaccine progress raises demand expectations 3

By Shu Zhang

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil prices rose on Wednesday as signs of progress in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in the United States, the world’s biggest consumer, raised demand expectations.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 15 cents, or 0.25%, to $59.90 a barrel by 0757 GMT, recovering from three days of losses.

Brent crude futures rose 24 cents, or 0.38%, to $62.94 a barrel after four days of losses.

“Ongoing stimulus measures, as COVID-19 vaccinations speed up, have boosted sentiment,” ANZ analysts wrote in a note.

The U.S. will have enough COVID-19 vaccine for every American adult by the end of May, President Joe Biden said on Tuesday after Merck & Co agreed to make rival Johnson & Johnson’s inoculation.

Futures were down earlier in the day amid uncertainty over how much supply the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, together called OPEC+, will restore to the market at its Thursday meeting and a big build in U.S. crude inventories

The OPEC+ meeting on Thursday comes at a time when producers are generally positive on the oil market outlook compared with a year ago when they slashed supply to boost prices.

The market widely expects OPEC+ to ease production cuts, which were the deepest ever, by about 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd), with OPEC’s leader, Saudi Arabia, ending its voluntary production cut of 1 million bpd.

Still, an OPEC+ technical committee document reviewed by Reuters called “for cautious optimism,” citing “the underlying uncertainties in the physical markets and macro sentiment, including risks from COVID-19 mutations that are still on the rise”.

Reinforcing concerns of potential oversupply, the American Petroleum Institute industry group reported U.S. crude stocks rose by 7.4 million barrels in the week to Feb. 26, in stark contrast to analysts’ estimates for a draw of 928,000 barrels. [API/S]

However, that build occurred while U.S. refining capacity was shut during the survey week because of cold weather in Texas. Refinery runs fell by 1.75 million bpd, the API data showed.

“The recent selloff may help reinforce Saudi’s cautious stance and delay any production increase,” said Stephen Innes, global market strategist at Axi.

“It’s probably something that could sway the OPEC+ increase more back toward the 500,000 bpd as opposed to the 1.5 million bpd,” he said.

(Reporting by Shu Zhang and Sonali Paul; Editing by Gerry Doyle and Christian Schmollinger)

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