AAP Finance

iSignthis takes a stake in the NSX

By AAP Newswire

ISignthis plans to take a 20 per cent stake in Australia's secondary equities exchange as it bids to launch a local version of the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

The tech firm, which is locked in a dispute with the ASX and has been suspended from trading shares for five months, told the market on Thursday it would take a 12.9 per cent in the NSX via a $4.2 million private placement at 14.5 cents per share.

Subject to shareholder approval, the NSX will raise a further $3.8 million to $5.8 million capital, of which ISignthis has the option to subscribe to for an additional amount, taking its shareholding to 19.9 per cent.

The NSX operates the National Stock Exchange of Australia, an Australian Markets Licensee supervised by ASIC.

ISignthis chief executive John Karantzis said the deal would help his company rival the ASX.

"With this investment and iSignthis' technology platforms, we have the capability to develop an Australian version of Nasdaq, and become a competitive alternative to the ASX," Mr Karantzis said in an announcement.

NSX shares, which are listed on the ASX, were placed in a trading halt on Thursday morning ahead of the ISignthis deal announcement.

They had more than doubled to 24.5 cents by 1517 AEDT upon resumption of trade.

Shares in ASX had slipped 1.54 per cent to $81.29 at the same time.

ISignthis, meanwhile, was forced into a trading halt in October following what some saw as suspicious share price volatility.

Subsequent questions have focused on the company's revenue figures from 2018 and the issue of a third tranche of performance rights to directors.

ISignthis is seeking to have its shares reinstated and has taken legal action against the ASX.

ISignthis and the NSX have also announced they have entered into an agreement to form a joint venture vehicle, ClearPay, to develop a blockchain-based settlement system that will be integrated with ISignthis' ISXPay and Paydentity.

Mr Karantzis will act as the chief executive of ClearPay during the software development stage, with the NSXA operating the platform once full technical and business development has been achieved.

The ASX is expected to launch Australia's own version of the Nasdaq on Friday, the S&P/ASX All Technology Index.