iSignthis shareholders vote to leave ASX

iSignthis shareholders vote to leave ASX

A vote at iSignthis' (ASX: ISX) AGM on Friday proved it isn't just the company's directors who have a problem with the ASX, but 87 per cent of shareholders who want the fintech depart from the country's predominant stock exchange.

The payment identity verification technology group's CEO John Karantzis (pictured) has been at loggerheads with the ASX since iSignthis was suspended from trading in October 2019.

Since then the ASX has repeatedly expressed its displeasure with iSignthis' responses to queries, including its issuance of performance rights and a processing suspension with Visa.

The acrimonious exchanges between the two entities have led to several occasions of the ASX threatening to remove iSignthis from listing, but now the Melbourne-based company appears to be heading down that track of its own accord. 

iSignthis also has a major stake in the National Stock Exchange of Australia (ASX: NSX), now headed up by Karantzis with a joint venture called ClearPay aimed at creating a same-day settlement platform akin to an "Australian version of NASDAQ".

Ahead of the AGM vote on whether to delist from the ASX and re-list on another exchange, iSignthis released a presentation describing itself as a "nascent competitor" of the ASX due to the tie-up with the NSX.

The company also noted it had applied to ASIC be supervised under Corporation Regulation 7.2.16 with regards to the ASX listing rules, and management expects to hear a response from the corporate watchdog within approximately seven weeks.

The vast majority of shareholders seem convinced - almost 95 per cent voted in favour of delisting, and that percentage was still high at 87.46 per cent with directors taken out of the equation.

ISX directors believe it would be desirable to list on an alternative premium exchange such as Euronext, NASDAQ-Nordics, Singapore, Toronto, London/AIM, and that the company would be "free of the ongoing negative media campaigns when relisted on another exchange".

"The suspension has presented a significant diversion of management time, direct cost and opportunity cost, which the directors do not believe would be required at any other exchange," the group said in its presentation.

Shareholders voted even more favourably for relisting elsewhere, with 95.06 per cent in total and 87.94 per cent when excluding directors.

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