iSignThis and ASX exchange barbs over trading suspension

11 November 2019

The battle between payments and Know Your Customer (KYC) solutions provider iSignThis and the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) over the suspension of its shares looks set to continue, with no sign of a resolution in sight.

ISignthis’s (ISX) shares were suspended from trading on 2 October, leaving the company seeking an explanation for the decision ever since.

The supplier has been pursuing the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) for this explanation, only to have the ASIC claim that the decision was taken by the ASX, referring ISX to the exchange.

“It has taken us more than a month to get an answer to a simple question about who actually asked for the suspension of ISX shares,” ISX chief executive John Karantzis noted.

However, the ASX then quickly responded to ISX’s announcement, saying that it made the decision in consultation with ASIC. It claimed the basis for the suspension was “clearly set out” in its market announcement on 2 October.

This explained that fluctuations in ISX’s share price had prompted the suspension under ASX Listing Rule 17.3. This states that shares may be suspended if an entity is suspected of breaking a listing rule, if a continued listing will lead to a disorderly or uninformed market, or if there is another appropriate reason.

While it did not explain what this reason was, the ASX said that the decision was made without any direction from ASIC, though it was consulted during the process.

“ASX will continue to consult with ASIC in relation to matters concerning ISX, including in relation to any consideration ASX may give to reinstating ISX’s securities to quotation,” it added, noting that its enquires were ongoing.

It has sent ISX a third round of questions on the business — though it is unclear what these questions cover — with responses due on 15 November.

ISX said it would provide further updates as details become available, though was unable to give any estimate as to when it could resume trading.