Ayondo must make exit offer, appeals SGX delisting notice

abdelaziz Fathi

It may be the end of the listing road for the embattled trading firm Ayondo, which said on Friday that it is reviewing a notice of delisting from the Singapore Exchange (SGX) and intends to make an appeal.

The Singapore Exchange (SGX) said on September 20 it will proceed to delist Ayondo following its failure to comply with criteria to exit from the bourse’s watchlist. The company announced in a filing today that it intends to appeal against this decision as it has not received any proposal or exit offer from any shareholder.

Furthermore, Ayondo explained that it currently does not have the cash resources to consider making an exit offer to its shareholders.

Ayondo, which was the first fintech company to IPO on the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX), faced working capital deficiency from continued losses. According to its filings, the business was hit hard by regulatory changes relating to product intervention imposed by European and UK regulators.

Shares of Ayondo were halted and then suspended from trading since January 30, 2019, after it faced intense scrutiny over its financial situation, business viability issues, and concerns raised by regulators over its compliance requirements in the UK.

To resolve these issues, Ayondo tried to reduce its liabilities through the sale of its UK unit Ayondo Markets Limited (AML) for £5.7 million to its Netherlands-based white label partner, BUX Holdings. The deal was completed in mid-2019 after Singapore’s regulators had told Ayondo to put on hold its plan to sell AML pending clarity over its financial situation and compliance.

Ayondo offers a broad spectrum of social trading and brokerage services that cover both retail and institutional sectors. The group claims to have 210,000 users from 195 countries on its social trading platform.

Ayondo said earlier this year that due to logistics and delays caused by the COVID-19 virus, it applied to the Singapore bourse to postpone holding its annual general meeting. Its most recent application to extend the submission deadline for a proposal to resume trading has been rejected by the SGX after it sought a further extension of three months to October 31.

On its rationale for the deadline extension, Ayondo said that preparing the statutory audit of the financial statements has been greatly affected after the Singapore government announced a circuit breaker.

Elsewhere, Ayondo’s former interim CEO, Richard Mark Street seeks to get paid for what he claims is an outstanding sum of nearly $40,000 owed by the Catalist-listed Fintech in unpaid salary and the removal of his directorship from the social trading network, GmbH.

Street came on board following an exodus of senior executives, including his predecessor, Robert Lempka. He resigned in 2019, citing pursuing other career opportunities and for personal reasons.

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