Australian marketplace lender lists

The firm, which has originated around AUD6 million in consumer loans, is the first marketplace lender to list on the Australian stock exchange.

DirectMoney has become the first marketplace lender to list on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX). The firm raised AUD11.2 million ($8.33 million; €7.57 million) and was admitted to trading yesterday (13 July). 

The shares were issued at AUD20 cents per share. The capital raise supports Baspar Limited, a listed firm pivoting into a new business area, in its acquisition of DirectMoney, an Australian marketplace consumer lender. Baspar Limited, originally a vehicle manufacturer and designer, was established in 1969. It sold off its remaining assets last year and received shareholder approval to move the rump of the firm into a new area.

The shares traded down after trading opened, falling to AUD14 cents a share by market close on Tuesday (14 July). 

DirectMoney has made AUS6 million in loans to more than 350 borrowers, according to the firm’s prospectus. The average loan size is AUD10,000 to AUD20,000 with tenors ranging between three and five years. The platform’s clients are described as “prime retail borrowers” in the offering document.

“The company is also currently targeting sector-leading organisations to participate in loan origination partnerships and as investors in its loan funding vehicles,” said executive chairman, Stephen Porges, in a statement following the listing.

DirectMoney will use the proceeds to originate more loans. The assets are held in a warehouse facility that uses the firm’s balance sheet to finance the deals before they are on-sold to investors. During the warehousing period, DirectMoney will earn any returns from the loans as well as holding the risk. The firm has no plans to pay yield or institute a dividend policy. 

The firm started lending in October 2014. Following the capital raising, its largest shareholder is Adcock Private Equity, with a 22.36 percent stake. UK-listed P2P Global Investments, an investment trust which lends via a number of marketplace lending platforms, has taken a 4.51 percent stake in the firm and is the seventh largest shareholder, according to ASX. 

Porges joined DirectMoney from SAI Global where he was chief executive officer (CEO). Prior to that he was CEO of Aussie Home Loans which he joined from Newcastle Permanent Building Society.