Fatfish (ASX:FFG) shares in trading halt pending BNPL acquisition

After trading for just one hour on Friday, the Fatfish share price won't be going anywhere.

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The Fatfish Group Ltd (ASX: FFG) share price won't be going anywhere on Friday afternoon after the company requested a trading halt.

Why Fatfish shares paused trading today

The Fatfish share price jumped 4% this morning before entering into a trading halt just prior to lunchtime. This request was made on the basis of an upcoming buy now, pay later (BNPL) acquisition announcement.

Shares in the technology venture building company will remain halted until either Tuesday 8 June or when the relevant announcement is released to the market.

Fatfish ramps up Southeast Asian BNPL exposure

In recent months, Fatfish has been ramping up its strategic investments in the BNPL space with a focus on the Southeast Asian market.

On 18 February, the company's subsidiary Smartfunding successfully launched its corporate BNPL service in Southeast Asia. Fatfish has been progressively increasing its stake in Smartfunding and currently holds a 78.7% stake in the company.

On 26 February, Fatfish entered into a strategic partnership with KryptoPOS to rollout its BNPL services throughout Asia. The company believes that this partnership also has the potential to boost the market reach of its Smartfunding BNPL services.

With Smartfunding's focus on a corporate BNPL product, Fatfish acquired a strategic 85% stake in Forever Pay, which is a licensed corporate entity with a money lending license from the Malaysian government. Fatfish intends to develop and launch a retail BNPL product and leverage any potential synergies with Smartfunding.

The Fatfish share price in 2021

The Fatfish share price was a beneficiary of the BNPL hype in February, when the company's shares went gangbusters from 3.5 cents to as high as 43 cents.

In response to an ASX price and volume query, the company said that "some ASX listed companies in the BNPL space have experienced recent strong demand and increases in prices, especially company(s) involved in the Asian geographical market."

As the hype began to cool down for BNPL shares, the Fatfish share price has slowly drifted lower, first consolidating around the 10 cent level around March before sliding lower to the 7 cent level in May. As of today's pause in trade, Fatfish shares are sitting at 7.6 cents.

Motley Fool contributor Kerry Sun has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.  The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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