XURPAS, INC. is suspending the operations of a Singapore-based subsidiary due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and is divesting a majority stake in its cryptocurrency money transfer subsidiary.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange yesterday, the listed company said its board of directors approved suspending the business operations of mobile marketing solutions firm Art of Click Pte. Ltd.

The decision is seen to result in the retrenchment of employees and the deactivation of Art of Click’s ad network platform.

“Xurpas expects further losses to be incurred by Art of Click as a result of business challenges brought on by the (COVID-19) pandemic, and as such, will suspend the business operations of the said subsidiary to better manage Xurpas’ funds,” it said.

Art of Click has presence across the Asia Pacific region, with key markets in Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, North America and Europe, it said on its website.

Xurpas said Art of Click started facing financial difficulties in 2017 when it lost key clients and was overshadowed by tech giants Facebook and Google. The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to result to further losses.

On the same day, Xurpas’ board of directors agreed to sell 80% of subsidiary CTX Technologies, Inc. to Xurpas Founder Fernando Jude F. Garcia.

CTX was meant to be Xurpas’ virtual currency exchange subsidiary when it was incorporated in 2018.

“With the decline of the virtual currency market in 2019 and the unclear regulations involving digital assets, Xurpas’ management has previously decided to place CTX’s business on hold,” the company said.

CTX, which has an equity of approximately P1 million as of end 2019, does not contribute to Xurpas’ revenues. The latest transaction will be paid by deducting the purchase price of P4 million from Xurpas’ payables to Mr. Garcia.

Xurpas booked an attributable net loss of P667.04 million in the nine months to September 2019, larger than the P186.81 million net loss in the previous year.

Shares in Xurpas at the stock exchange slipped 3.03% to P0.480 apiece yesterday. — Denise A. Valdez