Among the more than 2,000 companies listed on the ASX is the NSX (ASX:NSX) — Australia’s secondary stock trading exchange.

It’s been a fairly colourful 18 months for the NSX, since listed payments company iSignthis (ASX:ISX) acquired an 18% stake in February 2020.

ISX remains in suspension — where it’s been since October 2019 over a well-documented breach of listing rules — and is currently suing the ASX.

iSignthis boss John Karantzis is also the managing director of the NSX. Shares in the secondary exchange mooned last October from 10c to 40c.

Since then, they’ve tracked back steadily to 10c.

Most recently, Graeme Samuel — the former chairman of the ACCC — was set to come aboard as chairman, before changing his mind in August.

With some unique twists and turns to its recent backstory, we crunched the numbers on the NSX.

Stockhead counted 50 stocks that currently trade on the NSX. Another seven companies are listed, but are currently in suspension.

Here’s what the list looks like:

Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort.

Code Company Sector Price 1-Jan Current Price YTD gain Last traded
ESC Endless Solar Corporation Limited Industrials 0.03 0.07 133% 19/3/21
OLX OliveX Holdings Limited Consumer Disc 0.45 1.01 124% 10/6/21
PYX PYX Resources Limited Materials 0.695 1.28 84% 8/9/21
SPS SenterpriSYS Limited IT 0.31 0.5 61% 13/8/21
ASS Asset Resolution Limited Financials 3.51 4.9 40% 13/9/21
VER Vertua Limited Financials 0.18 0.22 22% 9/9/21
KGI Kaizen Global Investments Limited Financials 0.9 1.08 20% 23/8/21
BCT Bendigo Telco Ltd Telecommunications 1 1.2 20% 27/8/21
LCB Logan Community Financial Services Financials 0.5 0.58 16% 30/6/21
AB9 Aobo Environmental Technology Utilities 0.39 0.45 15% 28/6/21
AID Australia & International Holdings Financials 2.65 3.05 15% 11/6/21
SAL Smart Auto Australia Limited Consumer Disc 0.1 0.11 10% 19/8/21
FMI Florin Mining Investment Company Financials 0.11 0.12 9% 13/8/21
DCE Manningham Community Enterprises Financials 0.55 0.6 9% 23/6/21
EGF East Gosford & Districts Financia Financials 0.25 0.26 4% 28/5/21
IIC Illuminator Investment Company Financials 0.3 0.31 3% 7/5/21
PEQ Pritchard Equity Limited Financials 0.35 0.36 3% 7/4/21
DWY Dawney & Co Ltd Financials 0.18 0.185 3% 11/5/21
218 Rofina Group Limited Consumer Disc 0.17 0.17 0% 1/7/21
789 789 Holdings Limited Financials 0.25 0.25 0% N/A
8EP E-Plus Ltd Consumer Disc 0.11 0.11 0% 6/7/17
A2H Anti-Aging House Holding Limited Consumer Staples 0.21 0.21 0% 9/1/18
A88 AdvanceTC Limited IT 0.865 0.865 0% 11/3/20
AC1 Air Change International Limited Industrials 0.08 0.08 0% 2/6/17
ACT Actcelerate International Group Financials 0.125 0.125 0% 26/8/19
AG1 Australia Sunny Glass Group Limited Industrials 0.37 0.37 0% 7/12/20
AR2 Arris Holdings Berhad Financials 0.12 0.12 0% 26/4/16
BTG Beroni Group Health Care 1.25 1.25 0% 12/3/19
CSH Canterbury Surrey Hills Finance Financials 0.95 0.95 0% 26/8/21
E72 East 72 Holdings Limited Financials 0.3 0.3 0% 26/7/18
EIC Heidelberg District Community Financials 0.6 0.6 0% 15/6/21
FCF Fremantle Community Financial Financials 0.5 0.5 0% 24/9/18
HBA Heritage Brands Limited Consumer Staples 0.031 0.031 0% 17/5/19
IGH i-Global Holdings Limited Industrials 0.25 0.25 0% 29/7/20
IM1 I M Quarries Limited Materials 0.3 0.3 0% 18/9/12
IQX IQX Limited Financials 0.13 0.13 0% 10/8/21
KEM Kemao Industries Limited Materials 0.61 0.61 0% 16/8/21
MIE Mie Pay Limited IT 0.1 0.1 0% N/A
PEQ Pritchard Equity Limited Financials 0.36 0.36 0% 22/5/20
PMI Pegmont Mines Limited Materials 0.05 0.05 0% 6/8/20
SSC Sunshine Coast Community Financial Financials 0.8 0.8 0% 1/6/21
SUG Sugar Terminals Limited Industrials 1.02 1.02 0% 15/9/21
TG8 Saramanis Limited Consumer Staples 0.18 0.18 0% 16/8/18
VGX VGX Limited Materials 0.13 0.13 0% 30/5/17
WPH Winpar Holdings Ltd Financials 0.89 0.89 0% 20/11/19
A01 Angy (China) Medical Limited Health Care 1.84 1.6 -13% 16/2/21
VTL VGI Health Technology Limited Health Care 0.2 0.19 -5% 15/9/21
IQG The IQ Group Global Ltd Health Care 0.5 0.29 -42% 30/8/21
AAT Australian Adventure Tourism Group Consumer Disc 0.1 0.05 -50% 10/9/21
KTE K2 Energy Limited IT 0.1 0.025 -75% 15/9/21
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(Thin) trading volumes

So far this year, there’s been a total of 975 trades on the index. That’s tracking for a lower annual total than 2020 (1,940 trades), but is higher than 2019 (523 trades).

Yesterday, there were five trades across three companies, and so far in September there’s been 49 trades.

Shares in two companies traded at the same price as their previous close, outpaced by nutraceuticals company VGI Health Technology (NSX:VTL).

The company has 138,246,523 shares on issue and last closed at 15c. But 4,750 of those shared changed hands at 19c yesterday, sending the stock more than 26% higher from its previous close of 15c.

With yesterday’s price action, VTL is one of the 30 NSX companies (out of 50) that has traded in 2021.

Of the remaining 20, the bulk of them last traded between 2017 and 2019.

Standing out as the most ancient in the pack was minerals exploration company IM Quarries Ltd, which listed in April 2012 and last traded in September of that year.

Best 2021 performers

In percentage terms, the biggest gainer on the NSX this year is clean energy play Endless Solar Corp (ASX:ESC).

ESC’s website says it provides solar systems for residential and commercial clients.

The stock began the year at 3c and currently trades at 7c, for a 2021 gain of 133%.

In line with the unique trading patterns on the NSX, that gain was driven by four trades (each of 50,000 ESC shares) priced at 7c, all of which took place on March 19. Since then, the stock hasn’t traded.

Also posting triple-digit percentage returns this year was health and fitness company OliveX Holdings (ASX:OLX).

The company is a subsidiary of former ASX company Animoca Brands, which was delisted last year but in July raised US$50m of private capital at an implied valuation of US$1bn.

OliveX listed in August 2020, with 87.2m shares on issue at 20c per share. 54 OLX changed hands on June 10 at $1.01, giving the company a 5x return on its initial listing price.

That followed an $8.89m capital raise at $1 per share in May this year, which Animoca also participated in.

OLX’s products include its Zombies, Run! — a fitness app that allows users to create an immersive experience out of their every-day walk or job (including being chased by zombies).

Rounding out the top three for 2021 returns was PYX Resources (NSX:PYX), which also has the largest market cap on the NSX (north of $500m).

PYX is a Zircon producer which has been in production since 2015. Amid strong market conditions for mineral sands, zircon prices recently hit three-year highs of around US$1,630 per tonne.

The company operates two deposits, Mandiri and Tisma, in the Central Kalimantan region of Indonesia.

Based on recent data, PYX is one of the most consistently traded stocks on the NSX, with 10 trades carried out over the past week.

The laggards

Of the 30 NSX that traded in 2021, 18 posted a gain while six were unchanged, and five lost ground.

Leading the laggards was K2 Energy (NSX:K2E), which joined the NSX boards in June at a listing price of 10c per share.

That followed its departure from the ASX, after the larger index determined it had insufficient operations to trade.

Since joining the NSX, K2E shares have traded consistently at 2.5c and yesterday, 200,000 shares changed hands at the same price.

K2E is an oil and gas play, but exploration efforts have been few and far between.

The company does have a stake in NASDAQ-listed semiconductor company Atomera, as well as worldwide rights to MST Technology which is a solar energy application.

K2E funded a research and development solar program conducted by Atomera, with the aim of developing a “more efficient silicon-based cells utilising MST”.