Utah recently became the 25th state to recognize the OTCQX Best Market under its “Blue Sky Manual Exemption” for secondary trading. Just one year after Vermont first recognized OTCQX, reaching half of the 50 states marks a pivotal milestone in our quest to achieve national Blue Sky recognition. The addition of Utah followed recent recognitions from Delaware, West Virginia, Indiana and Maine.
We began this journey by reaching out to the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) and individual state regulators in May 2016, when Standard & Poor’s discontinued publication of its paper-based securities manual. Throughout this process, we have remained intent on fostering a robust and ongoing dialogue with state regulators. Our goal is to apprise our constituents and stakeholders of the easily accessible, free, public online disclosure of current information offered by companies traded on the OTCQX® and OTCQB® markets.
While our route has been varied, our destination and our goal remains the same. Broker-dealers rely on individual state Blue Sky laws to know whether they can legally recommend or distribute research regarding a security to investors residing in a given state. OTC Markets began working directly with state regulators to obtain recognition for the OTCQX and OTCQB markets based on the quality of information these companies provide to the public through our website. As a result of the high-quality market data and information we make available on our website, www.otcmarkets.com is replacing paper securities manuals for demonstrating State Blue Sky regulatory compliance.
Each of the 25 states has tailored its approach to granting the Blue Sky Manual exemption, using no-action letters, formal rule changes and administrative orders. The cooperative efforts by respective state regulators, working with our legal and regulatory teams, underscores the quality of disclosure standards on our OTCQX and OTCQB premium trading markets.
The breakdown of the 25 states that recognize our premium markets for the purposes of the Blue Sky Manual Exemption is as follows:
- 22 states recognize both the OTCQX and OTCQB markets: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
- 3 states solely recognize the OTCQX market: Idaho, Kansas, and Vermont.
OTC Markets will continue to champion this regulatory recognition in the interest of improving investor information availability, lowering regulatory complexity for public companies and ultimately improving capital formation. We are also engaging states that do not maintain a manual exemption, where we are seeking to have OTCQX recognized as an exempt market.
We remain committed to building upon this momentum to achieve our goal of nationwide Blue Sky recognition for public companies traded on OTCQX. We’re halfway there, so be sure to follow us as we continue this journey, leaving our footprint on each state along the way.
Please see additional information on Blue Sky Laws.