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OTC Markets Blog

Latest commentary on Market Structure, Compliance, Small Cap and Reg A+ issues, including insights on the news and trends that affect the public markets.

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Enhancing the Process of Online Capital Raising

As the leading market for 2,000 venture-stage companies, we spend a lot of time working with smaller issuers to solve the challenges they face accessing the benefits of the public markets. For many, having access to the cost-effective capital they need to drive growth and fuel their businesses rises to the top of their priority list. Continue reading “Enhancing the Process of Online Capital Raising”

ESOPs: The Importance of Small Company Employee Ownership

Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) allow employees to participate in the economic performance of a company, share in corporate profits, and save for retirement.  Congress has long recognized the advantages of employee ownership by authorizing and encouraging ESOPs through favorable tax treatment.

However, current IRS regulations significantly restrict the ability of many small public companies not traded on a national securities exchange to offer ESOPs to their employees.  These outdated regulations negatively impact hundreds of qualified, U.S.-based companies on the OTCQX and OTCQB markets that collectively employ over 100,000 workers. Continue reading “ESOPs: The Importance of Small Company Employee Ownership”

Regulation A 2019 Progress Report

Born out of the 2012 JOBS Act, Regulation A (Reg A) was amended to provide a streamlined pathway for companies to raise up to $50 Million while benefiting from general solicitation, ‘testing the waters’ and state Blue Sky preemption.  SEC reporting companies were originally excluded from using Reg A; however, in January 2019, the SEC adopted new rules to expand Reg A to SEC-reporting companies, enabling public companies to raise capital in a similar manner to a traditional IPO via an S-1 registration or an S-3 shelf registration. Continue reading “Regulation A 2019 Progress Report”

Three Principles for Thriving Public Markets

Oscar Wilde once wrote that “Everything popular is wrong.” He was describing our natural tendency to find comfort with well-established people and widespread ideas. Regulators, faced with the opportunity to open markets to alternative choices, hear a chorus of respected voices resistant to change. The SEC took until the year 2000 to repeal Rule 390—the rule that gave the New York Stock Exchange a monopoly in trading Blue Chip securities. The principles of open, transparent and connected public markets prevailed.

We raise this as the old idea underlying Rule 390, centralization of trading, is now being pushed as a popular fix for small company liquidity and capital formation.   Of course, individual traders are determined to make trades in many different places, which means government intervention would be required to force stock trading back onto the largest stock exchanges[1]. Rent-seeking regulations are often cloaked in the language of “reform” and the public good.

Continue reading “Three Principles for Thriving Public Markets”

Community Bank Regulations Should Foster Main Street Growth

Banking regulation tends to be a partisan issue, but there’s one thing lawmakers are certain to agree on: America’s community banks are the backbone of the country’s economy.

Community banks serve a unique purpose. These institutions make over half of all U.S. small business loans, providing capital to entrepreneurs seeking to start businesses, and the financing needed for local businesses to grow. They provide jobs, help families buy homes and serve as the financial core for communities nationwide.  Continue reading “Community Bank Regulations Should Foster Main Street Growth”

Benefits of Cross-Trading in the United States

For many international companies, the successful listing of their security represents an important milestone.  It’s a sign of recognition, prestige and success, demonstrating to the market a desire to be open and transparent.  Continue reading “Benefits of Cross-Trading in the United States”

A Snapshot of the 2018 OTCQX® Best 50

We recently announced the 2018 OTCQX® Best 50.  Now In its 4th year, our annual ranking highlights the top 50 U.S. and international companies traded on the OTCQX Best Market, based on an equal weighting of one-year total return and average daily dollar volume growth.   The companies featured in the Best 50 were ranked based upon their performance during the 2017 calendar year.

Continue reading “A Snapshot of the 2018 OTCQX® Best 50”

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