OTC Markets Group Reports 2015 Trading Statistics and Highlights

Feb 11, 2016, 08:00 ET from OTC Markets Group Inc.

NEW YORK, Feb. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- OTC Markets Group Inc. (OTCQX: OTCM) ("OTC Markets Group" or the "Company"), operator of Open, Transparent and Connected financial markets for 10,000 U.S. and global securities, today announced its trading statistics and news highlights for 2015.

2015 Highlights:

  • Total dollar volume of OTCQX® securities increased 16% to $41.9 billion and represented 21.3% of total dollar volume of trading on all markets.
  • OTCQB® Venture Market completed its transition to a better-regulated market for developing companies with over 1,000 securities removed for failure to meet new OTCQB market standards.
  • 60 companies graduated to a national stock exchange in 2015, making OTC Markets Group the world leader in exchange graduates.
  • Introduced improved OTCQX Best Market qualitative standards, including adding a continuing Penny Stock prohibition and new, common sense corporate governance standards for U.S. companies and banks to enhance quality of the OTCQX market for retail and institutional investors.
  • 48 U.S. community banks joined the OTCQX market in 2015, including seven banks that went public on OTCQX and three banks that voluntarily moved to OTCQX from a national securities exchange.
  • Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTCQX: GBTC), which began trading on OTCQX on March 26, 2015, became the first Bitcoin investment vehicle to go public in a "Slow P.O." after raising capital under Title II of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act.
  • Launched three new indexes for tracking OTCQX and OTCQB securities: the OTCQX Banks Index, the OTCQX Billion+ Index and the OTCQB Venture Index.
  • OTC Link® ATS became a Regulation SCI entity under the SEC's Regulation Systems Compliance and Integrity (Regulation SCI), which applies to all critical market participants, including national securities exchanges, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and significant Alternative Trading Systems such as OTC Link ATS.

"The highlights of 2015 were the continued growth of our OTCQX market and establishment of OTCQB as America's Venture Market.  Total dollar volume of OTCQX securities increased 16% and the total number of OTCQX securities increased 28% to 489 as of December 31, 2015, as more U.S. companies, banks and global companies joined our top market to provide their investors with an efficient and transparent trading and information experience," said R. Cromwell Coulson, President and CEO of OTC Markets Group. 

"In addition, 2015 marked the introduction of enhanced OTCQX market standards and the continued expansion of our market data distribution network and broker-dealer compliance products to deliver more business-critical market data for decision-making to more investors and brokers.  We also became a Reg. SCI entity, which speaks to our vital role in the U.S. trading markets," continued Mr. Coulson.

OTCQX Dollar Volume Increased 16% in 2015

OTCQX securities traded $41.9 billion in dollar volume in 2015, up 16% from 2014, representing 21.3% of total trading last year.  As of December 31, 2015, there were 489 securities traded on OTCQX, representing $1.5 trillion in combined market capitalization.     

Summary of 2015 Trading Statistics by Market

The table below presents the number of securities included in each market as of December 31, 2015 and 2014 and the total dollar volume traded in each market during 2015 and 2014. 


# of Securities as of
December 31,


 Year Ended
December 31, 2015 


Year Ended
December 31, 2014

Market

2015

2014


$ Volume
(Millions)

% of Total
$Volume


$ Volume
(Millions)

% of Total
$Volume

OTCQX® Best Market

489

383


$    41,851

21.3%


$     36,119

15.1%

OTCQB® Venture Market

1,015

2,252


$    19,588

10.0%


$     62,650

26.3%

Pink® Open Market

8,346

7,276


$  134,806

68.7%


$   139,656

58.6%

Totals

9,850

9,911


$  196,245

100%


$   238,425

100%

The number of OTCQB securities as of December 31, 2015, declined approximately 55% following the introduction of stricter OTCQB standards during 2014.  Dollar volume traded in OTCQB securities declined 69% in 2015 largely due to declines in both year-over-year trading volumes of larger distressed companies and the number of OTCQB companies.

As of December 31, 2015, there were 1,015 OTCQB securities with a combined market capitalization of $57.8 billion and a median market capitalization of $9.5 million.  All of these companies have qualified under the new, more stringent OTCQB market standards.

Within the Pink® market, more than 97%, or $131.7 billion, of the dollar volume traded in 2015 took place in Pink companies that provide current information to the market.  

Sixty companies graduated from the OTCQX, OTCQB and Pink to a national securities exchange in 2015, 47 of which came from the senior OTCQX and OTCQB markets.  These included: Anavex Life Sciences Corp., Concordia Healthcare Corporation, CRH Medical Corp., Cynapsus Therapeutics Inc., Klondex Mines Ltd., Real Industry Inc., Xcel Brands, Inc. and Xtant Medical Holdings, Inc.  In comparison, nine companies graduated from the TSX Venture Exchange to the Toronto Stock Exchange in 2015 and four companies graduated from London's AIM market to the London Stock Exchange last year. 

Raised OTCQX Market Standards

On December 14, 2015, OTC Markets Group introduced new OTCQX rules for U.S. companies, banks and international companies designed to elevate the quality of the OTCQX Best Market, improve regulatory recognition of the investable OTCQX market, and clearly differentiate the OTCQX from the OTCQB Venture Market. 

The new rules strengthen OTCQX financial standards and enhance current OTCQX rules that prohibit Penny Stocks from qualifying for OTCQX by adding a continuing Penny Stock prohibition.  In addition, the rules add corporate governance standards for OTCQX U.S. companies based on common sense, best practices.  OTCQX U.S. Premier tier standards have been aligned with financial standards of markets recognized by many states for issuer exemptions from blue sky laws and OTCQX International Premier tier standards have been aligned with the margin eligibility standards set by the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 

The new rules became effective on January 1, 2016.  Companies on OTCQX as of December 31, 2015, will have until 2017 to meet the new ongoing eligibility criteria.

Eliminated Quote Fees in OTCQX and OTCQB Securities

On July 1, 2015, OTC Markets Group's OTC Link ATS introduced a new pricing regime to support liquidity in OTCQX and OTCQB securities.  This included the elimination of quote fees for broker-dealers on the OTCQX and OTCQB markets.

These changes were designed to increase broker-dealer participation by lowering the cost of market making in OTCQX and OTCQB securities.  Eliminating quote fees helps broker-dealers expand their coverage of higher-quality companies that are providing enhanced transparency to their investors by meeting the higher OTCQX and OTCQB market standards.

Enhanced OTCQX Visibility Program and Expanded Market Data Distribution Network

In 2015, OTC Markets Group introduced significant enhancements to its corporate services offerings for OTCQX companies.  In May, the Company announced a partnership with VirtualInvestorConferences.com, a cooperative venture of PR Newswire and Better Investing, to host a series of online, interactive investor conferences for OTCQX companies.  In 2015, OTC Markets Group held two virtual investor conferences for 15 OTCQX banks and life sciences that were attended by 1,100 investors.

In addition, OTC Markets Group launched its OTCQX Video Interview series featuring on-camera interviews with senior executives of OTCQX companies as they discuss their businesses and investment stories.  To date, four OTCQX companies have participated in the video series and more are planned in 2016.  To view interviews, visit OTC Markets Group's YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/user/OTCMarketsTV.

OTC Markets Group continued to expand its market data distribution network in 2015, signing agreements with Money.Net, Options, QUODD Financial Information Services, Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) and Xignite to bring real-time data, delayed data and end-of-day data on OTCQX, OTCQB and Pink securities to more investors and the academic research community.

In addition, in 2015 OTC Markets Group continued to see strong adoption of its OTC Compliance Data File, doubling its customer base of broker-dealers and financial institutions that use the file to more efficiently analyze and trade OTCQX, OTCQB and Pink securities.  

Continued Growth of OTCQX for Banks

OTCQX for Banks, an expansion of the OTCQX market for U.S. community and regional banks, continued to grow in 2015 with the addition of 48 new banks.  These included seven banks that went public on OTCQX and three banks that voluntarily de-listed from a national stock exchange to join OTCQX for Banks. 

As of December 31, 2015, there were 77 banks from 26 states traded on OTCQX with combined assets of $49.3 billion and combined market capitalization of $4.8 billion.

Launched New OTCQX and OTCQB Indexes

In 2015, OTC Markets Group continued to grow the number of indexes tracking OTCQX securities with the launch of the OTCQX Banks Index (.OTCQXBK), which benchmarks U.S. community and regional banks on OTCQX, and the OTCQX Billion+ Index (.OTCQXBIL), which measures the performance of OTCQX companies with a market capitalization of $1 billion or greater.  In addition, the Company launched the OTCQB Venture Index (.OTCQB) which tracks the overall OTCQB Venture Market.

The OTCQX Composite Index, the OTCQX Billion+ Index, the OTCQX Banks Index, the OTCQX International Index and the OTCQX U.S. Index all reported gains in 2015

About OTC Markets Group Inc.

OTC Markets Group Inc. (OTCQX: OTCM) operates Open, Transparent and Connected financial markets for 10,000 U.S. and global securities.  Through our OTC Link® ATS, we directly link a diverse network of broker-dealers that provide liquidity and execution services for a wide spectrum of securities.  We organize these securities into markets to inform investors of opportunities and risks: the OTCQX® Best Market; the OTCQB® Venture Market; and the Pink® Open Market.  Our data-driven platform enables investors to easily trade through the broker of their choice at the best possible price and empowers a broad range of companies to improve the quality and availability of information for their investors.  To learn more about how we create better informed and more efficient financial markets, visit www.otcmarkets.com.

OTC Link ATS is operated by OTC Link LLC, member FINRA/SIPC and SEC regulated ATS.
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Media Contact:

Saskia Sidenfaden, OTC Markets Group Inc., +1 (212) 896-4428, saskia@otcmarkets.com

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SOURCE OTC Markets Group Inc.



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