NEW YORK, July 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- OTC Markets Group Inc. (OTCQX: OTCM), operator of financial markets for 10,000 U.S. and global securities, today announced the completion of changes to the OTCQB® Venture Market introduced last May. More than 1,000 securities have been approved to trade on OTCQB under new, more stringent requirements that are designed to improve market quality for investors and establish a transparent U.S. public venture market.
On May 1, 2014, OTC Markets Group introduced standards and eligibility requirements for companies to trade on OTCQB, including a minimum one penny bid price test and an annual verification and management certification process. Companies already traded on OTCQB as of May 1, 2014, had a choice of complying with the new standards within 120 days after their fiscal year-end date, choosing to qualify for the OTCQX® Best Market with high financial and disclosure standards and third-party sponsorship, or being downgraded to the OTC Pink® Open Market. June 30, 2015, was the last 120 day deadline for companies that traded on OTCQB prior to the introduction of the new standards.
"The introduction of our OTCQB standards and eligibility requirements has truly transformed OTCQB into a better regulated, more transparent, world-leading public venture market for developing companies," said R. Cromwell Coulson, President and CEO of OTC Markets Group. "As of July 1, there are 960 companies traded on OTCQB with a median market capitalization of approximately $12.8 million. This compares favorably to the median market cap of $2.1 million for companies on Canada's TSX Venture Exchange.
"At the same time, we have removed more than 2,000 companies from OTCQB for failing to meet our OTCQB standards either because they did not pass our minimum bid price test, were delinquent in their financial filings, bankrupt, unwilling to provide background information about company officers, directors and shares outstanding or for another compliance reason. These companies have been downgraded to our OTC Pink market, where broker-dealers can place the appropriate risk controls and compliance restrictions around less transparent companies," said Mr. Coulson.
"OTCQB provides a transparent path for companies that are looking to start accessing the U.S. capital markets to grow their businesses and eventually graduate to OTCQX or a U.S. exchange listing," said Jason Paltrowitz, Executive Vice President – Corporate Services for OTC Markets Group. "We are thrilled with the high number of OTCQB companies that have chosen to comply with our new standards as well as companies that have newly joined or upgraded to the OTCQB venture market to provide a more transparent trading and information experience for their investors."
As of July 1, 2015, 1,033 securities from 48 U.S. states and territories and 25 countries are traded on the OTCQB Venture Market, representing a combined market capitalization of approximately $74.2 billion. For more details on the types of companies traded on OTCQB, visit OTC Markets Group's infographic here.
OTC Markets Group is continuing to accept OTCQB applications from qualifying venture stage U.S. and international companies. For more about OTCQB standards and eligibility requirements, visit http://www.otcmarkets.com/services/companies/otcqb/overview.
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 OTC 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.
Saskia Sidenfaden, OTC Markets Group Inc., +1 (212) 896-4428, firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE OTC Markets Group Inc.