NEW YORK, Jan. 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- OTC Markets Group Inc. (OTCQX: OTCM), operator of financial markets for 10,000 U.S. and global securities, today announced its trading statistics and news highlights for 2016.
Total dollar volume of OTCQX®, OTCQB® and Pink® securities was $192.9 billion compared to $199.8 billion in 2015.
Dollar volume of OTCQX, OTCQB and Pink companies that provide current information to investors was $190.2 billion, representing 99% of total dollar volume across all markets and demonstrating continued progress in using data-driven standards to drive OTC issuer disclosure for investors and brokers.
44 companies graduated from the OTC markets to a national stock exchange, 28 of which came from the OTCQX and OTCQB markets.
Elio Motors Inc. (OTCQX: ELIO) became the first company to raise capital and go public under Title IV of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act), Regulation A+, when it joined OTCQX on February 19.
OTCQX disclosure standards recognized by 16 states for Blue Sky manual exemptions; OTCQB recognized by 14 states.
Introduced the Transfer Agent Verified Shares Program to improve the accuracy and timeliness of share information for brokers and investors in OTCQX, OTCQB and Pink securities.
Launched two new OTCQX indexes: the OTCQX Canada Index and the OTCQX Dividend Index.
Continued to expand market data distribution network with addition of Interactive Brokers, IPC and Thomson Reuters.
Introduced new OTC Compliance Analytics Product to help broker-dealers and risk management teams more efficiently analyze and quantify trading in OTCQX, OTCQB and Pink securities.
Summary of Trading Statistics by Market for 2016 Versus 2015
The table below presents the number of securities included in each market as of December 31, 2016 and 2015 and the total dollar volume traded in each market during 2016 and 2015.
# of Securities as of December 31,
Year Ended December 31, 2016
Year Ended December 31, 2015
$ Volume (Millions)
% of Total $Volume
$ Volume (Millions)
% of Total $Volume
OTCQX® Best Market
OTCQB® Venture Market
Pink® Current Information
Pink® Limited Information
Pink® No Information
The total dollar volume of OTCQX, OTCQB and Pink securities declined 3.4% to $192.9 billion, reflecting lower trading volumes across all U.S. equity markets in 2016.
OTCQX securities traded $36.8 billion in 2016, representing 19.1% of total overall dollar volume during the year.
Increased Standards and Data Availability Continue to Improve Quality of OTC Markets
Increased OTCQX and OTCQB market standards combined with growing recognition of our market designations and company information by investors, broker-dealers and market distributors and the deployment of new tools such as the OTC Compliance Data File continued to improve the transparency and quality of the OTC markets in 2016.
OTCQX, OTCQB and Pink Current Information securities that provide adequate current information to investors traded $190.2 billion in 2016, representing 98.6% of total dollar volume. This compares to $196.6 billion in dollar volume in 2015, representing 98.4% of total dollar volume, and $224 billion in 2014, representing 93.9%.
As of December 31, 2016, there were 6,478 securities traded on the OTCQX, OTCQB and Pink Current Information market, representing 67.3% of all OTC-traded securities.
In comparison, as a result of OTC Markets' disclosure and data-driven OTC market segmentation, investors have significantly reduced their trading in securities of OTC Pink No Information companies, which provide no disclosure to investors and are clearly labeled with a "Stop" sign. These securities traded $1.38 billion in 2016, representing 0.7% of total dollar volume, compared to $2.04 billion and 1.0% in 2015 and $12.4 billion and 5.2% in 2014.
OTC Markets Group continued to outperform other leading global small company markets in terms of the number of graduates to a stock exchange in 2016. Forty-four companies graduated from the OTCQX, OTCQB and Pink markets to a national securities exchange in 2016, 28 of which came from the OTCQX and OTCQB markets. In comparison, 16 companies graduated from Canada's TSX Venture Exchange to the Toronto Stock Exchange in 2016 and five companies graduated from London's AIM market to the London Stock Exchange.
Introduced Equity Research Offerings for OTCQX and OTCQB Companies
Recognizing the growing need for quality research on OTC-traded companies, in 2016 OTC Markets Group introduced new independent equity research products for OTCQX and OTCQB companies.
In May, OTC Markets Group announced an agreement with Morningstar, a leading provider of independent investment research, to make Morningstar's quantitative equity ratings and research available to investors in OTCQX and OTCQB companies via www.otcmarkets.com.
In addition, in September OTC Markets Group launched Research Marketplace, an online resource to provide OTCQX and OTCQB companies a single-point of reference when investigating equity research providers. To date, three research firms are featured in the Research Marketplace – ACF Equity Research, Edison, and Sidoti & Company, LLC – and OTC Markets Group is working to identify additional firms.
Expanded Market Data Distribution Network and Launched OTC Compliance Analytics Product
OTC Markets Group continued to expand its market data distribution network in 2016, announcing new and expanded agreements with Interactive Brokers, IPC and Thomson Reuters' DataScope to deliver real-time and end-of-day data on OTCQX, OTCQB and Pink securities to more investors.
In addition, in 2016 OTC Markets Group launched the OTC Compliance Analytics Product, a premium version of its OTC Compliance Data File designed to help broker-dealers and risk management teams more efficiently analyze and quantify risk in trading OTCQX, OTCQB and Pink securities.
OTC Markets' OTC Compliance Data File was awarded "Best Real-Time Market Data Initiative (Vendor)" in the 2016 Inside Market Data/Inside Reference Data Awards, a prestigious industry award program that recognizes excellence within market data, reference data and enterprise data management.
Launched Q Score for OTC Link ATS Subscribers
In September 2016, OTC Link® ATS introduced Q Score, a set of liquidity metrics that provides broker-dealers subscribers with additional information and insight they can use to determine the best counterparty to a trade. Essentially, Q Score allows competing market makers in OTCQX, OTCQB and Pink securities to see who is consistently providing excess liquidity beyond their displayed quotations. This allows subscribers to route more intelligently, as well as attract liquidity seekers and thereby build their reputation across the network.
OTCQX and OTCQB Recognized by States for Blue Sky Manual Exemption
As of today, 16 states recognize the OTCQX market for the purposes of state Blue Sky manual exemptions: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. All of these states with the exception of Kansas and Vermont also recognize the OTCQB Venture Market.
State Blue Sky laws generally help investors make informed decisions by mandating that companies disclose accurate and current information for investors to value their securities. Regulators and brokers across the country rely on disclosure-based manual exemptions from individual state Blue Sky laws. Forty-four U.S. states and jurisdictions maintain manual exemptions, which generally allow for secondary trading of qualifying companies as long as certain key information about the company is published in a nationally recognized securities manual or its electronic equivalent.
OTC Markets Group is actively working with states that maintain a Blue Sky manual exemption to inform them of the easily accessible current disclosure available for investors on OTCQX and OTCQB securities at www.otcmarkets.com. The Company is committed to working with the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) and the remaining states to determine how best to qualify OTCQX and OTCQB traded securities based on their unique regulatory environment and financial standards.
Launched Transfer Agent Verified Share Program
In 2016, OTC Markets Group introduced the Transfer Agent Verified Share Program, an initiative in partnership with stock transfer agents, designed to improve the timeliness and reliability of share data for OTCQX, OTCQB and Pink securities. A lack of accurate share information is one of the most critical problems that can undermine investor confidence and impact tradability of OTC securities.
So far, seven transfer agents have chosen to join the program and OTC Markets Group is working to engage and enroll additional firms.
About OTC Markets Group Inc.
OTC Markets Group Inc. (OTCQX: OTCM) operates the OTCQX® Best Market, the OTCQB® Venture Market, and the Pink® Open Market for 10,000 U.S. and global securities. Through OTC Link® ATS, we connect a diverse network of broker-dealers that provide liquidity and execution services. We enable investors to easily trade through the broker of their choice and empower companies to improve the quality of information available for investors.
To learn more about how we create better informed and more efficient markets, visit www.otcmarkets.com.