Back in October and November of 2011 I wrote a series of blogs regarding DTC eligibility for OTC (over the counter) Issuers. OTC Issuers include all companies whose securities trade on the over the counter market, including the OTCBB, OTCQB and Pink Sheets. Many OTC Issuers have faced a “DTC chill” without understanding what it is; let alone how to correct the problem. In technical terms, a DTC chill is the suspension of book-entry clearing and settlement services with respect to an Issuer’s securities. In layman’s terms it means your stock can’t clear or trade electronically. Since all trading in today’s world is electronic, it really means your stock doesn’t trade.
The SEC’s Stance
As noted in the SEC opinion:
“…DTC provides clearance, settlement, custodial, underwriting, registration, dividend, and proxy services for a substantial portion of all equities, corporate and municipal debt, exchange traded funds, and money market instruments available for trading in the United States. In 2010, DTC
This is the third in a series of articles I am writing regarding DTC (Depository Trust Company) eligibility for OTC (Over the Counter) Issuers. OTC Issuers include all companies whose securities trade on the over the counter market, including the OTCBB, OTCQB and Pink Sheets. All technical information in this article comes from the DTC website.
As detailed in my first two articles in this series, in order to become and remain DTC eligible, and Issuer must have a transfer agent that has completed and has on file with DTC a DTC Operational Arrangements Agent Letter. In addition, all Issuers must meet the requirements set forth in the DTC Operational Arrangements (OA). This article begins to discuss the OA necessary for an Issue to become and remain eligible for DTC service. Moreover, the OA rules relate to and regard all Issuers. This article will only discuss those rules and requirements for OTC Issuers.
The DTC OA states:
This is the second in a series of articles regarding DTC (Depository Trust Company) eligibility for OTC (Over the Counter) Issuers. OTC Issuers include all companies whose securities trade on the over the counter market, including the OTCBB, OTCQB and Pink Sheets. All technical information in this blog comes from the DTC website.
DTC Requirements for Eligibility
As discussed in my first article on this topic, Issuers, a sponsoring DTC Participant Member must make application to become DTC eligible. The DTC Operational Arrangements criteria (available on the DTC website) set forth in-depth requirements for eligibility, which will be discussed in a separate articles in this series on DTC eligibility. In addition to the Operational Arrangements, in order to be DTC eligible, an Issuer’s securities must:
(i) be issued in a transaction registered with the SEC under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (“Securities Act”);
(ii) be issued in a transaction exempt from registration under the Securities Act and