January 8, 2018, OTC Markets Group, Inc. (“OTC Markets”) submitted a comment letter to FINRA related to FINRA Rule 6432. Rule 6432 requires that a market maker or broker-dealer have the information specified in Securities Exchange Act Rule 15c2-11 before making a quotation in a security on the over-the-counter market. Although I summarize the salient points of the OTC Markets comment letter, I encourage those interested to read the entire letter, which contains an in-depth analysis and comprehensive arguments to support its position. On February 8, 2018, OTC Markets submitted a second comment letter to FINRA, this one related to FINRA Rule 5250. Rule 5250 prohibits companies from compensating market makers in connection with the preparation and filing of a Form 211 application.
Rule 6432 – Compliance with the Information Requirements of SEA Rule 15c2-11
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) today suspended the trading in 61 dormant shell companies. The trading suspensions are part of an SEC initiative tabbed Operation Shell-Expel by the SEC’s Microcap Fraud Working Group. In May 2012, the SEC suspended the trading on 379 shell companies as part of the initiative. Each of the companies were dormant shells that were not current in public disclosures. Each of the companies failed to have adequate current public information available either through the news service on OTC Markets or filed with the SEC via EDGAR.
The federal securities laws allow the SEC to suspend trading in any stock for up to 10 business days. Once a company is suspended from trading, it cannot be quoted again until it provides updated information including complete disclosure of its business and accurate financial statements. In addition to providing the necessary information, to begin to trade again, a company must enlist a market maker to file a