On May 20, 2018, the OTC Markets Group published the OTCQB Standards version 3.0 incorporating amendments to the OTCQB initial and ongoing listing standards to add further quantitative shareholder and public float requirements. The new standards went into effect on May 20, 2018 for new listing applications. Existing OTCQB traded companies have until May 20, 2020 to comply with the new requirements.
The amended listing standards now require that an applicant company:
- Have at least 50 beneficial shareholders holding at least one round lot (100 shares) each;
- Have a freely tradeable public float of at least 10% of the total issued and outstanding shares of the tradeable class of securities. OTC Markets may allow an exemption from this requirement for companies with a public float above 5% of total issued and outstanding and whose market value of public float is above $2 million or for a company that has a separate class of securities trading on a national exchange. Any
Effective May 18, 2017, the OTC Markets has amended its qualification rules for the OTCQB to allow quotation by companies that follow its alternative reporting standard (“Alternative Reporting Standard”). OTC Markets aligned the new requirements with the existing OTCQX Alternative Reporting Standard requirements. In addition, the OTC Markets made clarifying amendments to its rules, amended the rules related to the timing of removal for delinquent filers, and revised the rules for international reporting companies.
Highlights of Changes
To qualify for the OTCQB using the Alternative Reporting Standard, a company must file audited financial statements prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP by a PCAOB qualified auditor, have a minimum bid price of $0.01, not be subject to bankruptcy or reorganization proceedings, and maintain corporate governance including (i) have a board of directors that includes a minimum of two independent directors, and (ii) have an audit committee comprised of a majority of independent directors.
The cure period for delinquent filings has