In addition to the SEC, the various trading markets, including the Nasdaq, NYSE and OTC Markets are providing relief to trading companies that are facing unprecedented challenges as a result of the worldwide COVID-19 crisis.
The NYSE has taken a more formal approach to relief for listed companies. On March 20, 2020 and again on April 6, 2020 the NYSE filed a notice and immediate effectiveness of proposed rule changes to provide relief from the continued listing market cap requirements and certain shareholder approval requirements.
Recognizing the extremely high level of market volatility as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, the NYSE has temporarily suspended until June 30, 2020 its continued listing requirement that companies must maintain an average global market capitalization over a consecutive 30-trading-day period of at least $15 million. Likewise, the NYSE is suspending the requirement that a listed company maintain a minimum trading price of $1.00 or more over a consecutive 30-trading-day period,
In December 2019 the OTC Markets updated its Pink Disclosure Guidelines and Attorney Letter Agreement and Guidelines. The Pink disclosure guidelines and attorney letter apply to companies that elect to report directly to OTC Markets pursuant to its Alternative Reporting Standard. Furthermore, in January 2020 OTC Markets amended the OTCQB standards related to the disclosure of convertible debt and notification procedures for companies undergoing a change in control. The OTCQB also updated its criteria for determining independence of directors, and added additional transfer agent requirements for Canadian Companies.
The OTC Markets divide issuers into three (3) levels of quotation marketplaces: OTCQX, OTCQB and OTC Pink Open Market. The OTC Pink Open Market, which involves the highest-risk, highly speculative securities, is further divided into three tiers: Current Information, Limited Information and No Information. Companies trading on the OTCQX, OTCQB and OTC Pink Current Information tiers of OTC Markets have the option of reporting directly to OTC Markets under its Alternative