October 23, 2014
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Limited OTCBB Trade Halt Authority Approved by SEC

On May 22, 2000, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved amendments to NASD Rule 6545. These amendments will be implemented on June 26, 2000. This rule change will provide Nasdaq with the authority to halt trading and quotations in securities traded on the OTC Bulletin Board (OTCBB) in circumstances where it is necessary to protect investors and the public interest. Halts will be initiated in OTCBB securities when:
  • the security is dually listed on or registered with a foreign securities exchange or market, and the foreign market or regulatory authority halts trading for regulatory reasons;
  • a security is a derivative/component of a security listed on a national securities exchange or Nasdaq, and the exchange or Nasdaq imposes a trading halt in the listed security; or
  • the issuer does not provide the NASD with timely information that is required by SEC Rule 10b-17 regarding "Untimely Announcements of Record Dates." (This rule requires issuers to provide the NASD, within 10 calendar days, with information concerning a dividend or other distribution in cash, a stock or reverse split, and rights or other subscription offerings.)
Under the rule change, when data is received from a foreign securities exchange or market, Nasdaq will first evaluate the information and determine if a halt in an OTCBB security is appropriate before initiating a trading or quotation halt. Trading and quotations in the security may resume when Nasdaq has decided, after close review, that there is no further need for the halt, or when five business days have passed from the initial date (whichever occurs first).

Prior to this rule change, Nasdaq was authorized to impose halts only in Nasdaq-listed securities and securities listed on a national securities exchange and traded in the Nasdaq Third Market. Until this point, however, there was no rule granting Nasdaq the authority to impose trading or quotation halts in OTCBB securities. Nasdaq hopes that the expanded trade-halt authority will increase investor protection with respect to securities quoted in the OTCBB.

Trade and quote halt information will be available beginning June 26th on a real time basis on this web site. Halt information will be accessible from the home page under "Trade Halts".


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