SEC opens up US to foreign trades

New SEC rules encourage foreign trading in the US OTC markets

WASHINGTON, DC – Rule changes have made US markets more competitive, by allowing an influx of foreign trading. US regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has changed the rules governing foreign private issuers.

Such issuers no longer need to apply for an exemption from registration but will receive exemption by means of key disclosures in English on their website. The old requirement that they must have less than 300 US shareholders has also been removed.

Now that registration with the SEC is not required, foreign issuers may trade over the counter rather than registering on a US exchange. Bank of New York Mellon has already established 200 new programmes allowing overseas companies to trade in the US since the regulations changed on October 10.

According to the new rules, all OTC foreign securities transactions must be reported within 90 seconds of execution, with last sale information disseminated in real time. Previous rules left investors in the dark about trade information until the end of the day.

The SEC has also removed requirements for foreign firms to reconcile financial statements compatible with International Financial Reporting Standards with US-specific Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

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