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OTC Markets Newsletter - April 2012
April 2012

JOBS Act Signed Into Law

On April 5, President Obama signed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (the “JOBS Act”) into law. The stated goal of the JOBS Act is to promote job growth by easing the capital raising process for small and mid-sized companies. Many of the reforms included in this bill aim to reduce the regulatory burdens and cost of raising capital associated with previous public and private offering rules.

The JOBS Act includes provisions that:

  • Eliminate the prohibition on general solicitation related to private offerings
  • Raise the Regulation A offering threshold from $5 million to $50 million
  • Raise the shareholder threshold requiring mandatory SEC registration from 500 holders of record to 2,000 holders of record (as long as less than 500 of those holders fail to qualify as accredited investors)
  • Create a “crowdfunding” exemption, allowing companies to raise up to $1 million over 12 months from an unlimited number of investors, each limited to an investment of $10,000 or 10% of their annual income or net worth, whichever is less
  • Reduce the cost and regulatory burden of going public for “Emerging Growth Companies,” defined as companies with less than $1 billion in annual revenue, by providing an exemption from periodic SEC filing requirements, most notably compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley rules
  • Increase flexibility for broker-dealers to issue research reports on emerging growth companies

The JOBS Act, particularly the provisions regarding Regulation A, ending the ban on general solicitation, and allowing crowdfunding, is expected to increase the number of shares trading in the OTC market. As the primary platform for the trading of OTC securities, OTC Markets Group’s OTC Link® platform will facilitate trading and provide a vibrant secondary market for these shares.

For more information, please read the Official White House Release and The JOBS Act. Please contact us anytime with questions.

This month's community member - Cromwell Coulson, OTC Markets GroupGet to Know Your Community:
Jon Merriman, CEO & Co-Chairman, Merriman Holdings, Inc.

This month, we sat down with Jon Merriman, CEO & Co-Chairman of Merriman Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: MERR). Merriman Capital, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Merriman Holdings, Inc. is one of the first investment bank DAD/PAL advisors for OTCQX companies. Merriman Holdings is also trading on OTCQX.

Q: Merriman is in a unique position of being not only a DAD/PAL advisor, but also an OTCQX company. How would you describe your experience on OTCQX?
A: In general, compared to a main US exchange, OTCQX offers a company a visible and quality-controlled venue at a cost-effective price. OTCQX also offers a responsive service and compliance department, as opposed to large, slow-moving bureaucracies that don't fit the unique needs of smaller, fast growing companies.

A critical point is that retail brokerage firms have to be comfortable with OTCQX, because it is a newer concept to them. Brokers need to understand that OTCQX is completely separate from the OTC Pink marketplace so that they feel comfortable trading these stocks. Quite a few retail firms have strict guidelines as to what kind of stocks their brokers can recommend to their clients. We've had many dialogues with these firms to ensure that the brokers and their compliance departments are fully informed of the differences between the three OTC marketplaces (OTCQX, OTCQB, and OTC Pink). Over time, this will become less of an issue. We are happy to serve as an "educator" with regard to getting the retail firms up to speed.
Click here to read the entire interview.

AHT Insurance                         Ellenoff                       Scottsdale

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OTC Events

OTC Markets Group has attended or will be participating in the following events to educate investors, broker-dealers, and OTC companies about our marketplace.

13th Annual B. Riley Investor Conference (May 21-23, 2012)

Wall Street 1-2-1 (May 8-11, 2012)

Crowdfunding Conference (April 19, 2012)

U.S. - China Capital Market Forum (April 17, 2012)

STANY 76th Annual Conference (March 29, 2012)

Maxim Group Growth Conference (March 26, 2012)

Casimir 2nd Annual Australian Mining Conference (March 26, 2012)

24th Annual ROTH Conference (March 11-14, 2012)

OTC News

Getting Quoted on OTCQX International | An Overview for Non-US Companies - Schulte, Roth & Zabel (April 2012)

OTC Markets Group Announces Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2011 Financial Results (March 26, 2012)

OTC Link LLC Gains FINRA Membership (March 8, 2012)

FINRA Dealt Setback in OTC Plan - Traders Magazine (February 7, 2012)

Cromwell Coulson on the Financial Times' View from the Top (January 27, 2012)

OTC Market Trade Summary - March 2012

OTC Market Tier # Securities* Monthly Dollar Volume Avg. Monthly Dollar Volume
per Security
Market Capitalization
(in Millions)*
OTCQX® 346 $2,232,177,023 $6,451,379 $1,144,988
OTCQB® 3,631 $3,303,939,941 $909,926 $149,107
OTC Pink® Current Information 2,290 $7,078,881,267 $3,091,215 $10,807,869
OTC Pink Limited Information 618 $677,694,091 $1,096,592 $78,693
OTC Pink No Information 3,321 $334,193,691 $100,630 $102,565
Totals 10,206 $13,626,886,013 $11,649,742 $12,283,221
* Selected data as of March 30, 2012.

OTCQX - New this Month - New Additions in March

Eleven companies joined OTCQX in the month of March.

 

A complete list of OTCQX companies is available on www.otcqx.com.

OTC Market Tiers

OTCQX
The intelligent marketplace for the best OTC companies with the highest financial standards and superior information availability.

OTCQB
The venture marketplace for companies that are current in their reporting with a U.S. regulator.

OTC Pink
The open marketplace for a wide spectrum of equity securities.

 

For questions, please contact OTC Markets Group
www.otcmarkets.com • 212-430-3690 • info@otcmarkets.com
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© 2012 OTC Markets Group Inc.