OTC Markets Newsletter

Q&A with Bank Director Magazine Online

Maximizing the Value of Being Publicly Traded

More than 600 community and regional banks trade on OTCQB, a public marketplace operated by OTC Markets Group, a company that operates financial marketplaces for 10,000 U.S. and global securities. R. Cromwell Coulson, president and CEO of OTC Markets Group, answers questions about how community banks can maximize the value of public trading even when they are not listed on a stock exchange.

Q: What is your experience with the community and regional bank market?

I traded and invested in community banks when I worked as an institutional trader and portfolio manager at Carr Securities in the early 1990s. I specialized partly in value-oriented securities, so I was naturally drawn to small, publicly traded community banks, many of which traded on the off-exchange market.

Years after I left Carr Securities, I led a group of investors to acquire the company that published the stock sheets where these and thousands of other off-exchange-traded securities were quoted. Our goal was to modernize what was inefficient and phone-based trading into modern, electronic trading and to create better informed and more efficient markets.

Today, my company, OTC Markets Group, operates three separate and distinct marketplaces: OTCQX, OTCQB and OTC Pink. Community banks continue to make up an important sub-sector of our market: There are more than 600 banks and thrifts ranging in size from $25 million in assets to $16 billion trading primarily on our OTCQB marketplace.

Click here to read the full interview on Bank Director Magazine Online.

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Get to Know Your Community: Interview with Jeff Beck, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of Questrade, Inc.

This month, we speak with Jeff Beck, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of Questrade, Inc. The online brokerage, one of the fastest growing in Canada, provides its subscribers with OTC Markets’ real-time market data. Mr. Beck talks about why Canadian investors are interested in the U.S. and international equity markets and the value of real-time market data for investors in OTCQX, OTCQB and OTC Pink securities.

OTC Markets Group: Tell us about Questrade. Who are your customers?

Jeff Beck: Questrade is Canada’s fastest-growing online brokerage. We provide Canadians with high-speed, direct-access trading in the U.S. and Canadian stock and options markets through our IQ trading platforms. Since 1999, we’ve led the industry in delivering outstanding service, exclusive products and services, and competitive pricing, offering the country’s lowest trade commissions. We have earned our reputation, and won the award as one of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies in 2011 and 2012.

For the past two years, we’ve also ranked as Canada's fastest growing online brokerage. We credit this to our suite of innovative products and services developed with active traders in mind. We were the first to offer dual currency accounts and highly valuable market research tools like Intraday Trader and Bull’s Eye. We also provide exclusive services such as Mutual Fund Maximizer, which reimburses trailer fees directly to our clients. More recently we introduced Margin Power, which allows clients to leverage the securities in their TFSA to expand their buying power. We have created the smartest trading platforms, tools, and services to fulfill the various trading needs of our clients.

Click to read more.

OTCM: Questrade has tripled its subscribers to U.S. market data in the past year. Why do you think Canadian investors are so interested in U.S. equities?

JB: One of the main reasons is market performance. Right now, the U.S. market has outperformed the Canadian market. There is also greater liquidity in the U.S. market. Furthermore, there is a greater level of options that allow traders to diversify into different sectors and industries. Canadian equities tend to be concentrated in the resources sectors, such as mining and energy, and in the financial sector. People want to achieve a greater level of diversification, and the U.S. market is a great place to attain that.

OTCM: What is the benefit of being able to provide OTC Markets Group’s real-time data to your subscribers?

JB: Market fluctuation can happen at a moment’s notice. Real-time data provides the ability to monitor the markets and make quick and informed decisions. Anyone who is serious about trading knows that a split second can make a difference between profit and loss. Therefore it is necessary for traders, especially those who want to trade OTCQX, OTCQB and OTC Pink securities, to have access to real-time market data.

OTCM: There are around 3,000 international companies from over 80 countries trading on OTC Markets Group’s OTCQX, OTCQB and OTC Pink marketplaces. What appetite do Canadian investors have for international equities?

JB: Many people perceive OTCQX, OTCQB and OTC Pink stocks as smaller, penny stocks. However, the reality is that these marketplaces also offer global diversification through international large cap companies that may not be available through some of the larger North American exchanges. These marketplaces provide increased foreign exposure, and give investors the advantage of benefiting from growth and diversification around the globe.

OTCM: What do Canadian investors desire most from their broker?

JB: Great question. I’m glad you asked, because the answer to me is so obvious! A partner.

Investors should demand a broker that will enrich their trading experience. Investors want to trade with a reliable company that delivers excellent service like Questrade. A company that’s innovative, provides new products and services, and has the best possible research tools so they can make informed trading and investing decisions.

They also need direct market access, especially if they’re trading OTCQX, OTCQB and OTC Pink securities. Many traders are surprised to learn that most other brokers do not provide this.

It is equally important, however, that traders have reassurance that their investments are safe. Questrade is registered with the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), and clients’ accounts are protected by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund.

OTCM: What is Questrade’s growth strategy going forward?

JB: Questrade targets active traders and we strive to provide them with more investment choices such as bonds, equities, precious metals, multi-leg options, CFDs, and FX, to continuously diversify their holdings. Clients can even purchase ETFs commission-free at Questrade. They have the ability to hold both Canadian and U.S. currencies in their accounts, which is especially relevant if they’re trading U.S. securities.

Our goal is to deliver an outstanding experience and ensure we exceed our clients’ expectations in every aspect.

Click to close.

We welcome Heineken N.V. to our best marketplace, OTCQX®

Heineken N.V. (OTCQX: HEINY) "Lights up the Market"!

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Follow us on TWITTER to receive Light Up the Market updates from OTC Markets Group.

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Cromwell Coulson Ranked Amongst Top Trading Technologists

OTC Markets Group CEO Cromwell Coulson was named to Institutional Investor magazine’s Trading Technology 40, a ranking of the world's top trading technologists. "The future of markets is not in centralization," says Coulson.

Read the full profile.

2013 Trade Summary

Marketplace Designations # of Securities Annual Dollar Volume* Annual Dollar Volume per Security % of Total Dollar Volume Aggregate Market Capitalization*
OTCQX® 370 $29,492 $78,693,872 15% $1,743,034
OTCQB® 3,143 $74,003 $22,854,780 37% $220,793
OTC Pink® Current Information 2,942 $86,153 $31,071,899 43% $12,573,533
OTC Pink Limited Information 523 $1,245 $2,383,419 1% $15,913
OTC Pink No Information 3,033 $10,291 $3,319,009 5% $54,493
Totals 10,011 $201,184 $20,101,622 100.0% $14,607,766
* Amounts presented in millions
  Data as of December 31, 2013.

Monthly Trade Summary — December 2013

Marketplace Designations # of Securities* Monthly Dollar Volume Monthly Dollar Volume
per Security
Aggregate Market Capitalization
(in Millions)*
OTCQX® 370 $2,773,891,964 $7,497,005 $1,743,034
OTCQB® 3,143 $5,996,418,263 $1,907,865 $220,793
OTC Pink® Current Information 2,942 $7,796,802,673 $2,650,171 $12,573,533
OTC Pink Limited Information 523 $79,052,036 $151,151 $15,913
OTC Pink No Information 3,033 $983,234,825 $324,179 $54,493
Totals 10,011 $17,629,399,762 $1,761,003 $14,607,765
* Data as of December 31, 2013.
Newsletter Sponsor First American Stock Transfer, Inc.

Events & Sponsorships

OTC Markets Group has attended or will attend the following events to educate investors, broker-dealers, and OTCQX, OTCQB and OTC Pink companies about our marketplaces.

STANY 78th Annual Conference & Dinner (April 10, 2014)

ISEEE Spring 2014 Meeting (April 6-10, 2014)

26th Annual ROTH Conference (March 9-12, 2014)

Webinar: The Anatomy of an IPO (February 12, 2014)

Auberbach Grayson Conference (February 10, 2014)

Bank Director's Acquire Or Be Acquired Conference (January 26-28, 2014)

88th Annual Mid-Winter Meeting "Crossroads" (January 22, 2014)

 

Contact us if you are interested in meeting us at one of these events.

 

Market Data Updates

TradingBlock now offers its users access to OTC Markets Level 1+ (OTCQX, OTCQB, OTC Pink, OTC Bonds) Quotes

The OTCM BNY Mellon ADR Index rose 5.27% in the fourth quarter and is up 18.68% for the year

Euroland AB now displays our Delayed Level 1 quote data (price and size) for 10,000 OTCQX, OTCQB and OTC Pink securities

Seeking Alpha now displays the marketplace designations for OTCQX, OTCQB, and OTC Pink securities

For more information, contact our Market Data Services at 212.220.2166 or marketdata@otcmarkets.com.

News

OTC Markets Group Reports 2013 Trading Statistics and Highlights - press release (January 29, 2014)

Banks Hunt for Liquidity to Boost Stock Prices, M&A Opportunities American Banker (January 29, 2014)

Heineken N.V. and Heineken Holding N.V. Begin Trading on OTCQX® - press release (January 27, 2014)

OTC Markets Group CEO Cromwell Coulson to Speak at Bank Director Magazine's Acquire or Be Acquired Conference, January 26 - press release (December 18, 2013)

Maximizing the Value of Being Publicly Traded – BankDirector.com (January 20, 2014)

Epigenomics AG Begins Trading on OTCQX(R) – press release (January 01, 2014)

Commercial International Bank Begins Trading on OTCQX(R) – press release (December 19, 2013)

UBM plc Begins Trading on OTCQX (R) – press release (December 18, 2013)

Regulation & Compliance

Proposed Rule Change Relating to OTC Equity Trade Reporting and OATS Reporting

 

 

In January, the SEC extended the time period for action on the Proposed Rule Change Relating to Over-the-Counter Equity Trade Reporting and OATS Reporting. The full notice can be found here. Comment letters received by the SEC on the rule can be found here.

SEC Proposes for Comment New Regulation Crowdfunding

 

 

The SEC has proposed for comment new Regulation Crowdfunding to implement the requirements of Title III of the JOBS Act. The proposed rule can be found here. Prospective crowdfunding portals may file an Interm Form for Funding Portals with FINRA here.

Comment Period for Reg D, Form D and Rule 156 Re-opened

 

 

The SEC has re-opened the comment period for Amendments to Regulation D, Form D and Rule 156. Comments received can be found here. A White Paper released by the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis on capital raising in the U.S. through unregistered offerings using the Regulation D exemption can be found here.

OTCQX - New Additions

6 new companies joined OTCQX in December:

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

Our Marketplaces

OTCQX
The Best Marketplace with Qualified Companies

OTCQB
The Venture Stage Marketplace with Reporting Companies

OTC Pink
The Open Marketplace with Variable Reporting Companies

For questions, please contact OTC Markets Group.
www.otcmarkets.com • 212-896-4420 • info@otcmarkets.com

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© 2014 OTC Markets Group Inc.