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January 19, 2017
 
 
 
Happy 10th Birthday, OTCQX!
 

In 2007, we made the bold move to launch the first-ever tier of elite OTC-traded companies – called OTCQX.  Modeled after the London Stock Exchange's Alternative Investment Market (AIM), OTCQX was designed to help investors better differentiate transparent, high-performing companies trading in the OTC markets and provide reputable U.S. and international issuers a cost-effective, less burdensome alternative to a U.S. stock exchange listing. 

Ten years later, the OTCQX community has grown from 12 companies to 399 domestic and global issuers (461 securities), representing a combined $1.4 trillion in market 

 

capitalization. Today, OTCQX securities trade $36.8 billion in annual dollar volume, nearly 20% of the total annual dollar volume of all OTC securities.  And the OTCQX market is recognized by federal and state regulators, broker-dealers, investors, market data distributors and the international investment community as a world-class U.S. public market.

In honor of OTCQX's 10-year anniversary, we will be celebrating OTCQX on our website, in our newsletter, on social media and at events throughout 2017.  

Follow @OTCMarkets on Twitter for updates on all the festivities. #QXTurnsX

And help us wish OTCQX a happy 10th birthday!

 
 
 
Legislative and Regulatory Proposals for 2017
 

Our regulatory agenda is focused on facilitating small company growth in the public markets: 

  • Make being public less painful:  Streamlining regulation to lower costs and save management time and resources
  • Facilitate information driven markets:  Encouraging high quality disclosure that better aligns with free market principles
  • Promote online capital raising for smaller companies

2017 Initiatives:

  1. Online Capital Raising for SEC Reporting Companies: Continue to build momentum behind our SEC Petition for Rulemaking to enable SEC Reporting companies to raise capital under Regulation A+ and Crowdfunding.
  2. Expand Blue Sky Recognition:  Increase the number of states that recognize OTCQX Best Market and OTCQB Venture Market as Recognized Securities Manuals or markets for making adequate current information under their state “Blue Sky” laws and make the Uniform State Securities Act universal for secondary trading of qualified SEC Registered and Reg A+ Tier 2 Reporting companies.
  3. Revive the Fed OTC Margin List: Make margin-eligible qualified non-penny stocks that are actively traded on “established public markets,” including the OTCQX and OTCQB markets.
  4. IRS/Treasury Reform: Accept “established public markets,” including OTCQX and OTCQB, as qualified secondary markets for Employee Stock Ownership Plans, so these companies can more easily offer this benefit.
  5. Update Reg SHO to Support Bona Fide Market Making Liquidity in Small Companies:  Encourage liquidity and reduce volatility by providing a longer delivery period for bona fide market makers to cover short sales within a limited dollar range (between $100k to 500k).

We are committed to increasing investor information availability to streamline regulations and reduce red tape to make being public less painful.

 
 
Blue Sky Recognition - 16 States
 

New Jersey, South Dakota and Wisconsin are the newest states to recognize the OTCQX and OTCQB markets for "Blue Sky Manual Exemption". We are continuing our campaign to gain national Blue Sky recognition for the markets.

 
 
 
OTC Markets Group Adds Silexx Financial Systems as Distributor of Real-Time Market Data
 

Silexx Financial Systems, a leading developer of professional trading, analytics and risk management systems, is now a distributor of OTC Markets' real-time Level 1 and Level 2 market data. Silexx's buy-side and sell-side clients, including professional traders, hedge funds and investment advisors, will have access to real-time best bid and offer (BBO) pricing, market participant and trader information for 10,000 OTCQX, OTCQB and Pink securities. In addition, OTC Markets' real-time Level 1 and Level 2 quote data provides unique security information, including OTC market designation, security type and Caveat Emptor status. Learn more.

 
 
Community Spotlight
 

Mark Fearon, Director of Communications and Investor Relations, Wolseley plc (OTCQX: WOSYY, WOSCF)

"Wolseley has the number one or two market share position in 82% of its markets by revenue and this scale benefit in supply chain, procurement, operations and technology is a strong source of competitive advantage. This is also a people business and the quality, knowledge, dedication and service that our associates deliver to our customers and the long-term relationships that they develop is a key differentiator."

 

Read the full interview.

OTC Markets (OTCM): Tell us about your company.

Mark Fearon: Wolseley is the world’s largest plumbing and heating distributor operating across North America and Europe. We serve over 1 million customers, typically skilled trades people, providing them with high levels of availability on a broad range of specialist products sourced from over 50,000 suppliers. We operate an extensive network of over 2,750 branches which enables our customers to get local advice, sales and service and products ready for collection or delivery on the same or next day. Our business is highly concentrated towards the repairs, maintenance and improvement markets which are attractive and robust through the economic cycle. We utilize our leading market positions, coupled with significant benefits of scale, to offer best in class availability and service to our customers which we know they value highly. In the US, which generated over 80% of Wolseley’s trading profit last year, our largest subsidiary is Ferguson, and here we are the number one player in a large and highly fragmented market. In the US, in particular, given its size, we’re really excited about the future growth opportunities both in terms of long-term above market revenue growth and targeted bolt-on M&A.

OTCM: What were your major accomplishments in 2016?

Mr. Fearon: 2016 was a year of substantial change for Wolseley with John Martin stepping up from within the organization to be the new Group Chief Executive. John has been with the Wolseley business for six years as the Chief Financial Officer. This change has brought renewed focus to executing our strategies much more consistently and rapidly in all of our businesses. Ferguson has performed very well for a number of years and has a clear strategy, to focus on accelerating revenue growth on a sustainable basis while generating attractive returns for shareholders. We aim to continue growing revenue above the market supplemented with organic expansion and M&A. Within Europe, market conditions have been much tougher, and we are working through a turnaround plan in the UK while reviewing our Nordics operational strategy.

OTCM: What differentiates Wolseley from your competitors and what is your growth strategy for 2017?

Mr. Fearon: Wolseley has the number one or two market share position in 82% of its markets by revenue and this scale benefit in supply chain, procurement, operations and technology is a strong source of competitive advantage. This is also a people business and the quality, knowledge, dedication and service that our associates deliver to our customers and the long-term relationships that they develop is a key differentiator. The growth drivers in our industry remain attractive in all the geographic regions where we operate and we will continue to focus on our regional strategies through 2017 to deliver growth. In our largest market, the US, we have significant competitive advantage versus the typical competitor which tends to be small family owned businesses. We’ve outperformed these competitors consistently for several years — in the last 5 years market growth has been about 4% and our like-for-like revenue growth has been 7.6%. In recent years Wolseley has also continued to invest in providing market leading e-commerce solutions for its customers which is an emerging area of competitive advantage. Today our customers increasingly expect a 24/7 omni-channel approach dealing with us through a combination of branches, showrooms, online channels, call centers and a knowledgeable outside sales force. This omni-channel approach allows our customers to access products and services and advice 24 hours a day whenever it is required. As a key part of our overall approach, our e-commerce channel has grown rapidly and is a critical part of our overall offering today, representing 14% of sales last year — many of our smaller competitors often struggle to offer effective e-commerce solutions given the relatively high investment required.

OTCM: Wolseley celebrates its 9th year on OTCQX this year (2017). How have you leveraged OTCQX as part of your U.S. IR program?

Mr. Fearon: We have a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and we are aware that a number of US domestic investors are unable to buy UK listed shares. Given the size of the US domestic equity market and the fact that the US is where our largest business is located it is a key priority for us to continue to market our shares there. The OTCQX market has been a critical component in our IR program as it has allowed us to offer our shares to domestic US investors in an efficient way, opening up a much larger potential shareholder base to the Company. We have been really surprised at just how few domestic funds in the US know the Ferguson brand given our size in the US so the ADR has been a great way of enhancing our marketing initiatives in the USA.

OTCM: What else do you want investors to know about Wolseley?

Mr. Fearon: Wolseley has grown well for a number of years, refining our portfolio of businesses so that we now have only great businesses operating in attractive markets with market leading positions. We continue to invest in all of these businesses while maintaining a conservative balance sheet. Through a combination of these investments, market share gains, organic expansion and bolt-on M&A we will believe we can continue to drive long-term sustainable profitable growth and outperform our markets.

Click to close.

 
 
Community Spotlight
 
Community Spotlight
 

David McNally, CEO of
Titan Medical Inc. (OTCQX: TITXF)


"Titan Medical is developing the SPORT™ Surgical System to address the current clinical, operational and financial limitations of robotic platforms in the high growth market of robotic surgery.  Current robotic technology is cost prohibitive for secondary and tertiary hospitals, as well as for ambulatory surgery centers, and is confined to a limited number of surgical procedures."
 

 

Read the full interview.

OTC Markets (OTCM): Tell us about your company.

David McNally: Titan Medical Inc. is a Canadian public medical device company, headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, and listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: TMD) and the OTCQX in the United States (OTCQX: TITXF).

Today’s robotic surgery presents fundamental challenges such as limited clinical applications, reduced operational efficiency and low financial return on investment (ROI) for hospitals.

Titan Medical is developing the SPORT™ Surgical System to address the current clinical, operational and financial limitations of robotic platforms in the high growth market of robotic surgery. Current robotic technology is cost prohibitive for secondary and tertiary hospitals, as well as for ambulatory surgery centers, and is confined to a limited number of surgical procedures. Titan’s well-differentiated SPORT system will expand robotic surgery into areas that are currently underserved in general abdominal procedures, in an operationally-efficient and cost-effective manner.

The SPORT system is a versatile single incision advanced robotic platform that features multi-articulated instruments, 3D high definition visualization, an open ergonomic workstation and a single-arm mobile patient cart while enabling broad applications in single and multi-quadrant surgeries. Unique design elements of the SPORT system allow for unique clinical capabilities and will allow for unparalleled OR efficiency at operating costs comparable to laparoscopic surgery.

Titan is planning to first commercialize the SPORT Surgical System in the United States and Europe, the world’s two largest markets for robotic surgery. However, Titan’s comprehensive commercial strategy will also capitalize on global demand for robotic surgery in high growth yet underserved emerging markets in Asia, South America, Australia and the Middle East.

On January 1, 2017, I was appointed Chief Executive Officer and a Director, and on January 9, 2016 as President of Titan. As a seasoned executive who has successfully created and developed two medical device companies while generating significant shareholder value, I have a track record of successful medical device commercialization, plus significant capital markets experience. I look forward to applying to Titan my experience in all facets of building innovative and complex medical device companies serving multi-specialty surgical applications in a highly competitive environment including clinically-focused product design and development, capital formation, regulatory clearance, and commercialization. I have joined Titan after serving as the founder, President, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Domain Surgical, Inc., a developer, manufacturer and marketer of a new advanced energy surgery platform for precise cutting and coagulation of soft tissue, and reliable vessel sealing in open and laparoscopic procedures. In August of 2016, we successfully merged Domain Surgical with flexible laser company OmniGuide, Inc. to become the world’s premier supplier of surgical systems for tissue preservation. Prior to Domain, I was co-founder, President, CEO and a Director of ZEVEX International, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZVXI), a publicly-traded medical device technology leader that manufactured and marketed a broad array of products including minimally invasive surgical devices, sensors, and medical device award-winning fluid delivery systems. Under my leadership, ZEVEX was acquired by Moog, Inc. (NYSE: MOGA, MOGB) in 2007. In addition to earning a MBA from the University of Utah, I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Lafayette College, Easton, PA and am the co-inventor of more than 30 U.S. and international patents associated with ferromagnetic surgical devices and systems, electromagnetic and ultrasonic sensors, and medical fluid delivery systems.

OTCM: What were your accomplishments in 2016?

Mr. McNally: 2016 was the year when Titan reached its inflection point. These kinds of events are crucial in transitioning start-up companies in taking the challenging yet necessary steps in making their way towards their ultimate goal of commercialization of the product. Titan Medical, with strong leadership and clear focus, is now on its way to deliver on the critical milestones in commercializing the SPORT surgical system.

In 2016, Titan Medical also unveiled, the SPORT system prototype at highly selective tradeshows. In March, Titan Medical successfully unveiled the SPORT system to the surgeon community at the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) meeting in Boston. Over the course of three exhibit days, more than 800 surgeons viewed the technology and attended live demonstrations of Titan’s SPORT technology. In early August, Titan Medical exhibited its SPORT system at the World Robotics Gynecology Congress (WRGC). The conference was sponsored by the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists (AAGL) and was held in New York City. Being at these premier global meetings allowed Titan to share our vision for an advanced robotic platform with the eager and influential audiences. This was the first time we demonstrated the SPORT surgical system to the general surgery and gynecological community respectively and based on the feedback it was extremely positive and validating experience.

During 2016, the Board of Directors explored a variety of fund raising opportunities and succeeded in securing necessary funding to keep the development of the SPORT system progressing. Titan not only explored traditional ways to raise capital, such as through equity offerings, but also actively pursued partnerships, strategic investments and other non-dilutive methods. Since November 2015, Titan has raised nearly C$60 million (US$45 million).

Our development partner Ximedica, LLC has recently built functional prototype units that will be used in a series of pre-clinical studies to simulate procedural applicability — from gall bladder surgery to general abdominal, gynecological, urological and colorectal procedures. These systems will be operated by key opinion leaders (KOLs) and early technology adopters to generate early product feedback and the requisite data in support of the regulatory submissions. In October, the OTC Markets Group announced that Titan would be included in a newly launched OTCQX Canada Index, which is comprised of a diversity of quality Canadian companies that meet high financial, disclosure and corporate standards.

OTCM: What differentiates Titan Medical from your competitors and what is your growth strategy for 2017?

Mr. McNally: Titan is highly responsive to patients and stakeholders’ medical, clinical, operational and financial needs, and aims to bring enhanced user-friendly technology to the market place. The design of the SPORT system is inspired in direct response to “voice of customer” feedback from current robotic users — surgeons, as well as administrators and Titan’s Surgeon Advisory Board comprised of world-renowned multi-specialty surgeons affiliated with leading institutions.

The SPORT surgical system is designed to offer the following competitive advantages:

  1. Highly Versatile: Natural handle interface and dexterity with single port surgical access for multi-quadrant surgeries.
  2. Operationally Efficient: Simple to setup and dismantle with mobile single arm patient cart design.
  3. Competitively-Priced: Unique design elements such as disposable single-use tips and extended-life instruments facilitate optimal pricing.
  4. Reduced footprint: Highly mobile and functional surgical device for small surgical spaces.

In addition to practical differentiation from other systems by its unique single-port design, Titan continues to push innovation in the robotic surgical space and, as of December 31, 2016, Titan has ownership or exclusive rights to 14 patents and 32 patent applications. Titan’s focus continues to be to commercialize an innovative single incision robotic surgical system that has been designed from the ground up based on clinical user requirements, with a unique technical footprint and with the intent of respecting the innovation of others while obtaining the appropriate patents to protect our competitive position.

OTCM: Titan Medical celebrates its 5th year on OTCQX this year. How have you leveraged OTCQX as part of your U.S. IR program?

Mr. McNally: One of our primary objectives for listing on OTCQX was to attract and retain a complementary U.S. investor base. We have met this objective many times over.

Titan Medical has employed the OTCQX to effectively communicate to our existing and potential American investors and to obtain blue sky approval in many states in the U.S. Titan has also benefitted from attending and participating in a number of annual OCTQX forums in Toronto.

OTCM: What else do you want investors to know about Titan Medical?

Mr. McNally: We believe that 2017 will be a significant and successful year of progress for Titan.

With my appointment as CEO at the start of the year, I am thrilled for the opportunity to apply my leadership skills and medical device commercialization experience to the challenges and opportunities facing Titan Medical. We begin the year with strong business partners, significant product development accomplishments, and a core team with which we can execute. We expect to recruit and add complementary expertise to the team early in the year.

Early in January, we will be attending the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco. Our meeting schedule is completely full with prospective analysts that want to hear our story, potential investors, and business partners. In addition, we have been invited to present at three well-respected healthcare conferences. Once details are confirmed, we will post this information on our website.

Based on ever-evolving medical device technology and the regulatory environment, we have been conducting a very detailed and thorough review of our development timelines and milestone schedules. This year, we would like to improve on the transparency with which we communicate with our shareholders, while protecting the strategic advantage of confidential information. As we achieve meaningful operational and development milestones, we will promptly inform our shareholders.

Click to close.

 
 
OTCQX Video Series
 
OTCQX Video Series
 

Ludovic Lastennet, CEO of Implanet SA (Euronext Paris: IMPL; OTCQX: IMPZY) speaks with Bob Power, OTC Markets VP of Corporate Services, about the company's disruptive implant technology, JAZZ, which provides immobilization and fusion of spinal segments. Watch now.

 
 
OTC Markets Blog
 
Shell Game
 

OTC Markets Blog: During conversations with compliance and risk departments over the past year, the topic of shell companies always comes up.  For diligent compliance officers the reason for this focus is obvious, shell companies and more specifically trading with their affiliates are noted specifically in key notices and regulations. Read the full post.

 
OTC Markets Blog
 
Don't Look Now: You're Public
 

OTC Markets Blog: While a company may not plan on “going public,” after their Regulation A+ deal closes, the reality is that with Reg A+, they are issuing freely tradable shares. We explain what it means to companies and what they should consider when picking the right market for their shares. Read the full post.

 
 
Monthly Trade Summary - December 2016
 
 
Market Designations Number
of Securities*
Monthly
$ Volume
Monthly $ Volume
per Security
2016 $ Volume*
 
OTCQX 461 $3,844,835,942 $8,340,208 $36,847,879,435
OTCQB 933 $3,249,939,872 $3,483,322 $13,638,584,206
Pink 8,234 $14,648,939,577 $1,779,079 $142,411,521,245
Total 9,628 $21,743,715,392 $2,258,383 $192,897,984,887
 

*Data as of December 31, 2016

 
 
Events
 

Vancouver Resource Investment Conference 2017 – Vancouver, Canada (Jan. 22-23, 2017)

Cross Border Listing Seminar – Vancouver, Canada (Jan. 24, 2017)

Bank Director's 23rd Annual Acquire or Be Acquired Conference – Phoenix, AZ (Jan. 29-31, 2017)

Noble Financial's Annual Small Cap & Emerging Growth Investor Conference – Boca Raton, FL (Jan. 29-31, 2017)

Social Media Strategies for Reaching Investors – Webinar (Jan. 31, 2017)

IR Magazine Investor Perception Seminar – Toronto, Canada (Feb. 2, 2017)

IR Magazine Awards – Toronto, Canada (Feb. 2, 2017)

SIFMA Anti-Money Laundering and Financial Crimes Conference – New York, NY (Feb. 8-9, 2017)

PDAC International Convention, Trade Show & Investors Exchange – Toronto, Canada (March 5-8, 2017)

29th Annual ROTH Conference – Dana Point, CA (March 12-15, 2017)

Virtual Investor Conference for OTCQX Banks– Webcast (March 15, 2017)

Sidoti & Company Spring 2017 Convention– New York, NY (March 29, 2017)

STANY's 81st Annual Conference and Dinner – New York, NY (March 29-30, 2017)

Planet MicroCap Showcase 2017 – Las Vegas, NV (April 26-28, 2017) 

Please contact events@otcmarkets.com for more information.

 
 
News
 

Laying the Foundation of a Small-Cap IR ProgramIR Magazine online (January 13, 2017)

OTC Exemption Lets More Cos. Join Venture Market, For NowLaw360 (January 5, 2017)

OTC Markets Group Offers Temporary Exemption for OTCQX Alternative Reporting Companies Moving to OTCQB Venture Marketpress release (January 4, 2017)

Nevada Agency and Transfer Company and West Coast Stock Transfer Join OTC Markets' Transfer Agent Verified Shares Programpress release (December 19, 2016)

Is Reg A+ a Game-Changer? Absolutely. But it Will Take Some TimeCrowdfund Insider (December 15, 2016)

 
 
New OTCQX and OTCQB Companies
 

Welcome to the companies that joined the OTCQX Best Market and the OTCQB Venture Market in December.

The OTCQX Best Market
Ecoark Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: EARK)
Goodrich Petroleum Corporation (OTCQX: GDPP)
HedgePath Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (OTCQX: HPPI)
Lithium X Energy Corp. (OTCQX: LIXXF)
Mateon Therapeutics, Inc. (OTCQX: MATN)
Parkway Acquisition Corp (OTCQX: PKKW)
Select Sands Corp. (OTCQX: SLSDF)
VirTra, Inc. (OTCQX: VTSI)
Yatra Online, Inc. (OTCQX: YTROF)

The OTCQB Venture Market
3D Signatures Inc (OTCQB: TDSGF)
A.M. Castle & Co. (OTCQB: CASL)
AcuityAds Hldgs Inc. (OTCQB: ACUIF)
AG&E Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB: AGNU)
Alpine 4 Technologies Ltd. (OTCQB: ALPP)
Avalon GloboCare Corp. (OTCQB: AVCO)
Broadway Gold Mng Ltd (OTCQB: BDWYF)
Cannabics Pharmaceuticals Inc. (OTCQB: CNBX)
DOCASA, Inc. (OTCQB: DCSA)
Dynacert Inc (OTCQB: DYFSF)
Fiore Expl Ltd (OTCQB: FIORF)
GFG Resources Inc. (OTCQB: GFGSF)
HCSB Financial Corp. (OTCQB: HCFB)
Ianthus Capital Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB: ITHUF)
Lifestyle Delivery Systems, Inc. (OTCQB: LDSYF)
Margaux Resources Ltd (OTCQB: MARFF)
Mon Space Net, Inc. (OTCQB: MSNI)
Northwest Biotherapeutics, Inc. (OTCQB: NWBO, NWBOW)
Petrone Worldwide, Inc. (OTCQB: PFWI)
PV Nano Cell Ltd. (OTCQB: PVNNF)
Skyharbour Resources Ltd. (OTCQB: SYHBF)
Table Trac, Inc. (OTCQB: TBTC)
Tautachrome Inc. (OTCQB: TTCM)
Towerstream Corp. (OTCQB: TWER)
Value Exchange International, Inc. (OTCQB: VEII)
Voltari Corporation (OTCQB: VLTC, VLTCW)

 
 
Graduates to an Exchange Listing
 

Congratulations to the OTCQX and OTCQB companies that graduated to an exchange listing in December 2016.

The OTCQX Best Market
Penn VA Corp New (NASDAQ: PVAC)

The OTCQB Venture Market
root9B Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: RTNB)
Soligenix, Inc. (NASDAQ: SNGX)