The latest updates from OTCMarkets - June 2016.
 
June 14, 2016
 
 

Expanding Regulation A+ to SEC Reporting Companies

OTC Markets Group is committed to better informing investors, lowering the cost of capital raising and making being public less painful.

As part of this ongoing effort, we recently filed a Petition for Rulemaking with the SEC – urging them to expand Regulation A+ to allow SEC Reporting Companies to utilize this important form of online capital raising.

We believe extending Reg. A+ to the thousands of companies that have invested the time and resources to be fully SEC reporting is imperative. To fix capital formation for smaller companies, we must modernize securities regulations to embrace the efficiencies of the internet age.

By allowing smaller companies and investment banks to harness transparency and technology to offer shares the way Amazon sells books, we will unleash new innovation and lower the costs of capital raising.

Click to read more.


  • In March 2015, the SEC published the rules for implementing Title IV of the JOBS Act, known as Reg. A+, giving small companies the ability to use online offerings to raise up to $50 million from individual investors
  • As implemented these rules exclude all SEC Reporting Companies from accessing capital online under Reg. A+
  • The SEC missed an important opportunity to drive small company growth and limited the tangible benefits of Reg. A+ for investors
  • Online securities offerings under Reg. A+ provide significant investor protection including a permanent record, or audit trail, of disclosures made to potential investors
  • SEC Reporting Companies already meet the SEC’s high standards for disclosure
  • Transparent, public, online capital raising better serves smaller companies and their investors vs. the opaque, offline private offering processes of PIPES deals and equity lines of credit
  • Online securities offerings will expand access to a greater pool of better informed investors and lower the cost of capital raising

Click to close.

We encourage you to read the full petition and email comments directly to the SEC at rule-comments@sec.gov.

We’ll continue to share our progress on this important initiative.

 
 
 
Exciting Month in Market Data
 
 

Industry Recognition

Our OTC Compliance Data File was recently recognized at the 2016 Inside Market Data/Inside Reference Data Awards for “Best Real-Time Market Data Initiative (vendor)”.

The OTC Compliance Data File is a first-of-its-kind data file designed to help broker-dealers and compliance/risk mitigation teams streamline the process of analyzing and monitoring trading in OTCQX, OTCQB and Pink securities.

 

The file, which is delivered twice daily, provides a wide array of trading and compliance data points unique to these securities, including market designation, SEC Penny Stock status and Caveat Emptor status. In addition, the file enables financial institutions to automate trading and compliance processes, to efficiently expand the breadth of OTCQX, OTCQB and Pink securities on their platforms.

New Features

This month, we upgraded our Compliance Data file with new features to help provide a more comprehensive view into Company and Security data. Key enhancements include:

  • Transfer Agent – Associated transfer agent(s) data will be included in the file. 
  • Transfer Agent Verified Data – Notes if Shares Outstanding information is received directly from the Transfer Agent.
  • Company Profile Verified and as of Date – Notes if Company Profile information has been verified by the issuer and the respective date of verification.

Thomson-Reuters Now Distributing End of Day Pricing Data

In June, we also announced that Thomson Reuters, a leading source of news and information for professional markets, is a new distributor of OTC Markets Group’s End-of-Day Pricing Data. This data provides a daily snapshot of the closing bid and offer price, market designation and other security information for all OTCQX, OTCQB and Pink securities. This may be used for portfolio pricing and valuation, investment accounting, clearing and settlement, client statement preparation, research and is essential to the calculation of net capital and net asset value calculations. Learn more.

Contact marketdata@otcmarkets.com for more information.

 
 
 
OTCQX Dividend Index Launches
 

We recently announced the launch of the OTCQX Dividend Index (.OTCQXDIV), a new benchmark for tracking the performance of US and international companies trading on the OTCQX Market that pay a regular dividend. The OTCQX Dividend Index is currently comprised of over 100 companies, ranging from the largest global champions to local community banks. 

"Investors are seeking income opportunities and our OTCQX Best Market offers a range of high quality, investor focused, companies they can't find on a traditional stock exchange. With the launch of our OTCQX Dividend Index, investors now have a tool for identifying and tracking the performance of these income paying securities,"  said OTC Markets Group CEO R. Cromwell Coulson.

Index Chart | Index Constituents | Learn More

 
 
OTCQX Video Series
 
Village Farms International Inc. (OTCQX: VFFIF)
 

Village Farms International (TSX: VFF; OTCQX: VFFIF) CEO Michael DeGiglio joins us to discuss the company's environmentally friendly and highly sustainable agricultural growing methods, its business outlook and the decision to upgrade to the OTCQX market. Watch the full interview.

 
 
 
Community Spotlight
 
Sino Agro Food
 

Solomon Lee, CEO of Sino Agro Food (OTCQX: SIAF), which joined the OTCQX market in January 2016, tells us about major milestones for the company in the past year and the company's growth strategy.

 

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

Solomon Lee: As an investment company focused on food production, SIAF develops and operates protein food businesses in the People's Republic of China. The Company produces, distributes, markets, and sells premium seafood and beef to the rapidly growing Chinese middle class. Activities also include production of organic fertilizer and produce. SIAF is a global leader in developing land based recirculating aquaculture systems (“RAS”), and with its partners, is the world's largest producer of sustainable RAS prawns.

Click to read the full interview.


Founded in 2006 and headquartered in Guangzhou, the Company has over 550 employees and revenue of USD 429 million in 2015. To date, our revenue has grown approximately 40 percent per annum. Operations are located in the Guangdong, Qinghai, and Hunan provinces of China and in Shanghai. Sino Agro Food is a public company listed on OTCQX U.S. Premier in the United States and on the Oslo Børs’ Merkur Market in Norway.

With a market capitalization of over USD 150 million, Sino Agro Food is one of the larger companies on OTCQX U.S. Premier, and the largest company with operations and headquarters in China listed on the U.S. OTCQX market.

OTCM: What were your major accomplishments for the last year?

Mr. Lee: During 2015 we accomplished three major milestones:

a) Sino Agro Food’s Aquaculture division commissioned part of its Zhongshan Aquaculture Megafarm, the world’s largest recirculating aquaculture project. Our long-term framework is to achieve output capacity of 200,000 metric tons. During 2015, Sino Agro Food harvested a total of 6,800 metric tons of seafood from its aquaculture operations, a harvest volume we anticipate growing significantly to circa 60,000 metric tons by 2020.

b) In 2015, we successfully transformed our live cattle beef business integrating into value–added processing as well as imported of beef, respective of the drastically changing beef industry during 2014 and 2015 in China. By the end of 2014, the PRC government dropped quotas and tariffs on imported beef, exposing the domestic Chinese beef industry to international markets – an industry, which had been protected from foreign competition the last sixty years through strict trade barriers. Thanks to foresight within the camp, we refocused our beef business adapting to changes beginning with a ramp-up of imported beef and trading of imported beef products. Today we are growing our beef business at double-digit rates each quarter with a total of 2,600 metric tons of beef imported and 5,900 metric tons of beef processed in 2015. Our focus is to be as feasibly adaptive and flexible when it comes to an ever-changing environment in a developing market like China.

c) We upgraded our listing platform in the U.S. to OTCQX Premier from OTCQB, and accomplished a secondary listing in Europe with Sino Agro Food being admitted to the Merkur Market in Norway. The Merkur Market is a part of the Oslo Stock Exchange, the world’s largest capital market for seafood companies, where significant interest in our land-based aquaculture systems has been well received.

OTCM: What are you focused on in the year ahead? Can you tell us about your company’s 3 to 5-year growth strategy?

Mr. Lee: We will continue building scale in our two main segments throughout the year: aquaculture, and our vertically integrated beef operation, namely cattle rearing and associated feed production, value added processing of beef, and marketing and trading of beef products. As well as having significant scale-up potential, these segments provide the highest return on invested capital.

Our focus in aquaculture is mainly on the Zhongshan MegaFarm, which has the right conditions to become a very sizeable aquaculture operation. The first phase, “Prawn Farm 3”, with a capacity of approximately 10,000 metric tons of prawn and seafood will be completed this year. Continuing onto the second phase of construction, “Prawn Farm 4”, this segment is projected to have total production capacity of circa 60,000 metric tons of prawn and seafood, estimated to be completed before 2020. In order to control the value chain, we also are preparing to initiate brood stock rearing, in addition to the prawn hatchery and nursery facilities operating today.

In the beef sector, we will continue to build on integrating ourselves into value added processing and beef importing further entrenching our position as a full-service producer and distributor of beef in China. Our live cattle operation in Western China, in the Qinghai province, is already one of the region’s largest players, and our target is to expand this further based on the growing trend of both processed and partially processed beef products stemming mainly from Australia.

Since the founding of the company in 2006, the focus of Sino Agro Food, a protein food investment company, has been to capitalize on the modernization of China’s food industry, and target the food product categories most promising for a producer, processor and distributor. As of today, our main focus is protein foods, specifically beef and prawns. The combination of these product categories is anticipated to grow at an above average rate in China over the next five to ten years. When combined with our subsidiaries’ already established competitive advantages in these sectors, we see the Company becoming an industry leader in the vertically aligned food-supply chain over the long-term.

From a financial perspective, it should be noted that we have initiated restructuring of the aquaculture segment preparing it for a separate exchange listing intent on improving visibility underlying the value of our assets and their high profitability. Steps also are being taken in preparation for separate listing of our other subsidiaries, again in an effort to align those operations and assets with peer market valuations.

OTCM: Sino Agro Food joined the OTCQX market in January 2016. Why did you choose OTCQX?

Mr. Lee: Excluding ADR listed companies, Sino Agro’s market capitalization of USD 151 million and operating income of USD 93 million makes the Company one of the largest issuers on the OTCQX U.S. market, making a listing on the OTCQX Premier a natural choice. OTCQX is seen as a natural progression for the Company in answering the call as to what works in its shareholders’ best interests.

OTCM: What else do you like investors to know about your company?

Mr. Lee: Sino Agro Food has enjoyed strong growth since the Company initiated its business activities in China in 2006, growing revenue with a compounded annual growth rate of 41 percent from founding to date. During the 2015 fiscal year, the Company’s consolidated revenues amounted to USD 429 million. The four principal factors that continue to enable our growth are:

a) Joint venture investments with existing local Chinese investors in agriculture and aquaculture;
b) Technological competitive advantages in recirculating aquaculture, beef rearing and livestock slaughter;
c) Strong growth in Chinese consumer demand for quality protein food; and
d) The Chinese Government’s policy to consolidate the agrarian sector and increase the efficiency of China’s food production industry.

These four factors are predicted to continue in SIAF’s favor over a long period of time, providing us the opportunity to expand our operations throughout China while feeding an ever growing middle-class in the largest evolving consumer market in the world.

Click to close.

 
 
 
Monthly Trade Summary - May 2016
 
 
Market Designations Number
of Securities*
Monthly
$ Volume
Monthly $ Volume
per Security
YTD $ Volume*
 
OTCQX 448 $2,158,694,817 $4,818,515 $13,906,901,959
OTCQB 925 $808,323,666 $873,863 $3,404,457,462
Pink 8,373 $10,078,981,065 $1,203,748 $55,427,245,588
Total 9,746 $13,045,999,547 $1,338,600 $72,738,605,010
 

*Data as of May 31, 2016

 
 
Events
 

Webinar: Corporate Governance Trends, Regulatory Changes and their Impact on Investment Behavior (Archived Webinar) 

IR Magazine Awards - Europe – London, U.K. (June 22, 2016)

2016 Annual STANY Golf Classic – Summit, NJ (July 25, 2016)

83rd Annual Market Structure Conference – Washington D.C. (September 14-16, 2016)

 
 
News
 

Morningstar Deal with OTC Markets Brings Investors Ratings and Reports - Finance Magnates (May 9, 2016)

OTC Markets Wants to Be the Amazon of Small Companies - Markets Media (May 24, 2016)

Reg A+ and Equity Crowfunding: Getting Through the Growing Pains of a New Era in Raising Capital - equities.com (May 27, 2016)

OTC Markets Tells SEC: Extend Eligibility of Reg A+ to All Smaller Reporting Companies - Crowdfund Insider (June 9, 2016)

OTC Markets Petitions SEC to Expand Online Capital Raising to Reporting Firms - Finance Magnates (June 10, 2016)

OTC Markets Group: My Money's With Cromwell - Seeking Alpha (June 10, 2016)

Best Real-Time Market Data Initiative: OTC Markets Group - Waters Technology (June 13, 2016)

 
 
New OTCQX Companies Light up the Market
 
NeuroVive Pharmaceutical AB (OTCQX: NEVPF)
 

NeuroVive Pharmaceutical AB (OTCQX: NEVPF) Lights up the Market!

 

OTCQX companies Light up the Market to celebrate joining the Best Market!

Birner Dental Management Services, Inc. (OTCQX: BDMS)

Corvus Gold (OTCQX: CORVF)

First Mining Finance Corp. (OTCQX: FFMGF)

Western Uranium Corp (OTCQX: WSTRF)

 
 
 
 
New OTCQB Companies
 

Alpine Auto Brokers Inc (OTCQB: ALTB)
American CareSource Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB: GNOW)
Bravo Multinational Incorporated (OTCQB: BRVO)
Breathtec Biomedical Inc (OTCQB: BTHCF)
Calmare Therapeutics Inc. (OTCQB: CTTC)
China Herb Group Holdings Corp (OTCQB: CHGH)
Intellinetics, Inc. (OTCQB: INLX)
Interups Inc. (OTCQB: ITUP)
Key Link Assets Corp. (OTCQB: KYLK)
Largo Resources Ltd. (OTCQB: LGORF)
Lilis Energy, Inc. (OTCQB: LLEX)
Nevada Energy Metals Inc. (OTCQB: SSMLF)
NGFC EQUITIES INC. (OTCQB: NGFF)
Preston Corporation (OTCQB: PSNP)
Regen Biopharma, Inc. (OTCQB: RGBP; RGBPP)
Reign Sapphire Corp (OTCQB: RGNP)
Toucan Interactive Corp. (OTCQB: TCNT)
Umatrin Holding Limited (OTCQB: UMHL)
Wealth Minerals Ltd. (OTCQB: WMLLF)
WRIT Media Group, Inc. (OTCQB: WRIT)

 
 
Graduates to an Exchange Listing
 

Congratulations to VistaGen Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: VTGN) on graduating from the OTCQB market to a NASDAQ listing in May.