Exchange operator Nasdaq OMX has received approval by US regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for BX Venture, re-establishing the listing business of the Boston Stock Exchange, which it purchased in 2008.
The new market – which was given the green light by the SEC on 6 May – will be targeted at companies that have been de-listed from other exchanges for failure to meet quantitative listing standards, such as price or other market value measures, and smaller companies contemplating an initial exchange listing. An official launch date for the market has not yet been determined.
According to the SEC filing, to qualify for a listing on BX Venture, firms would be required to have: US$1 million of stockholders' equity or US$5 million total assets; 200,000 publicly held shares; 200 public shareholders, at least 100 of which must be round lot holders; listed securities with a market value of at least US$2 million; a minimum bid price of US$1.00 per share; one year operating history; and two registered and active market makers.
Companies would also have to detail their plans to maintain a sufficient amount of working capital for at least 12 months after the first day of listing.
Upon applying for a listing, firms will be required to pay an initial application review fee of US$7,500, along with a US$15,000 annual fee.
According to Nasdaq OMX, the proposed public float, market-making requirements and minimum market value stipulation will ensure that the market has sufficient liquidity in listed securities.
SMARTS Group, a developer of market surveillance that was recently purchased by Nasdaq OMX, will create a new suite of quoting and trading patterns for BX Venture, in order to detect suspicious activity in low priced and less widely traded securities.