U.S. ‘pink sheets’ in shakeup as securities regulator looks to stamp out fraud

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WASHINGTON/NEW YORK, Sept 23 (Reuters) – As many as 2,000 companies could disappear from the off-exchange “pink sheets,” long a favorite of retail investors, when a new rule aimed at stamping out fraud in this notoriously risky enclave of U.S. equities markets comes into effect next week.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rule boosts investor disclosures by requiring off-exchange issuers, frequently penny-stock companies that do not meet the main exchanges’ listing standards, to make accurate, up-to-date financial information publicly available.

Due to a loophole in the current rules, around 2,000 of the roughly 11,000 companies quoted on the Pink Market operated by New York-based OTC Markets Group (OTCM.PK) do not publicly provide such information.

OTC Markets has been trying to spread the word and encourage companies to get their paperwork in order, but it was still unclear how many would do so in time for the Sept. 28 deadline, if at all,…

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