Effective July 10, 2017, the Securities & Exchange Commission ("SEC") began allowing all companies to submit non-public, draft registration statements for initial public offerings ("IPOs"). Why make this significant change? In altering the disclosure requirements, the SEC hopes to reduce organizations’ exposure to market fluctuations while going through the IPO process, rationalize the filing process so that compliance is less burdensome and expensive for small organizations, and further streamline disclosures to make them more meaningful and useful to investors.
The SEC’s new rule is largely an effort to reverse the decline in IPOs, encourage more public offerings, among both U.S. and foreign companies, on U.S. exchanges, and provide investors with access to a wider range of small, successful companies in which to invest. While this ruling may encourage more companies to consider (or reconsider) listing within the U.S. market, for foreign issuers, numerous complexities remain that should be considered.
Back in January of 2017, the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) announced a significant expansion of its cooperation framework with Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), as the SEC seeks to effectively protect U.S. investors from fraud and trading abuses in increasingly globalized capital markets.
The new framework expands on the agencies' 1995 Enforcement Cooperation MOU and 2002 IOSCO Multilateral MOU. It provides for significant information-sharing and enforcement cooperation including, but not limited to, investment advisers, broker-dealers, securities exchanges, market infrastructure providers, and credit rating agencies. With this expanded cooperation framework, the SEC is signaling that market players cannot evade the reach of U.S. law simply by operating from an offshore location.