OTC Bulletin Board
The OTC Bulletin Board, or OTCBB, is an electronic inter-dealer quotation system that displays real-time quotes, last-sale prices and volume information for many over the counter (OTC) equity securities that are not listed on the NASDAQ, NYSE or any other national securities exchange. The OTCBB started operations in 1990, with the aim to provide transparency in the OTC market, facilitating the dissemination of quotation and last-sale information as a pilot program. The SEC approved the operation of the OTCBB on a permanent basis only in 1997.OTCBB securities include national, regional and foreign equity issues, warrants, units, American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) and Direct Participation Programs (DPPs).
Issuers quoted on the OTCBB must be fully reporting (i.e. current with all required SEC filings) but have no market capitalization, minimum share price, corporate governance or other requirements to be quoted.
Shares of non-reporting companies (those without current SEC filings) may be quoted in the Pink Sheets. Most OTCBB companies are dually quoted, meaning they are quoted on both the OTCBB and the Pink Sheets.
The SEC issues stern warnings to investors to beware of common fraud and manipulation schemes when investing in OTC markets including the OTCBB and Pink Sheets. As such, most companies choose to list on more established exchanges such as the AMEX, NYSE or NASDAQ once eligible.
You're right, the internet is a pecfret example of how technology marches on, steadily aided by commercial forces (There's still the middle of the Sahara desert and the Mariana trench, of course holdouts from internet access !).HOwever I've found that internet access from aircraft remainssomewhat unpredictable. While I've effortlessly sent and received mails from my laptop during transatlantic flights as early as 2006, more recently I've found that for whatever reason internet access is often intermittent or unavailable aboard aircraft.Somewhat less edifyingly, I'm afraid the same commercial forces will soon make cellphone calls routine on flights.
Since July 2000, all OTCBB issuers have been subject to SEC reporting requirements including quarterly and annual financial information, as well as other company information. Filings made with the SEC pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act are available to the public through EDGAR, the SEC's on-line database of company filings.
A member shall be permitted to quote securities on the OTCBB by satisfying any one of the four requirements below:
1. the issuer is listed on one or more regional stock exchanges, and does not qualify for dissemination of transaction reports via the facilities of the Consolidated Tape; or
2. the issuer of the security is required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act or the security is described in Section 12(g)(2)(B) of the Exchange Act, and, subject to a thirty calendar day grace period, the issuer of the security is current in its reporting obligations, or
3. the security is described in Section 12(g)(2)(G) of the Exchange Act and, subject to a sixty calendar day grace period, the issuer of the security is current in its reporting obligations, or
4. the issuer of the security is a bank or savings association (or a holding company for such an entity) that is not required to file reports with the SEC pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act and, subject to a sixty calendar day grace period, the issuer of the security is current with all required filings with its appropriate Federal banking agency or State bank supervisor (as defined in 12 U.S.C. 1813).
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It is important to note that FINRA has no regulatory authority over OTC Bulletin Board issuers. FINRA's responsibilities include establishing rules governing its broker-dealers members' business conduct; setting qualification standards for securities industry professionals; examining members for their financial and operational condition as well as their compliance with appropriate rules and regulations; investigating alleged violations of securities laws; disciplining violators of applicable rules and regulations; and responding to inquiries and complaints from investors and members.
Due to the high level of risk involved in investing in Penny Stocks, the SEC created Rule 15g-2, which makes it "unlawful for a broker or dealer to effect a transaction in any penny stock for or with the account of a customer unless, prior to effecting such transaction, the broker or dealer has furnished to the customer a document containing the information set forth in Schedule 15G, Rule 15g-100, and has obtained from the customer a manually signed and dated written acknowledgement of receipt of the document."