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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Order Approving Proposed Rule Change and Notice of Filing and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of Amendment Nos. 1 and 2 Thereto Filed by the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. Relating to the Listing of Additional Shares

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble August 3, 2001.

I. Introduction

On May 29, 2001, the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (“NASD” or “Association”), through its subsidiary, The Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc. (“Nasdaq”), submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”), pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”) [1] and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,[2] a proposed rule change relating to the listing of additional shares. The Federal Register published the proposed rule change for comment on July 2, 2001.[3] Nasdaq submitted Start Printed Page 42579Amendment Nos. 1 [4] and 2 [5] to the proposed rule change on July 13, 2001 and July 19, 2001, respectively. The Commission received no comments on the proposed rule change. This order approves the proposed rule change and grants accelerated approval to Amendment Nos. 1 and 2.

II. Description

Nasdaq proposes to amend Nasdaq Marketplace Rules 4320, 4510, and 4520, regarding the listing of additional shares (“LAS Program”). Nasdaq proposes to amend Nasdaq Marketplace Rules 4510(b)(2) and 4520(b)(2) to provide a carve-out from fees for the listing of additional shares for issuances of up to 49,999 shares per quarter. To offset the loss in revenues resulting from this carve-out, Nasdaq proposes to change the maximum quarterly fee for the listing of additional shares from $17,500 to $22,500 and the maximum annual fee from $35,000 to $45,000. Nasdaq states that these changes will alleviate issuers' concerns regarding small issuances while maintaining the revenues generated by the current LAS fee schedule. Nasdaq also proposes to amend Nasdaq Marketplace Rules 4510(b)(4) and 4520(b)(4) to give the Board of Directors, or its designee, the ability to defer or waive all or any part of the fees relating to the LAS Program.

Lastly, Nasdaq proposes to clarify the LAS notification requirement for foreign issuers. Originally, Nasdaq Marketplace Rule 4320(e)(15) excluded American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) from the LAS notification requirements for foreign issuers because it is very difficult to track the creation as well as unwinding of ADRs and their creation may not implicate any Nasdaq regulatory requirements. When the notification requirements were amended in January 2000,[6] the exclusion of ADRs was inadvertently omitted from Rule 4320(e)(15). As such, Nasdaq proposes to amend this Rule to clarify that ADRs are not subject to the LAS notification requirement.

III. Discussion

The Commission finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to a national securities association.[7] In particular, the Commission finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements of Sections 15A(B)(5) [8] and 15A(b)(6) [9] of the Act. Section 15A(b)(5) requires the rules of the Association to provide for the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees, and other charges among members and issuers and other persons using any facility or system that the Association operates or controls. Section 15A(b)(6) of the Act requires the Association's rules to be designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade, and to protect investors and the public interest. The Commission believes that the proposed rule change changes will alleviate issuers' concerns regarding fees for small issuances while maintaining the revenues generated by the current LAS fee schedule. In addition, the Commission believes that it is appropriate for the NASD to have the ability to defer or waive LAS fees in situations where such action would be justified to achieve an equitable result. Finally, the Commission believes that the proposed rule change will benefit investors and the public interest by clarifying that ADRs are not subject to the LAS notification requirement.

The Commission finds good cause for accelerating approval of Amendment Nos. 1 and 2 to the proposed rule change prior to the thirtieth day after publication in the Federal Register. These amendments merely correct typographical errors and request retroactive effectiveness of the proposed rule change be June 29, 2001, which will permit issuers to benefit from the proposed rule change without undue delay. Accordingly, the Commission finds that good cause exists to accelerate approval of Amendment Nos. 1 and 2 to the proposed rule change.

IV. Solicitation of Comments

Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views and arguments concerning Amendment Nos. 1 and 2, including whether the amendments are consistent with the Act. Persons making written submissions should file six copies thereof with the Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 450 Fifth Street NW, Washington, DC 20549-0609. Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for inspection and copying in the Commission's Public Reference Room. Copies of such filing will also be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the NASD. All submissions should refer to the File No. SR-NASD-2001-38 and should be submitted by September 4, 2001.

V. Conclusion

It is Therefore Ordered, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act,[10] that the proposed rule change (SR-NASD-2001-38), as amended, is approved.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[11]

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  Securities Exchange Act Release No. 44467 (June 22, 2001), 66 FR 34973.

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4.  See letter from John D. Nachman, Senior Attorney, Nasdaq, to Katherine A. England, Assistant Director, Division of Market Regulation (“Division”), Commission, dated June 29, 2001 (“Amendment No. 1”). Amendment No. 1 corrects typographical errors in the text of the proposed rule change. Specifically, Amendment No. 1 amends proposed Nasdaq Marketplace Rules 4510(b)(2) and 4520(b)(2) to provide a maximum quarterly fee of $22,500, instead of $22,000.

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5.  See letter from John D. Nachman, Senior Attorney, Nasdaq, to Florence Harmon, Senior Special Counsel, Division, Commission, dated July 19, 2001 (“Amendment No. 2”). Amendment No. 2 requests the Commission to approve the proposed rule change on a retroactive basis effective June 29, 2001.

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6.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 42351 (January 20, 2000), 64 FR 4457 (January 27, 2000).

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7.  In approving the proposal, the Commission has considered its impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).

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[FR Doc. 01-20184 Filed 8-10-01; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-M