SEC considers easing deregistration burdens

The US Securities and Exchange Commission will later today vote on whether to
introduce new rules that would make it easier for non-US companies to deregister
with the regulator, and exit the US market.

Many companies have complained that the current rules, whereby companies must
have less than 300 US shareholders to deregister, are too tough to meet.

Companies are looking to exit the US in larger numbers since the introduction
of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act which can cost millions of pounds to comply with.

A statement on the US SEC website reads: ‘The Commission will consider
whether to propose a new rule that would enable a foreign private issuer meeting
specified conditions to terminate its Exchange Act registration and reporting
obligations under section 12(g) regarding a class of equity securities as well
as terminate permanently its section 15(d) reporting obligations regarding a
class of equity or debt securities.

‘The Commission will also consider whether to propose a rule amendment that
would apply the exemption from Exchange Act registration under Rule 12g3-2(b) to
a class of equity securities immediately upon the effective date of the issuer’s
termination of effectiveness regarding that class of securities.’

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