On 19 February 2016, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) approved a New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) rule change to require foreign private issuers to file semi-annual financial statements on Form 6-K. This rule change is intended to align financial reporting practices of NYSE-listed foreign private issuers with NYSE-listed domestic issuers.
Prior to the change, foreign private issuers were not subject to any SEC rule that specifically requires the filing of interim financial information. However, as a matter of practice or home-country requirements, most foreign private issuers do already comply with semi-annual financial reporting.
The new Section 203.03 of the NYSE Listed Company Manual provides that each listed foreign private issuer must, at a minimum, submit to the SEC a Form 6-K that includes: (i) an interim balance sheet as of the end of its second fiscal quarter; and (ii) a semi-annual income statement that covers its first two fiscal quarters. These must be submitted no later than six months following the end of the company’s second fiscal quarter. The new rules have been effective retroactively from 5 February 2016, and apply to companies with a fiscal year starting on or after 1 July 2015.