The recently updated Securities and Exchange Commission agenda (see here and here) provides some insight on what to expect in upcoming months. The amendments to the smaller reporting company definition, which were widely supported when proposed, remain in the “final rule stage.” Likewise, the amendments to implement the FAST Act report and disclosure update and simplification (to eliminate outdated, redundant and otherwise repetitive requirements) remain in the final rule stage. It will be interesting to see whether the Commission takes action on these measures before Commissioner Piwowar’s departure. Consistent with Corporation Finance Division Director Hinman’s recent Congressional testimony about which we previously blogged, the agenda now includes in the “proposed rule stage” extending the test-the-waters provision to non-EGCs. Also in the proposed rule stage are changes to Industry Guide 3 (disclosures for banks and other financial institutions), disclosure of payments by resource extraction issuers, and additional changes to the Regulation S-K disclosure requirements. A new item was added that is referenced as “amendments to financial disclosures for registered debt security offerings.” It is not clear to what this relates. Sadly, the changes to various communications safe harbors and other Securities Act rules for business development companies are in the “long-term actions” category. The long-term actions category also includes a number of measures that have been the subject of recommendations by the Commission’s Investor Advisory Committee, such as disclosures regarding board diversity and changes to the accredited investor definition. Consistent with recent comments by representatives of the Commission, a measure relating to harmonizing private placement rules is added to the long-term actions list.
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