The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) today announced that securities regulators have approved amendments to the Universal Market Integrity Rules (UMIR) respecting trading during certain securities transactions. Rule 7.7 of the UMIR governs the activities of dealers, issuers and others in connection with a distribution of securities, securities exchange take-over bid, issuer bid or amalgamation, arrangement, capital reorganization or similar transaction. Rule 7.7, paralleled OSC Rule 48-501 Trading During Distributions, Formal Bids and Share Exchange Transactions prior to approval of these amendments. While some provisions of Rule 7.7 will now differ from OSC Rule 48-501, both rules will remain substantively similar and it is intended they will be applied in a consistent manner. Among other things, the amendments:

  • modify the exemption governing bids or purchases of certain securities during restricted periods by permitting such bids at the best independent bid price at the time of order entry rather than at the last independent sale price;
  • replace the requirement that a mutual fund be designated by the market regulator prior to qualifying as an exempt exchange-traded fund with a provision that any mutual fund with units that are listed or quoted security in continuous distribution in accordance with legislation would qualify unless the regulator has designated the mutual fund to be a security excluded from the definition of "Exempt Exchange-traded Fund";
  • clarify the definition and interpretation of "restricted period";
  • clarify the types of private placements that may become subject to restrictions under Rule 7.7 of UMIR;
  • clarify that in determining the "best ask price" or "best bid price", reference is made only to orders contained in a consolidated market display for a marketplace that is then open for trading; and
  • make further consequential and editorial amendments.

The amendments are effective as of today, January 8, 2010.