It has been a long-standing practice of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to post on its website the forms of the documents required to be submitted in connection with the NYSE listing applications. On April 30, 2013, the NYSE filed proposed rule changes to its Listed Company Manual (Manual), which, if adopted, will result in the Manual sections containing the listing application materials being deleted, and updated listing application materials will be posted only on the NYSE’s website.
Although the NYSE amends its Manual from time to time, forms of listing agreements contained in the Manual have not always been amended to reflect changes made to the NYSE listing documents. Some provisions in the listing agreements contained in the Manual are obsolete. The NYSE proposes to remove from the Manual (i) each of the agreements set forth in Sections 901.01 through 901.05, (ii) the form of original listing application contained in Section 903.01, and (iii) the form of supplemental listing application contained in Section 903.02.
In the event that in the future the NYSE makes any substantive changes to those documents that are being removed from the Manual, it will submit a rule filing to the SEC to obtain approval of such changes, except for typographical or stylistic changes. The NYSE also plans to maintain all historical versions of those documents on its website after changes have been made, so that it will be possible to review how each document has changed over time.
In addition, the NYSE proposes to state certain requirements, which it has been imposing as a matter of practice, in the Manual to add transparency to the listing process. For example, the NYSE proposes to include in the Manual a new Section 107.00, Financial Disclosure and Other Information Requirements, which will contain the following requirements, among others:
- Section 107.03 (SEC Compliance): No security shall be approved for listing if the issuer has not for the 12 months immediately preceding the date of listing filed on a timely basis all periodic reports required to be filed with the SEC or Other Regulatory Authority or the security is suspended from trading by the SEC pursuant to Section 12(k) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act).
- Section 107.04 (Exchange Information Requests): The NYSE may request any information or documentation, public or non-public, deemed necessary to make a determination regarding a security’s initial listing, including, but not limited to, any material provided to or received from the SEC or Other Regulatory Authority. A company’s security may be denied listing if the company fails to provide such information within a reasonable period of time or if any communication to the NYSE contains a material misrepresentation or omits material information necessary to make the communication to the NYSE not misleading.
The NYSE also proposes to no longer require the following supporting documents in connection with an original listing application (see Section 702.04):
- Stock Distribution Schedule (the stock distribution schedule requirement is obsolete because the NYSE obtains the distribution information it needs from the applicant’s public filings and from its transfer agent).
- Certificate of Transfer Agent/Certificate of Registrar (the information that the NYSE needs about the applicant’s outstanding shares is available in its prospectus or periodic SEC reports, as well as the report of the applicant’s outstanding shares that will be required to be delivered to the Exchange once a quarter after listing).
- Notice of Availability of Stock Certificates (all transactions in listed securities in the national market system are conducted electronically through DTCC).
- Prospectus (final prospectuses are publicly available on the SEC’s website).
- Financial Statements (financial statements are included in the applicant’s SEC filings which are publicly available on the SEC’s website).