July 11, 2012
Vancouver – The British Columbia Securities Commission today published its final notice regarding the application by Maple Group Acquisition Corporation. The BCSC focused on the impact that Maple’s acquisition of the TMX Group Inc, and the Canadian Depository for Securities Limited and the CDS Clearing and Depository Services (jointly known as CDS) will have on the Canadian venture market.
“The TSX-Venture is a vital means for venture companies to raise capital and engage in early stage business development, including resource exploration. Any changes to the TSX-V’s ownership, governance or operations warrant close regulatory scrutiny,” said BCSC Chair Brenda Leong.
The BCSC published its second notice and request for comment on May 24, 2012. In it, the commission identified four major risks that relate to the Canadian venture market. Since then, the BCSC has received nine letters in response to its request for comment. All expressed serious concerns about the impact Maple’s transactions will have on the venture market, and on the viability of the smaller independent dealers that support financing for early stage businesses.
“After extensive consultations with venture market participants over the past year, we are issuing orders with conditions aimed at mitigating those risks – both to the Canadian public venture market and to independent dealers,” said Leong.
Highlights of BCSC’s conditions:
• 25% of TMX board must have “venture” expertise;
• The TSX-V will maintain an office in Vancouver that has a significant role in the Exchange’s
o development of expertise in the public venture market,
o the maintenance and growth of a competitive Canadian public venture market,
o innovations in the public venture market, and
o development of policy that enhances the competitive position of the Exchange.
• BCSC approval of any changes to TSX-V rules, fees, or any other significant changes to its business or operations;
• The TSX-V national advisory committee must have reporting obligations to TMX board and BCSC;
• At least two directors on the CDS board representing independent dealers;
• BCSC approval of all changes to access, fees, capital and collateral requirements, the risk model and membership criteria for CDS.
• One independent dealer on the CDS board Risk Management and Audit Committee and one independent dealer on each of the strategic development, risk advisory and fee marketplace advisory committees.
There is over 1100 B.C.-based venture companies, which represent about 50% of those listed on the TSX-V. B.C.’s share is $21.4 billion, 44% of total market capitalization. Mining remains the most important industry for B.C. companies, followed by technology and oil and gas.
The B.C. Securities Commission is the independent provincial agency responsible for regulating trading in securities within the province.
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