Vancouver Stock Exchange and British Columbia Securities Commission Implement Exchange Offering Prospectus To Improve Investor Protection

March 22, 1996

Released: March 14, 1996  Contact: Dean E. Holley Joyce Courtney
B. C. Securities Commission Vancouver Stock Exchange  660-4800 or 689-3334 (BC only)

VANCOUVER - The British Columbia Securities Commission and the Vancouver Stock Exchange have taken the final step to implement an Exchange Offering Prospectus (EOP) system in British Columbia. The EOP system is designed to bolster investor protection by improving the quality of information available to investors when companies already listed on the VSE seek to raise additional public capital.

Listed companies offering securities now are required to file an Exchange Offering Prospectus, rather than a Statement of Material Facts (SMF), to qualify the distribution. The EOP, filed with both the Vancouver Stock Exchange and the Securities Commission, will contain disclosure equivalent to that required for all other types of prospectus and will be subject to the same standards of review.

"Investors will benefit because the EOP will contain better, and hopefully more useful, information than was contained in statements of material facts," said Dean Holley, Securities Commission Executive Director. "Listed companies will benefit because the EOP system overcomes some limitations on the types of security that could be qualified for sale by SMF."

Michael Johnson, President and CEO of the Vancouver Stock Exchange, said: "The VSE has been working toward the implementation of the EOP system for some time and we are pleased to see it fully in place. It is a very positive development for both investors and issuers. It offers investor protection because better disclosure will give them more information on which to make investment decisions."

Holley and Johnson signed an operating agreement this week as the final step in the implementation of the new EOP system. The agreement sets out the Exchange's review guidelines, which will be equivalent to those applied by the Securities Commission in reviewing prospectuses.

"The agreement sets standards that are consistent with those of other Canadian stock exchanges and puts the VSE on the same level in terms of information disclosure," Johnson added.

The introduction of the EOP system is one of many changes flowing from a package of legislative amendments that came into effect January 1, 1996. The changes are designed to improve investor protection and to improve the efficiency of the capital markets in the province.

The Commission is an independent crown agency of the provincial government responsible for regulating trading in securities and exchange contracts in British Columbia.

The Vancouver Stock Exchange specializes in raising capital for small and medium-sized companies in technology, mining, oil and gas, manufacturing, financial, retail and medical industries. Each year, listed companies raise more than $1 billion in venture capital through the exchange.
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