Nasdaq’s electronic trading platform for 144A securities has been approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The fully automated web-based platform, an outgrowth of Nasdaq’s 17-year old Portal system, is the first centralized electronic system for displaying and accessing trading interest in 144A issues.
The new Portal system will be available to all qualified users on August 15, 2007. It is intended to improve the efficiency and transparency of the private placement market – thereby encouraging capital formation.
We believe this centralized automated platform will bring added liquidity and transparency to the 144A market and is a natural progression for Nasdaq given our expertise in electronic trading systems, says executive vice president John Jacobs.
With private placement capital in hand, companies will have the time and flexibility to grow their businesses, evaluate options, gain experience and develop more accurate pricing, all of which can lead to a more effective IPO, added David Hermer, head of Americas syndicate at Credit Suisse.
Nasdaq says the Portal market has this year alone designated more than 1,700 144A equity and debt securities as Portal securities, compared to nearly 2,700 in all of 2006. Among the companies that have raised capital using the Portal market this year and last are Archer Daniels Midland Company, Adidas (Germany), Bank of China, Roseneft (Russia), Samsung (Korea), Telstra (Australia), and UTI Bank (India).
Nasdaq says it is aware that certain Portal issuers may wish to employ shareholder tracking procedures to avoid exceeding shareholder thresholds that would require registration with the SEC as a public company. Therefore, it is collaborating with third-party providers to incorporate an industry-wide shareholder tracking solution into Portal.