The New York Stock Exchange announced today that it will lower temporarily the minimum standard of Section 802.01B in the Exchange's Listed Company Manual that requires prompt delisting of any company, including limited partnerships and REITs, that has an average global market capitalization over a consecutive 30 trading-day period of less than $25 million.
Through April 22, 2009, this provision will apply only to companies whose average global market capitalization over a consecutive 30 trading-day period falls below $15 million.
"This temporary lowering of the 30 trading-day average market capitalization requirement will enable companies of suitable size and quality to remain listed during current difficult market conditions," said Richard G. Ketchum, chief executive officer, NYSE Regulation, Inc. "All of the NYSE's other continued listing criteria will continue to apply during this period."
In the past several months, U.S. and global equities markets have experienced extreme volatility and an overall decline in trading prices of many securities. As a consequence, the number of companies listed on the Exchange whose average global market capitalization has fallen below $25 million over a 30 trading-day period has been significantly higher than the historical norm. The Exchange believes that, in many cases, these companies have experienced precipitous stock price declines because of these unusual market conditions, rather than company-specific problems. The Exchange believes that these companies remain suitable for continued listing and that their market capitalizations will likely increase as the current market turbulence passes.
The Exchange has chosen to temporarily lower this listing standard rather than to impose a complete moratorium on application of the standard because it continues to believe that, even at this time, companies whose market capitalization deteriorates to a level below $15 million are not suitable for continued listing on the Exchange.
While the Exchange's filing submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC ) in connection with the adoption of this rule change is immediately effective, it is subject to a 30-day operative delay under SEC rules. The Exchange has asked the SEC to waive the operative delay and expects the SEC to take prompt action to effectuate that waiver.