U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Pink Sheets

Pink OTC Markets, formerly known as Pink Sheets, operates Pink Quote, an electronic quotation system that displays quotes from broker dealers for many over-the-counter (OTC) securities. "Market makers" and other brokers who buy and sell OTC securities, can use the Pink Quote to publish their bid and ask quotation prices. The name "Pink Sheets" comes from the color of paper they were historically printed on. They are published electronically today by Pink OTC Markets Inc., a privately owned company. Pink OTC Markets Inc. is not registered with the SEC in any way and it is not the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Broker-Dealer. Pink OTC Markets Inc. does not require companies whose securities are quoted upon its systems to meet any listing requirements. With the exception of a few foreign issuers, the companies quoted in Pink Quote tend to be closely held, extremely small and/or thinly traded. Most do not meet the minimum listing requirements for trading on a national securities exchange, such as the New York Stock Exchange or the Nasdaq Stock Market. Many of these companies do not file periodic reports or audited financial statements with the SEC, making it very difficult for investors to find reliable, unbiased information about those companies. For all of these reasons, companies quoted in Pink Quote can be among the most risky investments. That's why you should take extra care to thoroughly research any company quoted exclusively in the Pink Quote. Be aware that some broker-dealers are required by Rule 15c2-11 under the 1934 Act to have some information about the issuer. Ask your broker-dealer whether it has any Rule 15c2-11 information before you invest.

The OTC Bulletin Board (OTCBB) eligibility rule required companies whose securities were quoted on the OTCBB to file updated financial reports with the SEC or with their banking or insurance regulators. If these companies failed to file current financial reports, their securities would be removed from the OTCBB, but could be quoted in another system, such as Pink OTC Markets’ Pink Quote inter-dealer quotation service. The eligibility rule was phased in over a 12-month period and ended June 22, 2000. On the OTC Bulletin Board's website, you can find a history of the rule and data concerning companies that were removed from the OTCBB. If you are considering investing in a company that trades on the OTCBB, you can find reports filed by the company on the SEC's EDGAR database.

For more information about the OTCBB, please read "OTC Bulletin Board" in our Fast Answers database.


We have provided this information as a service to investors.  It is neither a legal interpretation nor a statement of SEC policy.  If you have questions concerning the meaning or application of a particular law or rule, please consult with an attorney who specializes in securities law.

Modified: 05/30/2008