(a) Authority for Initiating a Trading and Quotation Halt
In circumstances in which it is necessary to protect investors and the public interest, FINRA may direct members, pursuant to the procedures set forth in paragraph (b), to halt trading and quotations in OTC Equity Securities (as such term is defined in
[Rule 6420]) if:
(1) the OTC Equity Security or the security underlying an American Depository Receipt ("ADR") that is an OTC Equity Security ("OTC ADR") is listed on or registered with a foreign securities exchange or market, and the foreign securities exchange, market, or regulatory authority overseeing such issuer, exchange, or market, halts trading in such security for regulatory reasons because of public interest concerns or for news pending; provided, however, that FINRA will not impose a trading and quotation halt if the Foreign Regulatory Halt was imposed solely for a regulatory filing deficiency, or operational reasons ("Foreign Regulatory Halt");
(2) the OTC Equity Security or the security underlying an OTC ADR is a derivative or component of a security listed on or registered with a national securities exchange or foreign securities exchange or market ("listed security") and the national securities exchange, or foreign securities exchange or market imposes a trading halt in the listed security ("Derivative Halt"); or
(3) FINRA determines that an extraordinary event has occurred or is ongoing that has had a material effect on the market for the OTC Equity Security or the security underlying an OTC ADR or has caused or has the potential to cause major disruption to the marketplace or significant uncertainty in the settlement and clearance process ("Extraordinary Event Halt").
(b) Procedure for Initiating a Trading and Quotation Halt
(1) Upon notice of a Foreign Regulatory Halt or Derivative Halt from: (A) the national or foreign securities exchange or market on which the OTC Equity Security or the security underlying the OTC ADR is listed or registered, (B) a regulatory authority overseeing such issuer, exchange, or market, or (C) another reliable third-party source where FINRA can validate the information provided, FINRA will promptly initiate a trading and quotation halt in the OTC Equity Security. The commencement of the trading and quotation halt for the OTC Equity Security will be effective simultaneous with the issuance of appropriate public notice by FINRA.
(2) After FINRA initiates a halt in an OTC Equity Security as a result of a Foreign Regulatory Halt or a Derivative Halt, FINRA may continue the halt in trading and quoting in the OTC market for the OTC Equity Security until such time as FINRA receives notice that the applicable regulatory authority has or intends to resume trading in the security.
(3) After FINRA initiates a halt in an OTC Equity Security as a result of an Extraordinary Event Halt, trading and quotations in the OTC market for the OTC Equity Security may resume when FINRA determines that the basis for the halt no longer exists, or when ten business days have elapsed from the date FINRA initiated the trading and quotation halt in the security, whichever occurs first.
(4) FINRA shall disseminate appropriate public notice that a trading and quotation halt initiated under this Rule is no longer in effect.
(c) Violation of OTC Trading and Quotation Halt Rule
If a security is subject to a trading and quotation halt initiated pursuant to this Rule, it shall be deemed conduct inconsistent with just and equitable principles of trade and a violation of
[Rule 2010] for a member:
(1) to effect, directly or indirectly, a trade in such security; or
(2) to publish a quotation, a priced bid and/or offer, an unpriced indication of interest (including "bid wanted" and "offer wanted" indications), or a bid or offer accompanied by a modifier to reflect unsolicited customer interest, in any quotation medium. For purposes of this Rule, "quotation medium" shall mean any: system of general circulation to brokers or dealers that regularly disseminates quotations of identified brokers or dealers; or publication, alternative trading system or other device that is used by brokers or dealers to disseminate quotations to others.
• • • Supplementary Material: --------------
.01 Discretion for Extraordinary Event Halts. FINRA may impose a trading and quotation halt in an OTC Equity Security pursuant to Rule 6440(a)(3) where FINRA determines, in its discretion, based on the facts and circumstances of the particular event, that halting trading in the security is the appropriate mechanism to protect investors and ensure a fair and orderly marketplace. As a general matter, FINRA does not favor imposing a trading and quotation halt in an OTC Equity Security and will exercise this authority in very limited circumstances. FINRA may also determine to extend an Extraordinary Event Halt that has been initiated pursuant to Rule 6440 (a)(3) to continue in effect for subsequent periods of up to 10 business days each if, at the time of any such extension, FINRA finds that the extraordinary event is ongoing and determines that the continuation of the halt beyond the prior 10 business day period is necessary in the public interest and for the protection of investors.
.02 Factors Considered. In determining whether to impose an Extraordinary Event Halt under Rule 6440(a)(3), FINRA will consider several factors in making its determination, including but not limited to: (1) the material nature of the event; (2) the material facts surrounding the event are undisputed and not in conflict; (3) the event has caused widespread confusion in the trading of the security; (4) there has been a material negative effect on the market for the subject security; (5) the potential exists for a major disruption to the marketplace; (6) there is significant uncertainty in the settlement and clearance process for the security; and/or (7) such other factors as FINRA deems relevant in making its determination. FINRA may review all or some of these factors as it determines appropriate.
.03 Market-wide Circuit Breaker in OTC Equity Securities. In the event FINRA has halted trading otherwise than on an exchange in all NMS stocks pursuant to
[Rule 6121], FINRA also shall halt trading in all OTC Equity Securities until such time that the market-wide circuit breaker no longer is in effect for NMS stocks. Members must halt quoting and trading in all OTC Equity Securities as of the time the market-wide trading halt in NMS stocks is publicly disseminated.