Canadian exchanges offer temporary issuer relief

Mon Nov 3, 2008 4:03pm EST
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TORONTO Nov 3 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange and the junior TSX Venture Exchange said on Monday they are introducing temporary measures to relax some of the rules for their listed companies in a bid to help them get through the current market turmoil.

On the Toronto Stock Exchange, changes include allowing issuers to increase the daily buyback of their shares, as well as extending the remedial review period for delistings to as long as 210 days, from up to 120 days previously.

On the Venture market, changes include more flexibility in how continued listing requirements are applied, and extending the timeframe within which Capital Pool Companies -- or shell companies -- must complete their qualifying transactions.

The changes will in effect until March 31, 2009.

The move comes as the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE has fallen by about 30 percent so far this year, while the S&P/TSX Venture composite .SPCDNX has plummeted by about 68 percent.

"We recognize it is a turbulent market and a difficult time to raise capital, so we are working with our companies to help them bridge this difficult time in the market," said John McCoach, senior vice-president of the TSX Venture Exchange.

Both markets are operated by TMX Group X.TO.

"It is on a temporary basis and it is not in areas where we would be compromising the market integrity of either exchange," McCoach said.

For full details see here 2&element_id=618. (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Rob Wilson)