UPDATE 1-SEC mulls promoting creation of U.S. venture exchanges -White

Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:54pm EST
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(Adds comments from other SEC commissioners, interview with TMX Group's CEO)

By Sarah N. Lynch

WASHINGTON Feb 20 (Reuters) - U.S. regulators are considering taking steps to promote the creation of "venture exchanges" that aim to help smaller companies get listed and actively traded, Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White said on Friday.

"It is something we have been encouraging for some time. There have been venture exchanges approved by the SEC before," White told reporters on the sidelines of the Practising Law Institute's SEC Speaks conference.

"Clearly what we are looking at is how do we improve ... the liquidity for the securities of small companies," she said.

Adopting new policies to spur the creation of venture exchanges is one idea that SEC Republican Commissioner Daniel Gallagher has been promoting for several years as a way to help start-ups.

Critics say current listing standards are often too costly and rigorous for small companies.

For those that do list, their stock is often less liquid.

Although Congress passed a law in 2012 designed to help small companies raise capital and go public by easing certain burdens, many say the measures fall short and that more must be done.   Continued...