Nasdaq Seeks to Remove Restriction in Direct Listing Plan

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Nasdaq Inc asked U.S. regulators on Wednesday to remove a restriction that limits how much money companies can raise through a direct listing on its stock market exchange, according to a regulatory filing reviewed by Reuters.

Direct listings allow companies to list on the stock market without a traditional and more costly initial public offering. No shares have been sold to investors in these flotations thus far, so companies have not raised any money through them.

Nasdaqs move follows the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commissions SEC approval last week of a Nasdaq proposal to allow companies to raise capital in a direct listing as long the shares start trading within the indicated price range set. The listing would be pulled if shares were set to trade outside that range.

Nasdaq on Wednesday asked the SEC to remove any ceiling on how the shares trade. A companys stock would not be allowed to open more than 20 below the lowest price in the price range, but there would be no restriction on how high it can trade.

Based on conversations with companies and their advisors, Nasdaq believes that there may be a reluctance to use the existing direct listing with a capital raise rules because of concerns about the pricing range limitation, Nasdaq said in the filing.

The SEC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In making the request to the SEC, Nasdaq is reverting to the plan it submitted to the securities watchdog last August. It amended the plan in February…

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