Stacked white books on rules and regulations

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is already acting on a recommendation from the Capital Markets Modernization Taskforce.

Last month, the provincial government taskforce issued a series of sweeping reform proposals. It remains to be seen if the government will follow through on its major recommendations — in the meantime however, one of the proposals has found traction with the OSC.

The OSC has issued an order that implements one of the taskforce’s 74 proposals — providing an exemption from conflict of interest disclosure requirements for private placements of foreign securities to institutional investors in Ontario.

According to the notice, a number of institutional investors have complained that the underwriting conflicts disclosure requirements create barriers for investors in Ontario from participating in global offerings.

In response to similar complaints, the taskforce’s final report recommended that the OSC provide an exemption from the disclosure requirements.

“Having considered the interests of institutional investors in being able to participate in global offerings on a timely basis and the taskforce recommendation, the commission is satisfied that it would not be prejudicial to the public interest [to provide an exemption],” the notice said.

The order took effect on Feb. 18, and will expire in 18 months, or when the rules are changed to address the issue.