This article does not cite any sources . (October 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
A prospectus, in finance, is a disclosure document that describes a financial security for potential buyers. It commonly provides investors with material information about mutual funds, stocks, bonds and other investments, such as a description of the company's business, financial statements, biographies of officers and directors, detailed information about their compensation, any litigation that is taking place, a list of material properties and any other material information. In the context of an individual securities offering, such as an initial public offering, a prospectus is distributed by underwriters or brokerages to potential investors. Today, prospectuses are most widely distributed through websites such as EDGAR and its equivalents in other countries.
In a securities offering in the United States, a prospectus is required to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as part of a registration statement. The issuer may not use the prospectus to finalize sales until the registration statement has been declared effective by the SEC, meaning it appears to comply on its face with the various rules governing disclosure unless the sale of securities is exempt from registration.
If a company has been filing Form 10-K with the SEC for a certain period of time, has a market capitalization above a certain threshold, and takes certain procedural steps, it is permitted to offer securities using a simplified prospectus that incorporates information by reference to its SEC filings. In certain situations, such as when the offering is not required to be registered with the SEC, a prospectus is instead referred to as an "offering memorandum" or "offering circular", but there are numerous industry standard terms and methods on how to write a prospectus. In the case of municipal securities offerings, which are generally exempt from most of the federal securities laws, municipal issuers typically prepare an analogous form of disclosure document known as an "official statement." Prospectuses are generally prepared with the assistance of the underwriter acting as issue manager (also called a bookrunning manager or "bookrunner").
Publication of information in relation to the issue of securities in the United Kingdom is governed by the Prospectus Rules, which implement the European law Prospectus Directive. A prospectus must be published where certain types of securities either are offered to the public or are requested for admission on a regulated market. In the United Kingdom, the only regulated market is London Stock Exchange full list. The Alternative Investment Market (AIM) does not constitute a regulated market, nor does the Professional Securities Market ("PSM") for issues of debt securities. There are numerous exceptions to the requirement to publish a prospectus, although an exempt company may still be required to publish listing particulars where it is seeking admission of its shares to the full list or an admission document where it is seeking admission of its shares to AIM.
The prospectus must be approved by the competent authority in the United Kingdom, which is currently the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in its capacity as the United Kingdom Listing Authority. If the purpose of the prospectus is to induce people to engage in an investment activity, it will also need to be issued or approved by an 'authorised person' or it will constitute an unlawful financial promotion under section 21 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is a large independent agency of the United States federal government, created in the aftermath of the Wall Street Crash of 1929. The primary purpose of the SEC is to enforce the law against market manipulation.
An initial public offering (IPO) or stock market launch is a public offering in which shares of a company are sold to institutional investors and usually also retail (individual) investors. An IPO is typically underwritten by one or more investment banks, who also arrange for the shares to be listed on one or more stock exchanges. Through this process, colloquially known as floating, or going public, a privately held company is transformed into a public company. Initial public offerings can be used to raise new equity capital for companies, to monetize the investments of private shareholders such as company founders or private equity investors, and to enable easy trading of existing holdings or future capital raising by becoming publicly traded.
A municipal bond, commonly known as a muni bond, is a bond issued by a local government or territory, or one of their agencies. It is generally used to finance public projects such as roads, schools, airports and seaports, and infrastructure-related repairs. The term municipal bond is commonly used in the United States, which has the largest market of such trade-able securities in the world. As of 2011, the municipal bond market was valued at $3.7 trillion. Potential issuers of municipal bonds include states, cities, counties, redevelopment agencies, special-purpose districts, school districts, public utility districts, publicly owned airports and seaports, and other governmental entities at or below the state level having more than a de minimis amount of one of the three sovereign powers: the power of taxation, the power of eminent domain or the police power.
The Securities Act of 1933, also known as the 1933 Act, the Securities Act, the Truth in Securities Act, the Federal Securities Act, and the '33 Act, was enacted by the United States Congress on May 27, 1933, during the Great Depression and after the stock market crash of 1929. It is an integral part of United States securities regulation. It is legislated pursuant to the Interstate Commerce Clause of the Constitution.
The Securities Exchange Act of 1934 is a law governing the secondary trading of securities in the United States of America. A landmark of wide-ranging legislation, the Act of '34 and related statutes form the basis of regulation of the financial markets and their participants in the United States. The 1934 Act also established the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the agency primarily responsible for enforcement of United States federal securities law.
The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) writes investor protection rules and other rules regulating broker-dealers and banks in the United States municipal securities market, including tax-exempt and taxable municipal bonds, municipal notes, and other securities issued by states, cities, and counties or their agencies to help finance public projects or for other public policy purposes.
The Investment Company Act of 1940 is an act of Congress which regulates investment funds. It was passed as a United States Public Law on August 22, 1940, and is codified at 15 U.S.C. §§ 80a-1–80a-64. Along with the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Investment Advisers Act of 1940, and extensive rules issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission, it forms the backbone of United States financial regulation. It has been updated by the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. It is the primary source of regulation for mutual funds and closed-end funds, an investment industry now in the many trillions of dollars. In addition, the '40 Act impacts the operations of hedge funds, private equity funds and even holding companies.
The Investment Advisers Act of 1940, codified at 15 U.S.C. § 80b-1 through 15 U.S.C. § 80b-21, is a United States federal law that was created to monitor and regulate the activities of investment advisers as defined by the law. It is the primary source of regulation of investment advisers and is administered by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
In the United States under the Securities Act of 1933, any offer to sell securities must either be registered with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or meet certain qualifications to exempt them from such registration. Regulation D contains the rules providing exemptions from the registration requirements, allowing some companies to offer and sell their securities without having to register the securities with the SEC. A Regulation D offering is intended to make access to the capital markets possible for small companies that could not otherwise bear the costs of a normal SEC registration. Reg D may also refer to an investment strategy, mostly associated with hedge funds, based upon the same regulation. The regulation is found under Title 17 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 230, Sections 501 through 508. The legal citation is 17 C.F.R. §230.501 et seq.
Securities regulation in the United States is the field of U.S. law that covers transactions and other dealings with securities. The term is usually understood to include both federal and state-level regulation by governmental regulatory agencies, but sometimes may also encompass listing requirements of exchanges like the New York Stock Exchange and rules of self-regulatory organizations like the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
A red herring prospectus, as a first or preliminary prospectus, is a document submitted by a company (issuer) as part of a public offering of securities. Most frequently associated with an initial public offering (IPO), this document, like the previously submitted Form S-1 registration statement, must be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Form S-1 is an SEC filing used by companies planning on going public to register their securities with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as the "registration statement by the Securities Act of 1933". The S-1 contains the basic business and financial information on an issuer with respect to a specific securities offering. Investors may use the prospectus to consider the merits of an offering and make educated investment decisions. A prospectus is one of the main documents used by an investor to research a company prior to an initial public offering (IPO). Other less detailed registration forms, such as Form S-3 may be used for certain registrations.
The Securities Fraud Deterrence and Investor Restitution Act was H.R. 2179 and is a bill currently on the Union Calendar.
The Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA) system, operated by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB), serves as the official source for municipal securities disclosures and related market data in the United States. EMMA provides free on-line access to centralized new issue municipal securities disclosure documents, on-going continuing disclosures for all municipal securities, escrow deposit agreements for advance refundings of outstanding bonds, real-time municipal bond trade price information, interest rates and auction results for municipal auction rate securities and interest rate reset information for variable rate demand obligations, together with daily statistics on trading activity and investor education materials.
Exempt market securities are securities issued in Canada that fall under National Instrument 45-106. They are exempt from prospectus requirements and hence require less disclosure than a prospectus offering. To sell a security in the exempt market, an issuer must ensure that the investor qualifies under a specific exemption contained in the Instrument. Common exemptions include:
Regulation S-K is a prescribed regulation under the US Securities Act of 1933 that lays out reporting requirements for various SEC filings used by public companies. Companies are also often called issuers, filers or registrants.
Securities regulation in Canada is conducted by the various provincial securities commissions and self-regulating organizations (“SRO”) such as the MFDA and IIROC. Securities are issued under the authority and oversight of these bodies with the result that a broad range of rules apply to companies seeking to raise capital and to the parties acting as their agents in such transactions. However, there is a useful simplification that can be applied in Canada to provide some clarity for issuers - based on the criteria below securities issuers fall into two broad categories:
The Canadian Securities Administrators (“CSA’) have made the harmonization of the registration rules among the jurisdictions of Canada a key goal. Pursuant to this goal new national securities regulations have been drafted - NI 31-103 to provide uniform requirements and categories of registration for dealers in exempt market securities across the country.
The Investor Protections and Improvements to the Regulation of Securities is a United States Act of Congress, which forms Title IX, sections 901 to 991 of the much broader and larger Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. Its main purpose is to revise the powers and structure of the Securities and Exchange Commission, credit rating organizations, and the relationships between customers and broker-dealers or investment advisers. This title calls for various studies and reports from the SEC and Government Accountability Office (GAO). This title contains nine subtitles.
The Listing Rules (LR) are a set of regulations applicable to any company listed on a United Kingdom stock exchange, subject to the oversight of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The Listing Rules set out mandatory standards for any company wishing to list its shares or securities for sale to the public, including principles on executive pay and the requirement to comply or explain noncompliance with the UK Corporate Governance Code, the requirements of information in a prospectus before an initial public offering of shares, new share offers, rights issues, disclosure of price sensitive information, or takeover bids for companies.