S.E.C. Reviews IPO Rules (WSJ)

Facebook’s botched IPO and the JOBS Act could prompt a change to ‘quiet period’ regulations.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is rethinking “quiet period” rules that dictate what companies can say in the run-up to initial public offerings, according to a letter sent by Mary Shapiro, the agency’s chairman, to Rep. Darrell Issa of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the Wall Street Journal reports.

During Facebook’s IPO, smaller investors lacked information and analysis regarding the company’s prospects that were available to the large clients of certain banks. The SEC also has yet to make changes to its policies required by the JOBS Act, which aims to jumpstart capital-raising. 

The quiet period is designed to prevent company executives from over-hyping their stock. It allows communication with clients, but not publication of research. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has called for changes in IPO regulations. While companies would likely embrace a softening of quiet period rules, Shapiro has said that the quiet period does offer benefits and that publicly available documents provide adequate information for investors.

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