U.S. Approves NYSE Listing Plan to Cut out Wall St Middlemen

Companies can raise capital on the New York Stock Exchange through direct listings, without losing gains if their stock pops or forking out hefty fees to Wall Street banks, which typically underwrite such capital raisings, the U.S. securities regulator said on Tuesday.

The Securities and Exchange Commissions approval of the NYSEs direct listing plan threatens to overhaul the U.S. initial public offering market, by allowing aspiring public companies to sell shares directly to investors.

Investment banks have for decades organized IPOs, marketed them to institutions and supported the stock via their trading desks.

The change, following months of industry haggling, will help reduce what critics call excessive underwriter fees, a major barrier to companies looking to go public. It is especially important to technology companies and startups, both of which would stand to gain greatly from the new SEC ruling.

This is a game changer for our capital markets, leveling the playing field for everyday investors and providing companies with another path to go public at a moment when they are seeking just this type of innovation, NYSE President Stacey Cunningham said in a statement.

Lev Bagramian, an advocate of the Washingtonbased Better Markets, said while many have falsely blamed certain proinvestor regulations as too costly for companies that are considering going public, the real cost has been the average 7 or higher for smaller issuers that issuers pay to big Wall Street…

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