Try­ing to coax IPOs

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - ONLINE EXTRA -

Stanch­ing the de­cline in public stock of­fer­ings and mak­ing it more at­trac­tive for com­pa­nies to go public is high on the Se­cu­ri­ties and Ex­change Com­mis­sion’s agenda un­der its new chair­man.

The de­cline in IPOs in re­cent years, es­pe­cially for smaller com­pa­nies, has sparked con­ster­na­tion in Wall Street cir­cles and among some Repub­li­can law­mak­ers. They say bur­den­some reg­u­la­tions on public com­pa­nies are largely to blame.

More com­pa­nies are turn­ing to the pri­vate mar­kets to raise cap­i­tal or opt­ing to stay pri­vate.

That means fewer op­por­tu­ni­ties for or­di­nary Amer­i­cans to share in the econ­omy’s growth, SEC chief Jay Clay­ton (shown) said re­cently. He said the SEC is look­ing at ways to make it more en­tic­ing for com­pa­nies to tap the public mar­kets, while still main­tain­ing in­vestor pro­tec­tions.

Clay­ton, a Wall Street lawyer named by Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump to head the mar­ket watch­dog agency, has worked on nu­mer­ous deals tak­ing com­pa­nies public.

The SEC warns the public that IPOs can be risky and spec­u­la­tive, and it’s im­por­tant to read an of­fer­ing’s prospec­tus in de­cid­ing whether to in­vest.

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