CEO Council Announces Opposition to the Proposed Termination of the Over The Counter Bulletin Board

Action is Not in the Public Interest of Small Companies and Shareholders

Forest Hills, New York, UNITED STATES


WASHINGTON, Sept. 19, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- The CEO Council, a newly formed non-profit association representing senior management of the nation's fastest-growing small public companies, announced today its opposition to the proposed termination of the Over the Counter Bulletin Board, or OTCBB, now scheduled by Nasdaq for 2003.

Steven Crane, Chief Executive Officer of CorpHQ, and a director of the advocate group, has been authorized by the Council's board and membership to ask Nasdaq, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Congress to hold off on any decision until an economic impact study can be completed showing the effects of the plan on the approximately 2,000 public companies not expected to qualify for the new "BBX" exchange as well as their shareholders.

"The loss of liquidity for these small companies and their shareholders is not in the public interest," said Crane. "We hope to aggressively advocate the retention of the OTCBB until a suitable replacement for the trading platform can be introduced."

The Penny Stock Reform Act of 1990 mandated the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to establish an electronic system that met the requirements of Section 17B of the Exchange Act. The Council is not opposed to the BBX, but believes the planned elimination of the OTCBB violates Congressional intent to "provide transparency in the OTC equities market."

The Council's Chair, Gerald Kern, Chief Executive Officer of Meditech Pharmaceuticals, said he expects the public interest consideration to prevail so that "everyone -- including the SEC, Nasdaq, the BBX-listees and the shareholders of OTCBB companies -- will win in the end."

The CEO Council Board and membership have endorsed the Council's advocacy on this issue. Additionally, a white paper just issued by Brad Smith, a member of Nasdaq's advisory committee on small issuers, is supportive of the Council's efforts. The White Paper has been posted on the Internet for public viewing at http://www.investrend.com/councilpubhearings.htm.

Crane said the proposal will advance next week in three venues: the BBX Forum (http://www.bbxchange.com) scheduled September 24 in New York; the CEO Summit scheduled September 25 in Washington; and the SEC Forum on Small Business scheduled September 26-27 in Arlington, Va.

About the CEO Council

The CEO Council, a newly formed non-profit association representing senior management of the nation's fastest-growing small public companies, is hosting its first annual CEO Summit on September 25 in The Great Hall of the historic Charles Sumner School Museum in Washington. More information about the CEO Council and the upcoming CEO Summit, as well as the SEC Forum on Small Business, can be found at www.ceocouncil.net.



        

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