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February 1, 2004

Bringing Penny Stocks Up to Date

By Gregory Bresiger

The definition of a penny stock, last updated over a decade ago, would be changed under rules revisions pending with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Under the proposed amendments, 3a51-1, penny stock exclusions would be revised. One of the permitted exclusions, under the new rules, would allow an exchange registered security to qualify if "the exchange on which it is registered has been continuously registered since the Commission initially adopted the penny stock rules," according to the SEC.

Nevertheless, the SEC notes that despite moves towards more transparent penny stock markets - a market which often attracts the sharks - "a persistent pattern of abuse continues to exist with regard to the trading of these low-priced, thinly-traded securities."