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July 27, 2005

Nasdaq's OTCBB Gift to NASD

By Gregory Bresiger

(Traders Magazine, July 2005) -- Nasdaq's bothersome OTCBB Bulletin Board, never a big money maker, will be handed over to the NASD. That's once the Nasdaq exchange application is approved, sources told Traders Magazine.

"It's the easiest thing for the regulators to do. The regulatory upside is just to turn the OTCBB into a portal," said a trading executive who had been trying to obtain control of the bulletin board operation.

This executive stressed that the regulators would have been criticized if they had sold the bulletin board to a private group.

One of the terms of Nasdaq's exchange approval, which is expected soon, will require it to give up control of the OTCBB.

The NASD, in a filing on SRO reform earlier this year, said that after Nasdaq is divested it will, "operate a system for all residual equity securities, including the OTCBB Bulletin Board."

Neither Nasdaq nor NASD officials responded to repeated requests for comment from Traders Magazine.