DEFINITION of 'OTC Markets Group Inc.'
The owner and operator of the leading U.S. inter-dealer electronic quotation and trading system for over-the-counter (OTC) securities. OTC Markets Group provides marketplaces for trading 10,000 OTC securities, making it the third-largest U.S. equity trading forum. It provides services in three core areas that are essential for better-informed and more efficient financial markets – Issuer Services, Trading Services and Market Data Services. Most OTC securities trading in the U.S. is conducted on the company’s OTC Link platform, an alternative trading system registered with the SEC as a broker-dealer. OTC Markets Group has its headquarters in New York City and is publicly traded on OTCQX under the symbol OTCM.
BREAKING DOWN 'OTC Markets Group Inc.'
OTC Markets Group has been focusing on the “Open, Transparent and Connected” nature of its financial marketplaces to dispel the negative perception of OTC stocks. One of its initiatives was to organize the 10,000 international and U.S. OTC securities that trade on it into three tiers, based on the quality and quantity of the companies’ information and disclosure.
The three-tiered financial marketplaces created and operated by the OTC Markets Group are: OTCQX, the top tier and the best marketplace for companies that fulfill qualification criteria; OTCQB, the venture stage marketplace for smaller or early-stage companies that report to a U.S. regulator; and OTC Pink, the lowest of the three tiers.
OTC Markets Group was formed in 1997 when a group of investors acquired its predecessor business, the National Quotation Bureau. In 2003, the company launched the electronic platform for OTC securities that later became OTC Link.