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How an Uplisting Works

Questions I've received about the timing of the potential uplisting of Biostar Pharmaceuticals (BSPM - Get Report), one of my two favorite potential uplisting plays, makes it clear to me that many people hold a number of misconceptions about uplistings.

So let me post a few facts in response to specific questions people have had. Some of the questions have related to Biostar specifically and some to uplistings in general.

The complete rules for listing on the Nasdaq can be found here.

Fact No. 1. Uplisting isn't automatic. After a company meets all of the requirements for an uplisting, including financial requirements, corporate governance requirements and share price, it is still up to Nasdaq or Amex to give final approval. Sometimes, as in the case of SinoCoking ( SCOK), this happens almost immediately. Other times, as in the case of Subaye (SBAY), it can take a number of weeks. The conclusions are that timing on uplistings is uncertain, timing depends entirely on Nasdaq approval, and it pays to be patient. Because I missed out on the massive Sinocoking run and a few others, I typically try to get in early and then be patient rather than waiting until it is too late.

Fact No. 2. The required share price to uplist to Nasdaq is $4. The price is determined by the bid price, not the closing price, of the stock. In April 2009, Nasdaq lowered its share price threshold to $4 from $5. This was presumably due to the impact that the financial crisis had on share prices, but could also be seen as a move to take some business from the Amex exchange. Both the Amex and the Nasdaq charge substantial listing fees to companies for listing on their exchanges and both are eager to maximize revenue. Amex has a lower required share price of $2 to $3 for an uplisting.

The requirements for an Amex listing can be found here.

The reason that the bid is used instead of the closing price is that the bid more accurately reflects demand for the stock and is hard to manipulate, unlike the closing price, which can be influenced by a single trade. However, if the closing share price of a company is right at $4, then chances are that its closing bid was below $4. So looking at share-price histories alone can be misleading.
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