On February 12, the Alberta Securities Commission issued a blanket order making available certain limited trade-based registration exemptions to persons who would otherwise be required to register as exempt market dealers in Alberta. As previously discussed, with the implementation of the new registration regime and National Instrument 31-103 Registration Requirements and Exemptions, trade-based registration exemptions that parallel prospectus exemptions available under National Instrument 45-106 Prospectus and Registration Exemptions are to be repealed on March 27, 2010.
Pursuant to the blanket order, effective March 27, 2010, an exemption from the EMD registration requirement will be available for persons trading in securities in reliance on certain prospectus exemptions under NI 45-106, specifically, section 2.3 ("accredited investor"), section 2.5 ("family, friends and business associates"), section 2.9 ("offering memorandum") and section 2.10 ("minimum investment amount").
The blanket order, however, applies only where certain conditions are met. Specifically, the person or company seeking to rely on the exemption: (i) must not be registered or required to be registered in any jurisdiction, including a foreign jurisdiction; (ii) must not have provided advice to the purchaser with respect to suitability; (iii) must obtain from the purchaser a signed risk acknowledgement in the form prescribed by the blanket order; (iv) must not have provided financial services to the purchaser at any time (other than in connection with a prospectus-exempt distribution under sections 2.3, 2.5, 2.9 or 2.10 of NI 45-106); (v) must not hold or have access to the purchaser's assets; and (vi) must electronically file with the ASC a current or updated information report in the prescribed form within ten days of relying on the exemption. A notice issued along with the blanket order provides additional guidance with respect to the applicable requirements.
Alberta, which is the first of the "North West" jurisdictions to issue such a blanket order, is expected to be joined by British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the Yukon Territory, whose regulators have announced their intention to issue similar orders.
For more information on the impact of the new registration regime on dealers trading in the exempt market, see our July 2009 publication: "Impact on Limited Market Dealers and Unregistered Dealers Trading in the Exempt Market".