CSO struggles to keep up with red tape in fundraising boom

The market watchdog had to extend its review deadlines by days or even weeks

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Companies raise so much capital that Canada’s leading securities regulator can’t handle all the paperwork, slowing the review of applications for everything from share sales to take-over bids.

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The Ontario Securities Commission is extending the review deadlines for certain offering documents, compliance reviews and applications by days or even weeks, the regulator said in a statement.

The move comes as capital raising “continues to grow at an extraordinary rate”, with prospectus volumes increasing 30% year over year, the commission said. The OSC expects to process more than 800 prospectuses next year, more than double the number received in 2019.

Canadian companies and fund managers raised liquidity amid low interest rates and high market valuations. Sales of Canadian dollar corporate bonds shattered the previous annual record of $ 109 billion in early November, as companies sought to raise money before borrowing costs rose.

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