What Is Delisting And Why Does It Happen?

What Is Delisting And Why Does It Happen?

Financial assets enter the market all the time, which improves variety and adds liquidity to the market. However, while exchanges may admit new issuers for trading, they can also bar them from being listed. 

Major exchanges, especially stock exchanges like the NYSE and Nasdaq, pride themselves on the reputation of offering some of the most sought-after investments to the equities market.

This means that acquiring a listing on either of them comes with capital requirements. When a listed company fails to meet these requirements, they may get delisted. 

Delisting is the process of an exchange removing the securities of an issuer that has failed to comply with the rules and guidelines set by the exchange. 

When a delisting happens, the securities are often shifted to the OTC markets, where they have far less liquidity and market exposure available to them. 

If you are a beginner trader and would like to know more about the process of delisting and the possible reasons behind it, this Investfox guide is for you. 

Delisting Process Steps

In most cases, when an issuer violates key guidelines set by the exchange, they will get a notice that will include certain measures they can take and other recommendations from the exchange administration. 

If the issuer continuously fails to comply, the exchange can go through with the delisting process, which generally goes like this:

  • Notification: Typically, the exchange will provide advance notice to traders and investors about the impending delisting, along with the reasons for it
  • Trading Halt: Trading in the asset may be halted temporarily to prevent further trading while the delisting process is underway
  • Liquidation: Depending on the circumstances, the exchange may provide guidance on how traders can sell or liquidate their holdings before the delisting date
  • Withdrawal: Following delisting, investors might have a window of time during which they can withdraw or transfer their assets to another exchange or wallet
  • Final Delisting: The asset is officially removed from the exchange's listing, and trading ceases. It may be completely removed from the exchange's platform

Reasons For Delisting

The reasons behind a delisting can vary greatly. Each exchange may have different rules and requirements to issuers.

In some scenarios, issuers may not even violate any particular provisions of the exchange, but the exchange still maintains the right to notify and delist a particular security. 

Low Trading Activity

When a listed security does not attract much interest from market participants, their trading volume is likely to remain low, which may not comply with the daily average trading volume requirements of the exchange. 

Exchanges need continuous liquidity to maintain their competitive edge, which is not possible by maintaining many listings that do not generate interest from traders. 

Financial Troubles

If the issuer of an asset faces financial difficulties or goes bankrupt, the exchange may choose to delist the asset due to concerns about its financial health.

In some cases, companies will try to arrange an acquisition to take the company private after a third entity buys out all of the shares from the exchange.

Security Concerns & Sanctions

If there are security breaches, vulnerabilities, or fraud associated with an asset, the exchange may delist it to protect investors.

In the case of international sanctions, securities that are listed on foreign exchanges may be halted or delisted after investors sell off in panic. 

Issuer’s Request

In some cases, the issuer of the asset may request delisting. This might occur if they decide to restructure or discontinue the asset.

In some cases, issuers may decide that a public listing is not as advantageous to them anymore. 

Regulatory Issues

Regulatory changes or violations can lead to the delisting of an asset. If an asset doesn't comply with the exchange's listing requirements or regulatory standards, it may be removed.

Key Takeaways From What Is Delisting And Why Does It Happen

  • Delistings from an exchange happen when the issuer fails to comply with the rules and requirements set by the exchange
  • Major exchanges, such as Nasdaq and the NYSE, have stringent requirements when it comes to price, trading volume, and market capitalization of their listings 
  • Exchanges will give issuers early notices about a violation and give them a certain amount of time to fix the issue. If the issuer continuously fails to resolve the issue, the exchange reserves the right to delist 

FAQs On What Is Delisting

How does delisting work in trading?

Delisting in trading involves the removal of a financial asset (e.g., stock, bond, or cryptocurrency) from a particular exchange. It can occur for various reasons, including low trading volume, regulatory issues, or financial troubles. Delisted assets are no longer available for trading on that exchange.

Why do some stocks get delisted?

Some stocks get delisted due to reasons like low trading volume, financial troubles, regulatory issues, security breaches, or inactivity. Exchanges delist stocks to maintain market integrity and protect investors, and issuers may request delisting for strategic reasons.

What happens when a stock is delisted?

When a stock is delisted, it is removed from the exchange where it was traded, and trading in that stock ceases on that exchange. Shareholders may have options to sell their shares in other markets or through over-the-counter transactions. Delisted stocks often face reduced liquidity and may be harder to trade.