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SEC CHAIRMAN BREEDEN SOUNDS BELL TO USHER IN NEW EMERGING COMPANY MARKETPLACE AT AMERICAN STOCK EXCHANGE; 22 COMPANIES IN INITIAL GROUP

 SEC CHAIRMAN BREEDEN SOUNDS BELL TO USHER IN NEW EMERGING COMPANY MARKETPLACE AT AMERICAN STOCK EXCHANGE; 22 COMPANIES IN INITIAL GROUP
 NEW YORK, March 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Twenty two emerging companies moved into a new home today when Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Richard C. Breeden banged a gavel against the opening bell to usher in the new Emerging Company Marketplace(SM) (ECM/SM/) at the American Stock Exchange, it was announced today.
 Surrounded by Exchange officials and chief executives of the 22 charter ECM companies, Breeden and American Stock Exchange Chairman James R. Jones briefly addressed more than 2,000 brokers, trading floor personnel and Amex employees from the trading floor rostrum before the opening.
 The sound of the bell signaled the moment that opened the Exchange's doors, services and auction market advantages for the first time to small companies that don't currently meet the Exchange's regular listing standards.
 Companies of the Future
 At a news conference earlier, Jones called ECM companies "the companies of our future. They have adopted a long-term approach, and their vision is precisely the one shared by the American Stock Exchange, our specialists, our blue ribbon panel of advisors and by investors who decide to invest in these stocks. We believe we can help them grow."
 Jones said the ECM will utilize the auction market system which provides companies with an efficient pricing mechanism, tight quote spreads, last sale reporting, short sale protection, liquidity and depth, trade-to-trade continuity, and stable and transparent markets "where supply and demand can be seen by all participants, and where the public is always represented and has both protection and priority."
 The ECM trading will use the same technological advantages of all regular Amex-listed stocks which, Jones said, "offers a superb trading system and a very fair market for investors."
 The Amex chairman said the creation of the ECM market is not a competitive issue with the over-the-counter market, but rather "a competitive issue between the United States and the rest of the world. These companies, if they can grow, will provide more jobs for Americans and growth for our economy. They are our economic hope for the future."
 Drives the Economy
 Jones said "these are the companies that truly drive our economy: They employ more than half our labor force, produce about half of our gross domestic product, and are the key to our new technology and productivity growth."
 The ECM grew out of a concept Jones began to fashion while serving as a Congressman from Oklahoma. During that time he recognized the necessity to service small, but high growth companies with the quality markets, high visibility and services they need during critical periods of development. "I was frustrated by what I saw as complacency in both the public and private sector to helping smaller business raise the capital they so badly need to grow. Thanks to leaders like Richard Breeden, this has begun to change," Jones said.
 A formal proposal to create the ECM was submitted by the Amex to the Securities and Exchange Commission in the fall of 1991 and approved by the SEC earlier this month.
 Companies selected for the ECM must pass two screenings -- the first being a quantitative one to determine if the company meets the ECM's numerical criteria. A second evaluation is made by a blue-ribbon panel of top-ranked industry analysts, portfolio managers and professional traders which assesses the companies on a qualitative basis as to their long-term growth potential and investor interest. The use of the panel for a second evaluation is unique to the ECM.
 -0- 3/18/92
 /CONTACT: Sarah Luke, 212-306-1650, or Bob Shabazian, 212-306-1630, both of the American Stock Exchange/ CO: American Stock Exchange ST: New York IN: FIN SU: PDT


TS -- NY018 -- 9129 03/18/92 10:05 EST
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Date:Mar 18, 1992
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