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Regulatory rollercoaster: Five key developments you need to know

What legislative shifts do you need to watch in the coming months? We highlight some notable regulatory developments in NorthAmerica, from delistings in New York to data protection in Virginia.

China’s largest offshore oil producer, CNOOC, appears to be the next company to be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under an executive order signed by former President Donald Trump in November 2020, according to a recent NYSE statement (February 26). Trading will be suspended on March 9, 2021, though the issuer has a right to a review of the determination.
President Joe Biden’s administration has signaled it currently intends to go ahead with a Trump-era rule to secure the IT supply chain next month—a move that gives the Department of Commerce (DOC) broad authority to prohibit transactions involving “foreign adversaries,” according to Bloomberg. The DOC is accepting public comments on the plan until March 22, the same day it becomes effective. The final rule may be issued at some future date, according to a Commerce spokesperson.
Robinhood has disclosed, in a February 26 regulatory filing, that it is being investigated by several authorities about the temporary trading rules it imposed during a rally in shorted stocks earlier this year. The company says it is responding to inquiries from the SEC, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the New York Attorney General’s Office, among others. Robinhood Securities and Robinhood Financial were said to be in talks with FINRA to resolve matters related to their options trading practices. A settlement could lead to losses of at least US$26.6 million.
On March 2, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) named climate-related risks, fintech and conflicts of interest for brokers and investment advisors as priorities for the agency’s examination team in 2021. This announcement follows a February 24 statement from the SEC’s acting chair, Allison Lee, that revealed the agency will review its guidelines on how publicly-traded companies should disclose climate change-related risks to investors.
Governor Ralph Northam signed a data privacy bill into law on March 2, making Virginia the second state in the country to adopt state-level data protection rules, according to a Washington Post report. The law, known as the Consumer Data Protection Act, had broad support from the tech industry and will allow residents of the commonwealth to opt out of having their data collected and sold. The law does not allow citizens to bring private causes of action under the law and instead leaves enforcement to the state’s attorney general.