Canada securities regulator cuts fees for some smaller issuers

TORONTO Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:05pm EST

TORONTO Feb 20 (Reuters) - Canada's largest securities regulator said on Thursday it will soon cut fees for some struggling smaller companies, good news for Canada's hard-hit mineral exploration sector and other issuers facing lower revenues and cheaper valuations.

The fee relief could range between C$235 and C$17,275 ($210 and $15,600) for registered firms and between C$160 and C$13,150 for reporting issuers, the Ontario Securities Commission said. It said most would get relief at the low end of those ranges.

"We are confident that this targeted relief is appropriate and responsive to the difficulties faced by some of our stakeholders," OSC Executive Director Maureen Jensen said.

A slump in metal prices and a spike in costs has led many investors to shun the junior miners that help make Canada a center of global mining finance, and many are now badly short on cash.

Applicants for the relief must present their claims by the end of March. The OSC will review the fee rule, accept public comments and possibly tweak the rule later this year.