On August 14, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved a rule change which will now require New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)-listed companies to provide notice to the NYSE at least 10 minutes prior to any public announcement regarding dividends or stock distributions, whether or not such notice would be made after NYSE trading hours. The prior rule (under Sec. 202.06 of the NYSE Manual) limited the 10-minute prior notice requirement to public announcements made between 7:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. ET. The prior notice requirement enables the NYSE to determine whether to temporarily halt trading as a result of impending dividends or distributions. In support of the rule change, the NYSE previously stated “if the [NYSE] is provided dividend information prior to its public availability, [NYSE] staff will be able to address any issues that may arise in relation to any announcement of a dividend or stock distribution.”

Text of the rule change approval is available here.