In corporate finance, a listing refers to the company's shares being on the list (or board) of stock that are officially traded on a stock exchange. Some stock exchanges allow shares of a foreign company to be listed and may allow dual listing, subject to conditions.
Normally the issuing company is the one that applies for a listing but in some countries[which?] an exchange can list a company, for instance because its stock is already being traded via informal channels.
Each stock exchange has its own listing requirements or rules. Initial listing requirements usually include supplying a history of a few years of financial statements (not required for "alternative" markets targeting young firms); a sufficient size of the amount being placed among the general public (the free float), both in absolute terms and as a percentage of the total outstanding stock; an approved prospectus, usually including opinions from independent assessors, and so on.
The listing requirements imposed by some stock exchanges include:
Delisting refers to the practice of removing the stock of a company from a stock exchange so that investors can no longer trade shares of the stock on that exchange. This typically occurs when a company goes out of business, declares bankruptcy, no longer satisfies the listing rules of the stock exchange, or has become a private company after a merger or acquisition, or wants to reduce regulatory reporting complexities and overhead, or if the stock volumes on the exchange from which it wishes to delist are not significant. Delisting does not necessarily mean a change in company's core strategy.
In the United States, securities which have been delisted from a major exchange for reasons other than going private or liquidating may be traded on over-the-counter markets like the OTC Bulletin Board or the Pink Sheets.