I was looking for stock options for the largest companies that actively trade on the OTC market. For example, options on Tencent Holding Ltd. (TCEHY), Roche Holding Ltd (RHHBY), Nintendo Co., Ltd. (NTDOY), etc. I tried to look up their stock option chains, but to my surprise, they do not have options. I also checked on CBOE, and it appears that they only allow options that have NYSE or NASDAQ stocks as underlying. I want to ask if this is the case for all OTC stocks. Is it the case that none of the OTC stocks have options?

Reasons for asking:

  • From my observations, it appears that CBOE only has options for stocks listed on NYSE and NASDAQ, but not for OTC stocks. I want to know if this is really the case.
  • There could be options on OTC stocks that trade on other exchanges (e.g. NYSE ARCA, NASDAQ OMX PHLX, NASDAQ OMX BX, etc.). I want to know if options on OTC stocks exist on exchanges other than CBOE.
  • Options on OTC stocks did exist in the past (see: Trading in Options on O-T-C Stocks Begins on 4 Exchanges). I want to know if the situation has completely changed.

1 Answer 1


Regarding your link, here's some generic info. You'll have to google for the exact timeline.

Historically, OTC generically referred to securities that weren't listed on major exchanges (AMEX and NYSE) and were traded between two counterparties on the over-the-counter markets (OTC).

Prior to 2000, the National Quotation Bureau (NQB) provided quotes for stocks and bonds which were printed on pink paper, hence the name Pink Sheets and Yellow Sheets.

Back in the day, the NASDAQ was commonly referred to as the OTC market. However, OTC is very different today as it is comprised of 3 exchanges: OTCQX, OCTQB, and the Pink Sheets. So what your link describes as the OTC market in 1985 isn't what the OTC market is today.

Regarding options, the CBOE has several rules for listing. First and foremost is that the security must be listed on the NYSE, AMEX or NASDAQ. If the security is delisted, so too are the options. That means that no new option series will be added and existing options will continue to trade until they expire.

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