The Spread of COVID-19 Has Caused Massive Volume Spikes In Securities On OTC Markets

The following post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga’s in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to dramatic changes in market behavior, as traders and investors try to grapple with the short-term and long-term implications of a pandemic.

Dollar trading volume on the two top tiers of OTC Markets—the OTCQX Best and OTCQB Venture Markets—rose 15% and 14% respectively in March, the largest month-over-month increases since the end of 2018.

The Most Active Securities

The wide-reaching effects of the spread of COVID-19 coupled with a temporary oil price war between Russia and Saudi America created a whirlwind effect in which individual securities across the entire market universe experienced massive month-over-month volume increases.

On the OTCQX Market, Roche Holding Ltd RHHBY was the most actively traded name by a factor of four, with over $4 million worth of shares trading hands. The company is currently involved in the race to develop a treatment for the novel coronavirus and has begun enrolling patients in a trial for its arthritis drug Actemra as a treatment. The Swiss pharmaceutical giant has also started shipping 400,000 coronavirus test kits per week to the U.S.

Not to be outdone, Dutch grocery conglomerate Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize N.V. ADRNY (owners of Giant, Stop & Shop, Food Lion, and delivery service Peapod) saw a 423% dollar volume increase in March as American shoppers flocked to stores to stock up on goods. Other food names like French company Danone DANOY and Brazilian meat producer JBS S.A. JBSAY also saw large monthly increases. JBS, the world’s largest meat producer, has been more directly affected by the outbreak than some of its peers. The company recently announced it was shutting down its Colorado operations through April 24 in an effort to contain the spread of the virus among employees.

Overall, 12 of the 15 most actively traded securities on the OTCQX Market in March experienced dramatic volume increases. The only exceptions were the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust GBTC (volume down 23%), AXA AXA (up 3%) and Imperial Brands IMBBY (up 3%).

On the OTCQB Best Market—a market occupied by more early-stage companies—increased interest in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries resulted in volume spikes in a number of names not normally among the most active securities.

Todos Medical Ltd. TOMDF, an Israeli cancer diagnostic company working to bring rapid testing COVID-19 kits to the U.S., experienced a large increase in dollar volume in March. A 97% volume increase in CytoDyn Inc. CYDY was the result of the company gaining media attention for the use of leronlimab, its HIV and cancer drug, to treat severely ill COVID-19 patients.

Other small-cap names in the sector like Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, Inc. KBLB, Innovation Pharmaceuticals Inc. IPIX, and Medicenna Therapeutics Corp. MDNAF also experienced large volume increases.

Galaxy Next Generation, Inc. GAXY, a manufacturer of interactive learning solutions, experienced a volume increase as the nationwide closure of schools forced the U.S. education system into remote learning.

These were the top 15 most actively traded securities on the OTCQX and OTCQB markets in March.


Company Name Country March Dollar Volume
Roche Holding Ltd (OTCQX: RHHBY) Switzerland $4,292,701,839
Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (BTC) GBTC U.S. $966,520,599
Danone (OTCQX: DANOY) France $636,426,557
adidas AG (OTCQX: ADDYY) Germany $509,380,007
BNP Paribas (OTCQX: BNPQY) France $293,821,287
BASF SE (OTCQX: BASFY) Germany $269,913,731
Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize N.V. ADRNY The Netherlands $254,445,878
Infineon Technologies AG (OTCQX: IFNNY) Germany $198,546,695
AXA AXAHY France $195,093,983
Imperial Brands PLC (OTCQX: IMBBY) United Kingdom $194,119,464
Anglo American plc (OTCQX: NGLOY) United Kingdom $150,792,518
Experian plc EXPGY Ireland $141,639,182
Deutsche Telekom AG (OTCQX: DTEGY) Germany $136,320,317
Zurich Insurance Group Ltd (OTCQX: ZURVY) Switzerland $130,813,531
Heineken N.V.  HEINY The Netherlands $125,517,841


Company Country March Dollar Volume
Fannie Mae FNMA U.S. $375,064,234
CytoDyn Inc. CYDY U.S. $210,731,090
Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) U.S. $167,663,667
TOMI Environmental Solutions, Inc. (OTCQB: TOMZ) U.S. $42,400,173
Semler Scientific, Inc. (OTCQB: SMLR) U.S. $20,569,599
Farmers & Merchants Bank of Long Beach (CA) (OTCQB: FMBL) U.S. $15,383,379
Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, Inc. (OTCQB: KBLB) U.S. $15,200,675
Innovation Pharmaceuticals Inc. (OTCQB: IPIX) U.S. $11,206,896
CV Sciences, Inc. (OTCQB: CVSI) U.S. $10,363,956
Generex Biotechnology Corp. (OTCQB: GNBT) U.S. $10,167,977
Todos Medical Ltd. (OTCQB: TOMDF) Israel $7,669,258
Galaxy Next Generation, Inc. (OTCQB: GAXY) U.S. $6,523,224
Medicenna Therapeutics Corp. (OTCQB: MDNAF) Canada $6,211,464
Q BioMed Inc. (OTCQB: QBIO) U.S. $6,168,729
Northwest Biotherapeutics, Inc. (OTCQB: NWBO) U.S. $6,035,470

The preceding post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga’s in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga. Although the piece is not and should not be construed as editorial content, the sponsored content team works to ensure that any and all information contained within is true and accurate to the best of their knowledge and research. This content is for informational purposes only and not intended to be investing advice.

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