Hot Topic: Coronavirus
Potential impacts of coronavirus on SEC issuers

Background and SEC Chairman statement

Stock markets around the world have started to react to uncertainties around the economic impacts of
the coronavirus. On February 3, Chinese markets dropped sharply when they reopened after an
extended Lunar New Year holiday. Global markets have also seen decreases in value and are
experiencing volatility in asset prices, currency exchange rates and commodities indices.
Several countries have banned travel to and from China. Many companies have suspended operations
in China until further notice, and cross-border business transactions with China-based companies have
been impacted. These disruptions to business operations and economic activity in China have had a
cascading effect on both upstream and downstream supply chains.
In a public statement on January 30, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton stated that:

— he has asked the SEC staff to monitor and, as necessary or appropriate, provide guidance and
other assistance to issuers regarding disclosures on current and potential effects of the
— he acknowledges that impacts may be difficult to assess at this time; and
— how an issuer plans for an uncertainty and how it responds to current events can be material to an
investment decision.

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