Today is the first trading day of 2023 and shareholders of Meta Materials Preferred Shares (MMTLP) have still not yet received their shares of Next Bridge Hydrocarbons. Previously, Meta Materials (NASDAQ:MMAT) had stated that the date of record would be on Dec. 12, followed by the distribution date on Dec. 14. Following the distribution, Next Bridge would then operate as an independent public reporting company and not be tradable.
Now, shareholders of MMTLP are pinning the blame on American Stock Transfer (AST) Financial, the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) and various brokerages through social media.
AST operates as transfer agent with over 45 years of experience. The company processes more than 1.1 million transactions per year for participants in 150-plus countries. According to a WeBull representative, AST was responsible for distributing the shares of Next Bridge. Apex Clearing registered the shares.
MMAT Stock: What Is AST and Why Do MMTLP Investors Care?
According to another WeBull representative, AST has notified Apex that they have already delivered the shares to the DTCC. On Dec. 30, a representative stated that DTCC is “currently shipping new certificates of Next Bridge Hydrocarbons to all participants/member firms, including APEX.” The representative added that there is a “special way” to transfer the shares called Apex Transfer & Ship that carries a $235 fee.
It appears that Fidelity is offering a special way to receive shares as well, although with a lesser fee of $100. The brokerage added that it would take between three to five days to complete the transfer. However, shareholders have voiced their disapproval at the thought of paying additional fees in an already controversial situation.
Meanwhile, a Robinhood (NASDAQ:HOOD) representative explained to a different customer that the shares are currently held at AST in Robinhood’s name. When asked if Robinhood could transfer the shares, the representative said there was “no guaranteed timeframe” for re-registration to the customer’s name. They also said Robinhood would no longer be responsible for the shares following a transfer.
This certainly isn’t an uplifting way to start the new year for MMTLP stock shareholders. Despite the delay, it seems likely that the companies behind the situation will work together to resolve things.
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On the date of publication, Eddie Pan did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.