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Qualified Institutional Buyer (or QIB) is a legal designation assigned to a purchaser of securities who meets a certain minimum level of sophistication, size and market savvy with respect to complicated or risky securities. Issuers and their banks may elect to market private placement, stock or bond offerings only to QIB clients as a means to save time and transaction costs. The United States Securities and Exchange Commission defined the QIB designation in Rule 144a of the Securities Act of 1933. Rule 144a defines a QIB as a firm meeting a minimum threshold of $100M in discretionary securities investments. As well a firm with the QIB designation must operate as a qualifying business type such as an insurance company, pension plan, investment firm, investment advisory, etc. QIB investors are eligible to access certain capital raising deals that are marketed to rule 144a customers only. Securities regulators in other countries have variations of the QIB status, however SEC rule 144a is very characteristic of the global QIB standard.

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