Athens Bancshares in Tennessee has decided to delist its stock from Nasdaq and deregister with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company's board made the decision because, it said, the regulatory costs exceeded the benefit of being an SEC registrant on a big exchange. It has the option to deregister since it has fewer than 1,200 stockholders of record.

The resulting expense reductions will allow management "to focus on the company's core-banking operations as opposed to spending considerable time and expense to comply with SEC-reporting requirements," the company said in a news release Wednesday.

Athens' last day of trading on Nasdaq will be on or about Dec. 18, and its deregistration is expected to take effect in late March.

The company also plans to trade its shares on the OTCQX Market under the ticker "AFCB," beginning Dec. 21.

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