Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
The Exchange proposes to list and trade Shares of the Fund pursuant to NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600, which governs the listing and trading of Managed Fund Shares on the Exchange. The Shares will be offered by PowerShares Actively Managed Exchange-Traded Fund Trust ("Trust"),
The Fund will be an actively managed exchange-traded fund that will seek to achieve positive total returns in rising or falling markets that are not directly correlated to broad equity or fixed income market returns. The Fund will seek to achieve its investment objective by using a quantitative, rules-based strategy designed to provide returns that correspond to the performance of the S&P 500 Dynamic VEQTOR Index ("Benchmark"). The Fund's Benchmark allocates between equity securities and CBOE Volatility Index futures. The Fund seeks to gain exposure to equity securities contained in the S&P 500 Index, CBOE Volatility Index ("VIX Index") related instruments (as described in more detail below, "VIX Index Related Instruments"), money market instruments, cash, cash equivalents, and futures contracts that track the S&P 500 Index ("E-mini S&P 500 Futures").
The Benchmark is comprised of three types of components at any given time: An equity component, represented by the S&P 500 Index; a volatility component, represented by the S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures Index ("VIX Futures Index"); and cash, represented by the overnight London Interbank Offered Rate.
Following the proprietary formula of Standard & Poor's ("S&P" or "Index Provider"), under normal circumstances (
The Benchmark's allocation to the VIX Futures Index serves as an implied volatility hedge as volatility historically tends to correlate negatively to the performance of the U.S. equity markets (
The U.S. Index Committee of the Index Provider maintains the Benchmark.
The VIX Index is a theoretical calculation and cannot be traded. It is a benchmark index designed to measure the market price of volatility in large cap U.S. stocks over 30 days in the future, and is calculated based on the prices of certain put and call options on the S&P 500 Index. The VIX Index measures the premium paid by investors for certain options linked to the S&P 500 Index. During periods of market instability, the implied level of volatility of the S&P 500 Index typically increases and, consequently, the prices of options linked to the S&P 500 Index typically increase (assuming all other relevant factors remain constant or have negligible changes). This, in turn, causes the level of the VIX Index to increase. The VIX Index historically has had negative correlations to the S&P 500 Index.
The Fund, in accordance with strategy allocation rules provided by the Index Provider, will invest in a combination of equity securities contained in the S&P 500 Index and that are listed on a U.S. securities exchange; VIX Index Related Instruments; money market instruments; cash; cash equivalents; and E-mini S&P 500 Futures that are listed on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange ("CME").
The allocation among the Fund's investments will approximate the allocation among the components of the Benchmark. Accordingly, during periods of low volatility, a greater portion of the Fund's assets will be invested in equity securities, and during periods of increased volatility, a greater portion of the Fund's assets will be invested in VIX Index Related Instruments. However, the Fund will be actively managed, and, although the Fund will seek performance comparable to the Benchmark, the Fund may have a higher or lower exposure to any component within the Benchmark at any time.
VIX Index Related Instruments that the Fund will invest in include listed VIX futures contracts contained in the VIX Futures Index or exchange-traded funds ("ETFs")
Futures contracts on the VIX Index have expirations ranging from the near month consecutively out to the tenth month. Futures on the VIX Index provide investors the ability to invest in forward market volatility based on their view of the future direction or movement of the VIX Index. Because the VIX Index is not a tangible item that can be purchased and sold directly, a futures contract on the VIX Index provides for the payment and receipt of cash based on the level of the VIX Index at settlement or liquidation of the contract.
The Fund may invest a portion of its assets in high-quality money market instruments, cash, and cash equivalents to provide liquidity, to collateralize its futures contracts investments, or to track the Benchmark during times when the Benchmark moves its entire allocation to cash. The instruments in which the Fund may invest include: (i) Short-term obligations issued by the U.S. Government;
The Fund also may invest in E-mini S&P 500 Futures that are listed on the CME. E-mini S&P 500 Futures are futures contracts that track the S&P 500 Index. They are substantially similar to traditional futures contracts on the S&P 500 Index, except that the notional value of E-mini S&P 500 Futures are one-fifth the size of their larger counterpart futures contracts.
The Fund may gain exposure to the VIX Index futures markets through investments in a subsidiary organized in the Cayman Islands ("Subsidiary"). Should the Fund invest in the Subsidiary, that investment may not exceed 25% of the Fund's total assets at the end of each tax year quarter. The Subsidiary would be wholly-owned and controlled by the Fund, and its investments would be consolidated into the Fund's financial statements. The Fund's and Subsidiary's investments would be disclosed on the Fund's Web site on a daily basis. Should the Fund invest in the Subsidiary, it would be expected to provide the Fund with exposure to investment returns from VIX Index futures contracts within the limits of the federal tax requirements applicable to investment companies, such as the Fund.
The Subsidiary would be able to invest in VIX Index futures, as well as other investments that would serve as margin or collateral or otherwise support the Subsidiary's VIX Index futures positions. The Subsidiary would be subject to the same general investment policies and restrictions as the Fund, except that, unlike the Fund (which is subject to Rule 4.5 of the Commodity Exchange Act ("CEA")), the Subsidiary would be able to invest without limitation in VIX Index futures and may use leveraged investment techniques. Otherwise, references to the investment strategies of the Fund for non-equity investments include the investment strategies of the Subsidiary.
The Fund may utilize the Subsidiary, but is not required to do so. If it is utilized, the Subsidiary will not be registered under the 1940 Act. The Fund, as the sole shareholder of the Subsidiary, will not have the protections offered to investors in registered investment companies. However, because the Fund wholly owns and controls the Subsidiary, and the Fund and the Subsidiary will be managed by the Adviser, it is unlikely that the Subsidiary will take action contrary to the interests of the Fund or the Fund's shareholders. The Board of Trustees of the Trust ("Board") will have oversight responsibility for the investment activities of the Fund, including its investment in the Subsidiary, and the Fund's role as the sole shareholder of the Subsidiary. Also, in managing the Subsidiary's portfolio, the Adviser will be subject to the same investment restrictions and operational guidelines that apply to the management of the Fund.
In addition to the VIX Index futures contracts and E-mini S&P 500 Futures that are part of its primary investments, the Fund may enter into other U.S.-listed futures contracts on the S&P 500 Index. The Fund will not use futures for speculative purposes. The Fund will only enter into futures contracts that are traded on U.S. exchanges.
The Fund may invest in stock index contracts, in addition to the E-mini S&P 500 Futures. Stock index contracts are futures based on indices that reflect the market value of common stock of the firms included in the indices. The Fund may enter into U.S.-listed futures contracts to purchase security indices when the Adviser anticipates purchasing the underlying securities and believes prices will rise before the purchase will be made.
To the extent the Fund uses futures it will do so only in accordance with Rule 4.5 of the CEA.
The Fund may enter into repurchase agreements, which are agreements pursuant to which securities are acquired by the Fund from a third party with the understanding that they will be repurchased by the seller at a fixed price on an agreed date. These agreements may be made with respect to any of the portfolio securities in which the Fund is authorized to invest. Repurchase agreements may be characterized as loans secured by the underlying securities. The Fund may enter into repurchase agreements with: (i) Member banks of the Federal Reserve System having total assets in excess of $500 million; and (ii) securities dealers ("Qualified Institutions"). The Adviser will monitor the continued creditworthiness of Qualified Institutions.
The Fund may enter into reverse repurchase agreements, which involve the sale of securities with an agreement to repurchase the securities at an agreed-upon price, date, and interest payment and have the characteristics of borrowing. The securities purchased with the funds obtained from the agreement and securities collateralizing
In addition to the ETFs and ETNs that are listed on U.S. exchanges and provide exposure to the VIX Index, the Fund may invest in the securities of other investment companies (including money market funds) to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act. The Fund also may purchase warrants.
The Fund does not expect to invest in options or enter into swap agreements, including credit default swaps, but may do so if such investments are in the best interests of the Fund's shareholders.
The Fund's investments will be consistent with the Fund's investment objective and will not be used to enhance leverage. The Fund will not invest in equities that are traded over-the-counter ("OTC") or equities listed on a non-U.S. exchange, or enter into futures that are not traded on a U.S. exchange.
The Fund may hold up to an aggregate amount of 15% of its net assets in illiquid securities (calculated at the time of investment), including 144A Securities. The Fund will monitor its portfolio liquidity on an ongoing basis to determine whether, in light of current circumstances, an adequate level of liquidity is being maintained, and will consider taking appropriate steps in order to maintain adequate liquidity if, through a change in values, net assets, or other circumstances, more than 15% of the Fund's net assets are held in illiquid securities and other illiquid assets.
The Fund may not concentrate its investments (
Additional information regarding the Trust, the Fund, and the Shares, including investment strategies, risks, creation and redemption procedures, net asset value ("NAV"), fees, portfolio holdings disclosure policies, distributions, and taxes, among other things, is included in the Notice and Registration Statement, as applicable.
After careful review, the Commission finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements of Section 6 of the Act
The Commission finds that the proposal to list and trade the Shares on the Exchange is consistent with Section 11A(a)(1)(C)(iii) of the Act,
The Commission further believes that the proposal to list and trade the Shares is reasonably designed to promote fair disclosure of information that may be necessary to price the Shares appropriately and to prevent trading when a reasonable degree of transparency cannot be assured. The Commission notes that the Exchange will obtain a representation from the issuer of the Shares that the NAV per Share will be calculated daily and that the NAV and the Disclosed Portfolio will be made available to all market participants at the same time.
The Exchange represents that the Shares are deemed to be equity securities, thus rendering trading in the Shares subject to the Exchange's existing rules governing the trading of equity securities. In support of this proposal, the Exchange has made representations, including:
(1) The Shares will be subject to NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600, which sets forth the initial and continued listing criteria applicable to Managed Fund Shares.
(2) The Exchange has appropriate rules to facilitate transactions in the Shares during all trading sessions.
(3) The Exchange's surveillance procedures applicable to derivative products, which include Managed Fund Shares, are adequate to properly monitor Exchange trading of the Shares in all trading sessions and to deter and detect violations of Exchange rules and applicable federal securities laws.
(4) Prior to the commencement of trading, the Exchange will inform its Equity Trading Permit ("ETP") Holders in an Information Bulletin of the special characteristics and risks associated with trading the Shares. Specifically, the Information Bulletin will discuss the following: (a) The procedures for purchases and redemptions of Shares in Creation Units (and that Shares are not individually redeemable); (b) NYSE Arca Equities Rule 9.2(a), which imposes a duty of due diligence on its ETP Holders to learn the essential facts relating to every customer prior to trading the Shares; (c) the risks involved in trading the Shares during the Opening and Late Trading Sessions when an updated Portfolio Indicative Value will not be calculated or publicly disseminated; (d) how information regarding the Portfolio Indicative Value is disseminated; (e) the requirement that ETP Holders deliver a prospectus to investors purchasing newly issued Shares prior to or concurrently with the confirmation of a transaction; and (f) trading information.
(5) For initial and/or continued listing, the Fund must be in compliance with Rule 10A-3 under the Exchange Act,
(6) All of the equities and VIX Index Related Instruments will be listed on a U.S. exchange. The Fund will not enter into futures that are not traded on a U.S. exchange. In addition, the Fund does not expect to invest in options or enter into swap agreements, including credit default swaps, but may do so if such investments are in the best interests of the Fund's shareholders. The Fund's investments will be consistent with its investment objective and will not be used to enhance leverage.
(7) The Fund may hold up to an aggregate amount of 15% of its net assets in illiquid securities (calculated at the time of investment), including Rule 144A securities.
(8) Should the Fund invest in the Subsidiary, that investment may not exceed 25% of the Fund's total assets at the end of each tax year quarter.
(9) A minimum of 100,000 Shares of the Fund will be outstanding at the commencement of trading on the Exchange.
This approval order is based on all of the Exchange's representations and description of the Fund, including those set forth above and in the Notice.
For the foregoing reasons, the Commission finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b)(5) of the Act