Amendment to Rule Filing Requirements for Self-Regulatory Organizations Regarding New Derivative Securities Products; Correction
In connection with rules adopted in Release No. 34-40761 (December 8, 1998), 63 FR 70952 (December 22, 1998) (``Original Release''), the Commission is making a technical correction to the delegation of authority to the Director of the Division of Market Regulation appearing in the Commission's Rules of Practice and Investigations. Specifically, the Commission is correcting a cross- reference appearing in the delegation.
Termination of a Foreign Private Issuer's Registration of a Class of Securities Under Section 12(g) and Duty To File Reports Under Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
We are reproposing amendments to the rules that govern when a foreign private issuer may terminate the registration of a class of equity securities under section 12(g) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (``Exchange Act'') and the corresponding duty to file reports required under section 13(a) of the Exchange Act, and when it may cease its reporting obligations regarding a class of equity or debt securities under section 15(d) of the Exchange Act. Under the current rules, a foreign private issuer may find it difficult to terminate its Exchange Act registration and reporting obligations despite the fact that there is relatively little interest in the issuer's U.S.- registered securities among United States investors. Moreover, currently a foreign private issuer can only suspend, and cannot terminate, a duty to report arising under section 15(d) of the Exchange Act. Reproposed Exchange Act Rule 12h-6 would permit the termination of Exchange Act reporting regarding a class of equity securities under either section 12(g) or section 15(d) of the Exchange Act by a foreign private issuer that meets a quantitative benchmark designed to measure relative U.S. market interest for that class of securities, which does not depend on a head count of the issuer's U.S. security holders. The reproposed benchmark would require the comparison of the average daily trading volume of an issuer's securities in the United States with that in its primary trading market. Because the Commission did not fully address this approach when it originally proposed Rule 12h-6, and because of other proposed changes to Rule 12h-6 not fully discussed in the original rule proposal, we are reproposing Rule 12h-6 and the accompanying rule amendments. These rule amendments would seek to provide U.S. investors with ready access through the Internet on an ongoing basis to material information about a foreign private issuer of equity securities that is required by its home country after it has exited the Exchange Act reporting system.
Interagency Statement on Sound Practices Concerning Elevated Risk Complex Structured Finance Activities
The Agencies are adopting an Interagency Statement on Sound Practices Concerning Elevated Risk Complex Structured Finance Activities (``Final Statement''). The Final Statement pertains to national banks, state banks, bank holding companies (other than foreign banks), federal and state savings associations, savings and loan holding companies, U.S. branches and agencies of foreign banks, and SEC-registered broker-dealers and investment advisers (collectively, ``financial institutions'' or ``institutions'') engaged in complex structured finance transactions (``CSFTs''). In May 2004, the Agencies issued and requested comment on a proposed interagency statement (``Initial Proposed Statement''). After reviewing the comments received on the Initial Proposed Statement, the Agencies in May 2006 issued and requested comment on a revised proposed interagency statement (``Revised Proposed Statement''). The modifications to the Revised Proposed Statement, among other things, made the statement more principles-based and focused on the identification, review and approval process for those CSFTs that may pose heightened levels of legal or reputational risk to the relevant institution (referred to as ``elevated risk CSFTs''). After carefully reviewing the comments on the Revised Proposed Statement, the Agencies have adopted the Final Statement with minor modifications designed to clarify, but not alter, the principles set forth in the Revised Proposed Statement. The Final Statement describes some of the internal controls and risk management procedures that may help financial institutions identify, manage, and address the heightened reputational and legal risks that may arise from elevated risk CSFTs. As discussed further below, the Final Statement will not affect or apply to the vast majority of financial institutions, including most small institutions, nor does it create any private rights of action.