Money Market Fund Reform; Amendments to Form PF
The Securities and Exchange Commission (``Commission'' or ``SEC'') is adopting amendments to the rules that govern money market mutual funds (or ``money market funds'') under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (``Investment Company Act'' or ``Act''). The amendments are designed to address money market funds' susceptibility to heavy redemptions in times of stress, improve their ability to manage and mitigate potential contagion from such redemptions, and increase the transparency of their risks, while preserving, as much as possible, their benefits. The SEC is removing the valuation exemption that permitted institutional non-government money market funds (whose investors historically have made the heaviest redemptions in times of stress) to maintain a stable net asset value per share (``NAV''), and is requiring those funds to sell and redeem shares based on the current market-based value of the securities in their underlying portfolios rounded to the fourth decimal place (e.g., $1.0000), i.e., transact at a ``floating'' NAV. The SEC also is adopting amendments that will give the boards of directors of money market funds new tools to stem heavy redemptions by giving them discretion to impose a liquidity fee if a fund's weekly liquidity level falls below the required regulatory threshold, and giving them discretion to suspend redemptions temporarily, i.e., to ``gate'' funds, under the same circumstances. These amendments will require all non-government money market funds to impose a liquidity fee if the fund's weekly liquidity level falls below a designated threshold, unless the fund's board determines that imposing such a fee is not in the best interests of the fund. In addition, the SEC is adopting amendments designed to make money market funds more resilient by increasing the diversification of their portfolios, enhancing their stress testing, and improving transparency by requiring money market funds to report additional information to the SEC and to investors. Finally, the amendments require investment advisers to certain large unregistered liquidity funds, which can have many of the same economic features as money market funds, to provide additional information about those funds to the SEC.
Removal of Certain References to Credit Ratings and Amendment to the Issuer Diversification Requirement in the Money Market Fund Rule
The Securities and Exchange Commission (``SEC'' or ``Commission'') is re-proposing certain amendments, initially proposed in March 2011, related to the removal of credit rating references in rule 2a-7, the principal rule that governs money market funds, and Form N-MFP, the form that money market funds use to report information to the Commission each month about their portfolio holdings, under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (``Investment Company Act'' or ``Act''). The re-proposed amendments would implement provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (``Dodd-Frank Act''). We are issuing this re-proposal in consideration of comments received on our March 2011 proposal. In addition, we are proposing to amend rule 2a-7's issuer diversification provisions to eliminate an exclusion from these provisions that is currently available for securities subject to a guarantee issued by a non-controlled person.