Transfer Agent Regulations
The Securities and Exchange Commission (``Commission'') is publishing this Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Concept Release, and Request for Comment on Transfer Agent Regulations (``release'') to seek public comment regarding the Commission's transfer agent rules. The first transfer agent rules were adopted in 1977 and remain essentially unchanged. At the same time, transfer agents now operate in a market structure that bears little resemblance to the structure in 1977. The release, noting the importance of transfer agents within the national market structure, includes a history of transfer agent services and applicable regulations as well as an overview of current transfer agent services and activities, and requests comment on all topics. The release includes an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in specific areas, such as transfer agent registration and reporting requirements, safeguarding of funds and securities, and revision of obsolete or outdated rules, along with requests for comment, as well as a Concept Release and Request for Comment addressing additional areas of specific Commission interest, including processing of book-entry securities, broker-dealer recordkeeping for beneficial owners, transfer agents to mutual funds, and administration of issuer plans. The Commission intends to consider the public's comments in connection with any future rulemaking, and comments to the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will be used to further consider the sufficiency and scope of the rulemaking proposals described therein.
Notice of Applications for Deregistration Under Section 8(f) of the Investment Company Act of 1940
Applicant, a closed-end investment company, seeks an order declaring that it has ceased to be an investment company. Applicant currently has fewer than 10 beneficial owners and will continue to operate as a private investment fund in reliance on section 3(c)(1) of the Act. Filing Dates: The application was filed on November 18, 2015, and amended on November 19, 2015 and November 20, 2015. Applicant's Address: c/o U.S. Bank National Association, One Federal Street, Boston, MA 02110.
Investor Advisory Committee Meeting
The Securities and Exchange Commission Investor Advisory Committee, established pursuant to Section 911 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, is providing notice that it will hold a public meeting. The public is invited to submit written statements to the Committee.
Regulation Systems Compliance and Integrity; Correction
The Securities and Exchange Commission (``Commission'') is making a technical correction to its rules concerning Regulation Systems Compliance and Integrity (``Regulation SCI'') under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (``Exchange Act'') and conforming amendments to Regulation ATS under the Exchange Act, which applies to certain self-regulatory organizations (including registered clearing agencies), alternative trading systems (``ATSs''), plan processors, and exempt clearing agencies (collectively, ``SCI entities'').
Recon Capital Series Trust, et al.; Notice of Application
Summary of Application: Applicants request an order that would permit (a) Series of certain open-end management investment companies to issue shares (``Shares'') redeemable in large aggregations only (``Creation Units''); (b) secondary market transactions in Shares to occur at negotiated market prices rather than at net asset value (``NAV''); (c) certain series to pay redemption proceeds, under certain circumstances, more than seven days after the tender of Shares for redemption; (d) certain affiliated persons of the series to deposit securities into, and receive securities from, the series in connection with the purchase and redemption of Creation Units; (e) certain registered management investment companies and unit investment trusts outside of the same group of investment companies as the series to acquire Shares; and (f) certain series to perform creations and redemptions of Creation Units in-kind in a master-feeder structure. The order would supersede a prior order.\1\
Use of Derivatives by Registered Investment Companies and Business Development Companies
The Securities and Exchange Commission (the ``Commission'' or ``SEC'') is proposing rule 18f-4, a new exemptive rule under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the ``Investment Company Act'' or ``Act'') designed to address the investor protection purposes and concerns underlying section 18 of the Act and to provide an updated and more comprehensive approach to the regulation of funds' use of derivatives. The proposed rule would permit mutual funds, exchange- traded funds (``ETFs''), closed-end funds, and companies that have elected to be treated as business development companies (``BDCs'') under the Act (collectively, ``funds'') to enter into derivatives transactions and financial commitment transactions (as those terms are defined in the proposed rule) notwithstanding the prohibitions and restrictions on the issuance of senior securities under section 18 of the Act, provided that the funds comply with the conditions of the proposed rule. A fund that relies on the proposed rule in order to enter into derivatives transactions would be required to: comply with one of two alternative portfolio limitations designed to impose a limit on the amount of leverage the fund may obtain through derivatives transactions and other senior securities transactions; manage the risks associated with the fund's derivatives transactions by maintaining an amount of certain assets, defined in the proposed rule as ``qualifying coverage assets,'' designed to enable the fund to meet its obligations under its derivatives transactions; and, depending on the extent of its derivatives usage, establish a formalized derivatives risk management program. A fund that relies on the proposed rule in order to enter into financial commitment transactions would be required to maintain qualifying coverage assets equal in value to the fund's full obligations under those transactions. The Commission also is proposing amendments to proposed Form N-PORT and proposed Form N-CEN that would require reporting and disclosure of certain information regarding a fund's derivatives usage.
Regulation of NMS Stock Alternative Trading Systems
The Securities and Exchange Commission is proposing to amend the regulatory requirements in Regulation ATS under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (``Exchange Act'') applicable to alternative trading systems (``ATSs'') that transact in National Market System (``NMS'') stocks (hereinafter referred to as (``NMS Stock ATSs''), including so called ``dark pools.'' First, the Commission is proposing to amend Regulation ATS to adopt Form ATS-N to provide information about the broker-dealer that operates the NMS Stock ATS (``broker- dealer operator'') and the activities of the broker-dealer operator and its affiliates in connection with the NMS Stock ATS, and to provide detailed information about the manner of operations of the ATS. Second, the Commission is proposing to make filings on Form ATS-N public by posting certain Form ATS-N filings on the Commission's internet Web site and requiring each NMS Stock ATS that has a Web site to post on the NMS Stock ATS's Web site a direct URL hyperlink to the Commission's Web site that contains the required documents. Third, the Commission is proposing to amend Regulation ATS to provide a process for the Commission to determine whether an entity qualifies for the exemption from the definition of ``exchange'' under Exchange Act Rule 3a1-1(a)(2) with regard to NMS stocks and declare an NMS Stock ATS's Form ATS-N either effective or, after notice and opportunity for hearing, ineffective. Fourth, under the proposal, the Commission could suspend, limit, or revoke the exemption from the definition of ``exchange'' after providing notice and opportunity for hearing. Fifth, the Commission is proposing to require that an ATS's safeguards and procedures to protect subscribers' confidential trading information be written. The Commission is also proposing to make conforming changes to Regulation ATS and Exchange Act Rule 3a1-1(a). Additionally, the Commission is requesting comment about, among other things, changing the requirements of the exemption from the definition of ``exchange'' pursuant to Exchange Act Rule 3a1-1(a) for ATSs that facilitate transactions in securities other than NMS stocks. Lastly, the Commission is also requesting comment regarding its consideration to amend Exchange Act Rules 600 and 606 to improve transparency around the handling and routing of institutional customer orders by broker- dealers.