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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To List and Trade Shares of the iShares Ultrashort Duration Bond Fund

 

Table of Contents Back to Top

I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change Back to Top

The Exchange is proposing to list and trade shares of the iShares Ultrashort Duration Bond Fund (“Fund”) of the iShares U.S. ETF Trust (“Trust”) under BATS Rule 14.11(i) (“Managed Fund Shares”). The shares of the Fund are collectively referred to herein as the “Shares.” The text of the proposed rule addition is available at the Exchange's Web site at http://www.batstrading.com, at the principal office of the Exchange, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change Back to Top

In its filing with the Commission, the Exchange included statements concerning the purpose of, and basis for, the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant parts of such statements.

A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

1. Purpose

The Exchange proposes to list and trade the Shares under BATS Rule 14.11(i), which governs the listing and trading of Managed Fund Shares on the Exchange. [3] The Fund will be an actively managed ETF. The Shares will be offered by the Trust, which was established as a Delaware statutory trust on June 21, 2011. The Trust is registered with the Commission as an open-end investment company and has filed a registration statement on behalf of the Fund on Form N-1A (“Registration Statement”) with the Commission. [4]

BlackRock Fund Advisors is the investment adviser (“BFA” or “Adviser”) to the Fund. [5] BlackRock Financial Management, Inc. serves as sub-adviser for the Fund (“Sub-Adviser”). [6] State Street Bank and Trust Company is the administrator, custodian, and transfer agent for the Trust. BlackRock Investments, LLC (“Distributor”) serves as the distributor for the Trust.

BATS Rule 14.11(i)(7) provides that, if the investment adviser to the investment company issuing Managed Fund Shares is affiliated with a broker-dealer, such investment adviser shall erect a “fire wall” between the investment adviser and the broker-dealer with respect to access to information concerning the composition and/or changes to such investment company portfolio. [7] In addition, Rule 14.11(i)(7) further requires that personnel who make decisions on the investment company's portfolio composition must be subject to procedures designed to prevent the use and dissemination of material, non-public information regarding the applicable investment company portfolio. Rule 14.11(i)(7) is similar to BATS Rule 14.11(b)(5)(A)(i); however, Rule 14.11(i)(7) in connection with the establishment of a “fire wall” between the investment adviser and the broker-dealer reflects the applicable open-end fund's portfolio, not an underlying benchmark index, as is the case with index-based funds. The Adviser and Sub-Adviser are both affiliated with multiple broker-dealers and have both implemented “fire walls” with respect to such broker-dealers regarding access to information concerning the composition and/or changes to the Fund's portfolio. In addition, Adviser and Sub-Adviser personnel who make decisions regarding the Fund's portfolio are subject to procedures designed to prevent the use and dissemination of material, non-public information regarding the Fund's portfolio. In the event that (a) the Adviser or the Sub-Adviser becomes newly affiliated with a broker-dealer, or (b) any new adviser or sub-adviser becomes affiliated with a broker-dealer, they will implement a fire wall with respect to such broker-dealer regarding access to information concerning the composition and/or changes to the portfolio, and will be subject to procedures designed to prevent the use and dissemination of material, non-public information regarding such portfolio.

iShares Ultrashort Duration Bond Fund

According to the Registration Statement, the Fund will seek to maximize current income. To achieve its objective, the Fund will invest, under normal circumstances, [8] at least 80% of its net assets in a diversified portfolio of U.S. dollar-denominated investment grade fixed income securities (“Fixed Income Securities”). The Fund will not be a money market fund and thus will not seek to maintain a stable net asset value of $1.00 per Share. In the absence of normal circumstances, the Fund may temporarily depart from its normal investment process, provided that such departure is, in the opinion of the portfolio management team of the Fund, consistent with the Fund's investment objective and in the best interest of the Fund. For example, the Fund may hold a higher than normal proportion of its assets in cash in response to adverse market, economic, or political conditions.

The Fund will hold Fixed Income Securities of at least 13 non-affiliated issuers. The Fund will not purchase the securities of issuers conducting their principal business activity in the same industry if, immediately after the purchase and as a result thereof, the value of the Fund's investments in that industry would equal or exceed 25% of the current value of the Fund's total assets, provided that this restriction does not limit the Fund's: (i) Investments in securities of other investment companies; (ii) investments in securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities; or (iii) investments in repurchase agreements collateralized by U.S. government securities. [9]

The Fund intends to qualify each year as a regulated investment company (“RIC”) under Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. [10] The Fund will invest its assets, and otherwise conduct its operations, in a manner that is intended to satisfy the qualifying income, diversification, and distribution requirements necessary to establish and maintain RIC qualification under Subchapter M. The Subchapter M diversification tests generally require that (1) the Fund invest no more than 25% of its total assets in securities (other than securities of the U.S. government or other RICs) of any one issuer or two or more issuers that are controlled by the Fund and that are engaged in the same, similar, or related trades or businesses, and (2) at least 50% of the Fund's total assets consist of cash and cash items, U.S. government securities, securities of other RICs, and other securities, with investments in such other securities limited in respect of any one issuer to an amount not greater than 5% of the value of the Fund's total assets and not greater than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer. The Fund will not invest in non-U.S. equity securities.

Fixed Income Securities

The Fund intends to achieve its investment objective by investing, under normal circumstances, at least 80% of its net assets in a diversified portfolio of U.S. dollar-denominated investment grade Fixed Income Securities, rated a minimum of BBB- or higher by Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and/or Fitch Inc., or Baa3 or higher by Moody's Investors Service, Inc., or, if unrated, determined by the portfolio management team of the Fund to be of equivalent quality.

Fixed Income Securities will primarily include fixed and floating rate debt securities of varying maturities, such as corporate [11] and government bonds, agency securities, [12] instruments of non-U.S. issuers, municipal bonds, money market instruments, [13] and investment companies that invest in such Fixed Income Securities. The Adviser or its affiliates may advise the money market funds and investment companies in which the Fund may invest, in accordance with the 1940 Act. The Fund may invest up to 5% of its net assets in Fixed Income Securities and instruments of issuers that are domiciled in emerging market countries.

The Fund will invest in asset-backed and mortgage-backed Fixed Income Securities. [14] Asset-backed securities are fixed-income securities that are backed by a pool of assets, usually loans such as installment sale contracts or credit card receivables. Mortgage-backed securities are asset-backed securities based on a particular type of asset, a mortgage. There is a wide variety of mortgage-backed securities involving commercial or residential, fixed-rate or adjustable rate mortgages, and mortgages issued by banks or government agencies. [15] Most transactions in fixed-rate mortgage pass-through securities occur through standardized contracts for future delivery in which the exact mortgage pools to be delivered are not specified until a few days prior to settlement, known as TBA transactions. The Fund may enter into such contracts on a regular basis. The Fund, pending settlement of such contracts, will invest the relevant assets in high-quality, liquid short-term instruments, including shares of money market funds affiliated with BFA. Collateralized mortgage obligations (“CMOs”) are Fixed Income Securities that are backed by cash flows from pools of mortgages. CMOs may have multiple classes with different payment rights and protections.

The Fund's investments will be consistent with the Fund's investment objective and will not be used to enhance leverage. Under normal circumstances, the effective duration of the Fund's portfolio is expected to be one year or less, as calculated by the Adviser. [16]

Other Portfolio Holdings

In addition to money market securities in which the Fund invests as part of its principal investment strategies, as described above, the Fund may invest in money market securities in a manner consistent with its investment objective in order to help manage cash flows in and out of the Fund, such as in connection with payment of dividends or expenses, and to satisfy margin requirements, to provide collateral or to otherwise back investments in derivative instruments.

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. [17] 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. Illiquid securities include securities subject to contractual or other restrictions on resale and other instruments that lack readily available markets as determined in accordance with Commission staff guidance.

Pursuant to the Exemptive Order, the Fund will not invest in swap agreements, futures contracts, or option contracts. The Fund will also not invest in convertible securities or preferred stock, but may invest in currency forwards for hedging against foreign currency exchange rate risk and/or trade settlement purposes.

The Shares

The Fund will issue and redeem Shares on a continuous basis at the net asset value per share (“NAV”) [18] only in large blocks of a specified number of Shares or multiples thereof (“Creation Units”) in transactions with authorized participants who have entered into agreements with the Distributor. The Fund currently anticipates that a Creation Unit will consist of 100,000 Shares, though this number may change from time to time, including prior to listing of the Fund. The exact number of Shares that will comprise a Creation Unit will be disclosed in the Registration Statement of the Fund. Once created, Shares of the Fund trade on the secondary market in amounts less than a Creation Unit.

The consideration for purchase of Creation Units of the Fund generally will consist of the in-kind deposit of a designated portfolio of securities (including any portion of such securities for which cash may be substituted) (i.e., “Deposit Securities”) and the “Cash Component” computed as described below. Together, the Deposit Securities and the Cash Component constitute the “Fund Deposit,” which represents the minimum initial and subsequent investment amount for a Creation Unit of the Fund.

The portfolio of securities required for purchase of a Creation Unit may not be identical to the portfolio of securities the Fund will deliver upon redemption of Fund shares. The Deposit Securities and Fund Securities (as defined below), as the case may be, in connection with a purchase or redemption of a Creation Unit, generally will correspond pro rata, to the extent practicable, to the securities held by the Fund.

The Cash Component will be an amount equal to the difference between the NAV of the Shares (per Creation Unit) and the “Deposit Amount,” which will be an amount equal to the market value of the Deposit Securities, and serve to compensate for any differences between the NAV per Creation Unit and the Deposit Amount. The Fund generally offers Creation Units partially for cash. BFA will make available through the National Securities Clearing Corporation (“NSCC”) on each business day, prior to the opening of business on the Exchange, the list of names and the required number or par value of each Deposit Security and the amount of the Cash Component to be included in the current Fund Deposit (based on information as of the end of the previous business day) for the Fund.

The identity and number or par value of the Deposit Securities may change pursuant to changes in the composition of the Fund's portfolio as rebalancing adjustments and corporate action events occur from time to time. The composition of the Deposit Securities may also change in response to adjustments to the weighting or composition of the holdings of the Fund.

The Fund reserves the right to permit or require the substitution of a “cash in lieu” amount to be added to the Cash Component to replace any Deposit Security that may not be available in sufficient quantity for delivery or that may not be eligible for transfer through the Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) or the clearing process through the NSCC.

Except as noted below, all creation orders must be placed for one or more Creation Units and must be received by the Distributor in proper form no later than 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time, in each case on the date such order is placed in order for creation of Creation Units to be effected based on the NAV of Shares of the Fund as next determined on such date after receipt of the order in proper form. Orders requesting substitution of a “cash in lieu” amount generally must be received by the Distributor no later than 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the Settlement Date. The “Settlement Date” is generally the third business day after the transmittal date. On days when the Exchange or the bond markets close earlier than normal, the Fund may require orders to create or to redeem Creation Units to be placed earlier in the day.

Fund Deposits must be delivered through the Federal Reserve System (for cash and government securities), through DTC (for corporate and municipal securities), or through a central depository account, such as with Euroclear or DTC, maintained by State Street or a sub-custodian (“Central Depository Account”) by an authorized participant. Any portion of a Fund Deposit that may not be delivered through the Federal Reserve System or DTC must be delivered through a Central Depository Account. The Fund Deposit transfer must be ordered by the authorized participant in a timely fashion so as to ensure the delivery of the requisite number of Deposit Securities to the account of the Fund by no later than 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the Settlement Date.

A standard creation transaction fee will be imposed to offset the transfer and other transaction costs associated with the issuance of Creation Units.

Shares of the Fund may be redeemed only in Creation Units at their NAV next determined after receipt of a redemption request in proper form by the Distributor and only on a business day. BFA will make available through the NSCC, prior to the opening of business on the Exchange on each business day, the designated portfolio of securities (including any portion of such securities for which cash may be substituted) that will be applicable (subject to possible amendment or correction) to redemption requests received in proper form on that day (“Fund Securities”). Fund Securities received on redemption may not be identical to Deposit Securities that are applicable to creations of Creation Units.

Unless cash redemptions are available or specified for the Fund, the redemption proceeds for a Creation Unit generally will consist of a specified amount of cash, Fund Securities, plus additional cash in an amount equal to the difference between the NAV of the Shares being redeemed, as next determined after the receipt of a request in proper form, and the value of the specified amount of cash and Fund Securities, less a redemption transaction fee. The Fund generally redeems Creation Units partially for cash.

A standard redemption transaction fee will be imposed to offset transfer and other transaction costs that may be incurred by the Fund.

Redemption requests for Creation Units of the Fund must be submitted to the Distributor by or through an authorized participant no later than 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time on any business day in order to receive that day's NAV. The authorized participant must transmit the request for redemption in the form required by the Fund to the Distributor in accordance with procedures set forth in the Authorized Participant Agreement.

Additional information regarding the Shares and the Fund, including investment strategies, risks, creation and redemption procedures, fees and expenses, portfolio holdings disclosure policies, distributions, taxes and reports to be distributed to beneficial owners of the Shares can be found in the Registration Statement or on the Web site for the Fund (www.iShares.com), as applicable.

Availability of Information

The Fund's Web site, which will be publicly available prior to the public offering of Shares, will include a form of the prospectus for the Fund that may be downloaded. The Web site will include additional quantitative information updated on a daily basis, including, for the Fund: (1) The prior business day's reported NAV, mid-point of the bid/ask spread at the time of calculation of such NAV (“Bid/Ask Price”), [19] daily trading volume, and a calculation of the premium and discount of the Bid/Ask Price against the NAV; and (2) data in chart format displaying the frequency distribution of discounts and premiums of the daily Bid/Ask Price against the NAV, within appropriate ranges, for each of the four previous calendar quarters. Daily trading volume information will be available in the financial section of newspapers, through subscription services such as Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters, and International Data Corporation, which can be accessed by authorized participants and other investors, as well as through other electronic services, including major public Web sites. On each business day, before commencement of trading in Shares during Regular Trading Hours [20] on the Exchange, the Fund will disclose on its Web site the identities and quantities of the portfolio of securities and other assets (“Disclosed Portfolio”) held by the Fund that will form the basis for the Fund's calculation of NAV at the end of the business day. [21] The Disclosed Portfolio will include, as applicable, the names, quantity, percentage weighting, and market value of Fixed Income Securities and other assets held by the Fund, and the characteristics of such assets. The Web site and information will be publicly available at no charge.

In addition, for the Fund, an estimated value, defined in BATS Rule 14.11(i)(3)(C) as the “Intraday Indicative Value,” that reflects an estimated intraday value of the Fund's portfolio, will be disseminated. Moreover, the Intraday Indicative Value will be based upon the current value for the components of the Disclosed Portfolio and will be updated and widely disseminated by one or more major market data vendors at least every 15 seconds during the Exchange's Regular Trading Hours. [22] In addition, the quotations of certain of the Fund's holdings may not be updated during U.S. trading hours if such holdings do not trade in the United States or if updated prices cannot be ascertained.

The dissemination of the Intraday Indicative Value, together with the Disclosed Portfolio, will allow investors to determine the value of the underlying portfolio of the Fund on a daily basis and provide a close estimate of that value throughout the trading day.

Intraday, executable price quotations on Fixed Income Securities and other assets are available from major broker-dealer firms. Such intraday price information is available through subscription services, such as Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters, and International Data Corporation, which can be accessed by authorized participants and other investors.

Information regarding market price and volume of the Shares will be continually available on a real-time basis throughout the day on brokers' computer screens and other electronic services. The previous day's closing price and trading volume information for the Shares will be published daily in the financial section of newspapers. Quotation and last-sale information for the Shares will be available on the facilities of the CTA.

Initial and Continued Listing

The Shares will be subject to BATS Rule 14.11(i), which sets forth the initial and continued listing criteria applicable to Managed Fund Shares. The Exchange represents that, for initial and/or continued listing, the Fund must be in compliance with Rule 10A-3 under the Act. [23] A minimum of 100,000 Shares will be outstanding at the commencement of trading on the Exchange. 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.

Trading Halts

With respect to trading halts, the Exchange may consider all relevant factors in exercising its discretion to halt or suspend trading in the Shares of the Fund. The Exchange will halt trading in the Shares under the conditions specified in BATS Rule 11.18. Trading may be halted because of market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange, make trading in the Shares inadvisable. These may include: (1) The extent to which trading is not occurring in the securities and/or the financial instruments comprising the Disclosed Portfolio of the Fund; or (2) whether other unusual conditions or circumstances detrimental to the maintenance of a fair and orderly market are present. Trading in the Shares also will be subject to Rule 14.11(i)(4)(B)(iv), which sets forth circumstances under which Shares of the Fund may be halted.

Trading Rules

The Exchange deems the Shares to be equity securities, thus rendering trading in the Shares subject to the Exchange's existing rules governing the trading of equity securities. BATS will allow trading in the Shares from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Eastern Time. The Exchange has appropriate rules to facilitate transactions in the Shares during all trading sessions. As provided in BATS Rule 11.11(a), the minimum price variation for quoting and entry of orders in Managed Fund Shares traded on the Exchange is $0.01, with the exception of securities that are priced less than $1.00, for which the minimum price variation for order entry is $0.0001.

Surveillance

The Exchange believes that its surveillance procedures are adequate to properly monitor the trading of the Shares on the Exchange during all trading sessions and to deter and detect violations of Exchange rules and the applicable federal securities laws. Trading of the Shares through the Exchange will be subject to the Exchange's surveillance procedures for derivative products, including Managed Fund Shares. The Exchange may obtain information via the Intermarket Surveillance Group (“ISG”) from other exchanges who are members or affiliates of the ISG or with which the Exchange has entered into a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement. [24] The Exchange prohibits the distribution of material, non-public information by its employees.

Information Circular

Prior to the commencement of trading, the Exchange will inform its members in an Information Circular of the special characteristics and risks associated with trading the Shares. Specifically, the Information Circular will discuss the following: (1) The procedures for purchases and redemptions of Shares in Creation Units (and that Shares are not individually redeemable); (2) BATS Rule 3.7, which imposes suitability obligations on Exchange members with respect to recommending transactions in the Shares to customers; (3) how information regarding the Intraday Indicative Value is disseminated; (4) the risks involved in trading the Shares during the Pre-Opening [25] and After Hours Trading Sessions [26] when an updated Intraday Indicative Value will not be calculated or publicly disseminated; (5) the requirement that members deliver a prospectus to investors purchasing newly issued Shares prior to or concurrently with the confirmation of a transaction; and (6) trading information.

In addition, the Information Circular will advise members, prior to the commencement of trading, of the prospectus delivery requirements applicable to the Fund. Members purchasing Shares from the Fund for resale to investors will deliver a prospectus to such investors. The Information Circular will also discuss any exemptive, no-action, and interpretive relief granted by the Commission from any rules under the Act.

In addition, the Information Circular will reference that the Fund is subject to various fees and expenses described in the Registration Statement. The Information Circular will also disclose the trading hours of the Shares of the Fund and the applicable NAV Calculation Time for the Shares. The Information Circular will disclose that information about the Shares of the Fund will be publicly available on the Fund's Web site. In addition, the Information Circular will reference that the Trust is subject to various fees and expenses described in the Fund's Registration Statement.

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that the proposal is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act, [27] in general, and Section 6(b)(5) of the Act, [28] in particular, in that it is designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to foster cooperation and coordination with persons engaged in facilitating transactions in securities, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest.

The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices in that the Shares will be listed and traded on the Exchange pursuant to the initial and continued listing criteria in BATS Rule 14.11(i). The Exchange believes that its surveillance procedures are adequate to properly monitor the trading of the Shares on the Exchange during all trading sessions and to deter and detect violations of Exchange rules and the applicable federal securities laws. If the investment adviser to the investment company issuing Managed Fund Shares is affiliated with a broker-dealer, such investment adviser to the investment adviser shall erect a “fire wall” between the investment adviser and the broker-dealer with respect to access to information concerning the composition and/or changes to such investment company portfolio. The Adviser and Sub-Adviser are both affiliated with multiple broker-dealers and have implemented “fire walls” with respect to such broker-dealers regarding access to information concerning the composition and/or changes to the Fund's portfolio. The Exchange may obtain information via ISG from other exchanges that are members of ISG or with which the Exchange has entered into a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement.

According to the Registration Statement, the Fund expects that it will have at least 80% of its assets invested in U.S. dollar-denominated investment grade Fixed Income Securities. The Fund's exposure to any single industry will generally be limited to 25% of the Fund's assets. The Fund's investments will be consistent with the Fund's investment objective and will not be used to enhance leverage. The Fund also may invest its net assets in money market instruments at the discretion of the Adviser or Sub-Adviser. The Fund may invest up to 5% of its net assets in Fixed Income Securities and instruments of issuers that are domiciled in emerging market countries. While the Fund is permitted to invest without restriction in corporate bonds, the Adviser expects that, under normal circumstances, the Fund will generally seek to invest in corporate bond issuances that have at least $100 million par amount outstanding in developed countries and at least $200 million par amount outstanding in emerging market countries. The Fund will not invest in non-U.S. equity securities.

Additionally, 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. 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. Illiquid securities include securities subject to contractual or other restrictions on resale and other instruments that lack readily available markets as determined in accordance with Commission staff guidance.

Pursuant to the Exemptive Order, the Fund will not invest in swap agreements, futures contracts, or option contracts. The Fund will also not invest in convertible securities or preferred stock, but may invest in currency forwards for hedging against foreign currency exchange rate risk and/or trade settlement purposes.

The proposed rule change is designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade and to protect investors and the public interest in 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. In addition, a large amount of information is publicly available regarding the Fund and the Shares, thereby promoting market transparency. Moreover, the Intraday Indicative Value will be disseminated by one or more major market data vendors at least every 15 seconds during Regular Trading Hours. On each business day, before commencement of trading in Shares during Regular Trading Hours, the Fund will disclose on its Web site the Disclosed Portfolio that will form the basis for the Fund's calculation of NAV at the end of the business day. Pricing information will be available on the Fund's Web site including: (1) The prior business day's reported NAV, the Bid/Ask Price of the Fund, and a calculation of the premium and discount of the Bid/Ask Price against the NAV; and (2) data in chart format displaying the frequency distribution of discounts and premiums of the daily Bid/Ask Price against the NAV, within appropriate ranges, for each of the four previous calendar quarters. Additionally, information regarding market price and trading of the Shares will be continually available on a real-time basis throughout the day on brokers' computer screens and other electronic services, and quotation and last-sale information for the Shares will be available on the facilities of the CTA. The Web site for the Fund will include a form of the prospectus for the Fund and additional data relating to NAV and other applicable quantitative information. Trading in Shares of the Fund will be halted under the conditions specified in BATS Rule 11.18. Trading may also be halted because of market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange, make trading in the Shares inadvisable. Finally, trading in the Shares will be subject to BATS Rule 14.11(i)(4)(B)(iv), which sets forth circumstances under which Shares of the Fund may be halted. In addition, as noted above, investors will have ready access to information regarding the Fund's holdings, the Intraday Indicative Value, the Disclosed Portfolio, and quotation and last-sale information for the Shares.

Intraday, executable price quotations on Fixed Income Securities and other assets are available from major broker-dealer firms. Such intraday price information is available through subscription services, such as Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters, and International Data Corporation, which can be accessed by authorized participants and other investors.

The proposed rule change is designed to perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest in that it will facilitate the listing and trading of an additional type of actively managed exchange-traded product that will enhance competition among market participants, to the benefit of investors and the marketplace. As noted above, the Exchange has in place surveillance procedures relating to trading in the Shares and may obtain information via ISG from other exchanges that are members of ISG or with which the Exchange has entered into a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement. In addition, as noted above, investors will have ready access to information regarding the Fund's holdings, the Intraday Indicative Value, the Disclosed Portfolio, and quotation and last-sale information for the Shares.

For the above reasons, the Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act.

B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change imposes any burden on competition.

C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

The Exchange has neither solicited nor received written comments on the proposed rule change.

III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action Back to Top

Within 45 days of the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register or within such longer period (i) as the Commission may designate up to 90 days of such date if it finds such longer period to be appropriate and publishes its reasons for so finding or (ii) as to which the self-regulatory organization consents, the Commission will:

A. By order approve or disapprove the proposed rule change; or

B. Institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be disapproved.

IV. Solicitation of Comments Back to Top

Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

Electronic Comments

Paper Comments

  • Send paper comments in triplicate to Elizabeth M. Murphy, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

All submissions should refer to File Number SR-BATS-2012-033. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for Web site viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Section, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549, on official business days between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of the filing will also be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-BATS-2012-033 and should be submitted on or before August 29, 2012.

For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority. [29]

Kevin M. O'Neill,

Deputy Secretary.

[FR Doc. 2012-19415 Filed 8-7-12; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8011-01-P

Footnotes Back to Top

3. The Commission approved BATS Rule 14.11(i) in Securities Exchange Act Release No. 65225 (August 30, 2011), 76 FR 55148 (September 6, 2011) (SR-BATS-2011-018). Although the Fund would be the first actively-managed exchange-traded fund (“ETF”) listed on the Exchange, the Commission has previously approved the listing and trading of a number of actively managed ETFs on NYSE Arca, Inc. pursuant to Rule 8.600 of that exchange. See, e.g., Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 64550 (May 26, 2011), 76 FR 32005 (June 2, 2011) (SR-NYSEArca-2011-11) (order approving listing and trading of two actively managed ETFs, including Guggenheim Enhanced Ultra-Short Bond ETF); 60981 (November 10, 2009), 74 FR 59594 (November 18, 2009) (SR-NYSEArca-2009-79) (order approving listing and trading of five actively managed ETFs, including PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity Strategy Fund). The Exchange believes the proposed rule change raises no significant issues not previously addressed in those prior Commission orders.

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4. See Registration Statement on Form N-1A for the Trust, dated March 5, 2012 (File Nos. 333-179904 and 811-22649). The descriptions of the Fund and the Shares contained herein are based, in part, on information in the Registration Statement. The Commission has issued an order granting certain exemptive relief to the Company under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a-1) (“1940 Act”) (“Exemptive Order”). See Investment Company Act Release No. 29571 (January 24, 2011) (File No. 812-13601).

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5. BlackRock Fund Advisors is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of BlackRock, Inc.

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6. The Adviser manages the Fund's investments and its business operations subject to the oversight of the Board of Trustees of the Trust (“Board”). While BFA is ultimately responsible for the management of the Fund, it is able to draw upon the trading, research, and expertise of its asset management affiliates for portfolio decisions and management with respect to portfolio securities. The Adviser also has ongoing oversight responsibility. The Sub-Adviser, subject to the supervision and oversight of the Adviser and the Board, is responsible for day-to-day management of the Fund and, as such, typically makes all decisions with respect to portfolio holdings.

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7. An investment adviser to an open-end fund is required to be registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (“Advisers Act”). As a result, the Adviser and Sub-Adviser and their related personnel are subject to the provisions of Rule 204A-1 under the Advisers Act relating to codes of ethics. This Rule requires investment advisers to adopt a code of ethics that reflects the fiduciary nature of the relationship to clients as well as compliance with other applicable securities laws. Accordingly, procedures designed to prevent the communication and misuse of non-public information by an investment adviser must be consistent with Rule 204A-1 under the Advisers Act. In addition, Rule 206(4)-7 under the Advisers Act makes it unlawful for an investment adviser to provide investment advice to clients unless such investment adviser has (i) adopted and implemented written policies and procedures reasonably designed to prevent violation, by the investment adviser and its supervised persons, of the Advisers Act and the Commission rules adopted thereunder; (ii) implemented, at a minimum, anannual review regarding the adequacy of the policies and procedures established pursuant to subparagraph (i) above and the effectiveness of their implementation; and (iii) designated an individual (who is a supervised person) responsible for administering the policies and procedures adopted under subparagraph (i) above.

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8. The term “under normal circumstances” includes, but is not limited to, the absence of adverse market, economic, political, or other conditions, including extreme volatility or trading halts in the fixed income markets or the financial markets generally; operational issues causing dissemination of inaccurate market information; or force majeure type events such as systems failure, natural or man-made disaster, act of God, armed conflict, act of terrorism, riot, or labor disruption, or any similar intervening circumstance.

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9. See Form N-1A, Item 9. The Commission has taken the position that a fund is concentrated if it invests in more than 25% of the value of its total assets in any one industry. See, e.g., Investment Company Act Release No. 9011 (October 30, 1975), 40 FR 54241 (November 21, 1975).

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11. While the Fund is permitted to invest without restriction in corporate bonds, the Adviser expects that, under normal market conditions, the Fund will generally seek to invest in corporate bond issuances that have at least $100 million par amount outstanding in developed countries and at least $200 million par amount outstanding in emerging market countries.

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12. While the Fund is permitted to invest without restriction in agency securities, the Adviser expects that, under normal market conditions, the Fund will generally not seek to invest more than 50% of the Fund's assets in agency securities. “Agency securities” for these purposes generally includes securities issued by the following entities: Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae), Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLBanks), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), Farm Credit System (FCS) Farm Credit Banks (FCBanks), Student Loan Marketing Association (Sallie Mae), Resolution Funding Corporation (REFCORP), Financing Corporation (FICO), and the Farm Credit System (FCS) Financial Assistance Corporation (FAC). Agency securities can include, but are not limited to, mortgage-backed securities.

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13. While the Fund will invest at least 80% of its net assets in a diversified portfolio of U.S. dollar-denominated investment grade Fixed Income Securities, the Adviser expects that, under normal circumstances, the Fund also intends to invest in money market securities (as described below) in a manner consistent with its investment objective in order to help manage cash flows in and out of the Fund, such as in connection with payment of dividends or expenses, and to satisfy margin requirements, to provide collateral or to otherwise back investments in derivative instruments. For these purposes, money market securities include: short-term, high-quality obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury or the agencies or instrumentalities of the U.S. government; short-term, high-quality securities issued or guaranteed by non-U.S. governments, agencies and instrumentalities; repurchase agreements backed by U.S. government securities; money market mutual funds; commercial paper; and deposits and other obligations of U.S. and non-U.S. banks and financial institutions. All money market securitiesacquired by the Fund will be rated investment grade. The Fund does not intend to invest in any unrated money market securities. However, it may do so, to a limited extent, such as where a rated money market security becomes unrated, if such money market security is determined by the Adviser or the Sub-Adviser to be of comparable quality.

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14. The Fund has not established a fixed limit to the amount of asset-backed and/or mortgage-backed debt securities in which it will invest, which is consistent with at least one analogous fund. See, e.g., PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity Strategy Fund (“MINT Fund”) as described in Amendment 1 to SR-NYSEArca-2009-79 (November 10, 2009) and approved by Securities Exchange Act Release No. 60981 (November 10, 2009), 74 FR 59594 (November 18, 2009) (SR-NYSEArca-2009-79). As noted above, at least 80% of the Fund's net assets will be, under normal circumstances, invested in U.S. dollar-denominated investment grade Fixed Income Securities, including asset-backed and/or mortgage-backed debt securities. Neither high-yield asset-backed securities nor high-yield mortgage-backed securities are included in the Fund's principal investment strategies. The liquidity of a security, especially in the case of asset-backed and mortgage-backed debt securities, is a substantial factor in the Fund's security selection process.

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15. See note 12, supra.

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16. Effective duration is a measure of the potential responsiveness of a bond or portfolio price to small parallel shifts in interest rates. When measured across a portfolio, the effective duration of a portfolio is equivalent to the average portfolio duration.

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17. The Commission has stated that long-standing Commission guidelines have required open-end funds to hold no more than 15% of their net assets in illiquid securities and other illiquid assets. See Investment Company Act Release No. 28193 (March 11, 2008), 73 FR 14618 (March 18, 2008), footnote 34. See also Investment Company Act Release No. 5847 (October 21, 1969), 35 FR 19989 (December 31, 1970) (Statement Regarding “Restricted Securities”); Investment Company Act Release No. 18612 (March 12, 1992), 57 FR 9828 (March 20, 1992) (Revisions of Guidelines to Form N-1A). A fund's portfolio security is illiquid if it cannot be disposed of in the ordinary course of business within seven days at approximately the value ascribed to it by the fund. See Investment Company Act Release No. 14983 (March 12, 1986), 51 FR 9773 (March 21, 1986) (adopting amendments to Rule 2a-7 under the 1940 Act); and Investment Company Act Release No. 17452 (April 23, 1990), 55 FR 17933 (April 30, 1990) (adopting Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933).

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18. The NAV of the Fund's Shares generally will be calculated once daily Monday through Friday as of the close of regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange, generally 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time (“NAV Calculation Time”). NAV per Share is calculated by dividing the Fund's net assets by the number of Fund Shares outstanding. For more information regarding the valuation of Fund investments in calculating the Fund's NAV, see the Registration Statement.

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19. The Bid/Ask Price of the Fund will be determined using the midpoint of the highest bid and the lowest offer on the Exchange as of the time of calculation of the Fund's NAV. The records relating to Bid/Ask Prices will be retained by the Fund and its service providers.

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20. Regular Trading Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

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21. Under accounting procedures to be followed by the Fund, trades made on the prior business day (“T”) will be booked and reflected in NAV on the current business day (“T + 1”). Accordingly, the Fund will be able to disclose at the beginning of the business day the portfolio that will form the basis for the NAV calculation at the end of the business day.

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22. Currently, it is the Exchange's understanding that several major market data vendors display and/or make widely available Intraday Indicative Values published via the Consolidated Tape Association (“CTA”) or other data feeds.

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24. For a list of the current members and affiliate members of ISG, see www.isgportal.com.

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25. The Pre-Opening Session is from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time.

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26. The After Hours Trading Session is from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time.

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