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Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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Upon Written Request, Copies Available From: Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Filings and Information Services, Washington, DC 20549.

Extension: Rule 11a-3; SEC File No. 270-321; OMB Control No. 3235-0358.

Notice is hereby given that, pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) (“PRA”), the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) is soliciting comments on the collection of information summarized below. The Commission plans to submit this existing collection of information to the Office of Management and Budget for extension and approval.

Rule 11a-3 Under the Investment Company Act of 1940; Offers of Exchange by Open-End Investment Companies Other Than Separate Accounts

Rule 11a-3 under the Investment Company Act of 1940 [17 CFR 270.11a-3] is an exemptive rule that permits open-end investment companies (“funds”), other than insurance company separate accounts, and funds' principal underwriters, to make certain exchange offers to fund shareholders and shareholders of other funds in the same group of investment companies. The rule requires a fund, among other things: (i) To disclose in its prospectus and advertising literature the amount of any administrative or redemption fee imposed on exchange transactions, other than a nominal one, to maintain and preserve records with respect to the actual costs incurred in connection with exchanges for at least six years; and (iii) to give the fund's shareholders a sixty day notice of a termination of an exchange offer or any material amendment to the terms of an exchange offer (unless the only material effect of an amendment is to reduce or eliminate an administrative fee, sales load or redemption fee payable at the time of an exchange).

The rule's requirements are designed to protect investors against abuses associated with exchange offers, to provide fund shareholders with information necessary to evaluate exchange offers and certain material changes in the terms of exchange offers, and to enable the Commission staff to monitor funds' use of administrative fees charged in connection with exchange transactions.

It is estimated that approximately 2,900 funds may choose to rely on the rule, and each fund may spend one hour annually complying with the recordkeeping requirement and another one hour annually complying with the notice requirement. The burdens associated with the disclosure requirement of the rule are accounted for in the burdens associated with the Form N-1A registration statement for funds. The total annual burden associated with the rule thereof, is limited to the recordkeeping and notice requirements under the rule, which is estimated to be 5,800 hours. This estimate represents an increase of 800 hours over the prior estimate of 5,000 hours. This increase in burden hours is attributable to an increase in the estimated number of funds from 2,500 to 2,900. The estimate of average burden hours is made solely for the purposes of the PRA, and is not derived from a comprehensive or even a representative survey or study of the costs of Commission rules and forms.

Written comments are invited on: (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information has practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Commission's estimate of the burden of the collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Consideration will be given to comments and suggestions submitted in writing within 60 days of this publication.

Please direct your written comments to Michael E. Bartell, Associate Executive Director, Office of Information Technology, Securities and Exchange Commission, 450 5th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20549.

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Dated: May 11, 2000.

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

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[FR Doc. 00-12514 Filed 5-17-00; 8:45 am]