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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Notice of Filing and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of Proposed Rule Change by the New York Stock Exchange, Inc. Relating to Fixed Income ETFs (Section 703.16)

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Start Preamble August 1, 2002.

Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”),[1] and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,[2] notice is hereby given that on July 24, 2002, the New York Stock Exchange, Inc. (“NYSE” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons, and to grant accelerated approval.

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

The NYSE proposes to amend Section 703.16 (Investment Company Units) of the Listed Company Manual (“Manual”) to accommodate the listing and trading of fixed income Exchange Traded Funds (“ETFs”), which are based on indexes of fixed income securities, including the trading thereof on an unlisted trading privilege (“UTP”) basis. The proposed rule change will permit the listing and trading on the Exchange of the following series of the iShares Trust, a registered open-end management investment company (“Trust”): iShares 1-3 Year Treasury Index Fund, iShares 7-10 Year Treasury Index Fund, iShares 20+ Year Treasury Index Fund, iShares Treasury Index Fund, iShares Government/Credit Index Fund, iShares Lehman Corporate Bond Fund, and iShares Goldman Sachs Corporate Bond Fund.

The text of the proposed rule change is as follows; new text is italicized.

* * * * *

703.16 Investment Company Units

The Exchange will consider for listing, whether pursuant to Rule 19b-4(e) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) or otherwise, units of trading (“Units”) that meet the criteria of this paragraph. A Unit is a security that represents an interest in a registered investment Start Printed Page 51908company (“Investment Company”) that could be organized as a unit investment trust, an open-end management investment company, or a similar entity. (See also NYSE Rule 1100.)

(A) Original Unit Listing Standards

(1) The Investment Company must:

(a) hold securities (including fixed income securities) comprising, or otherwise based on or representing an investment in, an index or portfolio of securities; or

(b) hold securities in another registered investment company that holds securities as described in (a) above.

An index or portfolio may be revised as necessary or appropriate to maintain the quality and character of the index or portfolio.

(2) The Investment Company must issue Units in a specified aggregate number in return for a deposit (the “Deposit”) consisting of either:

(a) a specified number of shares of securities (or if applicable, a specified portfolio of fixed income securities) that comprise the index or portfolio, or are otherwise based on or represent an investment in securities comprising such index or portfolio, and/or a cash amount; or

(b) shares of a registered investment company, as described in clause (A)(1)(b) above, and/or a cash amount.

(3) Units must be redeemable, directly or indirectly, from the Investment Company for securities (including fixed income securities) and/or cash then comprising the Deposit. Units must pay holders periodic cash payments corresponding to the regular cash dividends or distributions declared with respect to the securities held by the Investment Company, less applicable expenses and charges.

* * * * *

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

In its filing with the Commission, the NYSE 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 NYSE has prepared summaries, set forth in Sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.

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

1. Purpose

Section 703.16 of the Manual provides standards for listing Investment Company Units, which are defined as “securities representing an interest in a registered investment company that could be organized as a unit investment trust, open-end management investment company or similar entity.” In addition to being registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (“1940 Act”), these securities are registered under the Exchange Act. The Exchange is proposing to amend this definition to facilitate the listing and trading (including on a UTP basis) of index-based fixed income investment products that are not based in any way on a stock index, but instead are based on an index of fixed income securities. Examples of such products include U.S. government securities and corporate and non-corporate (other than U.S. government) debt securities. As amended, Section 703.16 of the Manual, together with Exchange Rule 1100, would accommodate the listing of Units based on an index of U.S. government debt securities (e.g., securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury, an agency or instrumentality of the U.S. government, or by a government-sponsored entity). Other 1940 Act investment products that could be listed and traded under Section 703.16, as amended, would include Units based on an index of corporate and/or non-corporate debt securities, or an index consisting of U.S. government, corporate and non-corporate debt securities.[3] The Commission has recently approved the request of the American Stock Exchange LLC (“Amex”) to list and trade fixed income ETFs.[4] The Exchange believes that its proposed rule changes are substantially similar to those of the Amex.

Accordingly, the Exchange proposes to amend Section 703.16 to specify that Investment Company Units may be: (1) based on a portfolio of fixed income securities; (2) issued by an investment company in return for a specified portfolio of fixed income securities and/or cash; and (3) redeemed at a holder's request by the investment company, which will pay the redeeming holder fixed income securities and/or cash.

Upon approval of the proposed amendments to Section 703.16, the Exchange proposes to list and trade on a UTP basis the following seven series of the Trust: iShares 1-3 Year Treasury Index Fund; iShares 7-10 Year Treasury Index Fund; iShares 20+ Year Treasury Index Fund; iShares Treasury Index Fund; iShares Government/Credit Index Fund; iShares Lehman Corporate Bond Fund; and iShares Goldman Sachs Corporate Bond Fund (each, a “Fund,” and collectively, the “Funds”).

Each Fund will hold certain fixed income securities selected to correspond generally to the price and yield performance of a specified U.S. Treasury, Government/Credit, or Corporate Bond (each, an “Underlying Index”) maintained either by Lehman Brothers, or, for the Goldman Sachs Corporate Bond Fund, by Goldman Sachs and Co.[5]

Barclays Global Fund Advisors (“Advisor” or “BGFA”) is the investment advisor for each Fund. The Advisor is registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. The Advisor is a wholly owned subsidiary of Barclays Global Investors, N.A. (“BGI”). BGI is a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of Barclays Bank PLC of the United Kingdom.

SEI Investments Distribution Co. (“Distributor”), a Pennsylvania corporation and broker-dealer registered under the Exchange Act, is the principal underwriter and distributor of Creation Unit Aggregations (as defined below) of iShares. The Distributor is not affiliated with the Exchange or the Advisor.

A. Operation of the Funds

The investment objective of each Fund will be to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance of its Underlying Index. In seeking to achieve its respective investment objective, each Fund will utilize “passive” indexing investment strategies. Each Fund may fully replicate its Underlying Index, but currently intends to use a Start Printed Page 51909“representative sampling” strategy to track its Underlying Index. A Fund utilizing a representative sampling strategy generally will hold a basket of the component securities (“Component Securities”) of its Underlying Index, but it may not hold all of the Component Securities of its Underlying Index (as compared to a Fund that uses a replication strategy which invests in substantially all of the Component Securities in its Underlying Index in the same approximate proportions as in the Underlying Index).[6]

When using a representative sampling strategy, the Advisor attempts to match the risk and return characteristics of a Fund's portfolio to the risk and return characteristics of the Underlying Index. As part of this process, the Advisor subdivides each Underlying Index into smaller, more homogeneous pieces. These subdivisions are sometimes referred to as “cells.” A cell will contain securities with similar characteristics. For fixed income indices, the Advisor generally divides the index according to the five parameters that determine a bond's risk and expected return: (1) duration, (2) sector, (3) credit rating, (4) coupon, and (5) the presence of embedded options. When completed, all bonds in the index will have been assigned a cell. The Advisor then begins to construct the portfolio by selecting representative bonds from these cells. The representative sample of bonds chosen from each cell is designed to closely correlate to the duration, sector, credit rating, coupon, and embedded option characteristics of each cell. The characteristics of each cell when combined are, in turn, designed to closely correlate to the duration, sector, credit rating, coupon, and embedded option characteristics of the Underlying Index as a whole. The Advisor may exclude less liquid bonds in order to create a more tradable portfolio and improve arbitrage opportunities.[7]

According to the Application, the representative sampling techniques used by the Advisor to manage fixed income funds do not materially differ from the representative sampling techniques it uses to manage equity funds. Due to the differences between bonds and equities, the Advisor analyzes different information, e.g., coupon rates instead of dividend payments.

According to the Application, the Funds' use of the representative sampling strategy is beneficial for a number of reasons. First, the Advisor can avoid bonds that are “expensive names” (i.e., bonds that trade at perceived higher prices or lower yields because they are in short supply) but have the same essential risk, value, duration and other characteristics as less expensive names. Second, the use of representative sampling techniques permits the Advisor to exclude bonds that it believes will soon be deleted from the Underlying Index. Third, the Advisor can avoid holding bonds it deems less liquid than other bonds with similar characteristics. Fourth, the Advisor can develop a basket that is easier to construct and cheaper to trade, thereby potentially improving arbitrage opportunities.

From time to time, adjustments may be made in the portfolio of each Fund in accordance with changes in the composition of the Underlying Index or to maintain compliance with requirements applicable to a regulated investment company (“RIC”) under the Internal Revenue Code. For example, if at the end of a calendar quarter a Fund would not comply with the RIC diversification tests, the Advisor would make adjustments to the portfolio to ensure continued RIC status. The Exchange notes, however, that Advisor does not anticipate that the Funds would need to make such adjustments, particularly since these Funds (other than the iShares Lehman Corporate Bond Fund and the iShares Goldman Sachs Corporate Bond Fund) invest a very large percentage of their assets in U.S. Treasury securities.

The Exchange represents that the Advisor expects that each Fund will have a tracking error relative to the performance of its respective Underlying Index of no more than five percent (5%). Each Fund's investment objectives, policies and investment strategies will be fully disclosed in its prospectus (“Prospectus”) and statement of additional information (“SAI”). At least 90% of each of the iShares 1-3 Year Treasury Index Fund, iShares 7-10 Year Treasury Index Fund, iShares 20+ Year Treasury Index Fund, iShares Treasury Index Fund, and iShares Government/Credit Index Fund's assets will be invested in Component Securities of its respective Underlying Index. Each of these Funds may also invest up to 10% of its assets in bonds not included in its Underlying Index, but which the Advisor believes will help the Fund track its Underlying Index, as well as in certain futures, options and swap contracts, cash and cash equivalents. For example, these Funds may invest in securities not included in the relevant Underlying Index in order to reflect prospective changes in the relevant Underlying Index (such as future corporate actions and index reconstitutions, additions and deletions). Each of the iShares Lehman Corporate Bond Fund and the iShares Goldman Sachs Corporate Bond Fund generally will invest at least 90% of its assets in Component Securities of its respective Underlying Index. However, each of the iShares Lehman Corporate Bond Fund and the iShares Goldman Sachs Corporate Bond Fund may at times invest up to 20% of its assets in certain futures, options and swap contracts, cash and cash equivalents as well as in bonds not included in its Underlying Index, but which the Advisor believes will help the Fund track its Underlying Index and which are either (i) included in the broader index upon which such Underlying Index is based (i.e., the Lehman Credit Index for the Lehman Credit VLI Index or the Goldman Sachs Investment Grade Index for the Goldman Sachs InvesTop Index); or (ii) new issues entering or about to enter the Underlying Index or the broader index upon which such Underlying Index is based.

B. Issuance of Creation Unit Aggregations

1. In General. Shares of each Fund (the “iShares”) will be issued on a continuous offering basis in groups of 50,000 or more. These “groups” of shares are called “Creation Unit Aggregations.” The Funds will issue and redeem iShares only in Creation Unit Aggregations.[8] As with other open-Start Printed Page 51910end investment companies, iShares will be issued at the net asset value (“NAV”) per share next determined after an order in proper form is received. The anticipated price at which the iShares will initially trade is approximately $100.

The NAV per share of each Fund is determined as of the close of the regular trading session on the Exchange on each day that the Exchange is open. The Trust sells Creation Unit Aggregations of each Fund only on business days at the next determined NAV of each Fund.

Creation Unit Aggregations will be issued by each Fund in exchange for the in-kind deposit of portfolio securities designated by the Advisor to correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the Fund's Underlying Index (the “Deposit Securities”). Purchasers will generally be required to deposit a specified cash payment in the manner more fully described in the Application. Creation Unit Aggregations will be redeemed by each Fund in exchange for portfolio securities of the Fund (“Fund Securities”) and a specified cash payment in the manner more fully described herein. Fund Securities received on redemption may not be identical to Deposit Securities deposited in connection with creations of Creation Unit Aggregations for the same day. The Distributor will act on an agency basis and will be the Trust's principal underwriter for the iShares in Creation Unit Aggregations of each Fund. All orders to purchase iShares in Creation Unit Aggregations must be placed with the Distributor by or through an authorized participant (“Authorized Participant”). Authorized Participants, which are required to be Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) participants, must enter into a participant agreement with the Distributor. The Distributor will transmit such orders to the applicable Fund and furnish to those placing orders confirmation that the orders have been accepted. The Distributor may reject any order that is not submitted in proper form. The Distributor will be responsible for delivering the prospectus to those persons creating iShares in Creation Unit Aggregations and for maintaining records of both the orders placed with it and the confirmations of acceptance furnished by it. In addition, the Distributor will maintain a record of the instructions given to the Trust to implement the delivery of iShares.

2. In-Kind Deposit of Portfolio Securities. Payment for Creation Unit Aggregations placed through the Distributor will be made by the purchasers generally by an in-kind deposit with the Fund of the Deposit Securities together with an amount of cash (the “Balancing Amount”) specified by the Advisor in the manner described below. The Balancing Amount is an amount equal to the difference between (1) the NAV (per Creation Unit Aggregation) of the Fund and (2) the total aggregate market value (per Creation Unit Aggregation) of the Deposit Securities (such value referred to herein as the “Deposit Amount”). The Balancing Amount serves the function of compensating for differences, if any, between the NAV per Creation Unit Aggregation and that of the Deposit Amount. The deposit of the requisite Deposit Securities and the Balancing Amount are collectively referred to herein as a “Portfolio Deposit.”

The Advisor will make available to the market through the National Securities Clearing Corporation (the “NSCC”) on each Business Day, prior to the opening of trading on the Exchange (currently 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time), the list of the names and the required number of shares of each Deposit Security included in the current Portfolio Deposit (based on information at the end of the previous Business Day) for the relevant Fund. The Portfolio Deposit will be applicable to a Fund (subject to any adjustments to the Balancing Amount, as described below) in order to effect purchases of Creation Unit Aggregations of the Fund until such time as the next-announced Portfolio Deposit composition is made available.

The identity and number of shares of the Deposit Securities required for the Portfolio Deposit for each Fund will change from time to time. The composition of the Deposit Securities may change in response to adjustments to the weighting or composition of the Component Securities in the relevant Underlying Index. These adjustments will reflect changes, known to the Advisor to be in effect by the time of determination of the Deposit Securities, in the composition of the Underlying Index being tracked by the relevant Fund, or resulting from rebalance or additions or deletions to the relevant Underlying Index. In addition, the Trust reserves the right with respect to each Fund to permit or require the substitution of an amount of cash (i.e., a “cash in lieu” amount) to be added to the Balancing Amount to replace any Deposit Security: (1) that may be unavailable or not available in sufficient quantity for delivery to the Trust upon the purchase of iShares in Creation Unit Aggregations, or (2) that may not be eligible for trading by an Authorized Participant or the investor on whose behalf the Authorized Participant is acting.

C. Availability of Information Regarding iShares and Underlying Indices

1. In General. On each Business Day the list of names and amount of each treasury security, government security or corporate bond constituting the current Deposit Securities of the Portfolio Deposit and the Balancing Amount effective as of the previous Business Day will be made available. An amount per iShare representing the sum of the estimated Balancing Amount effective through and including the previous Business Day, plus the current value of the Deposit Securities, on a per iShare basis (the “Intra-day Optimized Portfolio Value” or “IOPV”) will be calculated by Bloomberg L.P. (“Bloomberg”) every 15 seconds during the Exchange's regular trading hours and disseminated every 15 seconds on the Consolidated Tape. Bloomberg will use Bloomberg Generic Prices (“BGN Prices”) to reflect changing bond prices and update the IOPV throughout the day. BGN Prices are current prices on individual bonds as determined by Bloomberg using an automated pricing program that analyzes multiple bond prices contributed to Bloomberg by third-party price contributors (such as broker-dealers). BGN Prices are updated throughout the day based on an ongoing analysis of the bid/ask prices submitted by the third-party price contributors. When Bloomberg receives bid/ask prices from a price contributor, the prices are filtered and screened according to pre-determined criteria and set parameters in order to maximize the accuracy of the pricing data. The net result of this process is an individual bond “price” based on an analysis of multiple pricing sources. BGN Prices are available on Bloomberg systems, and Applicants expect that the pricing of the Deposit Securities will be transparent to anyone with access to Bloomberg systems.

The Lehman Indices and the Goldman Sachs Index will not be calculated or disseminated intra-day. The value and return of each Lehman Index is updated on a daily basis by Lehman Brothers. The value and return of the Goldman Sachs Index is updated on a daily basis by Goldman Sachs.

Each Fund will make available through NSCC on a daily basis the names and required number of shares of each of the Deposit Securities in a Creation Unit Aggregation, as well as information regarding the Balancing Amount. The NAV for each Fund will Start Printed Page 51911be calculated and disseminated daily. There will also be disseminated a variety of data with respect to each Fund on a daily basis by means of CTA and CQ High Speed Lines; information with respect to recent NAV, shares outstanding, estimated cash amount and total cash amount per Creation Unit Aggregation will be made available prior to the opening of the Exchange. The closing prices of the Funds' Deposit Securities are readily available from published or other public sources, or on-line information services provided by Merrill Lynch, IDC, Bridge, Bloomberg, Lehman Brothers and other pricing services commonly used by bond mutual funds. In addition, the website for the Trust, which will be publicly accessible at no charge, will contain the following information, on a per iShare basis, for each Fund: (a) the prior Business Day's NAV and the mid-point of the bid-ask price at the time of calculation of such NAV (“Bid/Ask Price”),[9] and a calculation of the premium or discount of such price against such NAV; and (b) data in chart format displaying the frequency distribution of discounts and premiums of the Bid/Ask Price against the NAV, within appropriate ranges, for each of the four previous calendar quarters.

2. Information Regarding the Underlying Debt Securities. The secondary market for Treasury securities is a highly organized over-the-counter market. Many dealers, and particularly the primary dealers, make markets in Treasury securities. Trading activity takes place between primary dealers, non-primary dealers, and customers of these dealers, including financial institutions, non-financial institutions and individuals. Increasingly, trading in Treasury securities occurs through automated trading systems.[10]

The primary dealers are among the most active participants in the secondary market for Treasury securities. The primary dealers and other large market participants frequently trade with each other, and most of these transactions occur through an interdealer broker.[11] The interdealer brokers provide primary dealers and other large participants in the Treasury market with electronic screens that display the bid and offer prices among dealers and allow trades to be consummated.

Quote and trade information regarding Treasury securities is widely available to market participants from a variety of sources. The electronic trade and quote systems of the dealers and interdealer brokers are one such source. Groups of dealers and interdealer brokers also furnish trade and quote information to vendors such as Bloomberg, Reuters, Bridge, Moneyline Telerate, and CQG. GovPX,[12] for example, is a consortium of leading government securities dealers and subscribers that provides market data from leading government securities dealers and interdealer brokers to market data vendors and subscribers. TradeWeb, another example, is a consortium of 18 primary dealers that, in addition to providing a trading platform, also provides market data direct to subscribers or to other market data vendors.[13]

Real-time price quotes for corporate and non-corporate debt securities are available to institutional investors via proprietary systems such as Bloomberg, Reuters and Dow Jones Telerate. Additional analytical data and pricing information may also be obtained through vendors such as Bridge Information Systems, Muller Data, Capital Management Sciences, Interactive Data Corporation and Barra.

Retail investors do have access to free intra-day bellwether quotes.[14] The Bond Market Association provides links to price and other bond information sources on its investor web site at www.investinginbonds.com. In addition, transaction prices and volume data for the most actively-traded bonds on the exchanges are published daily in newspapers and on a variety of financial websites.

Closing corporate and non-corporate bond prices are also available through subscription services (e.g., IDC, Bridge) that provide aggregate pricing information based on prices from several dealers, as well as subscription services from broker-dealers with a large bond trading operation, such as Lehman Brothers and Goldman, Sachs & Co.

D. Redemption of iShares

Creation Unit Aggregations of each Fund will be redeemable at the NAV next determined after receipt of a request for redemption. Creation Unit Aggregations of each Fund will be redeemed principally in-kind, together with a balancing cash payment (although, as described below, Creation Unit Aggregations may sometimes be redeemed for cash). The value of each Fund's redemption payments on a Creation Unit Aggregation basis will equal the NAV per the appropriate number of iShares of such Fund. Owners of iShares may sell their iShares in the secondary market, but must accumulate enough iShares to constitute a Creation Unit Aggregation in order to redeem through the Fund. Redemption orders must be placed by or through an Authorized Participant.

Creation Unit Aggregations of any Fund generally will be redeemable on any Business Day in exchange for Fund Securities and the Cash Redemption Payment (defined below) in effect on the date a request for redemption is made. The Advisor will publish daily through NSCC the list of securities which a creator of Creation Unit Aggregations must deliver to the Fund (the “Creation List”) and which a redeemer will receive from the Fund (the “Redemption List”). The Creation List is identical to the list of the names and the required numbers of shares of each Deposit Security included in the current Portfolio Deposit.

In addition, just as the Balancing Amount is delivered by the purchaser of Creation Unit Aggregations to the Fund, the Trust will also deliver to the redeeming Beneficial Owner in cash the “Cash Redemption Payment.” The Cash Redemption Payment on any given Business Day will be an amount calculated in the same manner as that for the Balancing Amount, although the actual amounts may differ if the Fund Securities received upon redemption are not identical to the Deposit Securities applicable for creations on the same day. To the extent that the Fund Securities have a value greater than the NAV of iShares being redeemed, a cash payment equal to the differential is required to be paid by the redeeming Beneficial Owner to the Fund. The Trust may also make redemptions in cash in lieu of transferring one or more Fund Securities to a redeemer if the Trust determines, in its discretion, that such method is warranted due to unusual circumstances. An unusual circumstance could arise, for example, when a redeeming entity is restrained by regulation or policy from transacting in certain Fund Securities, such as the presence of such Fund Securities, on a redeeming investment banking firm's restricted list. Start Printed Page 51912

E. Clearance and Settlement

The Deposit Securities and Fund Securities of each Fund will settle via free delivery through the Federal Reserve System for U.S. government securities and the DTC for corporate securities and non-corporate (other than U.S. government securities). The iShares will settle through the DTC. The Custodian will monitor the movement of the Deposit Securities and will instruct the movement of the iShares only upon validation that the Deposit Securities have settled correctly or that required collateral is in place.

As with the settlement of domestic ETF transactions outside of the NSCC Continuous Net Settlement System (the “CNS System”), (i) iShares of the Funds and corporate and non-corporate securities (other than U.S. government securities) will clear and settle through DTC, and (ii) U.S. government securities and cash will clear and settle through the Federal Reserve system. More specifically, creation transactions will settle as follows. On settlement date (T + 3) an Authorized Participant will transfer Deposit Securities that are corporate and non-corporate bonds (other than U.S. government securities) through DTC to a DTC account maintained by the Funds' Custodian, and Deposit Securities that are U.S. government securities, together with any Balancing Amount, to the Custodian through the Federal Reserve system. Once the Custodian has verified the receipt of all of the Deposit Securities (or in the case of failed delivery of one or more bonds, collateral in the amount of 105% or more of the missing Deposit Securities) and the receipt of any Balancing Amount, the Custodian will notify the Distributor and the Advisor. The Fund will issue Creation Unit Aggregations of iShares and the Custodian will deliver the iShares to the Authorized Participant through DTC. DTC will then credit the Authorized Participant's DTC account. The clearance and settlement of redemption transactions essentially reverses the process described above. After the Trust has received a redemption request in proper form and the Authorized Participant transfers Creation Unit Aggregations of iShares to the Funds' Custodian through DTC, the Trust will cause the Custodian to initiate procedures to transfer the requisite Fund Securities and any Cash Redemption Payment. On T + 3, assuming the Custodian has verified receipt of the Creation Unit Aggregations, the Custodian will transfer Fund Securities that are corporate and non-corporate bonds to the Authorized Participant through DTC and Fund Securities that are U.S. government securities, together with any Cash Redemption Payment, through the Federal Reserve system.

iShares of the Funds will be debited or credited by the Custodian directly to the DTC accounts of the Authorized Participants. With respect to domestic equity-based ETFs using the CNS System, Creation Unit Aggregations of iShares are deposited or charged to the Authorized Participants' DTC accounts through the CNS System. Since creation/redemption transactions for iShares of the Funds will not clear and settle through the CNS System, the failed delivery of one or more Deposit Securities (on a create) or one or more Fund Securities (on a redemption) will not be facilitated by the CNS System. Therefore, Authorized Participants will be required to provide collateral to cover the failed delivery of Deposit Securities in connection with an “in-kind” creation of iShares. In case of a failed delivery of one or more Deposit Securities, the Funds will hold the collateral until the delivery of such Deposit Security. The Funds will be protected from failure to receive the Deposit Securities because the Custodian will not effect the Fund's side of the transaction (the issuance of iShares) until the Custodian has received confirmation of receipt of the Authorized Participant's incoming Deposit Securities (or collateral for failed Deposit Securities) and Balancing Amount. In the case of redemption transactions, the Funds will be protected from failure to receive Creation Unit Aggregations of iShares because the Custodian will not effect the Fund's side of the transaction (the delivery of Fund Securities and the Cash Redemption Payment) until the Transfer Agent has received confirmation of receipt of the Authorized Participant's incoming Creation Unit Aggregations. In order to simplify the transfer agency process and align the settlement of iShares of the Funds with the settlement of the Deposit Securities and Fund Securities, Applicants plan to settle transactions in U.S. government securities, corporate bonds, non-corporate bonds (other than U.S. government securities) and iShares on the same T + 3 settlement cycle. The issuer does not believe that the clearing and settlement process will affect the arbitrage of iShares of the Funds.

F. Dividends and Distributions

Dividends from net investment income will be declared and paid to Beneficial Owners of record at least annually by each Fund. Certain of the Funds may pay dividends, if any, on a quarterly or more frequent basis. Distributions of realized securities gains, if any, generally will be declared and paid once a year, but each Fund may make distributions on a more frequent basis to comply with the distribution requirements of the Internal Revenue Code and consistent with the 1940 Act.

Dividends and other distributions on iShares of each Fund will be distributed on a pro rata basis to Beneficial Owners of such iShares. Dividend payments will be made through the Depository and the DTC Participants to Beneficial Owners then of record with amounts received from each Fund.

The Trust will not make the DTC book-entry Dividend Reinvestment Service (the “Service”) available for use by Beneficial Owners for reinvestment of their cash proceeds, but certain individual brokers may make the Service available to their clients. The SAI will inform investors of this fact and direct interested investors to contact such investor's broker to ascertain the availability and a description of the Service through such broker. The SAI will also caution interested Beneficial Owners that they should note that each broker may require investors to adhere to specific procedures and timetables in order to participate in the Service and such investors should ascertain from their broker such necessary details. iShares acquired pursuant to the Service will be held by the Beneficial Owners in the same manner, and subject to the same terms and conditions, as for original ownership of iShares.

G. Other Issues

1. Criteria for Initial and Continued Listing. iShares are subject to the criteria for initial and continued listing of Investment Company Units in Section 703.16 of the Manual. It is anticipated that a minimum of two Creation Units (100,000 iShares) will be required to be outstanding at the start of trading. This minimum number of iShares required to be outstanding at the start of trading will be comparable to requirements that have been applied to previously traded series of Investment Company Units.

The Exchange believes that the proposed minimum number of iShares outstanding at the start of trading is sufficient to provide market liquidity and to further the Trust's objective to seek to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the Index.

2. Original and Annual Listing Fees. The original listing fees that would be applicable to the Funds if listed on the Start Printed Page 51913Exchange is $5,000 for each Fund. In addition, the annual listing fees applicable to the Funds is $2,000 for each Fund.

3. Stop and Stop Limit Orders. Commentary .30 to Exchange Rule 13 provides that stop and stop limit orders in an Investment Company Unit shall be elected by a quotation, but specifies that if the electing bid on an offer is more than 0.10 points away from the last sale and is for the specialist's dealer account, prior Floor Official approval is required for the election to be effective. This rule applies to Investment Company Units generally, including fixed income ETFs.

4. Rule 460.10. Rule 460.10 generally precludes certain business relationships between an issuer and the specialist in the issuer's securities. Exceptions in the Rule permit specialists in ETF shares, including fixed income ETFs, to enter into Creation Unit transactions through the Distributor to facilitate the maintenance of a fair and orderly market. A specialist Creation Unit transaction may only be effected on the same terms and conditions as any other investor, and only at the net asset value of the ETF shares. A specialist may acquire a position in excess of 10% of the outstanding issue of the ETF shares, provided, however, that a specialist registered in a security issued by an investment company may purchase and redeem the investment company unit or securities that can be subdivided or converted into such unit, from the investment company as appropriate to facilitate the maintenance of a fair and orderly market in the subject security.

5. Prospectus Delivery. Pursuant to Exchange Rule 1100, the Exchange, in an Information Circular to Exchange members and member organizations, will inform members and member organizations, prior to commencement of trading, of the prospectus or Product Description delivery requirements applicable to iShares. The Applicants have filed with the Commission's Division of Investment Management a separate request for an exemptive order granting relief from certain prospectus delivery requirements under Section 24(d) of the 1940 Act.[15] Any product description used in reliance on a Section 24(d) exemptive order will comply with all representations made therein and all conditions thereto.

6. Trading Halts. In order to halt the trading of a fixed income ETF, the Exchange may consider, among other things, factors such as the extent to which trading is not occurring in underlying security(s); whether trading has been halted or suspended in the primary market(s) for any combination of underlying stocks accounting for 20% or more of the applicable current portfolio value; and whether other unusual conditions or circumstances detrimental to the maintenance of a fair and orderly market are present.

7. Suitability. Pursuant to Exchange Rule 405, before a member, member organization, allied member or employee of such member organization undertakes to recommend a transaction in ETF shares, including fixed income ETFs, such member or member organization should make a determination that such shares are suitable for such customer. If any recommendation is made with respect to such shares, the person making the recommendation should have a reasonable basis for believing at the time of making the recommendation, that the customer has such knowledge and experience in financial matters that he or she may reasonably be expected to be capable of evaluating the risks and any special characteristics of the recommended transaction, and is financially able to bear the risks of the recommended transaction.

8. Purchases and Redemptions in Creation Unit Size. In the Information Circular referenced above, members and member organizations will be informed that procedures for purchases and redemptions of iShares in Creation Unit Size are described in the Fund prospectus and Statement of Additional Information, and that iShares are not individually redeemable but are redeemable only in Creation Unit Size aggregations or multiples thereof.

9. Surveillance. Exchange surveillance procedures applicable to trading in the proposed iShares are comparable to those applicable to other Investment Company Units currently trading on the Exchange. The Exchange represents that its surveillance procedures are adequate to properly monitor the trading of the Funds.[16]

10. Hours of Trading/Minimum Price Variation. The Funds will trade on the Exchange until 4:15 p.m. (Eastern time). The minimum price variation for quoting will be $0.01.

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Exchange Act,[17] in general and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b),[18] in particular, because 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 regulating, clearing, settling, processing information with respect to, and facilitating transaction in securities, and, in general to protect investors and the public interest.

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

The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Exchange Act.

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. Solicitation of Comments

Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Exchange Act. Persons making written submissions should file six copies thereof with the Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 450 Fifth Street, NW., Washington, DC 20549-0609. 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 inspection and copying in the Commission's Public Reference Room. Copies of such filing will also be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the NYSE. All submissions should refer to File No. SR-NYSE-2002-26 and should be submitted by August 30, 2002.

IV. Commission's Findings and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of Proposed Rule Change

After careful review, the Commission finds that implementation of the Start Printed Page 51914proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements of Section 6 of the Exchange Act [19] and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to a national securities exchange.[20] Specifically, the Commission believes that the proposal is consistent with Section 6(b)(5) of the Exchange Act.[21] The Commission believes that the Exchange's proposal to list and trade fixed income ETFs (including the trading thereof on a UTP basis) [22] will provide investors with a convenient way of participating in the U.S. government, corporate and non-corporate (other than U.S. government) fixed income markets. The Exchange's proposal should help to provide investors with increased flexibility in satisfying their investment needs by allowing them to purchase and sell securities at negotiated prices throughout the business day that replicate the performance of several portfolios of stocks. The Commission believes that the availability of the Funds will provide an instrument for investors to achieve desired investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the underlying U.S. Treasury, Government/Credit, or Corporate Bond Index. The investment objective of each Fund will be to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the underlying index based on fixed income securities. Accordingly, the Commission finds that the Exchange's proposal will facilitate transactions in securities, remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system, and, in general, protect investors and the public interest, and is not designed to permit unfair discrimination between customers, issuers, brokers, or dealers.[23]

iShares Trust and iShares, Inc. are each registered in the 1940 Act as an open-ended management investment company with multiple series. iShares Trust has created (or identified for creation) 66 separate series, while iShares, Inc. has created (or identified for creation) 35 separate series. All of these series operate (or will operate) as ETFs pursuant to six prior exemptive orders from the 1940 Act, and each of the ETFs seeks to match the return of an equity securities index. Additionally, the Commission has granted the Funds appropriate relief under various sections of the 1940 Act, including sections 6(c) and 17(b), so that each Fund may register under the 1940 Act as an open-end fund and issue shares that are redeemable in Creation Units, shares of Funds may trade in the secondary market at negotiated prices, and certain persons affiliated with a Fund by reason of owning 5% or more, and in some cases more than 25%, of its outstanding securities may do in-kind purchases and redemptions of Creation Units.[24]

Barclays is registered as an investment adviser under the 1940 Act and serves as the investment adviser to the series of iShares Trust and iShares, Inc. Distributor acts as the principal underwriter and distributor for iShares Trust and iShares, Inc.

iShares Trust will create seven new series each of which operates as an ETF seeking to match the performance of a fixed income securities index. The seven indices are the following:

  • Lehman Brothers 1-3 Year U.S. Treasury Index (containing U.S. Treasury securities with remaining maturities of between 1 and 3 years);
  • Lehman Brothers 7-10 Year U.S. Treasury Index (containing U.S. Treasury securities with remaining maturities of between 7 and 10 years);
  • Lehman 20+ Year U.S. Treasury Index (containing U.S. Treasury securities with remaining maturities of more than 20 years);
  • Lehman U.S. Treasury Index (containing U.S. Treasury securities with remaining maturities of more than 1 year);
  • Lehman Government/Credit Index (containing certain investment grade government and credit securities with maturities of more than 1 year);
  • Lehman Credit VLI Index (containing the largest issues of investment grade credit securities with remaining maturities of more than 1 year); and
  • Goldman Sachs InvesTop Index (containing the 100 most liquid and representative bonds in the U.S. investment grade corporate market with remaining maturities of at least 3 years).[25]

The Commission notes that this is the first ETF based on an underlying index of fixed income securities (“Fixed Income ETFs”). The Funds will operate in substantially the same manner as Equity ETFs. Like many other ETFs, each Fund will use a representative sampling strategy to track its index. With a sampling strategy, a Fund will seek to match the return of its index by holding some, but not all, of the fixed income securities contained in its underlying index. In constructing the portfolio for a Fund, Barclays will select a sample of bonds that will correlate to the duration, sector, credit rating, coupon, and embedded option characteristics of the underlying index as a whole. Barclays may also exclude less liquid bonds in order to create a more tradable portfolio to enhance arbitrage efficiency. As with its Equity ETFs, Barclays represents that the Funds will have a tracking error relative to the performance of their respective underlying indices of no more than 5%.

Shares of the Funds will be issued and redeemed in Creation Units priced at NAV in exchange for Portfolio Deposits and Redemption Baskets consisting of Bonds selected and announced by Barclays at the beginning of each business day.

The Commission finds that the Funds will provide benefits to investors in allowing investors to trade baskets of bonds in a single transaction at a cost comparable to that of trading existing equity securities and will allow investors to trade baskets of bonds throughout the day and thereby permit them to take advantage of (or protect themselves against) intra-day market movements. The Funds may make it easier for individual investors to diversify their portfolios across a broader range of assets and will provide institutional and other large investors with an alternative to futures for various hedging and other investment strategies that involve fixed income securities. Finally, the Funds will provide investors with a fund product that discloses its portfolio on a daily basis rather than semi-annually.

While the Funds will be operated in a manner that closely parallels the Start Printed Page 51915manner in which Equity ETFs are operated, one key potential difference may be the efficiency of the arbitrage process. The arbitrage mechanism for Equity ETFs generally has caused the market price of ETF shares to track closely the NAV of the ETF shares. With respect to liquidity of the debt securities likely to be in the ETF portfolios, to the extent these debt securities could not be readily purchased and sold, the arbitrage process would be less efficient. However, the Commission notes that the Funds will invest in some of the most liquid debt securities, including U.S. Government securities and investment grade corporate and non-corporate bonds.[26] In addition, Barclays will employ a sampling method of portfolio management that would allow the Funds to exclude any bonds contained in an underlying index that may not have sufficient liquidity for easy trading. As a result, the Commission believes that the Funds have addressed the liquidity issues that might hamper arbitrage.

In addition, differences in the degree of price transparency in the debt and equity markets could lead to larger discounts and premiums for the Funds than have been experienced by Equity ETFs. Specifically, because the pricing of debt securities can be less transparent than the pricing of equity securities, arbitrageurs might account for pricing uncertainty by waiting for greater premiums or discounts to develop in the market price of the ETF shares before engaging in arbitrage transactions.

The Commission finds that because of the nature of the particular debt securities to be included in the portfolios of the Funds (i.e., U.S. Government securities and investment grade corporate and non-corporate bonds), the pricing information should be available. The Exchange has indicated that real-time price quotes for corporate and non-corporate debt securities are available to institutional investors via proprietary systems such as Bloomberg, Reuters and Dow Jones Telerate. Additional analytical data and pricing information may also be obtained through vendors such as Bridge Information Systems, Muller Data, Capital Management Sciences, Interactive Data Corporation and Barra.

The Exchange has also represented that retail investors would have access to free intra-day bellwether quotes.[27] For instance, the Bond Market Association provides links to price and other bond information sources on its investor web site at www.investinginbonds.com. In addition, transaction prices and volume data for the most actively-traded bonds on the exchanges are published daily in newspapers and on a variety of financial websites. Closing corporate and non-corporate bond prices are also available through subscription services (e.g., IDC, Bridge) that provide aggregate pricing information based on prices from several dealers, as well as subscription services from broker-dealers with a large bond trading operation, such as Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs & Co.

The Commission also believes that pricing information for the Treasury securities should also be available. Quote and trade information regarding Treasury securities is widely available to market participants from a variety of sources. The electronic trade and quote systems of the dealers and interdealer brokers are one such source. Groups of dealers and interdealer brokers also furnish trade and quote information to vendors such as Bloomberg, Reuters, Bridge, Moneyline Telerate, and CQG.

NYSE represents that every 15 seconds a price calculated by Bloomberg reflecting the current value of the Portfolio Deposit on a per ETF share basis for the Funds will be disseminated. To calculate this intra-day value, Bloomberg intends to use Bloomberg Generic Prices, which are current prices for individual bonds as determined by Bloomberg using an automated pricing program that analyzed multiple bond prices contributed by third-party price contributors such as broker-dealers.[28] Accordingly, NYSE believes that the pricing of the bonds included in the Portfolio Deposit (and in the Redemption Basket) will be transparent to anyone with access to Bloomberg systems. Because the arbitrageurs of ETF shares are generally large institutional investors, including broker-dealers, the Commission believes that these investors likely will have access to Bloomberg systems, as well as other bond pricing information sources that should permit efficient arbitrage to occur. While the Commission believes that differences in the liquidity and pricing transparency of the underlying fixed income markets, as compared to the equity markets, may result in the Funds trading at slightly higher discounts and premiums, the Commission does not believe that this effect is likely to be so substantial as to undermine the benefits that Funds will provide to the markets and to investors. The Commission expects the Exchange to review the discounts or premiums for these products and to respond appropriately if there is in fact a significant pricing disparity.

The Commission has also granted the issuer, Barclays, exemptive relief from Section 24(d) of the 1940 Act so that dealers may effect secondary market transaction in Barclays ETF shares without delivery a prospectus to the purchaser. Instead, under the exemption and under NYSE's listing standards, sales in the secondary market must be accompanied by a “product description,” describing the ETF and its shares.[29] The Commission believes a product description, which not only highlights the basic characteristics of the product and the manner in which the ETF shares trade in the secondary market, but also highlights the differences of the Funds from existing equity ETFs and notes the unique characteristics and risks of this product, should provide market participants with adequate notice of the salient features of the product.

The Commission also notes that upon the initial listing of any ETF under Exchange Rule 1100 the Exchange issues a circular to its members explaining the unique characteristics and risks of the security; in this instance, Fixed Income ETFs. In particular, the circular should include, among other things, a discussion of the risks that may be associated with the Funds, in addition to details on the composition of the fixed income indices Start Printed Page 51916upon which they are based and how each Fund would use a representative sampling strategy to track its index. The circular also should note Exchange members' responsibilities under Exchange Rule 405 (“know your customer rule”) regarding transactions in such Fixed Income ETFs. Exchange Rule 405 generally requires that members use due diligence to learn the essential facts relative to every customer, every order or account accepted.[30] The circular also will address members' prospectus delivery requirements as well as highlight the characteristics of purchases in Funds, including that they only are redeemable in Creation Unit size aggregations. Based on these factors, the Commission finds that the proposal to trade the Funds is consistent with Section 6(b)(5) of the Exchange Act.[31]

The Commission also notes that the Exchange's rules and procedures should address the special concerns attendant to the trading of new derivative products. In particular, by imposing the Investment Company Unit listing standards in Exchange Rule 703.16, and addressing the suitability, disclosure, and compliance requirements noted above, the Commission believes that the Exchange has addressed adequately the potential problems that could arise from the derivative nature of the Funds.

In particular, the Commission finds that adequate rules and procedures exist to govern the trading of Investment Company Units, including Funds. Funds will be deemed equity securities subject to NYSE rules governing the trading of equity securities. These rules include: Dealings and Settlements Rules, such as priority, parity, and precedence of orders, market volatility related trading halt provisions pursuant to Exchange Rule 80B, members dealing for their own accounts, specialists, odd-lot brokers, and registered traders, handling of orders and reports; duty to report transactions, comparisons of transactions, marking to the market, delivery of securities, dividends and interest, closing of contracts, and money and security loans;[32] and Operation of Member Organization Rules and Communications with the Public Rules, such as conduct of accounts, margin rules, and advertising.[33] NYSE also will consider halting trading in any series of Investment Company Units under certain other circumstances including those set forth in Exchange Rule 717(b)(iv) regarding the presence of other unusual conditions or circumstances detrimental to the maintenance of a fair and orderly market. The Commission believes that the application of these rules should strengthen the integrity of the Funds.

The Commission also notes that certain concerns are raised when a broker-dealer, such as Lehman or Goldman, is involved in the development and maintenance of a stock index upon which an ETF is based. Previously, the Commission noted the importance of an exchange adopting adequate procedures to prevent the misuse of material, non-public information regarding changes to component stocks in a fixed income securities index.[34] Goldman and Lehman each have procedures in place to prevent the misuse of material, non-public information regarding changes to component stocks to the Funds.[35] The Commission believes that these provisions should help to address concerns raised by Goldman and Lehman's involvement in the management of the indices.

The Commission also believes that NYSE has appropriate surveillance procedures in place to detect and deter potential manipulation for similar index-linked products. By applying these procedures to the Funds, the Commission believes that the potential for manipulation should be minimized, while protecting investors and the public interest.

NYSE has requested that the Commission find good cause for approving the proposed rule change prior to the thirtieth day after the date of publication of notice thereof in the Federal Register. NYSE has requested accelerated approval because the 1940 Act Application relating to the Funds has been reviewed by the Division of Investment Management and notice of the Application has been published in the Federal Register.[36] The Application disclosed the characteristics and risks associated with the Funds. No comments were submitted and the Commission granted the relief requested in the Application.[37] The Funds will trade on the Exchange in the same manner as Investment Company Units previously approved by the Commission. Furthermore, the Commission notes that it recently granted accelerated approval to the request of the Amex to list and trade fixed income ETFs.[38] Based on the above, the Commission finds good cause to accelerate approval of the proposed rule change.

It is therefore ordered, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Exchange Act,[39] that the proposed rule change, (File No. SR-NYSE 2002-26) is hereby approved on an accelerated basis.

Start Signature

For the Commission by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[40]

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  Investment Company Units based on a fixed income securities index are not eligible for listing under the Exchange's generic listing criteria (Section 703.16). Therefore, the Exchange will file separate proposed rule changes pursuant to Rule 19b-4 under the Exchange Act prior to listing and trading (including trading on a UTP basis) any additional series of such Investment Company Units.

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4.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 46252 (July 24, 2002) (SR-Amex-2001-35).

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5.  On June 18, 2002, Goldman, Sachs & Co. announced changes to the Goldman Sachs Index, which underlies the iShares Goldman Sachs Corporate Bond Fund. As of July 1, 2002, the composition of the index expanded from 30 to 100 investment grade bonds and the index will be permitted to include more than one bond per issuer. See Business Wire, June 18, 2002, “Goldman Sachs Expands Corporate Bond Index to Enhance Market Representation.” A description of the revised index is publicly available in the Commission's Public Reference Room.

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6.  The Commission approved an “Application” by the Trust, the Advisor and the Distributor (“Applicants”) for an Order under Sections 6(c) and 17(b) of the 1940 Act for the purpose of exempting the Funds from various provisions of the 1940 Act. See Investment Company Act Release No. 25622 (June 25, 2002) (approving File No. 812-12390). The information provided in this Rule 19b-4 filing relating to the Funds is based on information included in the Application and Order which include additional information regarding the Trust and the Funds.

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7.  As stated in the Application, the Goldman Sachs Index excludes bonds with embedded options. Although the Lehman Indices may include bonds with embedded options, according to the Application the bonds in each Lehman Index (and the respective Deposit Securities and Fund Securities, as defined below) should be liquid and easily tradable because each Lehman Index consists of U.S. Treasury and agency securities and/or liquid corporate and non-corporate bonds. To the extent a particular bond is less liquid than another bond with similar characteristics, the Advisor's representative sampling techniques should permit the Advisor to replace the less liquid bond with a more liquid one. For these reasons, the Advisor does not believe the presence of bonds with embedded options in an Underlying Index, the Deposit Securities, or Fund Securities would have any material impact on the creation/redemption process and the efficiency of the arbitrage mechanism for each Fund.

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8.  Each Creation Unit Aggregation will consist of 50,000 or more iShares and the estimated initial value per Creation Unit Aggregation will be approximately $5 million.

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9.  The Bid-Ask Price of a Fund is determined using the highest bid and lowest offer on the Exchange as of the time of calculation of each Fund's NAV.

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10.  See “eCommerce in the Fixed-Income Markets: The 2001 Review of Electronic Transaction Systems,” December 2001. This survey of electronic trading systems in the bond market was prepared by the staff of The Bond Market Association and is available through the Association's web site: www.bondmarkets.com.

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11.  E.g., BrokerTec Global, Cantor Fitzgerald, Garban-Intercapital, and Liberty Brokerage.

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14.  Corporate prices are available at 20 minute intervals from Capital Management Services at www.bondvu.com/​quotmenu.htm.

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15.  See Investment Company Act Release No. 25595 (May 29, 2002), 67 FR 38684 (June 5, 2002) (Notice of Application for iShares, Inc., the Advisor, the Distributor, and the Trust). The Commission has granted such prospectus relief. See Investment Company Act Release No. 25623 (June 25, 2002).

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16.  Telephone call between Janet Kissane, Attorney, NYSE, and Jennifer Lewis, Attorney, Division of Market Regulation, Commission, on July 30, 2002.

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20.  In approving this proposed rule change, the Commission notes that it has considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).

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22.  The Commission notes that, pursuant to Rule 12f-5 under the Act, prior to trading a particular class or type of security pursuant to UTP, NYSE must have listing standards comparable to those of the primary market on which the security is listed. 17 CFR 240.12f-5. The Commission finds that adequate rules and procedures exist to govern the trading of the Fund on NYSE, pursuant to UTP.

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23.  Pursuant to Section 6(b)(5) of the Act, the Commission must predicate approval of exchange trading for new products upon a finding that the introduction of the product is in the public interest. Such a finding would be difficult with respect to a product that served no investment, hedging or other economic functions, because any benefits that might be derived by market participants would likely be outweighed by the potential for manipulation, diminished public confidence in the integrity of the markets, and other valid regulatory concerns.

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24.  Investment Company Act Release No. 25622 (June 25, 2002).

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25.  As of July 1, 2002, the composition of the Goldman Sachs Index, which underlies the iShares Goldman Sachs Corporate Bond Fund, was expanded from 30 to 100 investment grade bonds, and the index is permitted to include more than one bond per issuer.

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26.  The Lehman Government/Credit Index, Lehman Credit VLI Index, and Goldman Sachs InvesTop Index may include investment grade corporate and non-corporate bonds issued by non-U.S. issuers (sovereign, supra-national, foreign agency, and foreign local government). In Barclays' 1940 Act Application, it stated that these bonds will be dollar denominated, registered for sale in the U.S., and traded on U.S. markets at negotiated and readily available prices. Barclays does not believe that these bonds present any unique pricing or liquidity issues and does not expect the bonds to negatively affect arbitrage efficiency. The Commission notes that if any of these major characteristics of these fixed income indices (e.g., investment grade, face amount issued, maturity classification) were to materially change, the Commission would expect NYSE to amend these listing standards accordingly.

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27.  Corporate prices are available at 20 minute intervals from Capital Management Services at www.bondvu.com/​quotmenu.htm.

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28.  The Lehman Indices and the Goldman Sachs Index will not be calculated or disseminated intra-day. The value and return of each Lehman Index is updated on a daily basis by Lehman Brothers. The value and return of the Goldman Sachs Index is updated on a daily basis by Goldman Sachs.

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29.  Recently approved Nasdaq listing standards for ETFs clarify that NASD members trading equity ETFs through electronic communication networks (“ECNs”) would be subject to NASD Rules 4420(i)(2) and 4420(j)(2) requiring the delivery of product descriptions in connection with sales of ETF shares. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 45920 (May 13, 2002), 67 FR 35605 (May 20, 2002). The Commission expects NASD members to observe the same standards for the secondary market trading of Funds.

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30.  Exchange Rule 405.

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32.  Exchange Rules 45-227.

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33.  Exchange Rules 325-472.

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34.  See supra, note 4.

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35.  The Commission expects that the procedures implemented by Goldman and Lehman will monitor and prevent the misuse of material, non-public information as it relates to the development, maintenance and calculation of the indices.

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36.  Investment Company Act Release No. 25594 (May 29, 2002), 67 FR 38681 (June 5, 2002).

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37.  Investment Company Act Release No. 25622 (June 25, 2002).

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38.  See supra, note 4.

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[FR Doc. 02-20178 Filed 8-8-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P