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Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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 [17 CFR 270.11a-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. 3501-3520], the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) a request for extension of the previously approved collection of information discussed below.

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 an exchange transaction, (ii) if the fund imposes an administrative fee 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) 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, provide fund shareholders with information necessary to evaluate exchange offers and certain material changes in the terms of exchange offers, and enable the Commission staff to monitor funds' use of administrative fees charged in connection with exchange transactions.

There are approximately 3,075 funds registered with the Commission as of December 31, 2002. The staff estimates that one-quarter of these funds imposes a non-nominal administrative fee on exchange transactions, and that the recordkeeping requirement of the rule requires approximately one hour annually of clerical time (at an estimated $16 per hour) per fund, for a total of 768.75 hours for all funds (at a total annual cost of $12,300). The staff estimates that one-quarter of the 3,075 funds terminates an exchange offer or makes a material change to its terms once each year, and that the notice requirement of the rule requires approximately one hour of professional time (at an estimated $60 per hour) and two hours of clerical time (at an estimated $16 per hour) per fund, for a total of approximately 2306.25 hours for all funds (at a total annual cost of $70,725). 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 estimate of average burden hours is made solely for the purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act, and is not derived from a comprehensive or even a representative survey or study of the costs of Commission rules and forms.

The rule provides that if a fund imposes an administrative fee in connection with exchanges that is reasonably intended to cover the costs incurred in processing the exchanges, the fund must maintain and preserve records of any determination of the costs incurred in connection with exchanges for a period of not less than Start Printed Page 42789six years, the first two years in an easily accessible place. Keeping these records is necessary for any fund that wishes to obtain the benefit of relying on the rule. Although these records are subject to inspection by the Commission, they are not made public.

An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control number.

Please direct general comments regarding the above information to the following persons: (i) Desk Officer for the Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Room 10102, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503; and (ii) Kenneth A. Fogash, Acting Associate Executive Director/CIO, Office of Information Technology, Securities and Exchange Commission, 450 5th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20549. Comments must be submitted to OMB within 30 days of this notice.

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Dated: July 7, 2003.

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

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[FR Doc. 03-18188 Filed 7-17-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P