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Notice

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 23c-3; SEC File No. 270-373; OMB Control No. 3235-0422;

Form N-23c-3; SEC File No. 270-373; OMB Control No. 3235-0422.

Notice is hereby given that, pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 350 et seq.), the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) a request for extension and approval of the collections of information discussed below.

Rule 23c-3 under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (17 CFR 270.23c-3) is entitled: “Repurchase of Securities of Closed-End Companies.” The rule permits certain closed-end investment companies (“closed-end funds” or “funds”) periodically to offer to repurchase from shareholders a limited number of shares at net asset value. The rule includes several reporting and recordkeeping requirements. The fund must send shareholders a notification that contains specified information each time the fund makes a repurchase offer (on a quarterly, semi-annual, or annual basis, or for certain funds, on a discretionary basis not more often than every two years). The fund also must file copies of the shareholder notification with the Commission (electronically through the Commission's Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval System (“EDGAR”)) attached to Form Start Printed Page 32083N-23c-3 (17 CFR 274.221), a cover sheet that provides limited information about the fund and the type of offer the fund is making.[1] The fund must describe in its annual report to shareholders the fund's policy concerning repurchase offers and the results of any repurchase offers made during the reporting period. The fund's board of directors must adopt written procedures designed to ensure that the fund's investment portfolio is sufficiently liquid to meet its repurchase obligations and other obligations under the rule. The board periodically must review the composition of the fund's portfolio and change the liquidity procedures as necessary. The fund also must file copies of advertisements and other sales literature with the Commission as if it were an open-end investment company subject to section 24 of the Investment Company Act (15 U.S.C. 80a-24) and the rules that implement section 24.[2]

The requirement that the fund send a notification to shareholders of each offer is intended to ensure that a fund provides material information to shareholders about the terms of each offer, which may differ from previous offers on such matters as the maximum amount of shares to be repurchased (the maximum repurchase amount may range from 5% to 25% of outstanding shares). The requirement that copies be sent to the Commission is intended to enable the Commission to monitor the fund's compliance with the notification requirement. The requirement that the shareholder notification be attached to Form N-23c-3 is intended to ensure that the fund provides basic information necessary for the Commission to process the notification and to monitor the fund's use of repurchase offers. The requirement that the fund describe its current policy on repurchase offers and the results of recent offers in the annual shareholder report is intended to provide shareholders current information about the fund's repurchase policies and its recent experience. The requirement that the board approve and review written procedures designed to maintain portfolio liquidity is intended to ensure that the fund has enough cash or liquid securities to meet its repurchase obligations, and that written procedures are available for review by shareholders and examination by the Commission. The requirement that the fund file advertisements and sales literature as if it were an open-end investment company is intended to facilitate the review of these materials by the Commission or the NASD to prevent incomplete, inaccurate, or misleading disclosure about the special characteristics of a closed-end fund that makes periodic repurchase offers.

Compliance with the collection of information requirements of the rule and form is mandatory only for those funds that rely on the rule in order to repurchase shares of the fund. 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.

General comments regarding the above information should be directed 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, or e-mail to: David_Rostker@omb.eop.gov; and (ii) R. Corey Booth, Director/Chief Information Officer, Office of Information Technology, Securities and Exchange Commission, 450 Fifth Street, NW., Washington, DC 20549. Comments must be submitted to OMB within 30 days of this notice.

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Dated: June 1, 2004.

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

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Footnotes

1.  Form N-23c-3 requires the fund to state its registration number, its full name and address, the date of the accompanying shareholder notification, and the type of offer being made (periodic, discretionary, or both).

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2.  Rule 24b-3 under the Investment Company Act (17 CFR 270.24b-3), however, would generally exempt the fund from that requirement when the materials are filed instead with the National Association of Securities Dealers (“NASD”), as nearly always occurs under NASD procedures, which apply to the underwriter of every fund.

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[FR Doc. 04-12901 Filed 6-7-04; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P