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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.


Rule 17a-6, SEC File No. 270-506, OMB Control No. 3235-0564.

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

Section 17(a) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the “Act”), prohibits affiliated persons of a registered investment company (“fund”) from borrowing money or other property from, or selling or buying securities or other property to or from the fund, or any company that the fund controls. Rule 17a-6 permits a fund and its “portfolio affiliates” (an issuer of which a fund owns more than five percent of the voting securities) to engage in principal transactions with if no prohibited participants (e.g., directors, officers, employees, or investment advisers of the fund contain persons controlling and under common control with the fund, and their affiliates) are parties to the transaction or have a direct or indirect financial interest in the transaction. Rule 17a-6 specifies certain interests that are not “financial interests.” The rule also provides that the term “financial interest” does not include any interest that the fund's board of directors (including a majority of the directors who are not interested persons of the fund) finds to be not material, as long as the board records the basis for the findings in its meeting minutes.

The information collection requirements in rule 17a-6 are intended to ensure that Commission staff can review, in the course of its compliance and examination functions, the basis for a board of director's finding that the financial interest of a prohibited participant in a party to a transaction with a portfolio affiliate is not material.

Based on analysis of past filings, the Commission's staff estimates that 148 funds are affiliated persons of 668 issuers as a result of the fund's ownership or control of the issuer's voting securities, and that there are approximately 1,000 such affiliate relationships. Staff discussions with mutual fund representatives have suggested that no funds currently rely on rule 17a-6 exemptions. We do not know definitively the reasons for this change in transactional behavior, but differing market conditions from year to year may offer some explanation for the current lack of fund interest in the exemptions under rule 17a-6. Accordingly, we estimate that annually there will be no principal transactions under rule 17a-6 that will result in a collection of information.

The Commission requests authorization to maintain an inventory of one burden hour to ease future renewals of rule 17a-6's collection of information analysis should reliance on rule 17a-6 increase in the coming years.

The estimate of average burden hours is made solely for the purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act. The estimate is not derived from a comprehensive or even a representative survey or study of the costs of Commission rules. Complying with this collection of information requirement is necessary to obtain the benefit of relying on rule 17a-6. 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.

Written comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency'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 R. Corey Booth, Director/Chief Information Officer, Office of Information Technology, Securities and Exchange Commission, 450 5th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20549.

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Dated: March 28, 2005.

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

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[FR Doc. E5-1590 Filed 4-6-05; 8:45 am]