This PDF is the current document as it appeared on Public Inspection on 01/23/2012 at 08:45 am.
Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”)  and Rule 19b-4 thereunder, notice is hereby given that on January 4, 2012, The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC (“Nasdaq” 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 Nasdaq. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.
I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change
Nasdaq proposes change [sic] to list and trade the shares of the WisdomTree Emerging Markets Corporate Bond Fund (“Fund”) of the WisdomTree Trust (“Trust”) under Nasdaq Rule 5735 (“Managed Fund Shares”). The shares of the Fund are collectively referred to herein as the “Shares.” The text of the proposed rule change is available at http://nasdaq.cchwallstreet.com, at Nasdaq's principal office, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.
II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change
In its filing with the Commission, Nasdaq included statements concerning the purpose of, and basis for, the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below and is set forth in Sections A, B, and C below.
A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change
The Exchange proposes to list and trade the Shares of the Fund under Nasdaq Rule 5735, which governs the listing and trading of Managed Fund Shares on the Exchange. The Fund will be an actively managed exchange traded fund (“ETF”). The Shares will be offered by the Trust, which was established as a Delaware statutory trust on December 15, 2005. The Fund is registered with the Commission as an investment company and has filed a registration statement on Form N-1A (“Registration Statement”) with the Commission.
Description of the Shares and the Fund
WisdomTree Asset Management, Inc. (“WisdomTree Asset Management”) is the investment adviser (“Adviser”) to the Fund. Western Asset Management Company serves as sub-adviser for the Fund (“Sub-Adviser”). The Bank of New York Mellon is the administrator, custodian and transfer agent for the Trust. ALPS Distributors, Inc. (“Distributor”) serves as the distributor for the Trust.
Paragraph (g) of Rule 5735 provides that, if the investment adviser to the investment company issuing Managed Fund Shares is affiliated with a broker-dealer, such investment adviser shall erect a “fire wall” between the investment adviser and the broker-dealer with respect to access to information concerning the composition and/or changes to such investment company portfolio. In addition, paragraph (g) further requires that personnel who make decisions on the open-end fund's portfolio composition must be subject to procedures designed to prevent the use and dissemination of material nonpublic information regarding the open-end fund's portfolio. Rule 5735(g) is similar to Nasdaq Rule 5705(b)(5)(A)(i), however, paragraph (g) in connection with the establishment of a “fire wall” between the investment adviser and the broker-dealer reflects the applicable open-end fund's portfolio, not an underlying benchmark index, as is the case with index-based funds. WisdomTree Asset Management is not affiliated with any broker-dealer. The Sub-Adviser is affiliated with multiple broker-dealers and has implemented a “fire wall” with respect to such broker-dealers regarding access to information concerning the composition and/or changes to the Fund's portfolio. In addition, Sub-Adviser personnel who make decisions regarding the Fund's portfolio are subject to procedures designed to prevent the use and dissemination of material nonpublic information regarding the Fund's portfolio. In the event (a) the Adviser or the Sub-Adviser becomes newly affiliated with a broker-dealer, or (b) any new adviser or sub-adviser becomes affiliated with a broker-dealer, they will implement a fire wall with respect to such broker-dealer regarding access to information concerning the composition and/or changes to a portfolio, and will be subject to procedures designed to prevent the use and dissemination of material non-public information regarding such portfolio.
WisdomTree Emerging Markets Corporate Bond Fund
According to the Registration Statement, the Fund seeks to provide a high level of total return consisting of both income and capital appreciation. To achieve its objective, the Fund will invest in debt securities of corporations that are domiciled or economically tied to emerging market countries.
This definition could be expanded or exceptions made depending on the evolution of market and economic conditions.
The Fund intends to qualify each year as a regulated investment company (“RIC”) under Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. The Fund will invest its assets, and otherwise conduct its operations, in a manner that is intended to satisfy the qualifying income, diversification and distribution requirements necessary to establish and maintain RIC qualification under Subchapter M. The Subchapter M diversification tests generally require that (1) the Fund invest no more than 25% of its total assets in securities (other than securities of the U.S. government or other RICs) of any one issuer or two or more issuers that are controlled by the Fund and that are engaged in the same, similar or related trades or businesses, and (2) at least 50% of the Fund's total assets consist of cash and cash items, U.S. government securities, securities of other RICs and other securities, with investments in such other securities limited in respect of any one issuer to an amount not greater than 5% of the value of the Fund's total assets and 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer.
In addition to satisfying the above referenced RIC diversification requirements, no portfolio security held by the Fund (other than U.S. government securities and non-U.S. government securities) will represent more than 30% of the weight of the Fund's portfolio and the five highest weighted portfolio securities of the Fund (other than U.S. government securities and/or non-U.S. government securities) will not in the aggregate account for more than 65% of the weight of the Fund's portfolio. For these purposes, the Fund may treat repurchase agreements collateralized by U.S. government securities or non-U.S. government securities as U.S. or non-U.S. government securities, as applicable.
Corporate and Quasi-Sovereign Debt
The Fund intends to achieve its investment objectives through direct and indirect investments in Corporate and Quasi-Sovereign Debt. For these purposes, Corporate and Quasi-Sovereign Debt includes fixed-income securities of emerging market countries, such as bonds, notes or other debt obligations including loan participation notes (“LPNs”), as well as other instruments, such as derivative instruments collateralized by Money Market Securities as described below. Quasi-Sovereign Debt, specifically, refers to fixed income securities or debt obligations that are issued by companies or agencies that may receive financial support or backing from the local government (collectively, “Quasi-Sovereign Institutions”). Under normal circumstances, the Fund will invest at least 80% of its net assets in Corporate and Quasi-Sovereign Debt that are fixed income securities.
Under normal circumstances, the Fund will invest at least 80% of its assets in fixed income securities. Fixed income securities include debt instruments, such as bonds, notes and other obligations, denominated in U.S. dollars or local currencies. Fixed income securities include Money Market Securities as defined below. Fixed income securities do not include derivatives.
The Fund intends to provide exposure across several geographic regions and countries. The Fund intends to invest in Corporate and Quasi-Sovereign Debt from the following regions: Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Within these regions, the Fund is likely to invest in countries such as: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Russia, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates. This list may change, based on market developments. The Fund's credit exposures are consistently monitored from a risk perspective, and may be modified, reduced, or eliminated. The Fund's exposure to any single issuer generally will be limited to 10% of the Fund's assets. The percentage of the Fund's assets in a specific region, country or issuer will change from time to time. The Fund's exposure to any one country generally will be limited to 30% of the Fund's assets though this percentage may change from time to time in response to economic events and changes to the credit ratings of the Corporate and Quasi-Sovereign Debt of such countries.
The universe of emerging market Corporate and Quasi-Sovereign Debt currently includes securities that are rated “investment grade” as well as “non-investment grade.” The Fund intends to provide a broad exposure to emerging market Corporate and Quasi-Sovereign Debt and therefore will invest in both investment grade and non-investment grade securities. The Fund expects to have 65% or more of its assets invested in investment grade securities, though this percentage may change from time to time in response to economic events and changes to the credit ratings of such issuers. Within the non-investment grade category some issuers and instruments are considered to be of lower credit quality and at higher risk of default. In order to limit its exposure to these more speculative credits, the Fund will not invest more than 15% of its assets in securities rated B or below by Moody's, or equivalently rated by S&P or Fitch. The Fund does not intend to invest in unrated securities. However, it may do so to a limited extent, such as where a rated security becomes unrated, if such security is determined by the Adviser and Sub-Adviser to be of comparable quality. In determining whether a security is of “comparable quality,” the Adviser and Sub-Adviser will consider, for example, whether the issuer of the security has issued other rated securities.
The Fund will invest only in corporate bonds that the Adviser or Sub-Adviser deems to be sufficiently liquid. The Fund will only buy performing debt securities and not distressed debt. Generally a corporate bond must have $200 million or more par amount outstanding and significant par value traded to be considered as an eligible investment. Economic and other conditions may, from time to time, lead to a decrease in the average par amount outstanding of bond issuances. Therefore, although the Fund does not intend to do so, the Fund may invest up to 5% of its net assets in corporate bonds with less than $200 million par amount outstanding if (1) the Adviser or Sub-Adviser deems such security to be sufficiently liquid based on its analysis of the market for such security (based on, for example, broker-dealer quotations or its analysis of the trading history of the security or the trading history of other securities issued by the issuer), (2) such investment is deemed by the Adviser or Sub-Adviser to be in the best interest of the Fund, and (3) such investment is deemed consistent with the Fund's goal of providing broad exposure to a broad range of emerging markets countries and issuers.
The Fund may invest in Corporate and Quasi-Sovereign Debt with effective or final maturities of any length. According to the Registration Statement, the Fund will seek to keep the average effective duration of its portfolio between 2 and 10 years under normal market conditions. Effective duration is an indication of an investment's interest rate risk or how sensitive an investment or a fund is to changes in interest rates. Generally, a fund or instrument with a longer effective duration is more sensitive to interest rate fluctuations, and, therefore, more volatile, than a fund with a shorter effective duration. The Fund's actual portfolio duration may be longer or shorter depending on market conditions.
The Fund intends to invest in Corporate and Quasi-Sovereign Debt of at least 13 non-affiliated issuers. The Fund will not concentrate 25% or more of the value of its total assets (taken at market value at the time of each investment) in any one industry, as that term is used in the 1940 Act (except that this restriction does not apply to obligations issued by the U.S. government or their respective agencies and instrumentalities or government-sponsored enterprises).
Money Market Securities
The Fund intends to invest in Money Market Securities in order to help manage cash flows in and out of the Fund, such as in connection with payment of dividends or expenses, and to satisfy margin requirements, to provide collateral or to otherwise back investments in derivative instruments. Under normal circumstances, the Fund may invest up to 25% of its net assets in Money Market Securities, although it may exceed this amount where the Adviser or Sub-Adviser deems such investment to be necessary or advisable, due to market conditions. For these purposes “Money Market Securities” include: short-term, high quality obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury or the agencies or instrumentalities of the U.S. government; short-term, high quality securities issued or guaranteed by non-U.S. governments, agencies and instrumentalities; repurchase agreements backed by U.S. government securities; money market mutual funds; and deposit and other obligations of U.S. and non-U.S. banks and financial institutions. All Money Market Securities acquired by the Fund will be rated investment grade, except that the Fund may invest in unrated Money Market Securities that are deemed by the Adviser or Sub-Adviser to be of comparable quality to money market securities rated investment grade.
Derivative Instruments and Other Investments
The Fund may use derivative instruments as part of its investment strategies. Examples of derivative instruments include forward currency contracts, interest rate swaps, total return swaps, credit linked notes, and combinations of investments that provide similar exposure to local currency debt, such as investment in U.S. dollar denominated bonds combined with forward currency positions or swaps. If forward currency and swaps positions are not being implemented in combination with U.S. dollar denominated bonds, the Fund's use of forward contracts and swaps will be combined with investments in short-term, high quality U.S. money market instruments and will be designed to provide exposure similar to investments in local currency deposits.
The Fund expects that no more than 20% of the value of the Fund's net assets will be invested in derivative instruments. Such investments will be consistent with the Fund's investment objective and will not be used to enhance leverage. For example, the Fund may engage in swap transactions that provide exposure to corporate debt or interest rates. The Fund also may buy or sell listed currency futures contracts.
With respect to certain kinds of derivative transactions entered into by the Fund that involve obligations to make future payments to third parties, including, but not limited to, futures and forward contracts, swap contracts, the purchase of securities on a when-issued or delayed delivery basis, or reverse repurchase agreements, the Fund, in accordance with applicable federal securities laws, rules, and interpretations thereof, will “set aside” liquid assets, or engage in other measures to “cover” open positions with respect to such transactions.
The Fund may engage in foreign currency transactions, and may invest directly in foreign currencies in the form of bank and financial institution deposits, and certificates of deposit denominated in a specified non-U.S. currency. The Fund may enter into forward currency contracts in order to “lock in” the exchange rate between the currency it will deliver and the currency it will receive for the duration of the contract.
The Fund may invest in the securities of other investment companies (including money market funds and ETFs). The Fund may hold up to an aggregate amount of 15% of its net assets in (1) illiquid securities; (2) Rule 144A securities; and (3) loan interests (such as loan participations and assignments, but not including LPNs). The Commission staff has interpreted the term “illiquid” in this context to mean a security that cannot be sold or disposed of within seven days in the ordinary course of business at approximately the amount at which a fund has valued such security.
The Fund will not invest in any non-U.S. equity securities.
The Fund will issue and redeem Shares on a continuous basis at net asset value (“NAV”  only in large blocks of Shares (“Creation Units”) in transactions with Authorized Participants. Creation Units generally will consist of 100,000 Shares, though this may change from time to time. Creation Units are not expected to consist of less than 50,000 Shares. The Fund will issue and redeem Creation Units in exchange for a portfolio of Corporate and Quasi-Sovereign Debt and other instruments closely approximating the holdings of the Fund or a designated basket of non-U.S. currency and/or an amount of U.S. cash. Once created, Shares of the Fund trade on the secondary market in amounts less than a Creation Unit.
Creations and redemptions must be made by an Authorized Participant or through a firm that is either a member of the National Securities Clearing Corporation or a Depository Trust Company participant, and in each case, must have executed an agreement with the Distributor with respect to creations and redemptions of Creation Unit aggregations.
Additional information regarding the Shares and the Fund, including investment strategies, risks, creation and redemption procedures, fees, portfolio holdings disclosure policies, distributions and taxes is included in the Registration Statement.
Availability of Information
The Fund's Web site (www.wisdomtree.com), which will be publicly available prior to the public offering of Shares, will include a form of the prospectus for the Fund that may be downloaded. The Web site will include additional quantitative information updated on a daily basis, including, for the Fund: (1) The prior business day's reported NAV, mid-point of the bid/ask spread at the time of calculation of such NAV (“Bid/Ask Price”), and a calculation of the premium and discount of the Bid/Ask Price against the NAV; and (2) data in chart format displaying the frequency distribution of discounts and premiums of the daily Bid/Ask Price against the NAV, within appropriate ranges, for each of the four previous calendar quarters. On each business day, before commencement of trading in Shares in the Regular Market Session  on the Exchange, the Trust will disclose on its Web site the identities and quantities of the portfolio of securities and other assets (“Disclosed Portfolio”) held by the Fund that will form the basis for the Fund's calculation of NAV at the end of the business day. The Disclosed Portfolio will include, as applicable, the names, quantity, percentage weighting and market value of fixed income securities and other assets held by the Fund and the characteristics of such assets. The Web site and information will be publicly available at no charge.
In addition, for the Fund, an estimated value, defined in Rule 5735 as the “Intraday Indicative Value,” that reflects an estimated intraday value of the Fund's portfolio, will be disseminated. Moreover, the Intraday Indicative Value, available on the NASDAQ OMX Information LLC proprietary index data service, will be based upon the current value for the components of the Disclosed Portfolio and will be updated and widely disseminated by one or more major market data vendors at least every 15 seconds during the Regular Market Session. In addition, during hours when the markets for local debt in the Fund's portfolio are closed, the Intraday Indicative Value will be updated at least every 15 seconds during the Regular Market Session to reflect currency exchange fluctuations.
The dissemination of the Intraday Indicative Value, together with the Disclosed Portfolio, will allow investors to determine the value of the underlying portfolio of the Fund on a daily basis and to provide a close estimate of that value throughout the trading day.
Intra-day, executable price quotations on emerging market Corporate and Quasi-Sovereign Debt, as well as derivative instruments are available from major broker-dealer firms. Intra-day price information is available through subscription services, such as Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters, which can be accessed by authorized participants and other investors.
Information regarding market price and volume of the Shares is and will be continually available on a real-time basis throughout the day on brokers' computer screens and other electronic services. The previous day's closing price and trading volume information for the Shares will be published daily in the financial section of newspapers. Quotation and last sale information for the Shares will be available on GIDs, which contains information for widely followed indexes and ETFs.
Initial and Continued Listing
The Shares will be subject to Rule 5735, which sets forth the initial and continued listing criteria applicable to Managed Fund Shares. The Exchange represents that, for initial and/or continued listing, the Fund must be in compliance with Rule 10A-3 under the Act. A minimum of 100,000 Shares will be outstanding at the commencement of trading on the Exchange. The Exchange will obtain a representation from the issuer of the Shares that the NAV per Share will be calculated daily and that the NAV and the Disclosed Portfolio will be made available to all market participants at the same time.
With respect to trading halts, the Exchange may consider all relevant factors in exercising its discretion to halt or suspend trading in the Shares of the Fund. Nasdaq will halt trading in the Shares under the conditions specified in Nasdaq Rules 4120 and 4121; for example, the Shares of the Fund will be halted if the “circuit breaker” parameters in Nasdaq Rule 4120(a)(11) are reached. Trading may be halted because of market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange, make trading in the Shares inadvisable. These may include: (1) The extent to which trading is not occurring in the securities and/or the financial instruments comprising the Disclosed Portfolio of the Fund; or (2) whether other unusual conditions or circumstances detrimental to the maintenance of a fair and orderly market are present. Trading in the Shares also will be subject to Rule 5735(d)(2)(D), which sets forth circumstances under which Shares of the Fund may be halted.
Nasdaq deems the Shares to be equity securities, thus rendering trading in the Shares subject to Nasdaq's existing rules governing the trading of equity securities. Nasdaq will allow trading in the Shares from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. ET. The Exchange has appropriate rules to facilitate transactions in the Shares during all trading sessions. As provided in Nasdaq Rule 5735(b)(3), the minimum price variation for quoting and entry of orders in Managed Fund Shares traded on the Exchange is $0.01.
Nasdaq believes that its surveillance procedures are adequate to properly monitor the trading of the Shares on Nasdaq during all trading sessions and to deter and detect violations of Exchange rules and the applicable federal securities laws. Trading of the Shares through Nasdaq will be subject to FINRA's surveillance procedures for derivative products, including Managed Fund Shares. The Exchange may obtain information via the Intermarket Surveillance Group (“ISG”) from other exchanges who are members or affiliates of the ISG. The Exchange prohibits the distribution of material non-public information by its employees.
Prior to the commencement of trading, the Exchange will inform its members in an Information Circular of the special characteristics and risks associated with trading the Shares. Specifically, the Information Circular will discuss the following: (1) The procedures for purchases and redemptions of Shares in Creation Units (and that Shares are not individually redeemable); (2) Nasdaq Rule 2310, which imposes suitability obligations on Nasdaq members with respect to recommending transactions in the Shares to customers; (3) how information regarding the Intraday Indicative Value is disseminated; (4) the risks involved in trading the Shares during the Pre-Market and Post-Market Sessions when an updated Intraday Indicative Value will not be calculated or publicly disseminated; (5) the requirement that members deliver a prospectus to investors purchasing newly issued Shares prior to or concurrently with the confirmation of a transaction; and (6) trading information.
In addition, the Information Circular will advise members, prior to the commencement of trading, of the prospectus delivery requirements applicable to the Fund. Members purchasing Shares from the Fund for resale to investors will deliver a prospectus to such investors. The Information Circular will also discuss any exemptive, no-action and interpretive relief granted by the Commission from any rules under the Act.
In addition, the Information Circular will reference that the Fund is subject to various fees and expenses described in the Registration Statement. The Information Circular will also disclose the trading hours of the Shares of the Fund and the applicable NAV Calculation Time for the Shares. The Information Circular will disclose that information about the Shares of the Fund will be publicly available on the Fund's Web site. In addition, the Information Circular will reference that the Trust is subject to various fees and expenses described in the Fund's Registration Statement.
2. Statutory Basis
Nasdaq believes that the proposal is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act  in general and Section 6(b)(5) of the Act  in particular in that 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 facilitating transactions in securities, and to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system.
The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices in that the Shares will be listed and traded on the Exchange pursuant to the initial and continued listing criteria in Nasdaq Rule 5735. The Exchange believes that its surveillance procedures are adequate to properly monitor the trading of the Shares on Nasdaq during all trading sessions and to deter and detect violations of Exchange rules and the applicable federal securities laws. If the investment adviser to the investment company issuing Managed Fund Shares is affiliated with a broker-dealer, such investment adviser shall erect a “fire wall” between the investment adviser and the broker-dealer with respect to access to information concerning the composition and/or changes to such investment company portfolio. The Sub-Adviser is affiliated with multiple broker-dealers and has implemented a “fire wall” with respect to such broker-dealers regarding access to information concerning the composition and/or changes to the Fund's portfolio. The Exchange may obtain information via ISG from other exchanges that are members of ISG or with which the Exchange has entered into a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement. According to the Registration Statement, the Fund expects that it will have at least 80% of its assets invested in Corporate and Quasi-Sovereign Debt that are fixed income securities. Under normal circumstances, the Fund will invest at least 80% of its assets in fixed income securities. The Fund's exposure to any single issuer generally will be limited to 10% of the Fund's assets. The Fund's exposure to any single country generally will be limited to 30% of the Fund's assets. The Fund expects to have 65% or more of its assets invested in investment grade securities, though this percentage may change from time to time in response to economic events and changes to the credit ratings of such issuers. The Fund will not invest more than 15% of its assets in securities rated B or below by Moody's, or equivalently rated by S&P or Fitch. The Fund will invest only in corporate bonds that the Adviser or Sub-Adviser deems to be sufficiently liquid and, generally, a corporate bond must have $200 million or more par amount outstanding and significant par value traded to be considered as an eligible investment. The Fund intends to invest in Corporate and Quasi-Sovereign Debt of at least 13 non-affiliated issuers. The Fund expects that no more than 20% of the value of the Fund's net assets will be invested in derivative instruments. Such investments will be consistent with the Fund's investment objective. Such investments also will not be used to enhance leverage. Under normal circumstances, the Fund also may invest up to 25% of its net assets in Money Market Securities, although it may exceed this amount where the Adviser or Sub-Adviser deems such investment to be necessary or advisable, due to market conditions. Also, The Fund may hold up to an aggregate amount of 15% of its net assets in illiquid securities and Rule 144A securities and loan interests (such as loan participations and assignments, but not including LPNs). The Fund will not invest in any non-U.S. equity securities.
The proposed rule change is designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade and to protect investors and the public interest in that the Exchange will obtain a representation from the issuer of the Shares that the NAV per Share will be calculated daily and that the NAV and the Disclosed Portfolio will be made available to all market participants at the same time. In addition, a large amount of information is publicly available regarding the Fund and the Shares, thereby promoting market transparency. The Fund's portfolio holdings will be disclosed on its Web site daily after the close of trading on the Exchange and prior to the opening of trading on the Exchange the following day. Moreover, the Intraday Indicative Value, available on the GIDs will be disseminated by one or more major market data vendors at least every 15 seconds during the Regular Market Session. On each business day, before commencement of trading in Shares in the Regular Market Session on the Exchange, the Fund will disclose on its Web site the Disclosed Portfolio that will form the basis for the Fund's calculation of NAV at the end of the business day. Information regarding market price and trading volume of the Shares is and will be continually available on a real-time basis throughout the day on brokers' computer screens and other electronic services, and quotation and last sale information for the Shares will be available on the GIDs, which contains information for the most widely followed indexes and ETFs. The Web site for the Fund will include a form of the prospectus for the Fund and additional data relating to NAV and other applicable quantitative information. Trading in Shares of the Fund will be halted if the circuit breaker parameters in Nasdaq Rule 4120(a)(11) have been reached or because of market conditions or for reasons that, in the view of the Exchange, make trading in the Shares inadvisable, and trading in the Shares will be subject to Nasdaq Rule 5735(d)(2)(D), which sets forth circumstances under which Shares of the Fund may be halted. In addition, as noted above, investors will have ready access to information regarding the Fund's holdings, the Intraday Indicative Value, the Disclosed Portfolio, and quotation and last sale information for the Shares.
The proposed rule change is designed to perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest in that it will facilitate the listing and trading of an additional type of actively-managed exchange-traded product that will enhance competition among market participants, to the benefit of investors and the marketplace. As noted above, the Exchange has in place surveillance procedures relating to trading in the Shares and may obtain information via ISG from other exchanges that are members of ISG or with which the Exchange has entered into a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement. In addition, as noted above, investors will have ready access to information regarding the Fund's holdings, the Intraday Indicative Value, the Disclosed Portfolio, and quotation and last sale information for the Shares.
For the above reasons, Nasdaq believes the proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act.
B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition
Nasdaq 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 Act.
C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others
Written comments were neither solicited nor received.
III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action
Within 45 days of the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register or within such longer period (i) as the Commission may designate up to 90 days of such date if it finds such longer period to be appropriate and publishes its reasons for so finding or (ii) as to which the Exchange consents, the Commission shall:
(A) by order approve or disapprove such proposed rule change; or
(B) institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be disapproved.
IV. 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 Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:
- Use the Commission's Internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include File Number SR-NASDAQ-2012-004 on the subject line.
- Send paper comments in triplicate to Elizabeth M. Murphy, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, Station Place, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.
All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NASDAQ-2012-004. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). 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 Web site viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549, on official business days between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Copies of the filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of Nasdaq. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NASDAQ-2012-004 and should be submitted on or before February 14, 2012.
For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.
Kevin M. O'Neill,
3. The Commission approved Nasdaq Rule 5735 in Securities Exchange Act Release No. 57962 (June 13, 2008) 73 FR 35175 (June 20, 2008) (SR-NASDAQ-2008-039). Although the Fund would be the first actively-managed fund listed on the Exchange, the Commission has previously approved the listing and trading of a number of actively managed WisdomTree Investments funds on NYSE Arca, Inc. pursuant to Rule 8.600 of that exchange. See, e.g., Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 57801 (May 8, 2008), 73 FR 27878 (May 14, 2008) (SR-NYSEArca-2008-31) (order approving listing and trading of twelve actively-managed funds of the WisdomTree Trust); 58564 (September 17, 2008), 73 FR 55194 (September 24, 2008) (SR-NYSEArca-2008-86) (order approving listing and trading of WisdomTree Dreyfus Emerging Currency Fund); 62604 (July 30, 2010), 75 FR 47323 (August 5, 2010) (SR-NYSEArca-2010-49) (order approving listing and trading of WisdomTree Emerging Markets Local Debt Fund); 62623 (August 2, 2010), 75 FR 47652 (August 6, 2010) (SR-NYSEArca-2010-51) (order approving listing and trading of WisdomTree Dreyfus Commodity Currency Fund); 63598 (December 22, 2010), 75 FR 82106 (December 29, 2010) (SR-NYSEArca-2010-98) (order approving listing and trading of WisdomTree Managed Futures Strategy Fund); 63919 (February 16, 2011), 76 FR 10073 (February 23, 2011) (SR-NYSEArca-2010-116) (order approving listing and trading of WisdomTree Asia Local Debt Fund); 64643 (June 10, 2011), 76 FR 35062 (June 15, 2011) (SR-NYSEArca-2011-21) (order approving listing and trading of WisdomTree Global Real Return Fund). The Exchange believes the proposed rule change raises no significant issues not previously addressed in those prior Commission orders.Back to Citation
4. See Post-Effective Amendment No. 56 to Registration Statement on Form N-1A for the Trust, dated July 1, 2011 (File Nos. 333-132380 and 811-21864). The descriptions of the Fund and the Shares contained herein are based, in part, on information in the Registration Statement.Back to Citation
5. WisdomTree Investments, Inc. (“WisdomTree Investments”) is the parent company of WisdomTree Asset Management.Back to Citation
6. The Sub-Adviser is responsible for day-to-day management of the Fund and, as such, typically makes all decisions with respect to portfolio holdings. The Adviser has ongoing oversight responsibility.Back to Citation
7. The Commission has issued an order granting certain exemptive relief to the Trust under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a-1) (“1940 Act”). See Investment Company Act Release No. 28171 (October 27, 2008) (File No. 812-13458). In compliance with NASDAQ Rule 5735(b)(5), which applies to Managed Fund Shares based on an international or global portfolio, the Trust's application for exemptive relief under the 1940 Act states that the Fund will comply with the federal securities laws in accepting securities for deposits and satisfying redemptions with redemption securities, including that the securities accepted for deposits and the securities used to satisfy redemption requests are sold in transactions that would be exempt from registration under the Securities Act of 1933 (15 U.S.C. 77a).Back to Citation
8. An investment adviser to an open-end fund is required to be registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (“Advisers Act”). As a result, the Adviser and Sub-Adviser and their related personnel are subject to the provisions of Rule 204A-1 under the Advisers Act relating to codes of ethics. This Rule requires investment advisers to adopt a code of ethics that reflects the fiduciary nature of the relationship to clients as well as compliance with other applicable securities laws. Accordingly, procedures designed to prevent the communication and misuse of non-public information by an investment adviser must be consistent with Rule 204A-1 under the Advisers Act. In addition, Rule 206(4)-7 under the Advisers Act makes it unlawful for an investment adviser to provide investment advice to clients unless such investment adviser has (i) adopted and implemented written policies and procedures reasonably designed to prevent violation, by the investment adviser and its supervised persons, of the Advisers Act and the Commission rules adopted thereunder; (ii) implemented, at a minimum, an annual review regarding the adequacy of the policies and procedures established pursuant to subparagraph (i) above and the effectiveness of their implementation; and (iii) designated an individual (who is a supervised person) responsible for administering the policies and procedures adopted under subparagraph (i) above.Back to Citation
9. According to the Adviser, while there is no universally accepted definition of what constitutes an “emerging market,” in general, emerging market countries are characterized by developing commercial and financial infrastructure with significant potential for economic growth and increased capital market participation by foreign investors. The Adviser and Sub-Adviser look at a variety of commonly-used factors when determining whether a country is an “emerging” market. In general, the Adviser and Sub-Adviser consider a country to be an emerging market if:
(1) It is either (a) classified by the World Bank in the lower middle or upper middle income designation for one of the past 5 years (i.e., per capita gross national product of less than U.S. $9,385), (b) has not been a member of OECD for the past five years or (c) classified by the World Bank as high income and a member in OECD in each of the last five years, but with a currency that has been primarily traded on a non-delivered basis by offshore investors (e.g., Korea and Taiwan); and
(2) the country's debt market is considered relatively accessible by foreign investors in terms of capital flow and settlement considerations.Back to Citation
11. The Fund may invest in LPNs with a minimum outstanding principal amount of $200 million that the Adviser or Sub-Adviser deems to be liquid. The Adviser represents that LPNs denominated in U.S. dollars are the predominant form of corporate debt financing in certain emerging markets, particularly in Russia, where they constitute approximately 70% of the corporate debt market (approximately $40 billion outstanding). In aggregate, LPNs represented over 11% of the JP Morgan Emerging Markets Corporate Bond Index as of November 30, 2011. LPNs are highly liquid instruments that are typically eligible for settlement at Eurcoclear, Clearstream, or in the U.S., through DTC. Moreover, intra-day quotations in LPNs are generally available from major broker-dealers and data vendors, such as Bloomberg.Back to Citation
12. The term “under normal circumstances” includes, but is not limited to, the absence of extreme volatility or trading halts in the fixed income markets or the financial markets generally; operational issues causing dissemination of inaccurate market information; or force majeure type events such as systems failure, natural or man-made disaster, act of God, armed conflict, act of terrorism, riot or labor disruption or any similar intervening circumstance.Back to Citation
13. The Adviser represents that the size and liquidity of the global market for corporate bonds of emerging market issuers generally has been increasing in recent years. The aggregate dollar amount of emerging market corporate bonds traded in the first two quarters of 2011 ($490 billion) represented a 36.4% increase compared to the first two quarters of 2010 ($359 billion). This growth is consistent with the 71% increase in volume for calendar year 2010 ($879.45 billion) over 2009. The $514 billion traded in 2009 represented a substantial increase over the amount traded in 2008 ($380 billion). Turnover in emerging market corporate debt in the first two quarters of 2011 was approximately 14.2% of the overall volume of emerging market debt of $3.443 trillion. In 2010, emerging market corporate bonds accounted for 16% of the total $6.765 trillion of emerging market debt trading. This represents a meaningful increase relative to calendar year 2009 where turnover in emerging market corporate debt accounted for 12% of the overall volume of emerging market debt ($4.445 trillion). These figures compared to only a 9% share in 2008. (Source: Emerging Markets Traders Association Press Release(s), December 8, 2010, August 12, 2010, May 20, 2010, March 8, 2010, March 22, 2011, June 17, 2011 and August 22, 2011).Back to Citation
14. See Form N-1A, Item 9. The Commission has taken the position that a fund is concentrated if it invests more than 25% of the value of its total assets in any one industry. See, e.g., Investment Company Act Release No. 9011 (Oct. 30, 1975), 40 FR 54241 (November 21, 1975).Back to Citation
15. See footnote 12, supra.Back to Citation
16. A forward currency contract is an agreement to buy or sell a specific currency on a future date at a price set at the time of the contract.Back to Citation
17. An interest rate swap involves the exchange of a floating interest rate payment for a fixed interest rate payment.Back to Citation
18. A total return swap is an agreement between two parties in which one party agrees to make payments of the total return of a reference asset in return for payments equal to a rate of interest on another reference asset.Back to Citation
19. A credit linked note is a type of structured note whose value is linked to an underling reference asset or entity. Credit linked notes typically provide periodic payments of interest as well as payment of principal upon maturity.Back to Citation
20. The exchange-listed futures contracts in which the Fund may invest may be listed on exchanges in the U.S., London, Hong Kong or Singapore. Each of the United Kingdom's primary financial markets regulator, the Financial Services Authority, Hong Kong's primary financial markets regulator, the Securities and Futures Commission, and Singapore's primary financial markets regulator, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, are signatories to the International Organization of Securities Commissions (“IOSCO”) Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding (“MMOU”), which is a multi-party information sharing arrangement among financial regulators. Both the Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission are signatories to the IOSCO MMOU.Back to Citation
21. See 15 U.S.C. 80a-18; Investment Company Act Release No. 10666 (April 18, 1979), 44 FR 25128 (April 27, 1979); Dreyfus Strategic Investing, Commission No-Action Letter (June 22, 1987); Merrill Lynch Asset Management, L.P., Commission No-Action Letter (July 2, 1996).Back to Citation
22. The Fund will invest only in currencies, and instruments that provide exposure to such currencies, that have significant foreign exchange turnover and are included in the Bank for International Settlements Triennial Central Bank Survey, December 2010 (“BIS Survey”). The Fund may invest in currencies, and instruments that provide exposure to such currencies, selected from the top 40 currencies (as measured by percentage share of average daily turnover for the applicable month and year) included in the BIS Survey.Back to Citation
23. The Commission has stated that long-standing Commission guidelines have required open-end funds to hold no more than 15% of their net assets in illiquid securities and other illiquid assets. See Investment Company Act Release No. 28193 (March 11, 2008), 73 FR 14617 (March 18, 2008), footnote 34. See also Investment Company Act Release No. 5847 (October 21, 1969), 35 FR 19989 (December 31, 1970) (Statement Regarding “Restricted Securities”); Investment Company Act Release No. 18612 (March 12, 1992), 57 FR 9828 (March 20, 1992) (Revisions of Guidelines to Form N-1A). A fund's portfolio security is illiquid if it cannot be disposed of in the ordinary course of business within seven days at approximately the value ascribed to it by the fund. See Investment Company Act Release No. 14983 (March 12, 1986), 51 FR 9773 (March 21, 1986) (adopting amendments to Rule 2a-7 under the 1940 Act); Investment Company Act Release No. 17452 (April 23, 1990), 55 FR 17933 (April 30, 1990) (adopting Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933).Back to Citation
24. The NAV of the Fund's Shares generally is calculated once daily Monday through Friday as of the close of regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange, generally 4 p.m. Eastern time (“NAV Calculation Time”). NAV per Share is calculated by dividing the Fund's net assets by the number of Fund Shares outstanding. For more information regarding the valuation of Fund investments in calculating the Fund's NAV, see the Registration Statement.Back to Citation
25. The Bid/Ask Price of the Fund will be determined using the midpoint of the highest bid and the lowest offer on the Exchange as of the time of calculation of such Fund's NAV. The records relating to Bid/Ask Prices will be retained by the Fund and its service providers.Back to Citation
26. See Nasdaq Rule 4120(b)(4) (describing the three trading sessions on the Exchange: (1) Pre-Market Session from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.; (2) Regular Market Session from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. or 4:15 p.m.; and (3) Post-Market Session from 4 p.m. or 4:15 p.m. to 8 p.m.).Back to Citation
27. Under accounting procedures to be followed by the Fund, trades made on the prior business day (“T”) will be booked and reflected in NAV on the current business day (“T+1”). Notwithstanding the foregoing, portfolio trades that are executed prior to the opening of the Exchange on any business day may be booked and reflected in NAV on such business day. Accordingly, the Fund will be able to disclose at the beginning of the business day the portfolio that will form the basis for the NAV calculation at the end of the business day.Back to Citation
28. Currently, the NASDAQ OMX Global Index Data Service (“GIDS”) is the NASDAQ OMX global index data feed service, offering real-time updates, daily summary messages, and access to widely followed indexes and ETFs. GIDS provides investment professionals with the daily and historical information needed to track or trade NASDAQ OMX indexes, listed ETFs or third-party partner indexes and ETFs.Back to Citation
30. FINRA surveils trading on Nasdaq pursuant to a regulatory services agreement. Nasdaq is responsible for FINRA's performance under this regulatory services agreement.Back to Citation
31. For a list of the current members and affiliate members of ISG, see www.isgportal.com.Back to Citation
[FR Doc. 2012-1285 Filed 1-23-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8011-01-P