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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change to List and Trade Shares of the iShares Interest Rate Hedged Corporate Bond ETF and iShares Interest Rate Hedged High Yield Bond ETF Under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600

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Start Preamble March 24, 2014.

Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) [1] of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”) [2] and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,[3] notice is hereby given that, on March 19, 2014, NYSE Arca, Inc. (the “Exchange” or “NYSE Arca”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III below, which Items have been prepared by the self-regulatory organization. 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 the Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

The Exchange proposes to list and trade the following under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600 (“Managed Fund Shares”): iShares Interest Rate Hedged Corporate Bond ETF and iShares Interest Rate Hedged High Yield Bond ETF. The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's Web site at www.nyse.com, at the principal office of the Exchange, 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, the self-regulatory organization 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 those statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant parts of such statements.

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

1. Purpose

The Exchange proposes to list and trade shares (“Shares”) of the following under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600, which governs the listing and trading of Managed Fund Shares [4] : iShares Interest Rate Hedged Corporate Bond ETF and iShares Interest Rate Hedged High Yield Bond ETF (each, a “Fund” and collectively, the “Funds”). The Shares of the Funds will be offered by iShares U.S. ETF Trust (the “Trust”).[5] . The Trust is registered with the Commission as an open-end management investment company.[6] BlackRock Fund Advisors (“BFA”) will serve as the investment adviser to the Funds (the “Adviser”). BFA is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of BlackRock, Inc. BlackRock Investments, LLC (the “Distributor”) will be the principal underwriter and distributor of the Funds' Shares. State Street Bank and Trust Company (the Start Printed Page 17586“Administrator”, “Custodian” or “Transfer Agent”) will serve as administrator, custodian and transfer agent for the Funds.

Commentary .06 to Rule 8.600 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. Commentary .06 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.[7] Commentary .06 to Rule 8.600 is similar to Commentary .03(a)(i) and (iii) to NYSE Arca Equities Rule 5.2(j)(3); however, Commentary .06 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. The Adviser is not registered as a broker-dealer but 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 a Fund's portfolio. In the event (a) the Adviser or any sub-adviser registers as a broker-dealer or becomes newly affiliated with a broker-dealer, or (b) any new adviser or sub-adviser is a registered broker-dealer, or becomes affiliated with a broker-dealer, it will implement a fire wall with respect to its relevant personnel or its broker-dealer affiliate 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.

iShares Interest Rate Hedged Corporate Bond ETF

According to the Corporate Bond Registration Statement, the Fund will seek to mitigate the interest rate risk of a portfolio composed of U.S. dollar-denominated, investment grade corporate bonds. The Fund will seek to achieve its investment objective by investing, under normal circumstances,[8] at least 80% of its net assets in U.S. dollar-denominated investment-grade bonds, in one or more investment companies (exchange-traded and non-exchange-traded funds) that principally invest in investment-grade bonds, in U.S. Treasury securities (or cash equivalents), and by taking short positions in U.S. Treasury futures and other interest rate futures contracts.

According to the Corporate Bond Registration Statement, the Fund initially intends to invest a substantial portion of its assets in the iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (the “Underlying Corporate Bond Fund”). The Fund will attempt to mitigate interest rate risk primarily through the use of U.S. Treasury futures contracts. The Fund may also take short positions in other interest rate futures contracts, including but not limited to, Eurodollar and Federal Funds futures. The Fund will invest only in futures contracts that are traded on an exchange that is a member of the Intermarket Surveillance Group (“ISG”) or with which the Exchange has in place a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement.

BFA will utilize a model-based proprietary investment process to assemble an investment portfolio comprised of (i) long positions in the Underlying Corporate Bond Fund, (ii) long positions in U.S. dollar-denominated investment-grade corporate bonds, (iii) long positions in U.S. Treasury securities and (iv) short positions in U.S. Treasury futures and other interest rate futures contracts. The short positions are expected to have, in the aggregate, approximately equivalent duration to the underlying securities in the Underlying Corporate Bond Fund and to the investment-grade corporate bonds. By taking these short positions, BFA will seek to mitigate the potential impact of rising Treasury interest rates on the performance of the Underlying Corporate Bond Fund and the investment-grade corporate bonds (conversely also limiting the potential positive impact of falling interest rates). The short positions will not be intended to mitigate other factors influencing the price of investment-grade bonds, such as credit risk, which may have a greater impact than rising or falling interest rates. Relative to a long-only investment in the same investment-grade bonds, the Fund's investment strategy will be designed to outperform in a rising interest rate environment and underperform in a falling interest rate environment.

iShares Interest Rate Hedged High Yield Bond ETF

According to the High Yield Registration Statement, the Fund will seek to mitigate the interest rate risk of a portfolio composed of U.S. dollar-denominated, high yield corporate bonds. The Fund will seek to achieve its investment objective by investing, under normal circumstances, at least 80% of its net assets in U.S. dollar-denominated high yield corporate bonds, in one or more investment companies (exchange-traded and non-exchange-traded funds) that principally invest in high yield bonds, in U.S. Treasury securities (or cash equivalents), and by taking short positions in U.S. Treasury futures and other interest rate futures contracts.

According to the High Yield Registration Statement, the Fund initially intends to invest a substantial portion of its assets in the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (the “Underlying High Yield Bond Fund” and together with the Underlying Corporate Bond Fund, the “Underlying Funds”). The Fund will attempt to mitigate interest rate risk primarily through the use of U.S. Treasury futures contracts. The Fund may also take short positions in other interest rate futures contracts, including but not limited to, Eurodollar and Federal Funds futures. The Fund will invest only in futures contracts that are traded on an exchange that is a member of the ISG or with which the Exchange has in place a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement.Start Printed Page 17587

BFA will utilize a model-based proprietary investment process to assemble an investment portfolio comprised of (i) long positions in the Underlying High Yield Bond Fund, (ii) long positions in U.S. dollar-denominated high yield corporate bonds, (iii) long positions in U.S. Treasury securities and (iv) short positions in U.S. Treasury futures and other interest rate futures contracts. The short positions are expected to have, in the aggregate, approximately equivalent duration to the underlying securities in the Underlying High Yield Bond Fund and to the high yield corporate bonds. By taking these short positions, BFA will seek to mitigate the potential impact of rising Treasury interest rates on the performance of the Underlying High Yield Bond Fund and the high yield corporate bonds (conversely also limiting the potential positive impact of falling interest rates). The short positions will not be intended to mitigate other factors influencing the price of high yield bonds, such as credit risk, which may have a greater impact than rising or falling interest rates. Relative to a long-only investment in the same high yield bonds, the Fund's investment strategy will be designed to outperform in a rising interest rate environment and underperform in a falling interest rate environment.

Other Investments

While each Fund, under normal circumstances, will invest at least 80% of its net assets in its investments as described above, a Fund may directly invest in certain other investments, as described below. The Funds may temporarily depart from its normal investment process,[9] , provided that the alternative, in the opinion of BFA, is consistent with a Fund's investment objective and is in the best interest of a Fund. However, BFA will not seek to actively time market movements.

A Fund may hold up to an aggregate amount of 15% of its net assets in illiquid assets (calculated at the time of investment), including Rule 144A securities deemed illiquid by the Adviser, consistent with Commission guidance.[10] Each Fund will monitor its portfolio liquidity on an ongoing basis to determine whether, in light of current circumstances, an adequate level of liquidity is being maintained, and will consider taking appropriate steps in order to maintain adequate liquidity if, through a change in values, net assets, or other circumstances, more than 15% of a Fund's net assets are held in illiquid assets. Illiquid assets include assets subject to contractual or other restrictions on resale and other instruments that lack readily available markets as determined in accordance with Commission staff guidance.[11]

Each Fund may invest in repurchase and reverse repurchase agreements. A repurchase agreement is an instrument under which the purchaser (i.e., a Fund or an Underlying Fund) acquires the security and the seller agrees, at the time of the sale, to repurchase the security at a mutually agreed upon time and price, thereby determining the yield during the purchaser's holding period. Reverse repurchase agreements involve the sale of securities with an agreement to repurchase the securities at an agreed-upon price, date and interest payment and have the characteristics of borrowing.

Each Fund may invest in money market instruments on an ongoing basis to provide liquidity or for other reasons. Money market instruments are generally short-term investments that may include but are not limited to: (i) Shares of money market funds (including those advised by BFA or otherwise affiliated with BFA); (ii) obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities (including government-sponsored enterprises); (iii) negotiable certificates of deposit (“CDs”), bankers' acceptances, fixed-time deposits and other obligations of U.S. and non-U.S. banks (including non-U.S. branches) and similar institutions; (iv) commercial paper rated, at the date of purchase, “Prime-1” by Moody's® Investors Service, Inc., “F-1” by Fitch Inc., or “A-1” by Standard & Poor's® (“S&P®”), or if unrated, of comparable quality as determined by BFA; (v) non-convertible corporate debt securities (e.g., bonds and debentures) with remaining maturities at the date of purchase of not more than 397 days and that satisfy the rating requirements set forth in Rule 2a-7 under the 1940 Act; and (vi) short-term U.S. dollar-denominated obligations of non-U.S. banks (including U.S. branches) that, in the opinion of BFA, are of comparable quality to obligations of U.S. banks which may be purchased by a Fund. Any of these instruments may be purchased on a current or forward-settled basis. Time deposits are non-negotiable deposits maintained in banking institutions for specified periods of time at stated interest rates.

A Fund may invest in options that are traded on a U.S. or non-U.S. exchange and that reference U.S. Treasury securities. To the extent that a Fund invests in options, not more than 10% of such investment would be in options whose principal trading market is not a member of ISG or is a market with which the Exchange does not have a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement.

A Fund or the Underlying Funds may invest in debt securities of non-U.S. issuers and may invest in privately-issued debt securities.

Each Fund will be classified as a “diversified” investment company under the 1940 Act.[12]

Each Fund will not purchase the securities of issuers conducting their principal business activity in the same industry if, immediately after the purchase and as a result thereof, the value of a Fund's investments in that industry would equal or exceed 25% of the current value of a Fund's total assets, provided that this restriction does not limit a Fund's: (i) Investments in securities of other investment companies, (ii) investments in securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies or Start Printed Page 17588instrumentalities, (iii) investments in securities of state, territory, possession or municipal governments and their authorities, agencies, instrumentalities or political subdivisions; or (iv) investments in repurchase agreements collateralized by any such obligations.[13]

Each Fund intends to qualify for and to elect treatment as a separate regulated investment company (“RIC”) under Subchapter M of the Internal Revenue Code.[14]

Each Fund's investments will be consistent with its investment objective.

The Shares

The Shares will conform to the initial and continued listing criteria under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600. The Exchange represents that, for initial and/or continued listing, the Funds will be in compliance with Rule 10A-3 [15] under theAct, as provided by NYSE Arca Equities Rule 5.3. A minimum of 100,000 Shares for each Fund 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 net asset value (“NAV”) per Share of each Fund will be calculated daily and that the NAV and the Disclosed Portfolio as defined in NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600(c)(2) will be made available to all market participants at the same time.

Creation and Redemption of Shares

According to the Registration Statements, each Fund will issue and redeem Shares on a continuous basis at NAV only in large specified numbers of Shares called a “Creation Unit”.

The consideration for purchase of Creation Units of each Fund generally will consist of the in-kind deposit of a designated portfolio of securities (including any portion of such securities for which cash may be substituted) (i.e., the Deposit Securities (as defined below)) and the Cash Component (as defined below) computed as described below. Together, the Deposit Securities and the Cash Component constitute the “Fund Deposit,” which will be applicable (subject to possible amendment or correction) to creation requests received in proper form. The Fund Deposit represents the minimum initial and subsequent investment amount for a Creation Unit of a Fund.

The Cash Component will be an amount equal to the difference between the NAV of the Shares (per Creation Unit) and the “Deposit Amount,” which is an amount equal to the market value of the Deposit Securities, and serve to compensate for any differences between the NAV per Creation Unit and the Deposit Amount.

BFA will make available through the National Securities Clearing Corporation (“NSCC”) on each business day, prior to the opening of business on the Exchange, the list of names and the required number or par value of each Deposit Security and the amount of the Cash Component to be included in the current Fund Deposit (based on information as of the end of the previous business day) for the applicable Fund. Such Fund Deposit is applicable, subject to any adjustments as described below, in order to effect purchases of Creation Units of Shares of a Fund until such time as the next-announced Fund Deposit is made available.

The identity and number or par value of the Deposit Securities may change pursuant to changes in the composition of a Fund's portfolio and as rebalancing adjustments and corporate action events occur from time to time. The composition of the Deposit Securities may also change in response to adjustments to the weighting or composition of the component securities constituting a Fund's portfolio.

The portfolio of securities required for purchase of a Creation Unit may not be identical to the portfolio of securities a Fund will deliver upon redemption of Fund Shares. The Deposit Securities and Fund Securities (as defined below), as the case may be, in connection with a purchase or redemption of a Creation Unit, generally will correspond pro rata to the securities held by such Fund.

Each Fund reserves the right to permit or require the substitution of a “cash in lieu” amount to be added to the Cash Component to replace any Deposit Security that may not be available in sufficient quantity for delivery or that may not be eligible for transfer through the Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) or through the continuous net settlement system of the NSCC. Each Fund also reserves the right to permit or require a “cash in lieu” amount in certain other circumstances, including circumstances in which (i) the delivery of the Deposit Security by the authorized participant would be restricted under applicable securities laws or (ii) the delivery of the Deposit Security to the authorized participant would result in the disposition of the Deposit Security by the authorized participant becoming restricted under applicable securities laws, or in certain other situations. The Adviser represents that, to the extent the Trust permits or requires a “cash in lieu” amount, such transactions will be effected in the same or equitable manner for all authorized participants.

Creation Units may be purchased only by or through a DTC participant that has entered into an authorized participant agreement (as described in the Registration Statements) with the Distributor. Except as noted below, all creation orders must be placed for one or more Creation Units and must be received by the Distributor in proper form no later than the closing time of the regular trading session of the Exchange (normally 4:00 p.m., Eastern time) in each case on the date such order is placed in order for creation of Creation Units to be effected based on the NAV of Shares of a Fund as next determined on such date after receipt of the order in proper form. Orders requesting substitution of a “cash in lieu” amount generally must be received by the Distributor no later than 4:00 p.m., Eastern time. On days when the Exchange or other markets close earlier than normal, a Fund may require orders to create Creation Units to be placed earlier in the day. A standard creation transaction fee will be imposed to offset the transfer and other transaction costs associated with the issuance of Creation Units.

Shares of a Fund may be redeemed only in Creation Units at their NAV next determined after receipt of a redemption request in proper form by the Distributor and only on a business day. BFA will make available through the NSCC, prior to the opening of business on the Exchange on each business day, the designated portfolio of securities (including any portion of such securities for which cash may be substituted) that will be applicable (subject to possible amendment or correction) to redemption requests received in proper form on that day (“Fund Securities”). Fund Securities received on redemption may not be identical to Deposit Securities that are applicable to creations of Creation Units.

Unless cash redemptions are available or specified for a Fund, the redemption proceeds for a Creation Unit generally will consist of a specified amount of cash, Fund Securities, plus additional cash in an amount equal to the difference between the NAV of the Shares being redeemed, as next determined after the receipt of a request in proper form, and the value of the specified amount of cash and Fund Start Printed Page 17589Securities, less a redemption transaction fee. Each Fund currently will redeem Shares for Fund Securities, but each Fund reserves the right to utilize a “cash” option for redemption of Shares.

A standard redemption transaction fee will be imposed to offset transfer and other transaction costs that may be incurred by a Fund.

Redemption requests for Creation Units of a Fund must be submitted to the Distributor by or through an authorized participant no later than 4:00 p.m. Eastern time on any business day, in order to receive that day's NAV. The authorized participant must transmit the request for redemption in the form required by a Fund to the Distributor in accordance with procedures set forth in the authorized participant agreement.

Determination of Net Asset Value

According to the Registration Statements, the NAV of each Fund normally will be determined once each business day, generally as of the regularly scheduled close of business of the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) (normally 4:00 p.m., Eastern time) on each day that the NYSE is open for trading, based on prices at the time of closing provided that (a) any Fund assets or liabilities denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar are translated into U.S. dollars at the prevailing market rates on the date of valuation as quoted by one or more data service providers, and (b) U.S. fixed-income assets may be valued as of the announced closing time for trading in fixed-income instruments in a particular market or exchange. The NAV per Share of each Fund will be calculated by dividing the value of the net assets of each Fund (i.e., the value of its total assets less total liabilities) by the total number of outstanding Shares of a Fund, generally rounded to the nearest cent.

The value of the securities and other assets and liabilities held by each Fund will be determined pursuant to valuation policies and procedures approved by the Trust's Board of Directors (“Board”).

Except as described below, each Fund will value fixed-income portfolio securities, including money market instruments and U.S. government securities, using prices provided directly from one or more broker-dealers, market makers, or independent third-party pricing services which may use matrix pricing and valuation models, as well as recent market transactions for the same or similar assets, to derive values. Certain money market instruments with maturities of 60 days or less will generally be valued on the basis of amortized cost. Repurchase agreements and reverse repurchase agreements are generally valued at par.

Exchange-traded options are generally valued at the mean of the last bid and ask prices as quoted on the exchange or the board of trade on which such options are traded. Futures contracts, including U.S. Treasury futures contracts, will be valued at their last sale price or settle price as of the close of such exchange.

Investments in other investment companies will be valued using market valuations. Investment companies that are exchange traded will generally be valued using the last reported official closing price or last trading price on the exchange or other market on which the fund is primarily traded at the time of valuation. Investment companies that are not exchange traded will be valued at their net asset value.

Generally, trading in U.S. Treasury futures, non-U.S. securities, U.S. government securities, money market instruments and certain fixed-income securities is substantially completed each day at various times prior to the close of business on the NYSE. The values of such securities used in computing the NAV of each Fund are determined as of such times.

When market quotations are not readily available or are believed by BFA to be unreliable, each Fund's investments will be valued at fair value. Fair value determinations will be made by BFA in accordance with policies and procedures approved by the Trust's Board. BFA may conclude that a market quotation is not readily available or is unreliable if a security or other asset or liability does not have a price source due to its lack of liquidity, if a market quotation differs significantly from recent price quotations or otherwise no longer appears to reflect fair value, where the security or other asset or liability is thinly traded, or where there is a significant event subsequent to the most recent market quotation. A “significant event” is an event that, in the judgment of BFA, is likely to cause a material change to the closing market price of the asset or liability held by the Fund.

Availability of Information

The Funds' Web site (www.ishares.com), which will be publicly available prior to the public offering of Shares, will include a form of the prospectus for a Fund that may be downloaded. The Funds' Web site will include additional quantitative information updated on a daily basis, including, for the Funds, (1) the prior business day's reported closing price, NAV and mid-point of the bid/ask spread at the time of calculation of such NAV (the “Bid/Ask Price”),[16] 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 Core Trading Session on the Exchange, each Fund will disclose on its Web site the Disclosed Portfolio that will form the basis for such Fund's calculation of NAV at the end of the business day.[17]

On a daily basis, the Fund will disclose for each portfolio security or other financial instrument of each Fund the following information on the Funds' Web site: ticker symbol (if applicable), name of security or financial instrument, number of shares (if applicable) and dollar value of securities and financial instruments held in the portfolio, and percentage weighting of the security and financial instrument in the portfolio. The Web site information will be publicly available at no charge.

In addition, a basket composition file, which includes the security names and share quantities required to be delivered in exchange for each Fund's Shares, together with estimates and actual cash components, will be publicly disseminated daily prior to the opening of the NYSE via NSCC. The basket represents one Creation Unit of a Fund.

Investors can also obtain the Trust's Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”), each Fund's Shareholder Reports, and the Trust's Form N-CSR and Form N-SAR, filed twice a year. The Trust's SAI and Shareholder Reports are available free upon request from the Trust, and those documents and the Form N-CSR and Form N-SAR may be viewed on-screen or downloaded from the Commission's Web site at www.sec.gov. Information regarding market price and trading volume of the Shares will be continually available on a real-time basis throughout Start Printed Page 17590the day on brokers' computer screens and other electronic services. Information regarding 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 of each Fund and the shares of the Underlying Funds and any ETFs held by each Fund will be available via the Consolidated Tape Association (“CTA”) high-speed line. Quotation and last sale information for exchange-listed options contracts will be available via the Options Price Reporting Authority. In addition, the Indicative Optimized Portfolio Value (“IOPV”),[18] which is the Portfolio Indicative Value as defined in NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600 (c)(3), will be widely disseminated at least every 15 seconds during the Core Trading Session by one or more major market data vendors.[19] The dissemination of the IOPV, together with the Disclosed Portfolio, will allow investors to determine the value of the underlying portfolio of each Fund on a daily basis and to provide a close estimate of that value throughout the trading day. The intra-day, closing and settlement prices of exchange-traded portfolio assets, including investment companies, money market instruments, futures and options will be readily available from the securities exchanges and futures exchanges trading such securities and futures, as the case may be, automated quotation systems, published or other public sources, or on-line information services such as Bloomberg or Reuters. Such price information on fixed income portfolio securities, including money market instruments, and other Fund assets traded in over-the-counter markets including bonds and money market instruments is available from major broker-dealer firms or market data vendors, as well as from automated quotation systems, published or other public sources, or online information services.

Additional information regarding the Trust and the Shares, including investment strategies, risks, creation and redemption procedures, fees, portfolio holdings disclosure policies, distributions and taxes is included in the Registration Statements. All terms relating to the Funds that are referred to, but not defined in, this proposed rule change are defined in the Registration Statements.

Trading Halts

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 Funds.[20] Trading in Shares of a Fund will be halted if the circuit breaker parameters in NYSE Arca Equities Rule 7.12 have been reached. Trading also 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 a 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 will be subject to NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600(d)(2)(D), which sets forth circumstances under which Shares of a Fund may be halted.

Trading Rules

The Exchange deems the Shares to be equity securities, thus rendering trading in the Shares subject to the Exchange's existing rules governing the trading of equity securities. Shares will trade on the NYSE Arca Marketplace from 4:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time in accordance with NYSE Arca Equities Rule 7.34 (Opening, Core, and Late Trading Sessions). The Exchange has appropriate rules to facilitate transactions in the Shares during all trading sessions. As provided in NYSE Arca Equities Rule 7.6, Commentary .03, the minimum price variation (“MPV”) for quoting and entry of orders in equity securities traded on the NYSE Arca Marketplace is $0.01, with the exception of securities that are priced less than $1.00 for which the MPV for order entry is $0.0001.

Surveillance

The Exchange represents that trading in the Shares will be subject to the existing surveillance procedures administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) on behalf of the Exchange, which are designed to detect violations of Exchange rules and applicable federal securities laws.[21] The Exchange represents that these procedures are adequate to properly monitor Exchange trading of the Shares in all trading sessions and to deter and detect violations of Exchange rules and applicable federal securities laws.

The Exchange's current trading surveillance focuses on detecting securities trading outside their normal patterns. When such situations are detected, surveillance analysis follows and investigations are opened, where appropriate, to review the behavior of all relevant parties for all relevant trading violations.

FINRA, on behalf of the Exchange, will communicate as needed regarding trading in the Shares of the Funds, as well as underlying equity securities, futures and options contracts with other markets and other entities that are members of the ISG, and FINRA, on behalf of the Exchange, may obtain trading information regarding trading in the Shares of the Funds as well as underlying equity securities and futures from such markets and other entities. In addition, the Exchange may obtain information regarding trading in the Shares of the Funds from markets and other entities that are members of ISG or with which the Exchange has in place a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement.[22] The Exchange may obtain information regarding trading in the Shares of the Funds as well as underlying equity securities, futures and exchange-traded options contracts from ISG member markets or markets with which the Exchange has in place a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement. In addition, FINRA, on behalf of the Exchange, is able to access, as needed, trade information for certain fixed income instruments reported to FINRA's Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine (“TRACE”).

In addition, the Exchange also has a general policy prohibiting the distribution of material, non-public information by its employees.Start Printed Page 17591

Information Bulletin

Prior to the commencement of trading, the Exchange will inform its Equity Trading Permit (“ETP”) Holders in an Information Bulletin (“Bulletin”) of the special characteristics and risks associated with trading the Shares. Specifically, the Bulletin will discuss the following: (1) The procedures for purchases and redemptions of Shares in Creation Unit aggregations (and that Shares are not individually redeemable); (2) NYSE Arca Equities Rule 9.2(a), which imposes a duty of due diligence on its ETP Holders to learn the essential facts relating to every customer prior to trading the Shares; (3) the risks involved in trading the Shares during the Opening and Late Trading Sessions when an updated IOPV will not be calculated or publicly disseminated; (4) how information regarding the IOPV is disseminated; (5) the requirement that ETP Holders 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 Bulletin will reference that each Fund is subject to various fees and expenses described in the Registration Statements. The Bulletin will discuss any exemptive, no-action, and interpretive relief granted by the Commission from any rules under the Act. The Bulletin will also disclose that the NAV for the Shares will be calculated after 4:00 p.m. Eastern time each trading day.

2. Statutory Basis

The basis under the Act for this proposed rule change is the requirement under Section 6(b)(5) [23] that an exchange have rules that are designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to remove impediments to, and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest.

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 NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600. The Exchange has in place surveillance procedures that are adequate to properly monitor trading in the Shares in all trading sessions and to deter and detect violations of Exchange rules and applicable federal securities laws. The Adviser has implemented a “fire wall” with respect to its affiliated broker-dealers regarding access to information concerning the composition and/or changes to a Fund's portfolios. FINRA, on behalf of the Exchange, will communicate as needed regarding trading in the Shares of the Funds, as well as underlying equity securities, futures and options contracts with other markets and other entities that are members of the ISG, and FINRA, on behalf of the Exchange, may obtain trading information regarding trading in the Shares of the Funds as well as underlying equity securities and futures from such markets and other entities. In addition, the Exchange may obtain information regarding trading in the Shares of the Funds from markets and other entities that are members of ISG or with which the Exchange has in place a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement. The Exchange may obtain information regarding trading in the Shares of the Funds as well as underlying equity securities, futures and options contracts from ISG member markets or markets with which the Exchange has in place a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement. A Fund may hold up to an aggregate amount of 15% of its net assets in illiquid assets (calculated at the time of investment), including Rule 144A securities deemed illiquid by the Adviser. With respect to its exchange-listed equity securities investments, a Fund will invest only in equity securities that trade in markets that are members of the ISG or are parties to a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement with the Exchange. To the extent that a Fund invests in options, not more than 10% of such investment would be in options whose principal trading market is not a member of ISG or is a market with which the Exchange does not have a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement.

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 of each Fund will be calculated daily and that the NAV and the Disclosed Portfolio for each Fund will be made available to all market participants at the same time. In addition, a large amount of information is publicly available regarding the Funds and the Shares, thereby promoting market transparency. Moreover, the IOPV will be widely disseminated by one or more major market data vendors at least every 15 seconds during the Exchange's Core Trading Session. On each business day, before commencement of trading in Shares in the Core Trading Session on the Exchange, the Funds will disclose on their Web site the Disclosed Portfolio that will form the basis for a Fund's calculation of NAV at the end of the business day. Information regarding market price and trading volume of the Shares 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 will be available via the CTA high-speed line. The Web site for the Funds will include a form of the prospectus for the Funds and additional data relating to NAV and other applicable quantitative information. Moreover, prior to the commencement of trading, the Exchange will inform its ETP Holders in an Information Bulletin of the special characteristics and risks associated with trading the Shares. Trading in Shares of a Fund will be halted if the circuit breaker parameters in NYSE Arca Equities Rule 7.12 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 NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.600(d)(2)(D), which sets forth circumstances under which Shares of a Fund may be halted. In addition, as noted above, investors will have ready access to information regarding a Fund's holdings, the IOPV, 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, FINRA, on behalf of the Exchange, will communicate as needed regarding trading in the Shares with other markets and other entities that are members of the ISG and FINRA, on behalf of the Exchange, may obtain trading information regarding trading in the Shares from such markets and other entities. In addition, the Exchange may obtain information regarding trading in the Shares from markets and other entities that are members of ISG or with which the Exchange has in place a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement. In addition, as noted above, investors will have ready access to information regarding a Fund's holdings, the IOPV, the Disclosed Start Printed Page 17592Portfolio, and quotation and last sale information for the Shares. The proposed rule change would benefit investors by providing them with additional choice of transparent and tradable products.

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 purpose of the Act. The Exchange notes that the proposed rule change will facilitate the listing and trading of other actively-managed exchange-traded products that hold equity securities and will enhance competition among market participants, to the benefit of investors and the marketplace.

C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

No written comments were solicited or received with respect to the proposed rule change.

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 self-regulatory organization consents, the Commission will:

(A) By order approve or disapprove the 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:

Electronic comments:

Paper Comments:

  • Send paper comments in triplicate to Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NYSEArca-2014-23. 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 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of such filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. 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-NYSEArca-2014-23, and should be submitted on or before April 18, 2014.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.[24]

Kevin M. O'Neill,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

1.  15 U.S.C.78s(b)(1).

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4.  A Managed Fund Share is a security that represents an interest in an investment company registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a-1) (“1940 Act”) organized as an open-end investment company or similar entity that invests in a portfolio of securities selected by its investment adviser consistent with its investment objectives and policies. In contrast, an open-end investment company that issues Investment Company Units, listed and traded on the Exchange under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 5.2(j)(3), seeks to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance of a specific foreign or domestic stock index, fixed income securities index or combination thereof.

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5.  The Commission has previously approved listing and trading on the Exchange of a number of actively managed funds under Rule 8.600. See, e.g., Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 57801 (May 8, 2008), 73 FR 27878 (May 14, 2008) (SR-NYSEArca-2008-31) (order approving Exchange listing and trading of twelve actively-managed funds of the WisdomTree Trust); 60460 (August 7, 2009), 74 FR 41468 (August 17, 2009) (SR-NYSEArca-2009-55) (order approving listing and trading of Dent Tactical ETF); 63076 (October 12, 2010), 75 FR 63874 (October 18, 2010) (SR-NYSEArca-2010-79) (order approving listing and trading of Cambria Global Tactical ETF).

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6.  The Trust is registered under the 1940 Act. On August 22, 2013, the Trust filed with the Commission post-effective amendments on Form N-1A under the Securities Act of 1933 (15 U.S.C. 77a) and under the 1940 Act relating to the iShares Interest Rate Hedged Corporate Bond ETF (the “Corporate Bond Registration Statement”) and the iShares Interest Rate Hedged High Yield Bond ETF (the “High Yield Registration Statement” and together with the Corporate Bond Registration Statement, the “Registration Statements”) (File Nos. 333-179904 and 811-22649). The description of the operation of the Trust and the Funds herein is based, in part, on the Registration Statements. In addition, the Commission has issued an order granting certain exemptive relief to the Trust under the 1940 Act. See Investment Company Act Release No. 29571 (File No. 812-13601) (“Exemptive Order”).

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7.  An investment adviser to an open-end fund is required to be registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (the “Advisers Act”). As a result, the Adviser and its 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

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8.  The term “under normal circumstances” includes, but is not limited to, the absence of extreme volatility or trading halts in the equity 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.

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9.  Circumstances under which a Fund may temporarily depart from their normal investment process include, but are not limited to, extreme volatility or trading halts in the equity 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.

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10.  In reaching liquidity decisions, the Adviser may consider factors including: The frequency of trades and quotes for the security; the number of dealers wishing to purchase or sell the security and the number of other potential purchasers; dealer undertakings to make a market in the security; the nature of the security and the nature of the marketplace in which it trades (e.g., the time needed to dispose of the security, the method of soliciting offers and the mechanics of transfer); any legal or contractual restrictions on the ability to transfer the security or asset; significant developments involving the issuer or counterparty specifically (e.g., default, bankruptcy, etc.) or the securities markets generally; and settlement practices, registration procedures, limitations on currency conversion or repatriation, and transfer limitations (for foreign securities or other assets).

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11.  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 14618 (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).

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12.  The diversification standard is set forth in Section 5(b)(1) of the 1940 Act.

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13.  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 (October 30, 1975), 40 FR 54241 (November 21, 1975).

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16.  The Bid/Ask Price of each Fund will be determined using the mid-point of the highest bid and the lowest offer on the Exchange as of the time of calculation of a Fund's NAV. The records relating to Bid/Ask Prices will be retained by the Funds and their service providers.

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17.  Under accounting procedures followed by the Funds, trades made on the prior business day (“T”) will be booked and reflected in NAV on the current business day (“T+1”). Accordingly, the Funds 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.

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18.  According to the Registration Statements, the IOPV calculations will be estimates of the value of each Fund's NAV per Share using market data converted into U.S. dollars at the current currency rates. The IOPV price will be based on quotes and closing prices from the securities' local market and may not reflect events that occur subsequent to the local market's close. Premiums and discounts between the IOPV and the market price may occur. This should not be viewed as a “real-time” update of the NAV per Share of the Funds, which will be calculated only once a day. The quotations of certain Fund holdings may not be updated during U.S. trading hours if such holdings do not trade in the United States.

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19.  Currently, it is the Exchange's understanding that several major market data vendors display and/or make widely available IOPVs taken from CTA or other data feeds.

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20.  See NYSE Arca Equities Rule 7.12.

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21.  FINRA surveils trading on the Exchange pursuant to a regulatory services agreement. The Exchange is responsible for FINRA's performance under this regulatory services agreement.

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22.  For a list of the current members of ISG, see www.isgportal.org. The Exchange notes that not all components of the Disclosed Portfolio for a Fund may trade on markets that are members of ISG or with which the Exchange has in place a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement.

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[FR Doc. 2014-06966 Filed 3-27-14; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8011-01-P