Articles Tagged with nontransparent ETFs

shutterstock_183801500In a rare move of true consumer protection, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) denied applications by fund managers BlackRock Inc. and Precidian Investments to offer nontransparent exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to investors by stating that such products were not in the public’s interest. The SEC stated that the proposals could inflict substantial costs on investors, disrupt orderly trading, and damage market confidence in trading of ETFs.

The fund managers have argued that opening up actively managed ETFs to full transparency would lead to front running, a strategy where other investors trade ahead to gain a benefit. As a result, the funds argue that their trading strategies are rendered obsolete by the market’s knowledge of them. Thus, the solution the industry devised was to deprive the investing public of disclosure of fund holdings.

However, the SEC said that daily transparency is necessary to keep the market prices of ETF shares at or close to the net asset value per share of the ETF. But as usual, the industry losses a battle but will eventually win the war. Others funds such as American Funds, T. Rowe Price Group Inc. and Eaton Vance Corp. all have applications pending for similar nontransparent ETFs where the SEC could rule on various alternative proposals. In addition, Precidian’s chief executive, Daniel J. McCabe, told InvestmentNews he believed the SEC’s objections can be worked though and that it will merely take longer to get approval because the funds are not standard.

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