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SEC Publishes Request for Public Comment on Exchange-Traded Products

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2015-118
Washington D.C., June 12, 2015

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that it is seeking public comment to help inform its review of the listing and trading of new, novel, or complex exchange-traded products (ETPs).  The request for comment addresses key issues that arise when exemptions are sought by a market participant to trade a new ETP or when a securities exchange seeks to establish standards for listing new ETPs.  Due to the expansion of ETP investment strategies in recent years that has led to a significant increase in the number and complexity of these requests, the Commission determined it would be beneficial to receive public input on these issues.

“Exchange-traded products have become an increasingly important investment vehicle to market participants ranging from individuals to large institutional investors,” said SEC Chair Mary Jo White.  “As new products are developed and their complexity grows, it is critical that we have broad public input to inform our evaluation of how they should be listed, traded, and marketed to investors, especially retail investors.”

The request for comment addresses arbitrage mechanisms and market pricing for ETPs, legal exemptions and other regulatory positions related to the trading of ETPs, and securities exchange listing standards for ETPs.  In addition, the request invites comment on how market professionals sell ETPs, especially to retail investors, and on investors’ understanding of the nature and use of ETPs.

ETPs constitute a diverse class of financial products that seeks to provide investors with exposure to financial instruments, financial benchmarks, or investment strategies across a wide range of asset classes.  ETP trading occurs on national securities exchanges and other secondary markets that are regulated by the Commission under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

The public comment period will remain open for 60 days following publication of the comment request in the Federal Register. 

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