485APOS 1 na011320etf-kokusai.htm DBX ETF TRUST - XTRACKERS MSCI KOKUSAI EQUITY ETF

As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on October 28, 2019

Securities Act File No. 333-170122

Investment Company File No. 811-22487

 

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, DC 20549
________________

 

FORM N-1A

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

UNDER

   

THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933

 

 
   

Pre-Effective Amendment No.

 

 
   

Post-Effective Amendment No. 459

 

 

and/or

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

UNDER

         
   

THE INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT OF 1940

 

 
   

Amendment No. 461

 

 

(Check appropriate box or boxes)
________________

 

DBX ETF TRUST
(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)
________________

345 Park Avenue
New York, New York 10154
(Address of Principal Executive Offices) (Zip Code)
Registrant’s Telephone Number, including Area Code: (212) 250-2500

________________

Freddi Klassen

DBX ETF Trust

345 Park Avenue

New York, New York 10154

(Name and Address of Agent for Service)

Copy to: Stuart Strauss, Esq.

Dechert LLP

1095 Avenue of the Americas

New York, New York 10036
________________
 

It is proposed that this filing will become effective: (check appropriate box)

  immediately upon filing pursuant to paragraph (b)
  on ______________ pursuant to paragraph (b)
  60 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a) (1)
  on (date) pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)
  75 days after filing pursuant to paragraph (a)(2)
  on January 13, 2020 pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of Rule 485

If appropriate, check the following box:

  this post-effective amendment designates a new effective date for a previously filed post-effective amendment

 

1 
 

 

 

EXPLANATORY NOTE

 

This Post-Effective Amendment contains the Prospectus and Statement of Additional Information relating to the following series of the Registrant:

  • Xtrackers MSCI Kokusai Equity ETF

 

This Post-Effective Amendment is not intended to update or amend any other Prospectuses or Statements of Additional Information of the Registrant’s other series.

 

 

2 
 

Prospectus
January 13, 2020
Xtrackers MSCI Kokusai Equity ETF
[Exchange TBD]: [XXXX]
The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has not approved or disapproved these securities or passed upon the adequacy of this Prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

Table of Contents
 
Your investment in the fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency, entity or person.

 

Xtrackers MSCI Kokusai Equity ETF
Ticker: [XXXX] Stock Exchange: Exchange TBD
Investment Objective
Xtrackers MSCI Kokusai Equity ETF (the “fund”) seeks investment results that correspond generally to the performance, before fees and expenses, of the MSCI Kokusai Index (the “Underlying Index”). The MSCI Kokusai Index is also known as the MSCI World ex Japan Index.
Fees and Expenses
These are the fees and expenses that you will pay when you buy and hold shares. You may also pay brokerage commissions on the purchase and sale of shares of the fund, which are not reflected in the table.
ANNUAL FUND OPERATING EXPENSES
(expenses that you pay each year as a % of the value of your investment)
Management fee 0.__
Other Expenses1 None
Total annual fund operating expenses 0.__
1 Because the fund is new, “Other Expenses” are based on estimated amounts for the current fiscal year.
EXAMPLE
This Example is intended to help you compare the cost of investing in the fund with the cost of investing in other funds. The Example assumes that you invest $10,000 in the fund for the time periods indicated and then sell all of your shares at the end of those periods. The Example also assumes that your investment has a 5% return each year and that the fund's operating expenses remain the same. The Example does not take into account brokerage commissions that you may pay on your purchases and sales of shares of the fund. It also does not include the transaction fees on purchases and redemptions of Creation Units (defined herein), because those fees will not be imposed on retail investors. Although your actual costs may be higher or lower, based on these assumptions your costs would be:
  1 Year 3 Years
  $ $
PORTFOLIO TURNOVER  
The fund pays transaction costs, such as commissions, when it buys and sells securities (or “turns over” its portfolio). A higher portfolio turnover may indicate higher transaction costs and may mean higher taxes if you are investing in a taxable account. These costs are not reflected in annual fund operating expenses or in the expense example, and can affect the fund’s performance.
Since the fund is newly offered, portfolio turnover information is not available.
Principal Investment Strategies
The fund, using a “passive” or indexing investment approach, seeks investment results that correspond generally to the performance, before fees and expenses, of the Underlying Index, which is designed to track the performance of equity markets in developed markets (excluding Japan). The fund uses a full replication indexing strategy to seek to track the Underlying Index. As such, the fund invests directly in the component securities (or a substantial number of the component securities) of the Underlying Index in substantially the same weightings in which they are represented in the Underlying Index. If it is not possible for the fund to acquire component securities due to limited availability or regulatory restrictions, the fund may use a representative sampling indexing strategy to seek to track the Underlying Index instead of a full replication indexing strategy. “Representative sampling” is an indexing strategy that involves investing in a representative sample of securities that collectively has an investment profile similar to the Underlying Index. The fund will invest at least 80% of its total assets (but typically far more) in component securities (including depositary receipts in respect of such securities) of the Underlying Index.
 
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As of [Month Day, Year], the Underlying Index consisted of [____] securities, with an average market capitalization of approximately [$___] billion and a minimum market capitalization of approximately [$___] billion, from issuers in the following countries: [Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States]. The Underlying Index may include large or mid-capitalization companies.
The fund will normally invest at least 80% of its net assets, plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes, in the equity securities of issuers from developed markets (excluding Japan). As of [Month Day, Year], a significant percentage of the Underlying Index was comprised of securities of issuers from the [United States] (__.__%). The Underlying Index is rebalanced semi-annually in May and November, and thus the fund rebalances its portfolio in corresponding fashion.
The fund is classified as non-diversified under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). The fund will concentrate its investments (i.e., hold 25% or more of its total assets) in a particular industry or group of industries to the extent that its Underlying Index is concentrated. [As of [Month Day, Year], a significant percentage of the Underlying Index was comprised of issuers in the information technology (__._%) and [financial services (__.__%) sectors.] The information technology sector includes companies engaged in developing software and providing data processing and outsourced services, along with manufacturing and distributing communications equipment, computers and other electronic equipment and instruments. The financial services sector includes companies involved in banking, consumer finance, asset management and custody banks, as well as investment banking and brokerage and insurance.
While the fund is currently classified as “non-diversified” under the 1940 Act, as amended, it may operate as or become classified as “diversified” over time. The fund could again become non-diversified solely as a result of a change in relative market capitalization or index weighting of one or more constituents of the index that the fund is designed to track. Shareholder approval will not be sought when the fund crosses from diversified to non-diversified status under such circumstances.
Securities lending. The fund may lend its portfolio securities to brokers, dealers and other financial institutions desiring to borrow securities to complete transactions and for other purposes. In connection with such loans, the fund receives liquid collateral equal to at least 102% of the value of the portfolio securities being lent. This collateral is marked to market on a daily basis. The fund may lend its portfolio securities in an amount up to 33 1/3% of its total assets.
Main Risks
As with any investment, you could lose all or part of your investment in the fund, and the fund’s performance could trail that of other investments. The fund is subject to the main risks noted below, any of which may adversely affect the fund’s net asset value (“NAV”), trading price, yield, total return and ability to meet its investment objective, as well as numerous other risks that are described in greater detail in the section of this Prospectus entitled “Additional Information About Fund Strategies, Underlying Index Information and Risks” and in the Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”).
Stock market risk. When stock prices fall, you should expect the value of your investment to fall as well. Stock prices can be hurt by poor management on the part of the stock’s issuer, shrinking product demand and other business risks. These may affect single companies as well as groups of companies. The market as a whole may not favor the types of investments the fund makes, which could adversely affect a stock’s price, regardless of how well the company performs, or the fund’s ability to sell a stock at an attractive price. There is a chance that stock prices overall will decline because stock markets tend to move in cycles, with periods of rising and falling prices. Events in the US and global financial markets, including actions taken by the US Federal Reserve or foreign central banks to stimulate or stabilize economic growth, may at times result in unusually high market volatility which could negatively affect performance. Further, geopolitical and other events, including war, terrorism, economic uncertainty, trade disputes and related geopolitical events have led, and in the future may lead, to increased short-term market volatility, which may disrupt securities markets and have adverse long-term effects on US and world economies and markets. To the extent that the fund invests in a particular geographic region, capitalization or sector, the fund’s performance may be affected by the general performance of that region, capitalization or sector.
Geographic focus risk. Focusing investments in a single country or few countries, or regions, involves increased political, regulatory and other risks. Market swings in such a targeted country, countries or regions are likely to have a greater effect on fund performance than they would in a more geographically diversified fund.
Risks related to investing in developed countries. The fund’s investment in developed country issuers may subject the fund to regulatory, political, currency, security, and economic risks specific to developed countries. Developed countries tend to represent a significant portion of the global economy and have generally experienced slower economic growth than some other countries. A majority of developed countries have recently experienced a significant economic slowdown. In addition, developed countries may be impacted by changes to the economic health of
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certain key trading partners, regulatory burdens, debt burdens and the price or availability of certain commodities.
Foreign investment risk. The fund faces the risks inherent in foreign investing. Adverse political, economic or social developments could undermine the value of the fund’s investments or prevent the fund from realizing the full value of its investments. Financial reporting standards for companies based in foreign markets differ from those in the US. Additionally, foreign securities markets generally are smaller and less liquid than US markets. To the extent that the fund invests in non-US dollar denominated foreign securities, changes in currency exchange rates may affect the US dollar value of foreign securities or the income or gain received on these securities.
Foreign governments may restrict investment by foreigners, limit withdrawal of trading profit or currency from the country, restrict currency exchange or seize foreign investments. The investments of the fund may also be subject to foreign withholding taxes. Foreign brokerage commissions and other fees are generally higher than those for US investments, and the transactions and custody of foreign assets may involve delays in payment, delivery or recovery of money or investments.
Foreign markets can have liquidity risks beyond those typical of US markets. Because foreign exchanges generally are smaller and less liquid than US exchanges, buying and selling foreign investments can be more difficult and costly. Relatively small transactions can sometimes materially affect the price and availability of securities. In certain situations, it may become virtually impossible to sell an investment at a price that approaches portfolio management’s estimate of its value. For the same reason, it may at times be difficult to value the fund’s foreign investments.
Depositary receipt risk. Depositary receipts involve similar risks to those associated with investments in securities of non-US issuers. Depositary receipts also may be less liquid than the underlying shares in their primary trading market.
European investment risk. European financial markets have experienced volatility in recent years and have been adversely affected by concerns about economic downturns, credit rating downgrades, rising government debt level and possible default on or restructuring of government debt in several European countries. A default or debt restructuring by any European country would adversely impact holders of that country’s debt, and sellers of credit default swaps linked to that country’s creditworthiness. Most countries in Western Europe are members of the European Union (EU), which faces major issues involving its membership, structure, procedures and policies. In June 2016, citizens of the United Kingdom approved a referendum to leave the EU and in March 2017, the United Kingdom initiated its withdrawal from the EU, which is currently scheduled to occur by the end of October 2019.
Significant uncertainty exists regarding the United Kingdom’s anticipated withdrawal from the EU and any adverse economic and political effects such withdrawal may have on the United Kingdom, other EU countries and the global economy, which could be significant, potentially resulting in increased volatility and illiquidity and lower economic growth.
European countries are also significantly affected by fiscal and monetary controls implemented by the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), and it is possible that the timing and substance of these controls may not address the needs of all EMU member countries. Investing in euro-denominated securities also risks exposure to a currency that may not fully reflect the strengths and weaknesses of the disparate economies that comprise Europe. There is continued concern over member state-level support for the euro, which could lead to certain countries leaving the EMU, the implementation of currency controls, or potentially the dissolution of the euro. The dissolution of the euro could have significant negative effects on European financial markets.
Currency risk. Changes in currency exchange rates and the relative value of non-US currencies may affect the value of the fund’s investment and the value of your fund shares. Because the fund’s NAV is determined on the basis of the US dollar, investors may lose money if the foreign currency depreciates against the US dollar, even if the foreign currency value of the fund’s holdings in that market increases. Conversely, the dollar value of your investment in the fund may go up if the value of the foreign currency appreciates against the US dollar. The value of the US dollar measured against other currencies is influenced by a variety of factors. These factors include: interest rates, national debt levels and trade deficits, changes in balances of payments and trade, domestic and foreign interest and inflation rates, global or regional political, economic or financial events, monetary policies of governments, actual or potential government intervention, and global energy prices. Political instability, the possibility of government intervention and restrictive or opaque business and investment policies may also reduce the value of a country’s currency. Government monetary policies and the buying or selling of currency by a country’s government may also influence exchange rates. Currency exchange rates can be very volatile and can change quickly and unpredictably. Therefore, the value of an investment in the fund may also go up or down quickly and unpredictably and investors may lose money.
Medium-sized company risk. Medium-sized company stocks tend to be more volatile than large company stocks. Because stock analysts are less likely to follow medium-sized companies, less information about them is available to investors. Industry-wide reversals may have a greater impact on medium-sized companies, since they lack the
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financial resources of larger companies. Medium-sized company stocks are typically less liquid than large company stocks.
Focus risk. To the extent that the fund focuses its investments in particular industries, asset classes or sectors of the economy, any market price movements, regulatory or technological changes, or economic conditions affecting companies in those industries, asset classes or sectors may have a significant impact on the fund’s performance.
Information technology sector risk. To the extent that the fund invests significantly in the information technology sector, the fund will be sensitive to changes in, and the fund’s performance may depend to a greater extent on, the overall condition of the information technology sector. Information technology companies are particularly vulnerable to government regulation and competition, both domestically and internationally, including competition from foreign competitors with lower production costs. Information technology companies also face competition for services of qualified personnel. Additionally, the products of information technology companies may face obsolescence due to rapid technological development and frequent new product introduction by competitors. Finally, information technology companies are heavily dependent on patent and intellectual property rights, the loss or impairment of which may adversely affect profitability.
Financial services sector risk. To the extent that the fund invests significantly in the financial services sector, the fund will be sensitive to changes in, and the fund’s performance may depend to a greater extent on, the overall condition of the financial services sector. The financial services sector is subject to extensive government regulation, can be subject to relatively rapid change due to increasingly blurred distinctions between service segments, and can be significantly affected by availability and cost of capital funds, changes in interest rates, the rate of corporate and consumer debt defaults, and price competition. In addition, the deterioration of the credit markets in 2007 and the ensuing financial crisis in 2008 resulted in an unusually high degree of volatility in the financial markets for an extended period of time, the effects of which may persist indefinitely.
Indexing risk. While the exposure of an index to its component securities is by definition 100%, the fund’s effective exposure to index securities may vary over time. Because an index fund is designed to maintain a high level of exposure to its Underlying Index at all times, it will not take any steps to invest defensively or otherwise reduce the risk of loss during market downturns.
Tracking error risk. The performance of the fund may diverge from that of its Underlying Index for a number of reasons, including operating expenses, transaction costs, cash flows and operational inefficiencies. The fund’s return also may diverge from the return of the Underlying Index because the fund bears the costs and risks associated
with buying and selling securities (especially when rebalancing the fund’s securities holdings to reflect changes in the Underlying Index) while such costs and risks are not factored into the return of the Underlying Index. Transaction costs, including brokerage costs, will decrease the fund’s NAV to the extent not offset by the transaction fee payable by an “Authorized Participant” (“AP”). Market disruptions and regulatory restrictions could have an adverse effect on the fund’s ability to adjust its exposure to the required levels in order to track the Underlying Index. In addition, to the extent that portfolio management uses a representative sampling approach (investing in a representative selection of securities included in the Underlying Index rather than all securities in the Underlying Index) it may cause the fund to not be as well correlated with the return of the Underlying Index as would be the case if the fund purchased all of the securities in the Underlying Index in the proportions represented in the Underlying Index. Errors in the Underlying Index data, the Underlying Index computations and/or the construction of the Underlying Index in accordance with its methodology may occur from time to time and may not be identified and corrected by the index provider for a period of time or at all, which may have an adverse impact on the fund and its shareholders. In addition, the fund may not be able to invest in certain securities included in the Underlying Index, or invest in them in the exact proportions in which they are represented in the Underlying Index, due to legal restrictions or limitations imposed by the governments of certain countries, a lack of liquidity in the markets in which such securities trade, potential adverse tax consequences or other regulatory reasons. To the extent the fund calculates its NAV based on fair value prices and the value of the Underlying Index is based on securities’ closing prices (i.e., the value of the Underlying Index is not based on fair value prices), the fund’s ability to track the Underlying Index may be adversely affected. For tax efficiency purposes, the fund may sell certain securities, and such sale may cause the fund to realize a loss and deviate from the performance of the Underlying Index. In light of the factors discussed above, the fund’s return may deviate significantly from the return of the Underlying Index.
Market price risk. Fund shares are listed for trading on an exchange and are bought and sold in the secondary market at market prices. The market prices of shares will fluctuate, in some cases materially, in response to changes in the NAV and supply and demand for shares. As a result, the trading prices of shares may deviate significantly from the NAV during periods of market volatility. The Advisor cannot predict whether shares will trade above, below or at their NAV. Given the fact that shares can be created and redeemed in Creation Units (defined below), the Advisor believes that large discounts or premiums to the NAV of shares should not be sustained in the long-term. If market makers exit the business or are unable to continue making markets in fund shares, shares may trade at a discount to NAV like closed-end fund shares and may even face
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delisting (that is, investors would no longer be able to trade shares in the secondary market). Further, while the creation/redemption feature is designed to make it likely that shares normally will trade close to the value of the fund’s holdings, disruptions to creations and redemptions, including disruptions at market makers, APs or market participants, or during periods of significant market volatility, may result in market prices that differ significantly from the value of the fund’s holdings. Although market makers will generally take advantage of differences between the NAV and the market price of fund shares through arbitrage opportunities, there is no guarantee that they will do so. In addition, the securities held by the fund may be traded in markets that close at a different time than the exchange on which the fund’s shares trade. Liquidity in those securities may be reduced after the applicable closing times. Accordingly, during the time when the exchange is open but after the applicable market closing, fixing or settlement times, bid-ask spreads and the resulting premium or discount to the shares’ NAV is likely to widen. Further, secondary markets may be subject to irregular trading activity, wide bid-ask spreads and extended trade settlement periods, which could cause a material decline in the fund’s NAV. The fund’s investment results are measured based upon the daily NAV of the fund. Investors purchasing and selling shares in the secondary market may not experience investment results consistent with those experienced by those APs creating and redeeming shares directly with the fund.
Valuation risk. Because non-US markets may be open on days when the fund does not price its shares, the value of the securities in the fund’s portfolio may change on days when shareholders will not be able to purchase or sell the fund’s shares.
Non-diversification risk. The fund is classified as non-diversified under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended. This means that the fund may invest in securities of relatively few issuers. Thus, the performance of one or a small number of portfolio holdings can affect overall performance.
If the fund becomes classified as “diversified” over time and again becomes non-diversified as a result of a change in relative market capitalization or index weighting of one or more constituents of the index that the fund is designed to track, non-diversification risk would apply.
Liquidity risk. In certain situations, it may be difficult or impossible to sell an investment at an acceptable price. This risk can be ongoing for any security that does not trade actively or in large volumes, for any security that trades primarily on smaller markets, and for investments that typically trade only among a limited number of large investors (such as certain types of derivatives or restricted securities). In unusual market conditions, even normally liquid securities may be affected by a degree of liquidity risk. This may affect only certain securities or an overall securities market.
Although the fund primarily seeks to redeem shares of the fund on an in-kind basis, if the fund is forced to sell underlying investments at reduced prices or under unfavorable conditions to meet redemption requests or other cash needs, the fund may suffer a loss. This may be magnified in circumstances where redemptions from the fund may be higher than normal.
Operational risk. Cyber-attacks, disruptions, or failures that affect the fund’s service providers or counterparties, issuers of securities held by the fund, or other market participants may adversely affect the fund and its shareholders, including by causing losses for the fund or impairing fund operations.
Authorized Participant concentration risk. The fund may have a limited number of financial institutions that may act as APs. Only APs who have entered into agreements with the fund’s distributor may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with the fund (as described below under “Buying and Selling Shares”). If those APs exit the business or are unable to process creation and/or redemption orders, (including in situations where APs have limited or diminished access to capital required to post collateral) and no other AP is able to step forward to create and redeem in either of these cases, shares may trade at a discount to NAV like closed-end fund shares and may even face delisting (that is, investors would no longer be able to trade shares in the secondary market).
Counterparty risk. A financial institution or other counterparty with whom the fund does business, or that underwrites, distributes or guarantees any investments or contracts that the fund owns or is otherwise exposed to, may decline in financial health and become unable to honor its commitments. This could cause losses for the fund or could delay the return or delivery of collateral or other assets to the fund.
Securities lending risk. Securities lending involves the risk that the fund may lose money because the borrower of the loaned securities fails to return the securities in a timely manner or at all. The fund could also lose money in the event of a decline in the value of the collateral provided for the loaned securities or a decline in the value of any investments made with cash collateral. These events, and securities lending in general, could trigger adverse tax consequences for the fund and its investors. For example, if the fund loans its securities, the fund and its investors may lose the ability to treat certain fund distributions associated with those securities as qualified dividend income.
Past Performance
As of the date of this Prospectus, the fund has not yet commenced operations and therefore does not report its performance information. Once available, the fund’s performance information will be accessible on the fund’s website at www.Xtrackers.com and will provide some indication of the risks of investing in the fund by showing
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changes in the fund’s performance and by showing how the fund’s returns compare with those of a broad measure of market performance. Past performance may not indicate future results.
Management
Investment Advisor
DBX Advisors LLC
Portfolio Managers
Bryan Richards, CFA, Managing Director. Portfolio Manager of the fund. Began managing the fund in 2020.
Patrick Dwyer, Director. Portfolio Manager of the fund. Began managing the fund in 2020.
Shlomo Bassous, Vice President. Portfolio Manager of the fund. Began managing the fund in 2020.
Purchase and Sale of Fund Shares
The fund is an exchange-traded fund (commonly referred to as an “ETF”). Individual fund shares may only be purchased and sold through a brokerage firm. The price of fund shares is based on market price, and because ETF shares trade at market prices rather than NAV, shares may trade at a price greater than NAV (a premium) or less than NAV (a discount). The fund will only issue or redeem shares that have been aggregated into blocks of 50,000 shares or multiples thereof (“Creation Units”) to APs who have entered into agreements with ALPS Distributors, Inc., the fund’s distributor.
Tax Information
The fund's distributions are generally taxable to you as ordinary income or capital gains, except when your investment is in an IRA, 401(k), or other tax-deferred investment plan. Any withdrawals you make from such tax- advantaged investment plans, however, may be taxable to you.
Payments to Broker-Dealers and
Other Financial Intermediaries
If you purchase shares of the fund through a broker-dealer or other financial intermediary (such as a bank), the Advisor or other related companies may pay the intermediary for marketing activities and presentations, educational training programs, the support of technology platforms and/or reporting systems or other services related to the sale or promotion of the fund. These payments may create a conflict of interest by influencing the broker-dealer or other intermediary and your salesperson to recommend the fund over another investment. Ask your salesperson or visit your financial intermediary’s website for more information.
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Fund Details
Additional Information About Fund Strategies, Underlying Index Information and Risks
Investment Objective
Xtrackers MSCI Kokusai Equity ETF (the “fund”) seeks investment results that correspond generally to the performance, before fees and expenses, of the MSCI Kokusai Index (the “Underlying Index”). The MSCI Kokusai Index is also known as the MSCI World ex Japan Index.
Principal Investment Strategies
The fund, using a “passive” or indexing investment approach, seeks investment results that correspond generally to the performance, before fees and expenses, of the Underlying Index, which is designed to track the performance of equity markets in developed markets (excluding Japan). The fund uses a full replication indexing strategy to seek to track the Underlying Index. As such, the fund invests directly in the component securities (or a substantial number of the component securities) of the Underlying Index in substantially the same weightings in which they are represented in the Underlying Index. If it is not possible for the fund to acquire component securities due to limited availability or regulatory restrictions, the fund may use a representative sampling indexing strategy to seek to track the Underlying Index instead of a full replication indexing strategy. “Representative sampling” is an indexing strategy that involves investing in a representative sample of securities that collectively has an investment profile similar to the Underlying Index. The fund will invest at least 80% of its total assets (but typically far more) in component securities (including depositary receipts in respect of such securities) of the Underlying Index.
As of [Month Day, Year], the Underlying Index consisted of [____] securities, with an average market capitalization of approximately [$___] billion and a minimum market capitalization of approximately [$___] billion, from issuers in the following countries: [Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway,
Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States]. The Underlying Index may include large or mid-capitalization companies.
The fund will normally invest at least 80% of its net assets, plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes, in the equity securities of issuers from developed markets (excluding Japan). As of [Month Day, Year], a significant percentage of the Underlying Index was comprised of securities of issuers from the [United States] (__.__%). The Underlying Index is rebalanced semi-annually in May and November, and thus the fund rebalances its portfolio in corresponding fashion.
The fund is classified as non-diversified under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). The fund will concentrate its investments (i.e., hold 25% or more of its total assets) in a particular industry or group of industries to the extent that its Underlying Index is concentrated. [As of [Month Day, Year], a significant percentage of the Underlying Index was comprised of issuers in the information technology (__._%) and [financial services (__.__%) sectors.] The information technology sector includes companies engaged in developing software and providing data processing and outsourced services, along with manufacturing and distributing communications equipment, computers and other electronic equipment and instruments. The financial services sector includes companies involved in banking, consumer finance, asset management and custody banks, as well as investment banking and brokerage and insurance.
The fund may also invest in depositary receipts in respect of equity securities that comprise its Underlying Index to seek performance that corresponds to the fund’s respective Underlying Index. Investments in such depositary receipts will count towards the fund’s 80% investment policy discussed above with respect to instruments that comprise the applicable Underlying Index. The fund will not invest in any unlisted depositary receipt or any depositary receipt that the Advisor deems illiquid at the time of purchase or for which pricing information is not readily available.
The fund may invest its remaining assets in other securities, including securities not in the Underlying Index, cash and cash equivalents, money market instruments, such as repurchase agreements or money market funds
 
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(including money market funds advised by the Advisor or its affiliates (subject to applicable limitations under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”), or exemptions therefrom), convertible securities, structured notes (notes on which the amount of principal repayment and interest payments are based on the movement of one or more specified factors, such as the movement of a particular stock or stock index) and in futures contracts, options on futures contracts and other types of options and swaps related to its Underlying Index. The fund will not use futures or options for speculative purposes.
The fund expects to use futures contracts to a limited extent in seeking performance that corresponds to its Underlying Index.
While the fund is currently classified as “non-diversified” under the 1940 Act, as amended, it may operate as or become classified as “diversified” over time. The fund could again become non-diversified solely as a result of a change in relative market capitalization or index weighting of one or more constituents of the index that the fund is designed to track. Shareholder approval will not be sought when the fund crosses from diversified to non-diversified status under such circumstances.
Securities lending. The fund may lend its portfolio securities to brokers, dealers and other financial institutions desiring to borrow securities to complete transactions and for other purposes. In connection with such loans, the fund receives liquid collateral equal to at least 102% of the value of the portfolio securities being lent. This collateral is marked to market on a daily basis. The fund may lend its portfolio securities in an amount up to 33 1/3% of its total assets.
Underlying Index Information
MSCI Kokusai Index
Number of Components: approximately [____]
Index Description. The MSCI Kokusai Index, also known as the MSCI World ex Japan Index, is a free float-adjusted market capitalization weighted index designed to provide exposure to large- and mid-cap equity securities in 22 of the 23 developed stock markets across the world, excluding Japan. As of [Month Day, Year], the Underlying Index consisted of issuers from the following 22 developed market countries: [Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.]
Main Risks
As with any investment, you could lose all or part of your investment in the fund, and the fund’s performance could trail that of other investments. The fund is subject to the
main risks noted below, any of which may adversely affect the fund’s net asset value (“NAV”), trading price, yield, total return and ability to meet its investment objective.
Stock market risk. When stock prices fall, you should expect the value of your investment to fall as well. Stock prices can be hurt by poor management on the part of the stock’s issuer, shrinking product demand and other business risks. These may affect single companies as well as groups of companies. The market as a whole may not favor the types of investments the fund makes, which could adversely affect a stock’s price, regardless of how well the company performs, or the fund’s ability to sell a stock at an attractive price. There is a chance that stock prices overall will decline because stock markets tend to move in cycles, with periods of rising and falling prices. Events in the US and global financial markets, including actions taken by the US Federal Reserve or foreign central banks to stimulate or stabilize economic growth, may at times result in unusually high market volatility which could negatively affect performance. Further, geopolitical and other events, including war, terrorism, economic uncertainty, trade disputes and related geopolitical events have led, and in the future may lead, to increased short-term market volatility, which may disrupt securities markets and have adverse long-term effects on US and world economies and markets. To the extent that the fund invests in a particular geographic region, capitalization or sector, the fund’s performance may be affected by the general performance of that region, capitalization or sector.
Geographic focus risk. Focusing investments in a single country or few countries, or regions, involves increased political, regulatory and other risks. Market swings in such a targeted country, countries or regions are likely to have a greater effect on fund performance than they would in a more geographically diversified fund.
Risks related to investing in developed countries. The fund’s investment in developed country issuers may subject the fund to regulatory, political, currency, security, and economic risks specific to developed countries. Developed countries tend to represent a significant portion of the global economy and have generally experienced slower economic growth than some other countries. A majority of developed countries have recently experienced a significant economic slowdown. In addition, developed countries may be impacted by changes to the economic health of certain key trading partners, regulatory burdens, debt burdens and the price or availability of certain commodities.
Foreign investment risk. The fund faces the risks inherent in foreign investing. Adverse political, economic or social developments could undermine the value of the fund’s investments or prevent the fund from realizing the full value of its investments. Financial reporting standards for companies based in foreign markets differ from those in the US. Additionally, foreign securities markets generally are smaller and less liquid than US markets. To the extent
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that the fund invests in non-US dollar denominated foreign securities, changes in currency exchange rates may affect the US dollar value of foreign securities or the income or gain received on these securities.
Foreign governments may restrict investment by foreigners, limit withdrawal of trading profit or currency from the country, restrict currency exchange or seize foreign investments. The investments of the fund may also be subject to foreign withholding taxes. Foreign brokerage commissions and other fees are generally higher than those for US investments, and the transactions and custody of foreign assets may involve delays in payment, delivery or recovery of money or investments.
Foreign markets can have liquidity risks beyond those typical of US markets. Because foreign exchanges generally are smaller and less liquid than US exchanges, buying and selling foreign investments can be more difficult and costly. Relatively small transactions can sometimes materially affect the price and availability of securities. In certain situations, it may become virtually impossible to sell an investment at a price that approaches portfolio management’s estimate of its value. For the same reason, it may at times be difficult to value the fund’s foreign investments.
Depositary receipt risk. Foreign investments in American Depositary Receipts and other depositary receipts may be less liquid than the underlying shares in their primary trading market. Certain of the depositary receipts in which the fund invests may be unsponsored depositary receipts. Unsponsored depositary receipts may not provide as much information about the underlying issuer and may not carry the same voting privileges as sponsored depositary receipts. Unsponsored depositary receipts are issued by one or more depositaries in response to market demand, but without a formal agreement with the company that issues the underlying securities.
European investment risk. European financial markets have experienced volatility in recent years and have been adversely affected by concerns about economic downturns, credit rating downgrades, rising government debt level and possible default on or restructuring of government debt in several European countries. A default or debt restructuring by any European country would adversely impact holders of that country’s debt, and sellers of credit default swaps linked to that country’s creditworthiness. Most countries in Western Europe are members of the European Union (EU), which faces major issues involving its membership, structure, procedures and policies. In June 2016, citizens of the United Kingdom approved a referendum to leave the EU and in March 2017, the United Kingdom initiated its withdrawal from the EU, which is currently scheduled to occur by the end of October 2019. Significant uncertainty exists regarding the United Kingdom’s anticipated withdrawal from the EU and any adverse economic and political effects such withdrawal may have
on the United Kingdom, other EU countries and the global economy, which could be significant, potentially resulting in increased volatility and illiquidity and lower economic growth.
European countries are also significantly affected by fiscal and monetary controls implemented by the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), and it is possible that the timing and substance of these controls may not address the needs of all EMU member countries. Investing in euro-denominated securities also risks exposure to a currency that may not fully reflect the strengths and weaknesses of the disparate economies that comprise Europe. There is continued concern over member state-level support for the euro, which could lead to certain countries leaving the EMU, the implementation of currency controls, or potentially the dissolution of the euro. The dissolution of the euro could have significant negative effects on European financial markets.
Currency risk. Changes in currency exchange rates and the relative value of non-US currencies may affect the value of the fund’s investment and the value of your fund shares. Because the fund’s NAV is determined on the basis of the US dollar, investors may lose money if the foreign currency depreciates against the US dollar, even if the foreign currency value of the fund’s holdings in that market increases. Conversely, the dollar value of your investment in the fund may go up if the value of the foreign currency appreciates against the US dollar. The value of the US dollar measured against other currencies is influenced by a variety of factors. These factors include: interest rates, national debt levels and trade deficits, changes in balances of payments and trade, domestic and foreign interest and inflation rates, global or regional political, economic or financial events, monetary policies of governments, actual or potential government intervention, and global energy prices. Political instability, the possibility of government intervention and restrictive or opaque business and investment policies may also reduce the value of a country’s currency. Government monetary policies and the buying or selling of currency by a country’s government may also influence exchange rates. Currency exchange rates can be very volatile and can change quickly and unpredictably. Therefore, the value of an investment in the fund may also go up or down quickly and unpredictably and investors may lose money.
Medium-sized company risk. Medium-sized company stocks tend to be more volatile than large company stocks. Because stock analysts are less likely to follow medium-sized companies, less information about them is available to investors. Industry-wide reversals may have a greater impact on medium-sized companies, since they lack the financial resources of larger companies. Medium-sized company stocks are typically less liquid than large company stocks.
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Focus risk. To the extent that the fund focuses its investments in particular industries, asset classes or sectors of the economy, any market price movements, regulatory or technological changes, or economic conditions affecting companies in those industries, asset classes or sectors may have a significant impact on the fund’s performance.
Information technology sector risk. To the extent that the fund invests significantly in the information technology sector, the fund will be sensitive to changes in, and the fund’s performance may depend to a greater extent on, the overall condition of the information technology sector. Information technology companies are particularly vulnerable to government regulation and competition, both domestically and internationally, including competition from foreign competitors with lower production costs. Information technology companies also face competition for services of qualified personnel. Additionally, the products of information technology companies may face obsolescence due to rapid technological development and frequent new product introduction by competitors. Finally, information technology companies are heavily dependent on patent and intellectual property rights, the loss or impairment of which may adversely affect profitability.
Financial services sector risk. To the extent that the fund invests significantly in the financial services sector, the fund will be sensitive to changes in, and the fund’s performance may depend to a greater extent on, the overall condition of the financial services sector. The financial services sector is subject to extensive government regulation, can be subject to relatively rapid change due to increasingly blurred distinctions between service segments, and can be significantly affected by availability and cost of capital funds, changes in interest rates, the rate of corporate and consumer debt defaults, and price competition. In addition, the deterioration of the credit markets in 2007 and the ensuing financial crisis in 2008 resulted in an unusually high degree of volatility in the financial markets for an extended period of time, the effects of which may persist indefinitely.
Numerous financial services companies have experienced substantial declines in the valuations of their assets, taken action to raise capital (such as the issuance of debt or equity securities), or even ceased operations. These actions have caused the securities of many financial services companies to experience a dramatic decline in value. Moreover, certain financial companies have avoided collapse due to intervention by governmental regulatory authorities, but such interventions have often not averted a substantial decline in the value of such companies’ common stock. Issuers that have exposure to the real estate, mortgage and credit markets have been particularly affected by the foregoing events and the general market turmoil, and it is uncertain whether or for how long these conditions will continue.
Indexing risk. While the exposure of an index to its component securities is by definition 100%, the fund’s effective exposure to index securities may vary over time. Because an index fund is designed to maintain a high level of exposure to its Underlying Index at all times, it will not take any steps to invest defensively or otherwise reduce the risk of loss during market downturns.
Tracking error risk. The performance of the fund may diverge from that of its Underlying Index for a number of reasons, including operating expenses, transaction costs, cash flows and operational inefficiencies. The fund’s return also may diverge from the return of the Underlying Index because the fund bears the costs and risks associated with buying and selling securities (especially when rebalancing the fund’s securities holdings to reflect changes in the Underlying Index) while such costs and risks are not factored into the return of the Underlying Index. Transaction costs, including brokerage costs, will decrease the fund’s NAV to the extent not offset by the transaction fee payable by an “Authorized Participant” (“AP”). Market disruptions and regulatory restrictions could have an adverse effect on the fund’s ability to adjust its exposure to the required levels in order to track the Underlying Index. In addition, to the extent that portfolio management uses a representative sampling approach (investing in a representative selection of securities included in the Underlying Index rather than all securities in the Underlying Index) it may cause the fund to not be as well correlated with the return of the Underlying Index as would be the case if the fund purchased all of the securities in the Underlying Index in the proportions represented in the Underlying Index. Errors in the Underlying Index data, the Underlying Index computations and/or the construction of the Underlying Index in accordance with its methodology may occur from time to time and may not be identified and corrected by the index provider for a period of time or at all, which may have an adverse impact on the fund and its shareholders. In addition, the fund may not be able to invest in certain securities included in the Underlying Index, or invest in them in the exact proportions in which they are represented in the Underlying Index, due to legal restrictions or limitations imposed by the governments of certain countries, a lack of liquidity in the markets in which such securities trade, potential adverse tax consequences or other regulatory reasons. To the extent the fund calculates its NAV based on fair value prices and the value of the Underlying Index is based on securities’ closing prices (i.e., the value of the Underlying Index is not based on fair value prices), the fund’s ability to track the Underlying Index may be adversely affected. For tax efficiency purposes, the fund may sell certain securities, and such sale may cause the fund to realize a loss and deviate from the performance of the Underlying Index. In light of the factors discussed above, the fund’s return may deviate significantly from the return of the Underlying Index.
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The need to comply with the tax diversification and other requirements of the Internal Revenue Code may also impact the fund’s ability to replicate the performance of its Underlying Index. In addition, if the fund utilizes derivative instruments or holds other instruments that are not included in its Underlying Index, its return may not correlate as well with the returns of its Underlying Index as would be the case if the fund purchased all the securities in its Underlying Index directly. Actions taken in response to proposed corporate actions could result in increased tracking error.
For purposes of calculating the fund’s NAV, the value of assets denominated in non-US currencies is converted into US dollars using prevailing market rates on the date of valuation as quoted by one or more data service providers. This conversion may result in a difference between the prices used to calculate the fund’s NAV and the prices used by the Underlying Index, which, in turn, could result in a difference between the fund’s performance and the performance of its Underlying Index.
Market price risk. Fund shares are listed for trading on an exchange and are bought and sold in the secondary market at market prices. The market prices of shares will fluctuate, in some cases materially, in response to changes in the NAV and supply and demand for shares. As a result, the trading prices of shares may deviate significantly from NAV during periods of market volatility. Differences between secondary market prices and the value of the fund’s holdings may be due largely to supply and demand forces in the secondary market, which may not be the same forces as those influencing prices for securities held by the fund at a particular time. The Advisor cannot predict whether shares will trade above, below or at their NAV. Given the fact that shares can be created and redeemed in Creation Units, the Advisor believes that large discounts or premiums to the NAV of shares should not be sustained in the long-term. In addition, there may be times when the market price and the value of the fund’s holdings vary significantly and you may pay more than the value of the fund’s holdings when buying shares on the secondary market, and you may receive less than the value of the fund’s holdings when you sell those shares. While the creation/redemption feature is designed to make it likely that shares normally will trade close to the value of the fund’s holdings, disruptions to creations and redemptions, including disruptions at market makers, APs or market participants, or during periods of significant market volatility, may result in trading prices that differ significantly from the value of the fund’s holdings. Although market makers will generally take advantage of differences between the NAV and the market price of fund shares through arbitrage opportunities, there is no guarantee that they will do so. If market makers. exit the business or are unable to continue making markets in fund’s shares, shares may trade at a discount to NAV like closed-end fund shares and may even face delisting (that is, investors would no longer be able to trade shares in the secondary
market). The market price of shares, like the price of any exchange-traded security, includes a “bid-ask spread” charged by the exchange specialist, market makers or other participants that trade the particular security. In times of severe market disruption, the bid-ask spread often increases significantly. This means that shares may trade at a discount to the fund’s NAV, and the discount is likely to be greatest when the price of shares is falling fastest, which may be the time that you most want to sell your shares. There are various methods by which investors can purchase and sell shares of the funds and various orders that may be placed.
Investors should consult their financial intermediary before purchasing or selling shares of the fund. In addition, the securities held by the fund may be traded in markets that close at a different time than an exchange.
Liquidity in those securities may be reduced after the applicable closing times. Accordingly, during the time when an exchange is open but after the applicable market closing, fixing or settlement times, bid-ask spreads and the resulting premium or discount to the shares’ NAV is likely to widen. More generally, secondary markets may be subject to irregular trading activity, wide bid-ask spreads and extended trade settlement periods, which could cause a material decline in the fund’s NAV. The bid-ask spread varies over time for shares of the fund based on the fund’s trading volume and market liquidity, and is generally lower if the fund has substantial trading volume and market liquidity, and higher if the fund has little trading volume and market liquidity (which is often the case for funds that are newly launched or small in size). The fund’s bid-ask spread may also be impacted by the liquidity of the underlying securities held by the fund, particularly for newly launched or smaller funds or in instances of significant volatility of the underlying securities. The fund’s investment results are measured based upon the daily NAV of the fund. Investors purchasing and selling shares in the secondary market may not experience investment results consistent with those experienced by those APs creating and redeeming shares directly with the fund. In addition, transactions by large shareholders may account for a large percentage of the trading volume on an exchange and may, therefore, have a material effect on the market price of the fund’s shares.
Valuation risk. Because non-US markets may be open on days when the fund does not price its shares, the value of the securities in the fund’s portfolio may change on days when shareholders will not be able to purchase or sell the fund’s shares.
Non-diversification risk. The fund is classified as non-diversified under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended. This means that the fund may invest in securities of relatively few issuers. Thus, the performance of one or a small number of portfolio holdings can affect overall performance.
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If the fund becomes classified as “diversified” over time and again becomes non-diversified as a result of a change in relative market capitalization or index weighting of one or more constituents of the index that the fund is designed to track, non-diversification risk would apply.
Liquidity risk. In certain situations, it may be difficult or impossible to sell an investment at an acceptable price. This risk can be ongoing for any security that does not trade actively or in large volumes, for any security that trades primarily on smaller markets, and for investments that typically trade only among a limited number of large investors (such as certain types of derivatives or restricted securities). In unusual market conditions, even normally liquid securities may be affected by a degree of liquidity risk. This may affect only certain securities or an overall securities market.
Although the fund primarily seeks to redeem shares of the fund on an in-kind basis, if the fund is forced to sell underlying investments at reduced prices or under unfavorable conditions to meet redemption requests or other cash needs, the fund may suffer a loss. This may be magnified in circumstances where redemptions from the fund may be higher than normal.
Operational risk. Cyber-attacks, disruptions, or failures that affect the fund’s service providers or counterparties, issuers of securities held by the fund, or other market participants may adversely affect the fund and its shareholders, including by causing losses for the fund or impairing fund operations.
Cyber-attacks may include unauthorized attempts by third parties to improperly access, modify, disrupt the operations of, or prevent access to the systems of the fund’s service providers or counterparties, issuers of securities held by the fund or other market participants or data within them. In addition, power or communications outages, acts of god, information technology equipment malfunctions, operational errors, and inaccuracies within software or data processing systems may also disrupt business operations or impact critical data. Market events also may trigger a volume of transactions that overloads current information technology and communication systems and processes, impacting the ability to conduct the fund’s operations.
Cyber-attacks, disruptions, or failures may adversely affect the fund and its shareholders or cause reputational damage and subject the fund to regulatory fines, litigation costs, penalties or financial losses, reimbursement or other compensation costs, and/or additional compliance costs. For example, the fund’s or its service providers’ assets or sensitive or confidential information may be misappropriated, data may be corrupted, and operations may be disrupted (e.g., cyber-attacks or operational failures may cause the release of private shareholder information or confidential fund information, interfere with the processing of shareholder transactions, impact the ability to calculate the fund’s net asset value, and impede trading). In addition, cyber-attacks, disruptions, or failures
involving a fund counterparty could affect such counterparty’s ability to meet its obligations to the fund, which may result in losses to the fund and its shareholders. Similar types of operational and technology risks are also present for issuers of securities held by the fund, which could have material adverse consequences for such issuers, and may cause the fund’s investments to lose value. Furthermore, as a result of cyber-attacks, disruptions, or failures, an exchange or market may close or issue trading halts on specific securities or the entire market, which may result in the fund being, among other things, unable to buy or sell certain securities or financial instruments or unable to accurately price its investments.
While the fund and its service providers may establish business continuity and other plans and processes that seek to address the possibility of and fallout from cyber-attacks, disruptions, or failures, there are inherent limitations in such plans and systems, including that they do not apply to third parties, such as fund counterparties, issuers of securities held by the fund, or other market participants, as well as the possibility that certain risks have not been identified or that unknown threats may emerge in the future and there is no assurance that such plans and processes will address the possibility of and fallout from cyber-attacks, disruptions, or failures. In addition, the fund cannot directly control any cybersecurity plans and systems put in place by its service providers, fund counterparties, issuers of securities held by the fund, or other market participants.
For example, the fund relies on various sources to calculate its NAV. Therefore, the fund is subject to certain operational risks associated with reliance on third party service providers and data sources. NAV calculation may be impacted by operational risks arising from factors such as failures in systems and technology. Such failures may result in delays in the calculation of the fund’s NAV and/or the inability to calculate NAV over extended time periods. The fund may be unable to recover any losses associated with such failures.
Authorized Participant concentration risk. The fund may have a limited number of financial institutions that may act as APs. Only APs who have entered into agreements with the fund’s distributor may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with the fund (as described below under “Buying and Selling Shares”). If those APs exit the business or are unable to process creation and/or redemption orders, (including in situations where APs have limited or diminished access to capital required to post collateral) and no other AP is able to step forward to create and redeem in either of these cases, shares may trade at a discount to NAV like closed-end fund shares and may even face delisting (that is, investors would no longer be able to trade shares in the secondary market).
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Counterparty risk. A financial institution or other counterparty with whom the fund does business, or that underwrites, distributes or guarantees any investments or contracts that the fund owns or is otherwise exposed to, may decline in financial health and become unable to honor its commitments. This could cause losses for the fund or could delay the return or delivery of collateral or other assets to the fund.
Securities lending risk. Securities lending involves the risk that the fund may lose money because the borrower of the loaned securities fails to return the securities in a timely manner or at all. The fund could also lose money in the event of a decline in the value of the collateral provided for the loaned securities or a decline in the value of any investments made with cash collateral. These events, and securities lending in general, could trigger adverse tax consequences for the fund and its investors. For example, if the fund loans its securities, the fund and its investors may lose the ability to treat certain fund distributions associated with those securities as qualified dividend income.
Derivatives risk. Derivatives are financial instruments, such as futures and swaps, whose values are based on the value of one or more indicators, such as a security, asset, currency, interest rate, or index. Derivatives involve risks different from, and possibly greater than, the risks associated with investing directly in securities and other more traditional investments. For example, derivatives involve the risk of mispricing or improper valuation and the risk that changes in the value of a derivative may not correlate perfectly with the underlying indicator. Derivative transactions can create investment leverage, may be highly volatile and the fund could lose more than the amount it invests. Many derivative transactions are entered into “over-the-counter” (i.e., not on an exchange or contract market); as a result, the value of such a derivative transaction will depend on the ability and the willingness of the fund’s counterparty to perform its obligations under the transaction. If a counterparty were to default on its obligations, the fund’s contractual remedies against such counterparty may be subject to bankruptcy and insolvency laws, which could affect the fund’s rights as a creditor (e.g., the fund may not receive the net amount of payments that it is contractually entitled to receive). A liquid secondary market may not always exist for the fund’s derivative positions at any time.
Futures risk. The value of a futures contract tends to increase and decrease in tandem with the value of the underlying instrument. Depending on the terms of the particular contract, futures contracts are settled through either physical delivery of the underlying instrument on the settlement date or by payment of a cash settlement amount on the settlement date. A decision as to whether, when and how to use futures involves the exercise of skill and judgment and even a well-conceived futures transaction may be unsuccessful because of market behavior or unexpected events. In addition to the derivatives risks
discussed above, the prices of futures can be highly volatile, using futures can lower total return and the potential loss from futures can exceed the fund’s initial investment in such contracts.
Other Policies and Risks
While the previous pages describe the main points of the fund’s strategy and risks, there are a few other matters to know about:
Each of the policies described herein, including the investment objective and 80% investment policies of the fund, constitutes a non-fundamental policy that may be changed by the Board without shareholder approval. The fund’s 80% investment policies require 60 days’ prior written notice to shareholders before they can be changed. Certain fundamental policies of the fund are set forth in the SAI.
Because the fund seeks to track its Underlying Index, no fund invests defensively and the fund will not invest in money market instruments or other short-term investments as part of a temporary defensive strategy to protect against potential market declines.
The fund may borrow money from a bank up to a limit of 10% of the value of its assets, but only for temporary or emergency purposes.
Secondary market trading in fund shares may be halted by a stock exchange because of market conditions or other reasons. In addition, trading in fund shares on a stock exchange or in any market may be subject to trading halts caused by extraordinary market volatility pursuant to “circuit breaker” rules on the exchange or market. If a trading halt or unanticipated early closing of a stock exchange occurs, a shareholder may be unable to purchase or sell shares of the fund. There can be no assurance that the requirements necessary to maintain the listing or trading of fund shares will continue to be met or will remain unchanged or that shares will trade with any volume, or at all, in any secondary market. As with all other exchange traded securities, shares may be sold short and may experience increased volatility and price decreases associated with such trading activity.
From time to time a third party, the Advisor and/or its affiliates may invest in the fund and hold its investment for a specific period of time in order for the fund to achieve size or scale. There can be no assurance that any such entity would not redeem its investment or that the size of the fund would be maintained at such levels. In order to comply with applicable law, it is possible that the Advisor or its affiliates, to the extent they are invested in the fund, may be required to redeem some or all of their ownership interests in the fund prematurely or at an inopportune time.
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From time to time, the fund may have a concentration of shareholder accounts holding a significant percentage of shares outstanding. Investment activities of these shareholders could have a material impact on the fund. For example, the fund may be used as an underlying investment for other registered investment companies.
Portfolio Holdings Information
A description of the Trust’s policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the fund’s portfolio securities is available in the fund’s SAI. The top holdings of the fund can be found at www.Xtrackers.com. Fund fact sheets provide information regarding the fund’s top holdings and may be requested by calling 1-855-329-3837 (1-855-DBX-ETFS).
Who Manages and Oversees the Fund
The Investment Advisor
DBX Advisors LLC (“Advisor”), with headquarters at 345 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10154, is the investment advisor for the fund. Under the oversight of the Board, the Advisor makes the investment decisions, buys and sells securities for the fund and conducts research that leads to these purchase and sale decisions.
The Advisor is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of DWS Group GmbH & Co. KGaA (“DWS Group”), a separate, publicly-listed financial services firm that is an indirect, majority-owned subsidiary of Deutsche Bank AG. Founded in 2010, the Advisor managed approximately [$__._] billion in [__] operational exchange-traded funds, as of [Month Day, Year].
DWS represents the asset management activities conducted by DWS Group or any of its subsidiaries, including the Advisor and other affiliated investment advisors.
DWS is a global organization that offers a wide range of investing expertise and resources, including hundreds of portfolio managers and analysts and an office network that reaches the world’s major investment centers. This well- resourced global investment platform brings together a wide variety of experience and investment insight across industries, regions, asset classes and investing styles.
The Advisor may utilize the resources of its global investment platform to provide investment management services through branch offices or affiliates located outside the US. In some cases, the Advisor may also utilize its branch offices or affiliates located in the US or outside the US to perform certain services, such as trade execution, trade matching and settlement, or various administrative, back-office or other services. To the extent services are performed outside the US, such activity may be subject to both US and foreign regulation. It is possible that the jurisdiction in which the Advisor or its affiliate performs such
services may impose restrictions or limitations on portfolio transactions that are different from, and in addition to, those in the US.
Management Fee. For its services to the fund the Advisor receives an aggregate unitary management fee at the annual rate of [_.__%] as a percentage of the fund’s average daily net assets.
Pursuant to the investment advisory agreement between the Advisor and the Trust (entered into on behalf of the fund (the “Investment Advisory Agreement”), the Advisor is responsible for substantially all expenses of the fund, the cost of transfer agency, custody, fund administration, compensation paid to the Independent Trustees, legal, audit and other services except for the fee payments under the Investment Advisory Agreement, interest expense, acquired fund fees and expenses, taxes, brokerage expenses, distribution fees or expenses, litigation expenses and other extraordinary expenses.
A discussion regarding the basis for the Board's approval of the fund’s Investment Advisory Agreement will be contained in the fund's ___ report for the period ended ____, __ 2020 For information on how to obtain shareholder reports, see the back cover.
Multi-Manager Structure. The Advisor and the Trust may rely on an exemptive order (the “Order”) from the SEC that permits the Advisor to enter into investment sub-advisory agreements with unaffiliated and wholly-owned subadvisors without obtaining shareholder approval. The Advisor, subject to the review and approval of the Board, selects subadvisors for the fund and supervises, monitors and evaluates the performance of the subadvisor.
The Order also permits the Advisor, subject to the approval of the Board, to replace subadvisors and amend investment subadvisory agreements, including fees, without shareholder approval whenever the Advisor and the Board believe such action will benefit the fund and its shareholders. The Advisor thus has the ultimate responsibility (subject to the ultimate oversight of the Board) to recommend the hiring and replacement of subadvisors as well as the discretion to terminate any subadvisor and reallocate the fund’s assets for management among any other subadvisor(s) and itself. This means that the Advisor is able to reduce the subadvisory fees and retain a larger portion of the management fee, or increase the subadvisory fees and retain a smaller portion of the management fee. Pursuant to the Order, the Advisor is not required to disclose its contractual fee arrangements with any subadvisor. The Advisor compensates the subadvisor out of its management fee. The fund's sole initial shareholder approved the multi-manager structure described herein.
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Management
The following Portfolio Managers are primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the fund. Each Portfolio Manager functions as a member of a portfolio management team.
Bryan Richards, CFA, Managing Director. Portfolio Manager of the fund. Began managing the fund in 2020.
Joined DWS in 2011 with 11 years of industry experience. Prior to his current role, he served as the primary portfolio manager for the PowerShares DB Commodity ETFs until their sale in 2015. Prior to joining DWS, he served as an equity analyst for Fairhaven Capital LLC, a long/short equity fund, and at XShares Advisors, an ETF issuer based in New York.
Head of Passive Portfolio Management, Americas: New York.
BS in Finance, Boston College.
Patrick Dwyer, Director. Portfolio Manager of the fund. Began managing the fund in 2020.
Joined DWS in 2016 with 16 years of industry experience. Prior to joining DWS, he was the head of Northern Trust’s Equity Index, ETF, and Overlay portfolio management team in Chicago, managing portfolios for North American based clients. His time at Northern Trust included working in New York, Chicago, and in Hong Kong building a portfolio management desk. Prior to joining Northern Trust in 2003, he participated in the Deutsche Asset Management graduate training program. He rotated through the domestic fixed income and US structured equity fund management groups.
Lead Equity Portfolio Manager, US Passive Equities: New York.
BS in Finance, Rutgers University.
Shlomo Bassous, Vice President. Portfolio Manager of the fund. Began managing the fund in 2020.
Joined DWS in 2017 with 13 years of industry experience. Prior to joining DWS, Mr. Bassous worked at Northern Trust where he filled a variety of operational functions supporting portfolio management. In 2010 he began managing equity portfolios on behalf of institutional clients across a variety of global benchmarks. Before joining Northern Trust in 2007, he worked at The Bank of New York Mellon and Morgan Stanley in a variety of roles supporting equity trading and portfolio management.
Equity Portfolio Manager, US Passive Equities: New York.
BS in Finance, Yeshiva University.
The fund’s Statement of Additional Information provides additional information about a portfolio manager’s investments in the fund, a description of the portfolio management compensation structure and information regarding other accounts managed.
Prospectus January 13, 2020 15 Fund Details

 

Investing in the Fund
Additional shareholder information, including how to buy and sell shares of the fund, is available free of charge by calling toll-free: 1-855-329-3837 (1-855-DBX-ETFS) or visiting our website at www.Xtrackers.com.
Buying and Selling Shares
Shares of the fund are listed for trading on a national securities exchange during the trading day. Shares can be bought and sold throughout the trading day at market prices like shares of other publicly-traded companies. The Trust does not impose any minimum investment for shares of the fund purchased on an exchange. Buying or selling fund shares involves two types of costs that may apply to all securities transactions. When buying or selling shares of the fund through a broker, you will likely incur a brokerage commission or other charges determined by your broker. In addition, you may incur the cost of the “spread” – that is, any difference between the bid price and the ask price. The commission is frequently a fixed amount and may be a significant proportional cost for investors seeking to buy or sell small amounts of shares. The spread varies over time for shares of the fund based on its trading volume and market liquidity, and is generally lower if the fund has a lot of trading volume and market liquidity and higher if the fund has little trading volume and market liquidity.
Shares of the fund may be acquired or redeemed directly from the fund only in Creation Units or multiples thereof, as discussed in the section of this Prospectus entitled “Creations and Redemptions.” Only an AP may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with the fund. Once created, shares of the fund generally trade in the secondary market in amounts less than a Creation Unit.
The Board has evaluated the risks of market timing activities by the fund’s shareholders. The Board noted that shares of the fund can only be purchased and redeemed directly from the fund in Creation Units by APs and that the vast majority of trading in the fund’s shares occurs on the secondary market. Because the secondary market trades do not involve the fund directly, it is unlikely those trades would cause many of the harmful effects of market timing, including dilution, disruption of portfolio management, increases in the fund’s trading costs and the realization of capital gains. With regard to the purchase or redemption of
Creation Units directly with the fund, to the extent effected in-kind (i.e., for securities), such trades do not cause any of the harmful effects (as previously noted) that may result from frequent cash trades. To the extent trades are effected in whole or in part in cash, the Board noted that such trades could result in dilution to the fund and increased transaction costs, which could negatively impact the fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective. However, the Board noted that direct trading by APs is critical to ensuring that the fund’s shares trade at or close to NAV. In addition, the fund imposes both fixed and variable transaction fees on purchases and redemptions of fund shares to cover the custodial and other costs incurred by the fund in effecting trades. These fees increase if an investor substitutes cash in part or in whole for securities, reflecting the fact that the fund’s trading costs increase in those circumstances. Given this structure, the Board determined that with respect to the fund it is not necessary to adopt policies and procedures to detect and deter market timing of the fund’s shares.
The national securities exchange on which the fund’s shares are listed is open for trading Monday through Friday and is closed on weekends and the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
The 1940 Act imposes certain restrictions on investments by registered investment companies in the securities of other investment companies, such as the fund. Registered investment companies are permitted to invest in the fund beyond applicable 1940 Act limitations, subject to certain terms and conditions set forth in an SEC exemptive order issued to the Trust, including that such investment companies enter into an agreement with the Trust.
Shares of the fund trade on the exchange and under the ticker symbol as shown in the table below.
Fund name Ticker Symbol Stock Exchange
Xtrackers MSCI Kokusai Equity ETF [XXXX] [Exchange TBD]
 
Prospectus January 13, 2020 16 Investing in the Fund

 

Book Entry
Shares of the fund are held in book-entry form, which means that no stock certificates are issued. The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) or its nominee is the record owner of all outstanding shares of the fund and is recognized as the owner of all shares for all purposes.
Investors owning shares of the fund are beneficial owners as shown on the records of DTC or its participants. DTC serves as the securities depository for shares of the fund. DTC participants include securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and other institutions that directly or indirectly maintain a custodial relationship with DTC. As a beneficial owner of shares, you are not entitled to receive physical delivery of stock certificates or to have shares registered in your name, and you are not considered a registered owner of shares. Therefore, to exercise any right as an owner of shares, you must rely upon the procedures of DTC and its participants. These procedures are the same as those that apply to any other securities that you hold in book-entry or “street name” form.
Share Prices
The trading prices of the fund’s shares in the secondary market generally differ from the fund’s daily NAV per share and are affected by market forces such as supply and demand, economic conditions and other factors. Information regarding the intraday value of shares of the fund, also known as the “indicative optimized portfolio value” (“IOPV”), is disseminated every 15 seconds throughout the trading day by the national securities exchange on which the fund’s shares are listed or by market data vendors or other information providers. The IOPV is based on the current market value of the securities and/or cash required to be deposited in exchange for a Creation Unit. The IOPV does not necessarily reflect the precise composition of the current portfolio of securities held by the fund at a particular point in time nor the best possible valuation of the current portfolio. Therefore, the IOPV should not be viewed as a “real-time” update of the NAV, which is computed only once a day. The IOPV is generally determined by using both current market quotations and/or price quotations obtained from broker-dealers that may trade in the portfolio securities held by the fund. The quotations of certain fund holdings may not be updated during US trading hours if such holdings do not trade in the US. The fund is not involved in, or responsible for, the calculation or dissemination of the IOPV and makes no representation or warranty as to its accuracy.
Determination of Net Asset Value
The NAV of the fund is generally determined once daily Monday through Friday 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, provided that (a) any fund assets or liabilities denominated in currencies other than the US
dollar are translated into US dollars at the prevailing market rates on the date of valuation as quoted by one or more data service providers (as detailed below) and (b) US fixed-income assets may be valued as of the announced closing time for trading in fixed-income instruments in a particular market or exchange. NAV is calculated by deducting all of the fund’s liabilities from the total value of its assets and dividing the result by the number of shares outstanding, rounding to the nearest cent. All valuations are subject to review by the Trust’s Board or its delegate.
In determining NAV, expenses are accrued and applied daily and securities and other assets for which market quotations are available are valued at market value. Equity investments are valued at market value, which is generally determined using the last reported official closing or last trading price on the exchange or market on which the security is primarily traded at the time of valuation. Debt securities’ values are based on price quotations or other equivalent indications of value provided by a third-party pricing service. Any such third-party pricing service may use a variety of methodologies to value some or all of the fund’s debt securities to determine the market price. For example, the prices of securities with characteristics similar to those held by the fund may be used to assist with the pricing process. In addition, the pricing service may use proprietary pricing models. In certain cases, some of the fund’s debt securities may be valued at the mean between the last available bid and ask prices for such securities or, if such prices are not available, at prices for securities of comparable maturity, quality, and type. Short- term securities for which market quotations are not readily available are valued at amortized cost, which approximates market value. Money market securities maturing in 60 days or less will be valued at amortized cost. The approximate value of shares of the fund, an amount representing on a per share basis the sum of the current value of the deposit securities based on their then current market price and the estimated cash component will be disseminated every 15 seconds throughout the trading day through the facilities of the Consolidated Tape Association. Foreign currency exchange rates with respect to the fund’s non-US securities are generally determined as of 4:00 p.m., London time. As the respective international local markets close, the market value of the deposit securities will continue to be updated for foreign exchange rates for the remainder of the US trading day at the prescribed 15 second intervals. The value of the Underlying Index will not be calculated and disseminated intra-day. The value and return of the Underlying Index is calculated once each trading day by the Index Provider based on prices received from the respective international local markets. Use of a rate different from the rate used by the Index Provider (to the extent the Index Provider calculates a US dollar value for the Underlying Index) may adversely affect the fund’s ability to track its Underlying Index.
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If a security’s market price is not readily available or does not otherwise accurately reflect the fair value of the security, the security will be valued by another method that the Advisor believes will better reflect fair value in accordance with the Trust’s valuation policies and procedures approved by the Board. The fund may use fair value pricing in a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to, situations when the value of a security in the fund’s portfolio has been materially affected by events occurring after the close of the market on which the security is principally traded (such as a corporate action or other news that may materially affect the price of a security) or trading in a security has been suspended or halted. Fair value pricing involves subjective judgments and it is possible that a fair value determination for a security is materially different than the value that could be realized upon the sale of the security. In addition, fair value pricing could result in a difference between the prices used to calculate the fund’s NAV and the prices used by the fund’s Underlying Index. This may adversely affect the fund’s ability to track its Underlying Index. With respect to securities that are primarily listed on foreign exchanges, the value of the fund’s portfolio securities may change on days when you will not be able to purchase or sell your shares.
Creations and Redemptions
Prior to trading in the secondary market, shares of the fund are “created” at NAV by market makers, large investors and institutions only in block-size Creation Units of 50,000 shares or multiples thereof (“Creation Units”). The size of a Creation Unit will be subject to change. Each “creator” or AP (which must be a DTC participant) enters into an authorized participant agreement (“Authorized Participant Agreement”) with the fund’s distributor, ALPS Distributors, Inc. (the “Distributor”), subject to acceptance by the Transfer Agent. Only an AP may create or redeem Creation Units. Creation Units generally are issued and redeemed in exchange for a specific basket of securities approximating the holdings of the fund and a designated amount of cash. Except when aggregated in Creation Units, shares are not redeemable by the fund. The prices at which creations and redemptions occur are based on the next calculation of NAV after an order is received in a form described in the Authorized Participant Agreement.
Additional information about the procedures regarding creation and redemption of Creation Units (including the cut-off times for receipt of creation and redemption orders) is included in the SAI.
The fund intends to comply with the US 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 will be sold in transactions that would be exempt from registration under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (“1933 Act”). Further, an AP that is not a “qualified institutional buyer,” as such term is
defined under Rule 144A under the 1933 Act, will not be able to receive fund securities that are restricted securities eligible for resale under Rule 144A.
Dividends and Distributions
General Policies. Dividends from net investment income, if any, are generally declared and paid annually by the fund. Distributions of net realized capital gains, if any, generally are declared and paid once a year, but the Trust may make distributions on a more frequent basis for the fund. The Trust reserves the right to declare special distributions if, in its reasonable discretion, such action is necessary or advisable to preserve its status as a regulated investment company or to avoid imposition of income or excise taxes on undistributed income or realized gains.
Dividends and other distributions on shares of the fund are distributed on a pro rata basis to beneficial owners of such shares. Dividend payments are made through DTC participants and indirect participants to beneficial owners then of record with proceeds received from the fund.
Dividend Reinvestment Service. No dividend reinvestment service is provided by the Trust. Broker-dealers may make available the DTC book-entry Dividend Reinvestment Service for use by beneficial owners of the fund for reinvestment of their dividend distributions. Beneficial owners should contact their broker to determine the availability and costs of the service and the details of participation therein. Brokers may require beneficial owners to adhere to specific procedures and timetables. If this service is available and used, dividend distributions of both income and realized gains will be automatically reinvested in additional whole shares of the fund purchased in the secondary market.
Taxes
As with any investment, you should consider how your investment in shares of the fund will be taxed. The tax information in this Prospectus is provided as general information. You should consult your own tax professional about the tax consequences of an investment in shares of the fund.
Unless your investment in fund shares is made through a tax-exempt entity or tax-deferred retirement account, such as an IRA, you need to be aware of the possible tax consequences when the fund makes distributions or you sell fund shares.
Taxes on Distributions
Distributions from the fund’s net investment income (other than qualified dividend income), including distributions of income from securities lending and distributions out of the fund’s net short-term capital gains, if any, are taxable to you as ordinary income. Distributions by the fund of net long-term capital gains in excess of net short-term capital losses (capital gain dividends) are taxable to you as long- term capital gains, regardless of how long you have held
Prospectus January 13, 2020 18 Investing in the Fund

 

such fund’s shares. Distributions by the fund that qualify as qualified dividend income are taxable to you at long-term capital gain rates. The maximum individual rate applicable to “qualified dividend income” and long-term capital gains is generally either 15% or 20%, depending on whether the individual’s income exceeds certain threshold amounts.
Dividends are eligible to be qualified dividend income to you, if you meet certain holding period requirements discussed below, if they are attributable to qualified dividend income received by the fund. Generally, qualified dividend income includes dividend income from taxable US corporations and qualified non-US corporations, provided that the fund satisfies certain holding period requirements in respect of the stock of such corporations and has not hedged its position in the stock in certain ways. For this purpose, a qualified non-US corporation means any non-US corporation that is eligible for benefits under a comprehensive income tax treaty with the United States which includes an exchange of information program or if the stock with respect to which the dividend was paid is readily tradable on an established United States security market. The term excludes a corporation that is a passive foreign investment company.
Dividends received by the fund from a real estate investment trust (“REIT”) or another RIC generally are qualified dividend income only to the extent the dividend distributions are made out of qualified dividend income received by such REIT or RIC. It is expected that dividends received by the fund from a REIT and distributed to a shareholder generally will be taxable to the shareholder as ordinary income.
For a dividend to be treated as qualified dividend income, the dividend must be received with respect to a share of stock held without being hedged by the fund, and to a share of the fund held without being hedged by you, for 61 days during the 121-day period beginning at the date which is 60 days before the date on which such share becomes ex- dividend with respect to such dividend or in the case of certain preferred stock 91 days during the 181-day period beginning 90 days before such date.
In general, your distributions are subject to US federal income tax for the year when they are paid. Certain distributions paid in January, however, may be treated as paid on December 31 of the prior year.
If the fund’s distributions exceed current and accumulated earnings and profits, all or a portion of the distributions made in the taxable year may be re-characterized as a return of capital to shareholders. A return of capital distribution generally will not be taxable but will reduce the shareholder’s cost basis and result in a higher capital gain or lower capital loss when those shares on which the distribution was received are sold.
If you are neither a resident nor a citizen of the United States or if you are a non-US entity, the fund’s ordinary income dividends (which include distributions of net short- term capital gains) will generally be subject to a 30% US withholding tax, unless a lower treaty rate applies, provided that withholding tax will generally not apply to any gain or income realized by a non-US shareholder in respect of any distributions of long-term capital gains or upon the sale or other disposition of shares of the fund.
Dividends and interest received by the fund with respect to non-US securities may give rise to withholding and other taxes imposed by non-US countries. Tax conventions between certain countries and the United States may reduce or eliminate such taxes. If more than 50% of the total assets of the fund at the close of a year consist of non-US stocks or securities, the fund may “pass through” to you certain non-US income taxes (including withholding taxes) paid by the fund. This means that you would be considered to have received as additional gross income your share of such non-US taxes, but you may, in such case, be entitled to either a corresponding tax deduction in calculating your taxable income, or, subject to certain limitations, a credit in calculating your US federal income tax.
If you are a resident or a citizen of the United States, by law, back-up withholding (currently at a rate of 24%) will apply to your distributions and proceeds if you have not provided a taxpayer identification number or social security number and made other required certifications.
Taxes when Shares are Sold
Currently, any capital gain or loss realized upon a sale of fund shares is generally treated as a long-term gain or loss if the shares have been held for more than one year. Any capital gain or loss realized upon a sale of fund shares held for one year or less is generally treated as short-term gain or loss, except that any capital loss on the sale of shares held for six months or less is treated as long-term capital loss to the extent that capital gain dividends were paid with respect to such shares.
Medicare Tax
An additional 3.8% Medicare tax is imposed on certain net investment income (including ordinary dividends and capital gain distributions received from the fund and net gains from redemptions or other taxable dispositions of fund shares) of US individuals, estates and trusts to the extent that such person’s “modified adjusted gross income” (in the case of an individual) or “adjusted gross income” (in the case of an estate or trust) exceeds certain threshold amounts.
The foregoing discussion summarizes some of the consequences under current US federal tax law of an investment in the fund. It is not a substitute for personal
Prospectus January 13, 2020 19 Investing in the Fund

 

tax advice. You may also be subject to state and local taxation on fund distributions and sales of shares. Consult your personal tax advisor about the potential tax consequences of an investment in shares of the fund under all applicable tax laws.
Authorized Participants and the Continuous Offering of Shares
Because new shares may be created and issued on an ongoing basis, at any point during the life of the fund a “distribution,” as such term is used in the 1933 Act, may be occurring. Broker-dealers and other persons are cautioned that some activities on their part may, depending on the circumstances, result in their being deemed participants in a distribution in a manner that could render them statutory underwriters and subject to the prospectus delivery and liability provisions of the 1933 Act. Any determination of whether one is an underwriter must take into account all the relevant facts and circumstances of each particular case.
Broker-dealers should also note that dealers who are not “underwriters” but are participating in a distribution (as contrasted to ordinary secondary transactions), and thus dealing with shares that are part of an “unsold allotment” within the meaning of Section 4(3)(C) of the 1933 Act, would be unable to take advantage of the prospectus delivery exemption provided by Section 4(3) of the 1933 Act. For delivery of prospectuses to exchange members, the prospectus delivery mechanism of Rule 153 under the 1933 Act is available only with respect to transactions on a national securities exchange.
Certain affiliates of the fund and the Advisor may purchase and resell fund shares pursuant to this prospectus.
Transaction Fees
APs are charged standard creation and redemption transaction fees to offset transfer and other transaction costs associated with the issuance and redemption of Creation Units. Purchasers and redeemers of Creation Units for cash are required to pay an additional variable charge (up to a maximum of 2% for redemptions, including the standard redemption fee) to compensate for brokerage and market impact expenses. The standard creation and redemption transaction fee for the fund is set forth in the table below. The maximum redemption fee, as a percentage of the amount redeemed, is 2%.
Fund Name Fee Paid
Xtrackers MSCI Kokusai Equity ETF $[___]
Distribution
The Distributor distributes Creation Units for the fund on an agency basis. The Distributor does not maintain a secondary market in shares of the fund. The Distributor has no role in determining the policies of the fund or the
securities that are purchased or sold by the fund. The Distributor’s principal address is 1290 Broadway, Suite 1100, Denver, Colorado 80203.
The Advisor and/or its affiliates may pay additional compensation, out of their own assets and not as an additional charge to the fund, to selected affiliated and unaffiliated brokers, dealers, participating insurance companies or other financial intermediaries (“financial representatives”) in connection with the sale and/or distribution of fund shares or the retention and/or servicing of fund investors and fund shares (“revenue sharing”). For example, the Advisor and/or its affiliates may compensate financial representatives for providing the fund with “shelf space” or access to a third party platform or fund offering list or other marketing programs, including, without limitation, inclusion of the fund on preferred or recommended sales lists, fund “supermarket” platforms and other formal sales programs; granting the Advisor and/ or its affiliates access to the financial representative’s sales force; granting the Advisor and/or its affiliates access to the financial representative’s conferences and meetings; assistance in training and educating the financial representative’s personnel; and obtaining other forms of marketing support.
The level of revenue sharing payments made to financial representatives may be a fixed fee or based upon one or more of the following factors: gross sales, current assets and/or number of accounts of the fund attributable to the financial representative, the particular fund or fund type or other measures as agreed to by the Advisor and/or its affiliates and the financial representatives or any combination thereof. The amount of these revenue sharing payments is determined at the discretion of the Advisor and/or its affiliates from time to time, may be substantial, and may be different for different financial representatives based on, for example, the nature of the services provided by the financial representative.
Receipt of, or the prospect of receiving, additional compensation may influence your financial representative’s recommendation of the fund. You should review your financial representative’s compensation disclosure and/or talk to your financial representative to obtain more information on how this compensation may have influenced your financial representative’s recommendation of the fund. Additional information regarding these revenue sharing payments is included in the fund’s Statement of Additional Information, which is available to you on request at no charge (see the back cover of this Prospectus for more information on how to request a copy of the Statement of Additional Information).
It is possible that broker-dealers that execute portfolio transactions for the fund will include firms that also sell shares of the fund to their customers. However, the Advisor will not consider the sale of fund shares as a factor in the selection of broker-dealers to execute portfolio transactions for the fund. Accordingly, the Advisor has implemented policies and procedures reasonably designed
Prospectus January 13, 2020 20 Investing in the Fund

 

to prevent its traders from considering sales of fund shares as a factor in the selection of broker-dealers to execute portfolio transactions for the fund. In addition, the Advisor and/or its affiliates will not use fund brokerage to pay for their obligation to provide additional compensation to financial representatives as described above.
Premium/Discount Information
Information regarding how often shares of the fund traded on [Exchange TBD] at a price above (i.e., at a premium) or below (i.e., at a discount) the NAV of the fund during the past calendar year can be found at www.Xtrackers.com.
Prospectus January 13, 2020 21 Investing in the Fund

 

Financial Highlights
Because the fund is newly offered, financial highlights information is not available.
Prospectus January 13, 2020 22 Financial Highlights

 

Appendix
Index Providers and Licenses
MSCI, Inc. (“MSCI”) is a leading provider of global indexes and benchmark related products and services to investors worldwide. MSCI is not affiliated with the Trust, the Advisor, The Bank of New York Mellon, the Distributor or any of their respective affiliates.
The Advisor has entered into a license agreement with the Index Provider to use the Underlying Index. The Advisor has also entered into a license agreement with a broker-dealer for the use of certain customized analytical data. All license fees are paid by the Advisor out of its own resources and not the assets of the fund.
MSCI Indexes
The MSCI Index is calculated and maintained by MSCI Inc. (“Index Provider” or “MSCI”). MSCI’s Global Investable Market Indexes (the “MSCI GIMI”) provide exhaustive coverage and non-overlapping market segmentation by market capitalization size, sector and by style segments and combinations thereof.
The MSCI GIMI intends to target approximately 99% coverage of the free float-adjusted market capitalization in each market of large-, mid- and small-cap securities.
MSCI Global Standard Indexes cover all investable large- and mid-cap securities by including approximately 85% of each market’s free float-adjusted market capitalization.
MSCI Global Small Cap Indexes provide coverage to all companies with a market capitalization below that of the companies in the MSCI Global Standard Indexes by including above and beyond the coverage of the MSCI Global Standard Indexes.
Under MSCI’s Global Investable Market Index methodology, the small-cap universe consists of securities of those companies not included in the large-cap or mid- cap segments of a particular market, which together comprise approximately 85% of each market’s free float- adjusted market capitalization. The small cap segment covers the 85%-99% range of each market’s free float- adjusted market capitalization.
Defining the Equity Universe. MSCI begins with securities listed in countries in the MSCI Global Index Series. Of these countries, 23 are classified as developed markets and 26 as emerging markets. All listed equity securities and listed securities that exhibit characteristics of equity securities, except mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, equity derivatives, limited partnerships and most investment trusts, are eligible for inclusion in the equity universe. Real estate investment trusts (“REITs”) in some countries and certain income trusts in Canada are also eligible for inclusion. Each company and its securities (i.e., Share classes) are classified in only one country, which allows for a distinctive sorting of each company by its respective country.
Maintaining the Underlying Index. The Underlying Index is reviewed quarterly in February, May, August and November and rebalanced semi-annually in May and November. At each semi-annual rebalancing, the composition of the Underlying Index is reassessed and the large- and mid-capitalization cutoff points are recalculated.
Disclaimers
THE FUND IS NOT SPONSORED, ENDORSED, SOLD OR PROMOTED BY MSCI INC. (“MSCI”), ANY OF ITS AFFILIATES, ANY OF ITS INFORMATION PROVIDERS OR ANY OTHER THIRD PARTY INVOLVED IN, OR RELATED TO, COMPILING, COMPUTING OR CREATING ANY MSCI INDEX (COLLECTIVELY, THE “MSCI PARTIES”). THE MSCI INDEXES ARE THE EXCLUSIVE PROPERTY OF MSCI. MSCI AND THE MSCI INDEX NAMES ARE SERVICE MARK(S) OF MSCI OR ITS AFFILIATES AND HAVE BEEN LICENSED FOR USE FOR CERTAIN PURPOSES BY THE ADVISOR. NONE OF THE MSCI PARTIES MAKES ANY REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, TO THE ISSUER OR OWNERS OF THE FUND OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY REGARDING THE ADVISABILITY OF INVESTING IN FUNDS GENERALLY OR IN A FUND PARTICULARLY OR THE ABILITY OF ANY MSCI INDEX TO TRACK CORRESPONDING STOCK
Prospectus January 13, 2020 23 Appendix

 

MARKET PERFORMANCE. MSCI OR ITS AFFILIATES ARE THE LICENSORS OF CERTAIN TRADEMARKS, SERVICE MARKS AND TRADE NAMES AND OF THE MSCI INDEXES WHICH ARE DETERMINED, COMPOSED AND CALCULATED BY MSCI WITHOUT REGARD TO THE FUND OR THE ISSUER OR OWNERS OF THE FUND OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY. NONE OF THE MSCI PARTIES HAS ANY OBLIGATION TO TAKE THE NEEDS OF THE ISSUER OR OWNERS OF THE FUND OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY INTO CONSIDERATION IN DETERMINING, COMPOSING OR CALCULATING THE MSCI INDEXES. NONE OF THE MSCI PARTIES IS RESPONSIBLE FOR OR HAS PARTICIPATED IN THE DETERMINATION OF THE TIMING OF, PRICES AT, OR QUANTITIES OF THE FUND TO BE ISSUED OR IN THE DETERMINATION OR CALCULATION OF THE EQUATION BY OR THE CONSIDERATION INTO WHICH THE FUND ARE REDEEMABLE. FURTHER, NONE OF THE MSCI PARTIES HAS ANY OBLIGATION OR LIABILITY TO THE ISSUER OR OWNERS OF THE FUND OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY IN CONNECTION WITH THE ADMINISTRATION, MARKETING OR OFFERING OF THE FUND.
ALTHOUGH MSCI SHALL OBTAIN INFORMATION FOR INCLUSION IN OR FOR USE IN THE CALCULATION OF THE MSCI INDEXES FROM SOURCES THAT MSCI CONSIDERS RELIABLE, NONE OF THE MSCI PARTIES WARRANTS OR GUARANTEES THE ORIGINALITY, ACCURACY AND/OR THE COMPLETENESS OF ANY MSCI INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. NONE OF THE MSCI PARTIES MAKES ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED BY THE ISSUER OF THE FUND, OWNERS OF THE FUND, OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY, FROM THE USE OF ANY MSCI INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. NONE OF THE MSCI PARTIES SHALL HAVE ANY LIABILITY FOR ANY ERRORS, OMISSIONS OR INTERRUPTIONS OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH ANY MSCI INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. FURTHER, NONE OF THE MSCI PARTIES MAKES ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, AND THE MSCI PARTIES HEREBY EXPRESSLY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, WITH RESPECT TO EACH MSCI INDEX AND ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. WITHOUT LIMITING ANY OF THE FOREGOING, IN NO EVENT SHALL ANY OF THE MSCI PARTIES HAVE ANY LIABILITY FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, CONSEQUENTIAL OR ANY OTHER DAMAGES (INCLUDING LOST PROFITS) EVEN IF NOTIFIED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.
NO PURCHASER, SELLER OR HOLDER OF THIS SECURITY, PRODUCT OR FUND, OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY, SHOULD USE OR REFER TO ANY MSCI TRADE NAME, TRADEMARK OR SERVICE MARK TO SPONSOR, ENDORSE, MARKET OR PROMOTE THIS SECURITY WITHOUT FIRST CONTACTING MSCI TO DETERMINE WHETHER MSCI’S PERMISSION IS REQUIRED. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES MAY ANY PERSON OR ENTITY CLAIM ANY AFFILIATION WITH MSCI WITHOUT THE PRIOR WRITTEN PERMISSION OF MSCI.
Shares of the fund are are not sponsored, endorsed or promoted by [Exchange TBD]. [Exchange TBD] makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of the shares of the fund or any member of the public regarding the ability of the fund to track the total return performance of their Underlying Indexes or the ability of the Underlying Indexes to track stock market performance. [Exchange TBD] is not responsible for, nor has it participated in, the determination of the compilation or the calculation of the Underlying Indexes, nor in the determination of the timing of, prices of, or quantities of shares of the fund to be issued, nor in the determination or calculation of the equation by which the shares are redeemable. [Exchange TBD] has no obligation or liability to owners of the shares of the fund in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of the shares of the fund.
[Exchange TBD] does not guarantee the accuracy and/or the completeness of the Underlying Indexes or any data included therein. [Exchange TBD] makes no warranty, express or implied, as to results to be obtained by the Trust on behalf of the fund as licensee, licensee’s customers and counterparties, owners of the shares of the fund, or any other person or entity from the use of the subject index or any data included therein in connection with the rights licensed as described herein or for any other use. [Exchange TBD] makes no express or implied warranties and hereby expressly disclaims all warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose with respect to the Underlying Indexes or any data included therein. Without limiting any of the foregoing, in no event shall [Exchange TBD] have any liability for any direct, indirect, special, punitive, consequential or any other damages (including lost profits) even if notified of the possibility of such damages.
The Advisor does not guarantee the accuracy or the completeness of the Underlying Indexes or any data included therein and the Advisor shall have no liability for any errors, omissions or interruptions therein.
The Advisor makes no warranty, express or implied, to the owners of shares of the funds or to any other person or entity, as to results to be obtained by the funds from the use of the Underlying Indexes or any data included therein. The Advisor makes no express or implied warranties and expressly disclaims all warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose or use with respect to the Underlying Indexes or any data included therein. Without limiting any of the foregoing, in no event shall the Advisor have any liability for any special, punitive, direct, indirect or consequential damages (including lost profits), even if notified of the possibility of such damages.
Prospectus January 13, 2020 24 Appendix

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
1-855-329-3837 (1-855-DBX-ETFS)
Copies of the prospectus, SAI and recent shareholder reports, when available, can be found on our website at www.Xtrackers.com. For more information about the fund, you may request a copy of the SAI. The SAI provides detailed information about the fund and is incorporated by reference into this prospectus. This means that the SAI, for legal purposes, is a part of this prospectus.
If you have any questions about the Trust or shares of the fund or you wish to obtain the SAI or shareholder report free of charge, please:
Call: 1-855-329-3837 or 1-855-DBX-ETFS
(toll free) Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (Eastern time)

E-mail: dbxquestions@list.db.com
Write: DBX ETF Trust
c/o ALPS Distributors, Inc.
1290 Broadway, Suite 1100
Denver, Colorado 80203
Information about the fund (including the SAI), reports and other information about the fund are available on the EDGAR Database on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov,
and copies of this information may be obtained, after paying a duplicating fee, by electronic request at the following e-mail address: publicinfo@sec.gov.
Householding is an option available to certain fund investors. Householding is a method of delivery, based on the preference of the individual investor, in which a single copy of certain shareholder documents can be delivered to investors who share the same address, even if their accounts are registered under different names. Please contact your broker-dealer if you are interested in enrolling in householding and receiving a single copy of prospectuses and other shareholder documents, or if you are currently enrolled in householding and wish to change your householding status.
No person is authorized to give any information or to make any representations about the fund and their shares not contained in this prospectus and you should not rely on any other information. Read and keep the prospectus for future reference.
Investment Company Act File No.: 811-22487    

Statement of Additional Information
January 13, 2020
DBX ETF TRUST
    
Xtrackers MSCI Kokusai Equity ETF
[Exchange TBD]: [XXXX]
This Statement of Additional Information (“SAI”) is not a prospectus and should be read in conjunction with the prospectus for the fund dated January 13, 2020, as supplemented, a copy of which may be obtained without charge by calling (855) DBX-ETFS; by visiting www.Xtrackers.com (the Web site does not form a part of this SAI); or by writing to the Trust’s distributor, ALPS Distributors, Inc. (the “Distributor”),
1290 Broadway, Suite 1100, Denver, Colorado 80203. This SAI is incorporated by reference into the prospectus.
This SAI is divided into two PartsPart I and Part II. Part I contains information that is specific to the fund, while Part II contains information that generally applies to each of the funds in the Trust.
 

 

Statement of Additional Information (SAI)Part I
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Part II

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Detailed Part II table of contents precedes page II-1
 

 

Part I
Definitions
“1933 Act” – the Securities Act of 1933, as amended
“1934 Act” – the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended
“1940 Act” – the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended
“Administrator” or “Custodian” or “Transfer Agent” or “BNYM” – The Bank of New York Mellon, 240 Greenwich Street, New York, New York 10286
“Advisor” or “DBX” – DBX Advisors LLC, 345 Park Avenue, New York, New York 10154
“ALPS” or “Distributor” – ALPS Distributors, Inc., 1290 Broadway, Suite 1100, Denver, Colorado 80203
“Board” – Board of Trustees of the Trust
“Board Members” – Members of the Board of Trustees of the Trust
“Business Day” – any day on which the Exchange on which the fund is listed for trading is open for business
“Cash Component” – deposit of a specified cash payment
“Creation Units” – shares that have been aggregated into blocks
“Code” – the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended
“DTC” – Depository Trust Company
“DWS” – refers to the asset management activities conducted by DWS Group GmbH & Co. KGaA or any of its subsidiaries, including the Advisor and other affiliated investment advisors
“ETF” – exchange-traded fund
“Exchange” – [Exchange TBD]
“Fitch” – Fitch Ratings, an NRSRO
“Fund Legal Counsel” – Dechert LLP, 1095 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10036
“fund” or “series” – Xtrackers MSCI Kokusai Equity ETF
“Independent Board Members”– Board Members who are not interested persons (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the fund, the investment advisor or the distributor
“Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm” – [------------------------------------------------------------]
“Independent Trustee Legal Counsel” – K&L Gates LLP, 1601 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
“IOPV” – Indicative Optimized Portfolio Value
“Moody’s” – Moody’s Investors Service, Inc., an NRSRO
“NRSRO” – a nationally recognized statistical rating organization
“S&P” – S& P Global Ratings, an NRSRO
“SEC” – the Securities and Exchange Commission
“Shares” – shares of beneficial interest registered under the 1933 Act
“Trust” – DBX ETF Trust
“Underlying Index” – a specified benchmark index
“Unitary Advisory Fee” – fee payable to the Advisor for its services under the Investment Advisory Agreement with the fund and the Advisor’s commitment to pay substantially all expenses of the fund, including the cost of transfer agency, custody, fund administration, compensation paid to the Independent Board Members, legal, audit and other services, except for the fee payments to the Advisor under the Investment Advisory Agreement, interest expense, acquired fund fees and expenses, taxes, brokerage expenses, distribution fees or expenses (if any), litigation expenses and other extraordinary expenses
“funds” – the US registered investment companies advised by DBX
 
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Fund Organization
DBX ETF Trust was organized as a Delaware statutory trust on October 7, 2010 and is authorized to have multiple series or portfolios. The Trust is an open-end management investment company registered with the SEC under the 1940 Act.
[Xtrackers MSCI Kokusai Equity ETF commenced operations on ______ __, 2020.]
Management of the Fund
Board Members and Officers’ Identification and Background
The identification and background of the Board Members and officers are set forth in Part IIAppendix II-A.
Board Committees and Compensation
Compensation paid to the Independent Board Members, for certain specified periods is set forth in Part I— Appendix I-C. Information regarding the committees of the Board is set forth in Part IAppendix I-B.
Board Member Share Ownership and Control Persons
Information concerning the ownership of fund shares by Board Members and officers, as a group, as well as the dollar range value of each Board Member’s share ownership in the fund and, on an aggregate basis, in all funds overseen by them, by investors who control the fund, if any, and by investors who own 5% or more of fund shares, if any, is set forth in Part IAppendix I-A.
Portfolio Management
Information regarding the fund’s portfolio managers, including other accounts managed, compensation, ownership of fund shares and possible conflicts of interest, is set forth in Part IAppendix I-D and Part II – Appendix II-B.
Service Provider Compensation
Compensation paid by the fund for investment advisory services and other expenses through the Unitary Advisory Fee is set forth in Part IAppendix I-E. The service provider compensation is not applicable to new funds that have not completed a fiscal reporting period. Fee rates are included in Part II – Appendix II-C.
Portfolio Transactions, Brokerage Commissions and Securities Lending Activities
Portfolio Turnover
The portfolio turnover rates for the two most recent fiscal years are set forth in Part IAppendix I-F. This section does not apply to new funds that have not completed a fiscal reporting period.
Brokerage Commissions
Total brokerage commissions paid by the fund for the three most recent fiscal years are set forth in Part I— Appendix I-F. This section does not apply to new funds that have not completed a fiscal reporting period.
The fund's policy with respect to portfolio transactions and brokerage is set forth under “Portfolio Transactions” in Part II of this SAI.
Securities Lending Activities
Information regarding securities lending activities of the fund, if any, during its most recent fiscal year is set forth in Part IAppendix I-H.
Additional information regarding securities lending in general is set forth under “Lending of Portfolio Securities” in Part II of this SAI.
Investments
Investments, Practices and Techniques, and Risks
Part IAppendix I-G includes a list of the investments, practices and techniques, and risks which the fund may employ (or be subject to) in pursuing its investment objective. Part IIAppendix II-E includes a description of these investments, practices and techniques, and risks.
Investment Restrictions
It is possible that certain investment practices and/or techniques may not be permissible for a fund based on its investment restrictions, as described herein.
Diversification Status. The fund is classified as “non-diversified” under the 1940 Act. A non-diversified fund is a fund that is not limited by the 1940 Act with regard to the percentage of its assets that may be invested
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in the securities of a single issuer. The securities of a particular issuer (or securities of issuers in particular industries) may dominate the underlying index of such a fund and, consequently, the fund’s investment portfolio. This may adversely affect the fund’s performance or subject the fund’s shares to greater price volatility than that experienced by more diversified investment companies.
Currently, under the 1940 Act, a “non-diversified” investment company is a fund that is not “diversified,” and for a fund to be classified as a “diversified” investment company, at least 75% of the value of the fund’s total assets must be represented by cash and cash items (including receivables), government securities, securities of other investment companies, and securities of other issuers, which for the purposes of this calculation are limited in respect of any one issuer to an amount (valued at the time of investment) not greater in value than 5% of the fund’s total assets and to not more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer. Pursuant to certain SEC staff positions, if a non-diversified fund’s investments are in fact “diversified” under the 1940 Act for a period of three years, the fund may be considered “diversified” and may not be able to convert to a non-diversified fund without the approval of shareholders.
Fundamental Policies
The following fundamental policies may not be changed without the approval of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the fund which, under the 1940 Act and the rules thereunder and as used in this SAI, means the lesser of (1) 67% or more of the voting securities present at such meeting, if the holders of more than 50% of the outstanding voting securities of the fund are present or represented by proxy, or (2) more than 50% of the outstanding voting securities of the fund.
As a matter of fundamental policy, the fund may not do any of the following:
(1) concentrate its investments (i.e., invest 25% or more of its total assets in the securities of a particular industry or group of industries), except that the fund will concentrate to the extent that its underlying index concentrates in the securities of such particular industry or group of industries. For purposes of this limitation, securities of the U.S. government (including its agencies and instrumentalities), repurchase agreements collateralized by U.S. government securities, and securities of state or municipal governments and their political sub-divisions are not considered to be issued by members of any industry;
(2) borrow money, except that (i) the fund may borrow from banks for temporary or emergency (not leveraging) purposes, including the meeting of redemption requests which might otherwise require the untimely disposition of securities; and (ii) the fund may, to the extent consistent with its investment policies, enter into repurchase agreements, reverse repurchase agreements, forward roll transactions and similar investment strategies and techniques; to the extent that it engages in transactions described in (i) and (ii), the fund will be limited so that no more than 33 1/3% of the value of its total assets (including the amount borrowed) is derived from such transactions. Any borrowings which come to exceed this amount will be reduced in accordance with applicable law;
(3) issue any senior security, except as permitted under the 1940 Act, as amended, and as interpreted, modified or otherwise permitted by regulatory authority having jurisdiction, from time to time;
(4) make loans, except as permitted under the 1940 Act, as interpreted, modified or otherwise permitted by regulatory authority having jurisdiction, from time to time;
(5) purchase or sell real estate unless acquired as a result of ownership of securities or other investments (but this restriction shall not prevent the fund from investing in securities of companies engaged in the real estate business or securities or other instruments backed by real estate or mortgages), or commodities or commodity contracts (but this restriction shall not prevent the fund from trading in futures contracts and options on futures contracts, including options on currencies to the extent consistent with the fund’s investment objectives and policies); or
(6) engage in the business of underwriting securities issued by other persons except, to the extent that the fund may technically be deemed to be an underwriter under the 1933 Act, the disposing of portfolio securities.
For purposes of the concentration policy in investment restriction (1), municipal securities with payments of principal or interest backed by the revenue of a specific project are considered to be issued by a member of the industry which includes such specific project.
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Senior securities may include any obligation or instrument issued by an investment company evidencing indebtedness. The 1940 Act generally prohibits a fund from issuing senior securities, although it provides allowances for certain borrowings and certain other investments, such as short sales, reverse repurchase agreements, and firm commitment agreements, when such investments are “covered” or with appropriate earmarking or segregation of assets to cover such obligations.
Under the 1940 Act, an investment company may only make loans if expressly permitted by its investment policies.
Non-Fundamental Policies
The Board has adopted certain additional non-fundamental policies and restrictions which are observed in the conduct of the fund’s affairs. They differ from fundamental investment policies in that they may be changed or amended by action of the Board without requiring prior notice to, or approval of, the shareholders.
As a matter of non-fundamental policy, the fund may not do any of the following:
(1) sell securities short, unless the fund owns or has the right to obtain securities equivalent in-kind and amount to the securities sold short at no added cost, and provided that transactions in options, futures contracts, options on futures contracts or other derivative instruments are not deemed to constitute selling securities short;
(2) purchase securities on margin, except that the fund may obtain such short-term credits as are necessary for the clearance of transactions; and provided that margin deposits in connection with futures contracts, options on futures contracts or other derivative instruments shall not constitute purchasing securities on margin;
(3) purchase securities of open-end or closed-end investment companies except in compliance with the 1940 Act;
(4) invest in direct interests in oil, gas or other mineral exploration programs or leases; however, the fund may invest in the securities of issuers that engage in these activities); and
(5) invest in illiquid securities if, as a result of such investment, more than 15% of the fund’s net assets would be invested in illiquid securities.
If any percentage restriction described above is complied with at the time of investment, a later increase or decrease in percentage resulting from any change in value or total or net assets will not constitute a violation of such restriction, except that fundamental limitation (2) will be observed continuously in accordance with applicable law.
For purposes of non-fundamental policy (5), an illiquid security is any investment that the fund reasonably expects cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment.
The fund has adopted a non-fundamental investment policy such that the fund may invest in shares of other open-end management investment companies or unit investment trusts subject to the limitations of Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act, including the rules, regulations and exemptive orders obtained thereunder; provided, however, that if the fund has knowledge that its Shares are purchased by another investment company investor in reliance on the provisions of subparagraphs (F) or (G) of Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act, the fund will not acquire any securities of other open-end management investment companies or unit investment trusts in reliance on the provisions of subparagraphs (F) or (G) of Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act.
Taxes
Important information concerning the tax consequences of an investment in the fund is contained in Part II— Appendix II-F.
Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm, Reports to Shareholders and Financial Statements
[___________] is an, serves as the fund's independent registered public accounting firm. As such, it audits the fund's financial statements and provides other audit, tax and related services.
Because the fund had not commenced operations as of the date of this SAI, no financial statements are available. Shareholders will receive annual audited financial statements and semi-annual unaudited financial statements.
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Additional Information
For information on exchange, CUSIP numbers and fund fiscal year end information, see Part IAppendix I-I.
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Part I: Appendix I-ABoard Member Share Ownership and Control Persons
Board Member Share Ownership in the fund
The following tables show the dollar range of equity securities beneficially owned by each current Board Member in the fund and in funds as of December 31, 2018.
Dollar Range of Beneficial Ownership(1)
Board Member Xtrackers MSCI Kokusai Equity ETF
Independent Board Member:
Stephen R. Byers  
George O. Elston  
J. David Officer  
Interested Board Member:
Michael Gilligan  
Aggregate Dollar Range of Beneficial Ownership(1)
  Funds Overseen by
Board Member in the
Xtrackers Funds
Independent Board Member:
Stephen R. Byers  
George O. Elston  
J. David Officer  
Interested Board Member:
Michael Gilligan  
(1) The dollar ranges are: None, $1 – $10,000, $10,001 – $50,000, $50,001 – $100,000, or over $100,000.
Ownership in Securities of the Advisor and Related Companies
As reported to the fund, the information in the table below reflects ownership by the current Independent Board Members and their immediate family members of certain securities as of December 31, 2018. An immediate family member can be a spouse, children residing in the same household, including step and adoptive children, and any dependents. The securities represent ownership in the Advisor or Distributor and any persons (other than a registered investment company) directly or indirectly controlling, controlled by, or under common control with the Advisor (including Deutsche Bank AG and DWS Group) or the Distributor.
Independent
Board Member
Owner and
Relationship to
Board Member
Company Title of
Class
Value of
Securities on an
Aggregate Basis
Percent of
Class on an
Aggregate Basis
Stephen R. Byers   None      
George O. Elston   None      
J. David Officer   None      
Control Persons and Principal Holders of Securities
The fund is a new fund, and therefore there is no information concerning the beneficial ownership of shares.
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Part I: Appendix I-BBoard Committees and Meetings
Board Leadership, Structure and Oversight Responsibilities
Board Structure. The Board of the Xtrackers funds is responsible for oversight of the funds, including oversight of the duties performed by the Advisor for the funds under the investment advisory agreement (the “Investment Advisory Agreement”). The Board generally meets in regularly-scheduled meetings four times a year and may meet more often as required.
Mr. Byers serves as Chairman of the Board. The Board is comprised of a super-majority (75 percent) of Independent Board Members. The Independent Board Members are advised by Independent Trustee Legal Counsel and are represented by such Independent Trustee Legal Counsel at Board and committee meetings. The chairmen of the Audit Committee and Nominating Committee (each of which consists solely of Independent Board Members) serve as liaisons between the Advisor and other service providers and the other Independent Board Members. Each such chairman is an Independent Board Member.
The Board regularly reviews its committee structure and membership and believes that its current structure is appropriate based on the fact that the Independent Board Members constitute a super-majority of the Board, the role of the committee chairmen (who are Independent Board Members), the assets and number of funds overseen by the Board Members, as well as the nature of each fund’s business as an ETF, which is managed to track the performance of a specified index.
Risk Oversight. The Xtrackers funds are subject to a number of risks, including operational, investment and compliance risks. The Board, directly and through its committees, as part of its oversight responsibilities, oversees the services provided by the Advisor and the Trust’s other service providers in connection with the management and operations of the funds, as well as their associated risks. Under the oversight of the Board, the Trust, the Advisor and other service providers have adopted policies, procedures and controls to address these risks.
The Board, directly and through its committees, receives and reviews information from the Advisor, other service providers, the Trust’s Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm and Independent Trustee Legal Counsel to assist it in its oversight responsibilities. This information includes, but is not limited to, reports regarding the funds’ investments, including fund performance and investment practices, valuation of fund portfolio securities, and compliance. The Board also reviews, and must approve any proposed changes to, the funds’ investment objectives, policies and restrictions, and reviews any areas of non-compliance with the funds’ investment policies and restrictions. The Audit Committee monitors the Trust’s accounting policies, financial reporting and internal control system and reviews any internal audit reports impacting the Trust. As part of its compliance oversight, the Board reviews the annual compliance report issued by the Trust’s Chief Compliance Officer on the policies and procedures of the Trust and its service providers, proposed changes to the policies and procedures and quarterly reports on any material compliance issues that arose during the period.
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Board Committees. The Board has two standing committees, the Audit Committee and the Nominating Committee, and has delegated certain responsibilities to those committees.
Name of Committee Number of
Meetings in Last
Fiscal Year
Functions Current Board Members
AUDIT COMMITTEE 3 The Audit Committee has the responsibility, among other things, to: (i) approve the selection, retention, termination and compensation of the Trust’s Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm; (ii) review the scope of the Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm’s audit activity; (iii) review the audited financial statements; and (iv) review with such Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm the adequacy and the effectiveness of the Trust’s internal controls. George O. Elston (Chairman), Stephen R. Byers and J. David Officer
NOMINATING COMMITTEE 0 The Nominating Committee has the responsibility, among other things, to identify and recommend individuals for Board membership, and evaluate candidates for Board membership. The Board will consider recommendations for Board Members from shareholders. Nominations from shareholders should be in writing and sent to the Board, to the attention of the Chairman of the Nominating Committee, as described in Part II SAI Appendix II-A under the caption “Shareholder Communications to the Board.” J. David Officer (Chairman), Stephen R. Byers and George O. Elston
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Part I: Appendix I-CBoard Member Compensation
Each Independent Board Member receives compensation for his or her services, which includes retainer fees and specified amounts for various committee services and for the Board Chairman. No additional compensation is paid to any Independent Board Member for travel time to meetings, attendance at directors’ educational seminars or conferences, service on industry or association committees, participation as speakers at directors’ conferences or service on special fund industry director task forces or subcommittees. Independent Board Members do not receive any employee benefits such as pension or retirement benefits or health insurance from the fund or any fund in the fund complex.
Board Members who are officers, directors, employees or stockholders of DBX or its affiliates receive no direct compensation from the fund, although they are compensated as employees of DBX, or its affiliates, and as a result may be deemed to participate in fees paid by the fund. The following table shows, for each current Independent Board Member, the aggregate compensation from all of the funds in the fund complex during calendar year 2018.
Total Compensation from Xtrackers Fund Complex
Board Member Total Compensation from the
Xtrackers Fund Complex(1)
Independent Board Member:
Stephen R. Byers(2) To be updated
George O. Elston(3) To be updated
J. David Officer To be updated
Interested Board Member:
Michael Gilligan None
(1) For each Independent Board Member, total compensation from the Xtrackers fund complex represents compensation from 38 funds as of December 31, 2018.
(2) Includes $25,000 in annual retainer fees received by Mr. Byers as Chairman of the Xtrackers funds.
(3) Includes $15,000 in annual retainer fees received by Mr. Elston as Chairman of the Audit Committee.
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Part I: Appendix I-DPortfolio Management
Fund Ownership of Portfolio Managers
The following table shows the dollar range of fund shares owned beneficially and of record by the portfolio management team, including investments by their immediate family members sharing the same household and amounts invested through retirement and deferred compensation plans. This information is provided as of [___________, 2019].
Xtrackers MSCI Kokusai Equity ETF
Name of Portfolio Manager Dollar Range of
Fund Shares Owned
Bryan Richards $0
Patrick Dwyer $0
Shlomo Bassous $0
Conflicts of Interest
In addition to managing the assets of the fund, a portfolio manager may have responsibility for managing other client accounts of the Advisor or its affiliates. The tables below show, per portfolio manager, the number and asset size of: (1) SEC registered investment companies (or series thereof) other than the fund, (2) pooled investment vehicles that are not registered investment companies and (3) other accounts (e.g., accounts managed for individuals or organizations) managed by a portfolio manager. Total assets attributed to a portfolio manager in the tables below include total assets of each account managed, although a portfolio manager may only manage a portion of such account’s assets. For a fund subadvised by subadvisors unaffiliated with the Advisor, total assets of funds managed may only include assets allocated to the portfolio manager and not the total assets of a fund managed. The tables also show the number of performance-based fee accounts, as well as the total assets of the accounts for which the advisory fee is based on the performance of the account. This information is provided as of [___________, 2019].
Xtrackers MSCI Kokusai Equity ETF
Other SEC Registered Investment Companies Managed:
Name of
Portfolio Manager
Number of
Registered
Investment
Companies
Total Assets of
Registered
Investment
Companies
Number of Investment
Company Accounts
with Performance-
Based Fee
Total Assets of
Performance-Based
Fee Accounts
Bryan Richards   $ 0 $0
Patrick Dwyer   $ 0 $0
Shlomo Bassous   $ 0 $0
Xtrackers MSCI Kokusai Equity ETF
Other Pooled Investment Vehicles Managed:
Name of
Portfolio Manager
Number of
Pooled
Investment
Vehicles
Total Assets of
Pooled Investment
Vehicles
Number of Pooled
Investment Vehicle
Accounts with
Performance-
Based Fee
Total Assets of
Performance-
Based Fee
Accounts
Bryan Richards 0 $0 0 $0
Patrick Dwyer 0 $0 0 $0
Shlomo Bassous 0 $0 0 $0
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Xtrackers MSCI Kokusai Equity ETF
Other Accounts Managed:
Name of
Portfolio Manager
Number of
Other Accounts
Total Assets
of Other
Accounts
Number of Other
Accounts with
Performance-
Based Fee
Total Assets of
Performance-
Based Fee
Accounts
Bryan Richards   $ 0 $0
Patrick Dwyer   $ 0 $0
Shlomo Bassous   $ 0 $0
In addition to the accounts above, an investment professional may manage accounts in a personal capacity that may include holdings that are similar to, or the same as, those of the fund. The Advisor or Subadvisor, as applicable, has in place a Code of Ethics that is designed to address conflicts of interest and that, among other things, imposes restrictions on the ability of portfolio managers and other “access persons” to invest in securities that may be recommended or traded in the fund and other client accounts.
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Part I: Appendix I-EService Provider Compensation
Xtrackers MSCI Kokusai Equity ETF
Because the fund is newly offered, there are no fees paid to report.
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Part I: Appendix I-FPortfolio Transactions and Brokerage Commissions
Variations to the fund’s portfolio turnover rate may be due to, among other things, a fluctuating volume of shareholder purchase and redemption orders, market conditions, and/or changes in the Advisor's investment outlook. The amount of brokerage commissions paid by the fund may change from year to year because of, among other things, changing asset levels, shareholder activity and/or portfolio turnover.
Portfolio Turnover Rates
Not applicable.
Brokerage Commissions
Not applicable.
Brokerage Commissions Paid to Affiliated Brokers
Not applicable.
Transactions for Research Services
Not applicable.
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Part I: Appendix I-GInvestments, Practices and Techniques, and Risks
Below is a list of headings related to investments, practices and techniques, and risks which are further described in Appendix II-E.
Xtrackers MSCI Kokusai Equity ETF [to be confirmed]
Commodity Pool Operator Exclusion
Derivatives
Dividend-paying stock risk
Equity Securities
Foreign Securities
Illiquid Securities
Investment Companies and Other Pooled Investment Vehicles
Lending of Portfolio Securities
Repurchase Agreements
Restricted Securities/Rule 144A Securities
Reverse Repurchase Agreements
Short-Term Instruments and Temporary Investments
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Part I: Appendix I-HSecurities Lending Activities
Pursuant to an agreement between the fund and BNYM, BNYM is responsible for the administration and management of the fund’s securities lending program, including the negotiation of the terms and conditions of any securities loan, ensuring that securities loans are properly coordinated and documented with the fund’s custodian, ensuring that loaned securities are daily valued and that the corresponding required cash collateral is delivered by the borrower(s), arranging for the investment of cash collateral and arranging for the return of loaned securities upon the termination of the loan.
Because the fund is newly offered, there is no securities lending activities to report.
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Part I: Appendix I-IAdditional Information
Fund and its Fiscal Year End Exchange CUSIP Number
Xtrackers MSCI Kokusai Equity ETF Exchange TBD [XXXXXXXXX]
Fiscal Year End: [XX/XX]    
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Statement of Additional Information (SAI)Part II
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Part II
Part II of this SAI includes policies, investment techniques and information that apply to the Xtrackers funds. Unless otherwise noted, the use of the term “fund” applies to each of the Xtrackers funds of the Trust.
Management of the Funds
Investment Advisor. DBX Advisors LLC, located at 345 Park Avenue, New York, New York 10154, serves as investment advisor to each fund pursuant to an Investment Advisory Agreement between the Trust and the Advisor. The Advisor is a Delaware limited liability company and was registered as an investment advisor under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended, in August 2010. DBX Advisors LLC was formed in June 2010 and is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of DWS Group GmbH & Co. KGaA (“DWS Group”).
Terms of the Investment Advisory Agreement. Under the Investment Advisory Agreement, the Advisor, subject to the supervision of the Board and in conformity with the stated investment policies of each fund, manages and administers the Trust and manages the duties of the investment and reinvestment of each fund’s assets.
Under the Investment Advisory Agreement, the Advisor is responsible for substantially all expenses of the funds (including the payments to a Subadvisor, if any, the cost of transfer agency, custody, fund administration, compensation paid to the Independent Board Members in respect of the Independent Board Members’ service to the fund, legal, audit and other services) except for the fee payments under the Investment Advisory Agreement, interest expense, taxes, brokerage expenses, future distribution fees or expenses, litigation expenses and other extraordinary expenses.
The Investment Advisory Agreement with respect to each fund continues in effect for two years from its effective date, and thereafter is subject to annual approval by (i) the Board or (ii) the vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the applicable fund, provided that in either event such continuance also is approved by a majority of the Board who are not interested persons (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the applicable fund, by a vote cast in person at a meeting called for the purpose of voting on such approval.
The Investment Advisory Agreement with respect to each fund is terminable without penalty, on 60 days’ notice, by the Board or by a vote of the holders of a majority of
the applicable fund’s outstanding voting securities (as defined in the 1940 Act). The Investment Advisory Agreement is also terminable upon 60 days’ notice by the Advisor and will terminate automatically in the event of its assignment (as defined in the 1940 Act).
The annual Unitary Advisory Fee rate for each fund is set forth in Part II – Appendix II-C.
Subadvisor (applicable only to those funds that have a Subadvisory arrangement as described in Part I). The Subadvisor serves as Subadvisor to a fund pursuant to the terms of an Investment Sub-Advisory Agreement between it and DBX (Subadvisory Agreement).
Harvest Global Investments Limited (HGI), located at 31/F One Exchange Square, 8 Connaught Place, Central, Hong Kong, serves as the investment Subadvisor to all the assets of two funds. HGI is an investment advisor registered with the SEC. In addition, HGI is an affiliate of DWS Group.
Terms of the Subadvisory Agreements. Pursuant to the terms of the applicable Subadvisory Agreement, a Subadvisor makes the investment decisions, buys and sells securities, and conducts the research that leads to these purchase and sale decisions for a fund. A Subadvisor is also responsible for selecting brokers and dealers to execute portfolio transactions and for negotiating brokerage commissions and dealer charges on behalf of a fund. Under the terms of the Subadvisory Agreement, a Subadvisor manages the investment and reinvestment of a fund's assets and provides such investment advice, research and assistance as DBX may, from time to time, reasonably request.
Each Subadvisory Agreement provides that the Subadvisor will not be liable for any error of judgment or mistake of law or for any loss suffered by a fund in connection with matters to which the Subadvisory Agreement relates, except a loss resulting from (a) the Subadvisor causing a fund to be in violation of any applicable federal or state law, rule or regulation or any investment policy or restriction set forth in a fund's prospectus or as may be provided in writing by the Board or DBX, or (b) willful misconduct, bad faith or gross negligence on the part of the Subadvisor in the performance of its duties or from reckless disregard by the Subadvisor of its obligations and duties under the Subadvisory Agreement.
 
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A Subadvisory Agreement continues from year to year only as long as such continuance is specifically approved at least annually (a) by a majority of the Board Members who are not parties to such agreement or interested persons of any such party, and (b) by the shareholders or the Board of the Registrant. A Subadvisory Agreement may be terminated at any time upon 60 days’ written notice by DBX or by the Board of the Registrant or by majority vote of the outstanding shares of a fund, and will terminate automatically upon assignment or upon termination of a fund’s Investment Advisory Agreement.
Under each Subadvisory Agreement between DBX and a Subadvisor, DBX, not a fund, pays the Subadvisor a Subadvisory fee based on the percentage of the assets overseen by the Subadvisor or based on a percentage of the fee received by DBX from a fund. The Subadvisor fee is paid directly by DBX at specific rates negotiated between DBX and the Subadvisor. No fund is responsible for paying the Subadvisor.
Codes of Ethics. Each fund, the Advisor, the Distributor, and, if applicable, each fund’s subadvisor(s) have adopted codes of ethics under Rule 17j-1 under the 1940 Act. Board Members, officers of the Trust and employees of the Advisor and the Distributor are permitted to make personal securities transactions, including transactions in securities that may be purchased or held by a fund, subject to requirements and restrictions set forth in the applicable Code of Ethics. The Advisor’s Code of Ethics contains provisions and requirements designed to identify and address certain conflicts of interest between personal investment activities and the interests of a fund. Among other things, the Advisor’s Code of Ethics prohibits certain types of transactions absent prior approval, imposes time periods during which personal transactions may not be made in certain securities, and requires the submission of duplicate broker confirmations and quarterly reporting of securities transactions. Additional restrictions apply to portfolio managers, traders, research analysts and others involved in the investment advisory process. Exceptions to these and other provisions of the Advisor’s or Subadvisor’s Codes of Ethics may be granted in particular circumstances after review by appropriate personnel.
Board Members
Board Members and Officers’ Identification and Background. The identification and background of the Board Members and Officers of the Registrant are set forth in Part IIAppendix II-A.
Board Committees and Compensation. Information regarding the Committees of the Board, as well as compensation paid to the Independent Board Members and to Board Members who are not officers of the Registrant, for certain specified periods, is set forth in Part IAppendix I-B and Part IAppendix I-C, respectively.
Other Service Providers
Administrator. BNYM serves as administrator for each fund. Pursuant to a Fund Administration and Accounting Agreement and a Corporate Services Agreement with the Trust, BNYM provides necessary administrative, tax and accounting and financial reporting services for the maintenance and operations of the Trust and each fund. In addition, BNYM makes available the office space, equipment, personnel and facilities required to provide such services. As compensation for these services, BNYM receives certain out-of-pocket costs, transaction fees and asset-based fees which are accrued daily and paid monthly by the Advisor from its management fee.
Custodian. BNYM serves as custodian for each fund. Pursuant to a Custody Agreement with the Trust, BNYM maintains in separate accounts cash, securities and other assets of the Trust and each fund, keeps all necessary accounts and records and provides other services. BNYM is required, upon the order of the Trust, to deliver securities held by BNYM and to make payments for securities purchased by the Trust for each fund. Also, pursuant to the Custody Agreement, BNYM is authorized to appoint certain foreign custodians or foreign custody managers for fund investments outside the US. As compensation for these services, BNYM receives certain out-of-pocket costs, transaction fees and asset-based fees which are accrued daily and paid monthly by the Advisor from its management fee.
Transfer Agent. BNYM serves as transfer agent for each fund. Pursuant to a Transfer Agency and Service Agreement with the Trust, BNYM acts as a transfer agent for each fund’s authorized and issued Shares and as the dividend disbursing agent of the Trust. As compensation for these services, BNYM receives certain out-of-pocket costs, transaction fees and asset-based fees which are accrued daily and paid monthly by the Advisor from its management fee.
Fund Legal Counsel. Provides legal services to the funds.
Independent Trustee Legal Counsel. Serves as legal counsel to the Independent Board Members.
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Distributor. ALPS serves as the Distributor for each fund. The Distributor has entered into a Distribution Agreement with the Trust pursuant to which it distributes Shares of each fund. The Distribution Agreement continues for two years from its effective date and is renewable annually. Shares are continuously offered for sale by the fund through the Distributor only in Creation Units, as described in the applicable Prospectus and below in the “Creation and Redemption of Creation Units” section of this SAI. Shares in less than Creation Units are not distributed by the Distributor. The Distributor will deliver the applicable Prospectus and, upon request, the SAI to Authorized Participants purchasing Creation Units and will maintain records of both orders placed with it and confirmations of acceptance furnished by it. The Distributor is a broker-dealer registered under the 1934 Act, and a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
The Distribution Agreement for each fund provides that it may be terminated at any time, without the payment of any penalty, on at least 60 days’ prior written notice to the other party following (i) the vote of a majority of the Independent Board Members, or (ii) the vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the relevant fund. The Distribution Agreement will terminate automatically in the event of its assignment (as defined in the 1940 Act).
Fund Organization
Shares. The Trust currently is comprised of 38 operational separate investment series or portfolios called funds. The Trust issues Shares of beneficial interest in each fund with no par value. The Board may designate additional funds.
Each Share issued by a fund has a pro rata interest in the assets of that fund. Shares have no preemptive, exchange, subscription or conversion rights and are freely transferable. Each Share is entitled to participate equally in dividends and distributions declared by the Board with respect to the relevant fund, and in the net distributable assets of such fund on liquidation. Each Share has one vote with respect to matters upon which the shareholder is entitled to vote. In any matter submitted to shareholders for a vote, each fund shall hold a separate vote, provided that shareholders of all affected funds will vote together when: (1) required by the 1940 Act or (2) the Trustees determine that the matter affects the interests of more than one fund. Under Delaware law, the Trust is not required to hold an annual meeting of shareholders unless required to do so under the 1940 Act. The policy of the Trust is not to hold an annual meeting of share-
holders unless required to do so under the 1940 Act. All Shares (regardless of the fund) have noncumulative voting rights in the election of Board Members. Under Delaware law, Trustees of the Trust may be removed by vote of the shareholders.
Following the creation of the initial Creation Unit(s) of Shares of a fund and immediately prior to the commencement of trading in the fund’s Shares, a holder of Shares may be a “control person” of the fund, as defined in the 1940 Act. The fund cannot predict the length of time for which one or more shareholders may remain a control person of the fund.
Shareholders may make inquiries by writing to DBX ETF Trust, c/o the Distributor, ALPS Distributors, Inc., 1290 Broadway, Suite 1100, Denver, Colorado 80203, by email by writing to dbxquestions@list.db.com or by telephone by calling 1-855-329-3837 or 1-855- DBX-ETFS (toll free).
Termination of the Trust or a Fund. The Trust or a fund may be terminated by a majority vote of the Board or the affirmative vote of a supermajority of the holders of the Trust or such fund entitled to vote on termination. Although the Shares are not automatically redeemable upon the occurrence of any specific event, the Trust’s organizational documents provide that the Board will have the unrestricted power to alter the number of Shares in a Creation Unit. In the event of a termination of the Trust or a fund, the Board, in its sole discretion, could determine to permit the Shares to be redeemable in aggregations smaller than Creation Units or to be individually redeemable. In such circumstance, the Trust may make redemptions in kind, for cash or for a combination of cash or securities.
Purchase and Redemption of Shares
Exchange Listing and Trading
A discussion of exchange listing and trading matters associated with an investment in each fund is contained in the “Investing in the Funds” section of the fund’s Prospectus. The discussion below supplements, and should be read in conjunction with, that section of the Prospectus.
Shares of each fund are listed for trading and will trade throughout the day on the Exchange. There can be no assurance that the requirements of the Exchange necessary to maintain the listing of Shares of any fund will continue to be met. The Exchange may, but is not required to, remove the Shares of a fund from listing if
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(i) following the initial 12-month period beginning upon the commencement of trading of fund Shares, there are fewer than 50 beneficial owners of Shares of the fund for 30 or more consecutive trading days, (ii) the value of the Underlying Index on which a fund is based is no longer calculated or available, (iii) the IOPV of a fund is no longer calculated or available or (iv) any other event shall occur or condition shall exist that, in the opinion of the Exchange, makes further dealings on the Exchange inadvisable. The Exchange will also remove Shares of a fund from listing and trading upon termination of the fund.
In order to provide additional information regarding the indicative value of Shares of the fund, the Exchange or a market data vendor disseminates every 15 seconds through the facilities of the Consolidated Tape Association or other widely disseminated means an updated IOPV for the fund as calculated by an information provider or market data vendor. The Trust is not involved in or responsible for any aspect of the calculation or dissemination of the IOPVs and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the IOPVs.
An IOPV has a securities component and a cash component. The securities values included in an IOPV are the values of the Deposit Securities for a fund. While the IOPV reflects the current market value of the Deposit Securities required to be deposited in connection with the purchase of a Creation Unit, it does not necessarily reflect the precise composition of the current portfolio of securities held by a fund at a particular point in time because the current portfolio of the fund may include securities that are not a part of the current Deposit Securities. Therefore, a fund’s IOPV disseminated during the Exchange trading hours should not be viewed as a real-time update of the fund’s NAV, which is calculated only once a day.
The cash component included in an IOPV consists of estimated accrued interest, dividends and other income, less expenses. If applicable, each IOPV also reflects changes in currency exchange rates between the US dollar and the applicable currency.
The Trust reserves the right to adjust the Share prices of funds in the future to maintain convenient trading ranges for investors. Any adjustments would be accomplished through stock splits or reverse stock splits, which would have no effect on the net assets of the fund.
DTC as Securities Depository for Shares of the funds. Shares of each fund are represented by securities registered in the name of DTC or its nominee and deposited with, or on behalf of, DTC. DTC, a limited-
purpose trust company, was created to hold securities of its participants (“DTC Participants”) and to facilitate the clearance and settlement of securities transactions among the DTC Participants in such securities through electronic book-entry changes in accounts of the DTC Participants, thereby eliminating the need for physical movement of securities’ certificates. DTC Participants include securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations and certain other organizations, some of whom (and/or their representatives) own DTC. More specifically, DTC is owned by a number of its DTC Participants and by the NYSE, NYSE Amex Equities and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Access to the DTC system is also available to others such as banks, brokers, dealers and trust companies that clear through or maintain a custodial relationship with a DTC Participant, either directly or indirectly (“Indirect Participants”).
Beneficial ownership of Shares is limited to DTC Participants, Indirect Participants and persons holding interests through DTC Participants and Indirect Participants. Ownership of beneficial interests in Shares (owners of such beneficial interests are referred to herein as “Beneficial Owners”) is shown on, and the transfer of ownership is effected only through, records maintained by DTC (with respect to DTC Participants) and on the records of DTC Participants (with respect to Indirect Participants and Beneficial Owners that are not DTC Participants). Beneficial Owners will receive from or through the DTC Participant a written confirmation relating to their purchase of Shares. The laws of some jurisdictions may require that certain purchasers of securities take physical delivery of such securities in definitive form. Such laws may impair the ability of certain investors to acquire beneficial interests in Shares.
Conveyance of all notices, statements and other communications to Beneficial Owners is effected as follows. Pursuant to the Depositary Agreement between the Trust and DTC, DTC is required to make available to the Trust upon request and for a fee to be charged to the Trust a listing of the Shares of each fund held by each DTC Participant. The Trust shall inquire of each such DTC Participant as to the number of Beneficial Owners holding Shares, directly or indirectly, through such DTC Participant. The Trust shall provide each such DTC Participant with copies of such notice, statement or other communication, in such form, number and at such place as such DTC Participant may reasonably request, in order that such notice, statement or communication may be transmitted by such DTC Participant, directly or indirectly, to such Beneficial Owners. In addition, the Trust shall pay
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to each such DTC Participant a fair and reasonable amount as reimbursement for the expenses attendant to such transmittal, all subject to applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.
The Trust understands that under existing industry practice, in the event the Trust requests any action of holders of Shares, or a Beneficial Owner desires to take any action that DTC, as the record owner of all outstanding Shares, is entitled to take, DTC would authorize the DTC Participants to take such action and that the DTC Participants would authorize the Indirect Participants and Beneficial Owners acting through such DTC Participants to take such action and would otherwise act upon the instructions of Beneficial Owners owning through them.
Share distributions shall be made to DTC or its nominee, Cede & Co., as the registered holder of all Shares of the Trust. DTC or its nominee, upon receipt of any such distributions, shall credit immediately DTC Participants’ accounts with payments in amounts proportionate to their respective beneficial interests in Shares of each fund as shown on the records of DTC or its nominee. Payments by DTC Participants to Indirect Participants and Beneficial Owners of Shares held through such DTC Participants will be governed by standing instructions and customary practices, as is now the case with securities held for the accounts of customers in bearer form or registered in a “street name,” and will be the responsibility of such DTC Participants.
The Trust has no responsibility or liability for any aspect of the records relating to or notices to Beneficial Owners, or payments made on account of beneficial ownership interests in such Shares, or for maintaining, supervising or reviewing any records relating to such beneficial ownership interests, or for any other aspect of the relationship between DTC and the DTC Participants or the relationship between such DTC Participants and the Indirect Participants and Beneficial Owners owning through such DTC Participants. DTC may decide to discontinue providing its service with respect to Shares of the Trust at any time by giving reasonable notice to the Trust and discharging its responsibilities with respect thereto under applicable law. Under such circumstances, the Trust shall take action to find a replacement for DTC to perform its functions at a comparable cost.
Creation and Redemption of Creation Units
General. The Trust issues and sells Shares of each fund only in Creation Units on a continuous basis through the Distributor, without a sales load, at the fund’s NAV next
determined after receipt, on any Business Day, of an order in proper form. Information on a fund’s Creation Units can be found in the Prospectus.
The Board reserves the right to declare a split or a consolidation in the number of Shares outstanding of any fund of the Trust, and to make a corresponding change in the number of Shares constituting a Creation Unit, in the event that the per Share price in the secondary market rises (or declines) to an amount that falls outside the range deemed desirable by the Board.
As of the date of this SAI, each Exchange observes the following holidays, as observed: New Year’s Day, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
Fund Deposit. The consideration for purchase of Creation Units of a fund generally consists of the in-kind deposit of a designated portfolio of securities (i.e., the “Deposit Securities”), which constitutes an optimized representation of the securities of the relevant fund’s Underlying Index, and the Cash Component computed as described below. Together, the Deposit Securities and the Cash Component constitute the “Fund Deposit,” which represents the minimum initial and subsequent investment amount for a Creation Unit of any fund.
The Cash Component is 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 serves to compensate for any difference between the NAV per Creation Unit and the Deposit Amount. Payment of any stamp duty or other similar fees and expenses payable upon transfer of beneficial ownership of the Deposit Securities shall be the sole responsibility of the AP purchasing a Creation Unit.
The Advisor makes 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 of Shares of each Deposit Security to be included in the current Fund Deposit (based on information at the end of the previous Business Day) for each 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 given fund until such time as the next-announced Fund Deposit is made available.
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The identity and number of Shares of the Deposit Securities pursuant to changes in composition of a fund’s portfolio and changes as rebalancing adjustments and corporate action events are reflected from time to time by the Advisor with a view to the investment objective of the fund. The composition of the Deposit Securities may also change in response to adjustments to the weighting or composition of the component securities constituting the relevant Underlying Index.
The Trust 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 systems of DTC of the Clearing Process (discussed below). The Trust also reserves the right to permit or require a “cash in lieu” amount where the delivery of the Deposit Security by the AP (as described below) would be restricted under applicable securities laws or where the delivery of the Deposit Security to the AP would result in the disposition of the Deposit Security by the AP becoming restricted under applicable securities laws, or in certain other situations. The adjustments described above will reflect changes, known to the Advisor on the date of announcement to be in effect by the time of delivery of the Fund Deposit, in the composition of the subject index being tracked by the relevant fund, or resulting from stock splits and other corporate actions. For Xtrackers South Korea Hedged Equity ETF, Xtrackers MSCI China A Inclusion Equity ETF, Xtrackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares ETF, and Xtrackers Harvest CSI 500 China A-Shares Small Cap ETF, Creation Units are purchased principally for cash.
Role of the Authorized Participant. Creation Units may be purchased only by or through a DTC Participant that has entered into an Authorized Participant Agreement with the Distributor (an authorized participant, or an “AP”), which agreement has also been accepted by the Transfer Agent. Such AP will agree, pursuant to the terms of such Authorized Participant Agreement and on behalf of itself or any investor on whose behalf it will act, to certain conditions, including that such AP will make available in advance of each purchase of Shares an amount of cash sufficient to pay the Cash Component, once the NAV of a Creation Unit is next determined after receipt of the purchase order in proper form, together with the transaction fee described below. The AP may require the investor to enter into an agreement with such AP with respect to certain matters, including payment of the Cash Component. Investors who are not APs must make appropriate arrangements with an AP. Investors should be aware that their particular broker may not be a DTC Participant
or may not have executed an Authorized Participant Agreement and that orders to purchase Creation Units may have to be placed by the investor’s broker through an AP. As a result, purchase orders placed through an AP may result in additional charges to such investor.
The Trust does not expect the Distributor to enter into an Authorized Participant Agreement with more than a small number of DTC Participants. A list of current APs may be obtained from the Distributor.
Purchase Order. To initiate an order for a Creation Unit, an AP must submit an irrevocable order to purchase Shares of a fund in accordance with the Authorized Participant Agreement. If accepted by the Distributor, the Transfer Agent will notify the Advisor and the Custodian of such order. If applicable, the Custodian will then provide such information to the appropriate sub-custodian. For each applicable fund, the Custodian shall cause the applicable sub-custodian to maintain an account into which the AP shall deliver, on behalf of itself or the party on whose behalf it is acting, the applicable securities included in the designated Fund Deposit (or the cash value of all or a part of such securities, in the case of a permitted or required cash purchase or “cash in lieu” amount), with any appropriate adjustments as advised by the Trust. Deposit Securities located outside the United States must be delivered to an account maintained at the applicable local sub-custodian. Those placing orders to purchase Creation Units through an AP should allow sufficient time to permit proper submission of the purchase order to the Distributor by the cut-off time on such Business Day.
The AP must also make available on or before the contractual settlement date, by means satisfactory to the Trust, immediately available or same day funds estimated by the Trust to be sufficient to pay the Cash Component next determined after acceptance of the purchase order, together with the applicable purchase transaction fee. Any excess funds will be returned following settlement of the issue of the Creation Unit. Those placing orders should ascertain the applicable deadline for cash transfers by contacting the operations department of the broker or depositary institution effectuating the transfer of the Cash Component. This deadline is likely to be significantly earlier than the closing time of the regular trading session on the Exchange.
Investors should be aware that an AP may require orders for purchases of Shares placed with it to be in the particular form required by the individual AP.
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Timing of Submission of Purchase Orders. An AP must submit an irrevocable purchase order before 4:00 p.m., Eastern time on any Business Day in order to receive that day’s NAV. In the case of custom orders, the order must be received by the Distributor no later than 3:00 p.m., Eastern time on the trade date. With respect to in-kind creations, a custom order may be placed by an AP where cash replaces any Deposit Security which may not be available in sufficient quantity for delivery or which may not be eligible for trading by such AP or the investor for which it is acting or other relevant reason. Orders to create Shares of a fund that are submitted on the Business Day immediately preceding a holiday or day (other than a weekend) when the markets in the relevant foreign market are closed may not be accepted. The Distributor in its discretion may permit the submission of such orders and requests by or through an AP at any time (including on days on which the Exchange is not open for business) via communication through the facilities of the Transfer Agent’s proprietary website maintained for this purpose, provided such submission is permissible pursuant to the terms of the applicable Authorized Participant Agreement. Purchase orders and redemption requests, if accepted by the Trust, will be processed based on the NAV next determined after such acceptance in accordance with the Trust’s standard cut-off times as provided in the Authorized Participant Agreement and disclosed in this SAI.
Acceptance of Orders for Creation Unit. Subject to the conditions that (i) an irrevocable purchase order has been submitted by the AP (either on its own or another investor’s behalf) and (ii) arrangements satisfactory to the Trust are in place for payment of the Cash Component and any other cash amounts which may be due, the Trust will accept the order, subject to its right (and the right of the Distributor and the Advisor) to reject any order until acceptance.
Once the Trust has accepted an order, upon next determination of the NAV of the Shares, the Trust will confirm the issuance of a Creation Unit, against receipt of payment, at such NAV. The Distributor will then transmit a confirmation of acceptance to the AP that placed the order.
The Trust reserves the absolute right to reject or revoke a creation order transmitted to it by the Distributor in respect of any fund if (i) the order is not in proper form; (ii) the investor(s) upon obtaining the Shares ordered, would own 80% or more of the currently outstanding Shares of any fund; (iii) the Deposit Securities delivered do not conform to the identity and number of Shares specified by the Advisor, as described above; (iv) acceptance of the Deposit Securities would have certain adverse tax consequences to the fund; (v) acceptance of the Fund
Deposit would, in the opinion of counsel, be unlawful; (vi) acceptance of the Fund Deposit would, in the discretion of the Trust or the Advisor, have an adverse effect on the Trust or the rights of Beneficial Owners; or (vii) circumstances outside the control of the Trust, the Distributor and the Advisor make it impracticable to process purchase orders. The Trust shall notify a prospective purchaser of a Creation Unit and/or the AP acting on behalf of such purchaser of its rejection of such order. The Trust, the Custodian, the sub-custodian and the Distributor are under no duty, however, to give notification of any defects or irregularities in the delivery of Portfolio Deposits nor shall any of them incur any liability for failure to give such notification.
Issuance of a Creation Unit. Except as provided herein, a Creation Unit will not be issued until the transfer of good title to the Trust of the Deposit Securities and the payment of the Cash Component and any other cash amounts which may be due have been completed. When (if applicable) the sub-custodian has confirmed to the Custodian that the securities included in the Fund Deposit (or the cash value thereof) have been delivered to the account of the relevant sub-custodian or sub-custodians, the Distributor and the Advisor shall be notified of such delivery and the Trust will issue and cause the delivery of the Creation Unit. Creation Units typically are issued on a “T+2 basis” (i.e., two Business Days after trade date).
To the extent contemplated by an AP’s agreement with the Distributor, the Trust will issue Creation Units to such AP notwithstanding the fact that the corresponding Portfolio Deposits have not been received in part or in whole, in reliance on the undertaking of the AP to deliver the missing Deposit Securities as soon as possible, which undertaking shall be secured by such AP’s delivery and maintenance of collateral having a value at least equal to 115%, which the Advisor may change from time to time, of the value of the missing Deposit Securities in accordance with the Trust’s then-effective procedures. The only collateral that is acceptable to the Trust is cash in US dollars or an irrevocable letter of credit in form, and drawn on a bank, that is satisfactory to the Trust. The cash collateral posted by the AP may be invested at the risk of the AP, and income, if any, on invested cash collateral will be paid to that AP. Information concerning the Trust’s current procedures for collateralization of missing Deposit Securities is available from the Transfer Agent. The Authorized Participant Agreement will permit the Trust to buy the missing Deposit Securities at any time and will subject the AP to liability for any shortfall
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between the cost to the Trust of purchasing such securities and the cash collateral or the amount that may be drawn under any letter of credit.
In certain cases, APs may create and redeem Creation Units on the same trade date and in these instances, the Trust reserves the right to settle these transactions on a net basis or require a representation from the APs that the creation and redemption transactions are for separate Beneficial Owners. All questions as to the number of shares of each security in the Deposit Securities and the validity, form, eligibility and acceptance for deposit of any securities to be delivered shall be determined by the Trust, and the Trust’s determination shall be final and binding.
Cash Purchase Method. In the case of a cash purchase, the investor must pay the cash equivalent of the Deposit Securities it would otherwise be required to provide through an in-kind purchase, plus the same Cash Component required to be paid by an in-kind purchaser. In addition, to offset the Trust’s brokerage and other transaction costs associated with using the cash to purchase the requisite Deposit Securities, the investor will be required to pay a fixed purchase transaction fee, plus an additional variable charge for cash purchases, which is expressed as a percentage of the value of the Deposit Securities.
Creation Transaction Fee. A standard creation transaction fee is imposed to offset the transfer and other transaction costs associated with the issuance of Creation Units. The standard creation transaction fee will be the same regardless of the number of Creation Units purchased by a purchaser on the same day. The AP may also be required to cover certain brokerage, tax, foreign exchange, execution, price movement and other costs and expenses related to the execution of trades resulting from such transaction (including when the Trust permits an AP to substitute cash for some or all of the Deposit Securities). APs will also bear the costs of transferring the Deposit Securities to the Trust. Investors who use the services of a broker or other such intermediary may be charged a fee for such services. Certain fees or costs associated with creation transactions may be waived in certain circumstances. Each fund’s standard creation transaction fee is set forth in the Prospectus.
Redemption 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 and only on a Business Day. The Trust will not redeem Shares in amounts less than Creation Units. Beneficial Owners also may sell Shares in the secondary market
but must accumulate enough Shares to constitute a Creation Unit in order to have such Shares redeemed by the Trust. There can be no assurance, however, that there will be sufficient liquidity in the public trading market at any time to permit assembly of a Creation Unit. Investors should expect to incur brokerage and other costs in connection with assembling a sufficient number of Shares to constitute a redeemable Creation Unit.
Redemptions are effected primarily in-kind, except for Xtrackers MSCI South Korea Hedged Equity ETF, Xtrackers MSCI China A Inclusion Equity ETF, Xtrackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares ETF, and Xtrackers Harvest CSI 500 China A-Shares Small Cap ETF, which are effected principally in cash. In the case of in-kind redemptions, the Advisor makes available through the NSCC, prior to the opening of business on the Exchange on each Business Day, the identity and number of Shares that will be applicable (subject to possible amendment or correction) to redemption requests received in proper form (as defined below) 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 consist of Fund Securities plus cash in an amount equal to the difference between the NAV of the Shares being redeemed, as next determined after a receipt of a request in proper form, and the value of the Fund Securities, less the redemption transaction fee described below.
Redemption Transaction Fee. A standard redemption transaction fee is imposed to offset transfer and other transaction costs that may be incurred by the relevant fund. The standard redemption transaction fees are set forth in the Prospectus. The standard redemption transaction fee will be the same regardless of the number of Creation Units redeemed by an investor on the same day. The AP may also be required to cover certain brokerage, tax, foreign exchange, execution, price movement and other costs and expenses related to the execution of trades resulting from such transaction (including when the Trust substitutes cash for some or all of the Fund Securities), up to a maximum of 2% of the amount redeemed (including the standard redemption fee set forth in the Prospectus). APs will also bear the costs of transferring the Fund Securities from the Trust to their account or on their order. Investors who use the services of a broker or other such intermediary may be
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charged a fee for such services. Certain fees or costs associated with redemption transactions may be waived in certain circumstances.
The maximum redemption fee, as a percentage of the amount redeemed, is 2%. Redemption requests for Creation Units of any fund must be submitted by or through an AP. An AP must submit an irrevocable redemption request before 4:00 p.m., Eastern time on any Business Day in order to receive that day’s NAV. In the case of custom redemptions, the order must be received no later than 3:00 p.m., Eastern time. Investors other than through APs are responsible for making arrangements for a redemption request to be made through an AP. The Distributor will provide a list of current APs upon request.
Cash transactions may have to be carried out over several days if the securities market is relatively illiquid and may involve considerable brokerage fees and taxes. These brokerage fees and taxes, which will be higher than if a fund sold and redeemed its shares principally in-kind, will generally be passed on to purchasers and redeemers of Creation Units in the form of creation and redemption transaction fees. However, the funds cap the total fees that may be charged in connection with the redemption of Creation Units at 2% of the value of the Creation Units redeemed. To the extent transaction and other costs associated with a redemption exceed that cap those transaction costs will be borne by a fund’s remaining shareholders.
The AP must transmit the request for redemption in the form required by the Trust or the Transfer Agent in accordance with procedures set forth in the Authorized Participant Agreement. Investors should be aware that their particular broker may not have executed an Authorized Participant Agreement and that, therefore, requests to redeem Creation Units may have to be placed by the investor’s broker through an AP who has executed an Authorized Participant Agreement in effect. At any time, there may be only a limited number of broker-dealers that have an Authorized Participant Agreement. Investors making a redemption request should be aware that such request must be in the form specified by such AP. Investors making a request to redeem Creation Units should allow sufficient time to permit proper submission of the request by an AP and transfer of the Shares to the Trust’s Transfer Agent; such investors should allow for the additional time that may be required to effect redemptions through their banks, brokers or other financial intermediaries if such intermediaries are not APs.
A redemption request is considered to be in “proper form” if (i) an AP has transferred or caused to be transferred to the Trust’s Transfer Agent the Creation Unit being redeemed through the book-entry system of DTC so as to be effective by the Exchange closing time on any Business Day, (ii) a request in form satisfactory to the Trust is received from the AP on behalf of itself or another redeeming investor within the time periods specified above and (iii) all other procedures set forth in the Participant Agreement are properly followed. If the Transfer Agent does not receive the investor’s Shares through DTC’s facilities by 10:00 a.m., Eastern time, on the Business Day next following the day that the redemption request is received, the redemption request shall be rejected. Investors should be aware that the deadline for such transfers of Shares through the DTC system may be significantly earlier than the close of business on the Exchange. Those making redemption requests should ascertain the deadline applicable to transfers of Shares through the DTC system by contacting the operations department of the broker or depositary institution effecting the transfer of the Shares.
Upon receiving a redemption request, the Transfer Agent shall notify the Trust of such redemption request. The tender of an investor’s Shares for redemption and the distribution of the cash redemption payment in respect of Creation Units redeemed will be made through DTC and the relevant AP to the Beneficial Owner thereof as recorded on the book-entry system of DTC or the DTC Participant through which such investor holds, as the case may be, or by such other means specified by the AP submitting the redemption request.
A redeeming Beneficial Owner or AP acting on behalf of such Beneficial Owner must maintain appropriate security arrangements with a qualified broker-dealer, bank or other custody providers in each jurisdiction in which any of the portfolio securities are customarily traded, to which account such portfolio securities will be delivered.
If neither the redeeming Beneficial Owner nor the AP acting on behalf of such redeeming Beneficial Owner has appropriate arrangements to take delivery of Fund Securities in the applicable non-US jurisdiction and it is not possible to make other such arrangements, or if it is not possible to effect deliveries of Fund Securities in such jurisdiction, the Trust may in its discretion exercise its option to redeem such Shares in cash, and the redeeming Beneficial Owner will be required to receive its redemption proceeds in cash. In such case, the investor will receive a cash payment equal to the NAV of its Shares based
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on the NAV of Shares of the relevant fund next determined after the redemption request is received in proper form (minus a redemption transaction fee and additional variable charge for cash redemptions specified above, to offset the Trust’s brokerage and other transaction costs associated with the disposition of portfolio securities of the fund). Redemptions of Shares for Fund Securities will be subject to compliance with applicable US federal and state securities laws and each fund (whether or not it otherwise permits cash redemptions) reserves the right to redeem Creation Units for cash to the extent that the fund could not lawfully deliver specific Fund Securities upon redemptions or could not do so without first registering the Fund Securities under such laws.
In the case of cash redemptions, proceeds will be paid to the AP redeeming Shares on behalf of the redeeming investor as soon as practicable after the date of redemption (within seven calendar days thereafter).
The right of redemption may be suspended or the date of payment postponed with respect to any fund (i) for any period during which the NYSE is closed (other than customary weekend and holiday closings), (ii) for any period during which trading on the NYSE is suspended or restricted, (iii) for any period during which an emergency exists as a result of which disposal of the Shares of the fund’s portfolio securities or determination of its NAV is not reasonably practicable or (iv) in such other circumstance as is permitted by the SEC.
An AP submitting a redemption request is deemed to represent to the Trust that it is in compliance with the requirements set forth in the Authorized Participant Agreement. The Trust reserves the right to verify these representations at its discretion, but will typically require verification with respect to a redemption request from a fund in connection with higher levels of redemption activity and/or short interest in the fund. If the AP, upon receipt of a verification request, does not provide sufficient verification of its representations as determined by the Trust, the redemption request will not be considered to have been received in proper form and may be rejected by the Trust.
Taxation on Creation and Redemptions of Creation Units. An AP generally will recognize either gain or loss upon the exchange of Deposit Securities for Creation Units. This gain or loss is calculated by taking the market value of the Creation Units purchased over the AP’s aggregate basis in the Deposit Securities exchanged therefor. However, the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) may apply the wash sales rules to determine that
any loss realized upon the exchange of Deposit Securities for Creation Units is not currently deductible. APs should consult their own tax advisors.
Current federal tax laws dictate that capital gain or loss realized from the redemption of Creation Units will generally create long-term capital gain or loss if the AP holds the Creation Units for more than one year, or short-term capital gain or loss if the Creation Units were held for one year or less.
Compensation of Financial Intermediaries
The Distributor may also enter into agreements with securities dealers (“Soliciting Dealers”) who will solicit purchases of Creation Units of fund Shares. Such Soliciting Dealers must also be APs.
The Advisor may, from time to time and from its own resources, pay, defray or absorb costs relating to distribution, including payments out of its own resources to the Distributor, or to otherwise promote the sale of Shares. The Advisor currently pays the Distributor, from the Advisor’s own resources, for such purposes.
The Advisor and/or its subsidiaries or affiliates (“Xtrackers Entities”) may pay certain broker-dealers and other financial intermediaries or solicitors (“Intermediaries”) for certain marketing or referral activities related to the fund or other funds advised by the Advisor or its affiliates. Any payments made by Xtrackers Entities will be made from their own assets and not from the assets of the fund. Although a portion of Xtrackers Entities’ revenue comes directly or indirectly in part from fees paid by the fund and other Xtrackers funds, payments do not increase the price paid by investors for the purchase of shares of, or the cost of owning, shares of the fund or other Xtrackers funds. Xtrackers Entities may make payments for Intermediaries’ participating in activities that are designed to make registered representatives, other professionals and individual investors more knowledgeable about the fund or for other activities, such as participation in marketing activities and presentations, educational training programs, the support of technology platforms and/or reporting systems (“Education Costs”) or the referral or introduction of investors to Xtrackers Entities. Xtrackers Entities may also make payments to Intermediaries for certain printing, publishing and mailing costs associated with the fund or materials relating to other Xtrackers funds or exchange-traded funds in general (“Publishing Costs”). In addition, Xtrackers Entities may make payments to Intermediaries that make shares of the fund and certain other Xtrackers funds available to their clients or for otherwise promoting the fund and other Xtrackers funds.
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Payments of this type are sometimes referred to as revenue-sharing payments. Payments to an Intermediary may be significant to the Intermediary, and amounts that Intermediaries pay to your salesperson or other investment professional may also be significant for your salesperson or other investment professional. Because an Intermediary may make decisions about which investment options or investment advisor it will recommend or make available to its clients or contacts or what services to provide for various products based on payments it receives or is eligible to receive, payments create conflicts of interest between the Intermediary and its clients or contacts and these financial incentives may cause the Intermediary to recommend the fund and other Xtrackers funds or their investment advisor over other investments or to refer a contact to the Xtrackers Entities. The same conflict of interest exists with respect to your salesperson or other investment professional if he or she receives similar payments from his or her Intermediary firm. Ask your salesperson or visit your Intermediary’s website for more information.
Xtrackers Entities may determine to make payments based on any number of metrics. For example, Xtrackers Entities may make payments at year end or other intervals in a fixed amount, based upon an Intermediary’s services at defined levels or an amount based on the Intermediary’s net sales of one or more Xtrackers funds in a year or other period, any of which arrangements may include an agreed upon minimum or maximum payment, or any combination of the foregoing. Any payments made by the Xtrackers Entities to an Intermediary may create the incentive for an Intermediary to encourage customers to buy shares of the fund or other Xtrackers funds.
Certain Xtrackers Entities have established revenue sharing arrangements to make Payments to Intermediaries that make fund shares available to their clients or otherwise promote certain funds. Pursuant to these arrangements, Intermediaries have agreed to promote certain funds to their customers and to not charge certain of their customers any commissions on the purchase or sale of fund shares. Payments made pursuant to these arrangements may vary in any year and may be different for different Intermediaries. In certain cases, the Payments described in the preceding sentence may be subject to certain minimum payment levels.
Each fund has been advised that the Advisor, the Distributor and their affiliates expect that the firms listed in Part IIAppendix II-D will receive revenue sharing payments at different points during the coming year as described above.
Anti-Money Laundering Requirements. The funds are subject to the USA PATRIOT Act (the “Patriot Act”). The Patriot Act is intended to prevent the use of the US financial system in furtherance of money laundering, terrorism or other illicit activities. Pursuant to requirements under the Patriot Act, a fund may request information from APs to enable it to form a reasonable belief that it knows the true identity of its APs. This information will be used to verify the identity of APs or, in some cases, the status of financial professionals; it will be used only for compliance with the requirements of the Patriot Act. The funds reserve the right to reject purchase orders from persons who have not submitted information sufficient to allow a fund to verify their identity. Each fund also reserves the right to redeem any amounts in a fund from persons whose identity it is unable to verify on a timely basis. It is the funds’ policy to cooperate fully with appropriate regulators in any investigations conducted with respect to potential money laundering, terrorism or other illicit activities.
Investments
Investments, Practices and Techniques, and Risks
Part II - Appendix II-E includes a description of the investment practices and techniques which a fund may employ in pursuing its investment objective, as well as the associated risks. Descriptions in this SAI of a particular investment practice or technique in which a fund may engage (or a risk that a fund may be subject to) are meant to describe the spectrum of investments that the Advisor (and/or subadvisor, if applicable) in its discretion might, but is not required to, use in managing a fund. The Advisor (and/or subadvisor, if applicable) may in its discretion at any time employ such practice and technique for one or more funds but not for all funds advised by it. Furthermore, it is possible that certain types of investment practices or techniques described herein may not be available, permissible, economically feasible or effective for their intended purposes in all markets. Certain practices, techniques or investments may not be principal activities of the fund, but, to the extent employed, could from time to time have a material impact on a fund’s performance.
It is possible that certain investment practices and/or techniques may not be permissible for a fund based on its investment restrictions, as described herein (also see Part I: Investments, Practices and Techniques, and Risks) and in the fund’s prospectus.
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Portfolio Transactions
The Advisor and/or subadvisor assume general supervision over placing orders on behalf of the funds for the purchase and sale of portfolio securities. In selecting brokers or dealers for any transaction in portfolio securities, the Advisor’s and/or subadvisor’s policy is to make such selection based on factors deemed relevant, including but not limited to, the breadth of the market in the security, the price of the security, the reasonableness of the commission or mark-up or mark-down, if any, execution capability, settlement capability, back office efficiency and the financial condition of the broker or dealer, both for the specific transaction and on a continuing basis. The overall reasonableness of brokerage commissions paid is evaluated by the Advisor and/or subadvisor based upon their knowledge of available information as to the general level of commissions paid by other institutional investors for comparable services. Brokers may also be selected because of their ability to handle special or difficult executions, such as may be involved in large block trades, less liquid securities, broad distributions, or other circumstances. The Trust has adopted policies and procedures that prohibit the consideration of sales of the funds’ Shares as a factor in the selection of a broker or a dealer to execute its portfolio transactions.
Purchases and sales of fixed-income securities and certain over-the-counter securities are effected on a net basis, without the payment of brokerage commissions. Transactions in fixed income and certain over-the-counter securities are generally placed by the Advisor with the principal market makers for these securities unless the Advisor reasonably believes more favorable results are available elsewhere. Transactions with dealers serving as market makers reflect the spread between the bid and asked prices. Purchases of underwritten issues will include an underwriting fee paid to the underwriter. Money market instruments are normally purchased in principal transactions directly from the issuer or from an underwriter or market maker.
To the extent applicable and consistent with Section 28(e) of the 1934 Act, as amended, and interpretations thereunder, the Advisor and/or subadvisor may cause a fund to pay a higher commission than otherwise obtainable from other brokers or dealers in return for brokerage or research services and products if the Advisor and/or subadvisor determines in good faith that the commission is reasonable in relation to the services and products utilized. In addition to agency transactions, the Advisor and/or subadvisor may receive brokerage or research services and products in connection with certain riskless principal transactions, in accordance with applicable SEC
and other regulatory guidelines. In both instances, these services and products may include but are not limited to: economic, industry, or company research reports or investment recommendations; subscriptions to certain financial publications; market data such as stock quotes, last sale prices, trading volumes and similar data; databases and software, including, but not limited to, quantitative analytical software; and products and services that assist in effecting transactions and functions incidental thereto, including services of third-party computer systems directly related to brokerage activities and routing settlement instructions. The Advisor and/or subadvisor may use brokerage or research services and products furnished by brokers, dealers or service providers in servicing all client accounts, and not all services and products may necessarily be used in connection with the account that paid the commissions or spreads to the broker or dealer.
The funds’ purchase and sale orders for securities may be combined with those of other investment companies, clients or accounts that the Advisor and/or subadvisor manage or advise and for which they have brokerage placement authority. If purchases or sales of portfolio securities of the funds and one or more other accounts managed or advised by the Advisor and/or subadvisor are considered at or about the same time, transactions in such securities are allocated among the funds and the other accounts in a manner deemed equitable to all by the Advisor and/or subadvisor. In some cases, this procedure has a detrimental effect on the price or volume of the security as far as the funds are concerned. However, in other cases, the ability to participate in volume transactions and to negotiate lower transaction costs will be beneficial to the funds. The Advisor and/or subadvisor from time to time deals, trades and invests for their own account in the types of securities in which the funds invest. The Advisor and/or subadvisor may effect trades on behalf of and for the account of the funds with brokers or dealers that are affiliated with the Advisor and/or subadvisor, in conformity with the 1940 Act and SEC rules and regulations. Under these provisions, any commissions paid to affiliated brokers or dealers must be reasonable and fair compared to the commissions charged by other brokers or dealers in comparable transactions. The funds will not deal with affiliates in principal transactions unless permitted by applicable SEC rule or regulation or by SEC exemptive order.
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Portfolio Turnover. Portfolio turnover rate is defined by the SEC as the ratio of the lesser of sales or purchases to the monthly average value of such securities owned during the year, excluding all securities whose remaining maturities at the time of acquisition were one year or less.
Portfolio turnover may vary from year to year as well as within a year. High turnover rates may result in comparatively greater brokerage expenses and higher taxes (if you are investing in a taxable account). The overall reasonableness of brokerage commissions is evaluated by the Advisor and/or subadvisor, if applicable, based upon their knowledge of available information as to the general level of commissions paid by the other institutional investors for comparable services.
Portfolio Holdings Information
The Trust has adopted a policy regarding the disclosure of information about the Trust’s portfolio holdings. The Board must approve all material amendments to this policy.
Each fund’s portfolio holdings are publicly disseminated each day the funds are open for business through financial reporting and news services, including publicly accessible Internet web sites. In addition, a basket composition file, which includes the security names and share quantities to deliver in exchange for fund shares, together with estimates and actual cash components, is publicly disseminated daily prior to the opening of the Exchanges via the NSCC. The basket represents one Creation Unit of each fund. The Trust, the Advisor and the Administrator will not disseminate non-public information concerning the Trust.
Net Asset Value
Each fund offers and issues Shares at their net asset value (“NAV”) per Share only in aggregations of a specified number of Shares (“Creation Units”), generally in exchange for a basket of securities and other instruments included in its Underlying Index (the “Deposit Securities”), together with the Cash Component. For Xtrackers MSCI South Korea Hedged Equity ETF, Xtrackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares ETF, Xtrackers MSCI China A Inclusion Equity ETF, and Xtrackers Harvest CSI 500 China A-Shares Small Cap ETF, each fund offers and issues Shares at their NAV per Share only in Creation Units, generally in exchange for a specified amount of cash totaling the NAV of the Creation Units. Shares trade
in the secondary market at market prices that may be at, above or below NAV. Information on the Exchange on which each fund trades is set forth in Part I – Appendix I-I.
Proxy Voting
Each fund has delegated proxy voting responsibilities to the Advisor, subject to the Board’s general oversight. Each fund has delegated proxy voting to the Advisor with the direction that proxies should be voted consistent with each fund’s best economic interests. The Advisor has adopted its own Proxy Voting Policies and Procedures (Policies), and Proxy Voting Guidelines (Guidelines) for this purpose. The Policies address, among other things, conflicts of interest that may arise between the interests of a fund, and the interests of the Advisor and its affiliates. The Policies and Guidelines are included in Part II— Appendix II-G.
You may obtain information about how each fund voted proxies related to its portfolio securities during the 12-month period ended June 30 by visiting the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov or by visiting our website at dws.com/en-us/resources/proxy-voting.
Miscellaneous
The funds’ prospectuses and this SAI omit certain information contained in the Trust’s Registration Statement filed with the SEC under the 1933 Act and reference is hereby made to the Registration Statement for further information with respect to the funds, and the securities offered hereby.
Ratings Of Investments
Bonds and Commercial Paper Ratings
Set forth below are descriptions of ratings (as of the date of each rating agency’s annual ratings publication) which represent opinions as to the quality of the securities. It should be emphasized, however, that ratings are relative and subjective and are not absolute standards of quality.
If a fixed income security is rated differently among the three major ratings agencies (i.e., Moody’s Investor Services, Inc., Fitch Investors Services, Inc., and S&P Global Ratings), portfolio management would rely on the highest credit rating for purposes of the fund’s investment policies.
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Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. Global Long-Term Rating Scale
Moody’s long-term ratings are assigned to issuers or obligations with an original maturity of one year or more and reflect both on the likelihood of a default or impairment on contractual financial obligations and the expected financial loss suffered in the event of default or impairment.
Aaa Obligations rated Aaa are judged to be of the highest quality, subject to the lowest level of credit risk.
Aa Obligations rated Aa are judged to be of high quality and are subject to very low credit risk.
A Obligations rated A are judged to be upper-medium grade and are subject to low credit risk.
Baa Obligations rated Baa are judged to be medium-grade and subject to moderate credit risk and as such may possess certain speculative characteristics.
Ba Obligations rated Ba are judged to be speculative and are subject to substantial credit risk.
B Obligations rated B are considered speculative and are subject to high credit risk.
Caa Obligations rated Caa are judged to be speculative of poor standing and are subject to very high credit risk.
Ca Obligations rated Ca are highly speculative and are likely in, or very near, default, with some prospect of recovery of principal and interest.
C Obligations rated C are the lowest rated and are typically in default, with little prospect for recovery of principal or interest.
Note: Moody’s appends numerical modifiers 1, 2, and 3 to each generic rating classification from Aa through Caa. The modifier 1 indicates that the obligation ranks in the higher end of its generic rating category; the modifier 2 indicates a mid-range ranking; and the modifier 3 indicates a ranking in the lower end of that generic rating category. Additionally, a “(hyb)” indicator is appended to all ratings of hybrid securities issued by banks, insurers, finance companies, and securities firms.
By their terms, hybrid securities allow for the omission of scheduled dividends, interest, or principal payments, which can potentially result in impairment if such an omission occurs. Hybrid securities may also be subject to contractually allowable write-downs of principal that
could result in impairment. Together with the hybrid indicator, the long-term obligation rating assigned to a hybrid security is an expression of the relative credit risk associated with that security.
Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. Global Short-Term Rating Scale
Moody’s short-term ratings are assigned to obligations with an original maturity of thirteen months or less and reflect both on the likelihood of a default or impairment on contractual financial obligations and the expected financial loss suffered in the event of default or impairment.
Moody’s employs the following designations to indicate the relative repayment ability of rated issuers:
P-1 Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Prime-1 have a superior ability to repay short-term debt obligations.
P-2 Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Prime-2 have a strong ability to repay short-term debt obligations.
P-3 Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Prime-3 have an acceptable ability to repay short-term obligations.
NP Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Not Prime do not fall within any of the Prime rating categories.
Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. US Municipal Short-Term Debt and Demand Obligation Ratings
Short-Term Obligation Ratings
The Municipal Investment Grade (MIG) scale is used to rate US municipal bond anticipation notes of up to five years maturity. Municipal notes rated on the MIG scale may be secured by either pledged revenues or proceeds of a take-out financing received prior to note maturity. MIG ratings expire at the maturity of the obligation, and the issuer’s long-term rating is only one consideration in assigning the MIG rating. MIG ratings are divided into three levelsMIG 1 through MIG 3while speculative grade short-term obligations are designated SG.
MIG 1 This designation denotes superior credit quality. Excellent protection is afforded by established cash flows, highly reliable liquidity support, or demonstrated broad-based access to the market for refinancing.
MIG 2 This designation denotes strong credit quality. Margins of protection are ample, although not as large as in the preceding group.
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MIG 3 This designation denotes acceptable credit quality. Liquidity and cash-flow protection may be narrow, and market access for refinancing is likely to be less well-established.
SG This designation denotes speculative-grade credit quality. Debt instruments in this category may lack sufficient margins of protection.
Demand Obligation Ratings
In the case of variable rate demand obligations (VRDOs), a two-component rating is assigned: a long or short-term debt rating and a demand obligation rating. The first element represents Moody’s evaluation of risk associated with scheduled principal and interest payments. The second element represents Moody’s evaluation of risk associated with the ability to receive purchase price upon demand (“demand feature”). The second element uses a rating from a variation of the MIG scale called the Variable Municipal Investment Grade (VMIG) scale.
The rating transitions on the VMIG scale differ from those on the Prime scale to reflect the risk that external liquidity support will terminate if the issuer's long-term rating drops below investment grade.
VMIG 1 This designation denotes superior credit quality. Excellent protection is afforded by the superior short-term credit strength of the liquidity provider and structural and legal protections that ensure the timely payment of purchase price upon demand.
VMIG 2 This designation denotes strong credit quality. Good protection is afforded by the strong short-term credit strength of the liquidity provider and structural and legal protections that ensure the timely payment of purchase price upon demand.
VMIG 3 This designation denotes acceptable credit quality. Adequate protection is afforded by the satisfactory short-term credit strength of the liquidity provider and structural and legal protections that ensure the timely payment of purchase price upon demand.
SG This designation denotes speculative-grade credit quality. Demand features rated in this category may be supported by a liquidity provider that does not have an investment grade short-term rating or may lack the structural and/or legal protections necessary to ensure the timely payment of purchase price upon demand.
S&P Global Ratings Long-Term Issue Credit Ratings
Investment Grade
AAA An obligation rated 'AAA' has the highest rating assigned by S&P Global Ratings. The obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation is extremely strong.
AA An obligation rated 'AA' differs from the highest-rated obligations only to a small degree. The obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation is very strong.
A An obligation rated 'A' is somewhat more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions than obligations in higher-rated categories. However, the obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation is still strong.
BBB An obligation rated 'BBB' exhibits adequate protection parameters. However, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to weaken the obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.
Speculative Grade
Obligations rated 'BB', 'B', 'CCC', 'CC', and 'C' are regarded as having significant speculative characteristics. 'BB' indicates the least degree of speculation and 'C' the highest. While such obligations will likely have some quality and protective characteristics, these may be outweighed by large uncertainties or major exposure to adverse conditions.
BB An obligation rated 'BB' is less vulnerable to nonpayment than other speculative issues. However, it faces major ongoing uncertainties or exposure to adverse business, financial, or economic conditions that could lead to the obligor's inadequate capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.
B An obligation rated 'B' is more vulnerable to nonpayment than obligations rated 'BB', but the obligor currently has the capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation. Adverse business, financial, or economic conditions will likely impair the obligor's capacity or willingness to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.
CCC An obligation rated 'CCC' is currently vulnerable to nonpayment and is dependent upon favorable business, financial, and economic conditions for the obligor to meet
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its financial commitments on the obligation. In the event of adverse business, financial, or economic conditions, the obligor is not likely to have the capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.
CC An obligation rated 'CC' is currently highly vulnerable to nonpayment. The 'CC' rating is used when a default has not yet occurred but S&P Global Ratings expects default to be a virtual certainty, regardless of the anticipated time to default.
C An obligation rated 'C' is currently highly vulnerable to nonpayment, and the obligation is expected to have lower relative seniority or lower ultimate recovery compared with obligations that are rated higher.
D An obligation rated 'D' is in default or in breach of an imputed promise. For non-hybrid capital instruments, the 'D' rating category is used when payments on an obligation are not made on the date due, unless S&P Global Ratings believes that such payments will be made within five business days in the absence of a stated grace period or within the earlier of the stated grace period or 30 calendar days. The 'D' rating also will be used upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition or the taking of similar action and where default on an obligation is a virtual certainty, for example due to automatic stay provisions. A rating on an obligation is lowered to 'D' if it is subject to a distressed exchange offer.
Plus (+) or Minus (-) Ratings from 'AA' to 'CCC' may be modified by the addition of a plus (+) or minus (-) sign to show relative standing within the rating categories.
S&P Global Ratings Short-Term Issue Credit Ratings
A-1 A short-term obligation rated 'A-1' is rated in the highest category by S&P Global Ratings. The obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation is strong. Within this category, certain obligations are designated with a plus sign (+). This indicates that the obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitments on these obligations is extremely strong.
A-2 A short-term obligation rated 'A-2' is somewhat more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions than obligations in higher rating categories. However, the obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation is satisfactory.
A-3 A short-term obligation rated 'A-3' exhibits adequate protection parameters. However, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to weaken an obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.
B A short-term obligation rated 'B' is regarded as vulnerable and has significant speculative characteristics. The obligor currently has the capacity to meet its financial commitments; however, it faces major ongoing uncertainties that could lead to the obligor's inadequate capacity to meet its financial commitments.
C A short-term obligation rated 'C' is currently vulnerable to nonpayment and is dependent upon favorable business, financial, and economic conditions for the obligor to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.
D A short-term obligation rated 'D' is in default or in breach of an imputed promise. For non-hybrid capital instruments, the 'D' rating category is used when payments on an obligation are not made on the date due, unless S&P Global Ratings believes that such payments will be made within any stated grace period. However, any stated grace period longer than five business days will be treated as five business days. The 'D' rating also will be used upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition or the taking of a similar action and where default on an obligation is a virtual certainty, for example due to automatic stay provisions. A rating on an obligation is lowered to 'D' if it is subject to a distressed exchange offer.
SPUR (S&P Underlying Rating) A SPUR is an opinion about the stand-alone capacity of an obligor to pay debt service on a credit-enhanced debt issue, without giving effect to the enhancement that applies to it. These ratings are published only at the request of the debt issuer or obligor with the designation SPUR to distinguish them from the credit-enhanced rating that applies to the debt issue. S&P Global Ratings maintains surveillance of an issue with a published SPUR.
S&P Global Ratings Municipal Short-Term Note Ratings
An S&P Global Ratings US municipal note rating reflects S&P Global Ratings’ opinion about the liquidity factors and market access risks unique to the notes. Notes due in three years or less will likely receive a note rating. Notes with an original maturity of more than three years will most likely receive a long-term debt rating. In determining which type of rating, if any, to assign, S&P Global Ratings’ analysis will review the following considerations:
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Amortization schedulethe larger the final maturity relative to other maturities, the more likely it will be treated as a note; and
Source of paymentthe more dependent the issue is on the market for its refinancing, the more likely it will be treated as a note.
Note rating symbols are as follows:
SP-1 Strong capacity to pay principal and interest. An issue determined to possess a very strong capacity to pay debt service is given a plus (+) designation.
SP-2 Satisfactory capacity to pay principal and interest, with some vulnerability to adverse financial and economic changes over the term of the notes.
SP-3 Speculative capacity to pay principal and interest.
D ‘D’ is assigned upon failure to pay the note when due, completion of a distressed exchange offer, or the filing of a bankruptcy petition or the taking of similar action and where default on an obligation is a virtual certainty, for example due to automatic stay provisions.
S&P Global Ratings Dual Ratings
Dual ratings may be assigned to debt issues that have a put option or demand feature. The first component of the rating addresses the likelihood of repayment of principal and interest as due, and the second component of the rating addresses only the demand feature. The first component of the rating can relate to either a short-term or long-term transaction and accordingly use either short-term or long-term rating symbols. The second component of the rating relates to the put option and is assigned a short-term rating symbol (for example, 'AAA/A-1+' or 'A-1+/A-1'). With US municipal short-term demand debt, the US municipal short-term note rating symbols are used for the first component of the rating (for example, 'SP-1+/A-1+').
S&P Global Market Intelligence Earnings and Dividend Rankings for Common Stocks
S&P Global Market Intelligence, an affiliate of S&P Global Ratings, has provided Earnings and Dividend Rankings, commonly referred to as Quality Rankings, on common stocks since 1956. Quality Rankings reflect the long-term growth and stability of a company’s earnings and dividends.
The Quality Rankings System attempts to capture the long-term growth and stability of earnings and dividends record in a single system. In assessing Quality Rankings, S&P Global Market Intelligence recognizes that earnings and dividend performance is the end result of the interplay of various factors such as products and industry position, corporate resources and financial policy. Over the long run, the record of earnings and dividend performance has a considerable bearing on the relative quality of stocks.
The rankings, however, do not profess to reflect all of the factors, tangible or intangible, that bear on stock quality.
The rankings are generated by a computerized system and are based on per-share earnings and dividend records of the most recent 10 years – a period long enough to measure significant secular (long-term) growth, capture indications of changes in trend as they develop, encompass the full peak-to-peak range of the business cycle, and include a bull and a bear market. Basic scores are computed for earnings and dividends, and then adjusted as indicated by a set of predetermined modifiers for change in the rate of growth, stability within long-term trends, and cyclicality. Adjusted scores for earnings and dividends are then combined to yield a final ranking.
The ranking system makes allowance for the fact that corporate size generally imparts certain advantages from an investment standpoint. Conversely, minimum size limits (in sales volume) are set for the various rankings. However, the system provides for making exceptions where the score reflects an outstanding earnings and dividend record. The following table shows the letter classifications and brief descriptions of Quality Rankings.
A+ Highest B+ Average C Lowest
A High B Below Average D In Reorganization
A– Above Average B– Low LIQ Liquidation
The ranking system grants some exceptions to the pure quantitative rank. Thus, if a company has not paid any dividend over the past 10 years, it is very unlikely that it will rank higher than A-. In addition, companies may receive a bonus score based on their sales volume. If a company omits a dividend on preferred stock, it will receive a rank of no better than C that year. If a company pays a dividend on the common stock, it is highly unlikely that the rank will be below B-, even if it has incurred losses. In addition, if a company files for bankruptcy, the model’s rank is automatically changed to D.
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Fitch Ratings Long-Term Ratings
Investment Grade
AAA: Highest credit quality. ‘AAA’ ratings denote the lowest expectation of default risk. They are assigned only in cases of exceptionally strong capacity for payment of financial commitments. This capacity is highly unlikely to be adversely affected by foreseeable events.
AA: Very high credit quality. ‘AA’ ratings denote expectations of very low default risk. They indicate very strong capacity for payment of financial commitments. This capacity is not significantly vulnerable to foreseeable events.
A: High credit quality. ‘A’ ratings denote expectations of low default risk. The capacity for payment of financial commitments is considered strong. This capacity may, nevertheless, be more vulnerable to adverse business or economic conditions than is the case for higher ratings.
BBB: Good credit quality. ‘BBB’ ratings indicate that expectations of default risk are currently low. The capacity for payment of financial commitments is considered adequate, but adverse business or economic conditions are more likely to impair this capacity.
Speculative Grade
BB: Speculative. ‘BB’ ratings indicate an elevated vulnerability to default risk, particularly in the event of adverse changes in business or economic conditions over time; however, business or financial flexibility exists that supports the servicing of financial commitments.
B: Highly speculative. ‘B’ ratings indicate that material default risk is present, but a limited margin of safety remains. Financial commitments are currently being met; however, capacity for continued payment is vulnerable to deterioration in the business and economic environment.
CCC: Substantial credit risk. Default is a real possibility.
CC: Very high levels of credit risk. Default of some kind appears probable.
C: Near default. A default or default-like process has begun, or the issuer is in standstill, or for a closed funding vehicle, payment capacity is irrevocably impaired. Conditions that are indicative of a ‘C’ category rating for an issuer include:
a. the issuer has entered into a grace or cure period following non-payment of a material financial obligation;
b. the issuer has entered into a temporary negotiated waiver or standstill agreement following a payment default on a material financial obligation;
c. the formal announcement by the issuer or their agent of a distressed debt exchange;
d. a closed financing vehicle where payment capacity is irrevocably impaired such that it is not expected to pay interest and/or principal in full during the life of the transaction, but where no payment default is imminent.
RD: Restricted default. ‘RD’ ratings indicate an issuer that in Fitch’s opinion has experienced:
an uncured payment default or distressed debt exchange on a bond, loan or other material financial obligation, but
has not entered into bankruptcy filings, administration, receivership, liquidation, or other formal winding-up procedure, and
has not otherwise ceased operating.
This would include:
i. the selective payment default on a specific class or currency of debt;
ii. the uncured expiry of any applicable grace period, cure period or default forbearance period following a payment default on a bank loan, capital markets security or other material financial obligation;
iii. the extension of multiple waivers or forbearance periods upon a payment default on one or more material financial obligations, either in series or in parallel; ordinary execution of a distressed debt exchange on one or more material financial obligations.
D: Default. ‘D’ ratings indicate an issuer that in Fitch’s opinion has entered into bankruptcy filings, administration, receivership, liquidation or other formal winding-up procedure or that has otherwise ceased business.
Default ratings are not assigned prospectively to entities or their obligations; within this context, non-payment on an instrument that contains a deferral feature or grace period will generally not be considered a default until after the expiration of the deferral or grace period, unless a default is otherwise driven by bankruptcy or other similar circumstance, or by a distressed debt exchange.
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In all cases, the assignment of a default rating reflects Fitch’s opinion as to the most appropriate rating category consistent with the rest of its universe of ratings, and may differ from the definition of default under the terms of an issuer’s financial obligations or local commercial practice.
Within rating categories, Fitch may use modifiers. The modifiers “+” or “-” may be appended to a rating to denote relative status within major rating categories. For example, the rating category ‘AA’ has three notch-specific rating levels (‘AA+’; ‘AA’; ‘AA–‘; each a rating level). Such suffixes are not added to ‘AAA’ ratings and ratings below the ‘CCC’ category. For the short-term rating category of ‘F1’, a ‘+’ may be appended.
Fitch Ratings Short-Term Ratings
F1: Highest Short-Term Credit Quality. Indicates the strongest intrinsic capacity for timely payment of financial commitments; may have an added “+” to denote any exceptionally strong credit feature.
F2: Good Short-Term Credit Quality. Good intrinsic capacity for timely payment of financial commitments.
F3: Fair Short-Term Credit Quality. The intrinsic capacity for timely payment of financial commitments is adequate.
B: Speculative Short-Term Credit Quality. Minimal capacity for timely payment of financial commitments, plus heightened vulnerability to near term adverse changes in financial and economic conditions.
C: High Short-Term Default risk. Default is a real possibility.
RD: Restricted Default. Indicates an entity that has defaulted on one or more of its financial commitments, although it continues to meet other financial obligations. Typically applicable to entity ratings only.
D: Default. Indicates a broad-based default event for an entity, or the default of a short-term obligation.
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Part II: Appendix II-ABoard Members and Officers
Identification and Background
The Board has responsibility for the overall management and operations of the funds, including general supervision of the duties performed by the Advisor and other service providers. Each Board Member serves until his or her successor is duly elected or appointed and qualified. Each officer serves until he or she resigns, is removed, dies, retires or becomes disqualified.
The Trust currently has four Board Members. The three Independent Board Members have no affiliation or business connection with the Advisor or any of its affiliated persons and do not own any stock or other securities issued by the Advisor.
The Independent Board Members of the Trust, their term of office and length of time served, their principal business occupations during the past five years, the number of portfolios in the fund complex (defined below) overseen by each Independent Board Member, and other directorships, if any, held by the Board Members are shown below. The fund complex includes all registered open- and closed-end funds (including all of their portfolios) advised by the Advisor and any registered funds that have an investment advisor that is an affiliated person of the Advisor. As of the date of this SAI, the fund complex consists of the Trust’s 38 operational funds, as well as the registered funds advised by affiliates of the Advisor.
Shareholder Communications to the Board. Shareholders may send communications to the Trust’s Board by addressing the communications directly to the Board (or individual Board Members) and/or otherwise clearly indicating in the salutation that the communication is for the Board (or individual Board Members). The shareholder may send the communication to either the Trust’s office or directly to such Board members c/o 345 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10154. Other shareholder communications received by the Trust not directly addressed and sent to the Board will be reviewed and generally responded to by management. Such communications will be forwarded to the Board at management’s discretion based on the matters contained therein.
Independent Board Members
Name, Year of Birth, Position
with the Trust and Length of Time Served(1)
Business Experience and
Directorships During the Past 5 Years
Number of
Portfolios in
Fund Complex
Overseen
Other Directorships
Held by
Board Member
Stephen R. Byers (1953)Chairman since 2016,
and Board Member since 2011 (formerly, Lead Independent Board Member, 2015-2016)
Independent Director (2011- present); Independent Consultant (2014-present); Director of Investment Management, the Dreyfus Corporation (2000-2006) and Vice Chairman and Chief Investment Officer, the Dreyfus Corporation (2002-2006). 38 The Arbitrage Funds, Sierra Income Corporation, Mutual Fund Directors Forum
George O. Elston (1964)
Board Member since 2011, Chairman of the Audit Committee since 2015
Chief Financial Officer, Enzyvant (2018-present); Chief Executive Officer, 2X Oncology, Inc. (2017-2018); Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Juniper Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (2014-2016); Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, KBI BioPharma Inc. (2013-2014); Managing Partner, Chatham Street Partners (2010-2013). 38 -
J. David Officer (1948) Board Member since 2011, Chairman of the Nominating Committee since 2015 Independent Director (2010-present); Vice Chairman, the Dreyfus Corporation (2006-2009); President, The Dreyfus Family of Funds, Inc. (2006-2009). 38 (Chairman of) Ilex Management Ltd,; Old Westbury Funds
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Interested Board Member(2)
Name, Year of Birth, Position with the Trust
and Length of Time Served(1)
Business Experience and
Directorships During the Past 5 Years
Number of
Portfolios in
Fund Complex
Overseen
Other Directorships
Held by
Board Member
Michael Gilligan(2) (1966) Board Member since 2016, and Treasurer, Chief Financial Officer and Controller since 2010 Director(3) in DWS Finance Division (2008-Present); Manager, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer of the Advisor (2010-present); Chief Financial Officer of Global Passive Asset Management Platform (2012-2018); Global Finance Director, Alternative Investments (2018-present); Chief Financial Officer of RREEF America LLC (2018-present). 38 The Advisor, DBX Strategic Advisors LLC and DB Commodity Services LLC
Officers(2)
Name, Year of Birth, Position
with the Trust and Length of Time Served(4)
Business Experience and
Directorships During the Past 5 Years
Freddi Klassen(5) (1975)
President and Chief Executive Officer, 2016-present
Director(3) in DWS and Chief Operating Officer in the Americas for the Traditional Asset Classes Department (2014–present); Manager and Chief Operating Officer of DWS Investment Management Americas, Inc. (2018–present) and the Advisor (2016–
present); Global Chief Operating Officer for Equities Technology in the Investment Bank Division at Deutsche Bank AG (2013-2014); Chief Operating Officer for Exchange Traded Funds and Systematic Funds in Europe (2008-2013).
Luke Oliver(5) (1980)
Chief Operating Officer, 2019-present
Managing Director(3) in DWS (2017-present); Director(3) in DWS (2009-2017); Head of Passive Americas Asset Management Platform (2019-present); Manager, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of the Advisor (2019-present); Head of ETF Capital Markets, Americas (2012-2018); Lead Portfolio Manager of PowerShares DB ETFs (2009-2012).
Frank Gecsedi(5) (1967)
Chief Compliance Officer, 2010-present
Director(3) in DWS Compliance Department (2016-present), Vice President in the Deutsche Asset Management Compliance Department at Deutsche Bank AG (2013-2016) and Chief Compliance Officer of the Advisor (2010-present); Vice President in Deutsche Bank’s Global Markets Legal, Risk and Capital Division (2010-2012).
Bryan Richards(5) (1978)
Vice President, 2016-present
Managing Director(3) in DWS (2018-present); Director(3) in DWS (2014-2018); Portfolio Manager in the Passive Asset Management Department at DWS (2011-present); Primary Portfolio Manager for the PowerShares DB Commodity ETFs (2011-2015).
Leslie Lowenbraun(5) (1953)
Secretary, 2016-present
Director(3) in DWS US Retail Legal (2018-present) and Chief Legal Officer of the Advisor (2017-present); Vice President in DWS US Retail Legal (2014-2018); Counsel at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP (2005-2014).
John Millette(6) (1962)Assistant Secretary, 2019-present Director(3) in DWS US Retail Legal (2003-present); Vice President and Secretary of DWS US registered investment companies advised by DWS Investment Management Americas, Inc. (1999-present); Chief Legal Officer, DWS Investment Management Americas, Inc. (2015-present); and Director and Vice President of DWS Trust Company (2016-present); formerly: Secretary of Deutsche Investment Management Americas Inc. (2015-2017).
Kevin Teevan(5) (1973)
Assistant Treasurer, 2018-present
Vice President in Finance for US Traditional Asset Classes of DWS (2018-present); Vice President in Chief Operating Office for Global Transaction Banking at Deutsche Bank AG (2014-2017); Vice President in Finance for US Passive Asset Management Platform at Deutsche Bank AG (2011-2014).
Christina A. Morse(7) (1964)
Assistant Secretary, 2017-present
Vice President at BNY Mellon-Asset Servicing (2014-present); Vice President and Counsel at Lord Abbett & Co. LLC (2013- 2014).
(1) The length of time served is represented by the year in which the Board Member joined the Board.
(2) As a result of their respective positions held with the Advisor and its affiliates, these individuals are considered “interested persons” of the Advisor within the meaning of the 1940 Act. Interested persons receive no compensation from the fund.
(3) Executive title, not a board directorship.
(4) The length of time served is represented by the year in which the officer was first elected to the Trust in such capacity.
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(5) Address: 345 Park Avenue, New York, New York 10154.
(6) Address: One International Place, Boston, Massachusetts 02110.
(7) Address: BNY Mellon Asset Servicing, Atlantic Terminal Office Tower, 2 Hanson Place, Brooklyn, NY 11217.
Certain officers hold similar positions for other investment companies for which DBX or an affiliate serves as the Advisor.
Board Member Qualifications
The Board has concluded that, based on each Board Member’s experience, qualifications and attributes, each Board Member should serve as a Board Member. Following is a brief summary of the information that led to this conclusion:
Mr. Byers gained extensive experience with a variety of financial, accounting, management, regulatory and operational issues facing registered investment companies through his more than 30 years of experience on the boards and/or in senior management of such companies as The Arbitrage Funds, Sierra Income Corporation, Mutual Fund Directors Forum, College of William and Mary - Graduate School of Business, Lighthouse Growth Advisors LLC, Founders Asset Management, LLC, The Dreyfus Corporation, Gruntal & Co., LLC, Painewebber, Citibank/Citicorp and American Airlines. Mr. Byers possesses a strong understanding of the regulatory framework under which registered investment companies must operate and can provide management input and investment guidance to the Board.
Through Mr. Elston’s prior positions on the boards and in senior management of such companies as Juniper Pharmaceuticals, Inc., KBI BioPharma, Inc., Celldex Therapeutics, Inc., Optherion, Inc. and Elusys Therapeutics, Mr. Elston has experience with a variety of financial, management, regulatory and operational issues as well as experience with marketing and distribution. Mr. Elston also has experience as a managing partner of Chatham Partners LLC, as the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Juniper Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and as the Chief Executive Officer at 2X Oncology, Inc. and Chief Financial Officer of Enzyvant.
Mr. Officer has over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry and related fields, including his positions on the boards and/or in senior management of such companies as Ilex Partners (Asia), LLC, Old Westbury Funds, MAN Long/Short Fund, GLG Investment Series Trust, The Bank of New York Mellon, The Dreyfus Corporation, Laurel Capital Advisors and Bank of New England. In addition to his experience with financial, investment and regulatory matters, Mr. Officer has extensive accounting knowledge through his education and experience as a principal financial officer, principal accounting officer, controller, public accountant or auditor at his previous positions.
In addition to Mr. Gilligan’s tenure as Director in DWS Finance Division, Mr. Gilligan serves as the Manager, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer of the Advisor and served as the Chief Financial Officer of the Global Passive Asset Management Platform. Therefore, Mr. Gilligan has extensive knowledge of the financial and regulatory framework under which investment companies operate, particularly exchange-traded funds.
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Part II: Appendix II-BPortfolio Management Compensation
For funds advised by DBX or its Affiliates
Each Portfolio Manager is responsible for various functions related to portfolio management, including, but not limited to, investing cash inflows, coordinating with members of his or her team to focus on certain asset classes, implementing investment strategy, researching and reviewing investment strategy and overseeing members of his or her portfolio management team with more limited responsibilities.
Compensation of Portfolio Managers
The Advisor and its affiliates are part of DWS. The brand DWS represents DWS Group GmbH & Co. KGaA (“DWS Group”) and any of the subsidiaries such as DWS Investment Management Americas, Inc. and RREEF America L.L.C. which offer advisory services. DWS seeks to offer its investment professionals competitive short-term and long-term compensation based on continuous, above average, fund performance relative to the market. This includes measurement of short and long-term performance against industry and portfolio benchmarks. As employees of DWS, portfolio managers are paid on a total compensation basis, which includes Fixed Pay (base salary) and Variable Compensation, as follows:
Fixed Pay (FP) is the key and primary element of compensation for the majority of DWS employees and reflects the value of the individual’s role and function within the organization. It rewards factors that an employee brings to the organization such as skills and experience, while reflecting regional and divisional (i.e., DWS) specifics. FP levels play a significant role in ensuring competitiveness of the Advisor and its affiliates in the labor market, thus benchmarking provides a valuable input when determining FP levels.
Variable Compensation (VC) is a discretionary compensation element that enables the Advisor and its affiliates to provide additional reward to employees for their performance and behaviors, while reflecting DWS affordability and the financial situation of Deutsche Bank AG (the “Bank”) and DWS. VC aims to:
Recognize that every employee contributes to the DWS Group’s success through the DWS Group and/or Bank component of VC (Group Component);
Reflect individual performance, investment performance, behaviours and culture through discretionary individual VC (Individual Component); and
Reward outstanding contributions at the junior levels through the discretionary recognition award.
Employee seniority as well as divisional and regional specifics determine which VC elements are applicable for a given employee and the conditions under which they apply. Both group and individual components may be awarded in shares or other share-based instruments and other deferral arrangements.
VC can be delivered via cash, restricted equity awards, and/or restricted incentive awards or restricted compensation. Restricted compensation may include:
notional fund investments
restricted equity, notional equity,
restricted cash,
or such other form as DWS may decide in its sole discretion
VC comprises a greater proportion of total compensation as an employee’s seniority and total compensation level increase. Proportion of VC delivered via a long-term incentive award, which is subject to performance conditions and forfeiture provisions, will increase significantly as the amount of the VC increases.
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Additional forfeiture and claw back provisions, including complete forfeiture and claw back of VC may apply in certain events if an employee is an InstVV [CRD IV EU Directive4] Material Risk Taker.
For key investment professionals, in particular, a portion of any long-term incentives will be in the form of notional investments aligned, where possible, to a suite of flagship funds managed by the DWS ETF platform.
In general, each of the Advisor and its advisory affiliates seek to offer its investment professionals competitive short-term and long-term compensation based on continuous, above average, fund performance relative to the market. This includes measurement of short and long-term performance against industry and portfolio benchmarks. To evaluate its investment professionals in light of and consistent with the compensation principles set forth above, the Advisor and its affiliates review investment performance for all accounts managed in relation to the appropriate Morningstar peer group universe with respect to a fund, iMoneyNet peer group with respect to a money market fund or relevant benchmark index(es) set forth in the governing documents with respect to each other account type. The ultimate goal of this process is to evaluate the degree to which investment professionals deliver investment performance that meets or exceeds their clients’ risk and return objectives. When determining total compensation, the Advisor and its affiliates consider a number of quantitative, qualitative and other factors:
Quantitative measures (e.g. one-, three- and five-year pre-tax returns versus the appropriate Morningstar peer group universe for a fund, or versus the appropriate iMoneyNet peer group for a money market fund or relevant benchmark index(es) set forth in the governing documents with respect to each other account type, taking risk targets into account) are utilized to measure performance.
Qualitative measures (e.g., adherence to, as well as contributions to, the enhancement of the investment process) are included in the performance review.
Other factors (e.g., non-investment related performance, teamwork, adherence to compliance rules, risk management and “living the values” of the Advisor and its affiliates) are included as part of a discretionary component of the review process, giving management the ability to consider additional markers of performance on a subjective basis.
Furthermore, it is important to note that DWS Group functions within a controlled environment based upon the risk limits established by DWS Group's Risk division, in conjunction with DWS Group management. Because risk consideration is inherent in all business activities, performance assessment factors in an employee’s ability to assess and manage risk.
Conflicts
Real, potential or apparent conflicts of interest may arise when a portfolio manager has day-to-day portfolio management responsibilities with respect to more than one fund or account, including the following:
Certain investments may be appropriate for a fund and also for other clients advised by the Advisor, including other client accounts managed by a fund’s portfolio management team. Investment decisions for a fund and other clients are made with a view to achieving their respective investment objectives and after consideration of such factors as their current holdings, availability of cash for investment and the size of their investments generally. A particular security may be bought or sold for only one client or in different amounts and at different times for more than one but less than all clients. Likewise, because clients of the Advisor may have differing investment strategies, a particular security may be bought for one or more clients when one or more other clients are selling the security. The investment results achieved for a fund may differ from the results achieved for other clients of the Advisor. In addition, purchases or sales of the same security may be made for two or more clients on the same day. In such event, such transactions will be allocated among the clients in a manner believed by the Advisor to be most equitable to each client, generally utilizing a pro rata allocation methodology. In some cases, the allocation procedure could potentially have an adverse effect or positive effect on the price or amount of the securities purchased or sold by a fund. Purchase and sale orders for a fund may be combined with those of other clients of the Advisor in the interest of achieving the most favorable net results to a fund and the other clients.
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To the extent that a portfolio manager has responsibilities for managing multiple client accounts, a portfolio manager will need to divide time and attention among relevant accounts. The Advisor attempts to minimize these conflicts by aligning its portfolio management teams by investment strategy and by employing similar investment models across multiple client accounts.
In some cases, an apparent conflict may arise where the Advisor has an incentive, such as a performance-based fee, in managing one account and not with respect to other accounts it manages. The Advisor will not determine allocations based on whether it receives a performance-based fee from the client. Additionally, the Advisor has in place supervisory oversight processes to periodically monitor performance deviations for accounts with like strategies.
The Advisor and its affiliates and the investment team of a fund may manage other mutual funds and separate accounts on a long only or a long-short basis. The simultaneous management of long and short portfolios creates potential conflicts of interest including the risk that short sale activity could adversely affect the market value of the long positions (and vice versa), the risk arising from sequential orders in long and short positions, and the risks associated with receiving opposing orders at the same time. The Advisor has adopted procedures that it believes are reasonably designed to mitigate these and other potential conflicts of interest. Included in these procedures are specific guidelines developed to provide fair and equitable treatment for all clients whose accounts are managed by each fund’s portfolio management team. The Advisor and the portfolio management team have established monitoring procedures, a protocol for supervisory reviews, as well as compliance oversight to ensure that potential conflicts of interest relating to this type of activity are properly addressed.
The Advisor is owned by the DWS Group, a multinational global financial services firm that is a majority-owned subsidiary of Deutsche Bank AG. Therefore, the Advisor is affiliated with a variety of entities that provide, and/or engage in commercial banking, insurance, brokerage, investment banking, financial advisory, broker-dealer activities (including sales and trading), hedge funds, real estate and private equity investing, in addition to the provision of investment management services to institutional and individual investors. Since Deutsche Bank AG, its affiliates, directors, officers and employees (the “Firm”) are engaged in businesses and have interests in addition to managing asset management accounts, such wide ranging activities involve real, potential or apparent conflicts of interest. These interests and activities include potential advisory, transactional and financial activities and other interests in securities and companies that may be directly or indirectly purchased or sold by the Firm for its clients’ advisory accounts. The Advisor may take investment positions in securities in which other clients or related persons within the Firm have different investment positions. There may be instances in which the Advisor is purchasing or selling for its client accounts, or pursuing an outcome in the context of a workout or restructuring with respect to, securities in which the Firm is undertaking the same or differing strategy in other businesses or other client accounts. These are considerations of which advisory clients should be aware and which will cause conflicts that could be to the disadvantage of the Advisor’s advisory clients, including the fund. The Advisor has instituted business and compliance policies, procedures and disclosures that are designed to identify, monitor and mitigate conflicts of interest and, as appropriate, to report them to a fund’s Board.
For funds advised by HGI
Compensation
HGI compensates the funds’ portfolio managers for their management of the funds. HGI pays portfolio managers (i) fixed base salaries, which are linked to job function, responsibilities and financial services industry peer comparison, and (ii) variable compensation, which is linked to investment performance, individual contributions to the team, and the overall financial results of the firm. Variable compensation may include a cash bonus, as well as potential participation in a variety of long-term incentive programs. There is no material difference in the method used to calculate the portfolio manager’s compensation with respect to the funds and other accounts managed by the portfolio manager. HGI maintains competitive salaries for all employees, based on independent research of the investment management industry.
Conflicts
Real, potential or apparent conflicts of interest may arise when a portfolio manager has day-to-day portfolio management responsibilities with respect to more than one fund or account, including the following:
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Certain investments may be appropriate for a fund and also for other clients advised by the Advisor, including other client accounts managed by a fund’s portfolio management team. Investment decisions for a fund and other clients are made with a view to achieving their respective investment objectives and after consideration of such factors as their current holdings, availability of cash for investment and the size of their investments generally. A particular security may be bought or sold for only one client or in different amounts and at different times for more than one but less than all clients. Likewise, because clients of the Advisor may have differing investment strategies, a particular security may be bought for one or more clients when one or more other clients are selling the security. The investment results achieved for a fund may differ from the results achieved for other clients of the Advisor. In addition, purchases or sales of the same security may be made for two or more clients on the same day. In such event, such transactions will be allocated among the clients in a manner believed by the Advisor to be most equitable to each client, generally utilizing a pro rata allocation methodology. In some cases, the allocation procedure could potentially have an adverse effect or positive effect on the price or amount of the securities purchased or sold by a fund. Purchase and sale orders for a fund may be combined with those of other clients of the Advisor in the interest of achieving the most favorable net results to a fund and the other clients.
To the extent that a portfolio manager has responsibilities for managing multiple client accounts, a portfolio manager will need to divide time and attention among relevant accounts. The Advisor attempts to minimize these conflicts by aligning its portfolio management teams by investment strategy and by employing similar investment models across multiple client accounts.
In some cases, an apparent conflict may arise where the Advisor has an incentive, such as a performance-based fee, in managing one account and not with respect to other accounts it manages. The Advisor will not determine allocations based on whether it receives a performance-based fee from the client. Additionally, the Advisor has in place supervisory oversight processes to periodically monitor performance deviations for accounts with like strategies.
The Advisor and its affiliates and the investment team of a fund may manage other mutual funds and separate accounts on a long only or a long-short basis. The simultaneous management of long and short portfolios creates potential conflicts of interest including the risk that short sale activity could adversely affect the market value of the long positions (and vice versa), the risk arising from sequential orders in long and short positions, and the risks associated with receiving opposing orders at the same time. The Advisor has adopted procedures that it believes are reasonably designed to mitigate these and other potential conflicts of interest. Included in these procedures are specific guidelines developed to provide fair and equitable treatment for all clients whose accounts are managed by each fund’s portfolio management team. The Advisor and the portfolio management team have established monitoring procedures, a protocol for supervisory reviews, as well as compliance oversight to ensure that potential conflicts of interest relating to this type of activity are properly addressed.
HGI is affiliated with DWS Group, a multinational global financial services firm that is a majority-owned subsidiary of Deutsche Bank AG. Therefore, the Advisor is affiliated with a variety of entities that provide, and/or engage in commercial banking, insurance, brokerage, investment banking, financial advisory, broker-dealer activities (including sales and trading), hedge funds, real estate and private equity investing, in addition to the provision of investment management services to institutional and individual investors. Since Deutsche Bank AG, its affiliates, directors, officers and employees (the “Firm”) are engaged in businesses and have interests in addition to managing asset management accounts, such wide ranging activities involve real, potential or apparent conflicts of interest. These interests and activities include potential advisory, transactional and financial activities and other interests in securities and companies that may be directly or indirectly purchased or sold by the Firm for its clients’ advisory accounts. The Advisor may take investment positions in securities in which other clients or related persons within the Firm have different investment positions. There may be instances in which the Advisor is purchasing or selling for its client accounts, or pursuing an outcome in the context of a workout or restructuring with respect to, securities in which the Firm is undertaking the same or differing strategy in other businesses or other client accounts. These are considerations of which advisory clients should be aware and which will cause conflicts that could be to the disadvantage of the Advisor’s advisory clients, including the fund. The Advisor has instituted business and compliance policies, procedures and disclosures that are designed to identify, monitor and mitigate conflicts of interest and, as appropriate, to report them to a fund’s Board.
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Part II: Appendix II-CContractual Fee Rates of Service Providers
Fees payable to DBX for investment advisory services
The Unitary Advisory Fee for each fund, at the annual percentage rate of daily net assets, is indicated below:
Fund Name Unitary Advisory Fee Rate
MSCI Currency Hedged Funds  
Xtrackers MSCI All World ex US Hedged Equity ETF 0.40%
Xtrackers MSCI EAFE Hedged Equity ETF 0.35%
Xtrackers MSCI Emerging Markets Hedged Equity ETF 0.65%
Xtrackers MSCI Europe Hedged Equity ETF 0.45%
Xtrackers MSCI Eurozone Hedged Equity ETF 0.45%
Xtrackers MSCI Germany Hedged Equity ETF 0.45%
Xtrackers MSCI Japan Hedged Equity ETF 0.45%
Xtrackers MSCI South Korea Hedged Equity ETF 0.58%
Specialty Funds  
Xtrackers International Real Estate ETF 0.12%
Equity Funds  
Xtrackers Eurozone Equity ETF 0.09%
Xtrackers FTSE Developed Ex US Comprehensive Factor ETF 0.35%
Xtrackers FTSE Emerging Comprehensive Factor ETF 0.50%
Xtrackers Japan JPX-Nikkei 400 Equity ETF 0.09%
Xtrackers MSCI ACWI ex USA ESG Leaders Equity ETF 0.16%
Xtrackers MSCI All World ex US High Dividend Yield Equity ETF 0.20%
Xtrackers MSCI EAFE ESG Leaders Equity ETF 0.14%
Xtrackers MSCI EAFE High Dividend Yield Equity ETF 0.20%
Xtrackers MSCI Emerging Markets ESG Leaders Equity ETF 0.20%
Xtrackers MSCI Kokusai Equity ETF [___%]
Xtrackers MSCI Latin America Pacific Alliance ETF 0.45%
Xtrackers MSCI USA ESG Leaders Equity ETF 0.10%
Xtrackers Russell 1000 Comprehensive Factor ETF 0.17%
Xtrackers Russell 1000 US Quality at a Reasonable Price ETF 0.19%
Xtrackers Russell 2000 Comprehensive Factor ETF 0.30%
Xtrackers S&P 500 ESG ETF 0.11%
China Funds  
Xtrackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares ETF 0.65%
Xtrackers Harvest CSI 500 China A-Shares Small Cap ETF 0.65%
Xtrackers MSCI All China Equity ETF 0.50%
Xtrackers MSCI China A Inclusion Equity ETF 0.60%
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Fund Name Unitary Advisory Fee Rate
Fixed Income Funds  
Xtrackers Barclays International Corporate Bond Hedged ETF 0.30%
Xtrackers Barclays International Treasury Bond Hedged ETF 0.25%
Xtrackers Emerging Markets Bond – Interest Rate Hedged ETF 0.45%
Xtrackers High Beta High Yield Bond ETF 0.35%
Xtrackers High Yield Corporate Bond – Interest Rate Hedged ETF 0.35%
Xtrackers Investment Grade Bond – Interest Rate Hedged ETF 0.25%
Xtrackers Low Beta High Yield Bond ETF 0.25%
Xtrackers Municipal Infrastructure Revenue Bond ETF 0.15%
Xtrackers Short Duration High Yield Bond ETF 0.20%
Xtrackers USD High Yield Corporate Bond ETF 0.20%
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Part II: Appendix II-DFirms With Which DBX Has Revenue Sharing Arrangements
The list of financial representatives below is as of the date of this SAI. Any additions, modifications or deletions to the list of financial representatives identified below that have occurred since the date of this SAI are not reflected. You can ask your financial representative if it receives revenue sharing payments from the Advisor, the Distributor and/or their affiliates.
Pershing LLC
TD Ameritrade, Inc.
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Part II: Appendix II-EInvestments, Practices and Techniques, and Risks
To the extent that a fund invests in an Underlying Fund, or one or more affiliated funds, certain of these risks would also apply to that fund.
Borrowing. Under the 1940 Act, a fund is required to maintain continuous asset coverage of 300% with respect to permitted borrowings and to sell (within three days) sufficient portfolio holdings to restore such coverage if it should decline to less than 300% due to market fluctuations or otherwise, even if such liquidation of a fund's holdings may be disadvantageous from an investment standpoint.
Credit Facility. To the extent that a fund and other affiliated funds (“Participants”) participate, a fund may share in a revolving credit facility provided by a syndication of banks. A fund may borrow money under a credit facility for temporary or emergency purposes, including the funding of shareholder redemption requests, that otherwise might require the untimely disposition of securities. Participants are charged an annual commitment fee as well as other fees associated with the credit facility, paid by the Advisor out of a fund’s unitary advisory fee, which is allocated based on net assets, among each of the Participants. Interest is charged to a fund on its borrowings at current commercial rates. A fund can prepay loans at any time and may at any time terminate, or from time to time reduce, without the payment of a premium or penalty, its commitment under the credit facility subject to compliance with certain conditions.
Borrowing may exaggerate changes in the net asset value of fund shares and in the return on a fund’s portfolio. Borrowing will cost a fund interest expense and other fees, which may reduce a fund’s return. A fund is required to maintain continuous asset coverage with respect to its borrowings and may be required to sell some of its holdings to reduce debt and restore coverage at times when it is not advantageous to do so. There is no assurance that a borrowing strategy will be successful. Upon the expiration of the term of a fund’s existing credit arrangement, the lender may not be willing to extend further credit to a fund or may only be willing to do so at an increased cost to a fund. If a fund is not able to extend its credit arrangement, it may be required to liquidate holdings to repay amounts borrowed from the lender. In addition, if a fund’s assets increase, there is no assurance that the lender will be willing to make additional loans to a fund in order to allow it to borrow the amounts desired by a fund to facilitate redemptions.
Chinese Securities. A-Shares are issued by companies incorporated in mainland China and are traded in RMB on the SZSE and SSE. Under current regulations in the PRC, foreign investors can invest in the domestic PRC securities markets through certain market access programs. These programs include the QFII or RQFII licenses obtained from the CSRC. QFII and RQFII investors have also been granted a specific aggregate dollar amount investment quota by SAFE to invest foreign freely convertible currencies (in the case of a QFII) and RMB (in the case of an RQFII) in the PRC for the purpose of investing in the PRC’s domestic securities markets.
Currently, there are two stock exchanges in mainland China, the SSE and SZSE. The SSE and SZSE are supervised by the CSRC and are highly automated with trading and settlement executed electronically. The SSE and SZSE are smaller, periodically less liquid, and substantially more volatile than the major securities markets in the United States.
The SSE commenced trading on December 19, 1990, and the SZSE commenced trading on July 3, 1991. The SSE and SZSE divide listed shares into two classes: A-Shares and B-Shares. Companies whose shares are traded on the SSE and SZSE that are incorporated in mainland China may issue both A-Shares and B-Shares. In China, the A-Shares and B-Shares of an issuer may only trade on one exchange. A-Shares and B-Shares may both be listed on either the SSE or the ZSE. Both classes represent an ownership interest comparable to a share of common stock and all shares are entitled to substantially the same rights and benefits associated with ownership. A-Shares are traded on the SSE and SZE in RMB.
A fund may invest in B-Shares, which are equity securities issued by companies incorporated in China and are denominated and traded in U.S. dollars and Hong Kong dollars (“HKD”) on the SSE and SZSE, respectively. B-Shares are available to foreign investors. H-Shares are equity securities issued by companies incorporated in mainland China and are denominated and traded in HKD on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and other foreign exchanges.
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A fund may also invest in red chips and P chips, which are equity securities issued by companies incorporated outside of mainland China and listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Companies that issue Red chips generally base their businesses in mainland China and are controlled, either directly or indirectly, by the state, provincial or municipal governments of the PRC. Companies that issue P chips generally are non-state-owned Chinese companies incorporated outside of mainland China that satisfy the following criteria: (i) the company is controlled by PRC individuals, (ii) the company derives more than 80% of its revenue from the PRC and (iii) the company allocates more than 60% of its assets in the PRC. Securities listed in the United States and Singapore are considered to be Chinese companies if they satisfy two out of three of the following criteria: (i) the company is based in the PRC, (ii) the company derives more than 50% of its revenue from activities conducted in the PRC and (iii) the company has more than 50% of its assets in the PRC.
A-Share Market Suspension Risk. A-Shares may only be purchased from, or sold to, certain funds from time to time where the relevant A-Shares may be sold or purchased on the SSE and SZSE, as appropriate. Given that the A-Share market is considered volatile and unstable (with the risk of suspension of a particular stock or government intervention), the creation and redemption of Creation Units may also be disrupted. Such suspensions may be widespread and, on some occasions, have affected a majority of listed issuers in China. A participating dealer may not be able to create Creation Units of a fund if A-Shares are not available or not available in sufficient amounts.
A-Share Tax Risk. Uncertainties in the Chinese tax rules governing taxation of income and gains from investments in A-Shares could result in unexpected tax liabilities for a fund. China generally imposes withholding tax at a rate of 10% on dividends and interest derived by nonresident enterprises (including QFIIs and RQFIIs) from issuers resident in China. China also imposes withholding tax at a rate of 10% on capital gains derived by nonresident enterprises from investments in an issuer resident in China, subject to an exemption or reduction pursuant to domestic law or a double taxation agreement or arrangement.
Since the respective inception of Shanghai Connect and Shenzhen Connect, foreign investors (including the funds) investing in A-Shares listed on the SSE through Shanghai Connect and those listed on the SZSE through Shenzhen Connect would be temporarily exempt from the PRC corporate income tax and value-added tax on the gains on disposal of such A-Shares. Dividends would be subject to PRC corporate income tax on a withholding basis at 10%, unless reduced under a double tax treaty with China upon application to and obtaining approval from the competent tax authority.
Since November 17, 2014, the corporate income tax for QFIIs and RQFIIs, with respect to capital gains, has been temporarily lifted. The withholding tax relating to the realized gains from shares in land-rich companies prior to November 17, 2014 has been paid by the Xtrackers Harvest ETFs, while realized gains from shares in non-land-rich companies prior to November 17, 2014 were granted by treaty relief pursuant to the PRC-US Double Taxation Agreement. During 2015, revenue authorities in the PRC made arrangements for the collection of capital gains taxes for investments realized between November 17, 2009 and November 16, 2014. A fund could be subject to tax liability for any tax payments for which reserves have not been made or that were not previously withheld. The impact of any such tax liability on a fund’s return could be substantial. A fund may also be liable to the Advisor or Subadvisor for any tax that is imposed on the Advisor or Subadvisor by the PRC with respect to the fund’s investments. If a fund’s direct investments in A-Shares through the Advisor’s or Subadvisor’s Stock Connect investments and/or Subadvisor’s RQFII quota become subject to repatriation restrictions, the fund may be unable to satisfy distribution requirements applicable to Registered Investment Companies (“RIC”) under the Internal Revenue Code, and be subject to tax at the fund level. In the event such restrictions are imposed, a fund may borrow funds to the extent necessary to distribute to shareholders income sufficient to maintain the fund’s status as a RIC.
The current PRC tax laws and regulations and interpretations thereof may be revised or amended in the future, including with respect to the possible liability of a fund for the taxation of income and gains from investments in A-Shares through Stock Connect or obligations of an RQFII. The withholding taxes on dividends, interest and capital gains may in principle be subject to a reduced rate under an applicable tax treaty, but the application of such treaties in the case of an RQFII acting for a foreign investor such as the funds is also uncertain. Finally, it is also unclear whether an RQFII would also be eligible for PRC Business Tax (BT) exemption, which has been granted to QFIIs, with respect to gains
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derived prior to May 1, 2016. In practice, the BT has not been collected. However, the imposition of such taxes on a fund could have a material adverse effect on a fund’s returns. Since May 1, 2016, RQFIIs are exempt from PRC value-added tax, which replaced the PRC Business Tax with respect to gains realized from the disposal of securities, including A-Shares.
The PRC rules for taxation of RQFIIs (and QFIIs) are evolving and certain tax regulations to be issued by the PRC State Administration of Taxation and/or PRC Ministry of Finance to clarify the subject matter may apply retrospectively, even if such rules are adverse to a fund and their shareholders. The applicability of reduced treaty rates of withholding in the case of an RQFII acting for a foreign investor such as the fund is also uncertain.
The PRC tax authorities are not currently enforcing the collection of withholding tax on capital gains, and at present such taxes likely will not be collected through withholding. If the PRC begins applying tax rules regarding the taxation of income from A-Shares investments to RQFIIs and/or begins collecting capital gains taxes on such investments (whether made through Stock Connect or an RQFII), a fund could be subject to withholding tax liability in excess of the amount reserved (if any). The impact of any such tax liability on a fund’s return could be substantial. A fund will be liable to the Advisor and/or Subadvisor for any Chinese tax that is imposed on the Advisor and/or the Subadvisor with respect to the fund’s investments.
As described below under “Taxes,” each fund may elect, for US federal income tax purposes, to treat PRC taxes (including withholding taxes) paid by a fund as paid by its shareholders. Even if a fund is qualified to make that election and does so, however, your ability to claim a credit for certain PRC taxes may be limited under general US tax principles.
In addition, to the extent a fund invests in swaps and other derivative instruments, such investments may be less tax-efficient from a US tax perspective than direct investment in A-Shares and may be subject to special US federal income tax rules that could adversely affect a fund. Also each fund may be required to periodically adjust its positions in those instruments to comply with certain regulatory requirements which may further cause these investments to be less efficient than a direct investment in A-Shares.
The PRC government has implemented a number of tax reform policies in recent years. The current tax laws and regulations may be revised or amended in the future. Any revision or amendment in tax laws and regulations may affect the after-taxation profit of PRC companies and foreign investors in such companies, such as each fund.
Disclosure of Interests and Short Swing Profit Rule. A fund may be subject to shareholder disclosure of interest regulations promulgated by the CSRC. To the extent they are applicable, these regulations currently would require a fund to make certain public disclosures when the fund and parties acting in concert with the fund acquire 5% or more of the issued securities of a listed company (which include A-Shares of the listed company). If the reporting requirement is triggered, a fund would be required to report information which includes, but is not limited to: (a) information about a fund (and parties acting in concert with the fund) and the type and extent of its holdings in the company; (b) a statement of a fund’s purposes for the investment and whether the Fund intends to increase its holdings over the following 12-month period; (c) a statement of a fund’s historical investments in the company over the previous six months; (d) the time of, and other information relating to, the transaction that triggered a fund’s holding in the listed company reaching the 5% reporting threshold; and (e) other information that may be required by the CSRC or the stock exchange. Additional information may be required if a fund and its concerted parties constitute the largest shareholder or actual controlling shareholder of the listed company. The report must be made to the CSRC, the stock exchange, the invested company, and the CSRC local representative office where the listed company is located. Each fund would also be required to make a public announcement through a media outlet designated by the CSRC. The public announcement must contain the same content as the official report. The public announcement may require a fund to disclose its holdings to the public, which could have an adverse effect on the performance of the fund.
The relevant PRC regulations presumptively treat all affiliated investors and investors under common control as parties acting in concert. As such, under a conservative interpretation of these regulations, a fund may be deemed as a “concerted party” of other funds managed by the Advisor, Subadvisor or their affiliates and therefore may be subject to the risk that the fund’s holdings may be required to be reported in the aggregate with the holdings of such other funds should the aggregate holdings trigger the reporting threshold under the PRC law.
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If the 5% shareholding threshold is triggered by a fund and parties acting in concert with the fund, the fund would be required to file its report within three days of the date the threshold is reached. During the time limit for filing the report, a trading freeze applies and a fund would not be permitted to make subsequent trades in the invested company’s securities. Any such trading freeze may undermine the fund’s performance, if the fund would otherwise make trades during that period but is prevented from doing so by the regulations.
Once a fund and parties acting in concert reach the 5% trading threshold as to any listed company, any subsequent incremental increase or decrease of 5% or more will trigger a further reporting requirement and an additional three-day trading freeze, and also an additional freeze on trading within two days of the fund’s report and announcement of the incremental change. These trading freezes may undermine a fund’s performance as described above. Also, SSE requirements currently require a fund and parties acting in concert, once they have reached the 5% threshold, to disclose whenever their shareholding drops below this threshold (even as a result of trading which is less than the 5% incremental change that would trigger a reporting requirement under the relevant CSRC regulation). Under interim measures adopted in July 2015, 5% holders of the securities of listed companies may be temporarily prohibited from selling such securities for a period of six months.
CSRC regulations also contain additional disclosure (and tender offer) requirements that apply when an investor and parties acting in concert reach thresholds of 20% and greater than 30% shareholding in a company.
Subject to the interpretation of PRC courts and PRC regulators, the operation of the PRC short swing profit rule may be applicable to the trading of a fund with the result that where the holdings of the fund (possibly with the holdings of other investors deemed as concert parties of the fund) exceed 5% of the total issued shares of a listed company, the fund may not reduce its holdings in the company within six months of the last purchase of shares of the company. If a fund violates the rule, it may be required by the listed company to return any profits realized from such trading to the listed company. In addition, the rule limits the ability of the fund to repurchase securities of the listed company within six months of such sale. Moreover, under PRC civil procedures, a fund’s assets may be frozen to the extent of the claims made by the company in question. These risks may greatly impair the performance of the fund.
Economic, political and social risks of the PRC. The economy of China, which has been in a state of transition from a planned economy to a more market oriented economy, differs from the economies of most developed countries in many respects, including the level of government involvement, its state of development, its growth rate, control of foreign exchange, and allocation of resources.
Although the majority of productive assets in China are still owned by the PRC government at various levels, in recent years, the PRC government has implemented economic reform measures emphasizing utilization of market forces in the development of the economy of China and a high level of management autonomy. The economy of China has experienced significant growth in recent decades, but growth has been uneven both geographically and among various sectors of the economy. Economic growth has also been accompanied by periods of high inflation. The PRC government has implemented various measures from time to time to control inflation and restrain the rate of economic growth.
For several decades, the PRC government has carried out economic reforms to achieve decentralization and utilization of market forces to develop the economy of the PRC. These reforms have resulted in significant economic growth and social progress. There can, however, be no assurance that the PRC government will continue to pursue such economic policies or, if it does, that those policies will continue to be successful. Any such adjustment and modification of those economic policies may have an adverse impact on the securities markets in the PRC as well as the portfolio securities of a fund. Further, the PRC government may from time to time adopt corrective measures to control the growth of the PRC economy which may also have an adverse impact on the capital growth and performance of a fund. Political changes, social instability and adverse diplomatic developments in the PRC could result in the imposition of additional government restrictions including expropriation of assets, confiscatory taxes or nationalization of some or all of the property held by the underlying issuers of a fund’s portfolio securities.
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Government Intervention and Restriction Risk. Governments and regulators may intervene in the financial markets, such as by the imposition of trading restrictions, a ban on “naked” short selling or the suspension of short selling for certain stocks. This may affect the operation and market making activities of each fund, and may have an unpredictable impact on a fund. Furthermore, such market interventions may have a negative impact on the market sentiment which may in turn affect the performance of an Underlying Index and as a result the performance of a fund.
Investing through Stock Connect. In seeking to track its underlying index, a fund may also invest in A-Shares listed and traded through Stock Connect. Stock Connect is a securities trading and clearing program between either the Shanghai Stock Exchange (“SSE”) or Shenzhen Stock Exchange (“SZSE”), and any of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (“SEHK”), China Securities Depository and Clearing Corporation Limited (“CSDCC”) and Hong Kong Securities Clearing Company Limited designed to permit mutual stock market access between mainland China and Hong Kong by allowing investors to trade and settle shares on each market via their local exchanges. Trading through Stock Connect is subject to a daily quota (“Daily Quota”), which limits the maximum daily net purchases on any particular day by Hong Kong investors (and foreign investors trading through Hong Kong) trading People’s Republic of China (“PRC”) listed securities (“Northbound”) and PRC investors trading Hong Kong listed securities (“Southbound”) trading through the relevant Stock Connect. Accordingly, each fund’s direct investments in A-Shares will be limited by the Daily Quotas that limit total purchases through Stock Connect.
A fund may invest in A-Shares listed and traded on the SSE and SZSE through Stock Connect, or on such other stock exchanges in China which participate in Stock Connect from time to time. Trading through Stock Connect is subject to a number of restrictions that may affect a fund’s investments and returns. Although no individual investment quotas or licensing requirements apply to investors in Stock Connect, trading through Stock Connect is subject to the Daily Quota. The Daily Quota does not belong to a fund and is utilized by all investors on a first-come-first-serve basis. As such, buy orders for A-Shares would be rejected once the Daily Quota is exceeded (although the funds will be permitted to sell A-Shares regardless of the Daily Quota balance). The Daily Quota may restrict a fund’s ability to invest in A-Shares through Stock Connect on a timely basis, which could affect the funds’ ability to effectively pursue its investment strategy. The Daily Quota is also subject to change.
In addition, investments made through Stock Connect are subject to trading, clearance and settlement procedures that are untested in the PRC, which could pose risks to a fund. Moreover, Stock Connect A-Shares generally may not be sold, purchased or otherwise transferred other than through Stock Connect in accordance with applicable rules. A primary feature of Stock Connect is the application of the home market’s laws and rules applicable to investors in A-Shares (i.e. the PRC). Therefore, a fund’s investments in Stock Connect A-Shares are subject to PRC securities regulations and listing rules, among other restrictions. A primary feature of Stock Connect is the application of the home market’s laws and rules applicable to investors in A-Shares (i.e. the PRC). Therefore, a fund’s investments in Stock Connect A-Shares are subject to PRC securities regulations and listing rules, among other restrictions.
While A-shares must be designated as eligible to be traded under Stock Connect (such eligible A-Shares listed on the SSE, the “SSE Securities,” and such eligible A-Shares listed on the SZSE, the “SZSE Securities”), those A-Shares may also lose such designation, and if this occurs, such A-Shares may be sold but could no longer be purchased through Stock Connect. With respect to sell orders under Stock Connect, the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (“SEHK”) carries out pre-trade checks to ensure an investor has sufficient A-Shares in its account before the market opens on the trading day. Accordingly, if there are insufficient A-Shares in an investor’s account before the market opens on the trading day, the sell order will be rejected, which may adversely impact a fund’s performance.
In addition, Stock Connect will only operate on days when both the Chinese and Hong Kong markets are open for trading and when banking services are available in both markets on the corresponding settlement days. Therefore, an investment in A-Shares through Stock Connect may subject a fund to the risk of price fluctuations on days when the Chinese markets are open, but Stock Connect is not trading. Each of the SEHK, SSE and SZSE reserves the right to suspend trading under Stock Connect under certain circumstances. Where such a suspension of trading is effected, a fund’s ability to access A-Shares through Stock Connect will be adversely affected. In addition, if one or both of the Chinese and Hong Kong markets are closed on a US trading day, the funds may not be able to acquire or dispose of A-Shares through Stock Connect in a timely manner, which could adversely affect the funds’ performance.
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A fund’s investments in A-Shares though Stock Connect are held by its custodian in accounts in Central Clearing and Settlement System (“CCASS”) maintained by the Hong Kong Securities Clearing Company Limited (“HKSCC”), which in turn holds the A-Shares, as the nominee holder, through an omnibus securities account in its name registered with the CSDCC. The precise nature and rights of a fund as the Beneficial Owner of the SSE Securities or SZSE Securities through HKSCC as nominee is not well defined under PRC law. There is a lack of a clear definition of, and distinction between, legal ownership and beneficial ownership under PRC law and there have been few cases involving a nominee account structure in the PRC courts. The exact nature and methods of enforcement of the rights and interests of a fund under PRC law is also uncertain. In the unlikely event that HKSCC becomes subject to winding up proceedings in Hong Kong, there is a risk that the SSE Securities or SZSE Securities may not be regarded as held for the beneficial ownership of a fund or as part of the general assets of HKSCC available for general distribution to its creditors.
Notwithstanding the fact that HKSCC does not claim proprietary interests in the SSE Securities or SZSE Securities held in its omnibus stock account in the CSDCC, the CSDCC as the share registrar for SSE- or SZSE-listed companies will still treat HKSCC as one of the shareholders when it handles corporate actions in respect of such SSE Securities or SZSE Securities. HKSCC monitors the corporate actions affecting SSE Securities and SZSE Securities and keeps participants of CCASS informed of all such corporate actions that require CCASS participants to take steps in order to participate in them. A fund will therefore depend on HKSCC for both settlement and notification and implementation of corporate actions.
The HKSCC is responsible for the clearing, settlement and the provisions of depositary, nominee and other related services of the trades executed by Hong Kong market participants and investors. Accordingly, investors do not hold SSE Securities or SZSE Securities directly – they are held through their brokers’ or custodians’ accounts with CCASS. The HKSCC and the CSDCC establish clearing links and each has become a participant of the other to facilitate clearing and settlement of cross-border trades. Should CSDCC default and the CSDCC be declared as a defaulter, HKSCC’s liabilities in Stock Connect under its market contracts with clearing participants will be limited to assisting clearing participants in pursuing their claims against the CSDCC. In that event, a fund may suffer delays in the recovery process or may not be able to fully recover its losses from the CSDCC.
Market participants are able to participate in Stock Connect subject to meeting certain information technology capability, risk management and other requirements as may be specified by the relevant exchange and/or clearing house. Further, the “connectivity” in Stock Connect requires the routing of orders across the borders of Hong Kong and the PRC. This requires the development of new information technology systems on the part of the SEHK and exchange participants. There is no assurance that these systems will function properly or will continue to be adapted to changes and developments in both markets. In the event that the relevant systems fail to function properly, trading in A-Shares through Stock Connect could be disrupted, and a fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective may be adversely affected.
Finally, according to Caishui [2014] 81 (“Circular 81”) and Caishui [2016] 127 (“Circular 127”), while foreign investors currently are exempt from paying capital gains or business taxes (later, value-added tax) on income and gains from investments in Stock Connect A-Shares, these PRC tax rules could be changed, which could result in unexpected tax liabilities for a fund. Dividends derived from A-Shares are subject to a 10% PRC withholding income tax generally. PRC stamp duty is also payable for transactions in A-Shares through Stock Connect. Currently, PRC stamp duty on A-Shares transactions is only imposed on the seller, but not on the purchaser, at the tax rate of 0.1% of the total sales value. Circular 81 and Circular 127 stipulate that PRC business tax (and, subsequently, PRC value-added tax) is temporarily exempted on capital gains derived by Hong Kong market participants (including the funds) from the trading of A-Shares through Stock Connect. According to Caishui [2016] No. 36, the PRC value-added tax reform in the PRC will be expanded to all industries, including financial services, starting May 1, 2016. The PRC business tax exemption prescribed in Circular 81 is grandfathered under the value-added tax regime. The Stock Connect program is a relatively new program. Further developments are likely and there can be no assurance as to the program’s continued existence or whether future developments regarding the program may restrict or adversely affect a fund’s investments or returns. In addition, the application and interpretation of the laws and regulations of Hong Kong and the PRC, and the rules, policies or guidelines published or applied by relevant regulators and exchanges in respect of the Stock Connect program are uncertain, and they may have a detrimental effect on a fund’s investments and returns.
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PRC Broker and PRC Custodian Risk. The Subadvisor is responsible for selecting PRC Brokers to execute transactions for Xtrackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares ETF and Xtrackers Harvest CSI 500 China A-Shares ETF and the Advisor is responsible for selecting PRC Brokers to execute transactions for Xtrackers MSCI China A Inclusion Equity ETF in the PRC markets. As a matter of practice, only one PRC Broker can be appointed in respect of each stock exchange in the PRC. Thus, each fund will rely on only one PRC Broker for each stock exchange (the SSE and SZSE) in the PRC, which may be the same PRC Broker. As such a fund will rely on a limited number of PRC Brokers to execute transactions on behalf of each fund. If a single PRC Broker is appointed, each fund may not necessarily pay the lowest commission available in the market. However, in their selection of a PRC Broker(s), the Advisor and/or Subadvisor will consider factors such as the competitiveness of commission rates, size of the relevant orders and execution standards. Should, for any reason, a fund’s ability to use one or more of the relevant PRC Brokers be affected, this could disrupt the operations of the fund and affect the ability of the fund to track its Underlying Index, causing a premium or a discount to the trading price of the fund’s Shares.
With respect to the funds which invest in A-Shares through the Subadvisor’s RQFII quota, the Subadvisor is responsible for selecting a custodian in the PRC to custody its assets pursuant to local Chinese laws and regulations (the “PRC Custodian”). According to the RQFII regulations and market practice, the securities and cash accounts for a fund in the PRC are to be maintained by the PRC Custodian in the joint names of the Subadvisor as the RQFII holder and each fund. Each fund’s PRC Custodian is the Bank of China Limited. The PRC Custodian maintains a fund’s RMB deposit accounts and oversees each fund’s investments in A-Shares in the PRC to ensure their compliance with the rules and regulations of the CSRC and the People’s Bank of China. A-Shares that are traded on the SSE or SZSE are dealt and held in book-entry form through the China Securities Depository and Clearing Corporation Limited (“CSDCC”). A-Shares purchased by the Subadvisor, in its capacity as an RQFII, on behalf of a fund, may be received by the CSDCC and credited to a securities trading account maintained by the PRC Custodian in the names of the fund and the Subadvisor as the RQFII. If the Advisor obtains an RQFII quota in the future with respect to the Xtrackers MSCI China A Inclusion Equity ETF, the same considerations would apply.
The assets held or credited in a fund’s securities trading account(s) maintained by the PRC Custodian are segregated and independent from the proprietary assets of the PRC Custodian. However, under PRC law, cash deposited in a fund’s cash account(s) maintained with the PRC Custodian will not be segregated but will be a debt owing from the PRC Custodian to the fund as a depositor. Such cash will be co-mingled with cash that belongs to other clients or creditors of the PRC Custodian. In the event of bankruptcy or liquidation of the PRC Custodian, a fund will not have any proprietary rights to the cash deposited in such cash account(s), and the fund will become an unsecured creditor, ranking pari passu with all other unsecured creditors, of the PRC Custodian.
There is a risk that each fund may suffer losses from the default, bankruptcy or disqualification of the PRC Broker(s) or PRC Custodian. In such event, a fund may be adversely affected in the execution of any transaction or face difficulty and/or encounter delays in recovering its assets, or may not be able to recover it in full or at all. Each fund may also incur losses due to the acts or omissions of the PRC Brokers and/or the PRC Custodian in the execution or settlement of any transaction or in the transfer of any funds or securities. Subject to the applicable laws and regulations in the PRC, the Advisor and the Subadvisor will make arrangements to ensure that the PRC Brokers and PRC Custodian have appropriate procedures to properly safe-keep a fund’s assets. This risk is applicable to Xtrackers MSCI All China Equity ETF to the extent the fund invests in Xtrackers China A-Shares ETFs.
PRC Laws and Regulations Risk. The regulatory and legal framework for capital markets and joint stock companies in the PRC may not be as well developed as those of developed countries. PRC laws and regulations affecting securities markets are relatively new and evolving, and because of the limited volume of published cases and judicial interpretation and their non-binding nature, interpretation and enforcement of these regulations involve significant uncertainties. In addition, as the PRC legal system develops, no assurance can be given that changes in such laws and regulations, their interpretation or their enforcement will not have a material adverse effect on their business operations.
Renminbi (RMB). RMB is the official currency in the People’s Republic of China.
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Future Movements in RMB Exchange Rates Risk. The exchange rate of RMB ceased to be pegged to US dollars on July 21, 2005, resulting in a more flexible RMB exchange rate system. China Foreign Exchange Trading System, authorized by the PBOC, promulgates the central parity rate of RMB against US dollars, Euro, Yen, pound sterling and Hong Kong dollar at 9:15 a.m. on each business day, which will be the daily central parity rate for transactions on the Inter-bank Spot Foreign Exchange Market and OTC transactions of banks. The exchange rate of RMB against the above-mentioned currencies fluctuates within a range above or below such central parity rate. As the exchange rates are based primarily on market forces, the exchange rates for RMB against other currencies, including US dollars and Hong Kong dollars, are susceptible to movements based on external factors. There can be no assurance that such exchange rates will not fluctuate widely against US dollars, Hong Kong dollars or any other foreign currency in the future. From 1994 to July 2005, the exchange rate for RMB against US dollar and the Hong Kong dollar was relatively stable. Following July 2005, the appreciation of RMB accelerated until being subject to alternating periods of devaluation, appreciation and stability beginning in 2015. Although the PRC government has constantly reiterated its intention to maintain the stability of RMB, it may introduce measures (such as a reduction in the rate of export tax refund) to address the concerns of the PRC’s trading partners. Therefore, the possibility that the appreciation of RMB will be further accelerated cannot be excluded. On the other hand, there can be no assurance that RMB will not be subject to devaluation.
Offshore RMB (“CNH”) Market Risk. The onshore RMB (“CNY”) is the only official currency of the PRC and is used in all financial transactions between individuals, state and corporations in the PRC. Hong Kong is the first jurisdiction to allow accumulation of RMB deposits outside the PRC. Since June 2010, the offshore RMB (“CNH”) is traded officially, regulated jointly by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the PBOC. While both CNY and CNH represent RMB, they are traded in different and separated markets. The two RMB markets operate independently where the flow between them is highly restricted. Though the CNH is a proxy of the CNY, they do not necessarily have the same exchange rate and their movement may not be in the same direction. This is because these currencies act in separate jurisdictions, which leads to separate supply and demand conditions for each, and therefore separate but related currency markets.
The current size of RMB-denominated financial assets outside the PRC is limited. As of May 2018, the total amount of RMB (CNH) deposits held by institutions authorized to engage in RMB banking business in Hong Kong amounted to approximately RMB601 billion. In addition, participating authorized institutions are also required by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to maintain a total amount of RMB (in the form of cash and its settlement account balance with a Renminbi clearing bank) of no less than 25% of their RMB deposits, which further limits the availability of RMB that participating authorized institutions can utilize for conversion services for their customers. RMB business participating banks do not have direct RMB liquidity support from PBOC. Only the Renminbi clearing bank has access to onshore liquidity support from PBOC (subject to annual and quarterly quotas imposed by PBOC) to square open positions of participating banks for limited types of transactions, including open positions resulting from conversion services for corporations relating to cross-border trade settlement. The Renminbi clearing bank is not obliged to square for participating banks any open positions resulting from other foreign exchange transactions or conversion services and the participating banks will need to source RMB from the offshore market to square such open positions. Although it is expected that the offshore RMB market will continue to grow in depth and size, its growth is subject to many constraints as a result of PRC laws and regulations on foreign exchange. There is no assurance that new PRC regulations will not be promulgated or the Settlement Agreement will not be terminated or amended in the future which will have the effect of restricting availability of RMB offshore.
RMB Exchange Controls and Restrictions Risk. It should be noted that the RMB is currently not a freely convertible currency as it is subject to foreign exchange control policies and repatriation restrictions imposed by the PRC government. There is no assurance that there will always be RMB available in sufficient amounts for a fund to remain fully invested. Since 1994, the conversion of RMB into US dollars has been based on rates set by the PBOC, which are set daily based on the previous day’s PRC interbank foreign exchange market rate. On July 21, 2005, the PRC government introduced a managed floating exchange rate system to allow the value of RMB to fluctuate within a regulated band based on market supply and demand and by reference to a basket of currencies. In addition, a market maker system was introduced to the interbank spot foreign exchange market. In July 2008, China announced that its exchange rate regime was further transformed into a managed floating mechanism based on market supply and demand. Given the
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domestic and overseas economic developments, the PBOC decided to further improve the RMB exchange rate regime in June 2010 to enhance the flexibility of the RMB exchange rate. In 2012 and 2014, the PBOC subsequently decided to expand the daily trading band and may seek to do so again in the future.
However it should be noted that the PRC government’s policies on exchange control and repatriation restrictions are subject to change, and any such change may adversely impact each fund. There can be no assurance that the RMB exchange rate will not fluctuate widely against the US dollar or any other foreign currency in the future. Foreign exchange transactions under the capital account, including principal payments in respect of foreign currency-denominated obligations, currently continue to be subject to significant foreign exchange controls and require the approval of the SAFE. On the other hand, the existing PRC foreign exchange regulations have significantly reduced government foreign exchange controls for transactions under the current account, including trade and service related foreign exchange transactions and payment of dividends. Nevertheless, neither the Advisor nor the Subadvisor can predict whether the PRC government will continue its existing foreign exchange policy or when the PRC government will allow free conversion of the RMB to foreign currencies. Certain investments of Xtrackers MSCI All China Equity ETF may be denominated in RMB and the fund will be exposed to the risks associated with RMB through its primary investments in the Underlying fund and through its investments in the Xtrackers Harvest ETFs.
RMB Trading and Settlement Risk. The trading and settlement of RMB-denominated securities are recent developments in Hong Kong and there is no assurance that problems will not be encountered with the systems or that other logistical problems will not arise.
Repatriation Risk. SAFE regulates and monitors the repatriation of funds out of the PRC by RQFIIs. Repatriations by RQFIIs in respect of an open-ended RQFII fund, such as the Xtrackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares ETF, Xtrackers Harvest CSI 500 China A-Shares Small Cap ETF and, potentially, Xtrackers MSCI China A Inclusion Equity ETF, conducted in RMB are currently permitted daily and are not subject to repatriation restrictions or prior approval from SAFE, although authenticity and compliance reviews will be conducted by the PRC Custodian (as that term is defined below), and monthly reports on remittances and repatriations will be submitted to SAFE by the PRC Custodian. There is no assurance, however, that PRC and RQFII rules and regulations will not change or that repatriation restrictions will not be imposed in the future. Further, such changes to the PRC and RQFII rules and regulations may take effect retroactively. Any restrictions on repatriation of the invested capital and net profits may impact a fund’s ability to meet redemption requests. Furthermore, as the Custodian’s or the PRC Custodian’s review on authenticity and compliance is conducted on each repatriation, the repatriation may be delayed or even rejected by the Custodian or the PRC Custodian in case of non-compliance with the RQFII regulations. In such case, it is expected that redemption proceeds will be paid as soon as practicable and after the completion of the repatriation of the funds concerned. It should be noted that the actual time required for the completion of the relevant repatriation will be beyond the Advisor’s and the Subadvisor’s control.
Restricted Markets Risk. A fund’s investments in A-Shares may be subject to limitations or restrictions on foreign ownership or holdings imposed by the PRC. Such legal and regulatory restrictions or limitations may have adverse effects on the liquidity and performance of each fund’s portfolio holdings as compared to the performance of its Underlying Index. This may increase the risk of tracking error.
RQFII Late Settlement Risk. Each of the funds will be required to remit RMB from Hong Kong to the PRC to settle the purchase of A-Shares by a fund from time to time through the RQFII program. In the event such remittance is disrupted, a fund will not be able to fully replicate its Underlying Index by investing in the relevant A-Shares, which may lead to increased tracking error. This risk is applicable to Xtrackers MSCI All China Equity ETF to the extent it invests in Xtrackers China A-Shares ETFs.
RQFII Program Risk. (Xtrackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares ETF and Xtrackers Harvest CSI 500 China A-Shares Small Cap ETF) Xtrackers MSCI China A Inclusion Equity ETF intends to invest directly in A-Shares through Stock Connect, but, in the future, may also utilize any RQFII quota applied for by and granted to the Advisor and/or a Subadvisor. Each fund is not an RQFII, but with respect to Xtrackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares ETF and X-trackers Harvest CSI 500 China will utilize the Subadvisor’s RQFII quota granted under RQFII regulations. RQFII regulations provide
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that the size of an RQFII’s quota may be reduced or cancelled by SAFE if the RQFII is unable to use its RQFII quota effectively within one year after the quota is granted. If SAFE reduces the RQFII’s quota, it may affect the Advisor’s ability to effectively pursue the applicable fund’s investment strategy.
Under current regulations in the PRC, foreign investors can invest in the domestic PRC securities markets through certain market-access programs. These programs include the QFII or RQFII licenses obtained from the CSRC. QFII and RQFII investors have also been granted a specific aggregate dollar amount investment quota SAFE to invest foreign freely convertible currencies (in the case of a QFII) and RMB (in the case of an RQFII) in the PRC for the purpose of investing in the PRC’s domestic securities markets. Neither the Fund nor the Advisor is an RQFII. Rather, the Fund expects to invest in the Underlying Fund, which invests directly in A-Shares through Stock Connect, but may, in the future, utilize a RQFII quota granted to the Advisor and/or a Subadvisor. The fund may also invest in the Xtrackers Harvest ETFs, which are subadvised by HGI, an RQFII, and invest directly in A-Shares to the extent of the A-Shares investment quota granted to HGI pursuant to RQFII regulations.
In addition, the Subadvisor’s (or, if applicable in the future, the Advisor’s) RQFII status could be suspended or revoked. There can be no assurance that the Subadvisor (or, in the future, the Advisor) will continue to maintain its RQFII status or be able to acquire additional RQFII quota. Because each fund will not be able to invest directly in A-Shares in excess of the Subadvisor’s (or, if applicable in the future, the Advisor’s) RQFII quota and beyond the limits that may be imposed by Stock Connect, the size of a fund’s direct investments in A-Shares may be limited. In the event the Subadvisor (or, if applicable in the future, the Advisor) is unable to maintain its RQFII status or its RQFII quota becomes inadequate, unless the Subadvisor (or, in the future, the Advisor) is able to acquire additional RQFII quota or otherwise obtain sufficient exposure to A-Shares, it may be necessary for a fund to limit or suspend creations of Creation Units. In such event it is possible that the trading price of a fund’s Shares on the Exchange will be at a significant premium to the NAV (which may also increase tracking error of the fund). In extreme circumstances, a fund may incur significant loss due to limited investment capabilities, or may not be able fully to implement or pursue its investment objectives or strategies, due to RQFII investment restrictions, illiquidity of the PRC’s securities markets, and delay or disruption in execution of trades or in settlement of trades.
Pursuant to PRC and RQFII regulations, each of CSRC and SAFE is vested with the power to impose regulatory sanctions if the Advisor and/or Subadvisor, in its capacity as RQFII, or the PRC Custodian (as that term is defined below) violates any provision of the RQFII regulations. Any such violations could result in the revocation of the Subadvisor’s (or, if applicable in the future, the Advisor’s) quota or other regulatory sanctions and may adversely impact the portion of the Subadvisor’s (or, if applicable in the future, the Advisor’s) quota granted with respect to a fund.
The current RQFII regulations also include rules on investment restrictions applicable to a fund, which may adversely affect the fund’s liquidity and performance. In addition, because transaction sizes for RQFIIs are relatively large, the corresponding heightened risk of exposure to decreased market liquidity and significant price volatility could lead to possible adverse effects on the timing and pricing of acquisition or disposal of securities.
The regulations which regulate investments by RQFIIs in the PRC and the repatriation of capital from RQFII investments are relatively new. The application and interpretation of such investment regulations are therefore relatively untested and there is no certainty as to how they will be applied as the PRC authorities and regulators have been given wide discretion in such investment regulations and there is no precedent or certainty as to how such discretion may be exercised now or in the future.
SAFE had announced on September 10, 2019 that it will propose to remove the investment quota restrictions on QFII’s and RQFII’s, which will mean investors such as a fund that invests in A-Shares via a QFII or RQFII will no longer be subject to quota limitations in such investments. However, as of the date of this Statement of Additional Information, SAFE has not confirmed the effective date of such removal of investment quota restrictions nor the conditions of such removal, and there is no guarantee that such effective date would occur in the foreseeable future. Investors should note that until the effective date of such removal of investment quota restrictions, a fund will still be subject to the QFII and/or RQFII quota limitations, and that there is no guarantee that the removal of investment quota restrictions will be effected as planned.
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Commodity Pool Operator Exclusion. Pursuant to a claim for exclusion filed with the National Futures Association (“NFA”) on behalf of each fund, the Trust is not deemed to be a “commodity pool operator” (“CPO”), under the CEA, and it is not subject to registration or regulation as such under the CEA. The Advisor is not deemed to be a “commodity trading advisor” with respect to its services as an investment advisor to each fund. Under CFTC Regulations, the Advisor would need to register with the CFTC as a CPO if a fund is unable to comply with certain trading and marketing limitations on its investments in futures and certain other instruments. With respect to investments in swap transactions, commodity futures, commodity options or certain other derivatives used for purposes other than bona fide hedging purposes, the Trust, on behalf of the fund must meet one of the following tests under the amended regulations in order to claim an exclusion from the definition of a CPO. First, the aggregate initial margin and premiums required to establish a fund’s positions in such investments may not exceed five percent of the liquidation value of the fund’s portfolio (after accounting for unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such investments). Alternatively, the aggregate net notional value of such instruments, determined at the time of the most recent position established, may not exceed one hundred percent (100%) of the liquidation value of the fund’s portfolio (after accounting for unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such positions). In addition to meeting one of the foregoing trading limitations, a fund may not market itself as a commodity pool or otherwise as a vehicle for trading in the commodity futures, commodity options or swaps and derivatives markets. In the event that the Advisor is required to register as a CPO with respect to a fund, the disclosure and operations of the fund would need to comply with all applicable CFTC regulations. Compliance with these additional registration and regulatory requirements could increase operational expenses. Other potentially adverse regulatory initiatives could also develop.
Costs of Buying or Selling Fund Shares. Buying or selling fund shares involves two types of costs that apply to all securities transactions. When buying or selling shares of a fund through a broker, you will incur a brokerage commission or other charges imposed by brokers as determined by that broker. In addition, you will also incur the cost of the “spread” – that is, the difference between what professional investors are willing to pay for fund shares (the “bid” price) and the price at which they are willing to sell fund shares (the “ask” price). Because of the costs inherent in buying or selling fund shares, frequent trading may detract significantly from investment results and an investment in fund shares may not be advisable for investors who anticipate regularly making small investments.
Delayed Delivery Transactions. Delayed delivery transactions, also referred to as forward commitments, involve commitments by the fund to dealers or issuers to acquire or sell securities at a specified future date beyond the customary settlement for such securities. These commitments may fix the payment price and interest rate to be received or paid on the investment. The fund may purchase securities on a delayed delivery basis to the extent that it can anticipate having available cash on the settlement date. Delayed delivery agreements will not be used as a speculative or leverage technique.
Investment in securities on a delayed delivery basis may increase the fund’s exposure to market fluctuation and may increase the possibility that the fund will incur short-term gains subject to federal taxation or short-term losses if the fund must engage in portfolio transactions in order to honor a delayed delivery commitment. Until the settlement date, the fund will segregate liquid assets of a dollar value sufficient at all times to make payment for the delayed delivery transactions. Such segregated liquid assets will be marked-to market daily, and the amount segregated will be increased if necessary to maintain adequate coverage of the delayed delivery commitments.
The delayed delivery securities, which will not begin to accrue interest or dividends until the settlement date, will be recorded as an asset of the fund and will be subject to the risk of market fluctuation. The purchase price of the delayed delivery securities is a liability of the fund until settlement. The fund may enter into buy/sell back transactions (a form of delayed delivery agreement). In a buy/sell back transaction, the fund enters a trade to sell securities at one price and simultaneously enters a trade to buy the same securities at another price for settlement at a future date.
Derivatives. A derivative is a financial contract, the value of which depends on, or is derived from, the value of an underlying asset such as a security or an index. A fund may invest in stock index futures contracts and other derivatives. Compared to conventional securities, derivatives can be more sensitive to changes in interest rates or to sudden fluctuations in market prices and thus a fund’s losses may be greater if it invests in derivatives than if it invests only in conventional securities.
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Currency Transactions. Certain of the funds may enter into foreign currency futures contracts and forward currency contracts designed to offset a fund’s exposure to non-US currency. A forward foreign currency exchange contract (“forward contract”) involves an obligation to purchase or sell a specific currency at a future date, which may be any fixed number of days from the date of the contract agreed upon by the parties, at a price set at the time of the contract. These contracts are principally traded in the interbank market conducted directly between currency traders (usually large, commercial banks) and their customers. A forward contract generally has no margin deposit requirement, and no commissions are charged at any stage for trades.
A non-deliverable forward contract (“NDF”) is a forward contract where there is no physical settlement of two currencies at maturity. NDFs are contracts between parties in which a net settlement amount based on the change in the specified foreign exchange rate is paid by one party to the other. Each fund’s obligations with respect to each NDF is accrued on a daily basis and an amount of cash or liquid securities at least equal to such amount maintained in an account at the Trust’s custodian bank. The risk of loss with respect to NDFs generally is limited to the net amount of payments that a fund is contractually obligated to make or receive.
A foreign currency futures contract is a contract involving an obligation to deliver or acquire the specified amount of a specific currency, at a specified price and at a specified future time. Futures contracts may be settled on a net cash payment basis rather than by the sale and delivery of the underlying currency.
Currency exchange transactions involve a significant degree of risk and the markets in which currency exchange transactions are effected are highly volatile, specialized and technical. Significant changes, including changes in liquidity and prices, can occur in such markets within very short periods of time, often within minutes. Currency exchange trading risks include, but are not limited to, exchange rate risk, maturity gap, interest rate risk, and potential interference by foreign governments through regulation of local exchange markets, foreign investment or particular transactions in foreign currency. If a fund utilizes foreign currency transactions at an inappropriate time, such transactions may not serve their intended purpose of improving the correlation of the fund’s return with the performance of its Underlying Index and may lower the fund’s return. A fund could experience losses if the value of any currency forwards and futures positions is poorly correlated with its other investments or if it could not close out its positions because of an illiquid market. Such contracts are subject to the risk that the counterparty will default on its obligations. In addition, a fund will incur transaction costs, including trading commissions, in connection with certain foreign currency transactions.
General Characteristics of Futures and Options. A fund may enter into futures and options contracts to simulate investment in the respective Underlying Index, to facilitate trading or to reduce transaction costs. A fund may only enter into futures contracts and options that are traded on a US or non-US exchange. No fund will use futures or options for speculative purposes.
Futures contracts provide for the future sale by one party and purchase by another party of a specified amount of a specific instrument or index at a specified future time and at a specified price. Each fund may enter into futures contracts to purchase securities indexes when the Advisor and/or Subadvisor, as applicable, anticipate purchasing the underlying securities and believe prices will rise before the purchase will be made. To the extent required by law, liquid assets committed to futures contracts will be maintained.
A call option gives a holder the right to purchase a specific security at a specified price (“exercise price”) within a specified period of time. A put option gives a holder the right to sell a specific security at a specified exercise price within a specified period of time. The initial purchaser of a call option pays the “writer” a premium, which is paid at the time of purchase and is retained by the writer whether or not such option is exercised. Each Fund may purchase put options to hedge its portfolio against the risk of a decline in the market value of securities held and may purchase call options to hedge against an increase in the price of securities it is committed to purchase. Each Fund may write put and call options along with a long position in options to increase its ability to hedge against a change in the market value of the securities it holds or is committed to purchase.
Investments in futures contracts and other investments that contain leverage may require a fund to maintain liquid assets. Generally, each fund maintains an amount of liquid assets equal to its obligations relative to the position involved, adjusted daily on a marked-to-market basis. With respect to futures contracts that are contractually required to “cash-settle,”
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each fund maintains liquid assets in an amount at least equal to each fund’s daily marked-to-market obligation (i.e., each fund’s daily net liability, if any), rather than the contracts’ notional value (i.e., the value of the underlying asset). By maintaining assets equal to its net obligation under cash-settled futures contracts, the fund may employ leverage to a greater extent than if each fund set aside assets equal to the futures contracts’ full notional value. A fund bases its asset maintenance policies on methods permitted by the staff of the SEC and may modify these policies in the future to comply with any changes in the guidance articulated from time to time by the SEC or its staff.
There are several risks accompanying the utilization of futures contracts and options on futures contracts. First, a position in futures contracts and options on futures contracts may be closed only on the exchange on which the contract was made (or a linked exchange). While each fund plans to utilize futures contracts only if an active market exists for such contracts, there is no guarantee that a liquid market will exist for the contract at a specified time. While each Fund plans to utilize futures contracts only if an active market exists for such contracts, there is no guarantee that a liquid market will exist for the contract at a specified time. Furthermore, because, by definition, futures contracts project price levels in the future and not current levels of valuation, market circumstances may result in a discrepancy between the price of the stock index future and the movement in the Underlying Index. In the event of adverse price movements, a fund would continue to be required to make daily cash payments to maintain its required margin. In such situations, if a fund has insufficient cash, it may have to sell portfolio securities to meet daily margin requirements at a time when it may be disadvantageous to do so. In addition, each fund may be required to deliver the instruments underlying the futures contracts it has sold.
The risk of loss in trading futures contracts or uncovered call options in some strategies (e.g., selling uncovered stock index futures contracts) is potentially unlimited. The funds do not plan to invest in futures and options to a significant extent or use futures and options contracts in this way. The risk of a futures position may still be large as traditionally measured due to the low margin deposits required. In many cases, a relatively small price movement in a futures contract may result in immediate and substantial loss or gain to the investor relative to the size of a required margin deposit. A fund, however, may utilize futures and options contracts in a manner designed to limit their risk exposure to levels comparable to a direct investment in the types of stocks in which they invest.
A fund’s use of futures and options on futures involves the risk of imperfect or even negative correlation to the Underlying Index if the index underlying the futures contract differs from the Underlying Index. There is also the risk of loss by a fund of margin deposits in the event of bankruptcy of a broker with whom a fund has an open position in the futures contract or option. The purchase of put or call options will be based upon predictions by the Advisor and/or Subadvisor, as applicable, as to anticipated trends which could prove to be incorrect.
Because the futures market generally imposes less burdensome margin requirements than the securities market, an increased amount of participation by speculators in the futures market could result in price fluctuations. Certain financial futures exchanges limit the amount of fluctuation permitted in futures contract prices during a single trading day. The daily limit establishes the maximum amount by which the price of a futures contract may vary either up or down from the previous day’s settlement price at the end of a trading session. Once the daily limit has been reached in a particular type of contract, no trades may be made on that day at a price beyond that limit. It is possible that futures contract prices could move to the daily limit for several consecutive trading days with little or no trading, thereby preventing prompt liquidation of futures positions and subjecting each fund to substantial losses. In the event of adverse price movements, each fund would be required to make daily cash payments of variation margin.
Options on Futures Contracts. An option on a futures contract, as contrasted with the direct investment in such a contract, gives the purchaser the right, in return for the premium paid, to assume a position in the underlying futures contract at a specified exercise price at any time prior to the expiration date of the option. Upon exercise of an option, the delivery of the futures position by the writer of the option to the holder of the option will be accompanied by delivery of the accumulated balance in the writer’s futures margin account that represents the amount by which the market price of the futures contract exceeds (in the case of a call) or is less than (in the case of a put) the exercise price of the option on the futures contract. The potential for loss related to the purchase of an option on a futures contract is limited to the premium paid for the option plus transaction costs. Because the value of the option is fixed at the point of sale, there are no daily cash payments by the purchaser to reflect changes in the value of the underlying contract; however, the value of the option changes daily and that change would be reflected in the NAV of each fund.
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The potential for loss related to writing call options is unlimited. The potential for loss related to writing put options is limited to the agreed upon price per Share, also known as the strike price, less the premium received from writing the put.Each Fund may purchase and write put and call options on futures contracts that are traded on an exchange as a hedge against changes in value of its portfolio securities, or in anticipation of the purchase of securities, and may enter into closing transactions with respect to such options to terminate existing positions. There is no guarantee that such closing transactions can be effected.
Upon entering into a futures contract, a fund will be required to deposit with the broker an amount of cash or cash equivalents known as “initial margin,” which is in the nature of a performance bond or good faith deposit on the contract and is returned to each fund upon termination of the futures contract, assuming all contractual obligations have been satisfied. Subsequent payments, known as “variation margin,” to and from the broker will be made daily as the price of the index underlying the futures contract fluctuates, making the long and short positions in the futures contract more or less valuable, a process known as “marking-to-market.” At any time prior to the expiration of a futures contract, each fund may elect to close the position by taking an opposite position, which will operate to terminate each fund’s existing position in the contract.
Swap Agreements. Over-the-counter (“OTC”) swap agreements are contracts between parties in which one party agrees to make periodic payments to the other party based on the change in market value or level of a specified rate, index or asset. In return, the other party agrees to make periodic payments to the first party based on the return of a different specified rate, index or asset. Swap agreements will usually be performed on a net basis, with each fund receiving or paying only the net amount of the two payments. The net amount of the excess, if any, of a fund’s obligations over its entitlements with respect to each swap is accrued on a daily basis and an amount of liquid assets having an aggregate value at least equal to the accrued excess will be maintained by each fund. Cleared swaps are transacted through futures commission merchants (“FCMs”) that are members of central clearinghouses with the clearinghouse serving as a central counterparty similar to transactions in futures contracts. The use of interest-rate and index swaps is a highly specialized activity that involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio security transactions. These transactions generally do not involve the delivery of securities or other underlying assets or principal.
The risk of loss with respect to OTC swaps generally is limited to the net amount of payments that the fund is contractually obligated to make. Swap agreements are subject to the risk that the swap counterparty will default on its obligations. If such a default occurs, a fund will have contractual remedies pursuant to the agreements related to the transaction. However, such remedies may be subject to bankruptcy and insolvency laws which could affect such fund’s rights as a creditor (e.g., a fund may not receive the net amount of payments that it contractually is entitled to receive). Central clearing through FCMs is expected to decrease counterparty risk and increase liquidity compared to un-cleared swaps because central clearing interposes a central clearinghouse as the counterpart to each participant’s swap. However, central clearing does not eliminate counterparty risk or illiquidity risk entirely. In addition depending on the size of a fund and other factors, the margin required under the rules of a clearinghouse and by a clearing member FCM may be in excess of the collateral required to be posted by a fund to support its obligations under a similar un-cleared swap. It is expected, however, that regulators will adopt rules imposing certain margin requirements, including minimums, on un-cleared swaps in the near future, which could reduce the distinction.
Lending of Portfolio Securities. To generate additional income, a fund may lend a percentage of its investment securities to approved institutional borrowers who need to borrow securities in order to complete certain transactions, such as covering short sales, avoiding failures to deliver securities or completing arbitrage operations, in exchange for collateral in the form of cash or US government securities. By lending its investment securities, a fund attempts to increase its net investment income through the receipt of interest on the loan. Any gain or loss in the market price of the securities loaned that might occur during the term of the loan would belong to a fund. A fund may lend its investment securities so long as the terms, structure and the aggregate amount of such loans are not inconsistent with the 1940 Act or the rules and regulations or interpretations of the SEC thereunder, which currently require that (a) the borrower pledge and maintain with a fund collateral consisting of liquid, unencumbered assets having a value at all times not less than 100% of the value of the securities loaned, (b) the borrower add to such collateral whenever the price of the securities loaned rises or the value of non-cash collateral declines (i.e., the borrower “marks to the market” on a daily basis), (c) the loan be made subject to termination by a fund at any time, and (d) a fund receives a reasonable
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return on the loan (consisting of the return achieved on investment of the cash collateral, less the rebate owed to borrowers, plus distributions on the loaned securities and any increase in their market value). A fund may pay reasonable fees in connection with loaned securities, pursuant to written contracts, including fees paid to a fund’s custodian and fees paid to a securities lending agent, including a securities lending agent that is an affiliate of the Advisor. Voting rights may pass with the loaned securities, but if an event occurs that the Advisor determines to be a material event affecting an investment on loan, the loan must be called and the securities voted. Cash collateral received by a fund may be invested in a money market fund managed by the Advisor (or one of its affiliates).
A fund is subject to all investment risks associated with the reinvestment of any cash collateral received, including, but not limited to, interest rate, credit and liquidity risk associated with such investments. To the extent the value or return of a fund’s investments of the cash collateral declines below the amount owed to a borrower, a fund may incur losses that exceed the amount it earned on lending the security. If the borrower defaults on its obligation to return securities lent because of insolvency or other reasons, a fund could experience delays and costs in recovering the securities lent or gaining access to collateral. If a fund is not able to recover securities lent, a fund may sell the collateral and purchase a replacement investment in the market, incurring the risk that the value of the replacement security is greater than the value of the collateral. However, loans will be made only to borrowers selected by a fund’s delegate after a commercially reasonable review of relevant facts and circumstances, including the creditworthiness of the borrower.
In the case of securities lending transactions, payments in lieu of dividends are not qualified dividend income.
Regulations Impacting Derivatives and the Lending of Portfolio Securities. Regulations adopted by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and other regulators throughout the world, which recently took effect with respect to the funds, requires counterparties that are part of US or foreign global systemically important banking organizations to include contractual restrictions on close-out and cross default in agreements relating to qualified financial contracts. Securities lending agreements are included in the category of qualified financial contracts (as well as repurchase agreements and agreements relating to swaps, currency forwards and other derivatives). The restrictions prevent the funds from closing out a qualified financial contract during a specified time period (e.g., two days) if the counterparty is subject to resolution proceedings and prohibit the funds from exercising default rights during that period due to a receivership or similar proceeding of an affiliate of the counterparty. Implementation of these requirements may increase credit and other risks to the funds.
Equity Securities. An investment in a fund should be made with an understanding of the risks inherent in an investment in equity securities, including the risk that the financial condition of issuers may become impaired or that the general condition of the stock market may deteriorate (either of which may cause a decrease in the value of the portfolio securities and thus in the value of Shares of a fund). Common stocks are susceptible to general stock market fluctuations and to volatile increases and decreases in value as market confidence and perceptions of their issuers change. These investor perceptions are based on various and unpredictable factors, including expectations regarding government, economic, monetary and fiscal policies, inflation and interest rates, economic expansion or contraction, and global or regional political, economic or banking crises. Holders of common stocks incur more risks than holders of preferred stocks and debt obligations because common stockholders generally have rights to receive payments from stock issuers inferior to the rights of creditors, or holders of debt obligations or preferred stocks. Further, unlike debt securities, which typically have a stated principal amount payable at maturity (the value of which, however, is subject to market fluctuations prior to maturity), or preferred stocks, which typically have a liquidation preference and which may have stated optional or mandatory redemption provisions, common stocks have neither a fixed principal amount nor a maturity.
Although most of the securities in each Underlying Index are listed on a national securities exchange, the principal trading market for some may be in the over-the-counter market. The existence of a liquid trading market for certain securities may depend on whether dealers will make a market in such securities.
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Dividend-paying stocks may underperform non-dividend paying stocks (and the stock market as a whole) over any period of time. In addition, issuers of dividend-paying stocks may have discretion to defer or stop paying dividends for a stated period of time, or the anticipated acceleration of dividends may not occur as a result of, among other things, a sharp rise in interest rates or an economic downturn. If the dividend-paying stocks held by the fund reduce or stop paying dividends, the fund’s ability to generate income may be adversely affected.
Changes in the dividend policies of companies in a fund’s portfolio and capital resources available for these companies’ dividend payments may adversely affect the fund. Depending upon market conditions, dividend-paying stocks that meet the fund’s investment criteria may not be widely available and/or may be highly concentrated in only a few market sectors.
In addition, in the current economic environment, global markets are experiencing a very high level of volatility and an increased risk of corporate failures. The insolvency or other corporate failures of any one or more of the constituents of the Underlying Index may have an adverse effect on an Underlying Index’s and, therefore, a fund’s performance.
Tracking Stocks. A tracking stock is a separate class of common stock whose value is linked to a specific business unit or operating division within a larger company and which is designed to “track” the performance of such business unit or division. The tracking stock may pay dividends to shareholders independent of the parent company. The parent company, rather than the business unit or division, generally is the issuer of tracking stock. However, holders of the tracking stock may not have the same rights as holders of the company’s common stock.
Fixed Income Securities. An investment in a fund should also be made with an understanding of the risks inherent in an investment in fixed income securities or bonds. A bond is an interest-bearing security issued by a company, governmental unit or, in some cases, a non-US entity. The issuer of a bond has a contractual obligation to pay interest at a stated rate on specific dates and to repay principal (the bond’s face value) periodically or on a specified maturity date. An issuer may have the right to redeem or “call” a bond before maturity, in which case the investor may have to reinvest the proceeds at lower market rates. Most bonds bear interest income at a “coupon” rate that is fixed for the life of the bond. The value of a fixed rate bond usually rises when market interest rates fall, and falls when market interest rates rise. Accordingly, a fixed rate bond’s yield (income as a percent of the bond’s current value) may differ from its coupon rate as its value rises or falls. Other types of bonds bear income at an interest rate that is adjusted periodically. Because of their adjustable interest rates, the values of “floating-rate” or “variable-rate” bonds generally fluctuate less in response to market interest rate movements than the value of similar fixed rate bonds. The funds may treat some of these bonds as having a shorter maturity for purposes of calculating the weighted average maturity of its investment portfolio. In addition, bonds may be senior or subordinated obligations. Senior obligations generally have the first claim on a corporation’s earnings and assets and, in the event of liquidation, are paid before subordinated obligations. Bonds may be unsecured (backed only by the issuer’s general creditworthiness) or secured (also backed by specified collateral).
Foreign Securities. To the extent a fund invests in stocks of non-US issuers, certain of the fund’s investments in such stocks may be in the form of American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”), Global Depositary Receipts (“GDRs”) and Non-Voting Depositary Receipts (“NVDRs”) (collectively, “Depositary Receipts”). Depositary Receipts are receipts, typically issued by a bank or trust issuer, which evidence ownership of underlying securities issued by a non-US issuer. For ADRs, the depository is typically a US financial institution and the underlying securities are issued by a non- US issuer. For other forms of Depositary Receipts, the depository may be a non-US or a US entity, and the underlying securities may be issued by a non-US or a US issuer. Depositary Receipts are not necessarily denominated in the same currency as their underlying securities. Generally, ADRs, issued in registered form, are designed for use in the US securities markets, NVDRs are designed for use in the Thai securities market and GDRs are tradable both in the United States and in Europe and are designed for use throughout the world.
In general, Depositary Receipts will be sponsored, but a fund may invest in unsponsored ADRs under certain circumstances. The issuers of unsponsored Depositary Receipts are not obligated to disclose material information in the United States. Therefore there may be less information available regarding such issuers and there may be no correlation between available information and the market value of the Depositary Receipts.
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Investing in the securities of non-US issuers involves special risks and considerations not typically associated with investing in US issuers. These include differences in accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, the possibility of expropriation or confiscatory taxation, adverse changes in investment or exchange control regulations, political instability which could affect US investments in non-US countries, and potential restrictions on the flow of international capital. Non-US issuers may be subject to less governmental regulation than US issuers. Moreover, individual non-US economies may differ favorably or unfavorably from the US economy in such respects as growth of gross domestic product, rate of inflation, capital reinvestment, resource self-sufficiency and balance of payment positions.
Illiquid Securities. Illiquid securities are investments that a fund reasonably expects cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment, as determined pursuant to the fund’s liquidity risk management program (LRM Program) adopted pursuant to Rule 22e-4 under the 1940 Act. Under a fund’s LRM Program, the fund may not hold more than 15% of its net assets in illiquid securities. The LRM Program administrator is responsible for determining the liquidity classification of a fund’s investments and monitoring compliance with the 15% limit on illiquid securities. Historically, illiquid securities have included securities subject to contractual or legal restrictions on resale because they have not been registered under the 1933 Act, securities which are otherwise not readily marketable and repurchase agreements having a maturity of longer than seven days. Securities which have not been registered under the 1933 Act are referred to as private placements or restricted securities and are purchased directly from the issuer or in the secondary market. Non-publicly traded securities (including Rule 144A Securities) may involve a high degree of business and financial risk and may result in substantial losses. These securities may be less liquid than publicly traded securities, and it may take longer to liquidate these positions than would be the case for publicly traded securities. Companies whose securities are not publicly traded may not be subject to the disclosure and other investor protection requirements applicable to companies whose securities are publicly traded. Certain securities may be deemed to be illiquid as a result of the Advisor’s receipt from time to time of material, non-public information about an issuer, which may limit the Advisor’s ability to trade such securities for the account of any of its clients, including a fund. In some instances, these trading restrictions could continue in effect for a substantial period of time. Limitations on resale may have an adverse effect on the marketability of portfolio securities and a fund might be unable to dispose of illiquid securities promptly or at reasonable prices and might thereby experience difficulty funding redemptions and other cash needs. An investment in illiquid securities is subject to the risk that should a fund desire to sell any of these securities when a ready buyer is not available at a price that is deemed to be representative of their value, the value of a fund’s net assets could be adversely affected.
An investment in illiquid securities is also subject to the risk of delays on resale and uncertainty in valuation. A fund might also have to register such illiquid securities in order to dispose of them, resulting in additional expense and delay. A fund selling its securities in a registered offering may be deemed to be an “underwriter” for purposes of Section 11 of the 1933 Act. In such event, a fund may be liable to purchasers of the securities under Section 11 if the registration statement prepared by the issuer, or the prospectus forming a part of it, is materially inaccurate or misleading, although a fund may have a due diligence defense. Adverse market conditions could impede such a public offering of securities.
Investment Companies and Other Pooled Investment Vehicles. A fund may acquire securities of other registered investment companies and other pooled investment vehicles (collectively, investment funds) to the extent that such investments are consistent with its investment objective, policies, strategies and restrictions and the limitations of the 1940 Act. Pursuant to the 1940 Act, a fund’s investment in investment companies is limited to, subject to certain exceptions: (i) 3% of the total outstanding voting stock of any one investment company; (ii) 5% of the fund’s total assets with respect to any one investment company; and (iii) 10% of the fund’s total assets with respect to investment companies in the aggregate. To the extent allowed by law or regulation, each fund may invest its assets in the securities of investment companies that are money market funds, including those advised by the Advisor or otherwise affiliated with the Advisor, in excess of the limits discussed above. Investment funds may include money market mutual funds operated in accordance with Rule 2a-7, closed-end funds, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) (including investment funds managed by the Advisor and its affiliates). A fund will indirectly bear its proportionate share of any management fees and other expenses paid by such other investment funds.
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Because a fund may acquire securities of funds managed by the Advisor or an affiliate of the Advisor, the Advisor may have a conflict of interest in selecting funds. The Advisor considers such conflicts of interest as part of its investment process and has established practices designed to minimize such conflicts. The Advisor, any subadvisor and any affiliates of the Advisor, as applicable, earn fees at varying rates for providing services to underlying affiliated funds. The Advisor and any subadvisor may, therefore, have a conflict of interest in selecting underlying affiliated funds advised by the Advisor or an affiliate and in determining whether to invest in an unaffiliated fund from which they will not receive any fees. However, the Advisor and any subadvisor to a fund will select investments that it believes are appropriate to meet the fund’s investment objectives.
ETFs and closed-end funds trade on a securities exchange and their shares may trade at a premium or discount to their net asset value. A fund will incur brokerage costs when it buys and sells shares of ETFs and closed-end funds. ETFs that seek to track the composition and performance of a specific index may not replicate exactly the performance of their specified index because of trading costs and operating expenses incurred by the ETF. At times, there may not be an active trading market for shares of some ETFs and closed-end funds and trading of ETF and closed-end fund shares may be halted or delisted by the listing exchange.
To the extent consistent with its investment objective, policies, strategies and restrictions, a fund may invest in commodity-related ETFs. Certain commodity-related ETFs may not be registered as investment companies under the 1940 Act and shareholders of such commodity-related ETFs, including the investing affiliated fund, will not have the regulatory protections provided to investors in registered investment companies. Commodity-related ETFs may invest in commodities directly (such as purchasing gold) or they may seek to track a commodities index by investing in commodity-linked derivative instruments. Commodity-related ETFs are subject to the risks associated with the commodities or commodity-linked derivative instruments in which they invest. A fund’s ability to invest in commodity-related ETFs may be limited by its intention to qualify as a regulated investment company under the Code. In addition, under recent amendments to rules of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), a fund’s investment in commodity-related ETFs may subject the fund and/or the Advisor to certain registration, disclosure and reporting requirements of the CFTC. The Advisor will monitor a fund’s use of commodity-related ETFs to determine whether the fund and/or the Advisor will need to comply with CFTC rules.
Municipal Securities Risk. Municipal securities are subject to the risk that litigation, legislation or other political events, local business or economic conditions, credit rating downgrades or the bankruptcy, of the issuer could have a significant effect on an issuer’s ability to make payments of principal and/or interest or otherwise affect the value of such securities. In addition, there is a risk that, as a result of the recent economic crisis, the ability of any issuer to pay, when due, the principal or interest on its municipal bonds may be materially affected. Certain municipalities may have difficulty meeting their obligations due to, among other reasons, changes in underlying demographics.
Municipal securities can be significantly affected by political changes as well as uncertainties in the municipal market related to government regulation, taxation, legislative changes or the rights of municipal security holders. Because many municipal securities are issued to finance similar projects, especially those relating to education, health care, transportation, utilities and water and sewer, conditions in those sectors can affect the overall municipal market. In addition, changes in the financial condition of an individual municipal insurer can affect the overall municipal market. A number of municipalities have had significant financial problems recently, and these and other municipalities could, potentially, continue to experience significant financial problems resulting from lower tax revenues and/or decreased aid from state and local governments in the event of an economic downturn. This could potentially decrease the fund’s income or hurt its ability to preserve capital and liquidity. Municipal securities may include revenue bonds, which are generally backed by revenue from a specific project or tax. The issuer of a revenue bond makes interest and principal payments from revenues generated from a particular source or facility, such as a tax on particular property or revenues generated from a municipal water or sewer utility or an airport. Revenue bonds generally are not backed by the full faith and credit and general taxing power of the issuer. Municipal securities backed by current or anticipated revenues from a specific project or specific assets can be negatively affected by the discontinuance of the taxation supporting the project or assets or the inability to collect revenues for the project or from the assets due to factors such as lower property tax collections as a result of lower home values, lower sales tax revenues as a result of consumers cutting back spending and lower income tax revenue as a result of a higher unemployment rate. In addition, since some
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municipal obligations may be secured or guaranteed by banks and other institutions, the risk to the fund could increase if the banking or financial sector suffers an economic downturn and/or if the credit ratings of the institutions issuing the guarantee are downgraded or at risk of being downgraded by a national rating organization.
The market for municipal bonds may be less liquid than for taxable bonds. There may also be less publicly available information on the financial condition of issuers of municipal securities than for public corporations. This means that it may be harder to buy and sell municipal securities, especially on short notice, and municipal securities may be more difficult for the fund to value accurately than securities of public corporations. Since the fund invests a significant portion of its portfolio in municipal securities, the fund’s portfolio may have greater exposure to liquidity risk than a fund that invests in non-municipal securities. In addition, the value and liquidity of many municipal securities have decreased as a result of the recent financial crisis, which has also adversely affected many municipal securities issuers and may continue to do so. The markets for many credit instruments, including municipal securities, have experienced periods of illiquidity and extreme volatility since the latter half of 2007. In response to the global economic downturn, governmental cost burdens may be reallocated among federal, state and local governments. In addition, issuers of municipal securities may seek protection under the bankruptcy laws. For example, Chapter 9 of the United States Code (the “Bankruptcy Code”) provides a financially distressed municipality protection from its creditors while it develops and negotiates a plan for reorganizing its debts. “Municipality” is defined broadly by the Bankruptcy Code as a “political subdivision or public agency or instrumentality of a state” and may include various issues of securities in which the fund invests. The reorganization of a municipality’s debts may include extending debt maturities, reducing the amount of principal or interest, refinancing the debt or taking other measures, which may significantly affect the rights of creditors and the value of the securities issued by the municipality and the value of the fund’s investments.
Some longer-term municipal securities give the investor the right to “put” or sell the security at par (face value) within a specified number of days following the investor’s request – usually one to seven days. This demand feature enhances a security’s liquidity by shortening its effective maturity and enables it to trade at a price equal to or very close to par. If a demand feature terminates prior to being exercised, the fund would hold the longer-term security, which could experience substantially more volatility. Municipal securities are subject to credit and market risk. Generally, prices of higher quality issues tend to fluctuate more with changes in market interest rates than prices of lower quality issues and prices of longer maturity issues tend to fluctuate more than prices of shorter maturity issues.
Prices and yields on municipal securities are dependent on a variety of factors, including general money-market conditions, the financial condition of the issuer, general conditions of the municipal securities market, the size of a particular offering, the maturity of the obligation and the rating of the issue. A number of these factors, including the ratings of particular issues, are subject to change from time to time. Available information about the financial condition of an issuer of municipal securities may not be as extensive as that which is made available by corporations whose securities are publicly traded. As a result, municipal securities may be more difficult to value than securities of public corporations.
Many state and local governments that issue municipal securities are currently under significant economic and financial stress and may not be able to satisfy their obligations. The taxing power of any governmental entity may be limited and an entity’s credit may depend on factors which are beyond the entity’s control.
Electric Utilities Bond Risk. The electric utilities industry has been experiencing, and will continue to experience, increased competitive pressures. Federal legislation may open transmission access to any electricity supplier, although it is not presently known to what extent competition will evolve. Other risks include: (a) the availability and cost of fuel; (b) the availability and cost of capital; (c) the effects of conservation on energy demand; (d) the effects of rapidly changing environmental, safety and licensing requirements, and other federal, state and local regulations, (e) timely and sufficient rate increases and governmental limitations on rates charged to customers; (f) the effects of opposition to nuclear power; (g) increases in operating costs; and (h) obsolescence of existing equipment, facilities and products.
Industrial Development Bond Risk. Industrial developments bonds are revenue bonds issued by or on behalf of public authorities to obtain funds to finance various public and/or privately operated facilities, including those for business and manufacturing, housing, sports, pollution control, airport, mass transit, port and parking facilities. These bonds are normally secured only by the revenues from the project and not by state or local government tax payments. Consequently, the credit quality of these securities is dependent upon the ability of the user of the facilities financed by the bonds
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and any guarantor to meet its financial obligations. Payment of interest on and repayment of principal of such bonds are the responsibility of the user and/or any guarantor. These bonds are subject to a wide variety of risks, many of which relate to the nature of the specific project. Generally, the value and credit quality of these bonds are sensitive to the risks related to an economic slowdown.
Lease Obligations Risk. Lease obligations may have risks not normally associated with general obligation or other revenue bonds. Leases and installment purchase or conditional sale contracts (which may provide for title to the leased asset to pass eventually to the issuer) have developed as a means for governmental issuers to acquire property and equipment without the necessity of complying with the constitutional statutory requirements generally applicable for the issuance of debt. Certain lease obligations contain “nonappropriation” clauses that provide that the governmental issuer has no obligation to make future payments under the lease or contract unless money is appropriated for that purpose by the appropriate legislative body on an annual or other periodic basis. Consequently, continued lease payments on those lease obligations containing “non-appropriation” clauses are dependent on future legislative actions. If these legislative actions do not occur, the holders of the lease obligation may experience difficulty in exercising their rights, including disposition of the property. In such circumstances, the fund might not recover the full principal amount of the obligation.
Municipal Bond Tax Risk. There is no guarantee that the fund’s income will be exempt from federal or state income taxes. Events occurring after the date of issuance of a municipal bond or after the fund’s acquisition of a municipal bond may result in a determination that interest on that bond is includible in gross income for US federal income tax purposes retroactively to its date of issuance. Such a determination may cause a portion of prior distributions by the fund to its shareholders to be taxable to those shareholders in the year of receipt. Federal or state changes in income or AMT rates or in the tax treatment of municipal bonds may make municipal bonds less attractive as investments and cause them to lose value.
Municipal Market Disruption Risk. The value of municipal securities may be affected by uncertainties in the municipal market related to legislation or litigation involving the taxation of municipal securities or the rights of municipal securities holders in the event of a bankruptcy. Proposals to restrict or eliminate the federal income tax exemption for interest on municipal securities are introduced before Congress from time to time. Proposals also may be introduced before state legislatures that would affect the state tax treatment of a municipal fund’s distributions. If such proposals were enacted, the availability of municipal securities and the value of a municipal fund’s holdings would be affected. Municipal bankruptcies are relatively rare, and certain provisions of the US Bankruptcy Code governing such bankruptcies are unclear and remain untested. Further, the application of state law to municipal issuers could produce varying results among the states or among municipal securities issuers within a state. These legal uncertainties could affect the municipal securities market generally, certain specific segments of the market, or the relative credit quality of particular securities. There is also the possibility that as a result of litigation or other conditions, the power or ability of issuers to meet their obligations for the payment of interest and principal on their municipal securities may be materially affected or their obligations may be found to be invalid or unenforceable. Such litigation or conditions may from time to time have the effect of introducing uncertainties in the market for municipal securities or certain segments thereof, or of materially affecting the credit risk with respect to particular bonds. Adverse economic, business, legal or political developments might affect all or a substantial portion of the fund’s municipal securities in the same manner. Any of these effects could have a significant impact on the prices of some or all of the municipal securities held by the fund.
Resource Recovery Bond Risk. Resource recovery bonds are a type of revenue bond issued to build facilities such as solid waste incinerators or waste-to-energy plants. Typically, a private corporation is involved, at least during the construction phase, and the revenue stream is secured by fees or rents paid by municipalities for use of the facilities. These bonds are normally secured only by the revenues from the project and not by state or local government tax receipts. Consequently, the credit quality of these securities is dependent upon the ability of the user of the facilities financed by the bonds and any guarantor to meet its financial obligations. The viability of a resource recovery project, environmental protection regulations, and project operator tax incentives may affect the value and credit quality of resource recovery bonds.
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Special Tax Bond Risk. Special tax bonds are usually backed and payable through a single tax, or series of special taxes such as incremental property taxes. The failure of the tax levy to generate adequate revenue to pay the debt service on the bonds may cause the value of the bonds to decline. Adverse conditions and developments affecting a particular project may result in lower revenues to the issuer of the municipal securities, which may adversely affect the value of the fund’s portfolio.
Transportation Bond Risk. Transportation bonds may be issued to finance the construction of airports, toll roads, highways or other transit facilities. Airport bonds are dependent on the general stability of the airline industry and on the stability of a specific carrier who uses the airport as a hub. Air traffic generally follows broader economic trends and is also affected by the price and availability of fuel. Toll road bonds are also affected by the cost and availability of fuel as well as toll levels, the presence of competing roads and the general economic health of an area. Fuel costs and availability also affect other transportation-related securities, as do the presence of alternate forms of transportation, such as public transportation. Municipal securities that are issued to finance a particular transportation project often depend solely on revenues from that project to make principal and interest payments. Adverse conditions and developments affecting a particular project may result in lower revenues to the issuer of the municipal securities.
Water and Sewer Bond Risk. Water and sewer revenue bonds are often considered to have relatively secure credit as a result of their issuer’s importance, monopoly status and generally unimpeded ability to raise rates. Despite this, lack of water supply due to insufficient rain, run-off or snow pack is a concern that has led to past defaults. Further, public resistance to rate increases, costly environmental litigation, and federal environmental mandates are challenges faced by issuers of water and sewer bonds.
Repurchase Agreements. A repurchase agreement is an instrument under which the purchaser (i.e., a 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. Repurchase agreements may be construed to be collateralized loans by the purchaser to the seller secured by the securities transferred to the purchaser. If a repurchase agreement is construed to be a collateralized loan, the underlying securities will not be considered to be owned by each fund but only to constitute collateral for the seller’s obligation to pay the repurchase price, and, in the event of a default by the seller, each fund may suffer time delays and incur costs or losses in connection with the disposition of the collateral.
In any repurchase transaction, collateral for a repurchase agreement may include cash items, obligations issued by the US government or its agencies or instrumentalities and any other debt security that the Advisor and/or Subadvisor, as applicable, determines at the time the repurchase agreement is entered into: (i) is issued by an issuer that has an exceptionally strong capacity to meet its financial obligations; and (ii) is sufficiently liquid that it can be sold at approximately its carrying value in the ordinary course of business within seven calendar days. Collateral, however, is not limited to the foregoing and may include for example obligations rated below the highest category by NRSROs. Collateral for a repurchase agreement may also include securities that a fund could not hold directly without the repurchase obligation.
Repurchase agreements pose certain risks for a fund that utilizes them. Such risks are not unique to the funds but are inherent in repurchase agreements. The funds seek to minimize such risks but such risks cannot be eliminated. Lower quality collateral and collateral with longer maturities may be subject to greater price fluctuations than higher quality collateral and collateral with shorter maturities. If the repurchase agreement counterparty were to default, lower quality collateral may be more difficult to liquidate than higher quality collateral. Should the counterparty default and the amount of collateral not be sufficient to cover the counterparty’s repurchase obligation, a fund would retain the status of an unsecured creditor of the counterparty (i.e., the position the fund would normally be in if it were to hold, pursuant to its investment policies, other unsecured debt securities of the defaulting counterparty) with respect to the amount of the shortfall. As an unsecured creditor, a fund would be at risk of losing some or all of the principal and income involved in the transaction.
Restricted Securities/Rule 144A Securities. The funds may invest in securities offered pursuant to Rule 144A under the 1933 Act (“Rule 144A securities”), which are restricted securities. They may be less liquid and more difficult to value than other investments because such securities may not be readily marketable in broad public markets. The funds may not be able to sell a restricted security promptly or at a reasonable price. Although there is a substantial
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institutional market for Rule 144A securities, it is not possible to predict exactly how the market for Rule 144A securities will develop. A restricted security that was liquid at the time of purchase may subsequently become illiquid and its value may decline as a result. Restricted securities that are deemed illiquid will count towards a fund’s limitation on illiquid securities. In addition, transaction costs may be higher for restricted securities than for more liquid securities. The funds may have to bear the expense of registering Rule 144A securities for resale and the risk of substantial delays in effecting the registration.
Reverse Repurchase Agreements. 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. Generally the effect of such transactions is that a fund can recover all or most of the cash invested in the portfolio securities involved during the term of the reverse repurchase agreement, while in many cases a fund is able to keep some of the interest income associated with those securities. Such transactions are advantageous only if a fund has an opportunity to earn a rate of interest on the cash derived from these transactions that is greater than the interest cost of obtaining the same amount of cash. Opportunities to realize earnings from the use of the proceeds equal to or greater than the interest required to be paid may not always be available and a fund intends to use the reverse repurchase technique only when the Advisor and/or Subadvisor, as applicable, believes it will be advantageous to a fund. The use of reverse repurchase agreements may exaggerate any interim increase or decrease in the value of a fund’s assets. A fund’s exposure to reverse repurchase agreements will be covered by assets having a value equal to or greater than such commitments. Each fund maintains liquid assets in connection with reverse repurchase agreements. Under the 1940 Act, reverse repurchase agreements are considered borrowings.
Russian Securities. As a result of political and military actions undertaken by Russia in recent years, the US and the European Union have instituted sanctions against certain Russian officials and Bank Rossiya. These sanctions, and any additional sanctions or other intergovernmental actions that may be undertaken against Russia in the future, may result in the devaluation of Russian currency, a downgrade in the Russia’s credit rating, and a decline in the value and liquidity of Russian securities. These sanctions could result in the immediate freeze of Russian securities, impairing the ability of a fund to buy, sell, receive, or deliver those securities. Retaliatory action by the Russian government could involve the seizure of US and/or European residents’ assets, and any such actions are likely to impair the value and liquidity of such assets. Any or all of these potential results could push Russia’s economy into a recession. These sanctions, and the continued disruption of the Russian economy, could have a negative effect on the performance of a fund to the extent their Underlying Indexes and their portfolios contain the securities of Russian issuers.
Short Sales. When a fund makes a short sale, it borrows the security sold short and delivers it to the broker-dealer through which it made the short sale. Each fund may have to pay a fee to borrow particular securities and is often obligated to turn over any payments received on such borrowed securities to the lender of the securities. Each fund secures its obligation to replace the borrowed security by depositing collateral with the broker-dealer, usually in cash, US Government securities or other liquid securities similar to those borrowed. With respect to uncovered short positions, the funds are required to deposit similar collateral with its custodian, if necessary, to the extent that the value of both collateral deposits in the aggregate is at all times equal to at least 150% of the current market value of the securities sold short (100% of the current market value if a security is held in the account that is convertible or exchangeable into the security sold short within 90 days without restriction other than the payment of money). Depending on arrangements made with the broker-dealer from which a fund borrowed the security, regarding payment received by the fund on such security, the fund may not receive any payments (including interest) on its collateral deposited with such broker-dealer. Because making short sales in securities that it does not own exposes a fund to the risks associated with those securities, such short sales involve speculative exposure risk. Each fund will incur a loss as a result of a short sale if the price of the security increases between the date of the short sale and the date on which the fund replaces the borrowed security. Each fund will realize a gain on a short sale if the security declines in price between those dates. There can be no assurance that the funds will be able to close out a short sale position at any particular time or at an acceptable price.
Each fund may also make short sales “against the box” without being subject to such limitations. In a short sale “against-the-box,” at the time of the sale, a fund owns or has the immediate and unconditional right to acquire the identical security at no additional cost. If a fund makes a short sale against the box, the fund would not immediately deliver the securities sold and would not receive the proceeds from the sale. The seller is said to have a short position
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in the securities sold until it delivers the securities sold, at which time it receives the proceeds of the sale. To secure its obligation to deliver securities sold short, a fund will deposit in escrow in a separate account with the custodian an equal amount of the securities sold short or securities convertible into or exchangeable for such securities. Each fund can close out its short position by purchasing and delivering an equal amount of the securities sold short, rather than by delivering securities already held by the fund because the fund might want to continue to receive interest and dividend payments on securities in its portfolio that are convertible into the securities sold short.
Short-Term Instruments and Temporary Investments. Short-term instruments, including money market instruments, may be used on an ongoing basis to provide liquidity or for other reasons, including to the extent necessary to help each fund track its underlying index. 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 the Advisor and/or Subadvisor, as applicable); (ii) obligations issued or guaranteed by the US government, its agencies or instrumentalities (including government-sponsored enterprises); (iii) negotiable certificates of deposit (“CDs”), bankers’ acceptances, fixed-time deposits and other obligations of US and non-US banks (including non-US branches) and similar institutions; (iv) commercial paper rated, at the date of purchase, “Prime-1” by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. or “A-1” by Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC (“S&P”), or if unrated, of comparable quality as determined by the Advisor and/or Subadvisor, as applicable; (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 credit quality requirements set forth in Rule 2a-7 under the 1940 Act; (vi) repurchase agreements; and (vii) short-term US dollar-denominated obligations of non-US banks (including US branches) that, in the opinion of the Advisor and/or Subadvisor, as applicable, are of comparable quality to obligations of US 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. Bankers’ acceptances are time drafts drawn on commercial banks by borrowers, usually in connection with international transactions.
Special Taxation Risks for Funds that Invest in Underlying Funds. To the extent a fund invests in an Underlying Fund, the fund’s exposure to the portfolio investments of such Underlying Fund through its investment in the Underlying Fund’s shares may be less tax efficient than the fund investing directly in the Underlying Fund’s portfolio investments. The fund will not be able to offset its taxable income and gains with losses incurred by the Underlying Fund because the Underlying Fund is treated as a corporation for US federal income tax purposes. The fund’s sales of shares in the Underlying Fund, including those resulting from changes in the fund’s allocation of assets, could cause the recognition of additional taxable gains. A portion of any such gains may be short-term capital gains, which will be taxable as ordinary dividend income when distributed to the fund’s shareholders.
Further, certain losses recognized on sales of shares in an Underlying Fund may be deferred under the wash sale rules. Any loss realized by the fund on a disposition of shares in an Underlying Fund held for six months or less will be treated as a long-term capital loss to the extent of any amounts treated as distributions to the fund of net long-term capital gain with respect to the Underlying Fund’s shares (including any amounts credited to the fund as undistributed capital gains). Short-term capital gains earned by the Underlying Fund will be treated as ordinary dividends when distributed to the fund and therefore may not be offset by any short-term capital losses incurred by the fund. The fund’s short-term capital losses might instead offset long-term capital gains realized by the fund, which would otherwise be eligible for reduced US federal income tax rates when distributed to individual and certain other non-corporate shareholders.
To the extent a fund invests in an Xtrackers China A-Shares ETF, such investment poses additional taxation risk. Specifically, if the Chinese government imposes restrictions on the Xtrackers China A-Shares ETF’s ability to repatriate monies associated with investment in A-Shares, the Xtrackers China A-Shares ETF could fail to qualify for US federal income tax treatment as a regulated investment company. Under those circumstances, the Xtrackers China A-Shares ETF would be subject to tax as a regular corporation, and the fund would not be able to treat non-US income taxes paid by the Xtrackers China A-Shares ETFs as paid by the fund’s shareholders.
Tax Risks. As with any investment, you should consider how your investment in Shares of the fund will be taxed. The tax information in the Prospectus and this SAI is provided as general information. You should consult your own tax professional about the tax consequences of an investment in Shares of the fund.
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When-Issued Securities. A fund may purchase when-issued securities. Purchasing securities on a “when-issued” basis means that the date for delivery of and payment for the securities is not fixed at the date of purchase, but is set after the securities are issued. The payment obligation and, if applicable, the interest rate that will be received on the securities are fixed at the time the buyer enters into the commitment. The fund will only make commitments to purchase such securities with the intention of actually acquiring such securities, but the fund may sell these securities before the settlement date if it is deemed advisable.
Securities purchased on a when-issued basis and the securities held in the fund’s portfolio are subject to changes in market value based upon the public’s perception of the creditworthiness of the issuer and, if applicable, the changes in the level of interest rates. Therefore, if the fund is to remain substantially fully invested at the same time that it has purchased securities on a when-issued basis, there will be a possibility that the market value of the fund’s assets will fluctuate to a greater degree. Furthermore, when the time comes for the fund to meet its obligations under when-issued commitments, the fund will do so by using then available cash flow, by sale of the segregated liquid assets, by sale of other securities, or although it would not normally expect to do so, by directing the sale of when-issued securities themselves (which may have a market value greater or less than the fund’s payment obligation).
Investment in securities on a when-issued basis may increase the fund’s exposure to market fluctuation and may increase the possibility that the fund will incur short-term gains subject to federal taxation or short-term losses if the fund must sell another security in order to honor a when-issued commitment. The fund will employ techniques designed to reduce such risks. If the fund purchases a when-issued security, the fund will segregate liquid assets in an amount equal to the when-issued commitment. If the market value of such segregated assets declines, additional liquid assets will be segregated on a daily basis so that the market value of the segregated assets will equal the amount of the fund’s when-issued commitments.
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Part II: Appendix II-FTaxes
The following is intended to be a general summary of certain federal income tax consequences of investing in a fund. This discussion does not address all aspects of taxation (including state, local, and foreign taxes) that may be relevant to particular shareholders in light of their own investment or tax circumstances, or to particular types of shareholders (including insurance companies, tax-deferred retirement plans, financial institutions or broker-dealers, foreign corporations, and persons who are not citizens or residents of the United States) that are subject to special treatment under the US federal income tax laws. Current and prospective investors are therefore advised to consult with their tax advisors before making an investment in a fund. This summary is based on the laws in effect on the date of this SAI and on existing judicial and administrative interpretations thereof, all of which are subject to change, possibly with retroactive effect.
Regulated Investment Company Qualifications. Each fund intends to qualify for treatment as a separate RIC under Subchapter M of the Code. To qualify for treatment as a RIC, each fund must annually distribute at least 90% of its investment company taxable income (which includes dividends, interest and net short-term capital gains) and meet several other requirements. Among such other requirements are the following: (i) at least 90% of each fund’s annual gross income must be derived from dividends, interest, payments with respect to securities loans, gains from the sale or other disposition of stock or securities or non-US currencies, other income (including, but not limited to, gains from options, futures or forward contracts) derived with respect to its business of investing in such stock, securities or currencies, and net income derived from interests in qualified publicly-traded partnerships (i.e., partnerships that are traded on an established securities market or tradable on a secondary market, other than partnerships that derive 90% of their income from interest, dividends, capital gains and other traditionally permitted mutual fund income); and (ii) at the close of each quarter of each fund’s taxable year, (a) at least 50% of the market value of each fund’s total assets must be represented by cash and cash items, US government securities, securities of other RICs and other securities, with such other securities limited for purposes of this calculation in respect of any one issuer to an amount not greater than 5% of the value of the fund’s assets and not greater than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer, and (b) not more than 25% of the value of each fund’s total assets may be invested in the securities (other than US government securities or the securities of other RICs) of any one issuer, or two or more issuers of which 20% or more of the voting stock is held by the fund and that are engaged in the same or similar trades or businesses or related trades or businesses, or the securities of one or more qualified publicly-traded partnerships. The Treasury Department is authorized to promulgate regulations under which gains from foreign currencies (and options, futures, and forward contracts on foreign currency) would constitute qualifying income for purposes of the test described in (i) above only if such gains are directly related to investing in securities. To date, such regulations have not been issued.
Although in general the passive loss rules of the Code do not apply to RICs, such rules do apply to a RIC with respect to items attributable to an interest in a qualified publicly-traded partnership. A fund’s investments in partnerships, if any, including in qualified publicly-traded partnerships, may result in a fund being subject to state, local, or non-US income, franchise or withholding tax liabilities.
Taxation of Regulated Investment Companies. As a RIC, a fund will not be subject to US federal income tax on the portion of its taxable investment income and capital gains that it distributes to its shareholders, provided that it satisfies a minimum distribution requirement. To satisfy the minimum distribution requirement, a fund must distribute to its shareholders an amount at least equal to the sum of (i) 90% of its “investment company taxable income” (i.e., taxable income other than its net realized long-term capital gain over its net realized short-term capital loss), plus or minus certain adjustments, and (ii) 90% of its net tax-exempt income for the taxable year. A fund will be subject to income tax at regular corporation rates on any taxable income or gains that it does not distribute to its shareholders. If a fund fails to qualify for any taxable year as a RIC or fails to meet the distribution requirement, all of its taxable income will be subject to tax at regular corporate income tax rates without any deduction for distributions to shareholders, and such distributions generally will be taxable to shareholders as ordinary dividends to the extent of the fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits. In such event, distributions to individuals should be eligible to be treated as qualified dividend income and distributions to corporate shareholders generally should be eligible for the dividends received deduction. Although each fund intends to distribute substantially all of its net investment income and its capital gains for each taxable year, each fund will be subject to US federal income taxation to the extent any such
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income or gains are not distributed. If a fund fails to qualify as a RIC in any year, it must pay out its earnings and profits accumulated in that year in order to qualify again as a RIC. If a fund fails to qualify as a RIC for a period greater than two taxable years, the fund may be required to recognize any net built-in gains with respect to certain of its assets (i.e., the excess of the aggregate gains, including items of income, over aggregate losses that would have been realized with respect to such assets if the fund had been liquidated) if it qualifies as a RIC in a subsequent year.
If a fund does not on a timely basis receive applicable government approvals in the PRC to repatriate funds associated with direct investment in A-Shares, the fund may be unable to satisfy the minimum distribution requirement described above.
Excise Tax. A fund will be subject to a 4% excise tax on certain undistributed income if it does not generally distribute to its shareholders in each calendar year an amount at least equal to the sum of (i) 98% of its ordinary income for the calendar year (taking into account certain deferrals and elections) plus (ii) 98.2% of its capital gain net income (reduced by certain ordinary losses) for the 12 months ended October 31 of such year. For this purpose, however, any ordinary income or capital gain net income retained by a fund that is subject to corporate income tax in the taxable year ending within the relevant calendar year will be considered to have been distributed. In addition, the minimum amounts that must be distributed in any year to avoid the excise tax will be increased or decreased to reflect any under-distribution or over-distribution, as the case may be, from the previous year. Each fund intends to declare and distribute dividends and distributions in the amounts and at the times necessary to avoid the application of this 4% excise tax.
If a fund does not on a timely basis receive applicable government approvals in the PRC to repatriate funds associated with direct investment in A-Shares, a fund may be unable to avoid the excise tax.
Fund Losses. If a fund has a “net capital loss” (that is, capital losses in excess of capital gains) for a taxable year, the excess of the fund’s net short-term capital losses over its net long-term capital gains is treated as a short-term capital loss arising on the first day of the fund’s next taxable year, and the excess (if any) of the fund’s net long-term capital losses over its net short-term capital gains is treated as a long-term capital loss arising on the first day of the fund’s next taxable year. These losses can be carried forward indefinitely to offset capital gains, if any, in years following the year of the loss.
Under certain circumstances, a fund may elect to treat certain losses as though they were incurred on the first day of the taxable year following the taxable year in which they were actually incurred.
Net Capital Loss Carryforwards. Net capital loss carryforwards may be applied against any net realized capital gains in each succeeding year.
Taxation of US Shareholders. Dividends and other distributions by a fund are generally treated under the Code as received by the shareholders at the time the dividend or distribution is made. However, any dividend or distribution declared by a fund in October, November or December of any calendar year and payable to shareholders of record on a specified date in such a month shall be deemed to have been received by each shareholder on December 31 of such calendar year and to have been paid by the fund not later than such December 31, provided such dividend is actually paid by the fund during January of the following calendar year.
Each fund intends to distribute annually to its shareholders substantially all of its investment company taxable income and any net realized long-term capital gains in excess of net realized short-term capital losses (including any capital loss carryovers). However, if a fund retains for investment an amount equal to all or a portion of its net long-term capital gains in excess of its net short-term capital losses (including any capital loss carryovers), it will be subject to a corporate tax (currently at a maximum rate of 21%) on the amount retained. In that event, the fund may report such retained amounts as undistributed capital gains in a notice to its shareholders who (a) will be required to include in income for US federal income tax purposes, as long-term capital gains, their proportionate Shares of the undistributed amount, (b) will be entitled to credit their proportionate Shares of the US federal income tax paid by the fund on the undistributed amount against their US federal income tax liabilities, if any, and to claim refunds to the extent their credits exceed their liabilities, if any, and (c) will be entitled to increase their tax basis, for US federal income tax purposes, in their Shares by an amount equal to 79% of the amount of undistributed capital gains included in the
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shareholder’s income. Organizations or persons not subject to US federal income tax on such capital gains will be entitled to a refund of their pro rata Share of such taxes paid by the fund upon filing appropriate returns or claims for refund with the IRS.
Distributions of net realized long-term capital gains, if any, that a fund reports as capital gains dividends are taxable as long-term capital gains, whether paid in cash or in Shares and regardless of how long a shareholder has held Shares of the fund. All other dividends of a fund (including dividends from short-term capital gains) from its current and accumulated earnings and profits (“regular dividends”) are generally subject to tax as ordinary income, subject to the discussion of qualified dividend income below.
If an individual receives a regular dividend qualifying for the long-term capital gains rates and such dividend constitutes an “extraordinary dividend,” and the individual subsequently recognizes a loss on the sale or exchange of stock in respect of which the extraordinary dividend was paid, then the loss will be long-term capital loss to the extent of such extraordinary dividend. An “extraordinary dividend” on common stock for this purpose is generally a dividend (i) in an amount greater than or equal to 10% of the taxpayer’s tax basis (or trading value) in a Share of stock, aggregating dividends with ex-dividend dates within an 85-day period or (ii) in an amount greater than 20% of the taxpayer’s tax basis (or trading value) in a Share of stock, aggregating dividends with ex- dividend dates within a 365-day period.
Distributions in excess of a fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits will, as to each shareholder, be treated as a tax-free return of capital to the extent of a shareholder’s basis in Shares of the fund, and as a capital gain thereafter (if the shareholder holds Shares of the fund as capital assets). Shareholders receiving dividends or distributions in the form of additional Shares should generally be treated for US federal income tax purposes as receiving a distribution in an amount equal to the amount of money that the shareholders receiving cash dividends or distributions will receive and should generally have a cost basis in the Shares received equal to such amount.
Investors considering buying Shares just prior to a dividend or capital gain distribution should be aware that, although the price of Shares purchased at that time may reflect the amount of the forthcoming distribution, such dividend or distribution may nevertheless be taxable to them. If a fund is the holder of record of any security on the record date for any dividends payable with respect to such security, such dividends will be included in the fund’s gross income not as of the date received but as of the later of (a) the date such security became ex-dividend with respect to such dividends (i.e., the date on which a buyer of the security would not be entitled to receive the declared, but unpaid, dividends); or (b) the date the fund acquired such security. Accordingly, in order to satisfy its income distribution requirements, a fund may be required to pay dividends based on anticipated earnings, and shareholders may receive dividends in an earlier year than would otherwise be the case.
In certain situations, a fund may, for a taxable year, defer all or a portion of its capital losses, currency losses and certain other ordinary losses until the next taxable year in computing its investment company taxable income and net capital gain, which will defer the recognition of such realized losses. Such deferrals and other rules regarding gains and losses may affect the tax character of shareholder distributions.
An additional 3.8% Medicare tax is imposed on certain net investment income (including ordinary dividends and capital gain distributions received from a fund and net gains from redemptions or other taxable dispositions of fund Shares) of US individuals, estates and trusts to the extent that such person’s “modified adjusted gross income” (in the case of an individual) or “adjusted gross income” (in the case of an estate or trust) exceeds certain threshold amounts.
Sales of Shares. Upon the sale or exchange of Shares of a fund, a shareholder will realize a taxable gain or loss equal to the difference between the amount realized and the shareholder’s basis in Shares of a fund. A redemption of Shares by a fund will be treated as a sale for this purpose. Such gain or loss will be treated as capital gain or loss if the Shares are capital assets in the shareholder’s hands and will be long-term capital gain or loss if the Shares are held for more than one year and short-term capital gain or loss if the Shares are held for one year or less. Any loss realized on a sale or exchange will be disallowed to the extent the Shares disposed of are replaced, including replacement through the reinvesting of dividends and capital gains distributions in the fund, within a 61-day period beginning 30 days before and ending 30 days after the disposition of the Shares. In such a case, the basis of the Shares acquired will be increased
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to reflect the disallowed loss. Any loss realized by a shareholder on the sale of a fund Share held by the shareholder for six months or less will be treated for US federal income tax purposes as a long-term capital loss to the extent of any distributions or deemed distributions of long-term capital gains received by the shareholder with respect to such Share.
If a shareholder incurs a sales charge in acquiring Shares of a fund, disposes of those Shares within 90 days and then acquires, prior to February 1 of the following calendar year, shares in a mutual fund for which the otherwise applicable sales charge is reduced by reason of a reinvestment right (e.g., an exchange privilege), the original sales charge will not be taken into account in computing gain/loss on the original Shares to the extent the subsequent sales charge is reduced. Instead, the disregarded portion of the original sales charge will be added to the tax basis of the newly acquired Shares. Furthermore, the same rule also applies to a disposition of the newly acquired Shares made within 90 days of the second acquisition. This provision prevents shareholders from immediately deducting the sales charge by shifting their investments within a family of mutual funds.
Legislation passed by Congress requires reporting of adjusted cost basis information for covered securities, which generally include shares of a RIC acquired after January 1, 2012, to the Internal Revenue Service and to taxpayers.
Shareholders should contact their financial intermediaries with respect to reporting of cost basis and available elections for their accounts.
Back-Up Withholding. In certain cases, withholding will be required at the applicable withholding rate (currently 24%), from any distributions paid to a shareholder who: (i) has failed to provide a correct taxpayer identification number; (ii) is subject to back-up withholding by the IRS; (iii) has failed to certify that such shareholder is not subject to back-up withholding; or (iv) has not certified that such shareholder is a US person (including a US resident alien). Back-up withholding is not an additional tax and any amount withheld may be credited against a shareholder’s US federal income tax liability.
Sections 351 and 362. The Trust, on behalf of each fund, has the right to reject an order for a purchase of Shares of the fund if the purchaser (or group of purchasers) would, upon obtaining the Shares so ordered, own 80% or more of the outstanding Shares of a given Fund and if, pursuant to Sections 351 and 362 of the Code, that fund would have a basis in the securities different from the market value of such securities on the date of deposit. If a fund’s basis in such securities on the date of deposit was less than market value on such date, the fund, upon disposition of the securities, would recognize more taxable gain or less taxable loss than if its basis in the securities had been equal to market value. It is not anticipated that the Trust will exercise the right of rejection except in a case where the Trust determines that accepting the order could result in material adverse tax consequences to a fund or its shareholders. The Trust also has the right to require information necessary to determine beneficial Share ownership for purposes of the 80% determination.
Investment in the Underlying Funds. A fund’s exposure to high yield corporate bonds through an underlying fund (i.e., the Underlying Funds) may be less tax efficient than a direct investment high yield corporate bonds. The fund will not be able to offset its taxable income and gains with losses incurred by the underlying fund because the underlying fund(s) are treated as corporations for US federal income tax purposes. The fund’s sales of shares of an underlying fund, including those resulting from changes in the fund’s allocation of assets, could cause the recognition of additional taxable gains. A portion of any such gains may be short-term capital gains, which will be taxable as ordinary dividend income when distributed to the fund’s shareholders. Further, certain losses recognized on sales of shares of the underlying fund may be deferred under the wash sale rules. Any loss realized by the fund on a disposition of shares of the underlying fund held for six months or less will be treated as a long-term capital loss to the extent of any amounts treated as distributions to the fund of net long-term capital gain with respect to the underlying fund’s shares (including any amounts credited to the fund as undistributed capital gains). Short-term capital gains earned by the underlying fund will be treated as ordinary dividends when distributed to the fund and therefore may not be offset by any short-term capital losses incurred by the fund. The fund’s short-term capital losses might instead offset long-term capital gains realized by the fund, which would otherwise be eligible for reduced US federal income tax rates when distributed to individual and certain other non-corporate shareholders.
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Taxation of Certain Derivatives. A fund’s transactions in zero coupon securities, non-US currencies, forward contracts, options and futures contracts (including options, futures contracts and forward contracts on non-US currencies), to the extent permitted, will be subject to special provisions of the Code (including provisions relating to “hedging transactions” and “straddles”) that, among other things, may affect the character of gains and losses realized by the fund (i.e., may affect whether gains or losses are ordinary or capital), accelerate recognition of income to the fund and defer fund losses. These rules could therefore affect the character, amount and timing of distributions to shareholders. These provisions also (a) will require a fund to mark-to-market certain types of the positions in its portfolio (i.e., treat them as if they were closed out at the end of each year) and (b) may cause a fund to recognize income without receiving cash with which to pay dividends or make distributions in amounts necessary to satisfy the distribution requirements for avoiding income and excise taxes. Each fund will monitor its transactions, will make the appropriate tax elections and will make the appropriate entries in its books and records when it acquires any zero coupon security, non-US currency, forward contract, option, futures contract or hedged investment in order to mitigate the effect of these rules and prevent disqualification of the fund as a RIC.
A fund’s investment in so-called “Section 1256 contracts,” such as regulated futures contracts, most non-US currency forward contracts traded in the interbank market and options on most security indexes, are subject to special tax rules. All Section 1256 contracts held by a fund at the end of its taxable year are required to be marked to their market value, and any unrealized gain or loss on those positions will be included in the fund’s income as if each position had been sold for its fair market value at the end of the taxable year. The resulting gain or loss will be combined with any gain or loss realized by the fund from positions in Section 1256 contracts closed during the taxable year. Provided such positions were held as capital assets and were not part of a “hedging transaction” nor part of a “straddle,” 60% of the resulting net gain or loss will be treated as long-term capital gain or loss, and 40% of such net gain or loss will be treated as short-term capital gain or loss, regardless of the period of time the positions were actually held by the fund.
As a result of entering into swap contracts, a fund may make or receive periodic net payments. A fund may also make or receive a payment when a swap is terminated prior to maturity through an assignment of the swap or other closing transaction. Periodic net payments will generally constitute ordinary income or deductions, while termination of a swap will generally result in capital gain or loss (which will be a long-term capital gain or loss if the fund has been a party to the swap for more than one year). With respect to certain types of swaps, a fund may be required to currently recognize income or loss with respect to future payments on such swaps or may elect under certain circumstances to mark such swaps to market annually for tax purposes as ordinary income or loss. The tax treatment of many types of credit default swaps is uncertain.
Qualified Dividend Income. Distributions by a fund of investment company taxable income (including any short-term capital gains), whether received in cash or Shares, will be taxable either as ordinary income or as qualified dividend income, eligible for the reduced maximum rate to individuals of either 15% or 20% (depending on whether the individual’s income exceeds certain threshold amounts) to the extent the fund receives qualified dividend income on the securities it holds and the fund designates the distribution as qualified dividend income. Distributions by a fund of its net short-term capital gains will be taxable as ordinary income. Capital gain distributions consisting of a fund’s net capital gains will be taxable as long-term capital gains. Qualified dividend income is, in general, dividend income from taxable US corporations (but generally not from US REITs) and certain non-US corporations (e.g., non-US corporations that are not “passive foreign investment companies” and which are incorporated in a possession of the US or in certain countries with a comprehensive tax treaty with the US, or the stock of which is readily tradable on an established securities market in the US). Under current IRS guidance, the United States has appropriate comprehensive income tax treaties with the following countries: Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China (but not with Hong Kong, which is treated as a separate jurisdiction for US tax purposes), Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and Venezuela.
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A dividend from a fund will not be treated as qualified dividend income to the extent that (i) the shareholder has not held the Shares on which the dividend was paid for 61 days during the 121-day period that begins on the date that is 60 days before the date on which the Shares become ex-dividend with respect to such dividend or the fund fails to satisfy those holding period requirements with respect to the securities it holds that paid the dividends distributed to the shareholder (or, in the case of certain preferred stocks, the holding requirement of 91 days during the 181-day period beginning on the date that is 90 days before the date on which the stock becomes ex- dividend with respect to such dividend); (ii) the fund or the shareholder is under an obligation (whether pursuant to a short sale or otherwise) to make related payments with respect to substantially similar or related property; or (iii) the shareholder elects to treat such dividend as investment income under Section 163(d)(4)(B) of the Code. Dividends received by a fund from a REIT or another RIC may be treated as qualified dividend income only to the extent the dividend distributions are attributable to qualified dividend income received by such REIT or other RIC. It is expected that dividends received by a fund from a REIT and distributed to a shareholder generally will be taxable to the shareholder as ordinary income.
If you lend your fund Shares pursuant to securities lending arrangements you may lose the ability to use non-US tax credits passed through by the fund or to treat fund dividends (paid while the Shares are held by the borrower) as qualified dividends. Consult your financial intermediary or tax advisor. If you enter into a short sale with respect to Shares of the fund, substitute payments made to the lender of such Shares may not be deductible. Consult your financial intermediary or tax advisor.
Corporate Dividends Received Deduction. Distributions reported to shareholders as derived from a Fund’s dividend income, if any, that would be eligible for the dividends received deduction if a Fund were not a regulated investment company may be eligible for the dividends received deduction for corporate shareholders. The dividends received deduction, if available, is reduced to the extent the shares with respect to which the dividends are received are treated as debt-financed under federal income tax law and is eliminated if the shares are deemed to have been held for less than a minimum period, generally 46 days. The dividends received deduction also may be reduced as a result of a Fund’s securities lending activities, hedging activities or a high portfolio turnover rate or as a result of certain derivative transactions entered into by a Fund.
Excess Inclusion Income. Under current law, the fund serves to block unrelated business taxable income from being realized by their tax-exempt Shareholders. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a tax-exempt shareholder could realize unrelated business taxable income by virtue of its investment in the fund if shares in the fund constitute debt-financed property in the hands of the tax-exempt shareholder within the meaning of Code Section 514(b). Certain types of income received by the fund from REITs, real estate mortgage investment conduits, taxable mortgage pools or other investments may cause the fund to designate some or all of its distributions as “excess inclusion income.” To fund shareholders, such excess inclusion income may (i) constitute taxable income, as “unrelated business taxable income” for those shareholders who would otherwise be tax-exempt such as individual retirement accounts, 401(k) accounts, Keogh plans, pension plans and certain charitable entities; (ii) not be offset by otherwise allowable deductions for tax purposes; (iii) not be eligible for reduced US withholding for non-US shareholders even from tax treaty countries; and (iv) cause the fund to be subject to tax if certain “disqualified organizations” as defined by the Code are fund shareholders. If a charitable remainder annuity trust or a charitable remainder unitrust (each as defined in Code Section 664) has UBTI for a taxable year, a 100% excise tax on the UBTI is imposed on the trust.
Non-US Investments. Under Section 988 of the Code, gains or losses attributable to fluctuations in exchange rates between the time a fund accrues income or receivables or expenses or other liabilities denominated in a currency other than the fund’s “functional currency” and the time the fund actually collects such receivables or income or pays such expenses or liabilities are generally treated as ordinary income or ordinary loss. In general, assuming the fund’s functional currency for U.S. federal income tax purposes is the U.S. dollar, gains (and losses) realized on debt instruments will be treated as Section 988 gain (or loss) to the extent attributable to changes in exchange rates between the US dollar and the currencies in which the instruments are denominated. Similarly, gain or losses on non-US currency, non-US currency forward contracts and certain non-US currency options or futures contracts denominated in non-US currency, to the extent attributable to fluctuations in exchange rates between the acquisition and disposition dates, are also treated as ordinary income or loss unless the fund were to elect otherwise. Certain Funds (or a “qualified business unit” of the Fund) may treat the RMB as its functional currency. Under those circumstances, the Fund generally would not be expected to recognize gains or losses on its RMB-denominated securities based on the value of the
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RMB relative to the US dollar, but a fund may recognize Section 988 gain (or loss) based on fluctuations in the value of the RMB relative to the US dollar between the acquisition and disposition dates of US currency, between the date on which a Fund dividend is declared and the date on which it is paid, and potentially in connection with Fund redemptions.
Income received by the funds from sources within foreign countries (including, for example, interest and dividends on securities of non-US issuers) may be subject to withholding and other taxes imposed by such countries. In the case of PRC issuers, gain on the sale of shares may also be subject to foreign tax. Tax treaties between such countries and the US may reduce or eliminate such taxes. Foreign taxes paid by the funds will reduce the return from the funds’ investments.
Each fund may be subject to non-US income taxes withheld at the source. Each fund, if more than 50% of the value of its total assets at the close of its taxable year consists of securities of foreign corporations, may elect to “pass through” to its investors the amount of non-US income taxes paid by the fund provided that both the fund and the investor satisfy certain holding period requirements, with the result that each investor at the time of deemed distribution will (i) include in gross income, even though not actually received, the investor’s pro rata share of the fund’s non-US income taxes, and (ii) either deduct (in calculating US taxable income) or credit (in calculating US federal income tax) the investor’s pro rata share of the fund’s non-US income taxes. A non-US person invested in the fund in a year that the fund elects to “pass through” its non-US taxes may be treated as receiving additional dividend income subject to US withholding tax. A non-US tax credit may not exceed the investor’s US federal income tax otherwise payable with respect to the investor’s non-US source income. For this purpose, shareholders must treat as non-US source gross income (i) their proportionate Shares of non-US taxes paid by the fund and (ii) the portion of any dividend paid by the fund that represents income derived from non-US sources; the fund’s gain from the sale of securities will generally be treated as US-source income. Certain limitations will be imposed to the extent to which the non-US tax credit may be claimed.
A-Shares Tax Risk. Uncertainties in the Chinese tax rules governing taxation of income and gains from investments in A-Shares could result in unexpected tax liabilities for a fund. China generally imposes withholding tax at a rate of 10% on dividends and interest derived by nonresident enterprises from issuers resident in China. China also imposes withholding tax at a rate of 10% on capital gains derived by nonresident enterprises from investments in an issuer resident in China, subject to an exemption or reduction pursuant to domestic law or a double taxation agreement or arrangement.
Since the respective inception of the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect program (“Shanghai Connect” and the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect program (“Shenzhen Connect”), foreign investors (including the funds) investing in A-Shares listed on the SSE through Shanghai Connect and those listed on the SZSE through Shenzhen Connect would be temporarily exempt from the PRC corporate income tax and value-added tax on the gains on disposal of such A-Shares. Dividends would be subject to PRC corporate income tax on a withholding basis at 10%, unless reduced under a double tax treaty with China upon application to and obtaining approval from the competent tax authority.
The current PRC tax laws and regulations and interpretations thereof may be revised or amended in the future, including with respect to the possible liability of a fund for the taxation of income and gains from investments in A-Shares through Stock Connect. The withholding taxes on dividends, interest and capital gains may in principle be subject to a reduced rate under an applicable tax treaty.
Certain Debt Instruments. Some of the debt securities (with a fixed maturity date of more than one year from the date of issuance) that may be acquired by a fund may be treated as debt securities that are issued originally at a discount. Generally, the amount of the original issue discount (“OID”) is treated as interest income and is included in income over the term of the debt security, even though payment of that amount is not received until a later time, usually when the debt security matures. A portion of the OID includable in income with respect to certain high-yield corporate debt securities may be treated as a dividend for federal income tax purposes. Some of the debt securities (with a fixed maturity date of more than one year from the date of issuance) that may be acquired by a fund in the secondary market may be treated as having market discount. Generally, any gain recognized on the disposition of, and any partial payment of principal on, a debt security having market discount is treated as ordinary income to the
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extent the gain, or principal payment, does not exceed the “accrued market discount” on such debt security. Market discount generally accrues in equal daily installments. The funds may make one or more of the elections applicable to debt securities having market discount, which could affect the character and timing of recognition of income.
Some debt securities (with a fixed maturity date of one year or less from the date of issuance) that may be acquired by a fund may be treated as having acquisition discount, or OID in the case of certain types of debt securities. Generally, the fund will be required to include the acquisition discount, or OID, in income over the term of the debt security, even though payment of that amount is not received until a later time, usually when the debt security matures. The funds may make one or more of the elections applicable to debt securities having acquisition discount, or OID, which could affect the character and timing of recognition of income.
The funds generally will be required to distribute dividends to shareholders representing discount on debt securities that is currently includable in income, even though cash representing such income may not have been received by the fund. Cash to pay such dividends may be obtained from sales proceeds of securities held by the fund.
A fund may invest a portion of its net assets in below investment grade instruments. Investments in these types of instruments may present special tax issues for the fund. US federal income tax rules are not entirely clear about issues such as when the fund may cease to accrue interest, OID or market discount, when and to what extent deductions may be taken for bad debts or worthless instruments, how payments received on obligations in default should be allocated between principal and income and whether exchanges of debt obligations in a bankruptcy or workout context are taxable. These and other issues will be addressed by the funds to the extent necessary in order to seek to ensure that they distribute sufficient income that they do not become subject to US federal income or excise tax.
Passive Foreign Investment Companies. If a fund holds Shares in “passive foreign investment companies” (“PFICs”), it may be subject to US federal income tax on a portion of any “excess distribution” or gain from the disposition of such Shares even if such income is distributed as a taxable dividend by the fund to its shareholders. Additional charges in the nature of interest may be imposed on the fund in respect of deferred taxes arising from such distributions or gains.
A fund may be eligible to elect to treat the PFIC as a “qualified electing fund” under the Code, in which case, the fund would generally be required to include in income each year a portion of the ordinary earnings and net capital gains of the qualified electing fund, even if not distributed to the fund, and such amounts would be subject to the 90% and excise tax distribution requirements described above. In order to make this election, the fund would be required to obtain certain annual information from the PFICs in which it invests, which may be difficult or impossible to obtain.
Alternatively, a fund may make a mark-to-market election that would result in the fund being treated as if it had sold and repurchased its PFIC stock at the end of each year. In such case, the fund would report any gains resulting from such deemed sales as ordinary income and would deduct any losses resulting from such deemed sales as ordinary losses to the extent of previously recognized gains. The election must be made separately for each PFIC owned by the fund and, once made, would be effective for all subsequent taxable years, unless revoked with the consent of the IRS. By making the election, the fund could potentially ameliorate the adverse tax consequences with respect to its ownership of Shares in a PFIC, but in any particular year may be required to recognize income in excess of the distributions it receives from PFICs and its proceeds from dispositions of PFIC stock. A fund may have to distribute this excess income and gain to satisfy the 90% distribution requirement and to avoid imposition of the 4% excise tax.
A fund will make the appropriate tax elections, if possible, and take any additional steps that are necessary to mitigate the effects of these rules. For example, in order to distribute this income and avoid tax at the fund level, a fund might be required to liquidate portfolio securities that it might otherwise have continued to hold, potentially resulting in additional taxable gain or loss.
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Reporting. If a shareholder recognizes a loss with respect to a fund’s Shares of $2 million or more for an individual shareholder or $10 million or more for a corporate shareholder, the shareholder must file with the IRS a disclosure statement on Form 8886. Direct shareholders of portfolio securities are in many cases exempted from this reporting requirement, but under current guidance, shareholders of a RIC are not exempted. The fact that a loss is reportable under these regulations does not affect the legal determination of whether the taxpayer’s treatment of the loss is proper. Shareholders should consult their tax advisors to determine the applicability of these regulations in light of their individual circumstances.
Other Taxes. Dividends, distributions and redemption proceeds may also be subject to additional state, local and non-US taxes depending on each shareholder’s particular situation.
Taxation of Non-US Shareholders. Dividends paid by a fund to non-US shareholders are generally subject to withholding tax at a 30% rate or a reduced rate specified by an applicable income tax treaty to the extent derived from investment income and short-term capital gains. Non-US investors considering buying Shares just prior to a distribution should be aware that, although the price of Shares purchased at that time may reflect the amount of the forthcoming distribution, such distribution may nevertheless be subject to US withholding tax. In order to obtain a reduced rate of withholding, a non-US shareholder will be required to provide an applicable IRS Form W-8 certifying its entitlement to benefits under a treaty. The withholding tax does not apply to regular dividends paid to a non-US shareholder who provides a Form W-8ECI, certifying that the dividends are effectively connected with the non-US shareholder’s conduct of a trade or business within the United States. Instead, the effectively connected dividends will be subject to regular US income tax as if the non-US shareholder were a US shareholder. A non-US corporation receiving effectively connected dividends may also be subject to additional “branch profits tax” imposed at a rate of 30% (or lower treaty rate). A non-US shareholder who fails to provide an applicable IRS Form W-8 or other applicable form may be subject to back-up withholding at the appropriate rate.
In general, US federal withholding tax will not apply to any gain or income realized by a non-US shareholder in respect of any distributions of net long-term capital gains over net short-term capital losses, or upon the sale or other disposition of Shares of a fund.
The Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 (“FIRPTA”) makes a non-US person subject to US tax on disposition of a US real property interest as if such person were a US person. Such gain is sometimes referred to as “FIRPTA gain”. The Code provides a look-through rule for distributions of “FIRPTA gain” by a RIC if all of the following requirements are met: (i) the RIC is classified as a “qualified investment entity” (which includes a RIC if, in general, more than 50% of the RIC’s assets consists of interests in REITs and US real property holding corporations); and (ii) you are a non-US shareholder that owns more than 5% of a fund’s shares at any time during the one-year period ending on the date of the distribution. If these conditions are met, fund distributions to you to the extent derived from gain from the disposition of a US real property interest (“USRPI”), may also be treated as USRPI gain and therefore subject to US federal income tax, and requiring that you file a nonresident US income tax return. Also, such gain may be subject to a 30% branch profits tax in the hands of a non-US shareholder that is a corporation. Even if a non-US shareholder does not own more than 5% of a fund’s shares, fund distributions that are attributable to gain from the sale or disposition of a USRPI will be taxable as ordinary dividends subject to withholding at a 30% or lower treaty rate.
Further, if a fund is a “US real property holding corporation,” any gain realized on the sale or exchange of fund shares by a foreign shareholder that owns more than 5% of a class of fund shares would generally be taxed in the same manner as for a US shareholder. A fund will be a “US real property holding corporation” if, in general, 50% or more of the fair market value of its assets consists of US real property interests, including stock of certain US REITs.
Properly reported dividends received by a nonresident alien or foreign entity are generally exempt from US federal withholding tax when they (a) are paid in respect of the fund’s “qualified net interest income” (generally, the fund’s US source interest income, reduced by expenses that are allocable to such income), or (b) are paid in connection with the fund’s “qualified short-term capital gains” (generally, the excess of the fund’s net short-term capital gain over the fund’s long-term capital loss for such taxable year). However, depending on the circumstances, the fund may designate all, some or none of the fund’s potentially eligible dividends as such qualified net interest income or as qualified short-term
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capital gains, and a portion of the fund’s distributions (e.g. interest from non US sources or any foreign currency gains) would be ineligible for this potential exemption from withholding. In case of shares held through an intermediary, the intermediary may withhold on a payment even if the fund reports the payment as eligible for the exemption from withholding. In order to qualify for this exemption from withholding, a non-US shareholder must have provided appropriate withholding certificates (e.g., an executed W-8BEN, etc.) certifying foreign status.
Shares of a fund held by a non-US shareholder at death will be considered situated within the United States and generally will be subject to the US estate tax.
Withholding of US tax (at a 30% rate) with respect to payments of taxable dividends and (effective January 1, 2019) redemption proceeds and certain capital gain dividends made to certain non-US entities that fail to comply (or be deemed compliant) with extensive new reporting and withholding requirements designed to inform the US Department of the Treasury of US-owned foreign investment accounts. Shareholders may be requested to provide additional information to enable the applicable withholding agent to determine whether withholding is required.
Standby Commitments. A fund may purchase municipal securities together with the right to resell the securities to the seller at an agreed upon price or yield within a specified period prior to the maturity date of the securities. Such a right to resell is commonly known as a “put” and is also referred to as a “standby commitment.” The fund may pay for a standby commitment either in cash or in the form of a higher price for the securities which are acquired subject to the standby commitment, thus increasing the cost of securities and reducing the yield otherwise available. Additionally, the fund may purchase beneficial interests in municipal securities held by trusts, custodial arrangements or partnerships and/or combined with third- party puts or other types of features such as interest rate swaps; those investments may require the fund to pay “tender fees” or other fees for the various features provided. The IRS has issued a revenue ruling to the effect that, under specified circumstances, a regulated investment company will be the owner of tax-exempt municipal obligations acquired subject to a put option. The IRS has also issued private letter rulings to certain taxpayers (which do not serve as precedent for other taxpayers) to the effect that tax-exempt interest received by a regulated investment company with respect to such obligations will be tax-exempt in the hands of the company and may be distributed to its shareholders as exempt-interest dividends. The IRS has subsequently announced that it will not ordinarily issue advance ruling letters as to the identity of the true owner of property in cases involving the sale of securities or participation interests therein if the purchaser has the right to cause the security, or the participation interest therein, to be purchased by either the seller or a third-party. The fund, where relevant, intends to take the position that it is the owner of any municipal obligations acquired subject to a standby commitment or other third-party put and that tax-exempt interest earned with respect to such municipal obligations will be tax- exempt in its hands. There is no assurance that the IRS will agree with such position in any particular case. If the fund is not viewed as the owner of such municipal obligations, it will not be permitted to treat the exempt interest paid on such obligations as belonging to it. This may affect the fund’s eligibility to pay exempt-interest dividends to its shareholders. Additionally, the federal income tax treatment of certain other aspects of these investments, including the treatment of tender fees paid by the fund, in relation to various regulated investment company tax provisions is unclear. However, the Advisor intends to manage the fund’s portfolio in a manner designed to minimize any adverse impact from the tax rules applicable to these investments.
As described herein, in certain circumstances the fund may be required to recognize taxable income or gain even though no corresponding amounts of cash are received concurrently. The fund may therefore be required to obtain cash to satisfy its distribution requirements by selling securities at times when it might not otherwise be desirable to do so or by borrowing the necessary cash, thereby incurring interest expense.
Exempt-interest dividends. Any dividends paid by the Xtrackers Municipal Infrastructure Revenue Bond ETF that are reported by the fund as exempt-interest dividends will not be subject to regular federal income tax. The fund will be qualified to pay exempt-interest dividends to its shareholders if, at the end of each quarter of the fund’s taxable year, at least 50% of the total value of the fund’s assets consists of obligations of a state or political subdivision thereof the interest on which is exempt from federal income tax under Code section 103(a).
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Distributions that the fund reports as exempt-interest dividends are treated as interest excludable from shareholders’ gross income for federal income tax purposes but may result in liability for federal AMT purposes and for state and local tax purposes for individual shareholders. For example, if the fund invests in “private activity bonds,” certain shareholders may be subject to AMT on the part of the fund’s distributions derived from interest on such bonds.
Interest on indebtedness incurred directly or indirectly to purchase or carry shares of the fund will not be deductible to the extent it is deemed related to exempt-interest dividends paid by the fund. The portion of interest that is not deductible is equal to the total interest paid or accrued on the indebtedness, multiplied by the percentage of the fund’s total distributions (not including Capital Gain Dividends) paid to the shareholder that are exempt-interest dividends. Under rules used by the IRS to determine when borrowed funds are considered incurred for the purpose of purchasing or carrying particular assets, the purchase of shares may be considered to have been made with borrowed funds even though such funds are not directly traceable to the purchase of shares. In addition, the Code may require a shareholder that receives exempt-interest dividends to treat as taxable income a portion of certain otherwise non-taxable social security and railroad retirement benefit payments. A portion of any exempt-interest dividend paid by the fund that represents income derived from certain revenue or private activity bonds held by the fund may not retain its tax-exempt status in the hands of a shareholder who is a “substantial user” of a facility financed by such bonds, or a “related person” thereof. Moreover, some or all of the exempt-interest dividends distributed by the fund may be a specific preference item, or a component of an adjustment item, for purposes of the federal individual AMT. The receipt of dividends and distributions from the fund may affect a foreign corporate shareholder’s federal “branch profits” tax liability and the federal “excess net passive income” tax liability of a shareholder that is a Subchapter S corporation. Shareholders should consult their own tax advisors as to whether they are (i) “substantial users” with respect to a facility or “related” to such users within the meaning of the Code or (ii) subject to a federal AMT, the federal “branch profits” tax or the federal “excess net passive income” tax. Additionally, any loss realized upon the sale or exchange of fund shares with a tax holding period of six months or less will be disallowed to the extent of any distributions treated as exempt-interest dividends with respect to such shares.
Shareholders that are required to file tax returns are required to report tax-exempt interest income, including exempt-interest dividends, on their federal income tax returns. The fund will inform shareholders of the federal income tax status of its distributions after the end of each calendar year, including the amounts, if any, that qualify as exempt-interest dividends and any portions of such amounts that constitute tax preference items under the federal AMT. Shareholders who have not held shares of the fund for a full taxable year may have reported as tax-exempt or as a tax preference item a percentage of their distributions which is different from the percentage of the fund’s income that was tax-exempt or comprising tax preference items during the period of their investment in the fund. Shareholders should consult their tax advisors for more information.
PRC Taxation. Uncertainties in the Chinese tax rules governing taxation of income and gains from investments in A-Shares could result in unexpected tax liabilities for a fund. China generally imposes withholding tax at a rate of 10% on dividends and interest derived by nonresident enterprises (including QFIIs and RQFIIs) from issuers resident in China. China also imposes withholding tax at a rate of 10% on capital gains derived by nonresident enterprises from investments in an issuer resident in China, subject to an exemption or reduction pursuant to domestic law or a double taxation agreement or arrangement.
Since the respective inception of Shanghai Connect and Shenzhen Connect, foreign investors (including the funds) investing in A-Shares listed on the SSE through Shanghai Connect and those listed on the SZSE through Shenzhen Connect would be temporarily exempt from the PRC corporate income tax and value-added tax on the gains on disposal of such A-Shares. Dividends would be subject to PRC corporate income tax on a withholding basis at 10%, unless reduced under a double tax treaty with China upon application to and obtaining approval from the competent tax authority.
Since November 17, 2014, the corporate income tax for QFIIs and RQFIIs, with respect to capital gains, has been temporarily lifted. The withholding tax relating to the realized gains from shares in land-rich companies prior to November 17, 2014 has been paid by the Xtrackers Harvest ETFs, while realized gains from shares in non-land-rich companies prior to November 17, 2014 were granted by treaty relief pursuant to the PRC-US Double Taxation Agreement. During 2015, revenue authorities in the PRC made arrangements for the collection of capital gains taxes for investments
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realized between November 17, 2009 and November 16, 2014. A fund could be subject to tax liability for any tax payments for which reserves have not been made or that were not previously withheld. The impact of any such tax liability on a fund’s return could be substantial. A fund may also be liable to the Subadvisor for any tax that is imposed on the Subadvisor by the PRC with respect to the fund’s investments. If a fund’s direct investments in A-Shares through the Subadvisor’s RQFII quota become subject to repatriation restrictions, the fund may be unable to satisfy distribution requirements applicable to RICs under the Internal Revenue Code, and be subject to tax at the fund level.
The current PRC tax laws and regulations and interpretations thereof may be revised or amended in the future, potentially retroactively, including with respect to the possible liability of a fund for the taxation of income and gains from investments in A-Shares through Stock Connect or obligations of an RQFII. The withholding taxes on dividends, interest and capital gains may in principle be subject to a reduced rate under an applicable tax treaty, but the application of such treaties in the case of an RQFII acting for a foreign investor such as a fund is also uncertain. Finally, it is also unclear whether an RQFII would also be eligible for BT exemption, which has been granted to QFIIs, with respect to gains derived prior to May 1, 2016. In practice, the BT has not been collected. However, the imposition of such taxes on a fund could have a material adverse effect on a fund’s returns. Since May 1, 2016, RQFIIs are exempt from PRC value added tax, which replaced the PRC Business Tax with respect to gains realized from the disposal of securities, including A-Shares.
The PRC rules for taxation of RQFIIs (and QFIIs) are evolving and certain tax regulations to be issued by the PRC State Administration of Taxation and/or PRC Ministry of Finance to clarify the subject matter may apply retrospectively, even if such rules are adverse to a fund and their shareholders.
If the PRC begins applying tax rules regarding the taxation of income from A-Shares investments to RQFIIs and/or begins collecting capital gains taxes on such investments (whether made through Stock Connect or an RQFII), a fund could be subject to withholding tax liability in excess of the amount reserved (if any). The impact of any such tax liability on a fund’s return could be substantial. A fund will be liable to the Advisor and/or Subadvisor for any Chinese tax that is imposed on the Advisor and/or Subadvisor with respect to the fund’s investments.
The sale or other transfer by the Advisor and/or Subadvisor of A-Shares or B-Shares will be subject to PRC Stamp Duty at a rate of 0.1% on the transacted value. The Advisor and/or Subadvisor will not be subject to PRC Stamp Duty when it acquires A-Shares and B-Shares.
It is also unclear how China’s business tax may apply to activities of an RQFII and how such application may be affected by tax treaty provisions.
The foregoing discussion is a summary of certain material US federal income tax considerations only and is not intended as a substitute for careful tax planning. Purchasers of Shares should consult their own tax advisors as to the tax consequences of investing in such Shares, including under state, local and non-US tax laws. Finally, the foregoing discussion is based on applicable provisions of the Code, regulations, judicial authority and administrative interpretations in effect on the date of this SAI. Changes in applicable authority could materially affect the conclusions discussed above, and such changes often occur.
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Part II: Appendix II-GProxy Voting Policy and Guidelines
1. Scope
DWS has adopted and implemented the following Policies and Guidelines, which it believes are reasonably designed to ensure that proxies are voted in the best economic interest of clients and in accordance with its fiduciary duties and local regulation. This Proxy Voting Policy and Guidelines – DWS (“Policy and Guidelines”) shall apply to all accounts managed by US domiciled advisers and to all US client accounts managed by non-US regional offices. Non-US regional offices are required to maintain procedures and to vote proxies as may be required by law on behalf of their non-US clients. In addition, DWS’s proxy policies reflect the fiduciary standards and responsibilities for ERISA accounts.
The attached guidelines represent a set of global recommendations that were determined by the Global Proxy Voting Sub-Committee (the “GPVSC”). These guidelines were developed to provide DWS with a comprehensive list of recommendations that represent how DWS will generally vote proxies for its clients. The recommendations derived from the application of these guidelines are not intended to influence the various DWS legal entities either directly or indirectly by parent or affiliated companies. In addition, the organizational structures and documents of the various DWS legal entities allows, where necessary or appropriate, the execution by individual AM subsidiaries of the proxy voting rights independently of any DB parent or affiliated company. This applies in particular to non-US fund management companies. The individuals that make proxy voting decisions are also free to act independently, subject to the normal and customary supervision by the Management/Boards of these DWS legal entities.
2. DWS’S Proxy Voting Responsibilities
Proxy votes are the property of DWS’s advisory clients.1 As such, DWS’s authority and responsibility to vote such proxies depend upon its contractual relationships with its clients or other delegated authority. DWS has delegated responsibility for effecting its advisory clients’ proxy votes to Institutional Shareholder Services (“ISS”), an independent third-party proxy voting specialist. ISS votes DWS’s advisory clients’ proxies in accordance with DWS’s proxy guidelines or DWS’s specific instructions. Where a client has given specific instructions as to how a proxy should be voted, DWS will notify ISS to carry out those instructions. Where no specific instruction exists, DWS will follow the procedures in voting the proxies set forth in this document. Certain Taft-Hartley clients may direct DWS to have ISS vote their proxies in accordance with Taft Hartley Voting Guidelines.
Clients may in certain instances contract with their custodial agent and notify DWS that they wish to engage in securities lending transactions. In such cases, it is the responsibility of the custodian to deduct the number of shares that are on loan so that they do not get voted twice. To the extent a security is out on loan and DWS determines that a proxy vote (or other shareholder action) is materially important to the client’s account, DWS may request, on a best efforts basis, that the agent recall the security prior to the record date to allow DWS to vote the securities.
3. Policies
3.1. Proxy Voting Activities are Conducted in the Best Economic Interest of Clients
DWS has adopted the following Policies and Guidelines to ensure that proxies are voted in accordance with the best economic interest of its clients, as determined by DWS in good faith after appropriate review.
3.2. The Global Proxy Voting Sub-Committee
The Global Proxy Voting Sub-Committee is an internal working group established by the applicable DWS’s Investment Risk Oversight Committee pursuant to a written charter. The GPVSC is responsible for overseeing DWS’s proxy voting activities, including:
Adopting, monitoring and updating guidelines, attached as Attachment A (the “Guidelines”), that provide how DWS will generally vote proxies pertaining to a comprehensive list of common proxy voting matters;
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Voting proxies where (i) the issues are not covered by specific client instruction or the Guidelines; (ii) the Guidelines specify that the issues are to be determined on a case-by-case basis; or (iii) where an exception to the Guidelines may be in the best economic interest of DWS’s clients; and
Monitoring Proxy Vendor Oversight’s proxy voting activities (see below).
DWS’s Proxy Vendor Oversight, a function of DWS’s Operations Group, is responsible for coordinating with ISS to administer DWS’s proxy voting process and for voting proxies in accordance with any specific client instructions or, if there are none, the Guidelines, and overseeing ISS’ proxy responsibilities in this regard.

1 For purposes of this document, “clients” refers to persons or entities: (i) for which DWS serves as investment adviser or sub-adviser; (ii) for which DWS votes proxies; and (iii) that have an economic or beneficial ownership interest in the portfolio securities of issuers soliciting such proxies.
3.3 Availability of Proxy Voting Policy and Guidelines and Proxy Voting Record
Copies of this Policy, as it may be updated from time to time, is made available to clients as required by law and otherwise at DWS’s discretion. Clients may also obtain information on how their proxies were voted by DWS as required by law and otherwise at DWS’s discretion. Note, however, that DWS must not selectively disclose its investment company clients’ proxy voting records. Proxy Vendor Oversight will make proxy voting reports available to advisory clients upon request. The investment companies’ proxy voting records will be disclosed to shareholders by means of publicly-available annual filings of each company’s proxy voting record for the 12-month periods ending June 30 (see Section 6 below), if so required by relevant law.
4. Procedures
The key aspects of DWS’s proxy voting process are delineated below.
4.1. The GPVSC’s Proxy Voting Guidelines
The Guidelines set forth the GPVSC’s standard voting positions on a comprehensive list of common proxy voting matters. The GPVSC has developed, and continues to update the Guidelines based on consideration of current corporate governance principles, industry standards, client feedback, and the impact of the matter on issuers and the value of the investments.
The GPVSC will review the Guidelines as necessary to support the best economic interests of DWS’s clients and, in any event, at least annually. The GPVSC will make changes to the Guidelines, whether as a result of the annual review or otherwise, taking solely into account the best economic interests of clients. Before changing the Guidelines, the GPVSC will thoroughly review and evaluate the proposed change and the reasons therefore, and the GPVSC Chair will ask GPVSC members whether anyone outside of the DWS organization (but within Deutsche Bank and its affiliates) or any entity that identifies itself as an DWS advisory client has requested or attempted to influence the proposed change and whether any member has a conflict of interest with respect to the proposed change. If any such matter is reported to the GPVSC Chair, the Chair will promptly notify the Conflicts of Interest Management Sub-Committee (see Section 5.4) and will defer the approval, if possible. Lastly, the GPVSC will fully document its rationale for approving any change to the Guidelines.
The Guidelines may reflect a voting position that differs from the actual practices of the public company(ies) within the Deutsche Bank organization or of the investment companies for which DWS or an affiliate serves as investment adviser or sponsor. Investment companies, particularly closed-end investment companies, are different from traditional operating companies. These differences may call for differences in voting positions on the same matter. Further, the manner in which DWS votes investment company proxies may differ from proposals for which an DWS-advised or sponsored investment company solicits proxies from its shareholders. As reflected in the Guidelines, proxies solicited by closed-end (and open-end) investment companies are generally voted in accordance with the pre-determined guidelines of ISS.
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Funds (“Underlying Funds”) in which Topiary Fund Management Fund of Funds (each, a “Fund”) invest, may from time to time seek to revise their investment terms (i.e. liquidity, fees, etc.) or investment structure. In such event, the Underlying Funds may require approval/consent from its investors to effect the relevant changes. Topiary Fund Management has adopted Proxy Voting Procedures which outline the process for these approvals.
4.2. Specific Proxy Voting Decisions Made by the GPVSC
Proxy Vendor Oversight will refer to the GPVSC all proxy proposals (i) that are not covered by specific client instructions or the Guidelines; or (ii) that, according to the Guidelines, should be evaluated and voted on a case-by-case basis.
Additionally, if Proxy Vendor Oversight, the GPVSC Chair or any member of the GPVSC, a Portfolio Manager, a Research Analyst or a sub-adviser believes that voting a particular proxy in accordance with the Guidelines may not be in the best economic interests of clients, that individual may bring the matter to the attention of the GPVSC Chair and/or Proxy Vendor Oversight.2
If Proxy Vendor Oversight refers a proxy proposal to the GPVSC or the GPVSC determines that voting a particular proxy in accordance with the Guidelines is not in the best economic interests of clients, the GPVSC will evaluate and vote the proxy, subject to the procedures below regarding conflicts.

2 Proxy Vendor Oversight generally monitors upcoming proxy solicitations for heightened attention from the press or the industry and for novel or unusual proposals or circumstances, which may prompt Proxy Vendor Oversight to bring the solicitation to the attention of the GPVSC Chair. DWS Portfolio Managers, DWS Research Analysts and sub-advisers also may bring a particular proxy vote to the attention of the GPVSC Chair, as a result of their ongoing monitoring of portfolio securities held by advisory clients and/or their review of the periodic proxy voting record reports that the GPVSC Chair distributes to DWS portfolio managers and DWS research analysts.
The GPVSC endeavors to hold meetings to decide how to vote particular proxies sufficiently before the voting deadline so that the procedures below regarding conflicts can be completed before the GPVSC’s voting determination.
4.3. The GPVSC’s Proxy Voting Guidelines
In some cases, the GPVSC may determine that it is in the best economic interests of its clients not to vote certain proxies, or that it may not be feasible to vote certain proxies. If the conditions below are met with regard to a proxy proposal, DWS will abstain from voting:
Neither the Guidelines nor specific client instructions cover an issue;
ISS does not make a recommendation on the issue; and
The GPVSC cannot convene on the proxy proposal at issue to make a determination as to what would be in the client’s best interest. (This could happen, for example, if the Conflicts of Interest Management Sub-Committee found that there was a material conflict or if despite all best efforts being made, the GPVSC quorum requirement could not be met).
In addition, it is DWS’s policy not to vote proxies of issuers subject to laws of those jurisdictions that impose restrictions upon selling shares after proxies are voted, in order to preserve liquidity. In other cases, it may not be possible to vote certain proxies, despite good faith efforts to do so. For example, some jurisdictions do not provide adequate notice to shareholders so that proxies may be voted on a timely basis. Voting rights on securities that have been loaned to third-parties transfer to those third-parties, with loan termination often being the only way to attempt to vote proxies on the loaned securities. Lastly, the GPVSC may determine that the costs to the client(s) associated with voting a particular proxy or group of proxies outweighs the economic benefits expected from voting the proxy or group of proxies.
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Proxy Vendor Oversight will coordinate with the GPVSC Chair regarding any specific proxies and any categories of proxies that will not or cannot be voted. The reasons for not voting any proxy shall be documented.
4.4. Conflict of Interest Procedures