In an attempt to address the rising liquidity concerns for bond-related exchange traded funds, the Securities and Exchange Commission is working on rule changes to the creation and redemption process.
The SEC could soon permit all bond ETF sponsors to use similar debt securities when creating ETF shares made up of difficult-to-find or less liquid securities, Reuters reports.
Currently, the SEC requires underlying securities used to create most ETF shares to be the same securities as in the ETF’s underlying portfolio unless the benchmark has changed. However, the SEC could revise its rules, allowing providers to substitute difficult-to-find securities with a similar bond to create ETF shares.
BlackRock, Vanguard and a few other large providers have been given greater latitude to create shares through similar securities. The greater flexibility has helped the group of bond ETF providers grow assets by reducing costs and making it easier to operate. Consequently, the rule changes could also help level the playing field for newer and smaller bond providers, like Northern Trust, Van Eck Global and Charles Schwab.
“Regulation should not create an uneven playing field that disadvantages certain shareholders,” Marie Chandoha, president and CEO of Charles Schwab Investment Management, said in the Reuters article. “We believe strongly that steps should be taken to ensure that ETF investors benefit equally.”