RSX / RSXJ Liquidation FAQ | ETF Trends

VanEck has commenced plans to liquidate the VanEck Russia ETF (RSX) and VanEck Russia Small-Cap ETF (RSXJ). We answer some frequently asked questions on the process.

As detailed in a prior Shareholder Notice, VanEck has commenced plans to liquidate the VanEck Russia ETF (RSX) and VanEck Russia Small-Cap ETF (RSXJ) (the “Funds”). This note attempts to answer some frequently asked questions.

Why is VanEck liquidating the Funds?

The Funds were delisted by Cboe BZX Exchange on January 12, 2023, following a prior halting from trading in March 2022. Given that the Funds are no longer trading on an exchange and that there are ongoing restrictions relating to Russian securities, the Funds are not able to meet their investment objectives.

What does liquidation mean?

Liquidation means that the Funds are in the process of liquidating their assets and winding up their business pursuant to a plan of liquidation.

What are the current holdings in the Funds?

There are currently two types of assets in the Funds: cash and illiquid securities (liquid securities have been sold for cash pursuant to the plan of liquidation). Click here to see an up-to-date list of portfolio holdings for RSX. Click here to see an up-to-date list of portfolio holdings for RSXJ.

Cash. Cash has been estimated and reserved in an amount to allow the Funds to continue to operate through their final termination according to the plan of liquidation. Excess cash has been distributed through the liquidating distributions. It is possible that the liquidation period could extend well beyond December 31, 2023. The cash reserve amount accounts for the possibility of a multiple year extension.

Illiquid Securities. VanEck continues to manage all funds as a fiduciary, and we believe the plan of liquidation has been designed to provide shareholders the potential to realize future value of the underlying Russian investments, if market conditions change in the future. Again, it is possible that the liquidation period could extend well beyond December 31, 2023. However, there can be no assurance that will occur or that any value will materialize.

Why are the Russian stocks in the portfolio fair valued even though they are trading in the local market?

Due to the inability to trade Russian securities, the Funds’ assets are valued using a fair value methodology. The actual price received by the Funds for their assets may differ substantially from the fair value assigned to such assets.

Can I sell my shares?

No. Trading in shares of the Funds was halted by the Cboe BZX Exchange (Cboe) on March 4, 2022 and the Funds were subsequently delisted by Cboe. No secondary market exists for the Funds.

Can I receive my portion of the underlying positions instead of cash?

No. There is no operational capability to transfer positions in-kind to individual shareholders. Further, current government sanctions would prohibit such a transfer.

How will you sell the Russian stocks that are still in the portfolios?

It is possible that the Funds may be able to sell some or all of their positions in Russian securities and depositary receipts and to convert the proceeds of those sales to U.S. dollars. If, at any time prior to the Funds’ termination date, VanEck determines that legal, regulatory, or market developments have occurred so that the Funds may lawfully sell such securities, such securities may be sold as soon as reasonably practicable consistent with seeking best execution. The net proceeds of any sale are expected to be distributed in one or more additional liquidating distributions within 60 days after their receipt (however, such distribution may be delayed for various reasons, and such net proceeds may be combined into one distribution).

When will the liquidation period end?

The Funds will be terminated as soon as practicable after payment of the final liquidating distribution and redemption of all outstanding shares of the Funds. It is also possible that the Funds may be terminated if the Russian securities held by the Funds cease to represent valid interests in their issuers or on a date on or after December 31, 2023 if so determined by the Board of Trustees.

Why didn’t the Funds distribute all of the cash holdings in the initial liquidating distribution?

The initial liquidating distribution amount to shareholders was based on a pro-rata share of then current liquid assets less a reserve to cover operating and liquidation expenses for an extended period. The reserve was set at an amount intended to provide substantial flexibility to delay the Funds’ termination date beyond December 31, 2023, if the Adviser and the Board of Trustees consider such a delay appropriate. If, at any time prior to the Funds’ termination date, VanEck determines that legal, regulatory, or market developments have occurred so that the Funds may lawfully sell such securities and to convert the proceeds of those sales to U.S. dollars in certain types of transactions, such securities may be sold as soon as reasonably practicable consistent with seeking best execution.

When will I receive my liquidating distribution?

The Funds made an initial liquidating distribution to shareholders of a pro-rata share of current liquid assets, less a reserve to cover operating and liquidation expenses for an extended period. The initial distribution occurred on January 12, 2023. In addition, RSX made an additional liquidating distribution on July 27, 2023. The Funds may make additional liquidating distributions, although additional distributions may not occur.

What liquidating distributions have been paid out?

Both RSX and RSXJ have paid liquidating distributions to shareholders. Further details can be found here. A summary of these distributions is below:

  • January 12, 2023 – RSX and RSXJ made an initial liquidating distribution to shareholders of a pro-rata share of current liquid assets held by the Funds on the date the distribution was declared, less a reserve to cover operating and liquidation expenses for an extended period.
  • July 27, 2023 – As a result of the subsequent sale of certain of its underlying holdings, RSX made an additional liquidating distribution on this date.

What will happen if market and regulatory conditions change so that the underlying stocks can be traded again?

It is possible that the Funds may be able to sell some or all of their positions in Russian securities and depositary receipts and to convert the proceeds of those sales to U.S. dollars, although there can be no assurance that will occur. If it should become possible for the Funds to sell any Russian securities and depositary receipts and to convert the proceeds to U.S. dollars, the Funds will sell the securities and receipts when it is reasonable and practicable to do so. If VanEck determines that legal, regulatory, or market developments have occurred so that the Funds may lawfully sell such securities, the Funds may sell such securities as soon as reasonably practicable consistent with seeking best execution. The net proceeds of any sale will be distributed in one or more additional liquidating distributions within 60 days after their receipt (however, such distribution may be delayed if additional securities can be sold in that period, and such net proceeds combined into one distribution).

The liquidation plan may also be amended or terminated by the Board of Trustees in certain circumstances.

What Indexes do the Funds seek to track?

VanEck Russia ETF’s (RSX) stated investment objective is to seek to replicate as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the price and yield performance of the MVIS Russia Index. VanEck Russia Small-Cap ETF’s (RSXJ) stated investment objective is to seek to replicate as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the price and yield performance of the MVIS Russia Small-Cap Index.

However, both indexes have been discontinued by the index provider. Due to the discontinuation of the MVIS Russia Index and MVIS Russia Small-Cap Index, in addition to the ongoing restrictions relating to Russian securities, the Funds have been unable to meet their investment objectives.

Originally published by VanEck on September 20, 2023. 

For more news, information, and analysis, visit the Beyond Basic Beta Channel.


DISCLOSURES

This is not an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation to buy or sell any of the securities, financial instruments or digital assets mentioned herein. The information presented does not involve the rendering of personalized investment, financial, legal, tax advice, or any call to action. Certain statements contained herein may constitute projections, forecasts and other forward-looking statements, which do not reflect actual results, are for illustrative purposes only, are valid as of the date of this communication, and are subject to change without notice. Actual future performance of any assets or industries mentioned are unknown. Information provided by third party sources are believed to be reliable and have not been independently verified for accuracy or completeness and cannot be guaranteed. VanEck does not guarantee the accuracy of third party data. The information herein represents the opinion of the author(s), but not necessarily those of VanEck or its other employees.

An investment in the Funds may be subject to risks which include, among others, investing in Russian issuers, foreign securities, emerging market issuers, foreign currency, depositary receipts, exposure to certain sectors, small and medium-capitalization companies, equity securities, market, operational, index tracking, authorized participant concentration, no guarantee of active trading market, trading issues, passive management, fund shares trading, premium/discount risk and liquidity of fund shares, non-diversified and concentration risks, all of which may adversely affect the Fund. Foreign and emerging markets investments are subject to risks, which include changes in economic and political conditions, changes in foreign regulations, changes in currency exchange rates, unstable governments, and limited trading capacity which may make these investments volatile in price or difficult to trade. Small and medium-capitalization companies may be subject to elevated risks.

Investing involves substantial risk and high volatility, including possible loss of principal. An investor should consider the investment objective, risks, charges and expenses of the Fund carefully before investing. To obtain a prospectus and summary prospectus, which contains this and other information, call 800.826.2333 or visit vaneck.com. Please read the prospectus and summary prospectus carefully before investing.

© Van Eck Securities Corporation, Distributor, a wholly owned subsidiary of Van Eck Associates Corporation.