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All Letters

Date
All Letters
01/11/2008
08-01 PDF Image; Rules 4.21, 4.22 and 4.23; Exemption
The Division of Clearing and Intermediary Oversight granted exemptive relief from certain of the Part 4 regulations to the registered CPO of a commodity pool, whose shares the CPO intended to publicly offer and to list for trading on a national securities exchange. As is discussed in the letter, this relief was in the nature of substituted compliance with those regulations.
01/29/2008
08-02 PDF Image; Rules 4.21, 4.22 and 4.23; Exemption
The Division of Clearing and Intermediary Oversight granted exemptive relief from certain of the Part 4 regulations to the registered CPO of three commodity pools, whose shares had been publicly offered and listed for trading on a national securities exchange. Prior to issuance of the Division’s letter, the pools had been operated in compliance with Part 4. As is discussed in the letter, relief granted by the Division was in the nature of substituted compliance with the regulations from which relief was sought. Exemptive relief was also provided with respect to future commodity pools with the same structural and operational features as the CPO’s existing pools.
02/06/2008
08-03 PDF Image; Section 2(a); No-Action
Eurex Deutschland's Request for No-Action Relief in Connection with the Offer and Sale in the United States of Eight Futures Contracts Based on Security Indices Derived from the Dow Jones STOXX 600 Index.
02/26/2008
08-04 PDF Image; Regulations 4.7 and 4.23; Exemption
The Division of Clearing and Intermediary Oversight granted exemptive relief from the books and records location requirement of Regulations 4.7 and 4.23. This exemption was conditioned upon: (1) the contractual obligation of the alternative recordkeepers to retain books and records of the CPO for the period required in Commission regulations and to make them available as required in Commission regulations; (2) availability within 48 hours (72 hours for offshore locations) of original books and records at the CPO’s main business office); (3) the CPO remaining responsible for ensuring compliance with Regulations 1.31, 4.7 and 4.23, and for availability of books and records to CFTC and NFA; (4) disclosure of the location of required books and records on the CPO’s pool Disclosure Documents; and (5) notification to the Division if the location of required books and records changes.
03/06/2008
08-05 PDF Image; Section 2(a); No-Action
Eurex Deutschland's Request for No-Action Relief in Connection with the Offer and Sale in the United States of its Futures Contract Based on the RDXxt USD-RDX Extended Index.
04/01/2008
08-06 PDF Image; Section 2(a); No-Action
Taiwan Futures Exchange's Request for No-Action Relief in Connection with the Offer and Sale in the United States of its Futures Contract Based on the Taiwan Stock Exchange Non-Finance Non-Electronic Sub-Index.
04/04/2008
08-07 PDF Image; Section 1a(23) and Regulation 1.3(mm); Interpretation
The Division of Clearing and Intermediary Oversight issued an interpretation that a technology service provider is not an introducing broker (IB) and, therefore, is not required to register as such, as a result of providing its customers with an internet-based software application with the ability to route orders for the purchase or sale of commodity futures and options to an IB or futures commission merchant (FCM) of their choice in connection with related cash market transactions. The software application permits a customer to establish parameters for purchasing grain in the cash market based upon a plurality of delivery locations with reference to the price of a futures contract, and upon finding a matching counterparty, subsequently generates an order for a corresponding futures transaction based upon the parameters established by the customer in advance. This interpretation was based on the representations that: (1) each customer will establish a relationship with an IB or FCM of its own choosing prior to engaging in futures and options transactions using the application; (2) a customer may use the software application solely to engage in cash market transactions; (3) all customers pay the same fee to the technology service provider regardless of whether the customer engages in any futures transactions, and such fee is not related to any fees charged by the FCM or IB for the execution of any futures orders; (4) the technology service provider does not receive any compensation from any customers’ FCM or IB, nor does it have any membership with trading privileges on any designated contract market or derivatives transaction execution facility; and (5) the software application does not provide express “buy” or “sell” signals.
05/21/2008
08-08 PDF Image; Regulation 1.57(a)(1); Interpretation
The Division of Clearing and Intermediary Oversight issued an interpretation that when an IB does no more than introduce a non-clearing FCM to a clearing FCM, and the non-clearing FCM then establishes an omnibus account with the clearing FCM, the requirement of Regulation 1.57(a)(1) that an IB open and carry each customer’s account with a carrying FCM on a fully-disclosed basis is not triggered, where: (1) the IB does not transmit trading orders fore the omnibus account to the clearing FCM; and (2) the IB does not accept funds from the customers whose accounts are maintained in the omnibus account.
06/17/2008
08-09 PDF Image; Sections 5 and 5a; No-Action
The Division of Market Oversight issued a letter amending the no-action relief granted November 12, 1999, permitting the International Petroleum Exchange of London Limited (now ICE Futures Europe) to make its electronic trading and order matching system available to its members in the US without obtaining contract market designation pursuant to Sections 5 and 5a of the CEA. The amendment adds additional conditions to ICE Futures Europe’s no-action relief for contracts that it lists that settle against any price of (1) a contract listed for trading on a DCM or DTEF, or (2) a contract listed for trading on an exempt commercial market that has been determined to be a significant price discovery contract. The additional conditions are that ICE Futures Europe set position limits or position accountability levels (including related hedge exemption provisions) on these contracts, publish daily trading information, and provide a daily report of large trader positions and a quarterly report concerning positions held that are above the set position limits.
07/03/2008
08-10 PDF Image; Sections 5 and 5a; No-Action
The Division of Market Oversight issued a letter amending the no-action relief granted May 24, 2007, permitting the Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME) to make its electronic trading and order matching system, DME Direct, available to its members and guaranteed customers in the US without obtaining designation as a DCM or registration as a DTEF pursuant to Sections 5 and 5a, respectively, of the CEA. The amendment adds additional conditions to DME’s no-action relief for contracts that it lists that settle against any price of (1) a contract listed for trading on a DCM or DTEF, or (2) a contract listed for trading on an exempt commercial market that has been determined to be a significant price discovery contract. The additional conditions are that DME set position limits or position accountability levels (including related hedge exemption provisions) on these contracts, publish daily trading information, and provide a daily report of large trader positions and a quarterly report concerning positions held that are above the set position limits.
07/10/2008
08-11 PDF Image; Section 2(a); No-Action
Euronext Paris SA's request for no-action relief in connection with the offer and sale in the United States of its futures contracts based on the FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Europe Index and the FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Euro Zone Index.
07/10/2008
08-12 PDF Image; Section 1a(23) and Regulation 1.3 (mm); Interpretation
The Division of Clearing and Intermediary Oversight provided an Interpretation that a software vendor would not be an introducing broker (“IB”) as defined in Commodity Exchange Act Section 1a(23) and Commission Regulation 1.3(mm) as a result of providing its customers a software application with the ability to route orders for the purchase or sale of commodity futures and options contracts to a futures commission merchant (“FCM”) or IB of their choice. This relief is subject to conditions that: (1) each customer will have established a relationship with an FCM or IB independent of its relationship with the software vendor; (2) the vendor would not recommend, propose, or encourage that customers use any particular FCM or IB, even upon request; (3) the platform would not produce express “buy” or “sell” signals; (4) the software vendor would not solicit or accept orders for any commodity futures or commodity option transaction; (5) fees charged by the vendor would not be related to any fees charged by the FCM or IB for the execution of any futures orders; and (6) the software vendor would not have a membership with trading privileges on any designated contract market (“DCM”) or derivatives transaction execution facility (“DTEF”).
08/18/2008
08-13 PDF Image; Section 2(a); No-Action
Eurex Deutschland's Request for No-Action Relief in Connection with the Offer and Sale in the United States of its Futures Contracts Based on the SLI Swiss Leader Index, the Swiss Market Index Midcap, the Dow Jones Euro STOXX Select Dividend 30 Stock Index and the TecDAX Index.
08/20/2008
08-14 PDF Image; Sections 5 and 5a; No-Action
The Division of Market Oversight issued a letter granting no-action relief to permit Nord Pool ASA (Nord Pool or the Exchange) to make its electronic trading and order matching system (ETS), as well as its Application Program Interface (API), available to Exchange members in the U.S. without obtaining contract market designation or registration as a derivatives transaction execution facility pursuant to Sections 5 and 5a of the CEAct. The relief applies to Nord Pool members in the U.S. that qualify as “Professional Clients” (as defined in the European Union Markets in Financial Derivatives Directive (MiFID)) or as “eligible contract participants” (ECP) (as defined in Section 1a(12) of the CEAct) trading for their proprietary accounts; Nord Pool members that are registered as futures commission merchants (FCM) that submit orders to ETS for execution from or on behalf of U.S. customers that qualify as Professional Clients or as ECPs; firms exempt from such registration pursuant to Commission Rule 30.10 (Rule 30.10 Firms) that accept orders through automated order routing systems for transmission to ETS from or on behalf of U.S. customers that qualify as Professional Clients or ECPs; and Nord Pool members that are registered as Commodity Pool Operators (CPO) or Commodity Trading Advisors (CTA), or exempt from such CPO or CTA registration pursuant to Commission Regulation 4.13 or 4.14, that submit orders for execution on behalf of U.S. pools they operate that qualify as Professional Clients or ECPs or accounts of U.S. customers that qualify as Professional Clients or ECPs, for which they have discretionary authority, respectively, provided that an FCM or Rule 30.10 Firm acts as clearing firm and guarantees without limitation all such trades of the CPO or CTA effected through submission of orders on ETS.
08/20/2008
08-15 PDF Image; Rules 4.21, 4.22 and 4.23; Exemption
The Division of Clearing and Intermediary Oversight granted exemptive relief from certain of the Part 4 regulations to the registered CPO of a commodity pool, whose shares the CPO intended to publicly offer and to list for trading on a national securities exchange. As is discussed in the letter, this relief was in the nature of substituted compliance with those regulations.
09/03/2008
08-16 PDF Image; Rules 4.21, 4.22 and 4.23; Exemption
The Division of Clearing and Intermediary Oversight granted exemptive relief from certain of the Part 4 regulations to the registered CPO of a commodity pool, whose shares the CPO intended to publicly offer and to list for trading on a national securities exchange. As is discussed in the letter, this relief was in the nature of substituted compliance with those regulations.
09/24/2008
08-17 PDF Image; 1.17, 1.20, 1.25 and Part 30; Other Written Communication
DCIO received a request for guidance from the Joint Audit Committee concerning FCM regulatory reporting requirements for investments in a money market mutual fund. The fund had announced that its net asset value per share had fallen from $1.00 and that, as permitted by order of the SEC dated September 22, 2008, the fund had suspended redemptions and postponed payments. DCIO advised that until further notice the investments should be reported as of certain dates at the net asset values specified in the letter, and continue to be subject to a 2% deduction when calculating adjusted net capital.
09/26/2008
08-18 PDF Image; Sections 5 and 5a; No-Action
The Division of Market Oversight issued a letter granting no-action relief to permit the Brazilian Derivatives Exchange, BM&F Bovespa S.A. – Bolsa de Valores, Mercadorias e Futuros (BM&F), to make its electronic trading and order matching system (GTS) available to persons that have been authorized to directly access GTS from the United States without obtaining contract market designation or registration as a derivatives transaction execution facility pursuant to Sections 5 and 5a of the Commodity Exchange Act, respectively. The relief applies, subject to conditions, to (1) persons located in the U.S. that have been authorized by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) to have access to a Globex terminal and that, pursuant to the BM&F-CME Order Routing Agreement, have been granted the right to directly access GTS through a Globex terminal; (2) futures commission merchants (FCM) that submit orders for execution to GTS using the GTS application programming interface (API) for proprietary accounts or from or on behalf of U.S. foreign futures and options customers; and (3) a foreign futures or options customer (authorized customer) of an FCM or a firm that is exempt from registration as an FCM pursuant to Commission Rule 30.10 (Rule 30.10 Firm) that is authorized by an entity with access rights to BM&F (authorized entity) to enter orders directly into the trading system using the GTS API; provided that the authorized entity has a clearing relationship with a BM&F Settlement Rights Holder (clearing member) and, as a requirement for and as a condition of the authorized entity’s permitting direct access to the BM&F GTS API by the authorized customer, the BM&F Settlement Rights Holder, among other things, guarantees and assumes all financial responsibility for all activity conducted through the authorized customer’s direct market access connection.
11/26/2008
08-19 PDF Image; Section 2(a); No-Action
Thailand Futures Exchange Pcl's Request for No-Action Relief in Connection with the Offer and Sale in the United States of its Futures Contract Based on the SET50 Index Futures Contract.
11/26/2008
08-20 PDF Image; Section 2(a); No-Action
Korea Exchange's Request for No-Action Relief in Connection with the Offer and Sale in the United States of its Futures Contract Based on the KOSPI 200 Stock Index Futures Contract.
12/05/2008
08-21 PDF Image; Section 4a and Regulation 150.4; No-Action
The Division of Market Oversight issued a no-action letter to BNP Paribas confirming that the Division will not recommend that the Commission initiate enforcement action against BNP Paribas or Fortis Bank S.A./N.V., or their respective affiliates, for violation of Commission or exchange speculative position limits, to the extent any such violation results from the application of the Commission’s aggregation policy and rules to the acquisition by BNP Paribas of Fortis Bank. The no-action relief applies only to aggregated positions created by the acquisition by BNP Paribas of Fortis Bank and is subject to the following conditions: (1) BNP Paribas and Fortis Bank must proceed promptly following the acquisition to verify compliance with applicable limits or to identify and implement, not later than January 15, 2009, any measures that may be necessary to ensure compliance prospectively with applicable limits, and (2) BNP Paribas and Fortis Bank must not, following the acquisition and prior to January 15, 2009, further add to any aggregated positions found not to be in compliance with Commission or exchange speculative position limits.
08/29/2008
09-16 PDF Image; Regulations 4.7(b)(3) and 4.22(c); Exemption
The CPO of a master fund and two feeder funds whose sole investment was in the master fund requested an interpretation or exemption with respect to the due date of the final annual report for one of the feeder funds that ceased operation as of June 30, 2008. Participants in the feeder fund that was ceasing operation exchanged their units for units in the second feeder fund. The CPO proposed that, rather than filing an annual report by September 30, 2008 for the feeder fund ceasing operation, it be permitted to file the report by March 31, 2009. The CPO claimed that the participants were not redeeming their investments, and represented further that there would be an additional cost in preparing a mid-year report because additional information from the master fund as of June 30, 2008 would be necessary. DCIO clarified that the fund did, in fact, cease operation as of June 30, 2008 and therefore its report was due within 90 days, but provided an extension of the report’s due date to March 31, 2009 on the basis that participants were transferred into a nearly identical investment and would continue to receive periodic reports on the value of their investment prior to the issuance of the fund’s final annual report.

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