Proposed Amendments to the Uniform Practice Code to Extend Applicability of the Code to Secondary Market Transactions in Unit Investment Trust Securities
TO: All NASD Members
Enclosed herewith are proposed amendments to the Association's Uniform Practice Code ("Code") which were approved by the Board of Governors at its November 19, 1982, meeting. The amendments are being submitted to the membership for comment. After the comment period has expired, the Board of Governors will again review the proposal taking into consideration the comments received, and will thereafter submit the proposals as may be amended in response to the comments received, to the Securities and Exchange Commission for approval.
BACKGROUND AND EXPLANATION OF PROPOSALS
The amendments to the Uniform Practice Code are designed to extend the applicability of the Code to secondary market transactions in unit investment trust securities (UITS) A Subcommittee of the Uniform Practice Committee, which consisted of a panel of experts in the field of unit investment trusts, was established to study the feasibility of applying the Code to UITS and to develop the recommended amendments.
The original proposal to extend the scope of the Code was urged by member firms because of the increased popularity and trading activity in this investment product. In particular, it was perceived that a substantial "fail-to-deliver" problem existed in the secondary market for UITS. Historically, the Code has been applied only to corporate equity and debt securities and not to securities registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940.
The Subcommittee's review of the subject resulted in the conclusion that UPC coverage of UITS was feasible and desirable. The Subcommittee then undertook a section-by-section analysis of the Code to determine what, if any, changes were appropriate to extend the coverage of the Code to UITS. The amendments to the Code resulting from this work will provide industry-wide uniformity in trading and trade processing for unit investment trust securities.
The following is a brief description of the proposed amendments to the Code. The full text of the amendments is attached as Exhibit A.
- In Section l(a) of the Code, the "secondary market" has been added to express more clearly the fact that only aftermarket transactions are covered by the Code and that its provisions are not applicable to the original distribution process of new issues.
- A new Section l(a)(iv) has been added which generally excludes redeemable securities from coverage under the Code. The exception is made, however, for all secondary market transactions in UITS except redemptions.
- Old Section 6(b) defining "record date" has been redesignated Section 3(d) and amended to specifically include unit investment trust securities and principal payments on these securities.
- Non-substantive language has been added in Section 5(b)(3) to clarify the process for declaration of ex-dividend dates on securities of open-end management investment companies.
- Language has been added to Section 10 relating to descriptions of securities in confirmations and comparisons to include the payment option on unit investment trust securities.
- A new Section 17(A) is being added to define the unit of delivery for unit investment trust securities as a single unit of the trust.
- In Sections 46(a), (c) and (d), the term "bond" has been deleted and replaced with the word "security" in order to expand the application of those sections dealing with the computation of accrued interest for unit investment trust securities.
- Sections 48(b) and (d) have been amended to specifically refer to unit investment trust securities in the definition of "due-bill checks."
- In Section 49(c), language has been added to specifically refer to unit investment trust securities in the procedure for claiming interest payments.
- Language has been added in Section 56(a) to specifically refer to unit investment trust securities in the procedure for reclamations.
- Old Section 59(c) has been redesignated Section 59(c)(i) and a new Section 59(c)(ii) has been added to provide a buy-in procedure for unit investment trust securities. In essence, these provisions allow a purchaser of securities which have not been delivered either to buy the securities in, to agree upon a substitution of securities or, if both of these options are unavailable, to effect a repurchase of the securities. These procedures are comparable to the buy-in provisions of Rule G-12 of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board.
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In a related matter, the Board of Governors has also approved an amendment to the Uniform Practice Code exempting secondary market transactions in Direct Participation Program securities from application of the Code. This amendment is contained in a new Section l(a)(v) of the Code and was based upon a recommendation from the Association's Real Estate and Direct Participation Program Committees. Although the Code has not been applied to such transactions in the past, the Board believes it appropriate to specifically state this in light of the UITS amendments.
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All comments relating to the amendments should be addressed to S. William Broka, Corporate Secretary, NASD, 1735 K Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20006, and received by February 21, 1983. Any questions should be addressed to James R. Yore, Uniform Practice Department, at (212) 839-6255.
John T. Wall
Executive Vice President
Member and Market Services
NASD UNIFORM PRACTICE CODE AMENDMENTS UNIT INVESTMENT TRUST SECURITIES
Sec. 1 SCOPE OF UNIFORM PRACTICE CODE
Former Section 6(b) would be redesignated as Section 3(d) and amended as follows:
Sec. 5 TRANSACTIONS IN SECURITIES "EX-DIVIDEND," "EX-RIGHTS" OR "EX-WARRANTS"
Not withstanding the above, the ex-dividend date on
Sec. 6 TRANSACTIONS "EX-INTEREST" IN BONDS WHICH ARE DEALT IN "FLAT"
Sec 7 - 9 - Unchanged
Sec. 10 DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES
Confirmations or comparisons shall include, in addition to an adequate description of the security, (which shall include payment option on a unit investment trust series) the price at which the transaction was made and any other information deemed necessary to insure that the buyer and seller agree as to details of the transaction. Such "other information" should include, if applicable, but need not be limited to, such phrases as "ex-warrants," "ex-stock," "registered," "flat," "part-redeemed," "Canadian funds," "with proxy," etc.
Sec. 11 - 17 - Unchanged
Sec. 17 A - Units of Delivery-Unit Investment Trust Securities.
The minimum unit of delivery for Unit Investment Trust Securities shall be a single unit of the trust.
Sec. 18 - 45 - Unchanged
Sec 46 COMPUTATION OF INTEREST
When a delivery of a
When delivery of a
Sec.48 DUE-BILLS AND DUE-BILL CHECKS
The term "due-bill checks" as used in this Section means a due-bill in the form of a check payable on the date of payment of a cash dividend
Due bill checks for a cash distribution,
Sec. 49 CLAIMS FOR DIVIDENDS, RIGHTS, INTEREST, ETC.
The provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall be equally applicable to interest or rights pertaining to registered bonds and unit investment trust securities.
Sec. 50 - 55 - Unchanged
Sec 56 IRREGULAR DELIVERY — TRANSFER REFUSED — LOST OR STOLEN SECURITIES
Reclamation, by reasons of the fact of an irregularity in the delivery of a security, shall be within 30 months after the settlement date of the contract. For purposes of this section, the term "irregular delivery" shall include, among other things, wrong, duplicate, misdirected
Sec. 57 - 58 - Unchanged
Sec. 59 "BUYING-IN"
On failure of the seller to effect delivery in accordance with the "buy-in" notice, or to obtain a stay as hereinafter provided, the buyer may close the contract by purchasing all or any part of the securities necessary to complete the contract. Such execution will also operate to closeout all contracts covered under retransmitted notices of buy-in issued pursuant to the original notice of buy-in. A "buy-in" may be executed by a member from its long position and/or from customer's accounts maintained with such member. In all cases, members must be prepared to defend the price at which the "buy-in" is executed relative to the current market at the time of the "buy-in."
Buy-in execution options, in addition to those contained in (c)(i), may be available when the purchaser wishes to buy-in contracts made for unit investment trust securities.
The purchaser may,
Bearing the burden of any change in the market price from the original contract price means that if the current market price is higher than the original contract price, the purchaser may require the seller to repurchase the unit investment trust securities at the current market price and conversely means that If the current market price is lower than the original contract price, the purchaser may require the seller to repurchase the unit investment trust securities at the original contract price, with accrued interest.
Sec. 60 - 64 - Unchanged