The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) has adopted widely anticipated rules regarding the application of its commodity pool operator (“CPO”) regulatory regime to CPOs of registered investment companies (“RICs”). In what will be a relief to the mutual fund industry, the CFTC has largely deferred to established industry practices. Many observers feared that the agency, having in 2012 replaced a broad status-based exemption for RICs with a narrower exemption dependent on trading limitations, now might impose additional rules on RICs. Instead, the CFTC’s final rules provide extensive relief from CPO compliance obligations under Part 4 of the CFTC rules and generally allow so-called “substituted compliance” with corresponding obligations imposed on RICs by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). In other words, for CPOs of RICs, the CFTC has determined to accept compliance with most SEC rules in lieu of the CFTC rules that otherwise might apply.
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