Friday, November 20, 2009
The SEC and the CFTC issued two joint orders related to security-based futures contracts that clarify each Commission's respective jurisdiction and allow additional products to underlie security futures.
The first joint order excludes certain foreign and domestic volatility indexes that are based on broad-based security indexes from the definition of "narrow-based security index". As a result of the joint order, futures on foreign and domestic volatility indexes that meet the criteria contained in the joint order are treated as "broad-based security indexes" and subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the CFTC. Options on such volatility indexes are subject to the federal securities laws and the jurisdiction of the SEC. The joint order, contained in SEC Release No. 34-61020, became effective on November 17.
The second joint order allows security futures products to be based on any security that is eligible to underlie an exchange-listed security option, including certain unregistered debt securities. This joint order, which is contained in SEC Release No. 34-61027, became effective on November 19.