SPDR INDEX SHARES FUNDS
SPDR® INDEX SHARES FUNDS (THE TRUST)
STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
January 31, 2023
This Statement of Additional Information (SAI) is not a prospectus. With respect to each of the Trust's series listed below, this SAI should be read in conjunction with the prospectus dated January 31, 2023 (the Prospectus), as may be revised from time to time.
ETF
TICKER
SPDR BLOOMBERG SASB DEVELOPED MARKETS EX US ESG SELECT ETF
RDMX
SPDR BLOOMBERG SASB EMERGING MARKETS ESG SELECT ETF
REMG
SPDR DOW JONES GLOBAL REAL ESTATE ETF
RWO
SPDR DOW JONES INTERNATIONAL REAL ESTATE ETF
RWX
SPDR EURO STOXX 50 ETF
FEZ
SPDR MSCI ACWI CLIMATE PARIS ALIGNED ETF (FORMERLY, SPDR MSCI ACWI LOW CARBON TARGET ETF)
NZAC
SPDR MSCI ACWI EX-US ETF
CWI
SPDR MSCI EAFE FOSSIL FUEL RESERVES FREE ETF
EFAX
SPDR MSCI EAFE® STRATEGICFACTORS ETF
QEFA
SPDR MSCI EMERGING MARKETS FOSSIL FUEL RESERVES FREE ETF
EEMX
SPDR MSCI EMERGING MARKETS STRATEGICFACTORS ETF
QEMM
SPDR MSCI WORLD STRATEGICFACTORS ETF
QWLD
SPDR PORTFOLIO DEVELOPED WORLD EX-US ETF
SPDW
SPDR PORTFOLIO EMERGING MARKETS ETF
SPEM
SPDR PORTFOLIO EUROPE ETF
SPEU
SPDR PORTFOLIO MSCI GLOBAL STOCK MARKET ETF
SPGM
SPDR S&P CHINA ETF
GXC
SPDR S&P® EMERGING ASIA PACIFIC ETF
GMF
SPDR S&P EMERGING MARKETS DIVIDEND ETF
EDIV
SPDR S&P EMERGING MARKETS SMALL CAP ETF
EWX
SPDR S&P GLOBAL DIVIDEND ETF
WDIV
SPDR S&P GLOBAL INFRASTRUCTURE ETF
GII
SPDR S&P GLOBAL NATURAL RESOURCES ETF
GNR
SPDR S&P INTERNATIONAL DIVIDEND ETF
DWX
SPDR S&P INTERNATIONAL SMALL CAP ETF
GWX
SPDR S&P NORTH AMERICAN NATURAL RESOURCES ETF
NANR
Principal U.S. Listing Exchange for each ETF: NYSE Arca, Inc. (except the SPDR MSCI ACWI Climate Paris Aligned ETF (NZAC) is listed on The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC)
Capitalized terms used herein that are not defined have the same meaning as in the Prospectus, unless otherwise noted. Copies of the Prospectus and the Trust's Annual Reports to Shareholders dated September 30, 2022 may be obtained without charge by writing to State Street Global Advisors Funds Distributors, LLC, the Trust's principal underwriter (referred to herein as Distributor or Principal Underwriter), One Iron Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02210, by visiting the Trust's website at https://www.ssga.com/spdrs or by calling 1-866-787-2257. The Reports of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm, financial highlights and financial statements of the Funds included in the Trust's Annual Reports to Shareholders for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2022 are incorporated by reference into this SAI.
SPDRISFDSAI
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
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General Description of the Trust
The Trust is an open-end management investment company, registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the 1940 Act), consisting of multiple investment series (each, a Fund and collectively, the Funds). The Trust was organized as a Massachusetts business trust on February 14, 2002. The offering of each Fund's shares (Shares) is registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the Securities Act). The investment objective of each Fund is to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, correspond generally to the total return, or the price and yield performance, of a specified market index (each an Index and together the Indexes). SSGA Funds Management, Inc. (SSGA FM or the Adviser) serves as the investment adviser for each Fund, as further described herein.
Each Fund offers and issues Shares at their net asset value (sometimes referred to herein as NAV) only in aggregations of a specified number of Shares (each, a Creation Unit). Each Fund generally offers and issues Shares in exchange for (i) a basket of securities designated by the Fund (Deposit Securities) together with the deposit of a specified cash payment (Cash Component) or (ii) a cash payment equal in value to the Deposit Securities (Deposit Cash) together with the Cash Component. The primary consideration accepted by a Fund (i.e., Deposit Securities or Deposit Cash) is set forth under Purchase and Redemption of Creation Units later in this SAI. The Trust reserves the right to permit or require the substitution of a cash in lieu amount to be added to the Cash Component to replace any Deposit Security and reserves the right to permit or require the substitution of Deposit Securities in lieu of Deposit Cash (subject to applicable legal requirements). The Shares have been approved for listing and secondary trading on a national securities exchange (the Exchange). The Shares will trade on the Exchange at market prices. These prices may differ from the Shares' net asset values. The Shares are also redeemable only in Creation Unit aggregations, and generally in exchange for either (i) portfolio securities and a specified cash payment or (ii) cash (subject to applicable legal requirements).
Shares may be issued in advance of receipt of Deposit Securities subject to various conditions including a requirement to maintain on deposit with the Trust cash at least equal to a specified percentage of the market value of the missing Deposit Securities as set forth in the Participant Agreement (as defined below). See Purchase and Redemption of Creation Units. The Trust may impose a transaction fee for each creation or redemption. In all cases, such fees will be limited in accordance with the requirements of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) applicable to management investment companies offering redeemable securities. In addition to the fixed creation or redemption transaction fee, an additional transaction fee of up to three times the fixed creation or redemption transaction fee and/or an additional variable charge may apply.
Investment Policies
Each Fund may invest in the following types of investments, consistent with its investment strategies and objective. Please see the Funds' Prospectus for additional information regarding its principal investment strategies.
DIVERSIFICATION STATUS
The following table sets forth the diversification classification of each of Fund:
Diversified Funds
Non-Diversified Funds
SPDR Dow Jones Global Real Estate ETF
SPDR Bloomberg SASB Developed Markets Ex US ESG
Select ETF
SPDR Dow Jones International Real Estate ETF
SPDR Bloomberg SASB Emerging Markets ESG Select
ETF
SPDR EURO STOXX 50 ETF
SPDR MSCI Emerging Markets Fossil Fuel Reserves Free
ETF
SPDR MSCI ACWI Climate Paris Aligned ETF
SPDR S&P China ETF
SPDR MSCI ACWI ex-US ETF
SPDR S&P Emerging Asia Pacific ETF
SPDR MSCI EAFE Fossil Fuel Reserves Free ETF
SPDR S&P North American Natural Resources ETF
SPDR MSCI EAFE StrategicFactors ETF
 
SPDR MSCI Emerging Markets StrategicFactors ETF
 
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Diversified Funds
Non-Diversified Funds
SPDR MSCI World StrategicFactors ETF
 
SPDR Portfolio Developed World ex-US ETF
 
SPDR Portfolio Emerging Markets ETF
 
SPDR Portfolio Europe ETF
 
SPDR Portfolio MSCI Global Stock Market ETF
 
SPDR S&P Emerging Markets Dividend ETF
 
SPDR S&P Emerging Markets Small Cap ETF
 
SPDR S&P Global Dividend ETF
 
SPDR S&P Global Infrastructure ETF
 
SPDR S&P Global Natural Resources ETF
 
SPDR S&P International Dividend ETF
 
SPDR S&P International Small Cap ETF
 
 
 
Under the 1940 Act, a diversified investment company, as to 75% of its total assets, may not purchase securities of any issuer (other than securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agents or instrumentalities or securities of other investment companies) if, as a result, more than 5% of its total assets would be invested in the securities of such issuer, or more than 10% of the issuer's outstanding voting securities would be held by the investment company. A non-diversified classification means that a Fund is not limited by the 1940 Act with regard to the percentage of its assets that may be invested in the securities of a single issuer. This means that a non-diversified Fund may invest a greater portion of its assets in the securities of a single issuer than a diversified fund. The securities of a particular issuer may constitute a greater portion of an Index of a Fund and, therefore, the securities may constitute a greater portion of the Fund's portfolio. This may have an adverse effect on the Fund's performance or subject the Fund's Shares to greater price volatility than more diversified investment companies.
Each Fund seeks to track the performance of its respective Index. The composition of each Index may fluctuate between non-diversified and diversified solely due to changes in weightings of one or more Index components. As a result, a Fund's diversification status may also fluctuate between non-diversified and diversified depending on the composition of, and to approximately the same extent as, its respective Index. To the extent a diversified Fund becomes non-diversified solely as a result of tracking its Index (e.g., changes in weightings of one or more component securities), it will not seek shareholder approval if and when the Fund shifts from diversified to non-diversified.
Each Fund (whether diversified or non-diversified for purposes of the 1940 Act) intends to maintain the required level of diversification and otherwise conduct its operations so as to qualify as a regulated investment company (RIC) for purposes of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the Internal Revenue Code), and to relieve the Fund of any liability for federal income tax to the extent that its earnings are distributed to shareholders. Compliance with the diversification requirements of the Internal Revenue Code may severely limit the investment flexibility of a Fund and may make it less likely that the Fund will meet its investment objective.
COMMERCIAL PAPER
Commercial paper consists of short-term, promissory notes issued by banks, corporations and other entities to finance short-term credit needs. These securities generally are discounted but sometimes may be interest bearing.
COMMON STOCK
Risks inherent in investing in equity securities include the risk that the financial condition of issuers may become impaired or that the general condition of the stock market may deteriorate (either of which may cause a decrease in the value of a Fund's portfolio securities and therefore a decrease in the value of Shares of the Fund). Common stock is susceptible to
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general stock market fluctuation and to volatile increases and decreases in value as market confidence and perceptions change. These investor perceptions are based on various and unpredictable factors, including expectations regarding government, economic, monetary and fiscal policies; inflation and interest rates; economic expansion or contraction; and global or regional political, economic or banking crises.
Holders of common stock incur more risk than holders of preferred stock and debt obligations because common stockholders, as owners of the issuer, have generally inferior rights to receive payments from the issuer in comparison with the rights of creditors of, or holders of debt obligations or preferred stock issued by, the issuer. Further, unlike debt securities which typically have a stated principal amount payable at maturity (whose value, however, will be subject to market fluctuations prior thereto), or preferred stock which typically has a liquidation preference and which may have stated optional or mandatory redemption provisions, common stock has neither a fixed principal amount nor a maturity. Common stock values are subject to market fluctuations as long as the common stock remains outstanding.
CONCENTRATION
Each Fund will concentrate its investments in securities of issuers in the same industry as may be necessary to approximate the composition of the Fund's underlying Index. The securities of issuers in particular industries may dominate the benchmark Index of a Fund and consequently a Fund's investment portfolio. This may adversely affect a Fund's performance or subject its Shares to greater price volatility than that experienced by less concentrated investment companies. The Trust's general policy is to exclude securities of the U.S. government and its agencies or instrumentalities when measuring industry concentration.
In pursuing its objective, each Fund may hold the securities of a single issuer in an amount exceeding 10% of the market value of the outstanding securities of the issuer, subject to restrictions imposed by the Internal Revenue Code. In particular, as a Fund's size grows and its assets increase, it will be more likely to hold more than 10% of the securities of a single issuer if the issuer has a relatively small public float as compared to other components in its benchmark Index.
CONVERTIBLE SECURITIES
Convertible securities are bonds, debentures, notes, preferred stock or other securities that may be converted or exchanged (by the holder or by the issuer) into shares of the underlying common stock (or cash or securities of equivalent value) at a stated exchange ratio. A convertible security may also be called for redemption or conversion by the issuer after a particular date and under certain circumstances (including a specified price) established upon issue. If a convertible security held by a Fund is called for redemption or conversion, the Fund could be required to tender it for redemption, convert it into the underlying common stock, or sell it to a third party.
Convertible securities generally have less potential for gain or loss than common stock. Convertible securities generally provide yields higher than the underlying common stock, but generally lower than comparable non-convertible securities. Because of this higher yield, convertible securities generally sell at a price above their conversion value, which is the current market value of the stock to be received upon conversion. The difference between this conversion value and the price of convertible securities will vary over time depending on changes in the value of the underlying common stock and interest rates. When the underlying common stock declines in value, convertible securities will tend not to decline to the same extent because of the interest or dividend payments and the repayment of principal at maturity for certain types of convertible securities. However, securities that are convertible other than at the option of the holder generally do not limit the potential for loss to the same extent as securities convertible at the option of the holder. When the underlying common stock rises in value, the value of convertible securities may also be expected to increase. At the same time, however, the difference between the market value of convertible securities and their conversion value will narrow, which means that the value of convertible securities will generally not increase to the same extent as the value of the underlying common stock. Because convertible securities may also be interest-rate sensitive, their value may increase as interest rates fall and decrease as interest rates rise. Convertible securities are also subject to credit risk, and are often lower-quality securities.
EXCHANGE-TRADED FUNDS
Each Fund may invest in other exchange-traded funds (ETFs) (including ETFs managed by the Adviser). ETFs may be structured as investment companies that are registered under the 1940 Act, typically as open-end funds or unit investment trusts. These ETFs are generally based on specific domestic and foreign market securities indices. An index-based ETF seeks to provide investment results that match the performance of an index by holding in its portfolio either the contents of the index or a representative sample of the securities in the index. An actively-managed ETF invests in securities based on an adviser's investment strategy. An enhanced ETF seeks to provide investment results that match a positive or
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negative multiple of the performance of an underlying index. In seeking to provide such results, an ETF and, in particular, an enhanced ETF, may engage in short sales of securities included in the underlying index and may invest in derivatives instruments, such as equity index swaps, futures contracts, and options on securities, futures contracts, and stock indices. Alternatively, ETFs may be structured as grantor trusts or other forms of pooled investment vehicles that are not registered or regulated under the 1940 Act. These ETFs typically hold commodities, precious metals, currency or other non-securities investments. ETFs, like mutual funds, have expenses associated with their operation, such as advisory and custody fees. When a Fund invests in an ETF, in addition to directly bearing expenses associated with its own operations, including the brokerage costs associated with the purchase and sale of shares of the ETF, the Fund will bear a pro rata portion of the ETF's expenses. In addition, it may be more costly to own an ETF than to directly own the securities or other investments held by the ETF because of ETF expenses. The risks of owning shares of an ETF generally reflect the risks of owning the underlying securities or other investments held by the ETF, although lack of liquidity in the market for the shares of an ETF could result in the ETF's value being more volatile than the underlying securities or other investments.
FOREIGN CURRENCY TRANSACTIONS
Each Fund may conduct foreign currency transactions on a spot (i.e., cash) or forward basis (i.e., by entering into forward contracts to purchase or sell foreign currencies). Although foreign exchange dealers generally do not charge a fee for such conversions, they do realize a profit based on the difference between the prices at which they are buying and selling various currencies. Thus, a dealer may offer to sell a foreign currency at one rate, while offering a lesser rate of exchange should the counterparty desire to resell that currency to the dealer. Forward contracts are customized transactions that generally require a specific amount of a currency to be delivered at a specific exchange rate on a specific date or range of dates in the future, although the Funds may also enter into non-deliverable currency forward contracts (NDFs) that contractually require the netting of the parties' liabilities. Forwards, including NDFs, can have substantial price volatility. While foreign currency transactions on a spot and forward basis are exempt from the definition of swap under the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA), NDFs are not, and, thus, are subject to the jurisdiction of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Forward contracts are generally traded in an interbank market directly between currency traders (usually large commercial banks) and their customers. The parties to a forward contract may agree to offset or terminate the contract before its maturity, or may hold the contract to maturity and complete the contemplated currency exchange. In the event that the parties to a forward contract agree to offset or terminate the contract before its maturity, the contract is no longer exempt from the definition of swap under the CEA and shall be treated as a swap. At the discretion of the Adviser, the Funds may enter into forward currency exchange contracts for hedging purposes to help reduce the risks and volatility caused by changes in foreign currency exchange rates, or to gain exposure to certain currencies in an effort to track the composition of the applicable Index. When used for hedging purposes, they tend to limit any potential gain that may be realized if the value of a Fund's foreign holdings increases because of currency fluctuations.
FUTURES CONTRACTS, OPTIONS AND SWAP AGREEMENTS
Each Fund may invest up to 20% of its assets in derivatives, including exchange-traded futures on indices, exchange-traded futures on Treasuries or Eurodollars, U.S. exchange-traded or OTC put and call options contracts and exchange-traded or OTC swap transactions (including NDFs, interest rate swaps, total return swaps, excess return swaps, and credit default swaps).
Futures and Options on Futures: Futures contracts generally provide for the future sale by one party and purchase by another party of a specified commodity or security at a specified future time and at a specified price. Index futures contracts are settled daily with a payment by one party to the other of a cash amount based on the difference between the level of the index specified in the contract from one day to the next. A futures contract on an index is an agreement pursuant to which two parties agree to take or make delivery of an amount of cash equal to the difference between the value of the index at the close of the last trading day of the contract and the price at which the index contract originally was written. Although the value of an index might be a function of the value of certain specified securities, physical delivery of these securities is not always made. A public market exists in futures contracts covering a number of indexes, as well as financial instruments, including, without limitation: U.S. Treasury bonds; U.S. Treasury notes; GNMA Certificates; three-month U.S. Treasury bills; 90-day commercial paper; bank certificates of deposit; Eurodollar certificates of deposit; the Australian Dollar; the Canadian Dollar; the British Pound; the Japanese Yen; the Swiss Franc; the Mexican Peso; and certain multinational currencies, such as the Euro. It is expected that other futures contracts will be developed and traded in the future. Futures contracts are standardized as to maturity date and underlying instrument and are traded on futures exchanges.
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The Funds may purchase and write (sell) call and put options on futures. Options on futures give the holder the right, in return for the premium paid, to assume a long position (call) or short position (put) in a futures contract at a specified exercise price upon expiration of, or at any time during the period of, the option. Upon exercise of a call option, the holder acquires a long position in the futures contract and the writer is assigned the opposite short position. In the case of a put option, the opposite is true.
A Fund is required to make a good faith margin deposit in cash or U.S. government securities (or other eligible collateral) with a broker or custodian to initiate and maintain open positions in futures contracts. A margin deposit is intended to assure completion of the contract (delivery or acceptance of the underlying commodity or payment of the cash settlement amount) if it is not terminated prior to the specified delivery date. Brokers may establish deposit requirements which are higher than the exchange minimums. Futures contracts are customarily purchased and sold on margin deposits which may range upward from less than 5% of the value of the contract being traded.
After a futures contract position is opened, the value of the contract is marked to market daily. If the futures contract price changes to the extent that the margin on deposit does not satisfy price changes, additional payments will be required. Conversely, change in the contract value may reduce the required margin, resulting in a repayment of excess margin to the contract holder. Variation margin payments are made to and from the futures broker for as long as the contract remains open. In such case, a Fund would expect to earn interest income on its margin deposits. Although some futures contracts call for making or taking delivery of the underlying commodity, generally these obligations are closed out prior to delivery by offsetting purchases or sales of matching futures contracts (involving the same exchange, underlying commodity, security or index and delivery month). If an offsetting purchase price is less than the original sale price, the Fund realizes a capital gain, or if it is more, the Fund realizes a capital loss. Conversely, if an offsetting sale price is more than the original purchase price, the Fund realizes a capital gain, or if it is less, the Fund realizes a capital loss. The transaction costs also must be included in these calculations.
Options: A Fund may purchase and sell put and call options. Such options may relate to particular securities and may or may not be listed on a national securities exchange and issued by the Options Clearing Corporation. Options trading is a highly specialized activity that entails greater than ordinary investment risk. Options on particular securities may be more volatile than the underlying securities, and therefore, on a percentage basis, an investment in options may be subject to greater fluctuation than an investment in the underlying securities themselves.
Short Sales Against the Box: The Funds may engage in short sales against the box. In a short sale against the box, a Fund agrees to sell at a future date a security that it either contemporaneously owns or has the right to acquire at no extra cost. If the price of the security has declined at the time the Fund is required to deliver the security, the Fund will benefit from the difference in the price. If the price of the security has increased, the Fund will be required to pay the difference.
Swap Transactions: Each Fund may enter into swap transactions, including interest rate swap, credit default swap, NDF, and total return swap transactions. Swap transactions are contracts between parties in which one party agrees to make periodic payments to the other party based on the change in market value or level of a specified rate, index or asset. In return, the other party agrees to make payments to the first party based on the return of a different specified rate, index or asset. Swap transactions will usually be done on a net basis, i.e., where the two parties make net payments with a Fund receiving or paying, as the case may be, only the net amount of the two payments. The net amount of the excess, if any, of a Fund's obligations over its entitlements with respect to each swap is accrued on a daily basis and an amount of cash or equivalents having an aggregate value at least equal to the accrued excess is maintained by the Fund. Swaps may be used in conjunction with other instruments to offset interest rate, currency or other underlying risks. For example, interest rate swaps may be offset with caps, floors or collars. A cap is essentially a call option which places a limit on the amount of floating rate interest that must be paid on a certain principal amount. A floor is essentially a put option which places a limit on the minimum amount that would be paid on a certain principal amount. A collar is essentially a combination of a long cap and a short floor where the limits are set at different levels.
The use of swap transactions by a Fund entails certain risks, which may be different from, or possibly greater than, the risks associated with investing directly in the securities and other investments that are the referenced asset for the swap agreement. Swaps are highly specialized instruments that require investment techniques, risk analyses, and tax planning different from those associated with stocks, bonds, and other traditional investments. The use of a swap requires an understanding not only of the referenced asset, reference rate, or index, but also of the swap itself, without the benefit of observing the performance of the swap under all the possible market conditions. Because some swap transactions have a leverage component, adverse changes in the value or level of the underlying asset, reference rate, or index can result in a loss substantially greater than the amount invested in the swap itself. Certain swaps have the potential for unlimited loss, regardless of the size of the initial investment.
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Bilateral OTC transactions differ from exchange-traded or cleared derivatives transactions in several respects. Bilateral OTC transactions are transacted directly with dealers and not with a clearing corporation. Without the availability of a clearing corporation, bilateral OTC transaction pricing is normally done by reference to information from market makers and/or available index data, which information is carefully monitored by the Adviser and verified in appropriate cases. As bilateral OTC transactions are entered into directly with a dealer, there is a risk of nonperformance by the dealer as a result of its insolvency or otherwise. Under regulations adopted by the CFTC and federal banking regulators (Margin Rules), a Fund is required to post collateral (known as variation margin) to cover the mark-to-market exposure in respect of its uncleared swaps. The Margin Rules also mandate that collateral in the form of initial margin be posted to cover potential future exposure attributable to uncleared swap transactions. In the event a Fund is required to post collateral in the form of initial margin or variation margin in respect of its uncleared swap transactions, all such collateral will be posted with a third party custodian pursuant to a triparty custody agreement between the Fund, its dealer counterparty and an unaffiliated custodian.
The requirement to execute certain OTC derivatives contracts on exchanges or electronic trading platforms called swap execution facilities (SEFs) may offer certain advantages over traditional bilateral OTC trading, such as ease of execution, price transparency, increased liquidity and/or favorable pricing. However, SEF trading may make it more difficult and costly for a Fund to enter into highly tailored or customized transactions and may result in additional costs and risks. Market participants such as the Funds that execute derivatives contracts through a SEF, whether directly or through a broker intermediary, are required to submit to the jurisdiction of the SEF and comply with SEF and CFTC rules and regulations which impose, among other things disclosure and recordkeeping obligations. In addition, a Fund will generally incur SEF or broker intermediary fees when it trades on a SEF. A Fund may also be required to indemnify the SEF or broker intermediary for any losses or costs that may result from the Fund's transactions on the SEF.
Total Return Swaps: A Fund may enter into total return swap transactions for investment purposes. Total return swaps are transactions in which one party agrees to make periodic payments based on the change in market value of the underlying assets, which may include a specified security, basket of securities or security indexes during the specified period, in return for periodic payments based on a fixed or variable interest rate of the total return from other underlying assets. Total return swaps may be used to obtain exposure to a security or market without owning or taking physical custody of such security or market, including in cases in which there may be disadvantages associated with direct ownership of a particular security. In a typical total return equity swap, payments made by a Fund or the counterparty are based on the total return of a particular reference asset or assets (such as an equity security, a combination of such securities, or an index). That is, one party agrees to pay another party the return on a stock, basket of stocks, or stock index in return for a specified interest rate. By entering into an equity index swap, for example, the index receiver can gain exposure to stocks making up the index of securities without actually purchasing those stocks. Total return swaps involve not only the risk associated with the investment in the underlying securities, but also the risk of the counterparty not fulfilling its obligations under the agreement.
Credit Default Swaps: A Fund may enter into credit default swap transactions for investment purposes. A credit default swap transaction may have as reference obligations one or more securities that are not currently held by the Fund. A Fund may be either the protection buyer or protection seller in the transaction. Credit default swaps may also be structured based on the debt of a basket of issuers, rather than a single issuer, and may be customized with respect to the default event that triggers purchase or other factors. As a protection seller, a Fund would generally receive an upfront payment or a fixed rate of income throughout the term of the swap, which typically is between six months and three years, provided that there is no credit event. If a credit event occurs, generally the protection seller must pay the protection buyer the full face amount of the reference obligations that may have little or no value. If a Fund were a protection buyer and no credit event occurred during the term of the swap, the Fund would recover nothing if the swap were held through its termination date. However, if a credit event occurred, the protection buyer may elect to receive the full notional value of the swap in exchange for an equal face amount of the reference obligation that may have little or no value. Where a Fund is the protection buyer, credit default swaps involve the risk that the seller may fail to satisfy its payment obligations to the Fund in the event of a default. The purchase of credit default swaps involves costs, which will reduce a Fund's return.
Currency Swaps: A Fund may enter into currency swap transactions for investment purposes. Currency swaps are similar to interest rate swaps, except that they involve multiple currencies. A Fund may enter into a currency swap when it has exposure to one currency and desires exposure to a different currency. Typically, the interest rates that determine the currency swap payments are fixed, although occasionally one or both parties may pay a floating rate of interest. Unlike an interest rate swap, however, the principal amounts are exchanged at the beginning of the contract and returned at the end
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of the contract. In addition to paying and receiving amounts at the beginning and end of the transaction, both sides will have to pay in full on a periodic basis based upon the currency they have borrowed. Change in foreign exchange rates and changes in interest rates, as described above, may negatively affect currency swaps.
Interest Rate Swaps: A Fund may enter into an interest rate swap in an effort to protect against declines in the value of fixed income securities held by the Fund. In such an instance, the Fund may agree to pay a fixed rate (multiplied by a notional amount) while a counterparty agrees to pay a floating rate (multiplied by the same notional amount). If interest rates rise, resulting in a diminution in the value of the Fund's portfolio, the Fund would receive payments under the swap that would offset, in whole or in part, such diminution in value.
Options on Swaps: An option on a swap agreement, or a swaption, is a contract that gives a counterparty the right (but not the obligation) to enter into a new swap agreement or to shorten, extend, cancel or otherwise modify an existing swap agreement, at some designated future time on specified terms. In return, the purchaser pays a premium to the seller of the contract. The seller of the contract receives the premium and bears the risk of unfavorable changes on the underlying swap. A Fund may write (sell) and purchase put and call swaptions. A Fund may also enter into swaptions on either an asset-based or liability-based basis, depending on whether the Fund is hedging its assets or its liabilities. A Fund may write (sell) and purchase put and call swaptions to the same extent it may make use of standard options on securities or other instruments. A Fund may enter into these transactions primarily to preserve a return or spread on a particular investment or portion of its holdings, as a duration management technique, to protect against an increase in the price of securities the Fund anticipates purchasing at a later date, or for any other purposes, such as for speculation to increase returns. Swaptions are generally subject to the same risks involved in a Fund's use of options.
Depending on the terms of the particular option agreement, a Fund will generally incur a greater degree of risk when it writes a swaption than it will incur when it purchases a swaption. When a Fund purchases a swaption, it risks losing only the amount of the premium it has paid should it decide to let the option expire unexercised. However, when a Fund writes a swaption, upon exercise of the option the Fund will become obligated according to the terms of the underlying agreement.
Government Regulation: The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act) that was signed into law on July 21, 2010 created a new statutory framework that comprehensively regulated the over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives markets for the first time. Prior to the Dodd-Frank Act, the OTC derivatives markets were traditionally traded on a bilateral basis (so-called bilateral OTC transactions). Under the Dodd-Frank Act, certain OTC derivatives transactions are now required to be centrally cleared and traded on SEFs.
On October 28, 2020, the SEC adopted Rule 18f-4 (the Derivatives Rule) under the 1940 Act which replaced prior SEC and staff guidance with an updated, comprehensive framework for registered funds' use of derivatives. The Derivatives Rule permits a Fund to enter into derivatives transactions and certain other transactions notwithstanding the restrictions on the issuance of senior securities under Section 18 of the 1940 Act. The Derivatives Rule requires the Funds to trade derivatives and certain other instruments that create future payment or delivery obligations subject to a value-at-risk (VaR) leverage limit, develop and implement a derivatives risk management program and new testing requirements, and comply with new requirements related to board and SEC reporting. These requirements apply unless a Fund qualifies as a limited derivatives user, as defined in the Derivatives Rule. Complying with the Derivatives Rule may increase the cost of a Fund's investments and cost of doing business, which could adversely affect investors. Other new regulations could adversely affect the value, availability and performance of certain derivative instruments, may make them more costly, and may limit or restrict their use by the Funds.
Regulation Under the Commodity Exchange Act: Each Fund intends to use commodity interests, such as futures, swaps and options on futures in accordance with Rule 4.5 of the CEA. A Fund may use exchange-traded futures and options on futures, together with positions in cash and money market instruments, to simulate full investment in its underlying Index. Exchange-traded futures and options on futures contracts may not be currently available for an Index. Under such circumstances, the Adviser may seek to utilize other instruments that it believes to be correlated to the applicable Index components or a subset of the components. An exclusion from the definition of the term commodity pool operator has been claimed with respect to each series of the Trust in accordance with Rule 4.5 such that registration or regulation as a commodity pool operator under the CEA is not necessary.
Restrictions on Trading in Commodity Interests: Each Fund reserves the right to engage in transactions involving futures, options thereon and swaps to the extent allowed by the CFTC regulations in effect from time to time and in accordance with a Fund's policies.
Certain additional risk factors related to derivatives are discussed below:
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Derivatives Risk: Under recently adopted rules by the CFTC, transactions in some types of interest rate swaps and index credit default swaps on North American and European indices are required to be cleared. In addition, the CFTC may promulgate additional regulations that require clearing of other classes of swaps. In a cleared derivatives transaction (which includes futures, options on futures, and cleared swaps transactions), a Fund's counterparty is a clearing house (such as CME, ICE Clear Credit or LCH.Clearnet), rather than a bank or broker. Since each Fund is not a member of a clearing house and only members of a clearing house can participate directly in the clearing house, a Fund holds cleared derivatives through accounts at clearing members, who are futures commission merchants that are members of the clearing houses and who have the appropriate regulatory approvals to engage in cleared derivatives transactions. A Fund makes and receives payments owed under cleared derivatives transactions (including margin payments) through its accounts at clearing members. Clearing members guarantee performance of their clients' obligations to the clearing house. In contrast to bilateral OTC transactions, clearing members generally can require termination of existing cleared derivatives transactions at any time and increases in margin above the margin that it required at the beginning of a transaction. Clearing houses also have broad rights to increase margin requirements for existing transactions and to terminate transactions in accordance with their rules. Any such increase or termination could interfere with the ability of a Fund to pursue its investment strategy. Also, a Fund is subject to execution risk if it enters into a derivatives transaction that is required to be cleared (or that the Advisor expects to be cleared), and no clearing member is willing or able to clear the transaction on the Fund's behalf. While the documentation in place between a Fund and its clearing members generally provides that the clearing members will accept for clearing all transactions submitted for clearing that are within credit limits specified by the clearing members in advance, the Fund could be subject to this execution risk if the Fund submits for clearing transactions that exceed such credit limits, if the clearing house does not accept the transactions for clearing, or if the clearing members do not comply with their agreement to clear such transactions. In that case, the transaction might have to be terminated, and the Fund could lose some or all of the benefit of any increase in the value of the transaction after the time of the transaction. In addition, new regulations could, among other things, restrict a Fund's ability to engage in, or increase the cost to the Fund of, derivatives transactions, for example, by making some types of derivatives no longer available to the Fund or increasing margin or capital requirements. If a Fund is not able to enter into a particular derivatives transaction, the Fund's investment performance and risk profile could be adversely affected as a result.
Counterparty Risk: Counterparty risk with respect to OTC derivatives may be affected by new regulations promulgated by the CFTC and SEC affecting the derivatives market. As described under Derivatives Risk above, all futures and options on futures and some swap transactions are required to be cleared, and a party to a cleared derivatives transaction is subject to the credit risk of the clearing house and the clearing member through which it holds its cleared derivatives position, rather than the credit risk of its original counterparty to the derivative transaction. Clearing members are required to segregate all funds received from customers with respect to cleared derivatives transactions from the clearing member's proprietary assets. However, all funds and other property received by a clearing broker from its customers are generally held by the clearing broker on a commingled basis in an omnibus account, and the clearing broker may also invest those funds in certain instruments permitted under the applicable regulations. Also, the clearing member transfers to the clearing house the amount of margin required by the clearing house for cleared derivatives transactions, which amounts are generally held in the relevant omnibus account at the clearing house for all customers of the clearing member.
For commodities futures positions, the clearing house may use all of the collateral held in the clearing member's omnibus account to meet a loss in that account, without regard to which customer in fact supplied that collateral. Accordingly, in addition to bearing the credit risk of its clearing member, each customer to a futures transaction also bears fellow customer risk from other customers of the clearing member. However, with respect to cleared swaps positions, recent regulations promulgated by the CFTC require that the clearing member notify the clearing house of the amount of initial margin provided by the clearing member to the clearing house that is attributable to each customer. Because margin in respect of cleared swaps must be earmarked for specific clearing member customers, the clearing house may not use the collateral of one customer to cover the obligations of another customer. However, if the clearing member does not provide accurate reporting, a Fund is subject to the risk that a clearing house will use the Fund's assets held in an omnibus account at the clearing house to satisfy payment obligations of a defaulting customer of the clearing member to the clearing house. In addition, clearing members may generally choose to provide to the clearing house the net amount of variation margin required for cleared swaps for all of its customers in the aggregate, rather than the gross amount for each customer.
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FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS
A Fund may take advantage of opportunities in the area of options and futures contracts, options on futures contracts, warrants, swaps and any other investments which are not presently contemplated for use by the Fund or which are not currently available but which may be developed, to the extent such opportunities are both consistent with the Fund's investment objective and legally permissible for the Fund. Before entering into such transactions or making any such investment, a Fund will provide appropriate disclosure.
ILLIQUID INVESTMENTS
Each Fund may invest in illiquid investments. A Fund may not acquire any illiquid investment if, immediately after the acquisition, the Fund would have invested more than 15% of its net assets in illiquid investments. An illiquid investment means any investment that a Fund reasonably expects cannot be sold or disposed of in current market conditions in seven calendar days or less without the sale or disposition significantly changing the market value of the investment. If illiquid investments exceed 15% of a Fund's net assets, certain remedial actions will be taken as required by Rule 22e-4 under the 1940 Act and the Funds' policies and procedures.
INITIAL PUBLIC OFFERINGS
A Fund may purchase securities of companies in initial public offerings (IPOs). By definition, IPOs have not traded publicly until the time of their offerings. Special risks associated with IPOs may include limited numbers of shares available for trading, unseasoned trading, lack of investor knowledge of the companies, and limited operating history, all of which may contribute to price volatility. Many IPOs are issued by undercapitalized companies of small or micro-cap size. The effect of IPOs on a Fund's performance depends on a variety of factors, including the number of IPOs the Fund invests in relative to the size of the Fund and whether and to what extent a security purchased in an IPO appreciates or depreciates in value.
INVESTMENT COMPANIES
Each Fund may invest in the securities of other investment companies, including affiliated funds and money market funds, subject to applicable limitations under Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act. Pursuant to Section 12(d)(1), a Fund may invest in the securities of another investment company (the acquired company) provided that the Fund, immediately after such purchase or acquisition, does not own in the aggregate: (i) more than 3% of the total outstanding voting stock of the acquired company; (ii) securities issued by the acquired company having an aggregate value in excess of 5% of the value of the total assets of the Fund; or (iii) securities issued by the acquired company and all other investment companies (other than Treasury stock of the Fund) having an aggregate value in excess of 10% of the value of the total assets of the Fund. To the extent allowed by law, regulation,and/or  a Fund's investment restrictions, a Fund may invest its assets in securities of investment companies, including affiliated funds and/or money market funds, in excess of the limits discussed above.
If a Fund invests in and, thus, is a shareholder of, another investment company, the Fund's shareholders will indirectly bear the Fund's proportionate share of the fees and expenses paid by such other investment company, including advisory fees, in addition to both the management fees payable directly by the Fund to the Fund's own investment adviser and the other expenses that the Fund bears directly in connection with the Fund's own operations.
INVESTMENTS IN SECURITIES OF CHINESE COMPANIES
Investments in Chinese companies may include B shares of companies listed on the Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges, H shares of companies incorporated in Mainland China and listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, shares of Red Chip companies with controlling Chinese shareholders that are incorporated outside of Mainland China and listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and shares of P-Chips companies with controlling Chinese shareholders incorporated outside of China, listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. B shares are equity securities issued by companies incorporated in China and are denominated and traded in U.S. dollars and Hong Kong dollars (HKD) on the Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges, respectively. B shares are available to foreign investors. H shares are equity securities issued by companies incorporated in Mainland China and are denominated and traded in HKD on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and other foreign exchanges. P-Chips are equity securities issued by companies incorporated outside of Mainland China and listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Companies that issue P-Chips generally base their businesses in Mainland China and are controlled, either directly or indirectly, by nongovernment owned entities. Red Chips
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are equity securities issued by companies incorporated outside of Mainland China and listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Companies that issue Red Chips generally base their businesses in Mainland China and are controlled, either directly or indirectly, by the state, provincial or municipal governments of the People's Republic of China.
The Funds may also gain investment exposure to certain Chinese companies through variable interest entity (VIE) structures. Such investments are subject to the investment risks associated with the Chinese-based company. The VIE structure enables foreign investors, such as the Funds, to obtain investment exposure to a Chinese company in situations in which the Chinese government has limited or prohibited non-Chinese ownership of such company. The VIE structure does not involve direct equity ownership in a China-based company, but rather involves claims to the China-based company's profits and control of the assets that belong to the China-based company through contractual arrangements. The contractual arrangements in place with the China-based company provide limited ability to exercise control over the China-based company and the China-based company's actions may negatively impact the value of an investment through a VIE structure. Control may also be jeopardized if a natural person who holds an equity interest in the China-based company breaches the terms of the contractual arrangements or is subject to legal proceedings, or if any physical instruments such as chops and seals are used without authorization.
Intervention by the Chinese government with respect to the VIE structure could significantly affect the Chinese operating company's performance and thus, the value of a Fund's investment through a VIE structure, as well as the enforceability of the contractual arrangements of the VIE structure. In the event of such an occurrence, a Fund, as a foreign investor, may have little or no legal recourse. If the Chinese government were to determine that the contractual arrangements establishing the VIE structure did not comply with Chinese law or regulations, the Chinese operating company could be subject to penalties, revocation of its business and operating license, or forfeiture of ownership interests. In addition to the risk of government intervention, investments through a VIE structure are subject to the risk that the China-based company (or its officers, directors, or Chinese equity owners) may breach the contractual arrangements, or Chinese law changes in a way that adversely affects the enforceability of the arrangements, or the contracts are otherwise not enforceable under Chinese law, in which case a Fund may suffer significant losses on its investments through a VIE structure with little or no recourse available.
LENDING PORTFOLIO SECURITIES
Each Fund may lend portfolio securities to certain creditworthy borrowers in U.S. and non-U.S. markets in an amount not to exceed 40% of the value of its net assets. The borrowers provide collateral that is marked to market daily in an amount at least equal to the current market value of the securities loaned. A Fund may terminate a loan at any time and obtain the securities loaned. A Fund receives the value of any interest or cash or non-cash distributions paid on the loaned securities. A Fund cannot vote proxies for securities on loan, but may recall loans to vote proxies if a material issue affecting the Fund's economic interest in the investment is to be voted upon. Efforts to recall such securities promptly may be unsuccessful, especially for foreign securities or thinly traded securities, and may involve expenses to a Fund. Distributions received on loaned securities in lieu of dividend payments (i.e., substitute payments) would not be considered qualified dividend income.
With respect to loans that are collateralized by cash, the borrower will be entitled to receive a fee based on the amount of cash collateral. A Fund is compensated by the difference between the amount earned on the reinvestment of cash collateral and the fee paid to the borrower. In the case of collateral other than cash, a Fund is compensated by a fee paid by the borrower equal to a percentage of the market value of the loaned securities. Any cash collateral may be reinvested in certain high quality short-term instruments either directly on behalf of the lending Fund or through one or more joint accounts or funds, which may include those managed by the Adviser. A Fund could lose money due to a decline in the value of collateral provided for loaned securities or any investments made with cash collateral. Certain non-cash collateral or investments made with cash collateral may have a greater risk of loss than other non-cash collateral or investments.
A Fund may pay a portion of the interest or fees earned from securities lending to a borrower as described above, and to one or more securities lending agents approved by the Board of Trustees of the Trust (the Board) who administer the lending program for the Funds in accordance with guidelines approved by the Board. In such capacity, the lending agent provides the following services to the Funds in connection with the Funds' securities lending activities: (i) locating borrowers among an approved list of prospective borrowers; (ii) causing the delivery of loaned securities from a Fund to borrowers; (iii) monitoring the value of loaned securities, the value of collateral received, and other lending parameters; (iv) seeking additional collateral, as necessary, from borrowers; (v) receiving and holding collateral from borrowers, and facilitating the investment and reinvestment of all or substantially all cash collateral in an investment vehicle designated by the Funds; (vi) returning collateral to borrowers; (vii) facilitating substitute dividend, interest, and other distribution
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payments to the Funds from borrowers; (viii) negotiating the terms of each loan of securities, including but not limited to the amount of any loan premium, and monitoring the terms of securities loan agreements with prospective borrowers for consistency with the requirements of the Funds' Securities Lending Authorization Agreement; (ix) selecting securities, including amounts (percentages), to be loaned; (x) recordkeeping and accounting servicing; and (xi) arranging for return of loaned securities to the Fund in accordance with the terms of the Securities Lending Authorization Agreement. State Street Bank and Trust Company (State Street), an affiliate of the Trust, has been approved by the Board to serve as securities lending agent for the Funds and the Trust has entered into an agreement with State Street for such services. Among other matters, the Trust has agreed to indemnify State Street for certain liabilities. State Street has received an order of exemption from the SEC under Sections 17(a) and 12(d)(1) under the 1940 Act to serve as the lending agent for affiliated investment companies such as the Trust and to invest the cash collateral received from loan transactions to be invested in an affiliated cash collateral fund.
Securities lending involves exposure to certain risks, including operational risk (i.e., the risk of losses resulting from problems in the settlement and accounting process especially so in certain international markets such as Taiwan), gap risk (i.e., the risk of a mismatch between the return on cash collateral reinvestments and the fees a Fund has agreed to pay a borrower), risk of loss of collateral, credit, legal, counterparty and market risk. If a securities lending counterparty were to default, a Fund would be subject to the risk of a possible delay in receiving collateral or in recovering the loaned securities, or to a possible loss of rights in the collateral. In the event a borrower does not return a Fund's securities as agreed, the Fund may experience losses if the proceeds received from liquidating the collateral do not at least equal the value of the loaned security at the time the collateral is liquidated, plus the transaction costs incurred in purchasing replacement securities. Although State Street has agreed to provide a Fund with indemnification in the event of a borrower default, a Fund is still exposed to the risk of losses in the event a borrower does not return a Fund's securities as agreed. For example, delays in recovery of lent securities may cause a Fund to lose the opportunity to sell the securities at a desirable price.
LEVERAGING
While the Funds do not anticipate doing so, a Fund may borrow money in an amount greater than 5% of the value of the Fund's total assets. However, under normal circumstances, a Fund will not borrow money from a bank in an amount greater than 10% of the value of the Fund's total assets. Borrowing for investment purposes is one form of leverage. Leveraging investments, by purchasing securities with borrowed money, is a speculative technique that increases investment risk, but also increases investment opportunity. Because substantially all of a Fund's assets will fluctuate in value, whereas the interest obligations on borrowings may be fixed, the NAV of a Fund will increase more when such Fund's portfolio assets increase in value and decrease more when the Fund's portfolio assets decrease in value than would otherwise be the case. Moreover, interest costs on borrowings may fluctuate with changing market rates of interest and may partially offset or exceed the returns on the borrowed funds.
OTHER SHORT-TERM INSTRUMENTS
Each Fund may invest in short-term instruments, including money market instruments, (including money market funds advised by the Adviser), cash and cash equivalents, on an ongoing basis to provide liquidity or for other reasons. Money market instruments are generally short-term investments that may include but are not limited to: (i) shares of money market funds (including those advised by the Adviser); (ii) obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities (including government-sponsored enterprises); (iii) negotiable certificates of deposit (CDs), bankers' acceptances, fixed time deposits and other obligations of U.S. and foreign banks (including foreign branches) and similar institutions; (iv) commercial paper rated at the date of purchase Prime-1 by Moody's Investors Service (Moody's) or A-1 by S&P Global Ratings (S&P), or if unrated, of comparable quality as determined by the Adviser; (v) non-convertible corporate debt securities (e.g., bonds and debentures) with remaining maturities at the date of purchase of not more than 397 days and that present minimal credit risk; and (vi) short-term U.S. dollar-denominated obligations of foreign banks (including U.S. branches) that, in the opinion of the Adviser, are of comparable quality to obligations of U.S. banks which may be purchased by a Fund. Any of these instruments may be purchased on a current or a forward-settled basis. Time deposits are non-negotiable deposits maintained in banking institutions for specified periods of time at stated interest rates. Bankers' acceptances are time drafts drawn on commercial banks by borrowers, usually in connection with international transactions. Money market instruments also include shares of money market funds. The SEC and other government agencies continue to review the regulation of money market funds. The SEC has adopted changes to the
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rules that govern money market funds, and compliance with many of these amendments was required in October 2016. Legislative developments may also affect money market funds. These changes and developments may affect the investment strategies, performance, yield, operating expenses and continued viability of a money market fund.
PREFERRED SECURITIES
Preferred securities pay fixed or adjustable rate interest or dividends to investors, and are generally senior to common stock, but may be subordinated to bonds and other debt instruments in a company's capital structure and therefore may be subject to greater credit risk than those debt instruments. There is no assurance that interest payments, dividends or distributions on the preferred securities in which a Fund invests will be declared or otherwise made payable. In the case of preferred stock, in order to be payable, distributions on preferred securities must be declared by the issuer's board of directors. The market value of preferred securities may be affected by favorable and unfavorable changes impacting companies in the utilities and financial services sectors, which are prominent issuers of preferred securities, and by actual and anticipated changes in tax laws.
Because the claim on an issuer's earnings represented by preferred securities may become onerous when interest rates fall below the rate payable on such securities, the issuer may redeem the securities. Thus, in declining interest rate environments in particular, a Fund's holdings of higher rate-paying fixed rate preferred securities may be reduced and the Fund would be unable to acquire securities paying comparable rates with the redemption proceeds.
PRIVATE PLACEMENTS AND RESTRICTED SECURITIES
Each Fund may invest in securities that are purchased in private placements and, accordingly, are subject to restrictions on resale as a matter of contract or under federal securities laws. While such private placements may offer attractive opportunities for investment not otherwise available on the open market, the securities so purchased are often restricted securities, i.e., securities which cannot be sold to the public without registration under the Securities Act or the availability of an exemption from registration (such as Rules 144 or 144A), or which are not readily marketable because they are subject to other legal or contractual delays in or restrictions on resale. Generally speaking, restricted securities may be sold only to qualified institutional buyers, or in a privately negotiated transaction to a limited number of purchasers, or in limited quantities after they have been held for a specified period of time and other conditions are met pursuant to an exemption from registration, or in a public offering for which a registration statement is in effect under the Securities Act.
Because there may be relatively few potential purchasers for such investments, especially under adverse market or economic conditions or in the event of adverse changes in the financial condition of the issuer, a Fund could find it more difficult to sell such securities when the Adviser believes it advisable to do so or may be able to sell such securities only at prices lower than if such securities were more widely held. Market quotations for such securities are generally less readily available than for publicly traded securities. The absence of a trading market can make it difficult to ascertain a market value for such securities for purposes of computing a Fund's net asset value, and the judgment of the Adviser may at times play a greater role in valuing these securities than in the case of publicly traded securities. Disposing of such securities, which may be illiquid investments, can involve time-consuming negotiation and legal expenses, and it may be difficult or impossible for a Fund to sell them promptly at an acceptable price. A Fund may have to bear the extra expense of registering such securities for resale and the risk of substantial delay in effecting such registration.
A Fund may be deemed to be an underwriter for purposes of the Securities Act when selling restricted securities to the public, and in such event the Fund may be liable to purchasers of such securities if the registration statement prepared by the issuer, or the prospectus forming a part of it, is materially inaccurate or misleading.
REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUSTS (REITs)
REITs pool investors' funds for investment primarily in income producing real estate or real estate loans or interests. A REIT is not taxed on income distributed to shareholders if it complies with several requirements relating to its organization, ownership, assets, and income and a requirement that it distribute to its shareholders at least 90% of its taxable income (other than net capital gains) for each taxable year. REITs can generally be classified as Equity REITs, Mortgage REITs and Hybrid REITs. Equity REITs, which invest the majority of their assets directly in real property, derive their income primarily from rents. Equity REITs can also realize capital gains by selling properties that have appreciated in value. Mortgage REITs, which invest the majority of their assets in real estate mortgages, derive their income primarily from interest payments. Hybrid REITs combine the characteristics of both Equity REITs and Mortgage REITs. The Funds will not invest in real estate directly, but only in securities issued by real estate companies. However, the Funds may be subject to risks similar to those associated with the direct ownership of real estate (in addition to securities markets risks) to the
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extent they invest in the securities of companies in the real estate industry. These include declines in the value of real estate, risks related to general and local economic conditions, dependency on management skill, heavy cash flow dependency, possible lack of availability of mortgage funds, overbuilding, extended vacancies of properties, increased competition, increases in property taxes and operating expenses, changes in zoning laws, losses due to costs resulting from the clean-up of environmental problems, liability to third parties for damages resulting from environmental problems, casualty or condemnation losses, limitations on rents, changes in neighborhood values, the appeal of properties to tenants and changes in interest rates. Investments in REITs may subject Fund shareholders to duplicate management and administrative fees.
In addition to these risks, Equity REITs may be affected by changes in the value of the underlying property owned by the trusts, while Mortgage REITs may be affected by the quality of any credit extended. Further, Equity and Mortgage REITs are dependent upon management skills and may not be diversified. Equity and Mortgage REITs are also subject to heavy cash flow dependency, defaults by borrowers and self-liquidation. In addition, Equity and Mortgage REITs could possibly fail to qualify for the beneficial tax treatment available to REITs under the Internal Revenue Code, or to maintain their exemptions from registration under the 1940 Act. The above factors may also adversely affect a borrower's or a lessee's ability to meet its obligations to the REIT. In the event of a default by a borrower or lessee, the REIT may experience delays in enforcing its rights as a mortgagee or lessor and may incur substantial costs associated with protecting investments.
REPURCHASE AGREEMENTS
Each Fund may invest in repurchase agreements with commercial banks, brokers or dealers to generate income from its excess cash balances and to invest securities lending cash collateral. A repurchase agreement is an agreement under which a Fund acquires a financial instrument (e.g., a security issued by the U.S. government or an agency thereof, a banker's acceptance or a certificate of deposit) from a seller, subject to resale to the seller at an agreed upon price and date (normally, the next Business Day—as defined below). A repurchase agreement may be considered a loan collateralized by securities. The resale price reflects an agreed upon interest rate effective for the period the instrument is held by a Fund and is unrelated to the interest rate on the underlying instrument.
In these repurchase agreement transactions, the securities acquired by a Fund (including accrued interest earned thereon) must have a total value in excess of the value of the repurchase agreement and are held by the Custodian until repurchased. No more than an aggregate of 15% of a Fund's net assets will be invested in illiquid investments, including repurchase agreements having maturities longer than seven days and securities subject to legal or contractual restrictions on resale, or for which there are no readily available market quotations.
The use of repurchase agreements involves certain risks. For example, if the other party to the agreement defaults on its obligation to repurchase the underlying security at a time when the value of the security has declined, a Fund may incur a loss upon disposition of the security. If the other party to the agreement becomes insolvent and subject to liquidation or reorganization under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code or other laws, a court may determine that the underlying security is collateral for a loan by a Fund not within the control of the Fund and, therefore, the Fund may not be able to substantiate its interest in the underlying security and may be deemed an unsecured creditor of the other party to the agreement.
REVERSE REPURCHASE AGREEMENTS
Each Fund may enter into reverse repurchase agreements, which involve the sale of securities with an agreement to repurchase the securities at an agreed-upon price, date and interest payment and have the characteristics of borrowing. The securities purchased with the funds obtained from the agreement and securities collateralizing the agreement will have maturity dates no later than the repayment date. Generally the effect of such transactions is that a Fund can recover all or most of the cash invested in the portfolio securities involved during the term of the reverse repurchase agreement, while in many cases a Fund is able to keep some of the interest income associated with those securities. Such transactions are only advantageous if a Fund has an opportunity to earn a greater rate of interest on the cash derived from these transactions than the interest cost of obtaining the same amount of cash. Opportunities to realize earnings from the use of the proceeds equal to or greater than the interest required to be paid may not always be available and a Fund intends to use the reverse repurchase technique only when the Adviser believes it will be advantageous to the Fund. The use of reverse repurchase agreements may exaggerate any interim increase or decrease in the value of a Fund's assets. A Fund may enter into reverse repurchase agreements if it either meets the relevant asset coverage requirements
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of Section 18 of the 1940 Act for senior securities representing indebtedness, or elects to treat such arrangements as derivatives transactions under the Derivatives Rule. Each Fund does not expect to engage, under normal circumstances, in reverse repurchase agreements with respect to more than 10% of its total assets.
ROYALTY TRUSTS
Royalty trusts are income-oriented equity investments that indirectly, through the ownership of trust units, provide investors (called unit holders) with exposure to energy sector assets such as coal, oil and natural gas. Royalty trusts are structured similarly to REITs. A royalty trust generally acquires an interest in natural resource companies or chemical companies and distributes the income it receives to the investors of the royalty trust. A sustained decline in demand for crude oil, natural gas and refined petroleum products could adversely affect income and royalty trust revenues and cash flows. Factors that could lead to a decrease in market demand include a recession or other adverse economic conditions, an increase in the market price of the underlying commodity, higher taxes or other regulatory actions that increase costs, or a shift in consumer demand for such products. A rising interest rate environment could adversely impact the performance of royalty trusts. Rising interest rates could limit the capital appreciation of royalty trusts because of the increased availability of alternative investments at more competitive yields.
SAVINGS SHARES
Savings shares are non-voting equity securities which may have certain economic advantages compared to preferred or ordinary common shares such as priority rights to dividends and upon liquidation of the issuer.
STAPLED SECURITIES
A stapled security is comprised of two inseparable parts: a unit of a trust and a share of a company. The resulting security is influenced by both parts, and must be treated as one unit at all times, such as when buying or selling a security. The value of stapled securities and the income they derive from them may fall as well as rise. Stapled securities are not obligations of, deposits in, or guaranteed by, a Fund. The listing of stapled securities on a domestic or foreign exchange does not guarantee a liquid market for stapled securities.
TRACKING STOCKS
Tracking stock is a separate class of common stock whose value is linked to a specific business unit or operating division within a larger company and which is designed to track the performance of such business unit or division. Therefore, tracking stock may decline in value even if the common stock of the larger company increases in value. In addition, holders of tracking stock may not have the same rights as holders of the company's common stock.
U.S. REGISTERED SECURITIES OF FOREIGN ISSUERS
Investing in U.S. registered, dollar-denominated, securities issued by non-U.S. issuers involves some risks and considerations not typically associated with investing in U.S. companies. These include differences in accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, the possibility of expropriation or confiscatory taxation, adverse changes in investment or exchange control regulations, political instability which could affect U.S. investments in foreign countries, and potential restrictions of the flow of international capital. Foreign companies may be subject to less governmental regulation than U.S. issuers. Moreover, individual foreign economies may differ favorably or unfavorably from the U.S. economy in such respects as growth of gross domestic product, rate of inflation, capital reinvestment, resource self-sufficiency and balance of payment positions.
A Fund's investment in equity securities of foreign corporations may also be in the form of American Depositary Receipts (ADRs), Global Depositary Receipts (GDRs) and European Depositary Receipts (EDRs) (collectively Depositary Receipts). Depositary Receipts are receipts, typically issued by a bank or trust company, which evidence ownership of underlying securities issued by a foreign corporation. For ADRs, the depository is typically a U.S. financial institution and the underlying securities are issued by a foreign issuer. For other Depositary Receipts, the depository may be a foreign or a U.S. entity, and the underlying securities may have a foreign or a U.S. issuer. Depositary Receipts will not necessarily be denominated in the same currency as their underlying securities. Generally, ADRs, in registered form, are designed for use in the U.S. securities markets, and EDRs, in bearer form, are designated for use in European securities markets. GDRs are tradable both in the United States and in Europe and are designed for use throughout the world. A Fund may
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invest in unsponsored Depositary Receipts. The issuers of unsponsored Depositary Receipts are not obligated to disclose material information in the United States, and, therefore, there may be less information available regarding such issuers and there may not be a correlation between such information and the market value of the Depositary Receipts.
WHEN-ISSUED SECURITIES
Each Fund may purchase securities on a when-issued basis. Delivery of and payment for these securities may take place as long as a month or more after the date of the purchase commitment. The value of these securities is subject to market fluctuation during this period, and no income accrues to a Fund until settlement takes place. When entering into a when-issued transaction, a Fund will rely on the other party to consummate the transaction; if the other party fails to do so, a Fund may be disadvantaged.
Securities purchased on a when-issued basis and held by a Fund are subject to changes in market value based upon actual or perceived changes in the level of interest rates. Generally, the value of such securities will fluctuate inversely to changes in interest rates — i.e., they will appreciate in value when interest rates decline and decrease in value when interest rates rise. Therefore, if a Fund purchases securities on a when-issued basis, there may be a greater possibility of fluctuation in the Fund's NAV.
Special Considerations and Risks
A discussion of the risks associated with an investment in each Fund is contained in the Prospectus. The discussion below supplements, and should be read in conjunction with, the Prospectus.
GENERAL
Investment in a Fund should be made with an understanding that the value of a Fund's portfolio securities may fluctuate in accordance with changes in the financial condition of the issuers of the portfolio securities, the value of securities generally and other factors.
An investment in a Fund should also be made with an understanding of the risks inherent in an investment in securities, including the risk that the financial condition of issuers may become impaired or that the general condition of the securities markets may deteriorate (either of which may cause a decrease in the value of the portfolio securities and thus in the value of Shares). Securities are susceptible to general market fluctuations and to volatile increases and decreases in value as market confidence in and perceptions of their issuers change. These investor perceptions are based on various and unpredictable factors including expectations regarding government, economic, monetary and fiscal policies, inflation and interest rates, economic expansion or contraction, and global or regional political, economic and banking crises. Securities of issuers traded on exchanges may be suspended on certain exchanges by the issuers themselves, by an exchange or by government authorities. The likelihood of such suspensions may be higher for securities of issuers in emerging or less-developed market countries than in countries with more developed markets. Trading suspensions may be applied from time to time to the securities of individual issuers for reasons specific to that issuer, or may be applied broadly by exchanges or governmental authorities in response to market events. Suspensions may last for significant periods of time, during which trading in the securities and instruments that reference the securities, such as participatory notes (or P-notes) or other derivative instruments, may be halted.
The principal trading market for some of the securities in an Index may be in the over-the-counter market. The existence of a liquid trading market for certain securities may depend on whether dealers will make a market in such securities. There can be no assurance that a market will be made or maintained or that any such market will be or remain liquid. The price at which securities may be sold and the value of a Fund's Shares will be adversely affected if trading markets for a Fund's portfolio securities are limited or absent or if bid/ask spreads are wide.
CHINA A SHARES RISK
Certain Funds may be subject to risks associated with investments in A Shares of Chinese issuers (China A Shares or A Shares). Subject to minor exceptions, under current regulations in the People's Republic of China (the PRC), foreign investors, such as the Funds, can invest in A Shares only (i) through certain foreign institutional investors that have obtained a license from the Chinese regulators and (ii) through the Hong Kong-Shanghai Stock Connect or Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect programs (the Stock Connect program as further described below).
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RQFII Investment Risk: To the extent a Fund's underlying Index includes China A Shares, the Fund's ability to achieve its investment objective is dependent on the continuous availability of such A Shares. Investment companies, such as the Funds, are not currently within the types of entities that are eligible for a Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (RQFII) or Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII) license (the two parallel regimes of QFII and RQFII have been combined with a unified set of rules applicable to all QFIIs and RQFIIs by the Chinese regulators since May 2020). Rather, a Fund may utilize the Adviser's RQFII license granted under RQFII regulations to invest in A Shares.
It is also possible that the Adviser's RQFII status could be suspended or revoked. Pursuant to PRC and RQFII regulations, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) and the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) are vested with the power to impose regulatory sanctions if the Adviser, in its capacity as RQFII, or the PRC Custodian (as that term is defined below) violates any provision of the RQFII regulations. Any such violations could result in the revocation of the Adviser's RQFII license or other regulatory sanctions and may adversely affect the ability of a Fund to invest directly in A Shares. The Adviser is also subject to regulation by certain Hong Kong regulatory authorities, including the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission. Regulatory matters arising from such regulation could also adversely affect the Adviser's RQFII license and ability to provide advisory services, generally.
There can be no assurance that the Adviser will continue to maintain its RQFII status. In the event the Adviser is unable to maintain its RQFII status, it may be necessary for a Fund to limit or suspend creations of Creation Units. In such event it is possible that the trading price of the Fund's Shares on its Exchange will be at a significant premium to the NAV (which may also increase tracking errors of the Fund). In extreme circumstances, a Fund may incur significant loss due to limited investment capabilities, or may not be able fully to implement or pursue its investment objectives or strategies, due to RQFII investment restrictions, illiquidity of the PRC securities markets, and delay or disruption in execution of trades or in settlement of trades.
The current RQFII regulations also include rules on investment restrictions applicable to each Fund, which may adversely affect a Fund's liquidity and performance. In addition, because transaction sizes for RQFIIs are relatively large, the corresponding heightened risk of exposure to decreased market liquidity and significant price volatility could lead to possible adverse effects on the timing and pricing of acquisition or disposal of securities.
The regulations which regulate investments by RQFIIs in the PRC and the repatriation of capital from RQFII investments are relatively new. The application and interpretation of such investment regulations are therefore relatively untested and there is no certainty as to how they will be applied as the PRC authorities and regulators have been given wide discretion in such investment regulations and there is no precedent or certainty as to how such discretion may be exercised now or in the future. Existing RQFII regulations may change over time and new RQFII regulations may be promulgated in the future and no assurance can be given that any such changes will not adversely affect a Fund or its ability to achieve its investment objective.
PRC Broker and PRC Custodian Risk: The Adviser will have appointed PRC Brokers to execute transactions for certain Funds in the PRC markets. In its selection of a PRC Broker(s), the Adviser will consider factors such as the competitiveness of commission rates, size of the relevant orders and execution standards. Should, for any reason, a Fund's ability to use one or more of the relevant PRC Brokers be affected, this could disrupt the operations of the Fund and affect the ability of the Fund to track its underlying index, causing a premium or a discount to the trading price of the Fund's Shares.
According to the RQFII regulations and market practice, the securities and cash accounts for a Fund in the PRC are to be maintained by a custodian in the PRC subject to local Chinese laws and regulations (the PRC Custodian) in the name of the RQFII holder—the Fund. In the event a Fund invests in A Shares through the RQFII license granted to the Adviser, the securities and cash accounts for those Funds in the PRC will be maintained by a PRC Custodian. The PRC Custodian maintains each Fund's RMB deposit accounts and oversees the Fund's investments in A Shares in the PRC to ensure its compliance with the rules and regulations of the CSRC and the People's Bank of China (PBOC). A Shares that are traded on the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) or Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE) are dealt and held in book-entry form through the China Securities Depository and Clearing Corporation Limited (CSDCC). A Shares purchased by the Adviser, in its capacity as a RQFII, on behalf of a Fund, may be received by the CSDCC and credited to a securities trading account maintained by the PRC Custodian in the joint names of the Fund and Adviser as the RQFII.
Under the investment regulations that permit RQFIIs to invest in A Shares, the PRC Custodian is required to deposit a minimum amount in the form of a clearing reserve fund, the percentage amount to be determined from time to time by the CSDCC Shanghai and Shenzhen branches, with the CSDCC. The minimum clearing reserve ratio is determined by the CSDCC Shanghai and Shenzhen branches from time to time and will be deposited by the PRC Custodian into its
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minimum clearing reserve fund. In times of rising PRC securities values, the inability to invest the assets of a Fund retained in the clearing reserve fund may have a negative impact on the performance of the Fund and, conversely, in times of falling PRC security values, the retained assets may cause a Fund to perform better than might otherwise have been the case.
The assets held or credited in a Fund's securities trading account(s) maintained with the CSDCC are segregated and independent from the proprietary assets of the PRC Custodian. The account to which cash is held or credited is required to be maintained separately and independently by the PRC Custodian from its own proprietary accounts or accounts of other customers. However, under PRC law, in the event of bankruptcy or liquidation of the PRC Custodian, cash deposited in a Fund's cash account(s) maintained with the PRC Custodian will not be segregated but will be treated as a debt owing from the PRC Custodian to such Fund as a depositor. Under such circumstances, a Fund will not have any proprietary rights to the cash deposited in such cash account(s), and such Fund will become an unsecured creditor, ranking pari passu with all other unsecured creditors, of the PRC Custodian.
There is a risk that a Fund may suffer losses from the default, bankruptcy or disqualification of the PRC Broker(s) or PRC Custodian. In such event, the Fund may be adversely affected in the execution of any transaction or face difficulty and/or encounter delays in recovering its assets, or may not be able to recover it in full or at all. A Fund may also incur losses due to the acts or omissions of the PRC Brokers and/or the PRC Custodian in the execution or settlement of any transaction or in the transfer of any funds or securities. Subject to the applicable laws and regulations in the PRC, the Adviser will make arrangements to ensure that the PRC Brokers and PRC Custodian have appropriate procedures to properly safe-keep each Fund's assets.
Repatriation Risk: SAFE regulates and monitors the repatriation of funds out of the PRC by RQFIIs. RQFIIs are currently permitted to make repatriations (up to net redemptions) daily and are not subject to repatriation restrictions or prior approval from the SAFE, although authenticity and compliance reviews will be conducted by the PRC Custodian (as that term is defined above). There is no assurance, however, that PRC and RQFII rules and regulations will not change or that repatriation restrictions will not be imposed in the future. Further, such changes to the PRC and RQFII rules and regulations may take effect retroactively.
Any restrictions on repatriation of a Fund's invested capital and net profits may impact such Fund's operations, including its ability to meet redemption requests. Furthermore, as the PRC Custodian's review on authenticity and compliance is conducted on each repatriation, the repatriation may be delayed or even rejected by the PRC Custodian in case of non-compliance with the RQFII regulations. In such cases, it is expected that redemption proceeds will be paid as soon as practicable and after the completion of the repatriation of the funds concerned. It should be noted that the actual time required for the completion of the relevant repatriation will be beyond the control of the Adviser.
If a Fund becomes subject to repatriation restrictions, it may be difficult for such Fund to satisfy redemption requests in a timely manner. To manage its ability to satisfy redemption requests under such circumstances, it may be necessary for a Fund to maintain higher than normal cash balances, which may cause the Fund to dispose of certain investments at an inopportune time and forego investment opportunities that may have been beneficial to the Fund, adversely affecting the Fund's performance and its ability to achieve its investment objective.
Investing through the Stock Connect Program
A Fund may invest in eligible securities listed and traded on the SSE or SZSE through the Stock Connect program, a securities trading and clearing program developed by The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (SEHK), SSE and SZSE, Hong Kong Securities Clearing Company Limited (HKSCC) and CSDCC Limited for the establishment of mutual market access between the SEHK, SSE and SZSE. Among other restrictions, investors in securities obtained via the Stock Connect program are generally subject to Chinese securities regulations and SSE or SZSE rules. Securities obtained via the Stock Connect program generally may only be sold, purchased or otherwise transferred through the Stock Connect program in accordance with applicable rules. The Stock Connect program is recently-established and further developments are likely. There can be no assurance as to whether or how such developments may restrict or affect a Fund's investments or returns. In addition, the application and interpretation of the laws and regulations of Hong Kong and the PRC, and the rules, policies or guidelines published or applied by relevant regulators and exchanges in respect of the Stock Connect program, are uncertain, and they may have a detrimental effect on a Fund's investments and returns. A summary of the risks associated with a Fund's investment through the Stock Connect program is set forth below.
Eligible Securities Risk: As of the date of this SAI, a Fund may invest through the Stock Connect program in shares listed on the SSE that are (a) constituent stocks of the SSE 180 Index; (b) constituent stocks of the SSE 380 Index; (c) A Shares listed on the SSE that are not constituent stocks of the SSE 180 Index or the SSE 380 Index, but which have
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corresponding H Shares accepted for listing and trading on the SEHK, provided that: (i) they are not traded on the SSE in currencies other than RMB; and (ii) they are not included in the risk alert board. A Fund may invest through the Stock Connect program in shares listed on the SZSE that are: (a) constituent stocks of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange Component Index, which have a market capitalization of not less than RMB 6 billion, (b) constituent stocks of the SZSE Small/Mid Cap Innovation Index, which have a market capitalization of not less than RMB 6 billion , and (c) all the SZSE-listed A Shares which have corresponding H Shares listed on the SEHK, except the following: (i) SZSE-listed shares which are not traded in RMB; and (ii) SZSE-listed shares which are under risk alert. The securities eligible to be traded by a Fund through the Stock Connect program are subject to change and any such change may adversely affect the Adviser's ability to effectively pursue a Fund's investment strategy.
Ownership of A Shares Risk: A Shares acquired by Hong Kong and foreign investors, including each Fund, through the Stock Connect program are held by HKSCC as the nominee holder of such A Shares. A nominee holder is the person who holds securities on behalf of an underlying investor, or beneficial owner, who is entitled to the rights and benefits of the SSE or SZSE securities acquired through the Stock Connect program. Applicable PRC rules, regulations and other administration measures and provisions generally provide for the concept of a nominee holder and recognize the concept of a beneficial owner of securities and the Stock Connect program rules expressly recognize the rights of a beneficial owner (in this case, a Fund). Separately, under applicable Central Clearing and Settlement System (CCASS) rules all proprietary interests in respect of A Shares held by HKSCC as nominee holder belong to the relevant CCASS participants or their clients (as the case may be). However, the precise nature and rights of an investor as the beneficial owner of A Shares acquired through the Stock Connect program and held by HKSCC as nominee holder is not well defined under PRC law and it is not yet clear that such rights can be successfully enforced.
Quota Limitations Risk: Although a Fund's investments through the Stock Connect program, if any, are not subject to individual investment quotas, daily investment quotas apply to all participants in the Stock Connect program. Trading through the Stock Connect program is subject to daily quotas (Daily Quotas). The Daily Quotas differ for Hong Kong and foreign investors (including the Funds) trading into Mainland China (Northbound Trading) and PRC investors trading into Hong Kong (Southbound Trading). The Daily Quotas are applicable to trading activity transacted through the Stock Connect program and are monitored by the SEHK. The Daily Quota limits the maximum net buy value of cross-border trades via Northbound Trading through the Stock Connect program each day, and is set at RMB 52 billion as of the date of this SAI. The Daily Quotas may change throughout the trading day and consequently affect a Fund's ability to trade through the Stock Connect program at any given time during a trading day.
In particular, once the remaining balance of the Daily Quota applicable to Northbound Trading drops to zero or such Daily Quota is exceeded, new buy orders will be rejected (though investors will be allowed to sell their A Shares regardless of the quota balance). Therefore, quota limitations may restrict or limit a Fund's ability to invest in A Shares through the Stock Connect program on a timely basis or at all on any given day.
Restriction on Day Trading Risk: Day (turnaround) trading is not permitted through the Stock Connect program. Investors buying A Shares on day T can only sell the shares on and after day T+1 subject to any Stock Connect program rules.
Order Priority Risk: Where a PRC Broker provides Stock Connect program trading services to its clients, proprietary trades of the PRC Broker or its affiliates may be submitted independently and without the traders having information on the status of orders received from clients. There is no guarantee that PRC brokers will observe client order priority (as applicable under relevant laws and regulations). A Fund may be especially vulnerable to this risk during times Northbound Trading through the Stock Connect program appears to be approaching a Daily Quota limit.
Limited Off-Exchange Trading and Transfers Risk: Non-trade transfers (i.e., off-exchange trading and transfers) are permitted in only limited circumstances, such as post-trade allocation of A Shares to different funds/sub-funds by fund managers or correction of trade errors.
Additional Clearing, Settlement and Custody Risk: HKSCC and CSDCC will establish the clearing links between the SEHK and the SSE or SZSE and each will become a participant of each other to facilitate clearing and settlement of cross-border trades. For cross-border trades initiated in a market, the clearing house of that market will on one hand clear and settle with its own clearing participants, and on the other hand undertake to fulfill the clearing and settlement obligations of its clearing participants with the counterparty clearing house. Trading via the Stock Connect program is subject to trading, clearance and settlement procedures that are relatively untested in China, which could pose risks to a Fund.
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There are risks involved in dealing with the custodians or PRC brokers who hold a Fund's investments or settle a Fund's trades. It is possible that, in the event of the insolvency or bankruptcy of a custodian or PRC broker, a Fund would be delayed or prevented from recovering its assets from the custodian or PRC broker, or its estate, and may have only a general unsecured claim against the custodian or PRC broker for those assets. As discussed above, a Fund's rights and interests in A Shares will be exercised through HKSCC exercising its rights as the nominee holder of the A Shares.
Risk of CCASS Default and CSDCC Default Risk: Investors should note that A Shares held with PRC brokers or custodians in accounts with CCASS may be vulnerable in the event of a default, bankruptcy or liquidation of CCASS. In such case, there is a risk that a Fund may be deemed to not have proprietary rights to the assets deposited in the account with CCASS, and/or such Fund may become an unsecured creditor, ranking pari passu with all other unsecured creditors, of CCASS.
In the event of any settlement default by HKSCC, and a failure by HKSCC to designate securities or sufficient securities in an amount equal to the default such that there is a shortfall of securities to settle any A Shares trades, CSDCC will deduct the amount of that shortfall from HKSCC's RMB common stock omnibus account with CSDCC, such that a Fund may share in any such shortfall.
CSDCC has established a risk management framework and measures that are approved and supervised by the CSRC. Should the remote event of CSDCC's default occur and CSDCC be declared as a defaulter, HKSCC has stated that it will in good faith, seek recovery of the outstanding A Shares and monies from CSDCC through available legal channels or through CSDCC's liquidation process, if applicable. HKSCC will in turn distribute the A Shares and/or monies recovered to clearing participants on a pro-rata basis as prescribed by the relevant CSDCC authorities. In that event, the applicable Fund may suffer delay in the recovery process or may not be able to fully recover their losses from CSDCC.
Participation in Corporate Actions and Shareholders' Meetings Risk: Following existing market practice in the PRC, investors engaged in the trading of A Shares through Northbound Trading will not be able to attend meetings by proxy or in person of the SSE or SZSE listed companies in which it may hold shares, nor will a Fund be able to exercise voting rights of the invested companies in the same manner as provided for in the U.S. and other developed markets.
In addition, any corporate action in respect of A Shares will be announced by the relevant issuer through the SSE or SZSE website and certain officially appointed newspapers. SSE or SZSE listed issuers publish corporate documents in Chinese only, and English translations will not be available, which may adversely affect the information available to a Fund.
Additional Operational Risk: The Stock Connect program is premised on the functioning of the operational systems of the relevant market participants. Market participants are able to participate in the Stock Connect program subject to meeting certain information technology capability, risk management and other requirements as may be specified by the relevant exchange and/or clearing house.
Further, the connectivity in the Stock Connect program requires routing of orders across the border of Hong Kong and the PRC. This requires the development of new information technology systems on the part of the SEHK and Exchange Participants (i.e., China Stock Connect System). There is no assurance that the systems of the SEHK and market participants will function properly or will continue to be adapted to changes and developments in both markets. In the event that the relevant systems fail to function properly, trading in A Shares through the Stock Connect program could be disrupted. A Fund's ability to access the A Shares market through the Stock Connect program may be adversely affected.
Differences in Trading Day Risk: The Stock Connect program will only operate on days when both the PRC and Hong Kong markets are open for trading and when banks in both markets are open on the corresponding settlement days. So it is possible that there are occasions when it is a normal trading day for the PRC market but investors, including the Funds, cannot carry out any A Shares trading. A Fund may be subject to a risk of price fluctuations in A Shares during the time when the Stock Connect program is not trading as a result.
General PRC-Related Risks
Economic, Political and Social Risks of the PRC: The economy of China, which has been in a state of transition from a planned economy to a more market oriented economy, differs from the economies of most developed countries in many respects, including the level of government involvement, its state of development, its growth rate, control of foreign exchange, protection of intellectual property rights and allocation of resources.
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Although the majority of productive assets in China are still owned by the PRC government at various levels, in recent years, the PRC government has implemented economic reform measures emphasizing utilization of market forces in the development of the economy of China and a high level of management autonomy. The economy of China has experienced significant growth in the past several decades, but growth has been uneven both geographically and among various sectors of the economy, and no assurance can be given that such growth will continue. Economic growth has also been accompanied by periods of high inflation. The PRC government has implemented various measures from time to time to control inflation and restrain the rate of economic growth.
There can, however, be no assurance that the PRC government will continue to pursue such economic policies or, if it does, that those policies will continue to be successful. Any such adjustment and modification of those economic policies may have an adverse impact on the securities markets in the PRC as well as the portfolio securities of a Fund. Further, the PRC government may from time to time adopt corrective measures to control the growth of the PRC economy, which may also have an adverse impact on the capital growth and performance of a Fund. Political changes, social instability and adverse diplomatic developments in the PRC could result in the imposition of additional government restrictions, including expropriation of assets, confiscatory taxes, limits on repatriation, or nationalization of some or all of the property held by the underlying issuers of a Fund's portfolio securities.
PRC Laws and Regulations Risk: The regulatory and legal framework for capital markets and joint stock companies in the PRC may not be as well developed as those of developed countries. PRC laws and regulations affecting securities markets are relatively new and evolving, and because of the limited volume of published cases and judicial interpretation and their non-binding nature, interpretation and enforcement of these regulations involve significant uncertainties. In addition, as the PRC legal system develops, no assurance can be given that changes in such laws and regulations or new laws, regulations or practices relating specifically to the RQFII regime and transactions in other Chinese securities will be promulgated, or that their interpretation or enforcement will not have a material adverse effect on a Fund's portfolio securities.
In addition, the effect of future developments in the PRC legal system is unpredictable, such as changes to the existing regulatory environment and government scrutiny in certain areas, uncertain interpretation and implementation of existing laws or enforcement thereof, or the preemption of local regulations by national laws. For instance, China has tightened regulatory requirements with respect to privacy, data protection and information security, and has promulgated new regulations and policy to regulate certain industries in the past year, which may in turn impact the business operation of the underlying issuers of a Fund's portfolio securities. The rapid evolving legal system of China may have a material adverse effect on a Fund's portfolio securities.
Political Tension Risk: Recently there have been heightened tensions in international economic relations and rising political tensions. In particular, political tensions between the United States and China have escalated due to, among other things, trade disputes, the COVID-19 outbreak, sanctions imposed by the U.S. Department of Treasury on certain officials of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the PRC central government, as well as retaliatory actions of the PRC government. Rising political tensions could reduce levels of trade and investments and other economic activities between the two major economies, and any escalation thereof may have a negative impact on the general, economic, political, and social conditions in China and, in turn, adversely impact a Fund's portfolio securities.
Restricted Markets Risk: A Fund's investments in A Shares may be subject to limitations or restrictions on foreign ownership or holdings imposed by PRC laws and regulations. The capacity of a Fund to make investments in A Shares will be affected by the relevant threshold limits and the activities of all underlying foreign investors. Such legal and regulatory restrictions or limitations may have adverse effects on the liquidity and performance of a Fund's portfolio holdings as compared to the performance of its underlying Index. This may increase the risk of tracking error and also affect a Fund's capacity to make investments in A Shares. It is also difficult in practice to monitor the investments of underlying foreign investors, since an investor may make investments through different permitted channels under PRC laws.
A Shares Market Suspension Risk: A Shares may only be purchased from, or sold to, a Fund from time to time where the relevant A Shares may be sold or purchased on the SSE or the SZSE, as appropriate. Securities exchanges in the PRC typically have the right to suspend or limit trading in any security traded on the relevant exchange. In particular, trading band limits are imposed by the stock exchanges, whereby trading in any A Shares on the relevant stock exchange may be suspended if the trading price of the security fluctuates beyond the trading band limit. Such a suspension would make any dealing with the existing positions impossible and may impair the liquidity of such positions, impact the ability of a Fund to track its Index, and potentially expose the Fund to losses.
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Given that the A Shares market is considered volatile and unstable (with the risk of suspension of a particular stock or government intervention), the creation and redemption of Creation Units may also be disrupted. Such suspensions may be widespread and, on some occasions, have affected a majority of listed issuers in China. A participating dealer may not be able to create Creation Units of a Fund if A Shares are not available or not available in sufficient amounts.
A Shares Tax Risk: While overseas investors currently are exempt from paying capital gains or value added taxes on income and gains from investments in A Shares, these PRC tax rules could be changed, which could result in unexpected tax liabilities for a Fund. A Fund's investments in securities, including A Shares, issued by PRC companies may cause the Fund to become subject to withholding and other taxes imposed by the PRC.
If a Fund were considered to be a tax resident of the PRC, it would be subject to PRC corporate income tax at the rate of 25% on its worldwide taxable income. If a Fund were considered to be a non-resident enterprise with a permanent establishment in the PRC, it would be subject to PRC corporate income tax of 25% on the profits attributable to the permanent establishment. The Adviser intends to operate each applicable Fund in a manner that will prevent it from being treated as a tax resident of the PRC and from having a permanent establishment in the PRC. It is possible, however, that the PRC could disagree with that conclusion or that changes in PRC tax law could affect the PRC corporate income tax status of a Fund.
The PRC generally imposes withholding income tax at a rate of 10% on dividends, premiums, interest and capital gains originating in the PRC and paid to a company that is not a resident of the PRC for tax purposes and that has no permanent establishment in China. The withholding is in general made by the relevant PRC tax company making such payments. The State Administration of Taxation has confirmed the application to a QFII and RQFII of the withholding income tax on dividends, premiums and interest. In the event the relevant PRC tax resident company fails to withhold the relevant PRC withholding income tax or otherwise fails to pay the relevant withholding income tax to the PRC tax authorities, the appropriate PRC tax authorities may, in their sole discretion, impose tax obligations on a Fund.
The Ministry of Finance of the PRC, the State Administration of Taxation of the PRC and the CSRC (collectively, the PRC Authorities) issued the Notice on temporary exemption of Corporate Income Tax on capital gains derived from the transfer of PRC equity investment assets such as PRC domestic stocks by QFII and RQFII Caishui [2014] No. 79 (Notice 79) on October 31, 2014. Notice 79 states that QFIIs and RQFIIs (without an establishment or place of business in the PRC or having an establishment or place in the PRC but the income so derived in the PRC is not effectively connected with such establishment or place) will be temporarily exempt from corporate income tax on gains derived from the trading of PRC equity investments including A Shares effective from November 17, 2014. In addition, the PRC Authorities issued the Notice on Taxation Relating to the Pilot Program of Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect (Caishui [2014] No.81) (Notice 81) on October 31, 2014 and Notice on Taxation Relating to the Pilot Program of Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect (Caishui [2016] No. 127) (Notice 127) on November 5, 2016. Notice 81 and Notice 127 state that the capital gain from disposal of A Shares by foreign investors enterprises via the Stock Connect program will be temporarily exempt from withholding income tax. Notice 81 and Notice 127 also state that the dividends derived from A Shares by foreign investors enterprises is subject to 10% withholding income tax.
There is no indication of how long the temporary exemption will remain in effect and a Fund may be subject to such withholding income tax in the future. If, in the future, China begins applying tax rules regarding the taxation of income from A Shares investment to QFIIs and RQFIIs or investments through the Stock Connect program and/or begins collecting capital gains taxes on such investments, a Fund could be subject to withholding income tax liability if the Fund determines that such liability cannot be reduced or eliminated by applicable tax treaties. The PRC tax authorities may in the future issue further guidance in this regard and with potential retrospective effect. The negative impact of any such tax liability on a Fund's return could be substantial.
In light of the uncertainty as to how gains or income that may be derived from a Fund's investments in the PRC will be taxed, each Fund reserves the right to provide for withholding tax on such gains or income and withhold tax for the account of the Fund.
Any tax provision, if made, will be reflected in the net asset value of a Fund at the time the provision is used to satisfy tax liabilities. If the actual applicable tax levied by the PRC tax authorities is greater than that provided for by the applicable Fund so that there is a shortfall in the tax provision amount, the net asset value of that Fund may suffer, as such Fund will have to bear additional tax liabilities. In this case, then existing and new investors in that Fund will be disadvantaged. If the actual applicable tax levied by the PRC tax authorities is less than that provided for by a Fund so that there is an excess in the tax provision amount, investors who redeemed Shares before the PRC tax authorities' ruling, decision or guidance may have been disadvantaged, as they would have borne any loss from a Fund's overprovision. In this case, the then
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existing and new investors in a Fund may benefit if the difference between the tax provision and the actual taxation liability can be returned to the account of a Fund as assets thereof. Any excess in the tax provision amount shall be treated as property of a Fund, and investors who previously transferred or redeemed their Shares will not be entitled or have any right to claim any part of the amount representing the excess.
Stamp duty under the PRC laws generally applies to the execution and receipt of taxable documents, which include contracts for the sale of A Shares traded on PRC stock exchanges. In the case of such contracts, the stamp duty is currently imposed on the seller but not on the purchaser, at the rate of 0.1%. The sale or other transfer by the Adviser of A Shares will accordingly be subject to PRC Stamp Duty, but the Adviser will not be subject to PRC Stamp Duty when it acquires A Shares.
RQFIIs may also potentially be subject to PRC value added tax at the rate of 6% on capital gains derived from trading of A Shares and interest income (if any). Existing guidance provides a temporary value added tax exemption for QFIIs and RQFIIs in respect of their gains derived from the trading of PRC securities. Since there is no indication of how long the temporary exemption will remain in effect, a Fund may be subject to such value added tax in the future. In addition, urban maintenance and construction tax (currently at rates ranging from 1% to 7%), educational surcharge (currently at the rate of 3%) and local educational surcharge (currently at the rate of 2%) (collectively the surtaxes) are imposed based on value added tax liabilities, so if the Adviser or a Fund were liable for value added tax it would also be required to pay the applicable surtaxes.
The PRC rules for taxation of RQFIIs, QFIIs and the Stock Connect program are evolving and certain of the tax regulations to be issued by the PRC State Administration of Taxation and/or PRC Ministry of Finance to clarify the subject matter may apply retrospectively, even if such rules are adverse to a Fund and its investors. The applicability of reduced treaty rates of withholding in the case of a RQFII acting for a foreign investor, such as a Fund, is also uncertain. The imposition of such taxes, particularly on a retrospective basis, could have a material adverse effect on a Fund's returns. Before further guidance is issued and is well established in the administrative practice of the PRC tax authorities, the practices of the PRC tax authorities that collect PRC taxes relevant to a Fund may differ from, or be applied in a manner inconsistent with, the practices with respect to the analogous investments described herein or any further guidance that may be issued. The value of a Fund's investment in the PRC and the amount of its income and gains could be adversely affected by an increase in tax rates or change in the taxation basis.
The above information is only a general summary of the potential PRC tax consequences that may be imposed on a Fund and its investors either directly or indirectly and should not be taken as a definitive, authoritative or comprehensive statement of the relevant matter. Investors should seek their own tax advice on their tax position with regard to their investment in a Fund.
As described below under Taxes—Taxation of Fund Investments, an applicable Fund may elect, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, to treat PRC taxes (including withholding taxes) paid by such Fund as paid by its shareholders. Even if a Fund is qualified to make that election and does so, however, your ability to claim a credit for certain PRC taxes may be limited under general U.S. tax principles and may not extend to taxes that are reserved but not paid.
Should the Chinese government impose restrictions on a Fund's ability to repatriate funds associated with direct investments in A Shares, such Fund may be unable to satisfy distribution requirements applicable to RICs under the Internal Revenue Code, and that Fund may therefore be subject to Fund-level U.S. federal taxes. In the event such restrictions are imposed, a Fund may borrow funds to the extent necessary to distribute to shareholders income sufficient to maintain its status as a RIC.
The PRC government has implemented a number of tax reform policies in recent years. The current tax laws and regulations may be revised or amended in the future. Any revision or amendment in tax laws and regulations may affect the after-taxation profit of PRC companies and foreign investors in such companies, such as the Funds.
Government Intervention and Restriction Risk: Governments and regulators may intervene in the financial markets, such as by the imposition of trading restrictions, a ban on naked short selling or the suspension of short selling for certain stocks. This may affect the operation and market making activities related to a Fund, and may have an unpredictable impact on a Fund. Furthermore, such market interventions may have a negative impact on the market sentiment which may in turn affect the performance of a Fund's underlying Index and, as a result, the performance of the Fund.
RMB Exchange Controls and Restrictions Risk: It should be noted that the RMB is currently not a freely convertible currency, as it is subject to foreign exchange control policies and repatriation restrictions imposed by the PRC government. There is no assurance that there will always be RMB available in sufficient amounts for a Fund to remain fully invested.
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Since 1994, the conversion of RMB into U.S. dollars has been based on rates set by the PBOC, which are set daily based on the previous day's PRC interbank foreign exchange market rate. On July 21, 2005, the PRC government introduced a managed floating exchange rate system to allow the value of RMB to fluctuate within a regulated band based on market supply and demand and by reference to a basket of currencies. In addition, a market maker system was introduced to the interbank spot foreign exchange market. In July 2008, China announced that its exchange rate regime was further transformed into a managed floating mechanism based on market supply and demand. Given the domestic and overseas economic developments, the PBOC decided to further improve the RMB exchange rate regime in June 2010 to enhance the flexibility of the RMB exchange rate. In March 2014, the PBOC decided to take a further step to increase the flexibility of the RMB exchange rate by expanding the daily trading band from +/-1% to +/-2% and may seek to do so again in the future.
However it should be noted that the PRC government's policies on exchange control and repatriation restrictions are subject to change, and any such change may adversely impact a Fund. There can be no assurance that the RMB exchange rate will not fluctuate widely against the U.S. dollar or any other foreign currency in the future. Foreign exchange transactions under the capital account, including principal payments in respect of foreign currency-denominated obligations, currently continue to be subject to significant foreign exchange controls and require the approval of the SAFE. On the other hand, the existing PRC foreign exchange regulations have significantly reduced government foreign exchange controls for transactions under the current account, including trade and service related foreign exchange transactions and payment of dividends. Nevertheless, the Adviser cannot predict whether the PRC government will continue its existing foreign exchange policy or when the PRC government will allow free conversion of the RMB to foreign currencies.
RMB Trading and Settlement Risk: The trading and settlement of RMB-denominated securities are recent developments in Hong Kong and there is no assurance that problems will not be encountered with the systems or that other logistical problems will not arise.
RQFII Late Settlement Risk: A Fund will be required to remit RMB from Hong Kong to the PRC to settle the purchase of A Shares by that Fund from time to time. In the event such remittance is disrupted, such Fund will not be able to sample its underlying Index by investing in the relevant A Shares, which may lead to increased tracking error.
Future Movements in RMB Exchange Rates Risk: The exchange rate of RMB ceased to be pegged to U.S. dollars on July 21, 2005, resulting in a more flexible RMB exchange rate system. China Foreign Exchange Trading System, authorized by the PBOC, promulgates the central parity rate of RMB against U.S. dollars, Euro, Yen, pound sterling and Hong Kong dollar at 9:15 a.m. on each business day, which will be the daily central parity rate for transactions on the Inter-bank Spot Foreign Exchange Market and OTC transactions of banks. The exchange rate of RMB against the above-mentioned currencies fluctuates within a range above or below such central parity rate. As the exchange rates are based primarily on market forces, the exchange rates for RMB against other currencies, including U.S. dollars and Hong Kong dollars, are susceptible to movements based on external factors. There can be no assurance that such exchange rates will not fluctuate widely against U.S. dollars, Hong Kong dollars or any other foreign currency in the future. From 1994 to July 2005, the exchange rate for RMB against U.S. dollar and the Hong Kong dollar was relatively stable. Since July 2005, the appreciation of RMB has begun to accelerate. Although the PRC government has constantly reiterated its intention to maintain the stability of RMB, it may introduce measures (such as a reduction in the rate of export tax refund) to address the concerns of the PRC's trading partners. Therefore, the possibility that the appreciation of RMB will be further accelerated cannot be excluded. On the other hand, there can be no assurance that RMB will not be subject to devaluation.
Offshore RMB (CNH) Market Risk: The onshore RMB (CNY) is the only official currency of the PRC and is used in all financial transactions between individuals, state and corporations in the PRC. Hong Kong is the first jurisdiction to allow accumulation of RMB deposits outside the PRC. Since June 2010, the CNH is traded officially, regulated jointly by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the PBOC. While both CNY and CNH represent RMB, they are traded in different and separated markets. The two RMB markets operate independently where the flow between them is highly restricted. Though the CNH is a proxy of the CNY, they do not necessarily have the same exchange rate and their movement may not be in the same direction. This is because these currencies act in separate jurisdictions, which leads to separate supply and demand conditions for each, and therefore separate but related currency markets.
The current size of RMB-denominated financial assets outside the PRC is limited. In addition, participating authorized institutions are also required by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to maintain a total amount of RMB (in the form of cash and its settlement account balance with a Renminbi clearing bank) of no less than 25% of their RMB deposits, which further limits the availability of RMB that participating authorized institutions can utilize for conversion services for their
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customers. RMB business participating banks do not have direct RMB liquidity support from the PBOC. Only the Renminbi clearing bank has access to onshore liquidity support from the PBOC (subject to annual and quarterly quotas imposed by the PBOC) to square open positions of participating banks for limited types of transactions, including open positions resulting from conversion services for corporations relating to cross-border trade settlement. The Renminbi clearing bank is not obliged to square for participating banks any open positions resulting from other foreign exchange transactions or conversion services and the participating banks will need to source RMB from the offshore market to square such open positions. Although it is expected that the offshore RMB market will continue to grow in depth and size, its growth is subject to many constraints as a result of PRC laws and regulations on foreign exchange. There is no assurance that new PRC regulations will not be promulgated or the relevant settlement agreements between Hong Kong banks and the PBOC will not be terminated or amended in the future which will have the effect of restricting availability of RMB offshore.
Disclosure of Interests and Short Swing Profit Rule: A Fund may be subject to shareholder disclosure of interest regulations promulgated by the CSRC. To the extent they are applicable, these regulations currently would require a Fund to make certain public disclosures when the Fund and parties acting in concert with that Fund acquire 5% or more of the issued securities of a listed company (which include A Shares of the listed company). Additional information may be required if a Fund and its concerted parties constitute the largest shareholder or actual controlling shareholder of the listed company. The report must be made to the CSRC, the stock exchange, the invested company, and the CSRC local representative office where the listed company is located. The Fund would also be required to make a public announcement through a media outlet designated by the CSRC. The public announcement must contain the same content as the official report.
If the 5% shareholding threshold is triggered by a Fund and parties acting in concert with that Fund, such Fund would be required to file its report within three days of the date the threshold is reached. During the time limit for filing the report, a trading freeze applies and the Fund would not be permitted to make subsequent trades in the invested company's securities. Any such trading freeze may undermine a Fund's performance, if the Fund would otherwise make trades during that period but is prevented from doing so by the regulations.
The relevant PRC regulations presumptively treat all affiliated investors and investors under common control as parties acting in concert. As such, under a conservative interpretation of these regulations, a Fund may be deemed as a concerted party of other funds managed by the Adviser or its affiliates and therefore may be subject to the risk that the Fund's holdings may be required to be reported in the aggregate with the holdings of such other funds should the aggregate holdings trigger the reporting threshold under the PRC law.
Once a Fund and parties acting in concert reach the 5% trading threshold as to any listed company, any subsequent incremental increase or decrease of 5% or more will trigger a further reporting requirement and an additional three-day trading freeze, and also an additional freeze on trading within three days of the Fund's report and announcement of the incremental change. These trading freezes may undermine a Fund's performance as described above. Also, SSE requirements currently require a Fund and parties acting in concert, once they have reached the 5% threshold, to disclose whenever their shareholding drops below this threshold (even as a result of trading which is less than the 5% incremental change that would trigger a reporting requirement under the relevant CSRC regulation).
CSRC regulations also contain additional disclosure (and tender offer) requirements that apply when an investor and parties acting in concert reach certain thresholds in excess of 10%. Subject to the interpretation of PRC courts and PRC regulators, the operation of the PRC short swing profit rule may be applicable to the trading of a Fund with the result that where the holdings of the Fund (possibly with the holdings of other investors deemed as concert parties of such Fund) exceed 5% of the total issued shares of a listed company, the Fund may not reduce its holdings in the company within six months of the last purchase of shares of the company. If a Fund violates the rule, it may be required by the listed company to return any profits realized from such trading to the listed company. In addition, the rule limits the ability of the Fund to repurchase securities of the listed company within six months of such sale. Moreover, under PRC civil procedures, a Fund's assets may be frozen to the extent of the claims made by the company in question. These risks may greatly impair the performance of the applicable Fund.
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST RISK
An investment in a Fund may be subject to a number of actual or potential conflicts of interest. For example, the Adviser or its affiliates may provide services to a Fund, such as securities lending agency services, custodial, administrative, bookkeeping, and accounting services, transfer agency and shareholder servicing, securities brokerage services, and other services for which the Fund would compensate the Adviser and/or such affiliates. A Fund may invest in other pooled investment vehicles sponsored, managed, or otherwise affiliated with the Adviser. There is no assurance that the rates at
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which a Fund pays fees or expenses to the Adviser or its affiliates, or the terms on which it enters into transactions with the Adviser or its affiliates, will be the most favorable available in the market generally or as favorable as the rates the Adviser makes available to other clients. Because of its financial interest, the Adviser may have an incentive to enter into transactions or arrangements on behalf of a Fund with itself or its affiliates in circumstances where it might not have done so in the absence of that interest.
CONTINUOUS OFFERING
The method by which Creation Units of Shares are created and traded may raise certain issues under applicable securities laws. Because new Creation Units of Shares are issued and sold by the Trust on an ongoing basis, at any point a distribution, as such term is used in the Securities Act, may occur. Broker-dealers and other persons are cautioned that some activities on their part may, depending on the circumstances, result in their being deemed participants in a distribution in a manner which could render them statutory underwriters and subject them to the prospectus delivery and liability provisions of the Securities Act.
For example, a broker-dealer firm or its client may be deemed a statutory underwriter if it takes Creation Units after placing an order with the Distributor, breaks them down into constituent Shares, and sells such Shares directly to customers, or if it chooses to couple the creation of a supply of new Shares with an active selling effort involving solicitation of secondary market demand for Shares. A determination of whether one is an underwriter for purposes of the Securities Act must take into account all the facts and circumstances pertaining to the activities of the broker-dealer or its client in the particular case, and the examples mentioned above should not be considered a complete description of all the activities that could lead to a categorization as an underwriter.
Broker-dealer firms should also note that dealers who are not underwriters but are effecting transactions in Shares, whether or not participating in the distribution of Shares, are generally required to deliver a prospectus. This is because the prospectus delivery exemption in Section 4(a)(3) of the Securities Act is not available in respect of such transactions as a result of Section 24(d) of the 1940 Act. Firms that incur a prospectus-delivery obligation with respect to Shares of a Fund are reminded that under Securities Act Rule 153, a prospectus-delivery obligation under Section 5(b)(2) of the Securities Act owed to an exchange member in connection with a sale on the Exchange is satisfied by the fact that a Fund's Prospectus is available at the Exchange upon request. The prospectus delivery mechanism provided in Rule 153 is only available with respect to transactions on an exchange.
SSGA or its affiliates (the Selling Shareholder) may purchase Creation Units through a broker-dealer to seed (in whole or in part) Funds as they are launched, or may purchase shares from broker-dealers or other investors that have previously provided seed for Funds when they were launched or otherwise in secondary market transactions, and because the Selling Shareholder may be deemed an affiliate of such Funds, the Shares are being registered to permit the resale of these shares from time to time after purchase. The Funds will not receive any of the proceeds from the resale by the Selling Shareholders of these Shares.
The Selling Shareholder intends to sell all or a portion of the Shares owned by it and offered hereby from time to time directly or through one or more broker-dealers, and may also hedge such positions. The Shares may be sold on any national securities exchange on which the Shares may be listed or quoted at the time of sale, in the over-the-counter market or in transactions other than on these exchanges or systems at fixed prices, at prevailing market prices at the time of the sale, at varying prices determined at the time of sale, or at negotiated prices. These sales may be effected in transactions, which may involve cross or block transactions.
The Selling Shareholder may also loan or pledge Shares to broker-dealers that in turn may sell such Shares, to the extent permitted by applicable law. The Selling Shareholder may also enter into options or other transactions with broker-dealers or other financial institutions or the creation of one or more derivative securities which require the delivery to such broker-dealer or other financial institution of Shares, which Shares such broker-dealer or other financial institution may resell.
The Selling Shareholder and any broker-dealer or agents participating in the distribution of Shares may be deemed to be underwriters within the meaning of Section 2(a)(11) of the Securities Act in connection with such sales. In such event, any commissions paid to any such broker-dealer or agent and any profit on the resale of the Shares purchased by them may be deemed to be underwriting commissions or discounts under the Securities Act. The Selling Shareholder who may be deemed an underwriter within the meaning of Section 2(a)(11) of the Securities Act will be subject to the applicable prospectus delivery requirements of the Securities Act.
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COUNTERPARTY RISK
Counterparty risk with respect to derivatives has been and may continue to be affected by new rules and regulations affecting the derivatives market. Some derivatives transactions are required to be centrally cleared, and a party to a cleared derivatives transaction is subject to the credit risk of the clearing house and the clearing member through which it holds its cleared position, rather than the credit risk of its original counterparty to the derivatives transaction. Credit risk of market participants with respect to derivatives that are centrally cleared is concentrated in a few clearing houses, and it is not clear how an insolvency proceeding of a clearing house would be conducted, what effect the insolvency proceeding would have on any recovery by a Fund, and what impact an insolvency of a clearing house would have on the financial system more generally.
FUTURES AND OPTIONS TRANSACTIONS
There can be no assurance that a liquid secondary market will exist for any particular futures contract or option at any specific time. Thus, it may not be possible to close a futures or options position. In the event of adverse price movements, a Fund would continue to be required to make daily cash payments to maintain its required margin. In such situations, if a Fund has insufficient cash, it may have to sell portfolio securities to meet daily margin requirements at a time when it may be disadvantageous to do so. In addition, a Fund may be required to make delivery of the instruments underlying futures contracts it has sold.
Each Fund will minimize the risk that it will be unable to close out a futures or options contract by only entering into futures and options for which there appears to be a liquid secondary market.
The risk of loss in trading futures contracts or uncovered call options in some strategies (e.g., selling uncovered index futures contracts) is potentially unlimited. The Funds do not plan to use futures and options contracts, when available, in this manner. The risk of a futures position may still be large as traditionally measured due to the low margin deposits required. In many cases, a relatively small price movement in a futures contract may result in immediate and substantial loss or gain to the investor relative to the size of a required margin deposit. A Fund, however, may utilize futures and options contracts in a manner designed to limit its risk exposure to that which is comparable to what it would have incurred through direct investment in securities.
Utilization of futures transactions by a Fund involves the risk of imperfect or even negative correlation to its benchmark Index if the index underlying the futures contracts differs from the benchmark Index or if the futures contracts do not track the benchmark Index as expected. There is also the risk of loss by a Fund of margin deposits in the event of bankruptcy of a broker with whom a Fund has an open position in the futures contract or option.
Certain financial futures exchanges limit the amount of fluctuation permitted in futures contract prices during a single trading day. The daily price fluctuation limit or daily limit establishes the maximum amount that the price of a futures contract may vary either up or down from the previous day's settlement price at the end of a trading session. Once the daily limit has been reached in a particular type of contract, generally no trades may be made on that day at a price beyond that limit. The daily limit governs only price movement during a particular trading day and therefore does not limit potential losses, because the limit may prevent the liquidation of unfavorable positions. Futures contract prices have occasionally moved to the daily limit for several consecutive trading days with little or no trading, thereby preventing prompt liquidation of futures positions and subjecting some futures traders to substantial losses.
RISKS OF SWAP AGREEMENTS
Swap agreements are subject to the risk that the swap counterparty will default on its obligations. If such a default occurs, a Fund will have contractual remedies pursuant to the agreements related to the transaction, but such remedies may be subject to bankruptcy and insolvency laws which could affect the Fund's rights as a creditor.
The use of interest-rate and index swaps is a highly specialized activity that involves investment techniques and risks different from those associated with ordinary portfolio security transactions. The use of a swap requires an understanding not only of the referenced asset, reference rate, or index, but also of the swap itself, without the benefit of observing the performance of the swap under all possible market conditions. These transactions generally do not involve the delivery of securities or other underlying assets or principal.
The absence of a regulated execution facility or contract market and lack of liquidity for swap transactions has led, in some instances, to difficulties in trading and valuation, especially in the event of market disruptions. Under recently adopted rules and regulations, transactions in some types of swaps are required to be centrally cleared. In a cleared
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derivatives transaction, a Fund's counterparty to the transaction is a central derivatives clearing organization, or clearing house, rather than a bank or broker. Because the Funds are not members of a clearing house, and only members of a clearing house can participate directly in the clearing house, each Fund holds cleared derivatives through accounts at clearing members. In cleared derivatives transactions, a Fund will make payments (including margin payments) to and receive payments from a clearing house through its accounts at clearing members. Clearing members guarantee performance of their clients' obligations to the clearing house. Centrally cleared derivative arrangements may be less favorable to a Fund than bilateral (non-cleared) arrangements. For example, a Fund may be required to provide greater amounts of margin for cleared derivatives transactions than for bilateral derivatives transactions. Also, in contrast to bilateral derivatives transactions, in some cases following a period of notice to a Fund, a clearing member generally can require termination of existing cleared derivatives transactions at any time or an increase in margin requirements above the margin that the clearing member required at the beginning of a transaction. Clearing houses also have broad rights to increase margin requirements for existing transactions or to terminate transactions at any time in accordance with their rules. A Fund is subject to risk if it enters into a derivatives transaction that is required to be cleared (or which SSGA FM expects to be cleared), and no clearing member is willing or able to clear the transaction on the Fund's behalf. In that case, the transaction might have to be terminated, and the Fund could lose some or all of the benefit of the transaction, including loss of an increase in the value of the transaction and loss of hedging protection. In addition, the documentation governing the relationship between a Fund and clearing members is drafted by the clearing members and generally is less favorable to the Fund than typical bilateral derivatives documentation.
These clearing rules and other new rules and regulations could, among other things, restrict a Fund's ability to engage in, or increase the cost to the Fund of, derivatives transactions, for example, by making some types of derivatives no longer available to the Fund, increasing margin or capital requirements, or otherwise limiting liquidity or increasing transaction costs. These regulations, as applicable to swaps, are relatively new and evolving, so their potential impact on a Fund and the financial system are not yet known.
Because they are two party contracts that may be subject to contractual restrictions on transferability and termination and because they may have terms of greater than seven days, swap agreements may be considered to be illiquid and subject to a Fund's limitation on investments in illiquid investments. To the extent that a swap is not liquid, it may not be possible to initiate a transaction or liquidate a position at an advantageous time or price, which may result in significant losses. Like most other investments, swap agreements are subject to the risk that the market value of the instrument will change in a way detrimental to a Fund's interest.
If a Fund uses a swap as a hedge against, or as a substitute for, a portfolio investment, the Fund will be exposed to the risk that the swap will have or will develop imperfect or no correlation with the portfolio investment. This could cause substantial losses for the Fund. While hedging strategies involving swap instruments can reduce the risk of loss, they can also reduce the opportunity for gain or even result in losses by offsetting favorable price movements in other Fund investments. Many swaps are complex and often valued subjectively.
EUROPE – RECENT EVENTS
A number of countries in Europe, including Greece, Spain, Ireland, Italy, and Portugal, have experienced rising government debt levels. The concern over these debt levels has led to volatility in the European financial markets, which has adversely affected the exchange rate of the euro and may continue to significantly affect every country in Europe. For some countries, the ability to repay sovereign debt is in question, and default is possible, which could affect their ability to borrow in the future. Several countries have agreed to multi-year bailout loans from the European Central Bank, the IMF, and other institutions. A default or debt restructuring by any European country can adversely impact holders of that country's debt and can affect exposures to other European Union (EU) countries and their financial companies as well. These financial difficulties may continue, worsen or spread within or outside Europe. Responses to the financial problems by European governments, central banks and others, including austerity measures and reforms, may not work, may result in social unrest and may limit future growth and economic recovery or have other unintended consequences.
Uncertainties regarding the viability of the EU have impacted and may continue to impact markets in the United States and around the world. On January 31, 2020, the United Kingdom formally withdrew from the EU (commonly referred to as Brexit) and entered an 11-month transition period. The transition period concluded on December 31, 2020, and the United Kingdom left the EU single market and customs union under the terms of a new trade agreement. The agreement governs the new relationship between the United Kingdom and EU with respect to trading goods and services, but critical aspects of the relationship remain unresolved and subject to further negotiation and agreement. The full scope and nature of the consequences of the exit are not at this time known and are unlikely to be known for a significant period of time. It
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is also unknown whether the United Kingdom's exit will increase the likelihood of other countries also departing the EU. Any additional exits from the EU, or the possibility of such exits, may have a significant impact on the United Kingdom, Europe, and global economies, which may result in increased volatility and illiquidity, new legal and regulatory uncertainties and potentially lower economic growth for such economies that could potentially have an adverse effect on the value of a Fund's investments.
LIBOR RISK
Instruments or contracts in which the Funds invest may pay interest at floating or adjusting rates based on LIBOR or may be subject to interest caps or floors tied to LIBOR. LIBOR is used extensively in the U.S. and globally as a benchmark or reference rate for various commercial and financial contracts, including corporate and municipal bonds, bank loans, asset-backed and mortgage-related securities, interest rate swaps and other derivatives.
On July 27, 2017, the United Kingdom's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which regulates LIBOR, announced that after 2021, it would cease its active encouragement of banks to provide quotations needed to sustain the LIBOR rate. On March 5, 2021, the administrator of LIBOR announced a delay in the phase out of the majority of the USD LIBOR publications until June 30, 2023, with the remainder of USD LIBOR publications having ceased on December 31, 2021. The U.S. Federal Reserve, in conjunction with the Alternative Reference Rates Committee, a steering committee comprised of large U.S. financial institutions, has identified the Secured Overnight Financial Rate (SOFR) as the preferred alternative rate to LIBOR. SOFR is a relatively new index calculated by short-term repurchase agreements, backed by Treasury securities.
While some instruments or contracts may contemplate a scenario where LIBOR is no longer available by providing for an alternative rate setting methodology, not all instruments or contracts may have such fallback provisions. Abandonment of or modifications to LIBOR could lead to significant short-term and long-term uncertainty and market instability and the extent to which that may impact a Fund may vary depending on various factors, which include, but are not limited to: (i) existing fallback or termination provisions in individual contracts and (ii) whether, how, and when industry participants develop and adopt new successor reference rates and/or fallbacks for both legacy and new instruments or contracts. To address the potential risks and uncertainty associated with instruments or contracts containing no fallback provisions, in March 2022, the Biden administration enacted legislation that provides a uniform national approach for replacing USD LIBOR. In instances where a contract or instrument does not contain an effective fallback provision, the USD LIBOR rate will be replaced by a rate based on SOFR that is selected by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
The transition to a successor rate may result in (i) increased volatility or illiquidity in markets for instruments or contracts that currently rely on LIBOR, (ii) a reduction in the value of certain instruments or contracts held by a Fund, (iii) reduced effectiveness of related Fund transactions, such as hedging, (iv) additional tax, accounting and regulatory risks, or (v) costs incurred in connection with closing out positions and entering into new trades. Any pricing adjustments to a Fund's investments resulting from a substitute reference rate may also adversely affect a Fund's performance and/or NAV. Additionally, if LIBOR ultimately ceases to exist, a Fund may need to renegotiate the credit agreements extending beyond the LIBOR phase out date with a Fund's obligors that utilize LIBOR as a factor in determining the interest rate and certain of a Fund's existing credit facilities to replace LIBOR with a new rate. Any pricing adjustments to a Fund's investments resulting from a substitute reference rate may also adversely affect a Fund's performance and/or NAV. There is no assurance that the composition or characteristics of any such alternative reference rate will be similar to or produce the same value or economic equivalence as LIBOR or that instruments or contracts using an alternative rate will have the same volume or liquidity.
MARKET TURBULENCE RESULTING FROM COVID-19
An outbreak of a respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus (known as COVID-19) first detected in China in December 2019 has spread globally. In an organized attempt to contain and mitigate the effects of the spread of COVID-19, governments and businesses world-wide took and may continue to take aggressive measures, including closing borders, restricting international and domestic travel, and the imposition of prolonged quarantines of large populations. COVID-19 has resulted in and may continue to result in the disruption of and delays in the delivery of healthcare services and processes, the cancellation of organized events and educational institutions, the disruption of production and supply chains, a decline in consumer demand for certain goods and services, and general concern and uncertainty, all of which have contributed to increased volatility in global markets. The effects of COVID-19 will likely affect certain sectors and industries more dramatically than others, which may adversely affect the value of a Fund's investments in those sectors or industries. COVID-19, and other epidemics and pandemics that may arise in the future, could adversely affect the
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economies of many nations, the global economy, individual companies and capital markets in ways that cannot be foreseen at the present time. In addition, the impact of infectious diseases in developing or emerging market countries may be greater due to limited health care resources. Political, economic and social stresses caused by COVID-19 also may exacerbate other pre-existing political, social and economic risks in certain countries. The duration of COVID-19 and its effects cannot be determined at this time, but the effects could be present for an extended period of time.
RUSSIA SANCTIONS RISK
Sanctions threatened or imposed by a number of jurisdictions, including the United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom, and other intergovernmental actions that have been or may be undertaken in the future, against Russia, Russian entities or Russian individuals, may result in the devaluation of Russian currency, a downgrade in the country's credit rating, an immediate freeze of Russian assets, a decline in the value and liquidity of Russian securities, property or interests, and/or other adverse consequences to the Russian economy or a Fund. The scope and scale of sanctions in place at a particular time may be expanded or otherwise modified in a way that have negative effects on a Fund. Sanctions, or the threat of new or modified sanctions, could impair the ability of a Fund to buy, sell, hold, receive, deliver or otherwise transact in certain affected securities or other investment instruments. Sanctions could also result in Russia taking counter measures or other actions in response, which may further impair the value and liquidity of Russian securities. These sanctions, and the resulting disruption of the Russian economy, may cause volatility in other regional and global markets and may negatively impact the performance of various sectors and industries, as well as companies in other countries, which could have a negative effect on the performance of a Fund, even if a Fund does not have direct exposure to securities of Russian issuers. As a collective result of the imposition of sanctions, Russian government countermeasures and the impact that they have had on the trading markets for Russian securities, certain Funds have used, and may in the future use, fair valuation procedures approved by the Fund's Board to value certain Russian securities, which could result in such securities being deemed to have a zero value.
A reduction in liquidity of certain Fund holdings as a result of sanctions and related actions may cause a Fund to experience increased premiums or discounts to its NAV and/or wider bid-ask spreads. Additionally, if it becomes impracticable or unlawful for a Fund to hold securities subject to, or otherwise affected by, sanctions, or if deemed appropriate by the Fund's investment adviser, the Fund may prohibit in-kind deposits of the affected securities in connection with creation transactions and instead require a cash deposit, which may also increase the Fund's transaction costs.
TAX RISKS
As with any investment, you should consider how your investment in Shares of a Fund will be taxed. The tax information in the Prospectus and this SAI is provided as general information. You should consult your own tax professional about the tax consequences of an investment in Shares of a Fund.
Unless your investment in Shares is made through a tax-exempt entity or tax-advantaged retirement account, such as an individual retirement account, you need to be aware of the possible tax consequences when a Fund makes distributions or you sell Shares.
Investment Restrictions
The Trust has adopted the following investment restrictions as fundamental policies with respect to each Fund. These restrictions cannot be changed without the approval of the holders of a majority of a Fund's outstanding voting securities. For purposes of the 1940 Act, a majority of the outstanding voting securities of a Fund means the vote, at an annual or a special meeting of the security holders of the Trust, of the lesser of (1) 67% or more of the voting securities of the Fund present at such meeting, if the holders of more than 50% of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund are present or represented by proxy, or (2) more than 50% of the outstanding voting securities of the Fund. Except with the approval of a majority of the outstanding voting securities, each Fund may not:
1.
Concentrate its investments in securities of issuers in the same industry, except as may be necessary to approximate the composition of the Fund's underlying Index;(1)
2.
Make loans to another person except as permitted by the 1940 Act or other governing statute, by the Rules thereunder, or by the SEC or other regulatory agency with authority over the Fund;
(1)
The SEC Staff considers concentration to involve more than 25% of a fund's assets to be invested in an industry or group of industries.
31

3.
Issue senior securities or borrow money, except as permitted by the 1940 Act or other governing statute, by the Rules thereunder, or by the SEC or other regulatory agency with authority over the Fund;
4.
Invest directly in real estate unless the real estate is acquired as a result of ownership of securities or other instruments. This restriction shall not preclude the Fund from investing in companies that deal in real estate or in instruments that are backed or secured by real estate;
5.
Act as an underwriter of another issuer's securities, except to the extent the Fund may be deemed to be an underwriter within the meaning of the Securities Act in connection with the Fund's purchase and sale of portfolio securities; or
6.
Invest in commodities except as permitted by the 1940 Act or other governing statute, by the Rules thereunder, or by the SEC or other regulatory agency with authority over the Fund.
In addition to the investment restrictions adopted as fundamental policies as set forth above, each Fund observes the following restrictions, which may be changed by the Board without a shareholder vote. Each Fund will not:
1.
Invest in the securities of a company for the purpose of exercising management or control, provided that the Trust may vote the investment securities owned by the Fund in accordance with its views; or
2.
Under normal circumstances:
a. with respect to the SPDR Portfolio Europe ETF and SPDR EURO STOXX 50 ETF, invest less than 80% of its total assets in component securities that comprise its relevant benchmark Index;
b. with respect to the Funds (except the SPDR Portfolio Europe ETF and SPDR EURO STOXX 50 ETF), invest less than 80% of its total assets in component securities that comprise its relevant benchmark Index and in depositary receipts (including ADRs or GDRs) based on the securities in its Index;
c. with respect the SPDR Bloomberg SASB Developed Markets Ex US ESG Select ETF, invest less than 80% of its net assets, plus the amount of borrowings for investment purposes, in securities of companies outside the United States. Prior to any change in the Fund's 80% investment policy, the Fund will provide shareholders with 60 days' written notice.
d. with respect to the SPDR S&P Emerging Asia Pacific ETF invest less than 80% of its net assets (plus the amount of borrowings for investment purposes) in securities of Asian Pacific companies. Prior to any change in the Fund's 80% investment policy, the Fund will provide shareholders with 60 days' written notice;
e. with respect to the SPDR S&P China ETF, invest less than 80% of its net assets (plus the amount of borrowings for investment purposes) in securities of Chinese companies. Prior to any change in the Fund's 80% investment policy, the Fund will provide shareholders with 60 days' written notice;
f. with respect to the SPDR S&P International Small Cap ETF and the SPDR S&P Emerging Markets Small Cap ETF, invest less than 80% of its net assets (plus the amount of borrowings for investment purposes) in securities of small capitalization companies. Prior to any change in each Fund's 80% investment policy, the Fund will provide shareholders with 60 days' written notice;
g. with respect to the SPDR Dow Jones International Real Estate ETF and the SPDR Dow Jones Global Real Estate ETF, invest less than 80% of its net assets (plus the amount of borrowings for investment purposes) in securities of real estate companies. Prior to any change in each Fund's 80% investment policy, the Fund will provide shareholders with 60 days' written notice;
h. with respect to the SPDR S&P Global Infrastructure ETF, invest less than 80% of its net assets (plus the amount of borrowings for investment purposes) in securities of companies in the infrastructure industry. Prior to any change in the Fund's 80% investment policy, the Fund will provide shareholders with 60 days' written notice;
i. with respect to the SPDR S&P Global Natural Resources ETF, invest less than 80% of its net assets (plus the amount of borrowings for investment purposes) in securities of natural resources and commodities companies. Prior to any change in the Fund's 80% investment policy, the Fund will provide shareholders with 60 days' written notice;
32

j. with respect to the SPDR MSCI EAFE StrategicFactors ETF, invest less than 80% of its net assets (plus the amount of borrowings for investment purposes) in securities of European, Australasian and/or Far Eastern companies. Prior to any change in the Fund's 80% investment policy, the Fund will provide shareholders with 60 days' written notice;
k. with respect to the SPDR S&P North American Natural Resources ETF, invest less than 80% of its net assets (plus the amount of borrowings for investment purposes) in securities of North American natural resources and commodities companies. Prior to any change in the Fund's 80% investment policy, the Fund will provide shareholders with 60 days' written notice;
l. with respect to the SPDR MSCI EAFE Fossil Fuel Reserves Free ETF and the SPDR MSCI Emerging Markets Fossil Fuel Reserves Free ETF, invest less than 80% of its net assets, plus the amount of borrowings for investment purposes, in securities of companies that do not own fossil fuel reserves. Prior to any change in each Fund's 80% investment policy, the Fund will provide shareholders with 60 days' written notice.
In addition, with respect to SPDR MSCI ACWI ex-US ETF and SPDR Portfolio Emerging Markets ETF, each Fund will neither invest in securitized instruments (including asset-backed securities, mortgage-backed securities, or asset-backed commercial paper) nor sweep excess cash into any non-governmental money market fund.
The Funds define the foregoing terms in accordance with the definition of such terms per the applicable Index. If a percentage limitation is adhered to at the time of investment or contract, a later increase or decrease in percentage resulting from any change in value or total or net assets will not result in a violation of such restriction, except that the percentage limitations with respect to the borrowing of money will be observed continuously. With respect to the limitation on borrowing, in the event that a subsequent change in net assets or other circumstances cause a Fund to exceed its limitation, the Fund will take steps to bring the aggregate amount of borrowing back within the limitations within three days thereafter (not including Sundays and holidays).
The 1940 Act currently permits each Fund to loan up to 33 1/3% of its total assets. With respect to borrowing, the 1940 Act presently allows each Fund to: (1) borrow from any bank (including pledging, mortgaging or hypothecating assets) in an amount up to 33 1/3% of its total assets, (2) borrow money for temporary purposes in an amount not exceeding 5% of the value of the Fund's total assets at the time of the loan, and (3) enter into reverse repurchase agreements. However, under normal circumstances any borrowings by a Fund will not exceed 10% of the Fund's total assets. The 1940 Act generally prohibits funds from issuing senior securities, although it does not treat certain transactions as senior securities, such as certain borrowings, with appropriate asset coverage. With respect to investments in commodities, the 1940 Act presently permits the Funds to invest in commodities in accordance with investment policies contained in its prospectus and SAI. Any such investment shall also comply with the CEA and the rules and regulations thereunder. The 1940 Act does not directly restrict an investment company's ability to invest in real estate, but does require that every investment company have the fundamental investment policy governing such investments. The Funds will not purchase or sell real estate, except that a Fund may invest in companies that deal in real estate (including REITs) or in instruments that are backed or secured by real estate.
Exchange Listing and Trading
A discussion of exchange listing and trading matters associated with an investment in a Fund is contained in the Prospectus under PURCHASE AND SALE INFORMATION and ADDITIONAL PURCHASE AND SALE INFORMATION. The discussion below supplements, and should be read in conjunction with, such sections of the Prospectus.
The Shares of each Fund are approved for listing and trading on the Exchange, subject to notice of issuance. Shares trade on the Exchange at prices that may differ to some degree from their net asset value. There can be no assurance that the requirements of the Exchange necessary to maintain the listing of Shares of a Fund will continue to be met.
The Exchange may consider the suspension of trading in, and may initiate delisting proceedings of, the Shares of a Fund under any of the following circumstances: (i) if the Exchange becomes aware that the Fund is no longer eligible to operate in reliance on Rule 6c-11 under the 1940 Act; (ii) if the Fund no longer complies with the applicable listing requirements set forth in the Exchange's rules; (iii) if, following the initial twelve-month period after commencement of trading on the Exchange of the Fund, there are fewer than 50 beneficial holders of the Fund; or (iv) if such other event shall occur or condition exists which, in the opinion of the Exchange, makes further dealings on the Exchange inadvisable. The Exchange will remove the Shares from listing and trading upon termination of a Fund.
33

The Trust reserves the right to adjust the Share price of a Fund in the future to maintain convenient trading ranges for investors. Any adjustments would be accomplished through stock splits or reverse stock splits, which would have no effect on the net assets of the Fund or an investor's equity interest in the Fund.
As in the case of other publicly traded securities, brokers' commissions on transactions will be based on negotiated commission rates at customary levels.
The base and trading currencies of each Fund is the U.S. dollar. The base currency is the currency in which a Fund's net asset value per Share is calculated and the trading currency is the currency in which Shares of a Fund are listed and traded on the Exchange.
Management of the Trust
The following information supplements and should be read in conjunction with the section in the Prospectus entitled MANAGEMENT.
BOARD RESPONSIBILITIES
The management and affairs of the Trust and its series, including the Funds described in this SAI, are overseen by the Trustees. The Board has approved contracts, as described in this SAI, under which certain companies provide essential management services to the Trust.
Like most mutual funds, the day-to-day business of the Trust, including the management of risk, is performed by third party service providers, such as the Adviser, Distributor, Administrator and Sub-Administrator. The Trustees are responsible for overseeing the Trust's service providers and, thus, have oversight responsibility with respect to risk management performed by those service providers. Risk management seeks to identify and address risks, i.e., events or circumstances that could have material adverse effects on the business, operations, shareholder services, investment performance or reputation of the Funds. The Funds and their service providers employ a variety of processes, procedures and controls to identify various of those possible events or circumstances, to lessen the probability of their occurrence and/or to mitigate the effects of such events or circumstances if they do occur. Each service provider is responsible for one or more discrete aspects of the Trust's business (e.g., the Adviser is responsible for the day-to-day management of a Fund's portfolio investments) and, consequently, for managing the risks associated with that business. The Board has emphasized to the Funds' service providers the importance of maintaining vigorous risk management.
The Trustees' role in risk oversight begins before the inception of a Fund, at which time the Fund's Adviser presents the Board with information concerning the investment objectives, strategies and risks of the Fund, as well as proposed investment limitations for the Fund. Additionally, the Fund's Adviser provides the Board with an overview of, among other things, their investment philosophies, brokerage practices and compliance infrastructures. Thereafter, the Board continues its oversight function as various personnel, including the Trust's Chief Compliance Officer, as well as personnel of the Adviser and other service providers, such as the Fund's independent accountants, make periodic reports to the Audit Committee or to the Board with respect to various aspects of risk management. The Board and the Audit Committee oversee efforts by management and service providers to manage risks to which a Fund may be exposed.
The Board is responsible for overseeing the nature, extent and quality of the services provided to the Funds by the Adviser and receives information about those services at its regular meetings. In addition, on an annual basis, in connection with its consideration of whether to renew the Investment Advisory Agreement with the Adviser, the Board meets with the Adviser to review such services. Among other things, the Board regularly considers the Adviser's adherence to each Fund's investment restrictions and compliance with various Fund policies and procedures and with applicable securities regulations. The Board also reviews information about each Fund's investments.
The Trust's Chief Compliance Officer reports regularly to the Board to review and discuss compliance issues. At least annually, the Trust's Chief Compliance Officer provides the Board with a report reviewing the adequacy and effectiveness of the Trust's policies and procedures and those of its service providers, including the Adviser and any sub-adviser. The report addresses the operation of the policies and procedures of the Trust and each service provider since the date of the last report; any material changes to the policies and procedures since the date of the last report; any recommendations for material changes to the policies and procedures; and any material compliance matters since the date of the last report.
The Board receives reports from the Funds' service providers regarding operational risks and risks related to the valuation and liquidity of portfolio securities. Regular reports are made to the Board concerning investments for which market quotations are not readily available. Annually, the independent registered public accounting firm reviews with the Audit
34

Committee its audit of each Fund's financial statements, focusing on major areas of risk encountered by the Funds and noting any significant deficiencies or material weaknesses in the Funds' internal controls. Additionally, in connection with its oversight function, the Board oversees Fund management's implementation of disclosure controls and procedures, which are designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed by the Trust in its periodic reports with the SEC are recorded, processed, summarized, and reported within the required time periods. The Board also oversees the Trust's internal controls over financial reporting, which comprise policies and procedures designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of the Trust's financial reporting and the preparation of the Trust's financial statements.
From their review of these reports and discussions with the Adviser, the Chief Compliance Officer, the independent registered public accounting firm and other service providers, the Board and the Audit Committee learn in detail about the material risks of the Funds, thereby facilitating a dialogue about how management and service providers identify and mitigate those risks.
The Board recognizes that not all risks that may affect a Fund can be identified and/or quantified, that it may not be practical or cost-effective to eliminate or mitigate certain risks, that it may be necessary to bear certain risks (such as investment-related risks) to achieve a Fund's goals, and that the processes, procedures and controls employed to address certain risks may be limited in their effectiveness. Moreover, reports received by the Trustees as to risk management matters are typically summaries of the relevant information. Most of the Funds' investment management and business affairs are carried out by or through the Fund's Adviser and other service providers, each of which has an independent interest in risk management but whose policies and the methods by which one or more risk management functions are carried out may differ from the Funds' and each other's in the setting of priorities, the resources available or the effectiveness of relevant controls. As a result of the foregoing and other factors, the Board's ability to monitor and manage risk, as a practical matter, is subject to limitations.
TRUSTEES AND OFFICERS
There are eight members of the Board of Trustees, six of whom are not interested persons of the Trust, as that term is defined in the 1940 Act (Independent Trustees). Carl Verboncoeur, an Independent Trustee, serves as Chairman of the Board. The Board has determined its leadership structure is appropriate given the specific characteristics and circumstances of the Trust. The Board made this determination in consideration of, among other things, the fact that the Independent Trustees constitute a super-majority (75%) of the Board, the fact that the chairperson of each Committee of the Board is an Independent Trustee, the amount of assets under management in the Trust, and the number of funds overseen by the Board. The Board also believes that its leadership structure facilitates the orderly and efficient flow of information to the Independent Trustees from fund management.
The Board of Trustees has two standing committees: the Audit Committee and Trustee Committee. The Audit Committee and Trustee Committee are each chaired by an Independent Trustee and composed of all of the Independent Trustees.
Set forth below are the names, year of birth, position with the Trust, length of term of office, and the principal occupations during the last five years and other directorships held of each of the persons currently serving as a Trustee or Officer of the Trust.
TRUSTEES
Name, Address
and Year of Birth
Position(s)
With
Funds
Term of
Office and
Length of
Time Served
Principal
Occupation(s)
During Past
Five Years
Number of
Portfolios
in Fund
Complex
Overseen
by Trustee†
Other
Directorships
Held by
Trustee
During Past
Five Years
INDEPENDENT TRUSTEES
CARL G. VERBONCOEUR
c/o SPDR Index Shares
Funds
One Iron Street
Boston, MA 02210
1952
Independent
Trustee,
Chairman,
Trustee
Committee
Chair
Term:
Unlimited
Served:
since April
2010
Self-employed
consultant since 2009.
125
The Motley Fool Funds
Trust (Trustee).
DWIGHT D. CHURCHILL
c/o SPDR Index Shares
Funds
One Iron Street
Independent
Trustee, Audit
Committee
Chair
Term:
Unlimited
Served:
since April
Self-employed
consultant since 2010;
CEO and President,
CFA Institute (June 2014
125
Affiliated Managers
Group, Inc. (Chairman,
Director and Audit
Committee Chair).
35

Name, Address
and Year of Birth
Position(s)
With
Funds
Term of
Office and
Length of
Time Served
Principal
Occupation(s)
During Past
Five Years
Number of
Portfolios
in Fund
Complex
Overseen
by Trustee†
Other
Directorships
Held by
Trustee
During Past
Five Years
Boston, MA 02210
1953
 
2010
- January 2015).
 
 
CLARE S. RICHER
c/o SPDR Index Shares
Funds
One Iron Street
Boston, MA 02210
1958
Independent
Trustee
Term:
Unlimited
Served:
since July
2018
Retired. Chief Financial
Officer, Putnam
Investments LLC
(December 2008 - May
2017).
125
Principal Financial
Group (Director and
Financial Committee
Chair); Bain Capital
Specialty Finance
(Director); University of
Notre Dame (Trustee);
Putnam Acquisition
Financing Inc. (Director);
Putnam Acquisition
Financing LLC
(Director); Putnam GP
Inc. (Director); Putnam
Investor Services, Inc.
(Director); Putnam
Investments Limited
(Director).
SANDRA G. SPONEM
c/o SPDR Index Shares
Funds
One Iron Street
Boston, MA 02210
1958
Independent
Trustee
Term:
Unlimited
Served:
since July
2018
Retired. Chief Financial
Officer, M.A. Mortenson
Companies, Inc.
(construction and real
estate company)
(February 2007 - April
2017).
125
Rydex Series Funds,
Rydex Dynamic Funds,
Rydex Variable Trust,
Guggenheim Funds
Trust, Guggenheim
Variable Funds Trust,
Guggenheim Strategy
Funds Trust,
Transparent Value Trust,
Fiduciary/ Claymore
Energy Infrastructure
Fund, Guggenheim
Taxable Municipal Bond
& Investment Grade
Debt Trust, Guggenheim
Strategic Opportunities
Fund, Guggenheim
Enhanced Equity
Income Fund,
Guggenheim Credit
Allocation Fund,
Guggenheim Energy &
Income Fund,
Guggenheim Active
Allocation Fund (Trustee
and Audit Committee
Chair).
CAROLYN M. CLANCY
c/o SPDR Index Shares
Funds
One Iron Street
Boston, MA 02210
1960
Independent
Trustee
Term
Unlimited
Served:
since
October
2022
Retired. Executive Vice
President, Head of
Strategy, Analytics and
Market Readiness,
Fidelity Investments
(April 2020 – June
2021); Executive Vice
President, Head of
Broker Dealer Business,
Fidelity Investments
(July 2017 – March
2020).
125
Assumption University
(Trustee); Big Sister
Association of Greater
Boston (Director).
KRISTI L. ROWSELL
c/o SPDR Index Shares
Funds
One Iron Street
Boston, MA 02210
1966
Independent
Trustee
Term
Unlimited
Served:
since
October
2022
Partner and President,
Harris Associates (2010
– 2021).
125
Oakmark Funds
(Trustee); Board of
Governors, Investment
Company Institute
(Member); Habitat for
Humanity Chicago
36

Name, Address
and Year of Birth
Position(s)
With
Funds
Term of
Office and
Length of
Time Served
Principal
Occupation(s)
During Past
Five Years
Number of
Portfolios
in Fund
Complex
Overseen
by Trustee†
Other
Directorships
Held by
Trustee
During Past
Five Years
 
 
 
 
 
(Director).
INTERESTED TRUSTEES
JAMES E. ROSS*
c/o SPDR Index Shares
Funds
One Iron Street
Boston, MA 02210
1965
Interested
Trustee
Term:
Unlimited
Served as
Trustee:
since April
2010
President, Winnisquam
Capital LLC (December
2022 – present);
Non-Executive
Chairman, Fusion
Acquisition Corp II
(February 2020 –
present); Non-Executive
Chairman, Fusion
Acquisition Corp. (June
2020 – September
2021); Retired Chairman
and Director, SSGA
Funds Management, Inc.
(2005 – March 2020);
Retired Executive Vice
President, State Street
Global Advisors (2012 –
March 2020); Retired
Chief Executive Officer
and Manager, State
Street Global Advisors
Funds Distributors, LLC
(May 2017 – March
2020); Director, State
Street Global Markets,
LLC (2013 – April 2017);
President, SSGA Funds
Management, Inc. (2005
– 2012); Principal, State
Street Global Advisors
(2000 – 2005).
136
Investment Managers
Series Trust (December
2022 – present); The
Select Sector SPDR
Trust (November 2005 –
present); SSGA SPDR
ETFs Europe I plc
(Director) (November
2016 – March 2020);
SSGA SPDR ETFs
Europe II plc (Director)
(November 2016 –
March 2020); State
Street Navigator
Securities Lending Trust
(July 2016 – March
2020); SSGA Funds
(January 2014 – March
2020); State Street
Institutional Investment
Trust (February 2007 –
March 2020); State
Street Master Funds
(February 2007 – March
2020); Elfun Funds (July
2016 – December
2018).
GUNJAN CHAUHAN**
c/o SPDR Index Shares
Funds
One Iron Street
Boston, MA 02210
1982
Interested
Trustee
Term
Unlimited
Served:
since
October
2022
Senior Managing
Director, State Street
Global Advisors (April
2018 – Present);
Managing Director, State
Street Global Advisors
(June 2015– March
2018).
125
State Street ICAV
(Director).
For the purpose of determining the number of portfolios overseen by the Trustees, Fund Complex comprises registered investment companies for which SSGA Funds Management, Inc. serves as investment adviser, which includes series of the SPDR Series Trust, SSGA Active Trust and SPDR Index Shares Funds.
*
Mr. Ross is an Interested Trustee because of his ownership interest in an affiliate of the Adviser. Mr. Ross previously served as an Interested Trustee from November 2005 to December 2009.
**
Ms. Chauhan is an Interested Trustee because of her position with an affiliate of the Adviser.
OFFICERS
Name, Address
and Year of Birth
Position(s)
With Funds
Term of
Office and
Length of
Time Served
Principal Occupation(s)
During Past Five Years
ELLEN M. NEEDHAM
SSGA Funds Management, Inc.
One Iron Street
Boston, MA 02210
1967
President
Term: Unlimited
Served: since
October 2012
Chairman, SSGA Funds Management, Inc. (March 2020
- present); President and Director, SSGA Funds
Management, Inc. (2001 - present)*; Senior Managing
Director, State Street Global Advisors (1992 - present)*;
Manager, State Street Global Advisors Funds
Distributors, LLC (May 2017 - present).
37

Name, Address
and Year of Birth
Position(s)
With Funds
Term of
Office and
Length of
Time Served
Principal Occupation(s)
During Past Five Years
BRUCE S. ROSENBERG
SSGA Funds Management, Inc.
One Iron Street
Boston, MA 02210
1961
Treasurer
Term: Unlimited
Served: since
February 2016
Managing Director, State Street Global Advisors and
SSGA Funds Management, Inc. (July 2015 - present);
Director, Credit Suisse (April 2008 - July 2015).
ANN M. CARPENTER
SSGA Funds Management, Inc.
One Iron Street
Boston, MA 02210
1966
Vice President;
Deputy Treasurer
Term: Unlimited
Served: since
August 2012
(with respect to
Vice President);
Unlimited
Served: since
February 2016
(with respect to
Deputy
Treasurer)
Chief Operating Officer, SSGA Funds Management, Inc.
(April 2005 - present)*; Managing Director, State Street
Global Advisors (April 2005 - present).*
MICHAEL P. RILEY
SSGA Funds Management, Inc.
One Iron Street
Boston, MA 02210
1969
Vice President
Term: Unlimited
Served: since
February 2005
Managing Director, State Street Global Advisors (2005 -
present).*
SEAN O'MALLEY
SSGA Funds Management, Inc.
One Iron Street
Boston, MA 02210
1969
Chief Legal Officer
Term: Unlimited
Served: since
August 2019
Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel,
State Street Global Advisors (November 2013 - present).
DAVID URMAN
SSGA Funds Management, Inc.
One Iron Street
Boston, MA 02210
1985
Secretary
Term: Unlimited
Served: since
August 2019
Vice President and Senior Counsel, State Street Global
Advisors (April 2019 - present); Vice President and
Counsel, State Street Global Advisors (August 2015 -
April 2019); Associate, Ropes & Gray LLP (November
2012 - August 2015).
DAVID BARR
SSGA Funds Management, Inc.
One Iron Street
Boston, MA 02210
1974
Assistant Secretary
Term: Unlimited
Served: since
November 2020
Vice President and Senior Counsel, State Street Global
Advisors (October 2019 - present); Vice President and
Counsel, Eaton Vance Corp. (October 2010 - October
2019).
CHAD C. HALLETT
SSGA Funds Management, Inc.
One Iron Street
Boston, MA 02210
1969
Deputy Treasurer
Term: Unlimited
Served: since
February 2016
Vice President, State Street Global Advisors and SSGA
Funds Management, Inc. (November 2014 - present).
DARLENE ANDERSON-VASQUEZ
SSGA Funds Management, Inc.
One Iron Street
Boston, MA 02210
1968
Deputy Treasurer
Term: Unlimited
Served: since
November 2016
Managing Director, State Street Global Advisors and
SSGA Funds Management, Inc. (May 2016 - present);
Senior Vice President, John Hancock Investments
(September 2007 - May 2016).
ARTHUR A. JENSEN
SSGA Funds Management, Inc.
1600 Summer Street
Stamford, CT 06905
1966
Deputy Treasurer
Term: Unlimited
Served: since
August 2017
Vice President, State Street Global Advisors and SSGA
Funds Management, Inc. (July 2016 - present); Mutual
Funds Controller, GE Asset Management Incorporated
(April 2011 - July 2016).
DAVID LANCASTER
SSGA Funds Management, Inc.
One Iron Street
Boston, MA 02210
1971
Assistant Treasurer
Term: Unlimited
Served: since
November 2020
Vice President, State Street Global Advisors and SSGA
Funds Management, Inc. (July 2017 - present); Assistant
Vice President, State Street Bank and Trust Company
(November 2011 - July 2017).*
RYAN HILL
SSGA Funds Management, Inc.
One Iron Street
Boston, MA 02210
1982
Assistant Treasurer
Term: Unlimited
Served: since
May 2022
Vice President, State Street Global Advisors and SSGA
Funds Management Inc. (May 2017 – present);
Assistant Vice President, State Street Bank and Trust
Co. (May 2014 – May 2017).
38

Name, Address
and Year of Birth
Position(s)
With Funds
Term of
Office and
Length of
Time Served
Principal Occupation(s)
During Past Five Years
JOHN BETTENCOURT
SSGA Funds Management, Inc.
One Iron Street
Boston, MA 02210
1976
Assistant Treasurer
Term: Unlimited
Served: since
May 2022
Vice President, State Street Global Advisors and SSGA
Funds Management Inc. (March 2020 – present);
Assistant Vice President, State Street Global Advisors
(June 2007 – March 2020).
BRIAN HARRIS
SSGA Funds Management, Inc.
One Iron Street
Boston, MA 02210
1973
Chief Compliance
Officer; Anti-Money
Laundering Officer;
Code of Ethics
Compliance Officer
Term: Unlimited
Served: since
November 2013
Managing Director, State Street Global Advisors and
SSGA Funds Management, Inc. (June 2013 - present).*
*
Served in various capacities and/or with various affiliated entities during the noted time period.
INDIVIDUAL TRUSTEE QUALIFICATIONS
The Board has concluded that each of the Trustees should serve on the Board because of his or her ability to review and understand information about the Funds provided to him or her by management, to identify and request other information he or she may deem relevant to the performance of his or her duties, to question management and other service providers regarding material factors bearing on the management and administration of the Funds, and to exercise his or her business judgment in a manner that serves the best interests of each Fund's shareholders. The Board has concluded that each of the Trustees should serve as a Trustee based on his or her own experience, qualifications, attributes and skills as described below.
The Board has concluded that Mr. Verboncoeur should serve as Trustee because of the experience he gained serving as the Chief Executive Officer of a large financial services and investment management company, his knowledge of the financial services industry and his experience serving on the boards of other investment companies. Mr. Verboncoeur was elected to serve as Trustee of the Trust in April 2010.
The Board has concluded that Mr. Churchill should serve as Trustee because of the experience he gained serving as the Head of the Fixed Income Division of one of the nation's leading mutual fund companies and provider of financial services and his knowledge of the financial services industry. Mr. Churchill was elected to serve as Trustee of the Trust in April 2010.
The Board has concluded that Ms. Richer should serve as Trustee because of the experience she gained serving as the Chief Financial Officer of a large financial services and investment management company, her knowledge of the financial services industry and her experience serving on the board of a major educational institution. Ms. Richer was appointed to serve as Trustee of the Trust in July 2018 and elected to serve as Trustee of the Trust in October 2022.
The Board has concluded that Ms. Sponem should serve as Trustee because of the experience she gained serving as the Chief Financial Officer of a large financial services company, her knowledge of the financial services industry and her experience serving on the boards of other investment companies. Ms. Sponem was appointed to serve as Trustee of the Trust in July 2018 and elected to serve as Trustee of the Trust in October 2022.
The Board has concluded that Ms. Clancy should serve as Trustee because of the experience she gained serving as an Executive Vice President of a large financial services company, her knowledge of the financial services industry and her experience serving on the boards of a major educational institution and a charitable foundation. Ms. Clancy was elected to serve as Trustee of the Trust in October 2022.
The Board has concluded that Ms. Rowsell should serve as Trustee because of the experience she gained serving as the President and Chief Financial Officer of a large financial services company, her knowledge of the financial services industry and her experience serving on the boards of a financial services company, a leading association representing regulated investment funds and a charitable foundation. Ms. Clancy was elected to serve as Trustee of the Trust in October 2022.
The Board has concluded that Mr. Ross should serve as Trustee because of the experience he has gained in his various roles with the Adviser, his knowledge of the financial services industry, and the experience he has gained serving as Trustee of the Trust since 2005 (Mr. Ross did not serve as Trustee from December 2009 until April 2010).
39

The Board has concluded that Ms. Chauhan should serve as Trustee because of the experience she has gained in her various roles with an affiliate of the Adviser and her knowledge of the financial services industry. Ms. Chauhan was elected to serve as Trustee of the Trust in October 2022.
In its periodic assessment of the effectiveness of the Board, the Board considers the complementary individual skills and experience of the individual Trustees primarily in the broader context of the Board's overall composition so that the Board, as a body, possesses the appropriate (and appropriately diverse) skills and experience to oversee the business of the Funds.
REMUNERATION OF THE TRUSTEES AND OFFICERS
No officer, director or employee of the Adviser, its parent or subsidiaries receives any compensation from the Trust for serving as an officer or Trustee of the Trust. The Trust, SSGA Active Trust and SPDR Series Trust (together with the Trust, the Trusts) pay, in the aggregate, each Trustee (other than Ms. Chauhan) an annual fee of $300,000 (prior to January 1, 2022, $270,000) plus $10,000 per in-person meeting attended and $2,500 for each telephonic or video conference meeting attended.  The Chairman of the Board receives an additional annual fee of $115,000 (prior to January 1, 2023, $75,000) and the Chairman of the Audit Committee receives an additional annual fee of $40,000 (prior to January 1, 2023, $30,000). The Trusts also reimburse each Trustee (other than Ms. Chauhan) for travel and other out-of-pocket expenses incurred by him/her in connection with attending such meetings and in connection with attending industry seminars and meetings. Trustee fees are allocated between the Trusts and each of their respective series in such a manner as deemed equitable, taking into consideration the relative net assets of the series.
The table below shows the compensation that the Trustees received during the Trust's fiscal year ended September 30, 2022.
Name of
Trustee
Aggregate
Compensation
from the Trust
Pension or
Retirement
Benefits
Accrued
as Part
of Trust
Expenses
Estimated
Annual
Benefits
Upon
Retirement
Total
Compensation
from the
Trust and
Fund Complex
Paid to
Trustees(1)
Independent Trustees:
Carl G. Verboncoeur
$56,790
  N/A
  N/A
$440,000
Dwight D. Churchill
$50,980
  N/A
  N/A
$395,000
Clare S. Richer
$47,107
  N/A
  N/A
$365,000
Sandra G. Sponem
$47,107
  N/A
  N/A
$365,000
Carolyn M. Clancy(2)
  N/A
  N/A
  N/A
  N/A
Kristi L. Rowsell(2)
  N/A
  N/A
  N/A
  N/A
Interested Trustees:
James E. Ross
$47,107
  N/A
  N/A
$365,000
Gunjan Chauhan(3)
  N/A
  N/A
  N/A
  N/A
(1)
The Fund Complex includes SPDR Series Trust, SSGA Active Trust and SPDR Index Shares Funds.
(2)
Trustee was elected to the Board as of October 20, 2022, and therefore did not receive any compensation from the Fund Complex for services as a Trustee for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2022. During the fiscal year ended September 30, 2022, Ms. Rowsell received $78,875 from the Fund Complex ($9,968 from the Trust) for consulting services provided to the Fund Complex.
(3)
Not compensated by the Trust due to Ms. Chauhan's position with an affiliate of the Adviser.
STANDING COMMITTEES
Audit Committee: The Board has an Audit Committee consisting of Messrs. Verboncoeur and Churchill and Mses. Clancy, Richer, Rowsell and Sponem, each of which is an Independent Trustee. Mr. Churchill serves as Chairman. The Audit Committee meets with the Trust's independent auditors to review and approve the scope and results of their professional services; to review the procedures for evaluating the adequacy of the Trust's accounting controls; to consider the range of audit fees; and to make recommendations to the Board regarding the engagement of the Trust's independent auditors. The Audit Committee met four (4) times during the fiscal year ended September 30, 2022.
40

Trustee Committee: The Board has established a Trustee Committee consisting of Messrs. Verboncoeur and Churchill and Mses. Clancy, Richer, Rowsell and Sponem, each of which is an Independent Trustee. Mr. Verboncoeur serves as Chairman. The responsibilities of the Trustee Committee are to: 1) nominate Independent Trustees; 2) review on a periodic basis the governance structures and procedures of the Funds; 3) review proposed resolutions and conflicts of interest that may arise in the business of the Funds and may have an impact on the investors of the Funds; 4) select any independent counsel of the independent trustees as well as make determinations as to that counsel's independence; 5) review matters that are referred to the Committee by the Chief Legal Officer or other counsel to the Trust; and 6) provide general oversight of the Funds on behalf of the investors of the Funds. The Trustee Committee does not have specific procedures in place with respect to the consideration of nominees recommended by security holders, but may consider such nominees in the event that one is recommended. The Trustee Committee met four (4) times during the fiscal year ended September 30, 2022.
OWNERSHIP OF FUND SHARES
As of December 31, 2022, neither the Independent Trustees nor their immediate family members owned beneficially or of record any securities in the Adviser, Principal Underwriter or any person directly or indirectly controlling, controlled by, or under common control with the Adviser or Principal Underwriter.
The following table shows, as of December 31, 2022, the amount of equity securities beneficially owned by each Trustee in the Funds and the Trust:
Name of Trustee
Fund
Dollar Range of Equity
Securities in the Trust
Aggregate Dollar Range of Equity
Securities in All Funds Overseen
by Trustee in Family of
Investment Companies
Independent Trustees:
 
 
Carl G. Verboncoeur
None
None
$10,001 - $50,000
Dwight D. Churchill
SPDR Portfolio Developed World Ex-US ETF
Over $100,000
Over $100,000
Clare S. Richer
None
None
Over $100,000
Sandra G. Sponem
None
None
Over $100,000
Carolyn M. Clancy
SPDR S&P Global Dividend ETF
$10,001 - $50,000
Over $100,000
Kristi L. Rowsell
SPDR S&P Global Natural Resources ETF
$50,001 - $100,000
Over $100,000
Interested Trustees:
 
 
James E. Ross
SPDR MSCI ACWI ex-US ETF
$10,001 - $50,000
Over $100,000
 
SPDR S&P Emerging Asia Pacific ETF
$10,001 - $50,000
 
Gunjan Chauhan
None
None
None
CODES OF ETHICS
The Trust and the Adviser (which includes applicable reporting personnel of the Distributor) each have adopted a Code of Ethics pursuant to Rule 17j-1 of the 1940 Act, which is designed to prevent affiliated persons of the Trust, the Adviser and the Distributor from engaging in deceptive, manipulative or fraudulent activities in connection with securities held or to be acquired by the Funds (which may also be held by persons subject to the Codes of Ethics). Each Code of Ethics permits personnel, subject to that Code of Ethics, to invest in securities for their personal investment accounts, subject to certain limitations, including securities that may be purchased or held by the Funds.
There can be no assurance that the Codes of Ethics will be effective in preventing such activities. Each Code of Ethics, filed as exhibits to this registration statement, may be examined at the office of the SEC in Washington, D.C. or on the Internet at the SEC's website at https://www.sec.gov.
PROXY VOTING POLICIES
The Board believes that the voting of proxies on securities held by each Fund is an important element of the overall investment process. As such, the Board has delegated the responsibility to vote such proxies to the Adviser for all Funds. Each of the Trust's and the Adviser's proxy voting policies are attached at the end of this SAI. Information regarding how a Fund voted proxies relating to its portfolio securities during the most recent twelve-month period ended June 30 is available: (1) without charge by calling 1-866-787-2257; (2) on the Funds' website at https://www.ssga.com/spdrs; and (3) on the SEC's website at https://www.sec.gov.
41

DISCLOSURE OF PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS POLICY
The Trust has adopted a policy regarding the disclosure of information about the Trust's portfolio holdings. The Board must approve all material amendments to this policy. The Funds' portfolio holdings are publicly disseminated each day a Fund is open for business through financial reporting and news services including publicly accessible Internet web sites. In addition, a basket composition file, which includes the security names and share quantities to deliver in exchange for Shares, together with estimates and actual cash components, is publicly disseminated daily prior to the opening of the Exchange via the National Securities Clearing Corporation (NSCC). The basket represents one Creation Unit of a Fund. The Trust, the Adviser or State Street will not disseminate non-public information concerning the Trust, except information may be made available prior to its public availability: (i) to a party for a legitimate business purpose related to the day-to-day operations of the Funds, including (a) a service provider, (b) the stock exchanges upon which an ETF is listed, (c) the NSCC, (d) the Depository Trust Company, and (e) financial data/research companies such as Morningstar, Bloomberg L.P., and Reuters, or (ii) to any other party for a legitimate business or regulatory purpose, upon waiver or exception, with the consent of an applicable Trust officer.
Investment Advisory and Other Services
THE INVESTMENT ADVISER
SSGA FM acts as investment adviser to the Trust and, subject to the oversight of the Board, is responsible for the investment management of each Fund. As of September 30, 2022, the Adviser managed approximately $768.42 billion in assets. The Adviser's principal address is One Iron Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02210. The Adviser, a Massachusetts corporation, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of State Street Global Advisors, Inc., which itself is a wholly-owned subsidiary of State Street Corporation, a publicly held financial holding company. State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), consisting of the Adviser and other investment advisory affiliates of State Street Corporation, is the investment management arm of State Street Corporation.
The Adviser serves as investment adviser to each Fund pursuant to an investment advisory agreement (Investment Advisory Agreement) between the Trust and the Adviser. The Investment Advisory Agreement, with respect to each Fund, continues in effect for two years from its effective date, and thereafter is subject to annual approval by (1) the Board or (2) vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Fund, provided that in either event such continuance also is approved by a majority of the Board who are not interested persons (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Trust by a vote cast in person at a meeting called for the purpose of voting on such approval. The Investment Advisory Agreement with respect to each Fund is terminable without penalty, on 60 days' notice, by the Board or by a vote of the holders of a majority (as defined in the 1940 Act) of a Fund's outstanding voting securities. The Investment Advisory Agreement is also terminable upon 60 days' notice by the Adviser and will terminate automatically in the event of its assignment (as defined in the 1940 Act).
Under the Investment Advisory Agreement, the Adviser, subject to the oversight of the Board and in conformity with the stated investment policies of each Fund, manages the investment of each Fund's assets. The Adviser is responsible for placing purchase and sale orders and providing continuous supervision of the investment portfolio of each Fund. Pursuant to the Investment Advisory Agreement, the Adviser is not liable for certain liabilities, including certain liabilities arising under the federal securities laws, unless such loss or liability results from willful misfeasance, bad faith or gross negligence in the performance of its duties or the reckless disregard of its obligations and duties.
A discussion regarding the basis for the Board's approval of the continuation of the Investment Advisory Agreement regarding the Funds (except for the SPDR Bloomberg SASB Emerging Markets ESG Select ETF and the SPDR Bloomberg SASB Developed Markets Ex US ESG Select ETF) is available in the Trust's Annual Report to Shareholders for the period ended September 30, 2022. A discussion regarding the basis of the Board's approval of the Investment Advisory Agreement regarding the SPDR Bloomberg SASB Emerging Markets ESG Select ETF and the SPDR Bloomberg SASB Developed Markets Ex US ESG Select ETF is available in the Trust's Semi-Annual Report to Shareholders for the period ended March 31, 2022.
For the services provided to the Funds under the Investment Advisory Agreement, each Fund pays the Adviser monthly fees based on a percentage of each Fund's average daily net assets as set forth in each Fund's Prospectus. The Adviser pays all expenses of each Fund other than the management fee, brokerage, taxes, interest, fees and expenses of the Independent Trustees (including any Trustee's counsel fees), acquired fund fees and expenses, litigation expenses and other extraordinary expenses.
42

For the past three fiscal years ended September 30, the Funds paid the following amounts to the Adviser:
Fund
2022
2021
2020
SPDR Bloomberg SASB Developed Markets Ex US ESG Select ETF(1)
$20,951
  N/A
  N/A
SPDR Bloomberg SASB Emerging Markets ESG Select ETF(1)
$28,689
  N/A
  N/A
SPDR Dow Jones Global Real Estate ETF
$7,528,825
$8,191,206
$9,300,221
SPDR Dow Jones International Real Estate ETF
$4,040,465
$5,351,681
$8,762,663
SPDR EURO STOXX 50 ETF
$5,710,633
$6,552,532
$5,376,086
SPDR MSCI ACWI Climate Paris Aligned ETF(2)
$252,864
$233,321
$214,327
SPDR MSCI ACWI ex-US ETF(3)
$5,120,747
$5,101,581
$4,958,789
SPDR MSCI EAFE Fossil Fuel Reserves Free ETF(4)
$499,118
$463,803
$307,107
SPDR MSCI EAFE StrategicFactors ETF
$2,521,446
$1,867,919
$1,069,254
SPDR MSCI Emerging Markets Fossil Fuel Reserves Free ETF
$383,808
$464,566
$259,552
SPDR MSCI Emerging Markets StrategicFactors ETF
$208,710
$340,366
$535,471
SPDR MSCI World StrategicFactors ETF
$174,220
$146,639
$85,780
SPDR Portfolio Developed World ex-US ETF
$4,826,949
$4,159,454
$2,474,264
SPDR Portfolio Emerging Markets ETF
$6,306,837
$6,305,865
$3,933,296
SPDR Portfolio Europe ETF
$247,977
$195,312
$159,093
SPDR Portfolio MSCI Global Stock Market ETF
$480,160
$476,232
$215,873
SPDR S&P China ETF
$8,821,327
$10,819,733
$7,578,019
SPDR S&P Emerging Asia Pacific ETF
$2,370,271
$3,430,536
$2,457,554
SPDR S&P Emerging Markets Dividend ETF
$1,291,232
$1,456,353
$1,653,829
SPDR S&P Emerging Markets Small Cap ETF
$4,075,015
$3,961,067
$3,218,052
SPDR S&P Global Dividend ETF
$1,115,052
$989,566
$1,046,776
SPDR S&P Global Infrastructure ETF
$1,981,885
$1,609,244
$1,481,476
SPDR S&P Global Natural Resources ETF
$12,037,913
$7,086,366
$4,089,779
SPDR S&P International Dividend ETF
$2,719,173
$2,832,409
$3,091,487
SPDR S&P International Small Cap ETF
$3,015,050
$3,246,862
$2,889,327
SPDR S&P North American Natural Resources ETF
$1,993,352
$1,699,293
$2,049,964
(1)
The Fund commenced operations on January 10, 2022.
(2)
Amounts are net of management fee waivers and/or reimbursements. The management fees waived and/or reimbursed for fiscal years 2022, 2021, and 2020 were $0, $38,506, and $72,561, respectively.
(3)
Amounts are net of management fee waivers and/or reimbursements. The management fees waived and/or reimbursed for fiscal years 2022, 2021, and 2020 were $0, $283,461, and $625,380, respectively.
(4)
Amounts are net of management fee waivers and/or reimbursements. The management fees waived and/or reimbursed for fiscal years 2022, 2021, and 2020 were $0, $76,506, and $103,766, respectively.
The Adviser has contractually agreed to waive a portion of its management fee and/or reimburse expenses in an amount equal to any acquired fund fees and expenses (excluding holdings in acquired funds for cash management purposes, if any) for each Fund until January 31, 2024. This contractual fee waiver and/or reimbursement does not provide for the recoupment by the Adviser of any amounts previously waived or reimbursed. The Adviser may continue this waiver and/or reimbursement from year to year, but there is no guarantee that the Adviser will do so and the waiver and/or reimbursement may be cancelled or modified at any time after January 31, 2024. The waiver and/or reimbursement may not be terminated prior to January 31, 2024 except with the approval of the Board.
PORTFOLIO MANAGERS
The Adviser manages the Funds using a team of investment professionals. The professionals primarily responsible for the day-to-day portfolio management of each Fund are:
Portfolio Management Team
Fund
Emiliano Rabinovich, Karl Schneider and John Law
SPDR Bloomberg SASB Developed Markets Ex US ESG
Select ETF
Emiliano Rabinovich, Lisa Hobart and Amy Cheng
SPDR Bloomberg SASB Emerging Markets ESG Select
ETF
43

Portfolio Management Team
Fund
Karl Schneider, Kala O'Donnell and Olga Winner
SPDR Portfolio Developed World ex-US ETF
Michael Feehily1, Juan Acevedo and Thomas Coleman
SPDR S&P China ETF
Michael Feehily1, Karl Schneider and Juan Acevedo
SPDR MSCI World StrategicFactors ETF
Michael Feehily1, Karl Schneider and Amy Cheng
SPDR S&P Emerging Markets Small Cap ETF
Michael Feehily1, Karl Schneider and David Chin
SPDR S&P Global Natural Resources ETF
Michael Feehily1, Karl Schneider and Michael Finocchi
SPDR MSCI ACWI ex-US ETF
SPDR S&P Global Infrastructure ETF
Michael Feehily1, Karl Schneider and Olga Winner
SPDR S&P Emerging Markets Dividend ETF
Michael Feehily1, Karl Schneider and Thomas Coleman
SPDR MSCI ACWI Climate Paris Aligned ETF
Michael Feehily1, Karl Schneider and Dwayne Hancock
SPDR Portfolio Emerging Markets ETF
Michael Feehily1, Karl Schneider and Lisa Hobart
SPDR MSCI EAFE StrategicFactors ETF
Michael Feehily1, Karl Schneider and Ted Janowsky
SPDR S&P International Dividend ETF
Michael Feehily1, Karl Schneider and Mark Krivitsky
SPDR EURO STOXX 50 ETF
SPDR Portfolio Europe ETF
Michael Feehily1, Karl Schneider and John Law
SPDR MSCI EAFE Fossil Fuel Reserves Free ETF
SPDR MSCI Emerging Markets StrategicFactors ETF
Michael Feehily1, Karl Schneider and Kala O'Donnell
SPDR MSCI Emerging Markets Fossil Fuel Reserves Free
ETF
Michael Feehily1, Karl Schneider, Emiliano Rabinovich and
Olga Winner
SPDR S&P North American Natural Resources ETF
Michael Feehily1, Karl Schneider and Keith Richardson
SPDR Dow Jones Global Real Estate ETF
SPDR Dow Jones International Real Estate ETF
SPDR Portfolio MSCI Global Stock Market ETF
Michael Feehily1, Karl Schneider and Amy Scofield
SPDR S&P Global Dividend ETF
Michael Feehily1, Karl Schneider and Teddy Wong
SPDR S&P Emerging Asia Pacific ETF
SPDR S&P International Small Cap ETF
1
Effective March 1, 2023, Mr. Feehily will no longer serve as a portfolio manager of the Funds.
The following table lists the number and types of accounts managed by each of the key professionals involved in the day-to-day portfolio management for each Fund and assets under management in those accounts. The total number of accounts and assets have been allocated to each respective manager. Therefore, some accounts and assets have been counted twice.
Other Accounts Managed as of September 30, 2022
Portfolio Manager
Registered
Investment
Company
Accounts
Assets
Managed
(billions)*
Other Pooled
Investment
Vehicle
Accounts
Assets
Managed
(billions)*
Other
Accounts
Assets
Managed
(billions)*
Total
Assets
Managed
(billions)
Michael Feehily**
108
$726.03
379
$633.69
517
$420.11
$1,779.83
Karl Schneider
108
$726.03
379
$633.69
517
$420.11
$1,779.83
Juan Acevedo
108
$726.03
379
$633.69
517
$420.11
$1,779.83
Amy Cheng
108
$726.03
379
$633.69
517
$420.11
$1,779.83
David Chin
108
$726.03
379
$633.69
517
$420.11
$1,779.83
Thomas Coleman
108
$726.03
379
$633.69
517
$420.11
$1,779.83
Michael Finocchi
108
$726.03
379
$633.69
517
$420.11
$1,779.83
44

Portfolio Manager
Registered
Investment
Company
Accounts
Assets
Managed
(billions)*
Other Pooled
Investment
Vehicle
Accounts
Assets
Managed
(billions)*
Other
Accounts
Assets
Managed
(billions)*
Total
Assets
Managed
(billions)
Dwayne Hancock
108
$726.03
379
$633.69
517
$420.11
$1,779.83
Lisa Hobart
108
$726.03
379
$633.69
517
$420.11
$1,779.83
Ted Janowsky
108
$726.03
379
$633.69
517
$420.11
$1,779.83
Mark Krivitsky
108
$726.03
379
$633.69
517
$420.11
$1,779.83
John Law
108
$726.03
379
$633.69
517
$420.11
$1,779.83
Kala O'Donnell
108
$726.03
379
$633.69
517
$420.11
$1,779.83
Emiliano Rabinovich
108
$726.03
379
$633.69
517
$420.11
$1,779.83
Keith Richardson
108
$726.03
379
$633.69
517
$420.11
$1,779.83
Amy Scofield
108
$726.03
379
$633.69
517
$420.11
$1,779.83
Olga Winner
108
$726.03
379
$633.69
517
$420.11
$1,779.83
Teddy Wong
108
$726.03
379
$633.69
517
$420.11
$1,779.83
*
There are no performance-based fees associated with these accounts.
**
Effective March 1, 2023, Mr. Feehily will no longer serve as a portfolio manager for the Funds.
None of the portfolio managers listed above beneficially owned Shares as of September 30, 2022, except as noted in the table below:
Portfolio Manager
Fund
Dollar Range of Fund
Shares
Beneficially Owned
Michael Feehily1
SPDR S&P Global Infrastructure ETF
Over $100,000
 
SPDR S&P Global Natural Resources ETF
Over $100,000
Dwayne Hancock
SPDR Portfolio Emerging Markets ETF
$50,001 - $100,000
1
Effective March 1, 2023, Mr. Feehily will no longer serve as a portfolio manager of the Funds.
A portfolio manager that has responsibility for managing more than one account may be subject to potential conflicts of interest because he or she is responsible for other accounts in addition to the Funds. Those conflicts could include preferential treatment of one account over others in terms of: (a) the portfolio manager's execution of different investment strategies for various accounts; or (b) the allocation of resources or of investment opportunities.
Portfolio managers may manage numerous accounts for multiple clients. These accounts may include registered investment companies, other types of pooled accounts (e.g., collective investment funds), and separate accounts (i.e., accounts managed on behalf of individuals or public or private institutions). Portfolio managers make investment decisions for each account based on the investment objectives and policies and other relevant investment considerations applicable to that portfolio. A potential conflict of interest may arise as a result of a portfolio manager's responsibility for multiple accounts with similar investment guidelines. Under these circumstances, a potential investment may be suitable for more than one of the portfolio manager's accounts, but the quantity of the investment available for purchase is less than the aggregate amount the accounts would ideally devote to the opportunity. Similar conflicts may arise when multiple accounts seek to dispose of the same investment. The portfolio managers may also manage accounts whose objectives and policies differ from that of the Funds. These differences may be such that under certain circumstances, trading activity appropriate for one account managed by the portfolio manager may have adverse consequences for another account managed by the portfolio manager. For example, an account may sell a significant position in a security, which could cause the market price of that security to decrease, while a Fund maintained its position in that security.
A potential conflict may arise when the portfolio managers are responsible for accounts that have different advisory fees—the difference in fees could create an incentive for the portfolio manager to favor one account over another, for example, in terms of access to investment opportunities. This conflict may be heightened if an account is subject to a performance-based fee, as applicable. Another potential conflict may arise when the portfolio manager has an investment in one or more accounts that participate in transactions with other accounts. His or her investment(s) may create an incentive for the portfolio manager to favor one account over another. The Adviser has adopted policies and procedures reasonably designed to address these potential material conflicts. For instance, portfolio managers are normally responsible for all accounts within a certain investment discipline, and do not, absent special circumstances, differentiate among the various accounts when allocating resources. Additionally, the Adviser and its advisory affiliates have processes and procedures for
45

allocating investment opportunities among portfolios that are designed to provide a fair and equitable allocation. With respect to conflicts arising from personal investments, all employees, including portfolio managers, must comply with personal trading controls established by each of the Adviser's and Trust's Code of Ethics.
SSGA's culture is complemented and reinforced by a total rewards strategy that is based on a pay for performance philosophy which seeks to offer a competitive pay mix of base salary, benefits, cash incentives and deferred compensation.
Salary is based on a number of factors, including external benchmarking data and market trends, and performance both at the business and individual level. SSGA's Global Human Resources department regularly participates in compensation surveys in order to provide SSGA with market-based compensation information that helps support individual pay decisions.
Additionally, subject to State Street and SSGA business results, an incentive pool is allocated to SSGA to reward its employees. The size of the incentive pool for most business units is based on the firm's overall profitability and other factors, including performance against risk-related goals. For most SSGA investment teams, SSGA recognizes and rewards performance by linking annual incentive decisions for investment teams to the firm's or business unit's profitability and business unit investment performance over a multi-year period.
Incentive pool funding for most active investment teams is driven in part by the post-tax investment performance of fund(s) managed by the team versus the return levels of the benchmark index(es) of the fund(s) on a one-, three- and, in some cases, five-year basis. For most active investment teams, a material portion of incentive compensation for senior staff is deferred over a four-year period into the SSGA Long-Term Incentive (SSGA LTI) program. For these teams, The SSGA LTI program indexes the performance of these deferred awards against the post-tax investment performance of fund(s) managed by the team. This is intended to align our investment team's compensation with client interests, both through annual incentive compensation awards and through the long-term value of deferred awards in the SSGA LTI program.
For the index equity investment team, incentive pool funding is driven in part by the post-tax 1 and 3-year tracking error of the funds managed by the team against the benchmark indexes of the funds.
The discretionary allocation of the incentive pool to the business units within SSGA is influenced by market-based compensation data, as well as the overall performance of each business unit. Individual compensation decisions are made by the employee's manager, in conjunction with the senior management of the employee's business unit. These decisions are based on the overall performance of the employee and, as mentioned above, on the performance of the firm and business unit. Depending on the job level, a portion of the annual incentive may be awarded in deferred compensation, which may include cash and/or Deferred Stock Awards (State Street stock), which typically vest over a four-year period. This helps to retain staff and further aligns SSGA employees' interests with SSGA clients' and shareholders' long-term interests.
SSGA recognizes and rewards outstanding performance by:
Promoting employee ownership to connect employees directly to the company's success.
Using rewards to reinforce mission, vision, values and business strategy.
Seeking to recognize and preserve the firm's unique culture and team orientation.
Providing all employees the opportunity to share in the success of SSGA.
THE ADMINISTRATOR, SUB-ADMINISTRATOR, CUSTODIAN AND TRANSFER AGENT
Administrator: SSGA FM serves as the administrator to each series of the Trust, pursuant to an Administration Agreement dated June 1, 2015 (the SSGA Administration Agreement). Pursuant to the SSGA Administration Agreement, SSGA FM is obligated to continuously provide business management services to the Trust and its series and will generally, subject to the general oversight of the Trustees and except as otherwise provided in the SSGA Administration Agreement, manage all of the business and affairs of the Trust.
Sub-Administrator, Custodian and Transfer Agent: State Street serves as the sub-administrator to each series of the Trust, pursuant to a Sub-Administration Agreement dated June 1, 2015 (the Sub-Administration Agreement). Under the Sub-Administration Agreement, State Street is obligated to provide certain sub-administrative services to the Trust and its series. State Street is a wholly-owned subsidiary of State Street Corporation, a publicly held financial holding company, and is affiliated with the Adviser. State Street's mailing address is State Street Financial Center, One Lincoln Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02111.
46

State Street also serves as Custodian for the Trust's series pursuant to a custodian agreement (Custodian Agreement). As Custodian, State Street holds Fund assets, calculates the net asset value of the Shares and calculates net income and realized capital gains or losses. State Street and the Trust will comply with the self-custodian provisions of Rule 17f-2 under the 1940 Act.
All of a Fund's assets in the PRC, including onshore PRC cash deposits and its onshore A Shares portfolio, will be held by the Custodian through the PRC Custodian. The PRC Custodian serves as such pursuant to an agreement between the Adviser, the PRC Custodian, the Trust and State Street. The PRC Custodian, however, also provides foreign sub-custodial services to each Fund in its capacity as a subcustodian of State Street. In the event other Funds hold assets in the PRC in the future, such assets will also be held by the Custodian through a PRC Custodian. A securities account shall be opened with CSDCC in the joint names of the applicable Licensee (as the RQFII holder) and the applicable Fund. A RMB cash account will also be established and maintained with the PRC Custodian in the joint names of the Licensee (as the RQFII holder) and the applicable Fund. The PRC Custodian will, in turn, have a cash clearing account with CSDCC for trade settlement according to applicable regulations.
State Street also serves as Transfer Agent for each series of the Trust pursuant to a transfer agency agreement (Transfer Agency Agreement).
Compensation: As compensation for its services provided under the SSGA Administration Agreement, SSGA FM shall receive fees for the services, calculated based on the average aggregate net assets of the Trust and SPDR Series Trust (SST), which are accrued daily and paid monthly out of its management fee.
As compensation for its services under the Sub-Administration Agreement, Custodian Agreement and Transfer Agency Agreement, State Street shall receive a fee for the services, calculated based on the average aggregate net assets of the Trust and SST, which are accrued daily and paid monthly by the Adviser from its management fee. For each series of the Trust and SST, an annual minimum fee applies. In addition, State Street shall receive global safekeeping and transaction fees, which are calculated on a per-country basis, in-kind creation (purchase) and redemption transaction fees (as described below) and revenue on certain cash balances. State Street may be reimbursed for its out-of-pocket expenses. The Investment Advisory Agreement provides that the Adviser will pay certain operating expenses of the Trust, including the fees due to State Street under the Custodian Agreement and the Transfer Agency Agreement.
Additional Sub-Administration Services: Also under the Sub-Administration Agreement, State Street receives an annual per Fund fee for certain services required in the preparation (including preparing a schedule of quarterly portfolio investments) and filing of Form N-PORT and Form N-CEN with the SEC (N-PORT Related Services). Additionally, State Street receives an annual per Fund fee for services regarding certain liquidity analytics (Liquidity Risk Measurement Services) under the Sub-Administration Agreement. N-PORT Related Services and Liquidity Risk Measurement Services fees are paid by the Adviser from its management fee.
SECURITIES LENDING ACTIVITIES
The Trust's Board has approved each Fund's participation in a securities lending program. Under the securities lending program, each Fund has retained State Street to serve as the securities lending agent.
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For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2022, the income earned by each Fund as well as the fees and/or compensation paid by each Fund (in dollars) pursuant to the Master Amended and Restated Securities Lending Authorization Agreement among the Trust, SST and SSGA Active Trust, each on behalf of its respective series, and State Street (the Securities Lending Authorization Agreement) were as follows:
 
Gross
income
earned by
the Fund
from
securities
lending
activities
Fees and/or compensation paid by the Fund for securities lending activities and
related services
Aggregate
fees
and/or
compensation
paid by
the Fund
for
securities
lending
activities
and related
services
Net income
from
securities
lending
activities
 
Fees
paid
to State
Street
from a
revenue
split
Fees
paid for
any cash
collateral
management
service
(including
fees
deducted
from a
pooled cash
collateral
reinvestment
vehicle)
that are not
included in a
revenue split
Admini-
strative
fees not
included
in a
revenue
split
Indemnifi-
cation
fees
not
included in
a revenue
split
Rebate
(paid to
borrower)
Other
fees
not
included
in a
revenue
split
SPDR Bloomberg
SASB
Developed
Markets Ex US
ESG Select
ETF(1)
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
SPDR Bloomberg
SASB
Emerging
Markets ESG
Select ETF(1)
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
SPDR Dow Jones
Global Real
Estate ETF
$107,813
$12,340
$1,682
$0
$0
$19,701
$0
$33,723
$74,089
SPDR Dow Jones
International
Real Estate
ETF
$291,666
$31,362
$5,317
$0
$0
$55,496
$0
$92,175
$199,491
SPDR EURO
STOXX 50
ETF
$155,474
$16,814
$3,098
$0
$0
$30,646
$0
$50,558
$104,915
SPDR MSCI
ACWI Climate
Paris Aligned
ETF
$48,925
$2,743
$949
$0
$0
$27,156
$0
$30,849
$18,076
SPDR MSCI
ACWI ex-US
ETF
$735,039
$73,873
$12,197
$0
$0
$193,178
$0
$279,247
$455,792
SPDR MSCI
EAFE Fossil
Fuel Reserves
Free ETF
$99,183
$7,622
$1,841
$0
$0
$43,090
$0
$52,552
$46,631
SPDR MSCI
EAFE
Strategic-
Factors ETF
$249,577
$20,718
$4,580
$0
$0
$98,486
$0
$123,784
$125,794
SPDR MSCI
Emerging
Markets Fossil
Fuel Reserves
Free ETF
$23,904
$2,354
$476
$0
$0
$6,841
$0
$9,671
$14,233
48

 
Gross
income
earned by
the Fund
from
securities
lending
activities
Fees and/or compensation paid by the Fund for securities lending activities
and
related services
Aggregate
fees
and/or
compensation
paid by
the Fund
for
securities
lending
activities
and related
services
Net income
from
securities
lending
activities
 
Fees
paid