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STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Dated June 28, 2023
AIM Tax-Exempt Funds (Invesco Tax-Exempt Funds)
This Statement of Additional Information (the SAI) relates to each portfolio (each a Fund, collectively the Funds) of AIM Tax-Exempt Funds (Invesco Tax-Exempt Funds) (the Trust)  listed below. Each Fund offers separate classes of shares as follows:
Fund
Class A
Class A2
Class C
Class Y
Investor Class
Class R5
Class R6
Prospectus Date
Invesco AMT-Free Municipal Income Fund
OPTAX
N/A
OMFCX
OMFYX
N/A
N/A
IORAX
June 28, 2023
Invesco California Municipal Fund
OPCAX
N/A
OCACX
OCAYX
N/A
N/A
IORCX
June 28, 2023
Invesco Environmental Focus Municipal Fund
OPAMX
N/A
OPCMX
OPYMX
N/A
N/A
IOMUX
June 28, 2023
Invesco High Yield Municipal Fund
ACTHX
N/A
ACTFX
ACTDX
N/A
ACTNX
ACTSX
June 28, 2023
Invesco Intermediate Term Municipal Income Fund
VKLMX
N/A
VKLCX
VKLIX
N/A
N/A
VKLSX
June 28, 2023
Invesco Limited Term California Municipal Fund
OLCAX
N/A
OLCCX
OLCYX
N/A
N/A
IORLX
June 28, 2023
Invesco Limited Term Municipal Income Fund
ATFAX
AITFX
ATFCX
ATFYX
N/A
ATFIX
ATFSX
June 28, 2023
Invesco Municipal Income Fund
VKMMX
N/A
VMICX
VMIIX
VMINX
N/A
VKMSX
June 28, 2023
Invesco New Jersey Municipal Fund
ONJAX
N/A
ONJCX
ONJYX
N/A
N/A
IORJX
June 28, 2023
Invesco Pennsylvania Municipal Fund
OPATX
N/A
OPACX
OPAYX
N/A
N/A
IORPX
June 28, 2023
Invesco Rochester® AMT-Free New York Municipal Fund
OPNYX
N/A
ONYCX
ONYYX
N/A
N/A
IORNX
June 28, 2023
Invesco Rochester® Limited Term New York Municipal Fund
LTNYX
N/A
LTNCX
LTBYX
N/A
N/A
IORMX
June 28, 2023
Invesco Rochester® Municipal Opportunities Fund
ORNAX
N/A
ORNCX
ORNYX
N/A
IORHX
IORYX
June 28, 2023
Invesco Rochester® New York Municipals Fund
RMUNX
N/A
RMUCX
RMUYX
N/A
N/A
IORUX
June 28, 2023
This SAI is not a Prospectus, and it should be read in conjunction with the Prospectuses for the Funds listed above. Invesco AMT-Free Municipal Income Fund, Invesco California Municipal Fund, Invesco Environmental Focus Municipal Fund, Invesco Limited Term California Municipal Fund, Invesco New Jersey Municipal Fund, Invesco Pennsylvania Municipal Fund, Invesco Rochester® AMT-Free New York Municipal Fund, Invesco Rochester® Limited Term New York Municipal Fund, Invesco Rochester® Municipal Opportunities Fund and Invesco Rochester® New York Municipals Fund were organized on May 24, 2019 for the purpose of acquiring the assets and liabilities of corresponding predecessor funds (as defined below). Portions of each Fund's financial statements are incorporated into this SAI by reference to each Fund’s most recent shareholder report for its fiscal year ended February 28, 2023.
You may obtain, without charge, a copy of any Prospectus and/or shareholder report for any Fund listed above from an authorized dealer or by writing to:
Invesco Investment Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 219078
Kansas City, MO 64121-9078
or by calling (800) 959-4246
or on the Internet: http://www.invesco.com/us
Any reference to the term “Fund” or “Funds” throughout this SAI refers to each Fund named above unless otherwise indicated.
ATEF-SOAI-1

STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION


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ii

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE TRUST
Fund History
AIM Tax-Exempt Funds (Invesco Tax-Exempt Funds) (the Trust) is a Delaware statutory trust registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the 1940 Act), as an open-end series management investment company. The Trust was originally organized as a Maryland corporation on May 3, 1993 and re-organized as a Delaware statutory trust on June 1, 2000. Under the Trust’s Agreement and Declaration of Trust, as amended (the Trust Agreement), the Board of Trustees of the Trust (the Board) is authorized to create new series of shares without the necessity of a vote of shareholders of the Trust.
Prior to April 30, 2010, the Trust was known as AIM Tax-Exempt Funds.
The following table shows each Fund’s history.
Fund
Fund History
Invesco AMT-Free Municipal Income
Fund
Prior to September 30, 2020, the Fund was known as Invesco Oppenheimer Rochester® AMT-
Free Municipal Fund. On May 24, 2019, the Fund assumed the assets and liabilities of its
predecessor fund Oppenheimer Rochester® AMT-Free Municipal Fund.
Invesco California Municipal Fund
Prior to September 30, 2020, the Fund was known as Invesco Oppenheimer Rochester®
California Municipal Fund. On May 24, 2019, the Fund assumed the assets and liabilities of its
predecessor fund Oppenheimer Rochester® California Municipal Fund.
Invesco Environmental Focus
Municipal Fund
Prior to September 4, 2020, the Fund was known as Invesco Oppenheimer Municipal Fund. On
May 24, 2019, the Fund assumed the assets and liabilities of its predecessor fund Oppenheimer
Municipal Fund.
Invesco High Yield Municipal Fund
Prior to September 24, 2012, the Fund was known as Invesco Van Kampen High Yield
Municipal Fund. On June 1, 2010, the Fund assumed the assets and liabilities of its
predecessor fund Van Kampen High Yield Municipal Fund.
Invesco Intermediate Term Municipal
Income Fund
Prior to September 24, 2012, the Fund was known as Invesco Van Kampen Intermediate Term
Municipal Income Fund. On June 1, 2010, the Fund assumed the assets and liabilities of its
predecessor fund Van Kampen Intermediate Term Municipal Income Fund.
Invesco Limited Term California
Municipal Fund
Prior to September 30, 2020, the Fund was known as Invesco Oppenheimer Rochester®
Limited Term California Municipal Fund. On May 24, 2019, the Fund assumed the assets and
liabilities of its predecessor fund Oppenheimer Rochester® Limited Term California Municipal
Fund.
Invesco Limited Term Municipal
Income Fund
Prior to January 30, 2015, the Fund was known as Invesco Tax-Free Intermediate Fund. Prior to
April 30, 2010, the Fund was known as AIM Tax-Free Intermediate Fund.
Invesco Municipal Income Fund
Prior to September 24, 2012, the Fund was known as Invesco Van Kampen Municipal Income
Fund. On June 1, 2010, the Fund assumed the assets and liabilities of its predecessor fund Van
Kampen Municipal Income Fund.
Invesco New Jersey Municipal Fund
Prior to September 30, 2020, the Fund was known as Invesco Oppenheimer Rochester® New
Jersey Municipal Fund. On May 24, 2019, the Fund assumed the assets and liabilities of its
predecessor fund Oppenheimer Rochester® New Jersey Municipal Fund.
Invesco Pennsylvania Municipal
Fund
Prior to September 30, 2020, the Fund was known as Invesco Oppenheimer Rochester®
Pennsylvania Municipal Fund. On May 24, 2019, the Fund assumed the assets and liabilities of
its predecessor fund Oppenheimer Rochester® Pennsylvania Municipal Fund.
Invesco Rochester® AMT-Free New
York Municipal Fund
Prior to September 30, 2020, the Fund was known as Invesco Oppenheimer Rochester® AMT-
Free New York Municipal Fund. On May 24, 2019, the Fund assumed the assets and liabilities
of its predecessor fund Oppenheimer Rochester® AMT-Free New York Municipal Fund.
Invesco Rochester® Limited Term
New York Municipal Fund
Prior to April 30, 2020, the Fund was known as Invesco Oppenheimer Rochester® Limited Term
New York Municipal Fund. On May 24, 2019, the Fund assumed the assets and liabilities of its
predecessor fund Oppenheimer Rochester Limited Term New York Municipal Fund.
Invesco Rochester® Municipal
Opportunities Fund
Prior to September 30, 2020, the Fund was known as Invesco Oppenheimer Rochester® High
Yield Municipal Fund. On May 24, 2019, the Fund assumed the assets and liabilities of its
predecessor fund Oppenheimer Rochester® High Yield Municipal Fund.
Invesco Rochester® New York
Municipals Fund
Prior to September 30, 2020, the Fund was known as Invesco Oppenheimer Rochester® New
York Municipals Fund. On May 24, 2019, the Fund assumed the assets and liabilities of its
predecessor fund Oppenheimer Rochester® Municipals Fund.
1

Shares of Beneficial Interest
Shares of beneficial interest of the Trust are redeemable at their net asset value at the option of the shareholder or at the option of the Trust, in accordance with any applicable provisions of the Trust Agreement and applicable law, subject in certain circumstances to a contingent deferred sales charge, if applicable.
The Trust allocates cash and property it receives from the issue or sale of shares, together with all assets in which such consideration is invested or reinvested, all income, earnings, profits and proceeds thereof, to the appropriate Fund, subject only to the rights of creditors of that Fund. These assets constitute the assets belonging to each Fund, are segregated on the Trust’s books, and are charged with the liabilities and expenses of such Fund and its respective classes. The Trust allocates any general liabilities and expenses of the Trust not readily identifiable as belonging to a particular Fund primarily on the basis of relative net assets or other relevant factors, subject to oversight by the Board.
Each share of each Fund represents an equal pro rata interest in that Fund with each other share and is entitled to dividends and other distributions with respect to the Fund, which may be from income, capital gains, capital or distributions in kind, as declared by the Board.
Each class of shares of a Fund represents a proportionate undivided interest in the net assets belonging to that Fund.  Differing sales charges and expenses will result in differing net asset values and dividends and distributions.  Upon any liquidation of the Trust, shareholders of each class are entitled to share pro rata in the net assets belonging to the applicable Fund allocable to such class available for distribution after satisfaction of, or reasonable provision for, the outstanding liabilities of the Fund allocable to such class.
The Trust Agreement provides that each shareholder, by virtue of having become a shareholder of the Trust, is bound by terms of the Trust Agreement and the Trust’s Bylaws. Ownership of shares does not make shareholders third party beneficiaries of any contract entered into by the Trust.
The Trust is not required to hold annual or regular meetings of shareholders. Meetings of shareholders of a Fund or class will be held for any purpose determined by the Board, including from time to time to consider matters requiring a vote of such shareholders in accordance with the requirements of the 1940 Act, state law or the provisions of the Trust Agreement. It is not expected that shareholder meetings will be held annually.
The Trust Agreement provides that the Board may authorize (i) a merger, consolidation or sale of assets (including, but not limited to, mergers, consolidations or sales of assets between two Funds, or between a Fund and a series of any other registered investment company), and (ii) the combination of two or more classes of shares of a Fund into a single class, each without shareholder approval but subject to applicable requirements under the 1940 Act and state law.
Each share of a Fund generally has the same voting, dividend, liquidation and other rights; however, each class of shares of a Fund is subject to different sales loads, conversion features, exchange privileges and class-specific expenses, as applicable.
Except as specifically noted above, shareholders of each Fund are entitled to one vote per share (with proportionate voting for fractional shares), irrespective of the relative net asset value of the shares of the Fund. However, on matters affecting an individual Fund or class of shares, a separate vote of shareholders of that Fund or class is required. Shareholders of a Fund or class are not entitled to vote on any matter which does not affect that Fund or class but that requires a separate vote of another Fund or class. An example of a matter that would be voted on separately by shareholders of each Fund is the approval of the advisory agreement with Invesco Advisers, Inc. (the Adviser or Invesco).
When issued, shares of each Fund are fully paid and nonassessable, have no preemptive or subscription rights, and are freely transferable. Shares do not have cumulative voting rights in connection with the election of Trustees or on any other matter.
Under Delaware law, shareholders of a Delaware statutory trust shall be entitled to the same limitation of personal liability extended to shareholders of private for-profit corporations organized under Delaware law. There is a remote possibility, however, that shareholders could, under certain circumstances, be held liable for
2

the obligations of the Trust to the extent the courts of another state, which does not recognize such limited liability, were to apply the laws of such state to a controversy involving such obligations. The Trust Agreement disclaims shareholder personal liability for the debts, liabilities, obligations and expenses of the Trust and requires that every undertaking of the Trust or the Board relating to the Trust or any Fund include a recitation limiting such obligation to the Trust and its assets or to one or more of the Funds and the assets belonging thereto. The Trust Agreement provides for indemnification out of the property of a Fund (or class, as applicable) for all losses and expenses of any shareholder of such Fund held personally liable solely on account of being or having been a shareholder.
The trustees and officers of the Trust will not be liable for any act, omission or obligation of the Trust or any trustee or officer; however, a trustee or officer is not protected against any liability to the Trust or to the shareholders to which a trustee or officer would otherwise be subject by reason of willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence, or reckless disregard of the duties involved in the conduct of his or her office with the Trust or applicable Fund (Disabling Conduct). The Trust’s Bylaws generally provide for indemnification by the Trust of the trustees, officers and employees or agents of the Trust, provided that such persons have not engaged in Disabling Conduct. Indemnification does not extend to judgments or amounts paid in settlement in any actions by or in the right of the Trust. The Trust Agreement also authorizes the purchase of liability insurance on behalf of trustees and officers with Fund assets. The Trust’s Bylaws provide for the advancement of payments of expenses to current and former trustees, officers and employees or agents of the Trust, or anyone serving at their request, in connection with the preparation and presentation of a defense to any claim, action, suit or proceeding, for which such person would be entitled to indemnification; provided that any advancement of expenses would be reimbursed unless it is ultimately determined that such person is entitled to indemnification for such expenses.
The Trust Agreement provides that any Trustee who serves as chair of the Board, a member or chair of a committee of the Board, lead independent Trustee, or an expert on any topic or in any area (including an audit committee financial expert), or in any other special appointment will not be subject to any greater standard of care or liability because of such position.
The Trust Agreement provides a detailed process for the bringing of derivative actions by shareholders. A shareholder may only bring a derivative action on behalf of the Trust if certain conditions are met. Among other things, such conditions: (i) require shareholder(s) to make a pre-suit demand on the Trustees (unless such effort is not likely to succeed because a majority of the Board or the committee established to consider the merits of such action are not independent Trustees under Delaware law); (ii) require 10% of the beneficial owners to join in the pre-suit demand, or if a pre-suit demand is not required, require 10% of beneficial owners to join in the demand for the Board to commence such action; and (iii) afford the Trustees a reasonable amount of time to consider the request and investigate the basis of the claims (including designating a committee to consider the demand and hiring counsel or other advisers). These conditions generally are intended to provide the Trustees with the ability to pursue a claim if they believe doing so would be in the best interests of the Trust and its shareholders and to preclude the pursuit of claims that the Trustees determine to be without merit or otherwise not in the Trust’s best interest to pursue. Insofar as the federal securities laws supersede state law, these provisions do not apply to shareholder derivative claims that arise under the federal securities laws.
The Trust Agreement also generally requires that actions by shareholders in connection with or against the Trust or a Fund be brought only in certain Delaware courts, provided that actions arising under the U.S. federal securities laws are required to be brought in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and that the right to jury trial be waived to the fullest extent permitted by law. These provisions may result in increased shareholder costs in pursuing a shareholder derivative claim and/or may limit a shareholder's ability to bring a claim in a different forum.
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Share Certificates
Shareholders of the Funds do not have the right to demand or require the Trust to issue share certificates and share certificates are not issued. Any certificate previously issued with respect to any shares is deemed to be cancelled without any requirement for surrender to the Trust.
DESCRIPTION OF THE FUNDS AND THEIR INVESTMENTS AND RISKS
Classification
The Trust is an open-end management investment company. Each of the Funds (except for Invesco New Jersey Municipal Fund) is classified as “diversified” for purposes of the 1940 Act. Invesco New Jersey Municipal Fund is classified as “non-diversified” for purposes of the 1940 Act, which means the Fund can invest a greater percentage of its assets in a small number of issuers or any one issuer than a diversified fund can.
Investment Strategies and Risks
Set forth below are detailed descriptions of the various types of securities and investment techniques that Invesco and/or the Sub-Advisers (as defined herein) may use in managing the Funds, as well as the risks associated with those types of securities and investment techniques. The descriptions of the types of securities and investment techniques below supplement the discussion of principal investment strategies and risks contained in each Fund's Prospectus. Where a particular type of security or investment technique is not discussed in a Fund’s Prospectus, that security or investment technique is not a principal investment strategy.
A Fund may invest in all of the following types of investments (unless otherwise indicated). A Fund might not invest in all of these types of securities or use all of these techniques at any one time. Invesco and/or the Sub-Advisers may invest in other types of securities and may use other investment techniques in managing the Funds as well as securities and techniques not described. A Fund’s transactions in a particular type of security or use of a particular technique is subject to limitations imposed by a Fund’s investment objective, policies and restrictions described in that Fund’s Prospectus and/or this SAI, as well as the federal securities laws.
Unless a Fund’s prospectus or this SAI states that a percentage limitation or fundamental or non-fundamental restriction applies on an ongoing basis, it applies only at the time a Fund makes an investment. That means a Fund is not required to sell securities to meet the percentage limits or investment restrictions if the value of the investment increases in proportion to the size of a Fund. Percentage limits on borrowing apply on an ongoing basis.
The Funds' investment objectives, policies, strategies and practices described below are non-fundamental and may be changed without approval of the holders of the Funds’ voting securities, unless otherwise indicated.
Equity Investments
Common Stock. Common stock is issued by a company principally to raise cash for business purposes and represents an equity or ownership interest in the issuing company. Common stockholders are typically entitled to vote on important matters of the issuing company, including the selection of directors, and may receive dividends on their holdings. A Fund participates in the success or failure of any company in which it holds common stock. In the event a company is liquidated or declares bankruptcy, the claims of bondholders, other debt holders, owners of preferred stock and general creditors take precedence over the claims of those who own common stock.
The prices of common stocks change in response to many factors including the historical and prospective earnings of the issuing company, the value of its assets, general economic conditions, interest rates, investor perceptions and market liquidity.
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Over-the-Counter Securities. Securities of small- and mid-capitalization issuers may be traded on securities exchanges or in the over-the-counter market. The over-the-counter markets, both in the U.S. and abroad, may have less liquidity than securities exchanges. That lack of liquidity can affect the price the Fund is able to obtain when it wants to sell a security, because if there are fewer buyers and less demand for a particular security, the Fund might not be able to sell it at an acceptable price or might have to reduce the price in writing in order to dispose of the security. There are a number of over-the-counter markets in the U.S., as well as those abroad, as long as a dealer is willing to make a market in a particular security.
Preferred Stock. Preferred stock, unlike common stock, often offers a specified dividend rate payable from a company’s earnings. Preferred stock also generally has a preference over common stock on the distribution of a company’s assets in the event the company is liquidated or declares bankruptcy; however, the rights of preferred stockholders on the distribution of a company’s assets in the event of a liquidation or bankruptcy are generally subordinate to the rights of the company’s debt holders and general creditors. If interest rates rise, the fixed dividend on preferred stocks may be less attractive, causing the price of preferred stocks to decline.
Some fixed rate preferred stock may have mandatory sinking fund provisions which provide for the stock to be retired or redeemed on a predetermined schedule, as well as call/redemption provisions prior to maturity, which can limit the benefit of any decline in interest rates that might positively affect the price of preferred stocks. Preferred stock dividends may be “cumulative,” requiring all or a portion of prior unpaid dividends to be paid before dividends are paid on the issuer’s common stock. Preferred stock may be “participating,” which means that it may be entitled to a dividend exceeding the stated dividend in certain cases. In some cases an issuer may offer auction rate preferred stock, which means that the interest to be paid is set by auction and will often be reset at stated intervals.
Equity-Linked Securities. Equity-linked securities are instruments whose value is based upon the value of one or more underlying equity securities, a reference rate or an index. Equity-linked securities come in many forms and may include features, among others, such as the following: (i) may be issued by the issuer of the underlying equity security or by a company other than the one to which the instrument is linked (usually an investment bank), (ii) may convert into equity securities, such as common stock, within a stated period from the issue date or may be redeemed for cash or some combination of cash and the linked security at a value based upon the value of the underlying equity security within a stated period from the issue date, (iii) may have various conversion features prior to maturity at the option of the holder or the issuer or both, (iv) may limit the appreciation value with caps or collars of the value of the underlying equity security and (v) may have fixed, variable or no interest payments during the life of the security which reflect the actual or a structured return relative to the underlying dividends of the linked equity security. Investments in equity-linked securities may subject a Fund to additional risks not ordinarily associated with investments in other equity securities. Because equity-linked securities are sometimes issued by a third party other than the issuer of the linked security, a Fund is subject to risks if the underlying equity security, reference rate or index underperforms or if the issuer defaults on the payment of the dividend or the common stock at maturity. In addition, the trading market for particular equity-linked securities may be less liquid, making it difficult for a Fund to dispose of a particular security when necessary and reduced liquidity in the secondary market for any such securities may make it more difficult to obtain market quotations for valuing the Fund’s portfolio.
Convertible Securities. Convertible securities are generally bonds, debentures, notes, preferred stocks or other securities or investments 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 or predetermined price (the conversion price). A convertible security is designed to provide current income and also the potential for capital appreciation through the conversion feature, which enables the holder to benefit from increases in the market price of the underlying common stock. A convertible security may 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
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common stock, or sell it to a third party, which may have an adverse effect on the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objectives. Convertible securities have general characteristics similar to both debt and equity securities.
A convertible security generally entitles the holder to receive interest paid or accrued until the convertible security matures or is redeemed, converted or exchanged. Before conversion, convertible securities have characteristics similar to non-convertible debt obligations and are designed to provide for a stable stream of income with generally higher yields than common stocks. However, there can be no assurance of current income because the issuers of the convertible securities may default on their obligations. Convertible securities rank senior to common stock in a corporation’s capital structure and, therefore, generally entail less risk than the corporation’s common stock. Convertible securities are subordinate in rank to any senior debt obligations of the issuer, and, therefore, an issuer’s convertible securities entail more risk than its debt obligations. Moreover, convertible securities are often rated below investment grade or not rated because they fall below debt obligations and just above common stock in order of preference or priority on an issuer’s balance sheet. To the extent that a Fund invests in convertible securities with credit ratings below investment grade, such securities may have a higher likelihood of default, although this may be somewhat offset by the convertibility feature.
Convertible securities generally offer lower interest or dividend yields than non-convertible debt securities of similar credit quality because of the potential for capital appreciation. The common stock underlying convertible securities may be issued by a different entity than the issuer of the convertible securities.
The value of convertible securities is influenced by both the yield of non-convertible securities of comparable issuers and by the value of the underlying common stock. The value of a convertible security viewed without regard to its conversion feature (i.e., strictly on the basis of its yield) is sometimes referred to as its “investment value.” The investment value of the convertible security typically will fluctuate based on the credit quality of the issuer and will fluctuate inversely with changes in prevailing interest rates. However, at the same time, the convertible security will be influenced by its “conversion value,” which is the market value of the underlying common stock that would be obtained if the convertible security were converted. Conversion value fluctuates directly with the price of the underlying common stock, and will therefore be subject to risks relating to the activities of the issuer and general market and economic conditions. Depending upon the relationship of the conversion price to the market value of the underlying security, a convertible security may trade more like an equity security than a debt instrument.
If, because of a low price of the common stock, the conversion value is substantially below the investment value of the convertible security, the price of the convertible security is governed principally by its investment value. Generally, if the conversion value of a convertible security increases to a point that approximates or exceeds its investment value, the value of the security will be principally influenced by its conversion value. A convertible security will sell at a premium over its conversion value to the extent investors place value on the right to acquire the underlying common stock while holding an income-producing security.
While a Fund uses the same criteria to rate a convertible debt security that it uses to rate a more conventional debt security, a convertible preferred stock is treated like a preferred stock for the Fund’s financial reporting, credit rating and investment limitation purposes.
Contingent Convertible Securities (CoCos). CoCos (also referred to as contingent capital securities) are a form of hybrid fixed income security typically issued by non-U.S. banks that may either convert into common stock of the issuer or undergo a principal write-down by a predetermined percentage upon the occurrence of a “trigger” event, such as if (a) the issuer’s capital ratio falls below a specified level or (b) certain regulatory events, such as a change in regulatory capital requirements, affect the issuer’s continued viability. Unlike traditional convertible securities, the conversion is not voluntary and the equity conversion or principal write-down features are tailored to the issuing banking institution and its regulatory requirements. In certain circumstances, CoCos may be automatically written down to zero, thereby cancelling the securities, and investors (including a Fund) could lose the entire value of their investment even as the issuer remains in business. If such an event occurs, an investor may not have any rights to repayment of the principal amount
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of the securities that has not become due. Additionally, an investor may not be able to collect interest payments or dividends on such securities.
CoCos are subject to credit, interest rate and market risks associated with fixed income and equity securities generally, along with risks typically applicable to convertible securities. CoCos are also subject to loss absorption risk because coupon payments can potentially be cancelled or deferred at the issuer’s discretion or at the request of the relevant regulatory authority in order to help the bank absorb losses. Additionally, certain call provisions permit an issuer to repurchase CoCos if the regulatory environment or tax treatment of the security (e.g., tax deductibility of interest payments) changes. This may result in a potential loss to the Fund if the price at which the issuer calls or repurchases the CoCos is lower than the initial purchase price by the Fund.
CoCos are subordinate in rank to traditional convertible securities and other debt obligations of an issuer in the issuer’s capital structure, and therefore, CoCos entail more risk than an issuer’s other debt obligations.
CoCos are generally speculative and their market value may fluctuate based on a number of unpredictable factors, including, but not limited to, the creditworthiness of the issuer and/or fluctuations in the issuer’s capital ratios, supply and demand for CoCos, general market conditions and available liquidity, and economic, financial and political events affecting the particular issuer or markets in general.
Enhanced Convertible Securities. “Enhanced” convertible securities are equity-linked hybrid securities that automatically convert to equity securities on a specified date. Enhanced convertibles have been designed with a variety of payoff structures, and are known by a variety of different names. Three features common to enhanced convertible securities are (i) conversion to equity securities at the maturity of the convertible (as opposed to conversion at the option of the security holder in the case of ordinary convertibles); (ii) capped or limited appreciation potential relative to the underlying common stock; and (iii) dividend yields that are typically higher than that on the underlying common stock. Thus, enhanced convertible securities offer holders the opportunity to obtain higher current income than would be available from a traditional equity security issued by the same company in return for reduced participation in the appreciation potential of the underlying common stock. Other forms of enhanced convertible securities may involve arrangements with no interest or dividend payments made until maturity of the security or an enhanced principal amount received at maturity based on the yield and value of the underlying equity security during the security’s term or at maturity.
Synthetic Convertible Securities. A synthetic convertible security is a derivative position composed of two or more distinct securities whose investment characteristics, taken together, resemble those of traditional convertible securities, i.e., fixed income and the right to acquire the underlying equity security. For example, a Fund may purchase a non-convertible debt security and a warrant or option, which enables a Fund to have a convertible-like position with respect to a security or index.
Synthetic convertibles are typically offered by financial institutions in private placement transactions and are typically sold back to the offering institution. Upon conversion, the holder generally receives from the offering institution an amount in cash equal to the difference between the conversion price and the then-current value of the underlying security. Synthetic convertible securities differ from true convertible securities in several respects. The value of a synthetic convertible is the sum of the values of its fixed-income component and its convertibility component. Thus, the values of a synthetic convertible and a true convertible security will respond differently to market fluctuations. Purchasing a synthetic convertible security may provide greater flexibility than purchasing a traditional convertible security, including the ability to combine components representing distinct issuers, or to combine a fixed income security with a call option on a stock index, when the Adviser determines that such a combination would better further a Fund’s investment goals. In addition, the component parts of a synthetic convertible security may be purchased simultaneously or separately.
The holder of a synthetic convertible faces the risk that the price of the stock or the level of the market index underlying the convertibility component will decline. In addition, in purchasing a synthetic convertible security, a Fund may have counterparty risk with respect to the financial institution or investment bank that offers the instrument.
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Alternative Entity Securities. Alternative entity securities are the securities of entities that are formed as limited partnerships, limited liability companies, business trusts or other non-corporate entities that are similar to common or preferred stock of corporations.
Equity-Linked Notes (ELNs). ELNs are hybrid derivative-type instruments, in a single note form, that are specially designed to combine the characteristics of one or more reference securities (such as a single stock, exchange-traded fund, exchange-traded note, or an index or basket of securities (underlying securities)) and a related equity derivative, such as a put or call option. Generally, when purchasing an ELN, a Fund pays the counterparty the current value of the underlying securities plus a commission. Upon the maturity of the note, the Fund generally receives the par value of the note plus a return based on the appreciation of the underlying securities. A Fund may or may not hold an ELN until its maturity. If the underlying securities have depreciated in value or if their price fluctuates outside of a preset range, depending on the type of ELN, the Fund may receive only the principal amount of the note, or may lose the entire principal invested in the ELN. ELNs are available with an assortment of features, including periodic coupon payments; limitations on participation in the appreciation of the underlying securities; and different protection levels on the Fund’s principal investment. A Fund will only invest in ELNs for which the underlying security is a permissible investment for the Fund in accordance with its investment policies and restrictions. ELNs are generally in two types: (1) those that provide for protection of a Fund’s principal in exchange for limited participation in the appreciation of the underlying securities, and (2) those that do not provide for such protection and subject a Fund to the risk of loss of its principal investment.
Investments in ELNs possess the risks associated with the underlying securities, such as management risk, market risk and, as applicable, foreign securities and currency risks. In addition, as a note, ELNs are also subject to certain debt securities risks, such as interest rate and credit risk. An investment in an ELN also bears the risk that the ELN issuer will default or become bankrupt. In such an event, the Fund may have difficulty being repaid, or fail to be repaid, the principal amount of, or income from, its investment. ELNs may be structured to be subordinated or unsubordinated to other classes of debt holders' right of payment. A downgrade or impairment to the credit rating of the issuer may also negatively impact the price of the ELN. The Fund may also experience liquidity issues when investing in ELNs, as ELN transactions generally take place in the over-the-counter institutional investment market as well as in privately negotiated transactions with ELN issuers. The secondary market for ELNs may be limited, and the lack of liquidity may make ELNs difficult to sell at a desirable time and price and value. The price of an ELN may not correlate with the price of the underlying securities or a fixed-income investment. As the holder of an ELN, the Fund generally has no rights to the underlying securities, including no voting rights or rights to receive dividends. The Adviser’s ability to accurately forecast movements in the underlying securities will determine the success of the Fund’s ELNs investments. Should the prices of the underlying securities move in an unexpected manner, the Fund may not achieve the anticipated benefits of its ELN investments, and it may realize losses, which could be significant and could include the Fund’s entire principal investment.
Foreign Investments
Foreign Securities. Foreign securities are equity or debt securities issued by issuers outside the United States, and include securities in the form of American Depositary Receipts (ADRs), European Depositary Receipts (EDRs), Global Depositary Receipts (GDRs) or other securities representing underlying securities of foreign issuers (foreign securities). ADRs are receipts, issued by U.S. banks, for the shares of foreign corporations, held by the bank issuing the receipt. ADRs are typically issued in registered form, denominated in U.S. dollars and designed for use in the U.S. securities markets. GDRs are bank certificates issued in more than one country for shares in a foreign company. The shares are held by a foreign branch of an international bank. GDRs trade as domestic shares but are offered for sale globally through the various bank branches. GDRs are typically used by private markets to raise capital and are denominated in either U.S. dollars or foreign currencies. EDRs are similar to ADRs and GDRs, except they are typically issued by European banks or trust companies, denominated in foreign currencies and designed for use outside the U.S. securities markets. ADRs, EDRs and GDRs entitle the holder to all dividends and capital gains on the underlying foreign securities, less any fees paid to the bank. Purchasing ADRs, EDRs or GDRs gives a Fund the ability to
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purchase the functional equivalent of foreign securities without going to the foreign securities markets to do so. ADRs, EDRs or GDRs that are “sponsored” are those where the foreign corporation whose shares are represented by the ADR, EDR or GDR is actively involved in the issuance of the ADR, EDR or GDR and generally provides material information about the corporation to the U.S. market. An “unsponsored” ADR, EDR or GDR program is one where the foreign corporation whose shares are held by the bank is not obligated to disclose material information in the United States, and, therefore, the market value of the ADR, EDR or GDR may not reflect important facts known only to the foreign company.
Foreign debt securities include corporate debt securities of foreign issuers, certain foreign bank obligations (see “Bank Instruments”) and U.S. dollar or foreign currency denominated obligations of foreign governments or their subdivisions, agencies and instrumentalities (see “Foreign Government Obligations”), international agencies and supranational entities.
The Funds consider various factors when determining whether a company is in a particular country or in a particular region/continent, including whether (1) it is organized under the laws of a country or in a country in a particular region/continent; (2) it has a principal office in a country or in a country in a particular region/continent; (3) it derives 50% or more of its total revenues from businesses in a country or in a country in a particular region/continent; (4) its securities are traded principally on a security exchange, or in an over-the-counter (OTC) market, in a particular country or in a country in a particular region/continent; and/or (5) its “country of risk" as determined by a third party service provider such as Bloomberg. The issuer's “country of risk” is determined based on a number of criteria, including its country of domicile, the primary stock exchange on which it trades, the location from which the majority of its revenue comes, and its reporting currency.
Investments by a Fund in foreign securities, including ADRs, EDRs and GDRs, whether denominated in U.S. dollars or foreign currencies, may entail all of the risks set forth below in addition to those accompanying an investment in issuers in the United States.
Currency Risk. The value in U.S. dollars of a Fund’s non-dollar-denominated foreign investments will be affected by changes in currency exchange rates. The U.S. dollar value of a foreign security decreases when the value of the U.S. dollar rises against the foreign currency in which the security is denominated and increases when the value of the U.S. dollar falls against such currency.
Political and Economic Risk. The economies of many countries may not be as developed as that of the United States’ economy and may be subject to significantly different forces. Political, economic or social instability and development, expropriation or confiscatory taxation, and limitations on the removal of funds or other assets could also adversely affect the value of portfolio investments. Certain foreign companies may be subject to sanctions, embargoes, or other governmental actions that may impair or otherwise limit the ability to invest in, receive, hold or sell the securities of such companies. These factors may affect the value of investments in those companies. In addition, certain companies may operate in, or have dealings with, countries that the U.S. government has identified as state sponsors of terrorism. As a result, such companies may be subject to specific constraints or regulations under U.S. law and, additionally, may be subject to negative investor perception, either of which could adversely affect such companies' performance.
Regulatory Risk. Foreign companies may not be registered with the SEC and are generally not subject to the regulatory controls and disclosure requirements imposed on U.S. issuers and, as a consequence, there is generally less publicly available information about foreign securities than is available about domestic securities. Foreign companies may not be subject to uniform accounting, auditing and financial reporting standards, corporate governance practices and requirements comparable to those applicable to domestic companies. Therefore, financial information about foreign companies may be incomplete, or may not be comparable to the information available on U.S. companies. Income from foreign securities owned by the Funds may be reduced by a withholding tax at the source, which tax would reduce dividend income payable to Fund shareholders.
There is generally less government supervision and regulation of securities exchanges, brokers, dealers, and listed companies in foreign countries than in the U.S., thus increasing the risk of delayed settlements of portfolio transactions or loss of certificates for portfolio securities. Foreign markets may also have different
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clearance and settlement procedures. If a Fund experiences settlement problems, it may result in temporary periods when a portion of that Fund’s assets are uninvested and could cause it to miss attractive investment opportunities or create a potential liability to that Fund arising out of its inability to fulfill a contract to sell such securities.
Market Risk. Investing in foreign markets generally involves certain risks not typically associated with investing in the United States. The securities markets in many foreign countries will have substantially lower trading volume than the U.S. markets. As a result, the securities of some foreign companies may be less liquid and experience more price volatility than comparable domestic securities. Obtaining and/or enforcing judgments in foreign countries may be more difficult, and there is generally less government regulation and supervision of foreign stock exchanges, brokers and issuers, each of which may make it more difficult to enforce contractual obligations. Increased custodian costs as well as administrative costs (such as the need to use foreign custodians) may also be associated with the maintenance of assets in foreign jurisdictions. In addition, transaction costs in foreign securities markets are likely to be higher, since brokerage commission rates in foreign countries are likely to be higher than in the United States.
Risks of Developing/Emerging Market Countries. A Fund may invest in securities of companies located in developing and emerging markets countries. Unless a Fund’s prospectus includes a different definition, the Fund considers developing and emerging market countries to be those countries that are (i) generally recognized to be an emerging market country by the international financial community, including the World Bank, (ii) determined by the Adviser to be an emerging market country or (iii) its “country of risk” is an emerging market country as determined by a third party service provider such as Bloomberg. As of the date of this SAI, the Adviser considers “emerging market countries” to generally include every country in the world except those countries included in the MSCI World Index. The Adviser has broad discretion to identify countries that it considers to be emerging market countries and may consider various factors in determining whether to classify a country as an emerging market country, including a country’s relative interest rates, inflation rates, exchange rates, monetary and fiscal policies, trade and current account balances, legal and political developments and any other specific factors the Adviser believes to be relevant. Because emerging market equity and emerging market debt are distinct asset classes, a country may be deemed an emerging market country with respect to its equity only, its debt only, both its equity and debt, or neither.
Investments in developing and emerging market countries present risks in addition to, or greater than, those presented by investments in foreign issuers generally, and may include the following risks:
i. Restriction, to varying degrees, on foreign investment in stocks;
ii. Repatriation of investment income, capital, and the proceeds of sales in foreign countries may require foreign governmental registration and/or approval;
iii. Greater risk of fluctuation in the value of foreign investments due to changes in currency exchange rates, currency control regulations or currency devaluation. In addition, there may be higher rates of inflation and more rapid and extreme fluctuations in inflation rates and greater sensitivity to interest rate changes;
iv. Inflation and rapid fluctuations in inflation rates may have negative effects on the economies and securities markets of certain developing and emerging market countries;
v. Many of the developing and emerging market countries’ securities markets are relatively small or less diverse, have low trading volumes, suffer periods of relative illiquidity, and are characterized by significant price volatility;
vi. There is a risk in developing and emerging market countries that a future economic or political crisis could lead to price controls, forced mergers of companies, expropriation or confiscatory taxation, seizure, nationalization, or creation of government monopolies;
vii. Investments in such securities markets may be subject to unexpected market closures;
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viii. The taxation systems at the federal, regional and local levels in developing or emerging market countries may be less transparent and inconsistently enforced, and subject to sudden change. Developing or emerging market countries may also have a higher degree of corruption and fraud than developed market countries, as well as counterparties and financial institutions with less financial sophistication, creditworthiness and/or resources;
ix. Less developed legal systems allowing for enforcement of private property rights and/or redress for injuries to private property, such as bankruptcy. The ability to bring and enforce actions in developing or emerging market countries, or to obtain information needed to pursue or enforce such actions, may be limited and shareholder claims may be difficult or impossible to pursue; and
x. Less stringent regulatory, disclosure, financial reporting, accounting, auditing and recordkeeping standards than companies in more developed countries and, as a result, the nature and quality of such information may vary. Information about such companies may be less available and reliable and, therefore, the ability to conduct adequate due diligence in developing or emerging markets may be limited which can impede the Fund's ability to evaluate such companies. In addition, certain developing or emerging market countries may impose material limitations on Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”) inspection, investigation and enforcement capabilities which can hinder the PCAOB’s ability to engage in independent oversight or inspection of accounting firms located in or operating in certain developing or emerging markets. There is no guarantee that the quality of financial reporting or the audits conducted by audit firms of developing or emerging market issuers meet PCAOB standards.
Frontier Markets. The risks associated with investments in frontier market countries include all the risks associated with investments in developing and emerging markets. These risks are magnified for frontier market countries because frontier markets countries generally have smaller economies, even less developed capital markets, and are traditionally less accessible than traditional emerging and developing markets. As a result, investments in companies in frontier markets countries are generally subject to a higher risk of loss than investments in companies in traditional emerging and developing market countries due to less developed securities markets, different settlement procedures, greater price volatility, less developed governments and economies, more government restrictions, and the limited ability of foreign entities to participate in certain privatization programs. Investments in companies operating in frontier market countries are highly speculative in nature.
Risks Related to Russian Invasion of Ukraine. In late February 2022, Russian military forces invaded Ukraine, significantly amplifying already existing geopolitical tensions among Russia, Ukraine, Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and the West. Russia’s invasion, the responses of countries and political bodies to Russia’s actions, and the potential for wider conflict may increase financial market volatility and could have severe adverse effects on regional and global economic markets, including the markets for certain securities and commodities such as oil and natural gas.
Following Russia’s actions, various countries, including the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, and France, among others, as well as the European Union, issued broad-ranging economic sanctions against Russia. The sanctions freeze certain Russian assets and prohibit trading by individuals and entities in certain Russian securities, engaging in certain private transactions, and doing business with certain Russian corporate entities, large financial institutions, officials and oligarchs. The sanctions include a commitment by certain countries and the European Union to remove selected Russian banks from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications, commonly called “SWIFT,” the electronic network that connects banks globally, and imposed restrictive measures to prevent the Russian Central Bank from undermining the impact of the sanctions. A number of large corporations have since withdrawn from Russia or suspended or curtailed their Russia-based operations.
The imposition of these current sanctions (and the potential for further sanctions in response to Russia’s continued military activity) and other actions undertaken by countries and businesses may adversely impact various sectors of the Russian economy, including, but not limited to, the financials, energy, metals and mining, engineering, and defense and defense-related materials sectors. Such actions also may result in the decline of the value and liquidity of Russian securities, a weakening of the ruble, and could impair the ability
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of a Fund to buy, sell, receive, or deliver those securities. Moreover, the measures could adversely affect global financial and energy markets and thereby negatively affect the value of a Fund’s investments beyond any direct exposure to Russian issuers or those of adjoining geographic regions.
In response to sanctions, the Russian Central Bank raised its interest rates and banned sales of local securities by foreigners. Russia also prevented the export of certain goods and payments to foreign shareholders of Russian securities. Russia may take additional countermeasures or retaliatory actions, which may further impair the value and liquidity of Russian securities and Fund investments. Such actions could, for example, include restricting gas exports to other countries, the seizure of U.S. and European residents’ assets, or undertaking or provoking other military conflict elsewhere in Europe, any of which could exacerbate negative consequences on global financial markets and the economy. The actions discussed above could have a negative effect on the performance of Funds that have exposure to Russia. While diplomatic efforts have been ongoing, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine is unpredictable and has the potential to result in broader military actions. The duration of the ongoing conflict and corresponding sanctions and related events cannot be predicted and may result in a negative impact on Fund performance and the value of Fund investments, particularly as it relates to Russian exposure.
Investing in Greater China Risk. Investments in companies located or operating in Greater China involve risks not associated with investments in Western nations, such as nationalization, expropriation, or confiscation of property; difficulty in obtaining and/or enforcing judgments; alteration or discontinuation of economic reforms; military conflicts, either internal or with other countries; inflation, currency fluctuations and fluctuations in inflation and interest rates that may have negative effects on the economy and securities markets of Greater China; and Greater China’s dependency on the economies of other Asian countries, many of which are developing countries. Events in any one country within Greater China may impact the other countries in the region or Greater China as a whole. For example, changes to their political and economic relationships with the mainland China could adversely impact the Fund’s investments in Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Certain securities issued by companies located or operating in Greater China, such as China A-shares, are subject to trading restrictions, quota limitations, and clearing and settlement risks. Significant portions of the Chinese securities markets may become rapidly illiquid, as Chinese issuers have the ability to suspend the trading of their equity securities, and have shown a willingness to exercise that option in response to market volatility and other events. The liquidity of Chinese securities may shrink or disappear suddenly and without warning as a result of adverse economic, market or political events, or adverse investor perceptions, whether or not accurate.
Export growth continues to be a major driver of China’s rapid economic growth. As a result, a reduction in spending on Chinese products and services, the institution of tariffs or other trade barriers, or a downturn in any of the economies of China’s key trading partners may have an adverse impact on the Chinese economy. The current political climate has intensified concerns about a potential trade war between China and the United States, as each country has recently imposed tariffs on the other country’s products. These actions may trigger a significant reduction in international trade, the oversupply of certain manufactured goods, substantial price reductions of goods and possible failure of individual companies and/or large segments of China’s export industry, which could have a negative impact on the Fund’s performance. Events such as these and their consequences are difficult to predict and it is unclear whether further tariffs may be imposed or other escalating actions may be taken in the future.
Additionally, developing countries, such as those in Greater China, may subject the Fund’s investments to a number of tax rules, and the application of many of those rules may be uncertain. Moreover, China has implemented a number of tax reforms in recent years, and may amend or revise its existing tax laws and/or procedures in the future, possibly with retroactive effect. Changes in applicable Chinese tax law could reduce the after-tax profits of the Fund, directly or indirectly, including by reducing the after-tax profits of companies in China in which the Fund invests. Chinese taxes that may apply to the Fund’s investments include income tax or withholding tax on dividends, interest or gains earned by the Fund, business tax and stamp duty. Uncertainties in Chinese tax rules could result in unexpected tax liabilities for the Fund. Additionally, any
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difficulties of the PCAOB to inspect audit work papers and practices of PCAOB-registered accounting firms in China with respect to their audit work of U.S. reporting companies may impose significant additional risks associated with investments in China.
Risks of Investing in Chinese Variable Interest Entities. Many Chinese companies have created a special structure, which is based in China, known as a variable interest entity (“VIE”) as a means to circumvent limits on direct foreign ownership of equity in Chinese operating companies in certain sectors, such as internet, media, education and telecommunications, imposed by the Chinese government. Typically in such an arrangement, a China-based operating company establishes an offshore “holding” company in another jurisdiction that likely does not have the same disclosure, reporting, and governance requirements as the United States. The holding company issues shares, i.e., is “listed”, on a foreign exchange such as the New York Stock Exchange or the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The listed holding company enters into service and other contracts with the China-based operating company, typically through the China-based VIE. The VIE must be owned by Chinese nationals (and/or other Chinese companies), which often are the VIE’s founders, in order to obtain the licenses and/or assets required to operate in the restricted or prohibited sector in China. The operations and financial position of the VIE are included in consolidated financial statements of the listed holding company. Foreign investors, including mutual funds and ETFs (such as the Fund), hold stock in the listed holding company rather than directly in the China-based operating company.
The VIE structure allows foreign shareholders to exert a degree of control and obtain economic benefits arising from the operating company but without formal legal ownership because the listed holding company’s control over the operating company is predicated entirely on contracts with the VIE. The listed holding company is distinct from the underlying operating company, and an investment in the listed holding company represents exposure to a company that maintains service contracts with the operating company, not equity ownership.
Investments in companies that use VIEs may pose additional risks because the investment is made through the listed holding company’s service and other contractual arrangements with the underlying Chinese operating company. As a result, such investment may limit the rights of an investor with respect to the underlying Chinese operating company. The contractual arrangements between the VIE and the operating company may not be as effective in providing operational control as direct equity ownership. The Chinese government could determine at any time and without notice that the underlying contractual arrangements on which control of the VIE is based violate Chinese law. While VIEs are a longstanding industry practice, well known to Chinese officials and regulators, VIEs historically have not been formally recognized under Chinese law. The owners of the VIE could decide to breach the contractual arrangements with the listed holding company and it is uncertain whether the contractual arrangements, which may be subject to conflicts of interest between the legal owners of the VIE and foreign investors, would be enforced by Chinese courts or arbitration bodies. Prohibitions of these structures by the Chinese government, or the inability to enforce such contracts, from which the shell company derives its value, would likely cause the VIE-structured holding(s) to suffer significant, detrimental, and possibly permanent loss, and in turn, adversely affect the Fund’s returns and net asset value.
The Chinese government previously placed restrictions on China-based companies raising capital offshore in certain sectors, including through VIEs, and investors face uncertainty about future actions by the Chinese government that could significantly affect the operating company’s financial performance and the enforceability of the contractual arrangements underlying the VIE structure. It is uncertain whether Chinese officials or regulators will withdraw their acceptance of the VIE structure, or whether any new laws, rules or regulations relating to VIE structures will be adopted and what impact such laws may have on foreign investors. There is a risk that China might prohibit the existence of VIEs or sever their ability to transmit economic and governance rights to foreign individuals and entities; if so, the market value of any associated portfolio holdings would likely suffer substantial, detrimental, and possibly permanent loss.
Chinese companies, including those listed on U.S. exchanges, are generally not subject to the same degree of regulatory requirements, accounting standards or auditor oversight as companies in more developed countries. As a result, information about VIEs may be less reliable or complete. Foreign companies
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with securities listed on U.S. exchanges, including those that utilize VIEs, may be delisted if they do not meet the requirements of the listing exchange, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”) and the U.S. government, which could significantly decrease the liquidity and value of such securities. Actions by the U.S. government, such as delisting of certain Chinese companies from U.S. securities exchanges or otherwise restricting their operations in the U.S., may negatively impact the liquidity and value of such securities.
Risks of Investments in China A-shares through the Stock Connect Program. The Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect program and the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect program (both programs collectively referred to as the Connect Program) are securities trading and clearing programs through which the Funds can trade eligible listed China A-shares. The Connect Program is subject to quota limitations and an investor cannot purchase and sell the same security on the same trading day, which may restrict a Fund’s ability to invest in China A-shares through the Connect Program and to enter into or exit trades on a timely basis. The Shanghai and Shenzhen markets may be open at a time when the Connect Program is not trading, with the result that prices of China A-shares may fluctuate at times when the Fund is unable to add to or exit its position. Only certain China A-shares are eligible to be accessed through the Connect Program. Such securities may lose their eligibility at any time, in which case they could be sold but could no longer be purchased through the Connect Program. Because the Connect Program is still relatively in its early stages, the actual effect on the market for trading China A-shares with the introduction of large numbers of foreign investors is currently unknown. The Connect Program is subject to regulations promulgated by regulatory authorities for the Shanghai Stock Exchange, the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited, and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, and further regulations or restrictions, such as limitations on redemptions or suspension of trading, may adversely impact the Connect Program, if the authorities believe it necessary to assure orderly markets or for other reasons. There is no guarantee that all three exchanges will continue to support the Connect Program in the future and no assurance that further regulations will not adversely affect the availability of securities under Stock Connect or other operational arrangements.
Investments in China A-shares may not be covered by the securities investor protection programs of the exchanges and, without the protection of such programs, will be subject to the risk of default by the broker. In the event that the depository of the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange defaulted, a Fund may not be able to recover fully its losses from the depository or may be delayed in receiving proceeds as part of any recovery process. In addition, because all trades on the Connect Program in respect of eligible China A-shares must be settled in Renminbi (RMB), the Chinese currency, the Funds investing through the Connect Program must have timely access to a reliable supply of offshore RMB, which cannot be guaranteed. The existence of a liquid trading market for China A-shares may depend on whether there is supply of, and demand for, such China A-shares. Market volatility and settlement difficulties in the China A-shares markets may also result in significant fluctuations in the prices of the securities traded on such markets.
China A-shares purchased through the Connect Program are held in nominee name and not the Fund’s name as the beneficial owner. It is possible, therefore, that a Fund’s ability to exercise its rights as a shareholder and to pursue claims against the issuer of China A-shares may be limited because the nominee structure has not been tested in Chinese courts, as Chinese courts generally have limited experience in applying the concept of beneficial ownership and the law in that area continues to evolve. In addition, a Fund may not be able to participate in corporate actions affecting China A-shares held through the Connect Program due to time constraints or for other operational reasons.
Trades on the Connect Program are subject to certain requirements prior to trading. If these requirements are not completed prior to the market opening, a Fund cannot sell the shares on that trading day. In addition, these requirements may limit the number of brokers that a Fund may use to execute trades. If an investor holds 5% or more of the total shares issued by a China A-share issuer, whether or not such shares were acquired through the Stock Connect Program, the investor must return any profits obtained from the purchase and sale of those shares if both transactions occur within a six-month period. If a Fund holds 5% or more of the total shares of a China A-share issuer through its Connect Program investments, its profits may be subject
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to these limitations. All accounts managed by the Adviser and/or its affiliates will be aggregated for purposes of this 5% limitation, which makes it more likely that a Fund's profits may be subject to these limitations.
Foreign Government Obligations. Debt securities issued by foreign governments are often, but not always, supported by the full faith and credit of the foreign governments, or their subdivisions, agencies or instrumentalities, that issue them. These securities involve the risks discussed above under “Foreign Securities”. Additionally, the issuer of the debt or the governmental authorities that control repayment of the debt may be unwilling or unable to pay interest or repay principal when due. Political or economic changes or the balance of trade may affect a country’s willingness or ability to service its debt obligations. Periods of economic uncertainty may result in the volatility of market prices of sovereign debt obligations, especially debt obligations issued by the governments of developing countries. Foreign government obligations of developing countries, and some structures of emerging market debt securities, both of which are generally below investment grade, are sometimes referred to as “Brady Bonds.” The failure of a sovereign debtor to implement economic reforms, achieve specified levels of economic performance, or repay principal or interest when due may result in the cancellation of third-party commitments to lend funds to the sovereign debtor, which may impair the debtor’s ability or willingness to service its debts.
Passive Foreign Investment Companies. Under U.S. tax laws, passive foreign investment companies (PFICs) are those foreign corporations which generate primarily “passive” income. Passive income is defined as any income that is considered foreign personal holding company income under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (Code). For federal tax purposes, a foreign corporation is deemed to be a PFIC if 75% or more of its gross income during a taxable year is passive income or if 50% or more of its assets during a taxable year are assets that produce, or are held to produce, passive income.
Foreign mutual funds are generally deemed to be PFICs, since nearly all of the income of a mutual fund is passive income. Foreign mutual funds investments may be used to gain exposure to the securities of companies in countries that limit or prohibit direct foreign investment; however, investments in foreign mutual funds by a Fund are subject to limits under the Investment Company Act.
Other types of foreign corporations may also be considered PFICs if their percentage of passive income or passive assets exceeds the limits described above. A determination as to whether a foreign corporation is considered a PFIC is based on an interpretation of complex provisions of the tax law. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that a conclusion regarding a corporation's status as a PFIC will not be challenged by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and conclusions as to a corporation's PFIC status may vary depending on who is doing the analysis. Unless a Fund makes an election with respect to its investment in a PFIC, which election may not always be possible, income from the disposition of a PFIC investment and from certain PFIC distributions may be subject to adverse tax treatment. The application of the PFIC rules may affect, among other things, the character of gains, the amount of gain or loss and the timing of the recognition of income with respect to PFIC shares, and may subject a Fund to tax on certain income from PFIC shares. Federal tax laws impose severe tax penalties for failure to properly report investment income from PFICs. Although every effort is made to ensure compliance with federal tax reporting requirements for these investments, foreign corporations that are PFICs for federal tax purposes may not always be recognized as such or may not provide the Fund with all information required to report, or make an election with respect to, such investment.
A foreign issuer will not be treated as a PFIC with respect to a shareholder if such issuer is a controlled foreign corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes (CFC) and the shareholder holds (directly, indirectly, or constructively) 10% or more of the voting interests in or total value of such issuer. In such a case, the shareholder generally would be required to include in gross income each year, as ordinary income, its share of certain amounts of a CFC’s income, whether or not the CFC distributes such shareholder’s share of such amounts to it. Under proposed regulations, such income will be considered “qualifying income” for purposes of a shareholder’s qualification as a regulated investment company only to the extent such income is timely distributed to that shareholder.
Additional risks of investing in other investment companies are described under “Other Investment Companies.”
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Foreign Exchange Transactions. Each Fund may invest in foreign currency-denominated securities and has the authority to purchase and sell put and call options on foreign currencies (foreign currency options), foreign currency futures contracts and related options, and currency-related swaps, and may engage in foreign currency transactions either on a spot (i.e., for prompt delivery and settlement) basis at the rate prevailing in the currency exchange market at the time or through forward foreign currency contracts (see “Forward Foreign Currency Contracts”). The use of these instruments may result in a loss to a Fund if the counterparty to the transaction (particularly with respect to OTC derivatives, as discussed further below) does not perform as promised, including because of such counterparty’s bankruptcy or insolvency.
The Funds will incur costs in converting assets from one currency to another. Foreign exchange dealers may charge a fee for conversion. In addition, dealers may realize a profit based on the difference between the prices at which they buy and sell various currencies in the spot and forward markets.
A Fund will generally engage in these foreign exchange transactions in order to complete a purchase or sale of foreign currency denominated securities. The Funds may also use foreign currency options, forward foreign currency contracts, foreign currency futures contracts and currency-related swap contracts to increase or reduce exposure to a foreign currency, to shift exposure from one foreign currency to another in a cross currency hedge  or to enhance returns. These transactions are intended to minimize the risk of loss due to a decline in the value of the hedged currencies; however, at the same time, they tend to limit any potential gain which might result should the value of such currencies increase.
A Fund may purchase and sell foreign currency futures contracts and purchase and write foreign currency options to increase or decrease its exposure to different foreign currencies. A Fund may also purchase and write foreign currency options in connection with foreign currency futures contracts or forward foreign currency contracts. Foreign currency futures contracts are traded on exchanges and have standard contract sizes and delivery dates. Most foreign currency futures contracts call for payment or delivery in U.S. dollars. The uses and risks of foreign currency futures contracts are similar to those of futures contracts relating to securities or indices (see “Futures Contracts”). Foreign currency futures contracts’ values can be expected to correlate with exchange rates but may not reflect other factors that affect the value of the Fund’s investments.
Whether or not any hedging strategy will be successful is highly uncertain, and use of hedging strategies may leave a Fund in a less advantageous position than if a hedge had not been established. Moreover, it is impossible to forecast with precision the market value of portfolio securities at the expiration of a forward foreign currency contract. Accordingly, a Fund may be required to buy or sell additional currency on the spot market (and bear the expense of such transaction) if Invesco’s or the Sub-Advisers’ predictions regarding the movement of foreign currency or securities markets prove inaccurate.
A Fund may hold a portion of its assets in bank deposits denominated in foreign currencies, so as to facilitate investment in foreign securities as well as protect against currency fluctuations and the need to convert such assets into U.S. dollars (thereby also reducing transaction costs). To the extent these monies are converted back into U.S. dollars, the value of the assets so maintained will be affected favorably or unfavorably by changes in foreign currency exchange rates and exchange control regulations. Foreign exchange transactions may involve some of the risks of investments in foreign securities. For a discussion of tax considerations relating to foreign currency transactions, see “Dividends, Distributions and Tax Matters — Tax Matters — Tax Treatment of Portfolio Transactions — Foreign currency transactions.”
Under definitions adopted by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), non-deliverable foreign exchange forwards and OTC foreign exchange options are considered “swaps.” These instruments are therefore included in the definition of “commodity interests” for purposes of determining whether fund service providers qualify for certain exemptions and exclusions from regulation by the CFTC. Although non-deliverable forward foreign currency contracts have historically been traded in the OTC market, as swaps they may in the future be regulated to be centrally cleared and traded on public execution facilities. For more information, see “Forward Foreign Currency Contracts” and “Swaps.”
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Floating Rate Corporate Loans and Corporate Debt Securities of Non-U.S. Borrowers. Floating rate loans and debt securities that are made to and issued by non-U.S. borrowers in which the Fund invests will be U.S. dollar-denominated or otherwise provide for payment in U.S. dollars, and the borrower will meet the credit quality standards established by Invesco and the Sub-Advisers for U.S. borrowers. The Funds similarly may invest in floating rate loans and floating rate debt securities made to and issued by U.S. borrowers with significant non-U.S. dollar-denominated revenues; provided that the loans are U.S. dollar-denominated or otherwise provide for payment to the Funds in U.S. dollars.In cases where the floating rate loans or floating rate debt securities are not denominated in U.S. dollars, provisions will be made for payments to the lenders, including the Funds, in U.S. dollars pursuant to foreign currency swaps.
Foreign Bank Obligations. Foreign bank obligations include certificates of deposit, banker’s acceptances and fixed time deposits and other obligations (a) denominated in U.S. dollars and issued by a foreign branch of a domestic bank (Eurodollar Obligations), (b) denominated in U.S. dollars and issued by a domestic branch of a foreign bank (Yankee Dollar Obligations), or (c) issued by foreign branches of foreign banks. Foreign banks are not generally subject to examination by any U.S. government agency or instrumentality.
Performance Indexed Paper. Performance indexed paper is U.S. dollar-denominated commercial paper the yield of which is linked to certain foreign exchange rate movements. The yield to the investor on performance indexed paper is between the U.S. dollar and a designated currency as of or about that time (generally, the index maturity two days prior to maturity). The yield to the investor will be within a range stipulated at the time of purchase of the obligation, generally with a guaranteed minimum rate of return that is below, and a potential maximum rate of return that is above, market yields on U.S. dollar-denominated commercial paper, with both the minimum and maximum rates of return on the investment corresponding to the minimum and maximum values of the spot exchange rate two business days prior to maturity.
Exchange-Traded Funds
Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs). Most ETFs are registered under the 1940 Act as investment companies, although others may not be registered as investment companies and are registered as commodity pools. Therefore, a Fund’s purchase of shares of an ETF may be subject to the restrictions on investments in other investment companies discussed under “Other Investment Companies.” ETFs have management fees, which increase their cost. The Fund may invest in ETFs advised by unaffiliated advisers as well as ETFs advised by Invesco Capital Management LLC (Invesco Capital). Invesco, the Sub-Advisers and Invesco Capital are affiliates of each other as they are all indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries of Invesco Ltd.
Generally, ETFs hold portfolios of securities, commodities and/or currencies that are designed to replicate, as closely as possible before expenses, the performance of a specified market index. The performance results of ETFs will not replicate exactly the performance of the pertinent index due to transaction and other expenses, including fees to service providers, borne by ETFs. Furthermore, there can be no assurance that the portfolio of securities, commodities and/or currencies purchased by an ETF will replicate a particular index. Some ETFs are actively managed and instead of replicating a particular index they seek to outperform it, or outperform a basket of securities or price of a commodity or currency.
Only Authorized Participants (APs) may engage in creation or redemption transactions directly with ETFs. ETF shares are sold to and redeemed by APs at net asset value only in large blocks called creation units and redemption units, respectively. Such market makers have no obligation to submit creation or redemption orders; consequently, there is no assurance that market makers will establish or maintain an active trading market for ETF shares. In addition, to the extent that APs exit the business or are unable to proceed with creation and/or redemption orders with respect to an ETF and no other AP is able to step forward to create or redeem units of an ETF, an ETF’s shares may be more likely to trade at a premium or discount to net asset value and possibly face trading halts and/or delisting. ETF shares may be purchased and sold by all other investors in secondary market trading on national securities exchanges, which allows investors to purchase and sell ETF shares at their market price throughout the day.
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Investments in ETFs generally present the same primary risks as an investment in a conventional mutual fund that has the same investment objective, strategy and policies. Investments in ETFs further involve the same risks associated with a direct investment in the types of securities, commodities and/or currencies included in the indices the ETFs are designed to replicate. In addition, shares of an ETF may trade at a market price that is higher or lower than their net asset value and an active trading market in such shares may not develop or continue. Moreover, trading of an ETF’s shares may be halted if the listing exchange’s officials deem such action to be appropriate, the shares are de-listed from the exchange, or the activation of market-wide “circuit breakers” (which are tied to large decreases in stock prices) halts stock trading generally.
Exchange-Traded Notes
Exchange-Traded Notes (ETNs). ETNs are senior, unsecured, unsubordinated debt securities whose returns are linked to the performance of a particular market benchmark or strategy, minus applicable fees. ETNs are traded on an exchange (e.g., the New York Stock Exchange) during normal trading hours; however, investors can also hold the ETN until maturity. At maturity, the issuer pays to the investor a cash amount equal to the principal amount, subject to the day’s market benchmark or strategy factor. ETNs do not make periodic coupon payments or provide principal protection. ETNs are subject to credit risk, including the credit risk of the issuer, and the value of the ETN may drop due to a downgrade in the issuer’s credit rating, despite the underlying market benchmark or strategy remaining unchanged. The value of an ETN may also be influenced by time to maturity, level of supply and demand for the ETN, volatility and lack of liquidity in underlying assets, changes in the applicable interest rates, changes in the issuer’s credit rating, and economic, legal, political, or geographic events that affect the referenced underlying asset. When a Fund invests in ETNs it will bear its proportionate share of any fees and expenses borne by the ETN. A decision to sell ETN holdings may be limited by the availability of a secondary market. In addition, although an ETN may be listed on an exchange, the issuer may not be required to maintain the listing, and there can be no assurance that a secondary market will exist for an ETN.
ETNs are also subject to tax risk. No assurance can be given that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will accept, or a court will uphold, how ETNs are characterized or treated for tax purposes. Further, the IRS and Congress are considering proposals that would change the timing and character of income and gains from ETNs.
An ETN that is tied to a specific market benchmark or strategy may not be able to replicate and maintain exactly the composition and relative weighting of securities, commodities or other components in the applicable market benchmark or strategy. Some ETNs that use leverage can, at times, be relatively illiquid, and thus they may be difficult to purchase or sell at a fair price. Leveraged ETNs are subject to the same risk as other instruments that use leverage in any form.
The market value of ETNs may differ from their market benchmark or strategy. This difference in price may be due to the fact that the supply and demand in the market for ETNs at any point in time is not always identical to the supply and demand in the market for the securities, commodities or other components underlying the market benchmark or strategy that the ETN seeks to track. As a result, there may be times when an ETN trades at a premium or discount to its market benchmark or strategy.
Debt Investments
U.S. Government Obligations. U.S. government obligations are obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies and instrumentalities, and include bills, notes and bonds issued by the U.S. Treasury, as well as “stripped” or “zero coupon” U.S. Treasury obligations.
U.S. government obligations may be, (i) supported by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury, (ii) supported by the right of the issuer to borrow from the U.S. Treasury, (iii) supported by the discretionary authority of the U.S. government to purchase the agency’s obligations, or (iv) supported only by the credit of the instrumentality. There is a risk that the U.S. government may choose not to provide financial support to U.S. government-sponsored agencies or instrumentalities if it is not legally obligated to do so. In that case, if the issuer were to default, a Fund holding securities of such issuer might not be able to recover its investment
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from the U.S. government. For example, while the U.S. government has provided financial support to Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC), no assurance can be given that the U.S. government will always do so, since the U.S. government is not so obligated by law. There also is no guarantee that the government would support Federal Home Loan Banks. Accordingly, securities of FNMA, FHLMC and Federal Home Loan Banks, and other agencies, may involve a risk of non-payment of principal and interest. Any downgrade of the credit rating of the securities issued by the U.S. government may result in a downgrade of securities issued by its agencies or instrumentalities, including government-sponsored entities. Additionally, from time to time uncertainty regarding the status of negotiations in the U.S. government to increase the statutory debt limit, commonly called the “debt ceiling,” could increase the risk that the U.S. government may default on payments on certain U.S. government securities, cause the credit rating of the U.S. government to be downgraded, increase volatility in the stock and bond markets, result in higher interest rates, reduce prices of U.S. Treasury securities, and/or increase the costs of various kinds of debt. If a U.S. government-sponsored entity is negatively impacted by legislative or regulatory action, is unable to meet its obligations, or its creditworthiness declines, the performance of a Fund that holds securities of that entity will be adversely impacted.
Inflation-Indexed Bonds. Inflation-indexed bonds are fixed income securities whose principal value is periodically adjusted according to the rate of inflation. Two structures are common. The U.S. Treasury and some other issuers use a structure that accrues inflation into the principal value of the bond. Most other issuers pay out the Consumer Price Index (CPI) accruals as part of a semiannual coupon.
Inflation-indexed securities issued by the U.S. Treasury have maturities of five, ten or thirty years, although it is possible that securities with other maturities will be issued in the future. The U.S. Treasury securities pay interest on a semi-annual basis, equal to a fixed percentage of the inflation-adjusted principal amount. For example, if a fund purchased an inflation-indexed bond with a par value of $1,000 and a 3% real rate of return coupon (payable 1.5% semi-annually), and inflation over the first six months was 1%, the mid-year par value of the bond would be $1,010 and the first semi-annual interest payment would be $15.15 ($1,010 times 1.5%). If inflation during the second half of the year resulted in the whole years’ inflation equaling 3%, the end-of-year par value of the bond would be $1,030 and the second semiannual interest payment would be $15.45 ($1,030 times 1.5%).
If the periodic adjustment rate measuring inflation falls, the principal value of inflation-indexed bonds will be adjusted downward, and consequently the interest payable on these securities (calculated with respect to a smaller principal amount) will be reduced. Repayment of the original bond principal upon maturity (as adjusted for inflation) is guaranteed in the case of U.S. Treasury inflation-indexed bonds, even during a period of deflation. However, the current market value of the bonds is not guaranteed, and will fluctuate. The Fund may also invest in other inflation related bonds which may or may not provide a similar guarantee. If a guarantee of principal is not provided, the adjusted principal value of the bond repaid at maturity may be less than the original principal.
The value of inflation-indexed bonds is expected to change in response to changes in real interest rates. Real interest rates in turn are tied to the relationship between nominal interest rates and the rate of inflation. Therefore, if inflation were to rise at a faster rate than nominal interest rates, real interest rates might decline, leading to an increase in value of inflation-indexed bonds. In contrast, if nominal interest rates increased at a faster rate than inflation, real interest rates might rise, leading to a decrease in value of inflation-indexed bonds.
While these securities are expected to be protected from long-term inflationary trends, short-term increases in inflation may lead to a decline in value. If interest rates rise due to reasons other than inflation (for example, due to changes in currency exchange rates), investors in these securities may not be protected to the extent that the increase is not reflected in the bond’s inflation measure.
The periodic adjustment of U.S. inflation-indexed bonds is tied to the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (CPI-U), which is calculated monthly by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The CPI-U is a measurement of changes in the cost of living, made up of components such as housing, food, transportation and energy. Inflation-indexed bonds issued by a foreign government are generally adjusted to reflect a
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comparable inflation index, calculated by that government. There can be no assurance that the CPI-U or any foreign inflation index will accurately measure the real rate of inflation in the prices of goods and services. Moreover, there can be no assurance that the rate of inflation in a foreign country will be correlated to the rate of inflation in the United States.
Any increase in the principal amount of an inflation-indexed bond will be considered taxable ordinary income, even though investors do not receive their principal until maturity.
Temporary Investments. Each Fund may invest a portion of its assets in affiliated money market funds or in other types of money market instruments in which those funds would invest or other short-term U.S. government securities for cash management purposes. Each Fund may invest up to 100% of its assets in investments that may be inconsistent with the Fund’s principal investment strategies for temporary defensive purposes in anticipation of or in response to adverse market, economic, political or other conditions, or atypical circumstances such as unusually large cash inflows or redemptions. As a result, the Fund may not achieve its investment objective.
Changing Interest Rates. In a low or negative interest rate environment, debt securities may trade at, or be issued with, negative yields, which means the purchaser of the security may receive at maturity less than the total amount invested. In addition, in a negative interest rate environment, if a bank charges negative interest, instead of receiving interest on deposits, a depositor must pay the bank fees to keep money with the bank. To the extent a Fund holds a negatively-yielding debt security or has a bank deposit with a negative interest rate, the Fund would generate a negative return on that investment. Cash positions may also subject a Fund to increased counterparty risk to the Fund's bank. Debt market conditions are highly unpredictable and some parts of the market are subject to dislocations. In the past, the U.S. government and certain foreign central banks have taken steps to stabilize markets by, among other things, reducing interest rates. To the extent such actions are pursued, they present heightened risks to debt securities, and such risks could be even further heightened if these actions are unexpectedly or suddenly reversed or are ineffective in achieving their desired outcomes. In recent years, the U.S. government began implementing increases to the federal funds interest rate and there may be further rate increases. As interest rates rise, there is risk that rates across the financial system also may rise. To the extent rates increase substantially and/or rapidly, the Funds may be subject to significant losses.
In a low or negative interest rate environment, some investors may seek to reallocate assets to other income-producing assets. This may cause the price of such higher yielding instruments to rise, could further reduce the value of instruments with a negative yield, and may limit a Fund's ability to locate fixed income instruments containing the desired risk/return profile. Changing interest rates, including, rates that fall below zero, could have unpredictable effects on the markets and may expose fixed income markets to heightened volatility, increased redemptions, and potential illiquidity.
With respect to a money market fund, which seeks to maintain a stable $1.00 price per share, a low or negative interest rate environment could impact the money market fund’s ability to maintain a stable $1.00 share price. During a low or negative interest rate environment, such money market fund may reduce the number of shares outstanding on a pro rata basis through reverse stock splits, negative dividends or other mechanisms to seek to maintain a stable $1.00 price per share, to the extent permissible by applicable law and its organizational documents. Alternatively, the money market fund may discontinue using the amortized cost method of valuation to maintain a stable $1.00 price per share and establish a fluctuating NAV per share rounded to four decimal places by using available market quotations or equivalents.
Mortgage-Backed and Asset-Backed Securities. Mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities include commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) and residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS). Mortgage-backed securities are mortgage-related securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies and instrumentalities, or issued by non-government entities, such as commercial banks and other private lenders. Mortgage-related securities represent ownership in pools of mortgage loans assembled for sale to investors by various government agencies such as the Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA) and government-related organizations such as the FNMA and the FHLMC, as well as by non-government issuers such as commercial banks, savings and loan institutions, mortgage bankers and private
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mortgage insurance companies. Although certain mortgage-related securities are guaranteed by a third party or otherwise similarly secured, the market value of the security, which may fluctuate, is not so secured. These securities differ from conventional bonds in that the principal is paid back to the investor as payments are made on the underlying mortgages in the pool. Accordingly, a Fund receives monthly scheduled payments of principal and interest along with any unscheduled principal prepayments on the underlying mortgages. Because these scheduled and unscheduled principal payments must be reinvested at prevailing interest rates, mortgage-backed securities do not provide an effective means of locking in long-term interest rates for the investor.
In addition, there are a number of important differences among the agencies and instrumentalities of the U.S. government that issue mortgage-related securities and among the securities they issue. Mortgage-related securities issued by GNMA include GNMA Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates (also known as Ginnie Maes) which are guaranteed as to the timely payment of principal and interest. That guarantee is backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury. GNMA is a corporation wholly-owned by the U.S. government within the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Mortgage-related securities issued by FNMA include FNMA Guaranteed Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates (also known as Fannie Maes) and are guaranteed as to payment of principal and interest by FNMA itself and backed by a line of credit with the U.S. Treasury. FNMA is a government-sponsored entity (GSE) wholly-owned by public stockholders. Mortgage-related securities issued by FHLMC include FHLMC Mortgage Participation Certificates (also known as Freddie Macs) and are guaranteed as to payment of principal and interest by FHLMC itself and backed by a line of credit with the U.S. Treasury. FHLMC is a GSE wholly-owned by public stockholders.
Another type of mortgage-related security issued by GSEs, such as FNMA and FHLMC, is credit risk transfer securities. GSE credit risk transfer securities are unguaranteed and unsecured fixed or floating rate general obligations issued by GSEs, which are typically issued at par and have stated final maturities. In addition, GSE credit risk transfer securities are structured so that: (i) interest is paid directly by the issuing GSE; and (ii) principal is paid by the issuing GSE in accordance with the principal payments and default performance of a pool of residential mortgage loans acquired by the GSE. The issuing GSE selects the pool of mortgage loans based on that GSE’s eligibility criteria, and the performance of the credit risk transfer securities will be directly affected by the selection of such underlying mortgage loans.
GSE credit risk transfer securities are not directly linked to or backed by the underlying mortgage loans. Thus, although the payment of principal and interest on such securities is tied to the performance of the pool of underlying mortgage loans, in no circumstances will the actual cash flow from the underlying mortgage loans be paid or otherwise made available to the holders of the securities and the holders of the securities will have no interest in the underlying mortgage loans. As a result, in the event that a GSE fails to pay principal or interest on its credit risk transfer securities or goes through a bankruptcy, insolvency or similar proceeding, holders of such credit risk transfer securities will have no direct recourse to the underlying mortgage loans. Such holders will receive recovery on par with other unsecured note holders (agency debentures) in such a scenario.
GSE credit risk transfer securities are issued in multiple tranches, which are allocated certain principal repayments and credit losses corresponding to the seniority of the particular tranche. Each tranche will have credit exposure to the underlying mortgage loans and the yield to maturity will be directly related to the amount and timing of certain defined credit events on the underlying mortgage loans, any prepayments by borrowers and any removals of a mortgage loan from the pool. Because credit risk exposure is allocated in accordance with the seniority of the particular tranche, principal losses will be first allocated to the most junior or subordinate tranches, thus making the most subordinate tranches subject to increased sensitivity to dramatic housing downturns. In addition, many credit risk transfer securities have collateral performance triggers (such as those based on credit enhancement, delinquencies or defaults) that could shut off principal payments to subordinate tranches.
The risks associated with an investment in GSE credit risk transfer securities will be different than the risks associated with an investment in mortgage-backed securities issued by GSEs, because some or all of the mortgage default or credit risk associated with the underlying mortgage loans in credit risk transfer
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securities is transferred to investors, such as the Fund. As a result, investors in GSE credit risk transfer securities could lose some or all of their investment in these securities if the underlying mortgage loans default.
The Funds may also invest in credit risk transfer securities issued by private entities, such as banks or other financial institutions. Credit risk transfer securities issued by private entities are structured similarly to those issued by GSEs, and are generally subject to the same types of risks, including credit, prepayment, extension, interest rate and market risks.
On September 7, 2008, FNMA and FHLMC were placed under the conservatorship of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to provide stability in the financial markets, mortgage availability and taxpayer protection by preserving FNMA and FHLMC’s assets and property and putting FNMA and FHLMC in a sound and solvent position. Under the conservatorship, the management of FNMA and FHLMC was replaced.
Since 2009, both FNMA and FHLMC have received significant capital support through U.S. Treasury preferred stock purchases and Federal Reserve purchases of the entities’ mortgage-backed securities.
In February 2011, the Obama Administration produced a report to Congress outlining proposals to wind down FNMA and FHLMC and reduce the government’s role in the mortgage market. In December 2011, Congress enacted the Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011 which, among other provisions, requires that FNMA and FHLMC increase their single-family guaranty fees by at least 10 basis points and remit this increase to Treasury with respect to all loans acquired by FNMA or FHLMC on or after April 1, 2012 and before January 1, 2022. Discussions among policymakers continue, however, as to whether FNMA and FHLMC should be nationalized, privatized, restructured, or eliminated altogether. FNMA reported in the third quarter of 2016 that it expected "continued significant uncertainty" regarding its future and the housing finance system, including how long FNMA will continue to exist in its current form, the extent of its role in the market, how long it will be in conservatorship, what form it will have and what ownership interest, if any, current common and preferred stockholders will hold after the conservatorship is terminated, and whether FNMA will continue to exist following conservatorship. FHLMC faces similar uncertainty about its future role. If FNMA and FHLMC are taken out of conservatorship, it is unclear how the capital structure of FNMA and FHLMC would be constructed and what effects, if any, there may be on FNMA’s and FHLMC’s creditworthiness and guarantees of certain mortgage-backed securities. It is also unclear whether the U.S. Treasury would continue to enforce its rights or perform its obligations related to senior preferred stock. Should FNMA’s and FHLMC’s conservatorship end, there could be an adverse impact on the value of their securities, which could cause Fund losses. FNMA and FHLMC also are the subject of several continuing legal actions and investigations over certain accounting, disclosure or corporate governance matters, which (along with any resulting financial restatements) may continue to have an adverse effect on the guaranteeing entities. Importantly, the future of the entities is in question as the U.S. government considers multiple options regarding the future of FNMA and FHLMC.
Under the direction of the FHFA, FNMA and FHLMC have entered into a joint initiative to develop a common securitization platform for the issuance of a uniform mortgage-backed security (the “Single Security Initiative”) that aligns the characteristics of FNMA and FHLMC certificates. The Single Security Initiative seeks to support the overall liquidity of the TBA market. FNMA and FHLMC began issuing uniform mortgage-backed security in June 2019, and while the initial effects of the issuance of uniform mortgage-backed securities on the market for mortgage-related securities have been relatively minimal, the long-term effects are still uncertain.
Asset-backed securities are structured like mortgage-backed securities, but instead of mortgage loans or interests in mortgage loans, the underlying assets may include such items as motor vehicle installment sales contracts or installment loan contracts, leases of various types of real and personal property, and receivables from credit card agreements and from sales of personal property.  Regular payments received on asset-backed securities include both interest and principal.  Asset-backed securities typically have no U.S. government backing.  Additionally, the ability of an issuer of asset-backed securities to enforce its security interest in the underlying assets may be limited.
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If a Fund purchases a mortgage-backed or other asset-backed security at a premium, the premium may be lost if there is a decline in the market value of the security whether resulting from changes in interest rates or prepayments in the underlying collateral. As with other interest-bearing securities, the prices of such securities are inversely affected by changes in interest rates. Although the value of a mortgage-backed or other asset-backed security may decline when interest rates rise, the converse is not necessarily true, since in periods of declining interest rates the mortgages and loans underlying the securities are prone to prepayment, thereby shortening the average life of the security and shortening the period of time over which income at the higher rate is received. When interest rates are rising, the rate of prepayment tends to decrease, thereby lengthening the period of time over which income at the lower rate is received. For these and other reasons, a mortgage-backed or other asset-backed security’s average maturity may be shortened or lengthened as a result of interest rate fluctuations and, therefore, it is not possible to predict accurately the security’s return. In addition, while the trading market for short-term mortgages and asset-backed securities is ordinarily quite liquid, in times of financial stress the trading market for these securities may become restricted.
CMBS and RMBS generally offer a higher rate of interest than government and government-related mortgage-backed securities because there are no direct or indirect government or government agency guarantees of payment. The risk of loss due to default on CMBS and RMBS is historically higher because neither the U.S. government nor an agency or instrumentality have guaranteed them. CMBS and RMBS whose underlying assets are neither U.S. government securities nor U.S. government insured mortgages, to the extent that real properties securing such assets may be located in the same geographical region, may also be subject to a greater risk of default than other comparable securities in the event of adverse economic, political or business developments that may affect such region and, ultimately, the ability of property owners to make payments of principal and interest on the underlying mortgages. Non-government mortgage-backed securities are generally subject to greater price volatility than those issued, guaranteed or sponsored by government entities because of the greater risk of default in adverse market conditions. Where a guarantee is provided by a private guarantor, the Fund is subject to the credit risk of such guarantor, especially when the guarantor doubles as the originator.
Collateralized Mortgage Obligations (CMOs). A CMO is a hybrid between a mortgage-backed bond and a mortgage pass-through security. A CMO is a type of mortgage-backed security that creates separate classes with varying maturities and interest rates, called tranches. Similar to a bond, interest and prepaid principal is paid, in most cases, semiannually. CMOs may be collateralized by whole mortgage loans, but are more typically collateralized by portfolios of mortgage pass-through securities guaranteed by GNMA, FHLMC, or FNMA, and their income streams.
CMOs are structured into multiple classes, each bearing a different fixed or floating interest rate and stated maturity. Actual maturity and average life will depend upon the prepayment experience of the collateral. CMOs provide for a modified form of call protection through a de facto breakdown of the underlying pool of mortgages according to how quickly the loans are repaid. Monthly payment of principal received from the pool of underlying mortgages, including prepayments, is first returned to investors holding the shortest maturity class. Investors holding the longer maturity classes receive principal only after the first class has been retired. An investor is partially guarded against a sooner than desired return of principal because of the sequential payments.
In a typical CMO transaction, a corporation (issuer) issues multiple series (i.e., Series A, B, C and Z) of CMO bonds (Bonds). Proceeds of the Bond offering are used to purchase mortgages or mortgage pass-through certificates (Collateral). The Collateral is pledged to a third party trustee as security for the Bonds. Principal and interest payments from the Collateral are used to pay principal on the Bonds in the following order: Series A, B, C and Z. The Series A, B, and C Bonds all bear current interest. Interest on a Series Z Bond is accrued and added to principal and a like amount is paid as principal on the Series A, B, or C Bond is currently being paid off. Only after the Series A, B, and C Bonds are paid in full does the Series Z Bond begin to receive payment. With some CMOs, the issuer serves as a conduit to allow loan originators (primarily builders or savings and loan associations) to borrow against their loan portfolios.
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CMOs that are issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or by any of its agencies or instrumentalities will be considered U.S. government securities by the Funds, while other CMOs, even if collateralized by U.S. government securities, will have the same status as other privately issued securities for purposes of applying the Funds' diversification tests.
FHLMC CMOs are debt obligations of FHLMC issued in multiple classes having different maturity dates which are secured by the pledge of a pool of conventional mortgage loans purchased by FHLMC. Payments of principal and interest on the FHLMC CMOs are made semiannually. The amount of principal payable on each semiannual payment date is determined in accordance with FHLMC’s mandatory sinking fund schedule, which, in turn, is equal to approximately 100% of FHA prepayment experience applied to the mortgage collateral pool. All sinking fund payments in the FHLMC CMOs are allocated to the retirement of the individual classes of bonds in the order of their stated maturities. Payment of principal on the mortgage loans in the collateral pool in excess of the amount of FHLMC’s minimum sinking fund obligation for any payment date are paid to the holders of the FHLMC CMOs as additional sinking fund payments. Because of the “pass-through” nature of all principal payments received on the collateral pool in excess of FHLMC’s minimum sinking fund requirement, the rate at which principal of the FHLMC CMOs is actually repaid is likely to be such that each class of bonds will be retired in advance of its scheduled maturity date. If collection of principal (including prepayments) on the mortgage loans during any semiannual payment period is not sufficient to meet the FHLMC CMO’s minimum sinking fund obligation on the next sinking fund payment date, FHLMC agrees to make up the deficiency from its general funds.
Classes of CMOs may also include interest only securities (IOs) and principal only securities (POs). IOs and POs are stripped mortgage-backed securities representing interests in a pool of mortgages the cash flow from which has been separated into interest and principal components. IOs receive the interest portion of the cash flow while POs receive the principal portion. IOs and POs can be extremely volatile in response to changes in interest rates. As interest rates rise and fall, the value of IOs tends to move in the same direction as interest rates. POs perform best when prepayments on the underlying mortgages rise since this increases the rate at which the investment is returned and the yield to maturity on the PO. When payments on mortgages underlying a PO are slow, the life of the PO is lengthened and the yield to maturity is reduced.
CMOs are generally subject to the same risks as mortgage-backed securities. In addition, CMOs may be subject to credit risk because the issuer or credit enhancer has defaulted on its obligations and a Fund may not receive all or part of its principal. Obligations issued by U.S. government-related entities are guaranteed as to the payment of principal and interest, but are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. The performance of private label mortgage-backed securities, issued by private institutions, is based on the financial health of those institutions. Although GNMA guarantees timely payment of GNMA certificates even if homeowners delay or default, tracking the “pass-through” payments may, at times, be difficult.
Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs). A CDO is a security backed by a pool of bonds, loans and other debt obligations. CDOs are not limited to investing in one type of debt and accordingly, a CDO may own corporate bonds, commercial loans, asset-backed securities, residential mortgage-backed securities, commercial mortgage-backed securities, and emerging market debt. The CDO’s securities are typically divided into several classes, or bond tranches, that have differing levels of investment grade or credit tolerances. Most CDO issues are structured in a way that enables the senior bond classes and mezzanine classes to receive investment-grade credit ratings. Credit risk is shifted to the most junior class of securities. If any defaults occur in the assets backing a CDO, the senior bond classes are first in line to receive principal and interest payments, followed by the mezzanine classes and finally by the lowest rated (or non-rated) class, which is known as the equity tranche. Similar in structure to a collateralized mortgage obligation (described above) CDOs are unique in that they represent different types of debt and credit risk.
Collateralized Loan Obligations (CLOs). CLOs are debt instruments backed solely by a pool of other debt securities. The risks of an investment in a CLO depend largely on the type of the collateral securities and the class of the CLO in which a Fund invests. Some CLOs have credit ratings, but are typically issued in various classes with various priorities. Normally, CLOs are privately offered and sold (that is, they are not
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registered under the securities laws) and may be characterized by a Fund as illiquid investments; however, an active dealer market may exist for CLOs that qualify for Rule 144A transactions. In addition to the normal interest rate, default and other risks of fixed income securities, CLOs carry additional risks, including the possibility that distributions from collateral securities will not be adequate to make interest or other payments, the quality of the collateral may decline in value or default a Fund may invest in CLOs that are subordinate to other classes, values may be volatile, and disputes with the issuer may produce unexpected investment results.
Credit Linked Notes (CLNs). A CLN is a security structured and issued by an issuer, which may be a bank, broker or special purpose vehicle. If a CLN is issued by a special purpose vehicle, the special purpose vehicle will typically be collateralized by AAA-rated securities, but some CLNs are not collateralized. The performance and payment of principal and interest is tied to that of a reference obligation which may be a particular security, basket of securities, credit default swap, basket of credit default swaps, or index. The reference obligation may be denominated in foreign currencies. Risks of CLNs include those risks associated with the underlying reference obligation including, but not limited to, market risk, interest rate risk, credit risk, default risk and foreign currency risk. In the case of a CLN created with credit default swaps, the structure will be “funded” such that the par amount of the security will represent the maximum loss that could be incurred on the investment and no leverage is introduced. An investor in a CLN also bears counterparty risk or the risk that the issuer of the CLN will default or become bankrupt and not make timely payments of principal and interest on the structured security. Should the issuer default or declare bankruptcy, the CLN holder may not receive any compensation. In return for these risks, the CLN holder receives a higher yield. As with most derivative instruments, valuation of a CLN may be difficult due to the complexity of the security.
Bank Instruments. Bank instruments are unsecured interest bearing bank deposits. Bank instruments include, but are not limited to, certificates of deposit, time deposits, and banker’s acceptances from U.S. or foreign banks, as well as Eurodollar certificates of deposit (Eurodollar CDs) and Eurodollar time deposits of foreign branches of domestic banks. Some certificates of deposit are negotiable interest-bearing instruments with a specific maturity issued by banks and savings and loan institutions in exchange for the deposit of funds, and can typically be traded in the secondary market prior to maturity. Other certificates of deposit, like time deposits, are non-negotiable receipts issued by a bank in exchange for the deposit of funds which earns a specified rate of interest over a definite period of time; however, it cannot be traded in the secondary market. A banker’s acceptance is a bill of exchange or time draft drawn on and accepted by a commercial bank.
An investment in Eurodollar CDs or Eurodollar time deposits may involve some of the same risks that are described for Foreign Securities.
Commercial Instruments. Commercial instruments include commercial paper, master notes and other short-term corporate instruments, that are denominated in U.S. dollars or foreign currencies.
Commercial instruments are a type of instrument issued by large banks and corporations to raise money to meet their short-term debt obligations, and are only backed by the issuing bank or corporation’s promise to pay the face amount on the maturity date specified on the note. Commercial paper consists of short-term promissory notes issued by corporations. Commercial paper may be traded in the secondary market after its issuance. Master notes are demand notes that permit the investment of fluctuating amounts of money at varying rates of interest pursuant to arrangements with issuers who meet certain credit quality criteria. The interest rate on a master note may fluctuate based on changes in specified interest rates or may be reset periodically according to a prescribed formula or may be a set rate. Although there is no secondary market in master notes, if such notes have a demand feature, the payee may demand payment of the principal amount of the note upon relatively short notice. Master notes are generally illiquid and therefore typically subject to the Funds' percentage limitations for investments in illiquid investments. Commercial instruments may not be registered with the SEC.
Synthetic Municipal Instruments. Each Fund may invest in synthetic municipal instruments. Synthetic municipal instruments are instruments, the value of and return on which are derived from underlying securities.  Synthetic municipal instruments in which the Funds may invest include tender option bonds, and
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fixed or variable rate trust certificates. These types of instruments involve the deposit into a trust or custodial account of one or more long-term tax-exempt bonds or notes (Underlying Bonds), and the sale of certificates evidencing interests in the trust or custodial account to investors such as the Funds. The trustee or custodian receives the long-term fixed rate interest payments on the Underlying Bonds, and pays certificate holders fixed rates or short-term floating or variable interest rates which are reset periodically. A “tender option bond” provides a certificate holder with the conditional right to sell its certificate to the sponsor or some designated third party at specified intervals and receive the par value of the certificate plus accrued interest (a demand feature). A "fixed rate trust certificate" evidences an interest in a trust entitling a certificate holder to fixed future interest and/or principal payments on the Underlying Bonds. A “variable rate trust certificate” evidences an interest in a trust entitling the certificate holder to receive variable rate interest based on prevailing short-term interest rates and also typically provides the certificate holder with the conditional demand feature (the right to tender its certificate at par value plus accrued interest under certain conditions).
All synthetic municipal instruments must meet the minimum quality standards for the Funds' investments and must present minimal credit risks. In selecting synthetic municipal instruments for the Funds, Invesco considers the creditworthiness of the issuer of the Underlying Bond, the sponsor and the party providing certificate holders with a conditional right to sell their certificates at stated times and prices (a demand feature).
Typically, a certificate holder cannot exercise the demand feature until the occurrence of certain conditions, such as where the issuer of the Underlying Bond defaults on interest payments. Moreover, because synthetic municipal instruments involve a trust or custodial account and a third party conditional demand feature, they involve complexities and potential risks that may not be present where a municipal security is owned directly.
The tax-exempt character of the interest paid to certificate holders is based on the assumption that the holders have an ownership interest in the Underlying Bonds; however, the IRS has not issued a ruling addressing this issue. In the event the IRS issues an adverse ruling or successfully litigates this issue, it is possible that the interest paid to the Funds on certain synthetic municipal instruments would be deemed to be taxable. The Funds rely on opinions of special tax counsel on this ownership question and opinions of bond counsel regarding the tax-exempt character of interest paid on the Underlying Bonds.
Municipal Securities. Municipal Securities are typically debt obligations of states, territories or possessions of the United States and the District of Columbia and their political subdivisions, agencies and instrumentalities, the interest on which, in the opinion of bond counsel or other counsel to the issuers of such securities, is, at the time of issuance, exempt from federal income tax. The issuers of municipal securities obtain funds for various public purposes, including the construction of a wide range of public facilities such as airports, highways, bridges, schools, hospitals, housing, mass transportation, streets and water and sewer works. Other public purposes for which municipal securities may be issued include refunding outstanding obligations, obtaining funds for general operating expenses and obtaining funds to lend to other public institutions and facilities.
Certain types of municipal securities are issued to obtain funding for privately operated facilities. The credit and quality of private activity debt securities are dependent on the private facility or user, who is responsible for the interest payment and principal repayment. Special considerations relating to jurisdictions in which the Funds invest are located in Appendix P.
The two major classifications of Municipal Securities are bonds and notes. Municipal bonds are municipal debt obligations in which the issuer is obligated to repay the original (or “principal”) payment amount on a certain maturity date along with interest. A municipal bond’s maturity date (the date when the issuer of the bond repays the principal) may be years in the future. Short-term bonds mature in one to three years, while long-term bonds usually do not mature for more than a decade. Notes are short-term instruments which usually mature in less than two years. Most notes are general obligations of the issuing municipalities or agencies and are sold in anticipation of a bond sale, collection of taxes or receipt of other revenues. Municipal
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notes also include tax, revenue notes and revenue and bond anticipation notes (discussed more fully below) of short maturity, generally less than three years, which are issued to obtain temporary funds for various public purposes.
Municipal debt securities may also be classified as general obligation or revenue obligations (or "special delegation securities"). General obligation securities are secured by the issuer's pledge of its faith, credit and taxing power for the payment of principal and interest.
Revenue debt obligations, such as revenue bonds and revenue notes, are usually payable only from the revenues derived from a particular facility or class of facilities or, in some cases, from the proceeds of a special excise tax or other specific revenue source but not from the general taxing power. The principal and interest payments for industrial development bonds or pollution control bonds are often the sole responsibility of the industrial user and therefore may not be backed by the taxing power of the issuing municipality. The interest paid on such bonds may be exempt from federal income tax, although current federal tax laws place substantial limitations on the purposes and size of such issues. Such obligations are considered to be Municipal Securities provided that the interest paid thereon, in the opinion of bond counsel, qualifies as exempt from federal income tax. However, interest on municipal securities may give rise to a federal alternative minimum tax (AMT) liability for noncorporate taxpayers and may have other collateral federal income tax consequences. There is a risk that some or all of the interest received by the Fund from tax-exempt municipal securities might become taxable as a result of tax law changes or determinations of the IRS.
Another type of revenue obligations is pre-refunded bonds, which are typically issued to refinance debt. In other words, pre-refunded bonds result from the advance refunding of bonds that are not currently redeemable. The proceeds from the issue of the lower yield and/or longer maturing pre-refunding bond will usually be used to purchase U.S. government obligations, such as U.S. Treasury securities, which are held in an escrow account and used to pay interest and principal payments until the scheduled call date of the original bond issue occurs. Like other fixed income securities, pre-refunded bonds are subject to interest rate, market, credit, and reinvestment risks. However, because pre-refunded bonds are generally collateralized with U.S. government obligations, such pre-refunded securities have essentially the same risks of default as a AAA-rated security. The Fund will treat such pre-refunded securities as investment-grade securities, notwithstanding the fact that the issuer of such securities may have a lower rating (such as a below-investment-grade rating) from one or more rating agencies.
Within these principal classifications of municipal securities, there are a variety of types of municipal securities, including but not limited to, fixed and variable rate securities, variable rate demand notes, municipal leases, custodial receipts, participation certificates, inverse floating rate securities, and derivative municipal securities.
After purchase by a Fund, an issue of Municipal Securities may cease to be rated by Moody's Investors Service, Inc. (Moody's) or S&P Global Ratings Services (S&P), or another nationally recognized statistical rating organization (NRSRO), or the rating of such a security may be reduced below the minimum credit quality rating required for purchase by the Fund. Neither event would require a Fund to dispose of the security. To the extent that the ratings applied by Moody’s, S&P or another NRSRO to Municipal Securities may change as a result of changes in these rating systems, a Fund will attempt to use comparable credit quality ratings as standards for its investments in Municipal Securities.
The yields on Municipal Securities are dependent on a variety of factors, including general economic and monetary conditions, money market factors, conditions of the Municipal Securities market, size of a particular offering, and maturity and rating of the obligation. Because many Municipal Securities are issued to finance similar projects, especially those related to education, health care, transportation and various utilities, conditions in those sectors and the financial condition of an individual municipal issuer can affect the overall municipal market. The market values of the Municipal Securities held by a Fund will be affected by changes in the yields available on similar securities. If yields increase following the purchase of a Municipal Security, the market value of such Municipal Security will generally decrease. Conversely, if yields decrease, the market value of a Municipal Security will generally increase. The ratings of S&P and Moody’s represent their opinions
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of the quality of the municipal securities they undertake to rate. It should be emphasized, however, that ratings are general and are not absolute standards of quality. Consequently, municipal securities with the same maturity, coupon and rating may have different yields while municipal securities of the same maturity and coupon with different ratings may have the same yield.
Certain of the municipal securities in which the Funds may invest represent relatively recent innovations in the municipal securities markets and the markets for such securities may be less developed than the market for conventional fixed rate municipal securities.
Under normal market conditions, longer-term municipal securities generally provide a higher yield than shorter-term municipal securities. The Funds have no limitation as to the maturity of municipal securities in which they may invest. The Adviser may adjust the average maturity of a Fund’s portfolio from time to time depending on its assessment of the relative yields available on securities of different maturities and its expectations of future changes in interest rates.
The net asset value of a Fund will change with changes in the value of its portfolio securities. With fixed income municipal securities, the net asset value of a Fund can be expected to change as general levels of interest rates fluctuate. When interest rates decline, the value of a portfolio invested in fixed income securities generally can be expected to rise. Conversely, when interest rates rise, the value of a portfolio invested in fixed income securities generally can be expected to decline. The prices of longer term municipal securities generally are more volatile with respect to changes in interest rates than the prices of shorter term municipal securities. Volatility may be greater during periods of general economic uncertainty.
Municipal Securities, like other debt obligations, are subject to the credit risk of nonpayment. The ability of issuers of municipal securities to make timely payments of interest and principal may be adversely impacted in general economic downturns and as relative governmental cost burdens are allocated and reallocated among federal, state and local governmental units. Such nonpayment would result in a reduction of income to a Fund, and could result in a reduction in the value of the municipal securities experiencing nonpayment and a potential decrease in the net asset value of the Fund. In addition, a Fund may incur expenses to work out or restructure a distressed or defaulted security.
The Funds may invest in Municipal Securities with credit enhancements such as letters of credit and municipal bond insurance. The Funds may invest in Municipal Securities that are insured by financial insurance companies. Since a limited number of entities provide such insurance, a Fund may invest more than 25% of its assets in securities insured by the same insurance company. If a Fund invests in Municipal Securities backed by insurance companies and other financial institutions, changes in the financial condition of these institutions could cause losses to the Fund and affect share price. Letters of credit are issued by a third party, usually a bank, to enhance liquidity and ensure repayment of principal and any accrued interest if the underlying Municipal Bond should default. These credit enhancements do not guarantee payments or repayments on the Municipal Securities and a downgrade in the credit enhancer could affect the value of the Municipal Security.
If the IRS determines that an issuer of a Municipal Security has not complied with applicable tax requirements, interest from the security could be treated as taxable, which could result in a decline in the security’s value. In addition, there could be changes in applicable tax laws or tax treatments that reduce or eliminate the current federal income tax exemption on Municipal Securities or otherwise adversely affect the current federal or state tax status of Municipal Securities. For example, 2017 legislation commonly known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act repeals the exclusion from gross income for interest on pre-refunded municipal securities effective for such bonds issued after December 31, 2017.
Taxable municipal securities are debt securities issued by or on behalf of states and their political subdivisions, the District of Columbia, and possessions of the United States, the interest on which is not exempt from federal income tax. Taxable investments include, for example, hedging instruments, repurchase agreements, and many of the types of securities the Fund would buy for temporary defensive purposes.
At times, in connection with the restructuring of a municipal bond issuer either outside of bankruptcy court in a negotiated workout or in the context of bankruptcy proceedings, the Fund may determine or be required
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to accept equity or taxable debt securities, or the underlying collateral (which may include real estate or loans) from the issuer in exchange for all or a portion of the Fund’s holdings in the municipal security. Although the Adviser will attempt to sell those assets as soon as reasonably practicable in most cases, depending upon, among other things, the Adviser’s valuation of the potential value of such assets in relation to the price that could be obtained by the Fund at any given time upon sale thereof, the Fund may determine to hold such securities or assets in its portfolio for limited period of time in order to liquidate the assets in a manner that maximizes their value to the Fund.
Municipal Securities also include the following securities:
Bond Anticipation Notes usually are general obligations of state and local governmental issuers which are sold to obtain interim financing for projects that will eventually be funded through the sale of long-term debt obligations or bonds.
Revenue Anticipation Debt Securities, including bonds, notes, and certificates, are issued by governments or governmental bodies with the expectation that future revenues from a designated source will be used to repay the securities. In general, they also constitute general obligations of the issuer.
Tax Anticipation Notes are issued by state and local governments to finance the current operations of such governments. Repayment is generally to be derived from specific future tax revenues.
Tax-Exempt Commercial Paper (Municipal Paper) is similar to taxable commercial paper, except that tax-exempt commercial paper is issued by states, municipalities and their agencies.
Tax-Exempt Mandatory Paydown Securities (TEMPS) are fixed rate term bonds carrying a short-term maturity, usually three to four years beyond the expected redemption. TEMPS are structured as bullet repayments, with required optional redemptions as entrance fees are collected.
Zero Coupon and Pay-in-Kind Securities do not immediately produce cash income. These securities are issued at an original issue discount, with the full value, including accrued interest, paid at maturity. Interest income may be reportable annually, even though no annual payments are made. Market prices of zero coupon bonds tend to be more volatile than bonds that pay interest regularly. Pay-in-kind securities are securities that have interest payable by delivery of additional securities. Upon maturity, the holder is entitled to receive the aggregate par value of the securities. Zero coupon and pay-in-kind securities may be subject to greater fluctuation in value and less liquidity in the event of adverse market conditions than comparably rated securities paying cash interest at regular interest payment periods. Prices on non-cash-paying instruments may be more sensitive to changes in the issuer’s financial condition, fluctuation in interest rates and market demand/supply imbalances than cash-paying securities with similar credit ratings, and thus may be more speculative. Special tax considerations are associated with investing in certain lower-grade securities, such as zero coupon or pay-in-kind securities.
Capital Appreciation Bonds are municipal securities in which the investment return on the initial principal payment is reinvested at a compounded rate until the bond matures. The principal and interest are due on maturity. Thus, like zero coupon securities, investors must wait until maturity to receive interest and principal, which increases the interest rate and credit risks.
Payments in lieu of taxes (also known as PILOTs) are voluntary payments by, for instance the U.S. government or nonprofits, to local governments that help offset losses in or otherwise serve as a substitute for property taxes.
Converted Auction Rate Securities (CARS) are a structure that combines the debt service deferral feature of Capital Appreciation Bonds (CABS) with Auction Rate Securities. The CARS pay no debt service until a specific date, then they incrementally convert to conventional Auction Rate Securities. At each conversion date the issuer has the ability to call and pay down any amount of the CARS.
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    Some bonds may be “callable,” allowing the issuer to redeem them before their maturity date. To protect bondholders, callable bonds may be issued with provisions that prevent them from being called for a period of time. Typically, that is 5 to 10 years from the issuance date. When interest rates decline, if the call protection on a bond has expired, it is more likely that the issuer may call the bond. If that occurs, the Fund might have to reinvest the proceeds of the called bond in investments that pay a lower rate of return, which could reduce the Fund’s yield.
Inverse Floating Rate Interests. Inverse floating rate interests (Inverse Floaters) are issued in connection with municipal tender option bond (TOB) financing transactions to generate leverage for the Fund. Such instruments are created by a special purpose trust (a TOB Trust) that holds long-term fixed rate bonds sold to it by the Fund (the underlying security), and issues two classes of beneficial interests: short-term floating rate interests (Floaters), which are sold to other investors, and Inverse Floaters, which are purchased by the Fund. The Floaters have first priority on the cash flow from the underlying security held by the TOB Trust, have a tender option feature that allows holders to tender the Floaters back to the TOB Trust for their par amount and accrued interest at specified intervals and bear interest at prevailing short-term interest rates. Tendered Floaters are remarketed for sale to other investors for their par amount and accrued interest by a remarketing agent to the TOB Trust and are ultimately supported by a liquidity facility provided by a bank, upon which the TOB Trust can draw funds to pay such amount to holders of Tendered Floaters that cannot be remarketed. The Fund, as holder of the Inverse Floaters, is paid the residual cash flow from the underlying security. Accordingly, the Inverse Floaters provide the Fund with leveraged exposure to the underlying security. When short-term interest rates rise or fall, the interest payable on the Floaters issued by a TOB Trust will, respectively, rise or fall, leaving less or more, respectively, residual interest cash flow from the underlying security available for payment on the Inverse Floaters. Thus, as short-term interest rates rise, Inverse Floaters produce less income for the Fund, and as short-term interest rates decline, Inverse Floaters produce more income for the Fund. The price of Inverse Floaters is expected to decline when interest rates rise and increase when interest rates decline, in either case generally more so than the price of a bond with a similar maturity, because of the effect of leverage. As a result, the price of Inverse Floaters is typically more volatile than the price of bonds with similar maturities, especially if the relevant TOB Trust is structured to provide the holder of the Inverse Floaters relatively greater leveraged exposure to the underlying security (e.g., if the par amount of the Floaters, as a percentage of the par amount of the underlying security, is relatively greater). Upon the occurrence of certain adverse events (including a credit ratings downgrade of the underlying security or a substantial decrease in the market value of the underlying security), a TOB Trust may be collapsed by the remarketing agent or liquidity provider and the underlying security liquidated, and the Fund could lose the entire amount of its investment in the Inverse Floater and may, in some cases, be contractually required to pay the shortfall, if any, between the liquidation value of the underlying security and the principal amount of the Floaters. Consequently, in a rising interest rate environment, the Fund’s investments in Inverse Floaters could negatively impact the Fund’s performance and yield, especially when those Inverse Floaters provide the Fund with relatively greater leveraged exposure to the underlying securities held by the relevant TOB Trusts.
Final rules implementing section 619 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Volcker Rule) prohibit banking entities and their affiliates from sponsoring and/or providing certain services to TOB Trusts, which constitute “covered funds” under the Volcker Rule. As a result of the Volcker Rule, the Fund, as holder of Inverse Floaters, is required to perform certain duties in connection with TOB financing transactions previously performed by banking entities. These duties may alternatively be performed by a non-bank third-party service provider. A Fund’s expanded role in TOB financing transactions as a result of the Volcker Rule may increase its operational and regulatory risk.
Further, the SEC and various banking agencies have adopted rules implementing credit risk retention requirements for asset-backed securities (the Risk Retention Rules), which apply to TOB financing transactions and TOB Trusts. The Risk Retention Rules require the sponsor of a TOB Trust, which is deemed to be the Fund (as holder of the related Inverse Floaters), to retain at least 5% of the credit risk of the underlying security held by the TOB Trust. As applicable, the Fund has adopted policies and procedures
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intended to comply with the Risk Retention Rules. The Risk Retention Rules may adversely affect the Fund’s ability to engage in TOB financing transactions or increase the costs of such transactions in certain circumstances.
There can be no assurances that TOB financing transactions will continue to be a viable or cost-effective form of leverage. The unavailability of TOB financing transactions or an increase in the cost of financing provided by TOB transactions may adversely affect the Fund’s net asset value, distribution rate and ability to achieve its investment objective.
Municipal Lease Obligations. Municipal leases obligations are issued by state and local governments or authorities to finance the acquisition of land, equipment and facilities, such as state and municipal vehicles, telecommunications and computer equipment, and other capital assets. Municipal lease obligations, a type of Municipal Security, may take the form of a lease, an installment purchase contract or a conditional sales contract. Interest payments on qualifying municipal lease obligations are generally exempt from federal income taxes.
Municipal lease obligations are generally subject to greater risks than general obligation or revenue bonds. State laws set forth requirements that states or municipalities must meet in order to issue municipal obligations, and such obligations may contain a covenant by the issuer to budget for, appropriate, and make payments due under the obligation. However, certain municipal lease obligations may contain "non-appropriation" clauses which provide that the issuer is not obligated to make payments on the obligation in future years unless funds have been appropriated for this purpose each year. If not enough money is appropriated to make the lease payments, the leased property may be repossessed as security for holders of the municipal lease obligation. In such an event, there is no assurance that the property's private sector or re-leasing value will be enough to make all outstanding payments on the municipal lease obligation or that the payments will continue to be tax-free. Additionally, it may be difficult to dispose of the underlying capital asset in the event of non-appropriation or other default. Direct investments by the Fund in municipal lease obligations may be deemed illiquid and therefore subject to the Funds' percentage limitations for illiquid investments and the risks of holding illiquid investments.
Municipal Forward Contracts. A municipal forward contract is an agreement by a Fund to purchase a Municipal Security on a when-issued basis with a longer-than-standard settlement period, in some cases with the settlement date taking place up to five years from the date of purchase. Municipal forward contracts typically carry a substantial yield premium to compensate the buyer for the risks associated with a long when-issued period, including shifts in market interest rates that could materially impact the principal value of the bond, deterioration in the credit quality of the issuer, loss of alternative investment options during the when-issued period and failure of the issuer to complete various steps required to issue the bonds.
Tobacco Related Bonds. A Fund may invest in two types of tobacco related bonds: (i) tobacco settlement revenue bonds, for which payments of interest and principal are made solely from a state’s interest in the Master Settlement Agreement (“MSA”) and (ii) tobacco bonds subject to a state’s appropriation pledge, for which payments may come from both the MSA revenue and the applicable state’s appropriation pledge.
Tobacco Settlement Revenue Bonds. Tobacco settlement revenue bonds are secured by an issuing state’s proportionate share in the MSA, a litigation settlement agreement reached out of court in November 1998 between 46 states and six other U.S. jurisdictions and the four largest U.S. tobacco manufacturers at that time. Subsequently, a number of smaller tobacco manufacturers signed on to the MSA, which provides for annual payments by the manufacturers to the states and other jurisdictions in perpetuity. The MSA established a base payment schedule and a formula for adjusting payments each year. Tobacco manufacturers pay into a master escrow trust based on their market share and each state receives a fixed percentage of the payment.
A number of states have securitized the future flow of those payments by selling bonds, some through distinct governmental entities created for such purpose. The bonds are backed by the future revenue flows from the tobacco manufacturers. Annual payments on the bonds, and thus the risk to the Fund, are highly dependent on the receipt of future settlement payments. The amount of future settlement payments is
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dependent on many factors including, but not limited to, annual domestic cigarette shipments, cigarette consumption, inflation and the financial capability of participating tobacco companies. As a result, payments made by tobacco manufacturers could be reduced if the decrease in tobacco consumption is significantly greater than the forecasted decline. A market share loss by the MSA companies to non-MSA participating tobacco manufacturers could also cause a downward adjustment in the payment amounts. A participating manufacturer filing for bankruptcy also could cause delays or reductions in bond payments, which could affect the Fund’s net asset value.
On June 22, 2009, President Obama signed into law the “Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act” which extends the authority of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to encompass the regulation of tobacco products. Among other things, the legislation authorizes the FDA to adopt product standards for tobacco products, restrict advertising of tobacco products, and impose stricter warning labels. FDA regulation of tobacco products could result in greater decreases in tobacco consumption than originally forecasted. On August 31, 2009, a number of tobacco manufacturers filed suit in federal court in Kentucky alleging that certain of the provisions of the FDA Tobacco Act restricting the advertising and marketing of tobacco products are inconsistent with the freedom of speech guarantees of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. The suit does not challenge Congress’ decision to give the FDA regulatory authority over tobacco products or the vast majority of the provisions of the law.
Because tobacco settlement bonds are backed by payments from the tobacco manufacturers, and generally not by the credit of the state or local government issuing the bonds, their creditworthiness depends on the ability of tobacco manufacturers to meet their obligations. A market share loss by the MSA companies to non-MSA participating tobacco manufacturers could also cause a downward adjustment in the payment amounts. A participating manufacturer filing for bankruptcy also could cause delays or reductions in bond payments, which could affect the Fund’s net asset value.
The MSA and tobacco manufacturers have been and continue to be subject to various legal claims. An adverse outcome to any litigation matters relating to the MSA or affecting tobacco manufacturers could adversely affect the payment streams associated with the MSA or cause delays or reductions in bond payments by tobacco manufacturers. The MSA itself has been subject to legal challenges and has, to date, withstood those challenges.
Tobacco Subject to Appropriation (STA) Bonds. In addition to the tobacco settlement bonds discussed above, the Fund also may invest in tobacco related bonds that are subject to a state’s appropriation pledge (STA Tobacco Bonds). STA Tobacco Bonds rely on both the revenue source from the MSA and a state appropriation pledge.
These STA Tobacco Bonds are part of a larger category of municipal bonds that are subject to state appropriation. Although specific provisions may vary among states, “subject to appropriation bonds” (also referred to as “appropriation debt”) are typically payable from two distinct sources: (i) a dedicated revenue source such as a municipal enterprise, a special tax or, in the case of tobacco bonds, the MSA funds, and (ii) the issuer’s general funds. Appropriation debt differs from a state’s general obligation debt in that general obligation debt is backed by the state’s full faith, credit and taxing power, while appropriation debt requires the state to pass a specific periodic appropriation to pay interest and/or principal on the bonds as the payments come due. The appropriation is usually made annually. While STA Tobacco Bonds offer an enhanced credit support feature, that feature is generally not an unconditional guarantee of payment by a state and states generally do not pledge the full faith, credit or taxing power of the state.
Litigation Challenging the MSA. The participating manufacturers and states in the MSA are subject to several pending lawsuits challenging the MSA and/or related state legislation or statutes adopted by the states to implement the MSA (referred to herein as the “MSA-related legislation”). One or more of the lawsuits allege, among other things, that the MSA and/or the states’ MSA-related legislation are void or unenforceable under the Commerce Clause and certain other provisions of the U.S. Constitution, the federal antitrust laws, federal civil rights laws, state constitutions, consumer protection laws and unfair competition laws.
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To date, challenges to the MSA or the states’ MSA-related legislation have not been ultimately successful, although several such challenges have survived initial appellate review of motions to dismiss or have proceeded to a stage of litigation where the ultimate outcome may be determined by, among other things, findings of fact based on extrinsic evidence as to the operation and impact of the MSA and the states’ MSA-related legislation.
The MSA and states’ MSA-related legislation may also continue to be challenged in the future. A determination that the MSA or states’ MSA-related legislation is void or unenforceable would have a material adverse effect on the payments made by the participating manufacturers under the MSA.
Litigation Seeking Monetary Relief from Tobacco Industry Participants. The tobacco industry has been the target of litigation for many years. Both individual and class action lawsuits have been brought by or on behalf of smokers alleging that smoking has been injurious to their health, and by non-smokers alleging harm from environmental tobacco smoke, also known as “secondhand smoke.” Plaintiffs seek various forms of relief, including compensatory and punitive damages aggregating billions of dollars, treble/multiple damages and other statutory damages and penalties, creation of medical monitoring and smoking cessation funds, disgorgement of profits, legal fees, and injunctive and equitable relief.
The MSA does not release participating manufacturers from liability in either individual or class action cases. Healthcare cost recovery cases have also been brought by governmental and non-governmental healthcare providers seeking, among other things, reimbursement for healthcare expenditures incurred in connection with the treatment of medical conditions allegedly caused by smoking. The participating manufacturers are also exposed to liability in these cases, because the MSA only settled healthcare cost recovery claims of the participating states. Litigation has also been brought against certain participating manufacturers and their affiliates in foreign countries.
The ultimate outcome of any pending or future lawsuit is uncertain. Verdicts of substantial magnitude that are enforceable as to one or more participating manufacturers, if they occur, could encourage commencement of additional litigation, or could negatively affect perceptions of potential triers of fact with respect to the tobacco industry, possibly to the detriment of pending litigation. An unfavorable outcome or settlement or one or more adverse judgments could result in a decision by the affected participating manufacturers to substantially increase cigarette prices, thereby reducing cigarette consumption beyond the forecasts under the MSA. In addition, the financial condition of any or all of the participating manufacturer defendants could be materially and adversely affected by the ultimate outcome of pending litigation, including bonding and litigation costs or a verdict or verdicts awarding substantial compensatory or punitive damages. Depending upon the magnitude of any such negative financial impact (and irrespective of whether the participating manufacturer is thereby rendered insolvent), an adverse outcome in one or more of the lawsuits could substantially impair the affected participating manufacturer’s ability to make payments under the MSA.
Investments in Municipal Preferred Shares Issued by a Closed-End Fund. A Fund may invest in municipal preferred shares issued by a type of investment company known as a closed-end fund. A closed-end fund may issue municipal preferred shares to raise capital that can be used to purchase more securities for its portfolio. While these municipal preferred shares are equity securities that have a monthly dividend rate payable from the closed-end fund's earnings, they typically pay dividends at a variable rate. This variable dividend rate, among other features, causes preferred shares to have similar characteristics and risks to debt securities, which risks include interest rate risk, credit risk, inflation risk, early redemption risk and reinvestment risk. Certain municipal preferred shares may pay dividends that are tied to an index, such as the SIFMA Municipal Swap Index, whose returns may be impacted as a result of changes in the tax rates and tax statuses of municipal and non-municipal securities, the creditworthiness and supply and demand for municipal securities, and yield compression. Additionally, there is the risk that such index could be modified or discontinued, which could impact the level of dividends paid by municipal preferred shares. Income earned from investments in municipal preferred shares is expected to be exempt from federal income taxes (and, with respect to any such securities issued by single-state municipal closed-end funds, exempt from the applicable state's income tax), and as a result, may be impacted by changes in federal (or state, as applicable) income tax rates or changes in the tax-exempt treatment of that income. While the closed-end funds in which the Funds invest intend to treat municipal preferred shares as equity for federal income tax purposes, there is the risk that the Internal Revenue Service could assert a contrary position, which could result in income from these investments becoming taxable. Municipal preferred shares typically are not freely transferrable and therefore, the market for resale of these shares may be relatively illiquid compared to the market for other types of securities. The Fund may pay transaction fees in connection with acquiring or disposing of the preferred shares. Although these municipal preferred shares will be subordinated to the rights of holders of indebtedness, if any, of the closed-end fund, the municipal preferred shares rank ahead of common shares in claims for dividends and for assets of the issuer in a liquidation or bankruptcy. Investments in municipal preferred shares are subject to the risks associated with the issuing closed-end fund and to limits set forth in the 1940 Act. See “Description of the Funds and Their Investments and Risks — Investment Strategies and Risks — Other Investments — Other Investment Companies” for a discussion of these restrictions.
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Land-Secured or “Dirt” Bonds (Special Tax or Special Assessment Bonds). The Funds may invest in municipal securities that are issued in connection with special taxing districts that are organized to plan and finance infrastructure development to induce residential, commercial and industrial growth and redevelopment. The bonds financed by these methods, such as tax assessment, special tax or tax increment financing generally are payable solely from taxes or other revenues attributable to the specific projects financed by the bonds, without recourse to the credit or taxing power of related or overlapping municipalities.
These projects often are exposed to real estate development-related risks, such as failure of property development, unavailability of financing, extended vacancies of properties, increased competition, limitations on rents, changes in neighborhood values, lessening demand for properties, and changes in interest rates. These real estate risks may be heightened if a project were subject to foreclosure. Additionally, upon foreclosure the Fund might be required to pay certain maintenance or operating expenses or taxes relating to such projects. These expenses could increase the overall expenses of the Fund and reduce its returns.
In addition, the bonds financing these projects may have more taxpayer concentration risk than general tax-supported bonds, such as general obligation bonds. Further, the fees, special taxes, or tax allocations and other revenues that are established to secure such financings generally are limited as to the rate or amount that may be levied or assessed and are not subject to increase pursuant to rate covenants or municipal or corporate guarantees. The bonds could default if a development failed to progress as anticipated of if taxpayers failed to pay the assessments, fees and taxes as provided in the financing plans of the projects.
Investment Grade Debt Obligations. Debt obligations include, among others, bonds, notes, debentures or variable rate demand notes. They may be in U.S. dollar-denominated debt obligations issued or guaranteed by U.S. corporations or U.S. commercial banks, U.S. dollar-denominated obligations of foreign issuers or debt obligations of foreign issuers denominated in foreign currencies.
The Adviser considers investment grade securities to include: (i) securities rated BBB- or higher by S&P or Baa3 or higher by Moody’s or an equivalent rating by another NRSRO, (ii) short-term securities with comparable NRSRO ratings, or (iii) unrated securities determined by the Adviser to be of comparable quality, each at the time of purchase. The descriptions of debt securities ratings are found in Appendix A.
In choosing corporate debt securities on behalf of a Fund, portfolio managers may consider:
i.
general economic and financial conditions;
ii.
the specific issuer’s (a) business and management, (b) cash flow, (c) earnings coverage of interest and dividends, (d) ability to operate under adverse economic conditions, (e) fair market value of assets, and (f) in the case of foreign issuers, unique political, economic or social conditions applicable to such issuer’s country; and,
iii.
other considerations deemed appropriate.
Debt securities are subject to a variety of risks, such as interest rate risk, income risk, prepayment risk, inflation risk, credit risk, currency risk and default risk.
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Non-Investment Grade Debt Obligations (Junk Bonds). Bonds rated below or determined to be below investment grade (as defined above in “Investment Grade Debt Obligations”) are commonly referred to as “junk bonds.” Analysis of the creditworthiness of junk bond issuers is more complex than that of investment-grade issuers and the success of a Fund’s adviser in managing these decisions is more dependent upon its own credit analysis than is the case with investment-grade bonds. Descriptions of debt securities ratings are found in Appendix A.
The capacity of junk bonds to pay interest and repay principal is considered speculative. While junk bonds may provide an opportunity for greater income and gains, they are subject to greater risks than higher-rated debt securities. The prices of and yields on junk bonds may fluctuate to a greater extent than those of higher-rated debt securities. Junk bonds are generally more sensitive to individual issuer developments, economic conditions and regulatory changes than higher-rated bonds. Issuers of junk bonds are often smaller, less-seasoned companies or companies that are highly leveraged with more traditional methods of financing unavailable to them. Junk bonds are generally at a higher risk of default because such issues are often unsecured or otherwise subordinated to claims of the issuer’s other creditors. If a junk bond issuer defaults, a Fund may incur additional expenses to seek recovery. The secondary markets in which junk bonds are traded may be thin and less liquid than the market for higher-rated debt securities and a Fund may have difficulty selling certain junk bonds at the desired time and price. Less liquidity in secondary trading markets could adversely affect the price at which a Fund could sell a particular junk bond, and could cause large fluctuations in the net asset value of that Fund’s shares. The lack of a liquid secondary market may also make it more difficult for a Fund to obtain accurate market quotations in valuing junk bond assets and elements of judgment may play a greater role in the valuation.
Distressed Debt Securities. Distressed debt securities are securities that are the subject of bankruptcy proceedings or otherwise in default or in risk of being in default as to the repayment of principal and/or interest at the time of acquisition by a Fund or that are rated in the lower rating categories by one or more nationally recognized statistical rating organizations (for example, Ca or lower by Moody’s and CC or lower by S&P or Fitch) or, if unrated, are in the judgment of the Adviser or Sub-Adviser of equivalent quality (“Distressed Securities”). Investment in Distressed Securities is speculative and involves significant risks. Each Fund will generally make such investments only when the Adviser or Sub-Adviser believes it is reasonably likely that the issuer of the Distressed Securities will make an exchange offer or will be the subject of a plan of reorganization pursuant to which a Fund will receive new securities in return for the Distressed Securities. However, there can be no assurance that such an exchange offer will be made or that such a plan of reorganization will be adopted. Additionally, a significant period of time may pass between the time at which a Fund makes its investment in Distressed Securities and the time that any such exchange offer or plan of reorganization is completed, if at all. During this period, it is unlikely that a Fund would receive any interest payments on the Distressed Securities, a Fund will be subject to significant uncertainty as to whether or not the exchange offer or plan of reorganization will be completed and a Fund may be required to bear certain extraordinary expenses to protect and recover its investment. Therefore, a Fund’s ability to achieve current income for its shareholders may be diminished. Each Fund also will be subject to significant uncertainty as to when and in what manner and for what value the obligations evidenced by the distressed securities will eventually be satisfied (e.g., through a liquidation of the obligor’s assets, an exchange offer or plan of reorganization involving the distressed securities or a payment of some amount in satisfaction of the obligation). Even if an exchange offer is made or plan of reorganization is adopted with respect to Distressed Securities held by a Fund, there can be no assurance that the securities or other assets received by the Fund in connection with such exchange offer or plan of reorganization will not have a lower value or income potential than may have been anticipated when the investment was made or no value. Moreover, any securities received by a Fund upon completion of an exchange offer or plan of reorganization may be restricted as to resale. Similarly, if a Fund participates in negotiations with respect to any exchange offer or plan of reorganization with respect to an issuer of Distressed Securities, a Fund may be restricted from disposing of such securities. To the extent that a Fund becomes involved in such proceedings, the Fund may have a more active participation in the affairs of the issuer than that assumed generally by an investor. Each Fund, however, will not make investments for the purpose of exercising day-to-day management of any issuer’s affairs.
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Loans, Loan Participations and Assignments. Loans and loan participations are interests in amounts owed by a corporate, governmental or other borrowers to another party. They may represent amounts owed to lenders or lending syndicates, to suppliers of goods or services, or to other parties. A Fund will have the right to receive payments of principal, interest and any fees to which it is entitled only from the lender selling the participation and only upon receipt by the lender of the payments from the borrower. In connection with purchasing participations, a Fund generally will have no right to enforce compliance by the borrower with the terms of the loan agreement relating to the loan, nor any rights of set-off against the borrower, and a Fund may not directly benefit from any collateral supporting the loan in which it has purchased the participation. In connection with purchasing participations, a Fund generally will have no right to enforce compliance by the borrower with the terms of the loan agreement relating to the loan, nor any rights of set-off against the borrower, and a Fund may not directly benefit from any collateral supporting the loan in which it has purchased the participation. As a result, the Fund will be subject to the credit risk of both the borrower and the lender that is selling the participation. In addition, a Fund's rights to consent to modifications of the loan are limited and it is dependent upon the participating lender to enforce the Fund's rights upon a default. As a result, a Fund will be subject to the credit risk of the borrower, the lender, and the agent who is responsible for collection of principal and interest and fee payments from the borrower and apportioning those payments to all lenders who are parties to the loan agreement. In the event of the insolvency of the lender selling a participation, a Fund may be treated as a general creditor of the lender and may not benefit from any set-off between the lender and the borrower. Credit risks relating to the agent may include delay in receiving payments of principal and interest paid by the borrower of the agent. In the event of the borrower's bankruptcy, the borrower's obligation to repay the loan may be subject to defenses that the borrower can assert as a result of improper conduct by the agent.
When a Fund purchases assignments from lenders, it acquires direct rights against the borrower on the loan. However, because assignments are arranged through private negotiations between potential assignees and potential assignors, the rights and obligations acquired by a Fund as the purchaser of an assignment may differ from, and be more limited than, those held by the assigning lender. In addition, if the loan is foreclosed, a Fund could be part owner of any collateral and could bear the costs and liabilities of owning and disposing of the collateral.
Investments in loans, loan participations and assignments present the possibility that a Fund could be held liable as a co-lender under emerging legal theories of lender liability. The Fund anticipates that loans, loan participations and assignments could be sold only to a limited number of institutional investors. If there is no active secondary market for a loan, it may be more difficult to sell the interests in such a loan at a price that is acceptable or to even obtain pricing information. In addition, some loans, loan participations and assignments may not be rated by major rating agencies. Loans held by a Fund might not be considered securities for purposes of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the 1933 Act), or the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the Exchange Act), and therefore a risk exists that purchasers, such as the Fund, may not be entitled to rely on the anti-fraud provisions of those Acts.
The secondary market for certain floating rate loans may be subject to irregular trading activity, wide bid/ask spreads and extended trade settlement periods (in some cases, longer than seven days).
Borrower Covenants and Lender Rights. Loan agreements generally have contractual terms designed to protect Lenders. Loan agreements often include restrictive covenants that limit the activities of the borrower. A restrictive covenant is a promise by the borrower not to take certain actions that might impair the rights of Lenders. Those covenants typically require the scheduled payment of interest and principal and may include restrictions on dividend payments and other distributions to the borrower’s shareholders, provisions requiring the borrower to maintain specific financial ratios or relationships and limits on the borrower’s total debt. In addition, a covenant may require the borrower to prepay the loan or debt obligation with any excess cash flow, proceeds of asset sales or casualty insurance, or other available cash. Excess cash flow generally includes net cash flow after scheduled debt service payments and permitted capital expenditures, among other things, as well as the proceeds from asset dispositions or sales of securities. A breach of a covenant (after the expiration of any cure period) in a loan agreement that is not waived by the Agent and the Lenders normally is an event of default, permitting acceleration of the loan. This means that the Agent has the right to
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demand immediate repayment in full of the outstanding loan. If a loan is not paid when due, or if upon acceleration of a loan, the borrower fails to repay principal and accrued (but unpaid) interest in full, this failure may result in a reduction in value of the loan (and possibly the Fund’s net asset value).
Lenders typically have certain voting and consent rights under a loan agreement. Action subject to a Lender vote or consent generally requires the vote or consent of the holders of some specified percentage of the outstanding principal amount of a loan. Certain decisions, such as reducing the amount or increasing the time for payment of interest on or repayment of principal of a loan, or releasing collateral for the loan, frequently requires the unanimous vote or consent of all Lenders affected.
If the Fund is not a direct lender under the loan because it has invested via a participation, derivative or other indirect means, the Fund may not be entitled to exercise some or all of the Lender rights described in this section.
Floating Rate Corporate Loans and Corporate Debt Securities. Floating rate loans consist generally of obligations of companies and other entities (collectively, borrowers) incurred for the purpose of reorganizing the assets and liabilities of a borrower; acquiring another company; taking over control of a company (leveraged buyout); temporary refinancing; or financing internal growth or other general business purposes. Floating rate loans are often obligations of borrowers who have incurred a significant percentage of debt compared to equity issued and thus are highly leveraged.
Floating rate loans may include both term loans, which are generally fully funded at the time of a Fund’s investment, and revolving loans, which may require a Fund to make additional investments in the loans as required under the terms of the loan agreement. A revolving credit loan agreement may require a Fund to increase its investment in a loan at a time when a Fund might not otherwise have done so, even if the borrower’s condition makes it unlikely that the loan will be repaid.
A floating rate loan is generally offered as part of a lending syndicate to banks and other financial institutions and is administered in accordance with the terms of the loan agreement by an agent bank who is responsible for collection of principal and interest and fee payments from the borrower and apportioning those payments to all lenders who are parties to the agreement. Typically, the agent is given broad discretion to enforce the loan agreement and is compensated by the borrower for its services.
Floating rate loans may be acquired by direct investment as a lender at the inception of the loan or by assignment of a portion of a floating rate loan previously made to a different lender or by purchase of a participation interest. If a Fund makes a direct investment in a loan as one of the lenders, it generally acquires the loan at par. This means a Fund receives a return at the full interest rate for the loan. If a Fund acquires its interest in loans in the secondary market or acquires a participation interest, the loans may be purchased or sold above, at, or below par, which can result in a yield that is below, equal to, or above the stated interest rate of the loan. At times, a Fund may be able to invest in floating rate loans only through assignments or participations.
A participation interest represents a fractional interest in a floating rate loan held by the lender selling a Fund the participation interest. In the case of participations, a Fund will not have any direct contractual relationship with the borrower, a Fund’s rights to consent to modifications of the loan are limited and it is dependent upon the participating lender to enforce each Fund’s rights upon a default.
A Fund may be subject to the credit of both the agent and the lender from whom the Fund acquires a participation interest. These credit risks may include delay in receiving payments of principal and interest paid by the borrower to the agent or, in the case of a participation, offsets by the lender's regulator against payments received from the borrower. In the event of the borrower's bankruptcy, the borrower's obligation to repay the floating rate loan may be subject to defenses that the borrower can assert as a result of improper conduct by the agent.
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Historically, floating rate loans have not been registered with the SEC or any state securities commission or listed on any securities exchange. As a result, the amount of public information available about a specific floating rate loan has been historically less extensive than if the floating rate loan were registered or exchange traded.
Although loan investments are generally subject to certain restrictive covenants in favor of the investor, certain of the loans in which a Fund may invest may be issued or offered as “covenant lite” loans, which have few or no financial maintenance covenants. “Financial maintenance covenants” are those that require a borrower to maintain certain financial metrics during the life of the loan, such as maintaining certain levels of cash flow or limiting leverage. These covenants are included to permit the lender to monitor the borrower’s performance and declare an event of default if breached, allowing the lender to renegotiate the terms of the loan or take other actions intended to help mitigate losses. Accordingly, a Fund may experience relatively greater difficulty or delays in enforcing its rights on its holdings of covenant lite loans than its holdings of loans or securities with financial maintenance covenants, which may result in losses to the Fund, especially during a downturn in the credit cycle. Although covenant lite loans contain few or no financial maintenance covenants, information necessary to monitor a borrower’s financial performance may be available without covenants to lenders and the public alike, and can be used to detect such early warning signs as deterioration of a borrower’s financial condition or results. When such information is available, the Adviser will seek to take appropriate action without the help of covenants in the loans.
Floating rate debt securities are typically in the form of notes or bonds issued in public or private placements in the securities markets. Floating rate debt securities will typically have substantially similar terms to floating rate loans, but will not be in the form of participations or assignments.
The floating rate loans and debt securities in which a Fund invests will, in most instances, be secured and senior to other indebtedness of the borrower. Each floating rate loan and debt security will generally be secured by collateral such as accounts receivable, inventory, equipment, real estate, intangible assets such as trademarks, copyrights and patents, and securities of subsidiaries or affiliates. The value of the collateral generally will be determined by reference to financial statements of the borrower, by an independent appraisal, by obtaining the market value of such collateral, in the case of cash or securities if readily ascertainable, or by other customary valuation techniques considered appropriate by Invesco and/or the Sub-Advisers. The value of collateral may decline after a Fund’s investment, and collateral may be difficult to sell in the event of default. Consequently, the Fund may not receive all the payments to which it is entitled. A Fund’s assets may be invested in unsecured floating rate loans and debt securities or subordinated floating rate loans and debt securities, which may or may not be secured. If the borrower defaults on an unsecured loan or security, there is no specific collateral on which the lender can foreclose. If the borrower defaults on a subordinated loan or security, the collateral may not be sufficient to cover both the senior and subordinated loans and securities.
Most borrowers pay their debts from cash flow generated by their businesses. If a borrower’s cash flow is insufficient to pay its debts, it may attempt to restructure its debts rather than sell collateral. Borrowers may try to restructure their debts by filing for protection under the federal bankruptcy laws or negotiating a work-out. If a borrower becomes involved in a bankruptcy proceeding, access to collateral may be limited by bankruptcy and other laws. If a court decides that access to collateral is limited or voidable, a Fund may not recover the full amount of principal and interest that is due.
A borrower must comply with certain restrictive covenants contained in the loan agreement or indenture (in the case of floating rate debt securities). In addition to requiring the scheduled payment of principal and interest, these covenants may include restrictions on the payment of dividends and other distributions to the borrower’s shareholders, provisions requiring compliance with specific financial ratios, and limits on total indebtedness. The agreement may also require the prepayment of the floating rate loans or debt securities from excess cash flow. A breach of a covenant that is not waived by the agent (or lenders directly) is normally an event of default, which provides the agent and lenders the right to call for repayment of the outstanding floating rate loan or debt security.
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Purchasers of floating rate loans may receive and/or pay certain fees. These fees are in addition to interest payments and may include commitment fees, facility fees, and prepayment penalty fees. When a Fund buys a floating rate loan, it may receive a facility fee, and when it sells a floating rate loan, it may pay an assignment fee.
It is expected that the majority of floating rate loans and debt securities will have stated maturities of three to ten years. However, because floating rate loans and debt securities are frequently prepaid, it is expected that the average maturity will be three to five years. The degree to which borrowers prepay floating rate loans and debt securities, whether as a contractual requirement or at the borrower’s election, may be affected by general business conditions, the borrower’s financial condition and competitive conditions among lenders. Prepayments cannot be predicted with accuracy. Prepayments may result in a Fund’s investing in floating rate loans and debt securities with lower yields.
Investments in loans, loan participations and assignments present the possibility that a Fund could be held liable as a co-lender under emerging legal theories of lender liability. Each Fund anticipates that loans, loan participations and assignments could be sold only to a limited number of institutional investors. If there is no active secondary market for a loan, it may be more difficult to sell the interests in such a loan at a price that is acceptable or to even obtain pricing information. In addition, some loans, loan participations and assignments may not be rated by major rating agencies.  Loans held by the Funds might not be considered securities for the purposes of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the 1933 Act) or the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the Exchange Act), and therefore a risk exists that purchasers, such as the Funds may not be entitled to rely on the anti-fraud provisions of those Acts.
Public Bank Loans. Public bank loans are privately negotiated loans for which information about the issuer has been made publicly available. Public loans are made by banks or other financial institutions, and may be rated investment grade (as defined above in “Investment Grade Debt Obligations”) or below investment grade. However, public bank loans are not registered under the 1933 Act and are not publicly traded. They usually are second lien loans normally lower in priority of payment to senior loans, but have seniority in a company’s capital structure to other claims, such as subordinated corporate bonds or publicly-issued equity so that in the event of bankruptcy or liquidation, the company is required to pay down these second lien loans prior to such other lower-ranked claims on their assets. Bank loans normally pay floating rates that reset frequently, and as a result, protect investors from increases in interest rates.
Bank loans generally are negotiated between a borrower and several financial institutional lenders represented by one or more lenders acting as agent of all the lenders. The agent is responsible for negotiating the loan agreement that establishes the terms and conditions of the loan and the rights of the borrower and the lenders, monitoring any collateral, and collecting principal and interest on the loan. By investing in a loan, a Fund becomes a member of a syndicate of lenders. Certain bank loans are illiquid, meaning the Fund may not be able to sell them quickly at a fair price. Illiquid investments are also difficult to value. To the extent a bank loan has been deemed illiquid, it will be subject to a Fund’s restrictions on illiquid investments. The secondary market for bank loans may be subject to irregular trading activity, wide bid/ask spreads and extended trade settlement periods.
Bank loans are subject to the risk of default. Default in the payment of interest or principal on a loan will result in a reduction of income to a Fund, a reduction in the value of the loan, and a potential decrease in the Fund’s net asset value. The risk of default will increase in the event of an economic downturn or a substantial increase in interest rates. Bank loans are subject to the risk that the cash flow of the borrower and property securing the loan or debt, if any, may be insufficient to meet scheduled payments. As discussed above, however, because bank loans reside higher in the capital structure than high yield bonds, default losses have been historically lower in the bank loan market. Bank loans that are rated below investment grade share the same risks of other below investment grade securities.
Structured Notes and Indexed Securities. Structured notes are derivative debt instruments, the interest rate or principal of which is linked to currencies, interest rates, commodities, indices or other financial indicators (reference instruments). Indexed securities may include structured notes and other securities wherein the interest rate or principal is determined by a reference instrument.
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Most structured notes and indexed securities are fixed income securities that have maturities of three years or less. The interest rate or the principal amount payable at maturity of an indexed security may vary based on changes in one or more specified reference instruments, such as a floating interest rate compared with a fixed interest rate. The reference instrument need not be related to the terms of the indexed security. Structured notes and indexed securities may be positively or negatively indexed (i.e., their principal value or interest rates may increase or decrease if the underlying reference instrument appreciates), and may have return characteristics similar to direct investments in the underlying reference instrument or to one or more options on the underlying reference instrument.
Structured notes and indexed securities may entail a greater degree of market risk than other types of debt securities because the investor bears the risk of the reference instrument. Structured notes or indexed securities also may be more volatile, less liquid, and more difficult to accurately price than less complex securities and instruments or more traditional debt securities. In addition to the credit risk of the structured note or indexed security’s issuer and the normal risks of price changes in response to changes in interest rates, the principal amount of structured notes or indexed securities may decrease as a result of changes in the value of the underlying reference instruments. Further, in the case of certain structured notes or indexed securities in which the interest rate, or exchange rate in the case of currency, is linked to a reference instrument, the rate may be increased or decreased or the terms may provide that, under certain circumstances, the principal amount payable on maturity may be reduced to zero resulting in a loss to the Fund.
U.S. Corporate Debt Obligations. Corporate debt obligations are debt obligations issued or guaranteed by corporations that are denominated in U.S. dollars. Such investments may include, among others, commercial paper, bonds, notes, debentures, variable rate demand notes, master notes, funding agreements and other short-term corporate instruments. Commercial paper consists of short-term promissory notes issued by corporations. Commercial paper may be traded in the secondary market after its issuance. Variable rate demand notes are securities with a variable interest which is readjusted on pre-established dates. Variable rate demand notes are subject to payment of principal and accrued interest (usually within seven days) on a Fund’s demand. Master notes are negotiated notes that permit the investment of fluctuating amounts of money at varying rates of interest pursuant to arrangements with issuers who meet the credit quality criteria of the Fund. The interest rate on a master note may fluctuate based upon changes in specified interest rates or be reset periodically according to a prescribed formula or may be a set rate. Although there is no secondary market in master notes, if such notes have a demand feature, the payee may demand payment of the principal amount of the note upon relatively short notice. Funding agreements are agreements between an insurance company and a Fund covering underlying demand notes. Although there is no secondary market in funding agreements, if the underlying notes have a demand feature, the payee may demand payment of the principal amount of the note upon relatively short notice. Master notes and funding agreements are generally illiquid and therefore subject to the Funds' percentage limitation for illiquid investments.
Duration and Maturity of the Fund’s Portfolio. Duration is a measure of the expected life of a security on a current-value basis expressed in years, using calculations that consider the security’s yield, coupon interest payments, final maturity and call features.
While a debt security’s maturity can be used to measure the sensitivity of the security’s price to changes in interest rates, the term to maturity of a security does not take into account the pattern (or expected pattern) of the security’s payments of interest or principal prior to maturity. Duration, on the other hand, measures the length of the time interval from the present to the time when the interest and principal payments are scheduled to be received (or, in the case of a mortgage-related security, when the interest and principal payments are expected to be received). Duration calculations weigh the present value of each such payment by the time in years until such payment is expected to be received. If the interest payments on a debt security occur prior to the repayment of principal, the duration of the security is less than its stated maturity. For zero-coupon securities, duration and term to maturity are equal. Absent other factors, the lower the stated or coupon rate of interest on a debt security or the longer the maturity or the lower the yield-to-maturity of the
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debt security, the longer the duration of the security. Conversely, the higher the stated or coupon rate of interest, the shorter the maturity or the higher the yield-to-maturity of a debt security, the shorter the duration of the security.
Futures, options and options on futures in general have durations that are closely related to the duration of the securities that underlie them. Holding long futures positions or call option positions (backed by liquid assets) will tend to lengthen the portfolio’s duration.
In some cases the standard effective duration calculation does not properly reflect the interest rate exposure of a security. For example, floating and variable rate securities often have final maturities of ten or more years. However, their exposure to interest rate changes corresponds to the frequency of the times at which their interest coupon rate is reset. In the case of mortgage pass-through securities, the stated final maturity of the security is typically 30 years, but current rates of prepayments are more important to determine the security’s interest rate exposure. In these and other similar situations, the investment adviser will use other analytical techniques that consider the economic life of the security as well as relevant macroeconomic factors (such as historical prepayment rates) in determining the Fund’s effective duration.
Other Investments
Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). REITs are trusts that sell equity or debt securities to investors and use the proceeds to invest in real estate or interest therein. A REIT may focus on particular projects, such as apartment complexes, or geographic regions, such as the southeastern United States or both. Equity REITs invest the majority of their assets directly in real property and derive income primarily from the collection of rents. Equity REITs can also realize capital gains by selling property that has appreciated in value. Mortgage REITs invest the majority of their assets in real estate mortgages and derive income from the collection of interest payments.
Investments in REITs may be subject to many of the same risks as direct investments in real estate. These risks include difficulties in valuing and trading real estate, declines in the value of real estate, risks related to general and local economic conditions, adverse changes in the climate for real estate, environmental liability risks, increases in property taxes and operating expenses, changes in zoning laws, casualty or condemnation losses, limitations on rents, changes in neighborhood values, the appeal of properties to tenants, heavy cash flow dependency and increases in interest rates. To the extent that a Fund invests in REITs, the Fund could conceivably acquire real estate directly as a result of a default on the REIT interests or obligations it owns.
In addition to the risks of direct real estate investment described above, equity REITs may be affected by any 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. REITs are also subject to the following risks: they are dependent upon management skill and on cash flows; are not diversified; are subject to defaults by borrowers, self-liquidation, and the possibility of failing to maintain an exemption from the 1940 Act; and are subject to interest rate risk. A Fund that invests in REITs will bear a proportionate share of the expenses of the REITs.
Furthermore, for tax reasons, a REIT may impose limits on how much of its securities any one investor may own. These ownership limitations (also called “excess share provisions”) may be based on ownership of securities by multiple funds and accounts managed by the same investment adviser and typically result in adverse consequences (such as automatic divesture of voting and dividend rights for shares that exceed the excess share provision) to investors who exceed the limit. A REIT’s excess share provision may result in a Fund being unable to purchase (or otherwise obtain economic exposure to) the desired amounts of certain REITs. In some circumstances, a Fund may seek and obtain a waiver from a REIT to exceed the REIT’s ownership limitations without being subject to the adverse consequences of exceeding such limit were a waiver not obtained, provided that the Fund complies with the provisions of the waiver.
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Other Investment Companies. Unless otherwise indicated in this SAI or in a Fund’s prospectus, a Fund may purchase shares of other investment companies, including exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”), non-exchange traded U.S. registered open-end investment companies (mutual funds), closed-end investment companies, or non-U.S. investment companies traded on foreign exchanges. When a Fund purchases shares of another investment company, the Fund will indirectly bear its proportionate share of the advisory fees and other operating expenses of such investment company and will be subject to the risks associated with the portfolio investments of the underlying investment company.
A Fund’s investment in the securities of other investment companies is subject to the applicable provisions of the 1940 Act and the rules thereunder. Specifically, Section 12(d)(1) of the 1940 Act contains various limitations on the ability of a registered investment company (an “acquiring fund”) to acquire shares of another registered investment company (an “acquired fund”). Under these limits, an acquiring fund generally cannot (i) purchase more than 3% of the total outstanding voting stock of an acquired fund; (ii) invest more than 5% of its total assets in securities issued by an acquired company; and (iii) invest more than 10% of its total assets in securities issued by other investment companies. Likewise, an acquired fund, as well as its principal underwriter or any broker or dealer registered under the Exchange Act, cannot knowingly sell more than 3% of the total outstanding voting stock of the acquired fund to an acquiring fund, or more than 10% of the total outstanding voting stock of the acquired fund to acquiring funds generally.
Rule 12d1-4 under the 1940 Act allows a fund to acquire the securities of another investment company in excess of the limitations imposed by Section 12 without obtaining an exemptive order from the SEC, subject to certain limitations and conditions. Among those conditions is the requirement that, prior to a fund relying on Rule 12d1-4 to acquire securities of another fund in excess of the limits of Section 12(d)(1), the acquiring fund must enter into a Fund of Funds Agreement with the acquired fund. (This requirement does not apply when the acquiring fund’s investment adviser acts as the acquired fund’s investment adviser and does not act as sub-adviser to either fund.)
Rule 12d1-4 also is designed to limit the use of complex fund structures. Under Rule 12d1-4, an acquired fund is prohibited from purchasing or otherwise acquiring the securities of another investment company or private fund if, immediately after the purchase, the securities of investment companies and private funds owned by the acquired fund have an aggregate value in excess of 10% of the value of the acquired fund’s total assets, subject to certain limited exceptions. Accordingly, to the extent a Fund’s shares are sold to other investment companies in reliance on Rule 12d1-4, the Fund will be limited in the amount it could invest in other investment companies and private funds.
In addition to Rule 12d1-4, the 1940 Act and related rules provide other exemptions from these restrictions. For example, these limitations do not apply to investments by a Fund in investment companies that are money market funds, including money market funds that have the Adviser or an affiliate of the Adviser as an investment adviser.
Limited Partnerships. A limited partnership interest entitles the Fund to participate in the investment return of the partnership’s assets as defined by the agreement among the partners. As a limited partner, the Fund generally is not permitted to participate in the management of the partnership. However, unlike a general partner whose liability is not limited, a limited partner’s liability generally is limited to the amount of its commitment to the partnership.
Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs). Certain Funds may invest in MLPs.
MLPs are generally limited partnerships (or limited liability companies), the common units of which are listed and traded on a national securities exchange or over-the-counter. MLPs generally have two classes of partners, the general partner and the limited partners. The general partner normally controls the MLP through an equity interest plus units that are subordinated to the common (publicly traded) units for an initial period and then only converting to common if certain financial tests are met. The general partner also generally receives a larger portion of the net income as incentive. As cash flow grows, the general partner receives a greater interest in the incremental income compared to the interest of limited partners.
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MLP common units represent an equity ownership interest in a partnership, providing limited voting rights and entitling the holder to a share of the company’s success through distributions and/or capital appreciation. Unlike shareholders of a corporation, common unit holders do not elect directors annually and generally have the right to vote only on certain significant events, such as mergers, a sale of substantially all of the assets, removal of the general partner or material amendments to the partnership agreement. MLPs are required by their partnership agreements to distribute a large percentage of their current operating earnings. Common unit holders generally have first right to a minimum quarterly distribution (MQD) prior to distributions to the convertible subordinated unit holders or the general partner (including incentive distributions). Common unit holders typically have arrearage rights if the MQD is not met. In the event of liquidation, MLP common unit holders have first right to the partnership’s remaining assets after bondholders, other debt holders, and preferred unit holders have been paid in full.
The general partner or managing member interest in an MLP is typically retained by the original sponsors of an MLP, such as its founders, corporate partners and entities that sell assets to the MLP. The holder of the general partner or managing member interest can be liable in certain circumstances for amounts greater than the amount of the holder’s investment in the general partner or managing member. General partner or managing member interests often confer direct board participation rights in, and in many cases control over the operations of, the MLP. General partner or managing member interests can be privately held or owned by publicly traded entities. General partner or managing member interests receive cash distributions, typically in an amount of up to 2% of available cash, which is contractually defined in the partnership or limited liability company agreement. In addition, holders of general partner or managing member interests typically receive incentive distribution rights (IDRs), which provide them with an increasing share of the entity’s aggregate cash distributions upon the payment of per common unit distributions that exceed specified threshold levels above the MQD. Incentive distributions to a general partner are designed to encourage the general partner, who controls and operates the partnership, to maximize the partnership’s cash flow and increase distributions to the limited partners. Due to the IDRs, general partners of MLPs have higher distribution growth prospects than their underlying MLPs, but quarterly incentive distribution payments would also decline at a greater rate than the decline rate in quarterly distributions to common and subordinated unit holders in the event of a reduction in the MLP’s quarterly distribution. The ability of the limited partners or members to remove the general partner or managing member without cause is typically very limited. In addition, some MLPs permit the holder of IDRs to reset, under specified circumstances, the incentive distribution levels and receive compensation in exchange for the distribution rights given up in the reset.
Some companies in which a Fund may invest have been organized as limited liability companies (MLP LLCs). Such MLP LLCs generally are treated in the same manner as MLPs for federal income tax purposes (i.e., generally taxed as partnerships). MLP LLC common units trade on a national securities exchange or OTC. In contrast to MLPs, MLP LLCs have no general partner and there are generally no incentives that entitle management or other unitholders to increased percentages of cash distributions as distributions reach higher target levels. In addition, MLP LLC common unitholders typically have voting rights with respect to the MLP LLC, whereas MLP common units have limited voting rights.
Investments in securities of an MLP involve risks that differ from investments in common stock, including risks related to limited control and limited rights to vote on matters affecting the MLP, risks related to potential conflicts of interest between the MLP and the MLP’s general partner, cash flow risks, dilution risks and risks related to the general partner’s right to require unit-holders to sell their common units at an undesirable time or price. Certain MLP securities may trade in lower volumes due to their smaller capitalizations, and may be subject to more abrupt or erratic price movements and lower market liquidity. MLPs are generally considered interest-rate sensitive investments. During periods of interest rate volatility, these investments may not provide attractive returns.
There are also certain tax risks undertaken by a Fund when it invests in MLPs. MLPs are generally treated as partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Partnerships do not pay U.S. federal income tax at the partnership level, subject to the application of certain partnership audit rules. Rather, each partner is allocated a share of the partnership’s income, gains, losses, deductions and expenses. A change in current tax law or a change in the underlying business mix of a given MLP could result in an MLP being treated as a
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corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes, which would result in the MLP being required to pay U.S. federal income tax (as well as state and local income taxes) on its taxable income. This would have the effect of reducing the amount of cash available for distribution by the MLP and could result in a reduction in the value of a Fund’s investment in the MLP and lower income to a Fund. Also, to the extent a distribution received by a Fund from an MLP is treated as a return of capital, a Fund’s adjusted tax basis in the interests of the MLP will be reduced, which may increase a Fund’s tax liability upon the sale of the interests in the MLP or upon subsequent distributions in respect of such interests.
Private Investments in Public Equity. Private investments in public equity (PIPES) are equity securities in a private placement that are issued by issuers who have outstanding, publicly-traded equity securities of the same class. Shares in PIPES generally are not registered with the SEC until after a certain time period from the date the private sale is completed. This restricted period can last many months. Until the public registration process is completed, PIPES are restricted as to resale and the Fund cannot freely trade the securities. Generally, such restrictions cause the PIPES to be illiquid during this time. PIPES may contain provisions that the issuer will pay specified financial penalties to the holder if the issuer does not publicly register the restricted equity securities within a specified period of time, but there is no assurance that the restricted equity securities will be publicly registered, or that the registration will remain in effect.
Private Equity and Debt Investments. Privately issued securities, which include private investments in public equity (PIPEs), and private debt investments, involve an extraordinarily high degree of business and financial risk and can result in substantial or complete losses. Some portfolio companies in which the Fund may invest may be operating at a loss or with substantial variations in operating results from period to period and may need substantial additional capital to support expansion or to achieve or maintain competitive positions. Such companies may face intense competition, including competition from companies with much greater financial resources, much more extensive development, production, marketing and service capabilities and a much larger number of qualified managerial and technical personnel. The Fund can offer no assurance that the marketing efforts of any particular portfolio company will be successful or that its business will succeed. Additionally, privately held companies are not subject to SEC reporting requirements or the reporting requirements of publicly traded companies in applicable jurisdictions, are not required to maintain their accounting records in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and are not required to maintain effective internal controls over financial reporting. As a result, the Adviser may not have timely or accurate information about the business, financial conditions and results of operations of the privately held companies in which the Fund invests. The more limited financial information and lack of publicly available prices require a Fund to determine a fair value for such investments in accordance with the valuation policy approved by the Board and related procedures. Difficulty in valuing such investments may make it difficult to accurately determine a Fund's exposure to privately issued securities. The Fund’s NAV could be adversely affected if the Fund’s determinations regarding the fair value of the Fund’s investments were materially higher than the values that the Fund ultimately realizes upon the disposal of such investments. In addition, input from the Adviser’s investment professionals as part of the Fund’s valuation process could result in a conflict of interest as the Adviser’s management fee is based, in part, on the value of the Fund’s assets.
Investments in private companies may be considered to be illiquid and may be difficult to sell at a desirable time or at the prices at which the Fund has valued the investments. Additional risks include that the Fund could be subject to contingent liabilities in the event a private issuer is acquired by another company during the period it is held by the Fund; and that the company may be using excessive leverage. Privately issued debt securities can often be below investment grade quality and frequently are unrated.
Defaulted Securities. Defaulted securities are debt securities on which the issuer is not currently making interest payments. In order to enforce its rights in defaulted securities, a Fund may be required to participate in legal proceedings or take possession of and manage assets securing the issuer’s obligations on the defaulted securities. This could increase operating expenses and adversely affect net asset value. Risks of defaulted securities may be considerably higher as they are generally unsecured and subordinated to other creditors of the issuer. Investments in defaulted securities generally will also be considered illiquid investments subject to the limitations described herein, except as otherwise may be determined under the Trust’s applicable policies and procedures.
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Variable or Floating Rate Instruments. Variable or floating rate instruments are securities that provide for a periodic adjustment in the interest rate paid on the obligation. The interest rates for securities with variable interest rates are readjusted on set dates (such as the last day of the month or calendar quarter) and the interest rates for securities with floating rates are reset whenever a specified interest rate change occurs. Variable or floating interest rates generally reduce changes in the market price of securities from their original purchase price because, upon readjustment, such rates approximate market rates. Accordingly, as market interest rates decrease or increase, the potential for capital appreciation or depreciation is less for variable or floating rate securities than for fixed rate obligations. Many securities with variable or floating interest rates have a demand feature allowing the Fund to demand payment of principal and accrued interest prior to its maturity. The terms of such demand instruments require payment of principal and accrued interest by the issuer, a guarantor, and/or a liquidity provider. All variable or floating rate instruments will meet the applicable rating standards of the Funds. A Fund’s Adviser, or Sub-Adviser, as applicable, may determine that an unrated floating rate or variable rate demand obligation meets the Fund’s rating standards by reason of being backed by a letter of credit or guarantee issued by a bank that meets those rating standards.
The secondary market for certain floating rate loans may be subject to irregular trading activity, wide bid/ask spreads and extended trade settlement periods (in some cases, longer than seven days).  Certain floating rate loans held by a Fund might not be considered securities for purposes of the Exchange Act and therefore a risk exists that purchasers, such as the Funds, may not be entitled to rely on the antifraud provisions of those Acts.
Premium Securities. Premium securities are securities bearing coupon rates higher than the then prevailing market rates.
Premium securities are typically purchased at a “premium,” in other words, at a price greater than the principal amount payable on maturity. The Fund will not amortize the premium paid for such securities in calculating its net investment income. As a result, in such cases the purchase of premium securities provides the Fund a higher level of investment income distributable to shareholders on a current basis than if the Fund purchased securities bearing current market rates of interest. However, the yield on these securities would remain at the current market rate. If securities purchased by the Fund at a premium are called or sold prior to maturity, the Fund will realize a loss to the extent the call or sale price is less than the purchase price. Additionally, the Fund will realize a loss of principal if it holds such securities to maturity.
Stripped Income Securities. Stripped Income Securities are obligations representing an interest in all or a portion of the income or principal components of an underlying or related security, a pool of securities, or other assets. Stripped income securities may be partially stripped so that each class receives some interest and some principal. However, they may be completely stripped, where one class will receive all of the interest (the interest-only class or the IO class), while the other class will receive all of the principal (the principal-only class or the PO class).
The market values of stripped income securities tend to be more volatile in response to changes in interest rates than are conventional income securities. In the case of mortgage-backed stripped income securities, the yields to maturity of IOs and POs may be very sensitive to principal repayments (including prepayments) on the underlying mortgages resulting in a Fund being unable to recoup its initial investment or resulting in a less than anticipated yield. The market for stripped income securities may be limited, making it difficult for the Fund to dispose of its holdings at an acceptable price.
Privatizations. The governments of certain foreign countries have, to varying degrees, embarked on privatization programs to sell part or all of their interests in government owned or controlled companies or enterprises (privatizations). A Fund’s investments in such privatizations may include: (i) privately negotiated investments in a government owned or controlled company or enterprise; (ii) investments in the initial offering of equity securities of a government owned or controlled company or enterprise; and (iii) investments in the securities of a government owned or controlled company or enterprise following its initial equity offering.
In certain foreign countries, the ability of foreign entities such as the Fund to participate in privatizations may be limited by local law, or the terms on which the Fund may be permitted to participate may be less
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advantageous than those for local investors. There can be no assurance that foreign governments will continue to sell companies and enterprises currently owned or controlled by them, that privatization programs will be successful, or that foreign governments will not re-nationalize companies or enterprises that have been privatized. If large blocks of these enterprises are held by a small group of stockholders the sale of all or some portion of these blocks could have an adverse effect on the price.
Participation Notes. Participation notes, also known as participation certificates, are issued by banks or broker-dealers and are designed to replicate the performance of foreign companies or foreign securities markets and can be used by the Fund as an alternative means to access the securities market of a country. Participation notes are generally traded OTC. The performance results of participation notes will not replicate exactly the performance of the foreign company or foreign securities market that they seek to replicate due to transaction and other expenses. Investments in participation notes involve the same risks associated with a direct investment in the underlying foreign companies or foreign securities market that they seek to replicate. In addition, participation notes are subject to counterparty risk, currency risk and reinvestment risk. Counterparty risk is the risk that the broker-dealer or bank that issues them will not fulfill its contractual obligation to complete the transaction with the Fund. Participation notes constitute general unsecured contractual obligations of the banks or broker-dealers that issue them, and a Fund is relying on the creditworthiness of such banks or broker-dealers and has no rights under a participation note against the issuer of the underlying assets. Additionally, there is a currency risk since the dollar value of the Fund’s foreign investments will be affected by changes in the exchange rates between the dollar and (a) the currencies in which the notes are denominated, such as euro denominated participation notes, and (b) the currency of the country in which the foreign company sits. Also, there is a reinvestment risk because the amounts from the note may be reinvested in a less valuable investment when the note matures.
Investment Techniques
Forward Commitments, When-Issued and Delayed Delivery Securities. A Fund may purchase and sell securities on a forward commitment when-issued and delayed delivery basis whereby the Fund buys or sells a security with payment and delivery taking place in the future. Securities purchased or sold on a forward commitment, when-issued or delayed delivery basis involve delivery and payment that take place in the future after the trade date or the date of the commitment to purchase or sell the securities at a pre-determined price and/or yield. Settlement of such transactions normally occurs a month or more after the purchase or sale commitment is made. Typically, no interest accrues to the purchaser until the security is delivered. Forward commitments include “to be announced” (TBA) transactions, which are contracts for the purchase and sale of mortgage-backed securities issued or guaranteed by certain U.S. agencies or government sponsored enterprises for delivery at a future settlement date agreed upon by the two parties to the transaction, which is typically a month or more after the trade date of the transaction. On the trade date of a TBA transaction, the counterparties agree upon certain criteria for the securities that are to be delivered, including the issuer, maturity, coupon, face value and price, but the precise securities to be delivered are not specified. Instead, the actual securities to be delivered, which must satisfy the specified criteria, are communicated by the seller to the buyer shortly before the agreed upon settlement date. Although a Fund generally intends to acquire or dispose of securities on a forward commitment, when-issued or delayed delivery basis, a Fund may instead sell these securities or its commitment before the settlement date if deemed advisable. This will frequently be the case for TBA transactions and other forward-settling mortgage-backed securities transactions. No specific limitation exists as to the percentage of the Fund’s assets which may be used to acquire securities on a when-issued and delayed delivery basis.
When purchasing a security on a forward commitment, when-issued or delayed delivery basis, a Fund assumes the risks of ownership of the security, including the risk of price and yield fluctuations, and takes such fluctuations into account when determining its net asset value. Securities purchased on a forward commitment, when-issued or delayed delivery basis are subject to changes in value based upon the public’s perception of the creditworthiness of the issuer and changes, real or anticipated, in the level of interest rates. Accordingly, securities acquired on such a basis may expose a Fund to risks because they may experience such fluctuations prior to actual delivery. Purchasing securities on a forward commitment, when-issued or
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delayed delivery basis may involve the additional risk that the yield available in the market when the delivery takes place actually may be higher than that obtained in the transaction itself.
Many forward commitments, when-issued and delayed delivery transactions, including TBAs, are also subject to the risk that a counterparty may become bankrupt or otherwise fail to perform its obligations due to financial difficulties, including making payments or fulfilling delivery obligations to a Fund. A Fund may obtain no or only limited recovery in a bankruptcy or other reorganizational proceedings, and any recovery may be significantly delayed. With respect to TBA transactions and other forward-settling mortgage-backed securities transactions, the counterparty risk may be mitigated by the exchange of variation margin between the counterparties on a regular basis as the market value of the deliverable security fluctuates.
Investment in these types of securities may increase the possibility that the Fund will incur short-term gains subject to federal taxation or short-term losses if the Fund must engage in portfolio transactions in order to honor its commitment. In the case of a purchase transaction, the delayed delivery securities, which will not begin to accrue interest or dividends until the settlement date, will be recorded as an asset of a Fund and will be subject to the risk of market fluctuation. The purchase price of the delayed delivery securities is a liability of a Fund until settlement. TBA transactions and other forward-settling mortgage-backed securities transactions may be effected pursuant to a collateral agreement with the counterparty under which the parties exchange collateral consisting of cash or liquid securities in an amount as specified by the agreement that is based on the change in the market value of the TBA transactions governed by the agreement. A Fund or the counterparty will make payments throughout the term of the transaction as collateral values fluctuate to maintain full collateralization for the term of the transaction. Collateral will be marked-to-market every business day. If the counterparty defaults on the transaction or declares bankruptcy or insolvency, a Fund might incur expenses in enforcing its rights, or the Fund might experience delay and costs in recovering collateral or may suffer a loss if the value of the collateral declines.
Short Sales.  The Funds may engage in short sales that the Fund owns or has the right to obtain (short sales against the box). Invesco High Yield Municipal Fund, Invesco Intermediate Term Municipal Income Fund, Invesco Limited Term Municipal Income Fund and Invesco Municipal Income Fund will not sell a security short that it does not own if, as a result of such short sale, the aggregate market value of such securities sold short exceeds 10% of the Fund’s total assets.
A short sale involves the sale of a security which a Fund does not own in the hope of purchasing the same security at a later date at a lower price. To make delivery to the buyer, the Fund must borrow the security from a broker. A Fund normally closes a short sale by purchasing an equivalent number of shares of the borrowed security on the open market and delivering them to the broker. A short sale is typically effected when the Fund’s Adviser believes that the price of a particular security will decline. Open short positions using options, futures, swaps or forward foreign currency contracts are not deemed to constitute selling securities short.
To secure its obligation to deliver the securities sold short to the broker and repay the securities borrowed, a Fund will be required to deposit cash or liquid securities with the broker as collateral. In addition, a Fund may have to pay a fee or rate of interest to borrow the securities, and while the loan of the security sold short is outstanding, the Fund is required to pay to the broker the amount of any dividends paid on shares sold short. The collateral pledged by the Fund to the broker in connection with short sales will be marked to market daily. The collateral pledged does not have the effect of limiting the amount of money that a Fund may lose on a short sale.
Short positions create a risk that the Fund will be required to cover them by buying the security at a time when the security has appreciated in value, thus resulting in a loss to the Fund. A short position in a security poses more risk than holding the same security long. Because a short position loses value as the security’s price increases, the loss on a short sale is theoretically unlimited. The loss on a long position is limited to what the Fund originally paid for the security together with any transaction costs. A Fund may not always be able to borrow a security a Fund seeks to sell short at a particular time or at an acceptable price. It is possible that the market value of the securities the Fund holds in long positions will decline at the same time that the market value of the securities the Fund has sold short increases, thereby increasing the Fund’s potential
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volatility and losses. Because a Fund may be required to pay dividends, interest, premiums and other expenses in connection with a short sale, any benefit for the Fund resulting from the short sale will be decreased, and the amount of any ultimate gain or loss will be decreased or increased, respectively, by the amount of such expenses.
Short sales against the box are short sales of securities that a Fund owns or has the right to obtain (equivalent in kind or amount to the securities sold short). If a Fund enters into a short sale against the box, it will be required to set aside securities equivalent in kind and amount to the securities sold short (or securities convertible or exchangeable into such securities) and will be required to hold such securities while the short sale is outstanding. The Fund will incur transaction costs, including fees or interest expenses, in connection with opening, maintaining, and closing short sales against the box.
Short sales against the box result in a “constructive sale” and require a Fund to recognize any taxable gain unless an exception to the constructive sale applies. See “Dividends, Distributions and Tax Matters — Tax Matters — Tax Treatment of Portfolio Transactions — Options, futures, forward contracts, swap agreements and hedging transactions.”
Margin Transactions. None of the Funds will purchase any security on margin, except that each Fund may obtain such short-term credits as may be necessary for the clearance of purchases and sales of portfolio securities. The payment by a Fund of initial or variation margin in connection with futures, swaps or options transactions and the use of a reverse repurchase agreement to finance the purchase of a security will not be considered the purchase of a security on margin.
Interfund Loans. The SEC has issued an exemptive order permitting the Invesco Funds to borrow money from and lend money to each other for temporary or emergency purposes. The Invesco Funds’ interfund lending program is subject to a number of conditions, including the requirements that: (1) an interfund loan generally will occur only if the interest rate on the loan is more favorable to the borrowing fund than the interest rate typically available from a bank for a comparable transaction and the rate is more favorable to the lending fund than the rate available on overnight repurchase transactions; (2) an Invesco Fund may not lend more than 15% of its net assets through the program (measured at the time of the last loan); and (3) an Invesco Fund may not lend more than 5% of its net assets to another Invesco Fund through the program (measured at the time of the loan). A Fund may participate in the program only if and to the extent that such participation is consistent with the Fund’s investment objective and investment policies. Interfund loans have a maximum duration of seven days. Loans may be called with one day’s notice and may be repaid on any day.
Borrowing. The Funds may borrow money to the extent permitted under the 1940 Act Laws, Interpretations and Exemptions (defined below) and Fund Policies. Such borrowings may be utilized (i) for temporary or emergency purposes; (ii) in anticipation of or in response to adverse market conditions; or, (iii) for cash management purposes. The prospectus may specify other reasons for which such borrowings may be utilized. All borrowings are limited to an amount not exceeding 33 1/3% of a Fund’s total assets (including the amount borrowed) less liabilities (other than borrowings). Any borrowings that exceed this amount will be reduced within three business days to the extent necessary to comply with the 33 1/3% limitation even if it is not advantageous to sell securities at that time.
If there are unusually heavy redemptions, a Fund may have to sell a portion of its investment portfolio at a time when it may not be advantageous to do so. Selling Fund securities under these circumstances may result in a lower net asset value per share or decreased dividend income, or both. Invesco and the Sub-Advisers believe that, in the event of abnormally heavy redemption requests, a Fund’s borrowing ability would help to mitigate any such effects and could make the forced sale of their portfolio securities less likely.
Invesco Limited Term Municipal Income Fund may also borrow money to purchase additional securities when Invesco or the Sub-Adviser deems it advantageous to do so, which gives the Fund greater flexibility to purchase securities for investment or tax reasons and not to be dependent on cash flows.  To the extent borrowing costs exceed the return on the additional investments; the return realized by the Fund’s shareholders will be adversely affected.  The Fund’s borrowing to purchase additional securities creates an
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opportunity for a greater total return to the Fund, but, at the same time, increases exposure to losses.  The Fund’s willingness to borrow money for investment purposes, and the amount it borrows depends upon many factors, including investment outlook, market conditions and interest rates.  Successful use of borrowed money to purchase additional investments depends on Invesco’s or the Sub-Adviser’s ability to predict correctly interest rates and market movements; such a strategy may not be successful during any period in which it is employed. 
The Funds may borrow from a bank, broker-dealer, or another Invesco Fund. Additionally, the Funds are permitted to temporarily carry a negative or overdrawn balance in their account with their custodian bank. To compensate the custodian bank for such overdrafts, the Funds may either (i) leave funds as a compensating balance in their account so the custodian bank can be compensated by earning interest on such funds; or (ii) compensate the custodian bank by paying it an agreed upon rate.
The Funds, except for Invesco Limited Term Municipal Income Fund, participate in a secured line of credit (the “Line of Credit”) with certain commercial paper conduits as lenders, Citibank, N.A., 111 Wall Street, New York, New York 10005, as a secondary lender and administrator, and other banks, each as lenders from time to time. The Line of Credit enables the Funds to participate with certain other affiliated funds, as borrowers, in a committed, secured borrowing facility that permits borrowings of up to a maximum aggregate amount by the participants, as negotiated from time to time. Borrowings by the Funds under the Line of Credit can be used to purchase securities for investment or for other purposes. The Funds’ Board determined that each Fund’s participation in the Line of Credit is consistent with the Fund’s investment objective and policies and is in the best interests of the Fund and its shareholders.
Under the Line of Credit, in the event that the commercial paper conduit lenders are unable or unwilling to make loans, Citibank, N.A. and the other bank lenders, if any, would then be required to make those loans. Under the Line of Credit, interest is charged to a Fund, based on its borrowings, at current commercial rates. Additionally, a Fund will pay its pro rata portion of a loan commitment fee for the Line of Credit, and pays additional fees annually to the lenders on its outstanding borrowings for management and administration of the facility. A Fund can prepay loans and terminate its participation in the Line of Credit at any time upon prior notice to Citibank, N.A. As a borrower under the Line of Credit, a Fund has certain rights and remedies under state and federal law comparable to those it would have with respect to a loan from a bank.
Lending Portfolio Securities. Each Fund may lend its portfolio securities (principally to broker-dealers) to generate additional income. Such loans are callable at any time and are continuously secured by segregated collateral equal to no less than the market value, determined daily, of the loaned securities. Such collateral will be cash, letters of credit, or debt securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government or any of its agencies. Each Fund may lend portfolio securities to the extent of one-third of its total assets. A Fund will loan its securities only to parties that Invesco has determined are in good standing and when, in Invesco’s judgment, the potential income earned would justify the risks.
Although voting rights may pass with the lending of portfolio securities, a Fund will be entitled to call loaned securities, or otherwise obtain rights to vote or consent, when deemed necessary by Invesco with respect to a material event affecting securities on loan. The Fund would receive income in lieu of dividends on loaned securities and may, at the same time, generate income on the loan collateral or on the investment of any cash collateral.
If the borrower defaults on its obligation to return the securities loaned because of insolvency or other reasons, a Fund could experience delays and costs in recovering securities loaned or gaining access to the collateral. If the Fund is not able to recover the securities loaned, the Fund may sell the collateral and purchase a replacement security in the market. Lending securities entails a risk of loss to the Fund if and to the extent that the market value of the loaned securities increases and the collateral is not increased accordingly.
Any cash received as collateral for loaned securities will be invested, in accordance with a Fund’s investment guidelines, in short-term money market instruments, affiliated unregistered investment companies that are compliant with Rule 2a-7 or Affiliated Money Market Funds. Investing this cash subjects that
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investment to market appreciation or depreciation. For purposes of determining whether a Fund is complying with its investment policies, strategies and restrictions, the Fund will consider the loaned securities as assets of the Fund, but will not consider any collateral received as a Fund asset. The Fund will bear any loss on the investment of cash collateral.
For a discussion of tax considerations relating to lending portfolio securities, see “Dividends, Distributions and Tax Matters — Tax Matters — Tax Treatment of Portfolio Transactions — Securities Lending.”
Repurchase Agreements. The Fund may engage in repurchase agreement transactions involving the types of securities in which it is permitted to invest. Repurchase agreements are agreements under which a Fund purchases a security from a broker-dealer or bank that agrees to repurchase that security at a mutually agreed upon time and price (which is higher than the purchase price), thereby resulting in a yield to the Fund during a Fund’s holding period. A Fund may enter into a “continuing contract” or “open” repurchase agreement under which the seller is under a continuing obligation to repurchase the underlying securities from the Fund on demand and the effective interest rate is negotiated on a daily basis. Repurchase agreements may be viewed as loans made by a Fund which are collateralized by the securities subject to repurchase.
In any repurchase agreement, the securities that are subject to the transaction may be obligations issued by the U.S. government or its agencies or instrumentalities. The Funds may also engage in repurchase agreements collateralized by non-government securities that are rated investment grade or below investment grade by the requisite NRSROs or unrated securities of comparable quality, loan participations, and equities.
If the seller of a repurchase agreement fails to repurchase the security in accordance with the terms of the agreement, a Fund might incur expenses in enforcing its rights, and could experience a loss on the sale of the security subject to the repurchase agreement to the extent that the sale proceeds including accrued interest are less than the resale price provided in the repurchase agreement, including interest. In addition, although the Bankruptcy Code and other insolvency laws may provide certain protections for some types of repurchase agreements, if the seller of a repurchase agreement should be involved in bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings, a Fund may incur delay and costs in selling the underlying security or may suffer a loss of principal and interest if the value of the underlying security declines or the Fund may be deemed to be an unsecured creditor and be required to return the securities to the seller.
The Funds may enter into repurchase agreements that involve securities that may be subject to a court-ordered or other “stay” in the event of the seller’s bankruptcy or insolvency. A “stay” will prevent a Fund from selling the securities it holds under a repurchase agreement until permitted by a court or other authority. In these situations a Fund may be subject to greater risk that the value of the securities may decline before they are sold, and that a Fund may experience a loss.
The securities underlying a repurchase agreement will be marked-to-market every business day, and if the value of the securities falls below a specified percentage of the repurchase price (typically 102%), the counterparty will be required to deliver additional collateral to a Fund in the form of cash or additional securities. Custody of the securities will be maintained by a Fund’s custodian or sub-custodian for the duration of the agreement.
The Funds may invest their cash balances in joint accounts with other Invesco Funds for the purpose of investing in repurchase agreements with maturities not to exceed 60 days, and in certain other money market instruments with remaining maturities not to exceed 90 days. Repurchase agreements may be considered loans by a Fund under the 1940 Act.
Restricted and Illiquid Investments. The Funds 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.
For purposes of the above 15% limitation, an illiquid investment means any investment that the 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, as determined pursuant to the 1940 Act and applicable rules and regulations thereunder.  Illiquid investments may include a wide variety of investments, such as, for example: (1) repurchase agreements maturing in more than seven
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days (unless the agreements have demand/redemption features); (2) OTC options contracts and certain other derivatives (including certain swap agreements); (3) fixed time deposits that are not subject to prepayment or that provide for withdrawal penalties upon prepayment (other than overnight deposits); (4) loan interests and other direct debt instruments; (5) municipal lease obligations; (6) commercial paper issued pursuant to Section 4(2) of the 1933 Act; and (7) securities that are unregistered, that can be sold to qualified institutional buyers in accordance with Rule 144A under the 1933 Act, or that are exempt from registration under the 1933 Act or otherwise restricted under the federal securities laws, including private placement securities sold pursuant to Regulation S. 
Limitations on the resale of restricted investments may have an adverse effect on their marketability, which may prevent a Fund from disposing of them promptly at reasonable prices. The Fund may have to bear the expense of registering such securities for resale, and the risk of substantial delays in effecting such registrations. A Fund’s difficulty valuing and selling restricted securities or illiquid investments may result in a loss or be costly to the Fund.
If a substantial market develops for a restricted security or illiquid investment held by a Fund, it may be treated as a liquid investment, in accordance with procedures and guidelines adopted by the Board on behalf of the Funds.
Regulation S Securities. Regulation S securities of U.S. and non-U.S. issuers are offered through private offerings without registration with the SEC pursuant to Regulation S of the 1933 Act. Offerings of Regulation S securities may be conducted outside of the United States, and Regulation S securities may be relatively less liquid as a result of legal or contractual restrictions on resale. Although Regulation S securities may be resold in privately negotiated transactions, the price realized from these sales could be less than that originally paid by a Fund. Further, companies whose securities are not publicly traded may not be subject to the disclosure and other investor protection requirements that would be applicable if their securities were publicly traded. Accordingly, Regulation S securities may involve a high degree of business and financial risk and may result in substantial losses.
Rule 144A Securities. Rule 144A securities are securities which, while privately placed, are eligible for purchase and resale pursuant to Rule 144A under the 1933 Act. This Rule permits certain qualified institutional buyers, such as the Funds, to trade in privately placed securities even though such securities are not registered under the 1933 Act. Pursuant to Rule 22e-4 under the 1940 Act, a Fund will consider whether securities purchased under Rule 144A are illiquid and thus subject to the Fund’s restriction on illiquid investments. The determination of whether a Rule 144A security is liquid or illiquid will take into account relevant market trading, and investment-specific considerations consistent with applicable SEC guidance. Additional factors that may be considered include the (i) frequency of trades and quotes; (ii) number of dealers and potential purchasers; (iii) dealer undertakings to make a market; and (iv) nature of the security and of market place trades (for example, the time needed to dispose of the security, the method of soliciting offers and the mechanics of transfer). Investing in Rule 144A securities could increase the amount of a Fund’s illiquid investments if qualified institutional buyers are unwilling to purchase such securities.
Reverse Repurchase Agreements. The Funds may engage in reverse repurchase agreements. Reverse repurchase agreements are agreements that involve the sale of securities held by a Fund to financial institutions such as banks and broker-dealers, with an agreement that the Fund will repurchase the securities at an agreed upon price and date or upon demand. During the reverse repurchase agreement period, the Fund continues to receive interest and principal payments on the securities sold, but pays interest to the other party on the proceeds received. A Fund may employ reverse repurchase agreements (i) for temporary emergency purposes, such as to meet unanticipated net redemptions so as to avoid liquidating other portfolio securities during unfavorable market conditions; (ii) to cover short-term cash requirements resulting from the timing of trade settlements; or (iii) to take advantage of market situations where the interest income to be earned from the investment of the proceeds of the transaction is greater than the interest expense of the transaction.
Reverse repurchase agreements are a form of leverage and involve the risk that the market value of securities to be repurchased by the Fund may decline below the price at which the Fund is obligated to
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repurchase the securities, resulting in a requirement for the Fund to deliver margin to the other party in the amount of the related shortfall, or that the other party may default on its obligation, so that the Fund is delayed or prevented from completing the transaction. Leverage may make the Fund’s returns more volatile and increase the risk of loss. In the event the buyer of securities under a reverse repurchase agreement files for bankruptcy or becomes insolvent, a Fund’s use of the proceeds from the sale of the securities may be restricted pending a determination by the other party, or its trustee or receiver, whether to enforce the Fund’s obligation to repurchase the securities.
Mortgage Dollar Rolls. A dollar roll is a type of transaction that involves the sale by a Fund of a mortgage-backed security to a financial institution such as a bank or broker dealer, with an agreement that the Fund will repurchase a substantially similar (i.e., same type, coupon and maturity) security at an agreed upon price and date. The mortgage securities that are purchased will bear the same interest rate as those sold, but will generally be collateralized by different pools of mortgages with different prepayment histories. During the period between the sale and repurchase, a Fund will not be entitled to receive interest or principal payments on the securities sold but is compensated for the difference between the current sales price and the forward price for the future purchase. A Fund typically enters into a dollar roll transaction to enhance the Fund’s return either on an income or total return basis or to manage pre-payment risk.
Dollar roll transactions involve the risk that the market value of the securities retained by a Fund may decline below the price of the securities that the Fund has sold but is obligated to repurchase under the agreement. In the event the buyer of securities under a dollar roll transaction files for bankruptcy or becomes insolvent, a Fund’s use of the proceeds from the sale of the securities may be restricted pending a determination by the other party, or its trustee or receiver, whether to enforce the Fund’s obligation to repurchase the securities.
Unless the benefits of the sale exceed the income, capital appreciation or gains on the securities sold as part of the dollar roll, the investment performance of a Fund will be less than what the performance would have been without the use of dollar rolls. The benefits of dollar rolls may depend upon the Adviser or Sub-Adviser’s ability to predict mortgage repayments and interest rates. There is no assurance that dollar rolls can be successfully employed.
Standby Commitments. Certain Funds may acquire securities that are subject to standby commitments from banks or other municipal securities dealers. Under a standby commitment a bank or dealer would agree to purchase, at the Fund’s option, specified securities at a specified price. Standby commitments generally increase the cost of the acquisition of the underlying security, thereby reducing the yield. Standby commitments depend upon the issuer’s ability to fulfill its obligation upon demand. Although no definitive creditworthiness criteria are used for this purpose, Invesco reviews the creditworthiness of the banks and other municipal securities dealers from which the Funds obtain standby commitments in order to evaluate those risks.
Contracts for Difference. A contract for difference (CFD) is a contract between two parties, buyer and seller, stipulating that the seller will pay to the buyer the difference between the nominal value of the underlying stock, stock basket or index at the opening of the contract and the stock’s, stock basket’s or index’s value at the close of the contract. The size of the contract and the contract’s expiration date are typically negotiated by the parties to the CFD transaction. CFDs enable a Fund to take long positions on an underlying stock, stock basket or index and thus potentially capture gains on movements in the share prices of the stock, stock basket or index without the need to own the underlying stock, stock basket or index. By entering into a CFD transaction, a Fund could incur losses because it would face many of the same types of risks as owning the underlying equity security directly. For example, a Fund might buy a position in a CFD and the contract value at the close of the transaction may be greater than the contract value at the opening of the transaction. This may be due to, among other factors, an increase in the market value of the underlying equity security. In such a situation, a Fund would have to pay the difference in value of the contract to the seller of the CFD. CFDs also carry counterparty risk, i.e., the risk that the counterparty to the CFD transaction may be unable or unwilling to make payments or to otherwise honor its financial obligations under the terms of the contract. If the counterparty were to do so, the value of the contract, and of a Fund’s shares, may be reduced.
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Entry into a CFD transaction may, in certain circumstances, require the payment of an initial margin, and adverse market movements against the underlying stock may require the buyer to make additional margin payments. CFDs may be considered illiquid by the SEC staff and subject to the limitations on illiquid investments. To the extent that there is an imperfect correlation between the return on a Fund’s obligation to its counterparty under the CFD and the return on related assets in its portfolio, the CFD transaction may increase such Fund’s financial risk. A Fund will not enter into a CFD transaction that is inconsistent with its investment objective, policies and strategies.
Derivatives
A derivative is a financial instrument whose value is dependent upon the value of other assets, rates or indices, referred to as “underlying reference assets.” These underlying reference assets may include, among others commodities, stocks, bonds, interest rates, currency exchange rates or related indices. Derivatives include, among others, swaps, options, futures and forward foreign currency contracts. Some derivatives, such as futures and certain options, are traded on U.S. commodity and securities exchanges, while other derivatives, such as many types of swap agreements, are privately negotiated and entered into in the OTC market. In addition, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (the Dodd-Frank Act) and implementing rules require certain types of swaps to be traded on public execution facilities and centrally cleared.
Derivatives may be used for “hedging,” which means that they may be used when the portfolio managers seek to protect the Fund’s investments from a decline in value, which could result from changes in interest rates, market prices, currency fluctuations and other market factors. Derivatives may also be used when the portfolio managers seek to increase liquidity, implement a tax or cash management strategy, invest in a particular stock, bond or segment of the market in a more efficient or less expensive way, modify the characteristics of the Fund’s portfolio investments, for example, duration, and/or to enhance return. However derivatives are used, their successful use is not assured and will depend upon, among other factors, the portfolio managers’ ability to predict and understand relevant market movements.
Certain derivatives involve leverage, that is, the amount invested may be smaller than the full economic exposure of the derivative instrument and the Fund could lose more than it invested. The leverage involved in these derivative transactions may result in the Fund’s net asset value being more sensitive to changes in the value of its investments.
Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) Regulation and Exclusions:
With respect to the Funds, Invesco has claimed an exclusion from the definition of “commodity pool operator” (CPO) under the CEA and the rules of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and, therefore, is not subject to CFTC registration or regulation as a CPO. In addition, Invesco is relying upon a related exclusion from the definition of “commodity trading advisor” (CTA) under the CEA and the rules of the CFTC with respect to the Funds.
The terms of the CPO exclusion require the Funds, among other things, to adhere to certain limits on their investments in “commodity interests.” Commodity interests include commodity futures, commodity options and swaps, which in turn include non-deliverable forwards, as further described below. Because Invesco and the Funds intend to comply with the terms of the CPO exclusion, the Funds may, in the future, need to adjust their investment strategies, consistent with their investment objectives, to limit their investments in these types of instruments. The Funds are not intended as vehicles for trading in the commodity futures, commodity options or swaps markets. The CFTC has neither reviewed nor approved Invesco’s reliance on these exclusions, or the Funds, their investment strategies, their prospectuses or this SAI.
Generally, the exclusion from CPO regulation on which Invesco relies requires the Funds to meet one of the following tests for their commodity interest positions, other than positions entered into for bona fide hedging purposes (as defined in the rules of the CFTC): either (1) the aggregate initial margin and premiums required to establish the Fund’s positions in commodity interests may not exceed 5% of the liquidation value of the Fund’s portfolio (after taking into account unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such
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positions); or (2) the aggregate net notional value of each Fund’s commodity interest positions, determined at the time the most recent such position was established, may not exceed 100% of the liquidation value of the Fund’s portfolio (after taking into account unrealized profits and unrealized losses on any such positions). In addition to meeting one of these trading limitations, each Fund may not market itself as a commodity pool or otherwise as a vehicle for trading in the commodity futures, commodity options or swaps markets. If, in the future, a Fund can no longer satisfy these requirements, Invesco would withdraw its notice claiming an exclusion from the definition of a CPO, and Invesco would be subject to registration and regulation as a CPO with respect to the Fund, in accordance with the CFTC rules that allow for substituted compliance with CFTC disclosure and shareholder reporting requirements based on Invesco’s compliance with comparable SEC requirements. However, as a result of CFTC regulation with respect to the Fund, a Fund may incur additional compliance and other expenses.
General risks associated with derivatives:
The use by the Funds of derivatives may involve certain risks, as described below.
Counterparty Risk: The risk that a counterparty under a derivatives agreement will not live up to its obligations, including because of the counterparty’s bankruptcy or insolvency. Certain agreements may not contemplate delivery of collateral to support fully a counterparty’s contractual obligation; therefore, the Fund might need to rely solely on contractual remedies to satisfy the counterparty’s full obligation. As with any contractual remedy, there is no guarantee that the Fund will be successful in pursuing such remedies, particularly in the event of the counterparty’s bankruptcy or insolvency. Many derivative trading agreements, such as an ISDA Master Agreement governing OTC swaps, provide for netting of derivatives transactions governed by the agreement in the event of a default by either counterparty, pursuant to which the Fund’s and the counterparty’s obligations under the relevant transactions can be netted and set-off against each other, in which case a Fund’s obligation or right will be the net amount owed to or by the counterparty. Netting agreements are intended to function as a counterparty credit risk mitigant, but in the case of a bankruptcy or insolvency of the relevant counterparty, are subject to the risk that the insolvency regime applicable to the counterparty might not recognize the enforceability of the contractual netting provisions. The Fund will not enter into a derivative transaction with any counterparty that Invesco and/or the Sub-Advisers believe does not have the financial resources to honor its obligations under the transaction. Invesco monitors the financial stability of counterparties. Where the obligations of the counterparty are guaranteed, Invesco monitors the financial stability of the guarantor and the counterparty. If a counterparty’s creditworthiness declines, the value of the derivative would also likely decline, potentially resulting in losses to the Fund.
Leverage Risk: Leverage exists when the Fund can lose more than it originally invests because it purchases or sells an instrument or enters into a transaction without investing an amount equal to the full economic exposure of the instrument or transaction. Leverage may cause the Fund to be more volatile because it may exaggerate the effect of any increase or decrease in the value of the Fund’s portfolio securities. The use of some derivatives may result in economic leverage, which does not result in the possibility of the Fund incurring obligations beyond its initial investment, but that nonetheless permits the Fund to gain exposure that is greater than would be the case in an unlevered instrument.
Liquidity Risk: The risk that a particular derivative is difficult to sell or liquidate. If a derivative transaction is particularly large or if the relevant market is illiquid, 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 to the Fund.
Pricing Risk: The risk that the value of a particular derivative does not move in tandem or as otherwise expected relative to the corresponding underlying instruments.
Special Regulatory Risks of Derivatives: The regulation of derivatives is a rapidly changing area of law and is subject to modification by government and judicial action. In addition, the SEC, CFTC and the exchanges are authorized to take extraordinary actions in the event of a market emergency, including, for example, the implementation or reduction of speculative position limits, the implementation of higher margin requirements, the establishment of daily price limits and the suspension of trading.
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It is not possible to predict fully the effects of current or future regulation. However, it is possible that developments in government regulation of various types of derivative instruments, such as speculative position limits on certain types of derivatives, or limits or restrictions on the counterparties with which the Fund engages in derivative transactions, may limit or prevent the Fund from using or limit the Fund’s use of these instruments effectively as a part of its investment strategy, and could adversely affect the Fund’s ability to achieve its investment objective. Invesco will continue to monitor developments in the area, particularly to the extent regulatory changes affect the Fund’s ability to enter into desired swap agreements. New requirements, even if not directly applicable to the Fund, may increase the cost of the Fund’s investments and cost of doing business.
Tax Risks: For a discussion of the tax considerations relating to derivative transactions, see “Dividends, Distributions and Tax Matters — Tax Matters — Tax Treatment of Portfolio Transactions.”
General risks of hedging strategies using derivatives:
The use by the Funds of hedging strategies involves special considerations and risks, as described below.
Successful use of hedging transactions depends upon Invesco’s and the Sub-Advisers’ ability to predict correctly the direction of changes in the value of the applicable markets and securities, contracts and/or currencies. While Invesco and the Sub-Advisers are experienced in the use of derivatives for hedging, there can be no assurance that any particular hedging strategy will succeed.
In a hedging transaction, there might be imperfect correlation, or even no correlation, between the price movements of an instrument used for hedging and the price movements of the investments being hedged. Such a lack of correlation might occur due to factors unrelated to the value of the investments being hedged, such as changing interest rates, market liquidity, and speculative or other pressures on the markets in which the hedging instrument is traded.
Hedging strategies, if successful, can reduce risk of loss by wholly or partially offsetting the negative effect of unfavorable price movements in the investments being hedged. However, hedging strategies can also reduce opportunity for gain by offsetting the positive effect of favorable price movements in the hedged investments. Investors should bear in mind that a Fund is not obligated to actively engage in hedging. For example, a Fund may not have attempted to hedge its exposure to a particular foreign currency at a time when doing so might have avoided a loss.
Types of derivatives:
Swaps. Generally, swap agreements are contracts between a Fund and another party (the counterparty) involving the exchange of payments on specified terms over periods ranging from a few days to multiple years. A swap agreement may be negotiated bilaterally and traded OTC between the two parties (for an uncleared swap) or, in some instances, must be transacted through a futures commission merchant (FCM) and cleared through a clearinghouse that serves as a central counterparty (for a cleared swap). In a basic swap transaction, the Fund agrees with its counterparty to exchange the returns (or differentials in returns) and/or cash flows earned or realized on a particular asset such as an equity or debt security, commodity, currency, interest rate or index, calculated with respect to a “notional amount.” The notional amount is the set amount selected by the parties to use as the basis on which to calculate the obligations that the parties to a swap agreement have agreed to exchange. The parties typically do not exchange the notional amount. Instead, they agree to exchange the returns that would be earned or realized if the notional amount were invested in given investments or at given interest rates. Examples of returns that may be exchanged in a swap agreement are those of a particular security, a particular fixed or variable interest rate, a particular foreign currency, or a “basket” of securities representing a particular index. Swap agreements can also be based on credit and other events. In some cases, such as cross currency swaps, the swap agreement may require delivery (exchange) of the entire notional value of one designated currency for another designated currency.
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A Fund will typically only enter into swap agreements with counterparties who use standard International Swap and Dealers Association, Inc. (“ISDA”) contract documentation. ISDA establishes industry standards for the documentation of swap agreements. Virtually all principal swap participants use ISDA documentation because it has an established set of definitions, contract terms and counterparty obligations, including provisions for master netting agreements. It is possible that developments in the swaps market, including potential government regulation, could adversely affect the Fund’s ability to terminate existing swap agreements or to realize amounts to be received under such agreements. Additionally, ISDA master agreements include credit related contingent features which allow Counterparties to OTC derivatives to terminate derivative contracts prior to maturity in the event that, for example, the Fund’s net assets decline by a stated percentage or the Fund fails to meet the terms of its ISDA master agreements, which would cause the Fund to accelerate payment of any net liability owed to the counterparty.
Comprehensive swaps regulation. The Dodd-Frank Act and analogous international laws enacted after the financial crisis imposed comprehensive regulatory requirements on swaps and swap market participants. The U.S. regulatory framework includes: (1) registration and regulation of swap dealers and major swap participants; (2) requiring central clearing and electronic execution of standardized swaps on swap execution facilities; (3) imposing margin requirements on uncleared swap transactions; (4) regulating and monitoring swap transactions through position limits and large trader reporting requirements; and (5) imposing record keeping and centralized and public reporting requirements, on an anonymous basis, for most swaps. The CFTC is responsible for the regulation of most swaps. The SEC has jurisdiction over a small segment of the market referred to as “security-based swaps,” which includes swaps on single securities or narrow-based indices of securities and single name credit default swaps.
Uncleared swaps. In an uncleared swap, the swap counterparty is typically a brokerage firm, bank or other financial institution. In the event that one party to the swap transaction defaults and the transaction is terminated prior to its scheduled termination date, one of the parties may be required to make an early termination payment to the other. An early termination payment may be payable by either the defaulting party or the non-defaulting party, under certain circumstances, depending upon which of them is “in-the-money” with respect to the swap at the time of its termination. Early termination payments may be calculated in various ways, but generally represent the amount that the “in-the-money” party would have to pay to replace the swap as of the date of its termination.
During the term of an uncleared swap, a Fund will be required to pledge to the swap counterparty, from time to time, an amount of cash and/or other assets equal to the total net amount (if any) that would be payable by the Fund to the counterparty if all outstanding swaps between the parties were terminated on the date in question, including any early termination payments (variation margin). Periodically, changes in the amount pledged are made to recognize changes in value of the swap contract resulting from, among other things market value changes in the underlying investment referenced in the swap. Likewise, the counterparty will be required to pledge cash or other assets to cover its obligations to a Fund. However, the amount pledged will not always be equal to or more than the amount due to the other party. Therefore, if a counterparty defaults in its obligations to a Fund, the amount pledged by the counterparty and available to the Fund may not be sufficient to cover all the amounts due to the Fund and the Fund may sustain a loss.
Regulations requiring initial margin to be posted by certain market participants for uncleared swaps have been adopted and are being phased in over time. When these rules take effect with respect to the Funds, if a Fund is deemed to have material swaps exposure (generally, an average gross notional amount of uncleared swaps and foreign currency forward contracts at certain measurement dates exceeding $8 billion), it will under these regulations be required to post initial margin in addition to variation margin.
Uncleared swaps are not traded on exchanges. As a result, swap participants may not be as protected as participants on organized exchanges. Performance of a swap agreement is the responsibility only of the swap counterparty and not of any exchange or clearinghouse. As a result, a Fund is subject to the risk that a counterparty will be unable or will refuse to perform under such agreement, including because of the counterparty’s bankruptcy or insolvency. The Fund risks the loss of the accrued but unpaid amounts under a swap agreement, which could be substantial, in the event of a default, insolvency or bankruptcy by a swap
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counterparty. In such an event, the Fund will have contractual remedies pursuant to the swap agreement, but bankruptcy and insolvency laws could affect the Fund’s rights as a creditor. If the counterparty’s creditworthiness declines, the value of a swap agreement would likely decline, potentially resulting in losses.
Cleared Swaps. Certain standardized swaps are subject to mandatory central clearing and trading on execution facilities. The Dodd-Frank Act and analogous international laws will ultimately require the clearing and trading on execution facilities of many swaps. To date, the CFTC has designated only certain of the most common credit default index swaps and certain interest rate swaps as subject to mandatory clearing and certain public execution facilities have made these swaps available to trade, but it is expected that additional categories of swaps will in the future be designated as subject to mandatory clearing and trade execution requirements.
In a cleared swap, a Fund’s ultimate counterparty is a central clearinghouse rather than a brokerage firm, bank or other financial institution. Cleared swaps are submitted for clearing through each party’s FCM, which must be a member of the clearinghouse that serves as the central counterparty.
When a Fund enters into a cleared swap, it must deliver to the clearinghouse (via the FCM) an amount referred to as “initial margin.” Initial margin requirements are determined by the clearinghouse, and are typically calculated as an amount based on the volatility in market value of the cleared swap over a fixed period, but an FCM may require additional initial margin above the amount required by the clearinghouse. During the term of the swap agreement, “variation margin” may also be required to be paid by the Fund or may be received by the Fund. If the value of the Fund’s cleared swap declines, the Fund will be required to make additional variation margin payments to the FCM to settle the change in value. Conversely, if the market value of the Fund’s position increases, the FCM will post additional variation margin to the Fund’s account. At the conclusion of the term of the swap agreement, if the Fund has a loss equal to or greater than the margin amount, the margin amount is paid to the FCM along with any loss in excess of the margin amount. If the Fund has a loss of less than the margin amount, the excess margin is returned to the Fund. If the Fund has a gain, the full margin amount and the amount of the gain are paid to the Fund.
Central clearing is designed to reduce counterparty credit risk and increase liquidity compared to uncleared swaps because central clearing interposes the central clearinghouse as the counterparty to each participant’s swap, but it does not eliminate those risks completely. There is also a risk of loss by a Fund of the initial and variation margin deposits in the event of bankruptcy or insolvency of the FCM through which the Fund holds an open position, or the clearinghouse in a swap contract. The assets of a Fund may not be fully protected in the event of the bankruptcy or insolvency of the FCM or clearinghouse because the Fund might be limited to recovering only a pro rata share of all available funds and margin segregated on behalf of an FCM’s customers. If the FCM does not provide accurate reporting, a Fund is also subject to the risk that the FCM could use the Fund’s assets to satisfy its own financial obligations or the payment obligations of another customer to the clearinghouse. Credit risk of cleared swap participants is concentrated in a few clearinghouses, and the consequences of insolvency of a clearinghouse are not clear.
With cleared swaps, a Fund may not be able to obtain terms as favorable as it would be able to negotiate for a bilateral, uncleared swap. In addition, an FCM may unilaterally amend the terms of its agreement with a Fund, which may include the imposition of position limits or additional margin requirements with respect to the Fund’s investment in certain types of swaps. Clearinghouses and FCMs can require termination of existing cleared swap transactions upon the occurrence of certain events, and can also require increases in margin above the margin that is required at the initiation of the swap agreement.
Finally, a Fund is subject to the risk that, after entering into a cleared swap with an executing broker, no FCM or clearinghouse is willing or able to clear the transaction. In such an event, the Fund may be required to break the trade and make an early termination payment to the executing broker.
Commonly used swap agreements include:
Credit Default Swaps (CDS): A CDS is an agreement between two parties where the first party agrees to make one or more payments to the second party, while the second party assumes the risk of certain defaults, generally a failure to pay or bankruptcy of the issuer on a referenced debt obligation. CDS transactions are
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typically individually negotiated and structured. A Fund may enter into CDS to create long or short exposure to domestic or foreign corporate debt securities or sovereign debt securities.
A Fund may buy a CDS (buy credit protection). In this transaction the Fund makes a stream of payments based on a fixed interest rate (the premium) over the life of the swap in exchange for a counterparty (the seller) taking on the risk of default of a referenced debt obligation (the Reference Obligation). If a credit event occurs for the Reference Obligation, the Fund would cease making premium payments and it would deliver defaulted bonds to the seller. In return, the seller would pay the notional value of the Reference Obligation to the Fund. Alternatively, the two counterparties may agree to cash settlement in which the seller delivers to the Fund (buyer) the difference between the market value and the notional value of the Reference Obligation. If no event of default occurs, the Fund pays the fixed premium to the seller for the life of the contract, and no other exchange occurs.
Alternatively, a Fund may sell a CDS (sell credit protection). In this transaction the Fund will receive premium payments from the buyer in exchange for taking the risk of default of the Reference Obligation. If a credit event occurs for the Reference Obligation, the buyer would cease to make premium payments to the Fund and deliver the Reference Obligation to the Fund. In return, the Fund would pay the notional value of the Reference Obligation to the buyer. Alternatively, the two counterparties may agree to cash settlement in which the Fund would pay the buyer the difference between the market value and the notional value of the Reference Obligation. If no event of default occurs, the Fund receives the premium payments over the life of the contract, and no other exchange occurs.
Credit Default Index Swaps (CDX): A CDX is a swap on an index of CDS. A CDX allows an investor to manage credit risk or to take a position on a basket of credit entities (such as CDS or CMBS) in a more efficient manner than transacting in single name CDS. If a credit event occurs in one of the underlying companies, the protection is paid out via the delivery of the defaulted bond by the buyer of protection in return for payment of the notional value of the defaulted bond by the seller of protection or it may be settled through a cash settlement between the two parties. The underlying company is then removed from the index. New series of CDX are issued on a regular basis. A Commercial Mortgage-Backed Index (CMBX) is a type of CDX made up of 25 tranches of commercial mortgage-backed securities (See “Debt Instruments — Mortgage-Backed and Asset-Backed Securities”) rather than CDS. Unlike other CDX contracts where credit events are intended to capture an event of default, CMBX involves a pay-as-you-go (PAUG) settlement process designed to capture non-default events that affect the cash flow of the reference obligation. PAUG involves ongoing, two-way payments over the life of a contract between the buyer and the seller of protection and is designed to closely mirror the cash flow of a portfolio of cash commercial mortgage-backed securities. A CDX index tranche provides access to customized risk, exposing each investor to losses at different levels of subordination. The lowest part of the capital structure is called the “equity tranche” as it has exposure to the first losses experienced in the basket. The mezzanine and senior tranches are higher in the capital structure but can also be exposed to loss in value. Investments are subject to liquidity risks as well as other risks associated with investments in credit default swaps.
Foreign Exchange Swaps: A foreign exchange swap involves an agreement between two parties to exchange two different currencies on a specific date at a fixed rate, and an agreement for the reverse exchange of those two currencies at a later date and at a fixed rate. Foreign exchange swaps were exempted from the definition of “swaps” by the U.S. Treasury and are therefore not subject to many rules under the CEA that apply to swaps, including the mandatory clearing requirement. They are also not considered “commodity interests” for purposes of CEA Regulations and Exclusions, discussed above. However, foreign exchange swaps nevertheless remain subject to the CFTC’s trade reporting requirements, enhanced anti-evasion authority, and strengthened business conduct standards.
Currency Swaps: A currency swap is an agreement between two parties to exchange periodic cash flows on a notional amount of two or more currencies based on the relative value differential between them. Currency swaps typically involve the delivery of the entire notional values of the two designated currencies. In such a situation, the full notional value of a currency swap is subject to the risk that the other party to the swap will default on its contractual delivery obligations. A Fund may also enter into currency swaps on a net
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basis, which means the two different currency payment streams under the swap agreement are converted and netted out to a single cash payment in just one of the currencies.
Because currency control is of great importance to the issuing governments and influences economic planning and policy, purchases and sales of currency and related instruments can be negatively affected by government exchange controls, blockages, and manipulations or exchange restrictions imposed by governments. These actions could result in losses to a Fund if it is unable to deliver or receive a specified currency or funds in settlement of obligations, including swap transaction obligations. These actions could also have an adverse effect on a Fund’s swap transactions or cause a Fund’s hedging positions to be rendered useless, resulting in full currency exposure as well as incurring unnecessary transaction costs.
Interest Rate Swaps: An agreement between two parties pursuant to which the parties exchange a floating rate payment for a fixed rate payment based on a specified principal or notional amount. In other words, Party A agrees to pay Party B a fixed interest rate multiplied by a notional amount and in return Party B agrees to pay Party A a variable interest rate multiplied by the same notional amount.
Commodity Swaps: A commodity swap agreement is a contract in which one party agrees to make periodic payments to another party based on the change in market value of a commodity-based underlying instrument (such as a specific commodity or commodity index) in return for periodic payments based on a fixed or variable interest rate or the total return from another commodity-based underlying instrument. In a total return commodity swap, a Fund receives the price appreciation of a commodity index, a portion of a commodity index or a single commodity in exchange for paying an agreed-upon fee.
Total Return Swaps: An agreement in which one party makes payments based on a set rate, either fixed or variable, while the other party makes payments based on the return of an underlying asset, which includes both the income it generates and any capital gains.
Volatility and Variance Swaps: A volatility swap involves an exchange between a Fund and a counterparty of periodic payments based on the measured volatility of an underlying security, currency, commodity, interest rate, index or other reference asset over a specified time frame. Depending on the structure of the swap, either the Fund’s or the counterparty’s payment obligation will typically be based on the realized volatility of the reference asset as measured by changes in its price or level over a specified time period while the other party’s payment obligation will be based on a specified rate representing expected volatility for the reference asset at the time the swap is executed, or the measured volatility of a different reference asset over a specified time period. The Fund will typically make or lose money on a volatility swap depending on the magnitude of the reference asset’s volatility, or size of the movements in its price, over a specified time period, rather than general increases or decreases in the price of the reference asset. Volatility swaps are often used to speculate on future volatility levels, to trade the spread between realized and expected volatility, or to decrease the volatility exposure of other investments held by the Fund. Variance swaps are similar to volatility swaps except payments are based on the difference between the implied and measured volatility mathematically squared.
Inflation Swaps: Inflation swap agreements are contracts in which one party agrees to pay the cumulative percentage increase in a price index, such as the Consumer Price Index, over the term of the swap (with some lag on the referenced inflation index), and the other party pays a compounded fixed rate. Inflation swap agreements may be used to protect the net asset value of a Fund against an unexpected change in the rate of inflation measured by an inflation index. The value of inflation swap agreements is expected to change in response to changes in real interest rates. Real interest rates are tied to the relationship between nominal interest rates and the rate of inflation.
Swaptions: An option on a swap agreement, also called a “swaption,” is an option that gives the buyer the right, but not the obligation, to enter into a swap on a future date in exchange for paying a market-based premium. A receiver swaption gives the owner the right to receive the total return of a specified asset, reference rate, or index. A payer swaption gives the owner the right to pay the total return of a specified asset, reference rate, or index. Swaptions also include options that allow an existing swap to be terminated or extended by one of the counterparties.
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Swaptions are considered to be swaps for purposes of CFTC regulation. Although they are currently traded OTC, the CFTC may in the future designate certain options on swaps as subject to mandatory clearing and exchange trading.
Options. An option is a contract that gives the purchaser of the option, in return for the premium paid, the right, but not the obligation, to buy from (in the case of a call) or sell to (in the case of a put) the writer of the option at the exercise price during the term of the option (for American style options) or on a specified date (for European style options), the security, currency or other instrument underlying the option (or delivery of a cash settlement price, in the case of certain options, such as an index option and other cash-settled options). An option on a CDS or a futures contract (described below) gives the purchaser the right, but not the obligation, to enter into a CDS or assume a position in a futures contract. Option transactions present the possibility of large amounts of exposure (or leverage), which may result in a Fund’s net asset value being more sensitive to changes in the value of the option.
The value of an option position will reflect, among other things, the current market value of the underlying investment, the time remaining until expiration, the relationship of the exercise price to the market price of the underlying investment, the price volatility of the underlying investment and general market and interest rate conditions.
Invesco High Yield Municipal Fund, Invesco Intermediate Term Municipal Income Fund, Invesco Limited Term Municipal Income Fund and Invesco Municipal Income Fund will not write (sell) options if, immediately after such sale, the aggregate value of securities or obligations underlying the outstanding options would exceed 20% of the Fund’s total assets.  A Fund will not purchase options if, immediately after such purchase, the aggregate premiums paid for outstanding options would exceed 5% of the Fund’s total assets.
A Fund may effectively terminate its right or obligation under an option by entering into an offsetting closing transaction. For example, a Fund may terminate its obligation under a call or put option that it had written by purchasing an identical call or put option, which is known as a closing purchase transaction. Conversely, a Fund may terminate a position in a put or call option it had purchased by writing an identical put or call option, which is known as a closing sale transaction. Closing transactions permit a Fund to realize profits or limit losses on an option position prior to its exercise or expiration.
Options may be either listed on an exchange or traded in OTC markets. Listed options are tri-party contracts (i.e., performance of the obligations of the purchaser and seller are guaranteed by the exchange or clearing corporation) and have standardized strike prices and expiration dates. OTC options are two-party contracts with negotiated strike prices and expiration dates and differ from exchange-traded options in that OTC options are transacted with dealers directly and not through a clearing corporation (which guarantees performance). In the case of OTC options, there can be no assurance that a liquid secondary market will exist for any particular option at any specific time; therefore the Fund may be required to treat some or all OTC options as illiquid investments. Although a Fund will enter into OTC options only with dealers that are expected to be capable of entering into closing transactions with it, there is no assurance that the Fund will in fact be able to close out an OTC option position at a favorable price prior to exercise or expiration. In the event of insolvency of the dealer, a Fund might be unable to close out an OTC option position at any time prior to its expiration.
Types of Options:
Put Options on Securities. A put option gives the purchaser the right to sell, to the writer, the underlying security, contract or foreign currency at the stated exercise price at any time prior to the expiration date of the option (for American style options) or on a specified date (for European style options), regardless of the market price or exchange rate of the security, contract or foreign currency, as the case may be, at the time of exercise. If the purchaser exercises the put option, the writer of a put option is obligated to buy the underlying security, contract or foreign currency for the exercise price.
Call Options on Securities. A call option gives the purchaser the right to buy, from the writer, the underlying security, contract or foreign currency at the stated exercise price at any time prior to the expiration of the option (for American style options) or on a specified date (for European style options), regardless of the
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market price or exchange rate of the security, contract or foreign currency, as the case may be, at the time of exercise. If the purchaser exercises the call option, the writer of a call option is obligated to sell to and deliver the underlying security, contract or foreign currency to the purchaser of the call option for the exercise price.
For all Funds except for Invesco High Yield Municipal Fund, Invesco Intermediate Term Municipal Income Fund, Invesco Limited Term Municipal Income Fund and Invesco Municipal Income Fund, after the Fund writes a call, not more than 20% of the Fund’s total assets may be subject to calls.
A call or put option may not be purchased if the purchase would cause the value of all of a Fund’s put and call options to exceed 5% of its total assets.
A Fund may also write calls on futures contracts without owning the futures contract or securities deliverable under the contract. To do so, at the time the call is written, a Fund must cover the call by segregating in escrow an equivalent dollar value of liquid assets. A Fund will segregate additional liquid assets if the value of the escrowed assets drops below 100% of the current value of the future. Because of this escrow requirement, in no circumstances would a Fund’s receipt of an exercise notice as to that future put the Fund in a “short” futures position.
A Fund may buy only those puts that relate to securities that it owns, broadly-based municipal bond indices, municipal bond index futures or interest rate futures (whether or not the Fund owns the futures).
Index Options. Index options (or options on securities indices) give the option buyer the right to receive, upon exercise, a cash settlement amount instead of the securities included in the relevant index, if the closing level of the securities index upon which the option is based is greater than, in the case of a call, or less than, in the case of a put, the exercise price of the option. The amount of cash is equal to the difference between the closing price of the index on the relevant option expiration date and the exercise price of the call or put times a specified multiple (the multiplier), which determines the total dollar value for each point of such difference.
The risks of investment in index options may be greater than options on securities, especially if a Fund writes index call options. Because index options are settled in cash, when a Fund writes a call on an index it cannot provide in advance for its potential settlement obligations by acquiring and holding the underlying securities. A Fund can offset some of the risk of writing an index call option by holding a diversified portfolio of securities similar to those included in the underlying index. However, the Fund cannot, as a practical matter, acquire and hold a portfolio containing exactly the same securities in the index and, as a result, bears the risk that the value of the securities held will not be perfectly correlated with the value of the index.
CDS Options. A CDS option transaction gives the buyer the right, but not the obligation, to enter into a CDS at a specified future date and under specified terms in exchange for paying a market based purchase price or premium. The writer of the option bears the risk of any unfavorable move in the value of the CDS relative to the market value on the exercise date, while the purchaser may allow the option to expire unexercised.
Option Techniques:
Writing Options. A Fund may write options to generate additional income. As the writer of an option, the Fund may have no control over when the underlying reference asset must be sold (in the case of a call option) or purchased (in the case of a put option), if the option was structured as an American style option, because the option purchaser may notify the Fund of exercise at any time prior to the expiration of the option. In addition, if the option is cash-settled instead of deliverable, the Fund is obligated to pay the option purchaser the difference between the exercise price and the value of the underlying reference asset, instead of selling or purchasing the underlying reference asset, if the option is exercised. In general, options are rarely exercised prior to expiration. Whether or not an option expires unexercised, the writer retains the amount of the premium.
A Fund would write a put option at an exercise price that, reduced by the premium received on the option, reflects the price it is willing to pay for the underlying reference asset. In return for the premium received for
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writing a put option, the Fund assumes the risk that the price of the underlying reference asset will decline below the exercise price, in which case the put option may be exercised and the Fund may suffer a loss.
In return for the premium received for writing a call option on a reference asset, the Fund foregoes the opportunity for profit from a price increase in the underlying reference asset above the exercise price so long as the option remains open, but retains the risk of loss should the price of the reference asset decline.
If an option that a Fund has written expires, the Fund will realize a gain in the amount of the premium; however, such gain may be offset by a decline in the market value of the underlying reference asset, held by the Fund during the option period. If a call option is exercised, a Fund will realize a gain or loss from the sale of the underlying reference asset, which will be increased or offset by the premium received. The obligation imposed upon the writer of an option is terminated upon the expiration of the option, or such earlier time at which a Fund effects a closing purchase transaction by purchasing an option (put or call as the case may be) identical to that previously sold. However, once a Fund has received an exercise notice, it cannot effect a closing purchase transaction in order to terminate its obligation under the option and must deliver (for a call) or purchase (for a put) the underlying reference asset at the exercise price (if deliverable) or pay the difference between the exercise price and the value of the underlying reference asset (if cash-settled).
Purchasing Options. A Fund may purchase a put option on an underlying reference asset owned by the Fund in order to protect against an anticipated decline in the value of the underlying reference asset held by the Fund; may purchase put options on underlying reference assets against which it has written other put options; or may speculate on the value of an underlying reference asset, index or quantitative measure. The premium paid for the put option and any transaction costs would reduce any profit realized when the underlying reference asset is delivered upon the exercise of the put option. Conversely, if the underlying reference asset does not decline in value, the option may expire worthless and the premium paid for the protective put would be lost. A put option may also be purchased on an investment the Fund does not own.
A Fund may purchase a call option for the purpose of acquiring the underlying reference asset for its portfolio, or on underlying reference assets against which it has written other call options. The Fund is not required to own the underlying reference asset in order to purchase a call option. If the Fund does not own the underlying position, the purchase of a call option would enable a Fund to acquire the underlying reference asset at the exercise price of the call option plus the premium paid. So long as it holds a call option, rather than the underlying reference asset itself, the Fund is partially protected from any unexpected increase in the market price of the underlying reference asset. If the market price does not exceed the exercise price, the Fund could purchase the underlying reference asset on the open market and could allow the call option to expire, incurring a loss only to the extent of the premium paid for the option.
Municipal Market Data Rate Locks. A Municipal Market Data Rate Lock (MMD Rate Lock) permits a Fund to lock in a specified municipal interest rate for a portion of its portfolio to preserve a return on a particular investment or a portion of its portfolio as a duration management technique or to protect against any increase in the price of securities to be purchased at a later date. MMD Rate Locks may be used for hedging purposes. An MMD Rate Lock is an agreement between two parties, a Fund and an MMD Rate Lock provider, pursuant to which the parties agree to make payments to each other on a notional amount, contingent upon whether the Municipal Market Data AAA General Obligation Scale is above or below a specified level on the expiration date of the contract.
MMD Rate Locks involve the risk that municipal yields will move in the direction opposite than the direction anticipated by a Fund. The risk of loss with respect to MMD Rate Locks is limited to the amount of payments a Fund is contractually obligated to make. If the other party to an MMD Rate Lock defaults, a Fund's risk of loss consists of the amount of payments that the Fund contractually is entitled to receive. If there is a default by the counterparty, a Fund may have contractual remedies pursuant to the agreements related to the transaction, but they could be difficult to enforce.
Straddles/Spreads/Collars.
Spread and straddle options transactions. In “spread” transactions, a Fund buys and writes a put or buys and writes a call on the same underlying instrument with the options having different exercise prices,
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expiration dates, or both. In “straddles,” a Fund purchases a put option and a call option or writes a put option and a call option on the same instrument with the same expiration date and typically the same exercise price. When a Fund engages in spread and straddle transactions, it seeks to profit from differences in the option premiums paid and received and in the market prices of the related options positions when they are closed out or sold. Because these transactions require the Fund to buy and/or write more than one option simultaneously, the Fund’s ability to enter into such transactions and to liquidate its positions when necessary or deemed advisable may be more limited than if the Fund were to buy or sell a single option. Similarly, costs incurred by the Fund in connection with these transactions will in many cases be greater than if the Fund were to buy or sell a single option.
Option Collars. A Fund also may use option “collars.” A “collar” position combines a put option purchased by the Fund (the right of the Fund to sell a specific security within a specified period) with a call option that is written by the Fund (the right of the counterparty to buy the same security) in a single instrument. The Fund’s right to sell the security is typically set at a price that is below the counterparty’s right to buy the security. Thus, the combined position “collars” the performance of the underlying security, providing protection from depreciation below the price specified in the put option, and allowing for participation in any appreciation up to the price specified by the call option.
Rights and Warrants. Rights are equity securities representing a preemptive right of stockholders to purchase additional shares of a stock at the time of a new issuance, before the stock is offered to the general public. A stockholder who purchases rights may be able to retain the same ownership percentage after the new stock offering. A right usually enables the stockholder to purchase common stock at a price below the initial offering price. A Fund that purchases a right takes the risk that the right might expire worthless because the market value of the common stock falls below the price fixed by the right.
A warrant gives the holder the right to purchase securities from the issuer at a specific price within a certain time frame and is similar to a call option. The main difference between warrants and call options is that warrants are issued by the company that will issue the underlying security, whereas options are not issued by the company. Young, unseasoned companies often issue warrants to finance their operations.
Futures Contracts. The Fund may purchase futures contracts.
A futures contract is a standardized agreement to buy or sell a specified amount of a specified security, currency, commodity, interest rate or index (or deliver a cash settlement price, in the case of certain futures such as an index future, interest rate future or volatility future) for a specified price at a designated future date, time and place. A “sale” of a futures contract means the acquisition of a contractual obligation to deliver the underlying instrument or asset called for by the contract at a specified price on a specified date. A “purchase” of a futures contract means the acquisition of a contractual obligation to acquire the underlying instrument or asset called for by the contract at a specified price on a specified date. Futures contracts are generally bought and sold on futures exchanges referred to as designated contract markets and are held through a broker, known as a futures commission merchant (FCM), that is a member of the designated contract market and its related clearinghouse. The designated contract market sets the specifications of the relevant futures contract, including the date, time and place of delivery or settlement of the contract and the quantity of the underlying instrument or asset per contract.
The Fund will only enter into futures contracts that are traded (either domestically or internationally) on futures exchanges or certain exempt markets including exempt boards of trade and electronic trading facilities; and are standardized as to maturity date and underlying instrument or asset. Futures exchanges and trading thereon in the United States are regulated under the CEA by the CFTC. Foreign futures exchanges or exempt markets and trading thereon are not regulated by the CFTC and may not be subject to the same regulatory controls. In addition, futures contracts that are traded on non-U.S. exchanges or exempt markets may not be as liquid as those purchased on CFTC-designated contract markets. For a further discussion of the risks associated with investments in foreign securities, see “Foreign Investments” above.
Brokerage fees are incurred when a futures contract is bought or sold, and margin deposits must be maintained at all times when a futures contract is outstanding. “Margin” for a futures contract is the amount of
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funds that must be deposited by a Fund with the applicable FCM in order to initiate trading in the futures contract and maintain its open positions in futures contract. A margin deposit made when the futures contract is entered (initial margin) is intended to ensure the Fund’s performance under the futures contract. The initial margin required for a particular futures contract is set by the exchange on which the futures contract is traded and may be significantly modified from time to time by the exchange or the FCM during the term of the futures contract.
Subsequent payments, called “variation margin,” received from or paid to the FCM through which a Fund holds the futures contract will be made on a daily basis as the futures contract price fluctuates making the futures contract more or less valuable, a process known as marking-to-market. When the futures contract is closed out, if the Fund has a loss equal to or greater than the margin amount, the margin amount is paid to the FCM along with any loss in excess of the margin amount. If the Fund has a loss of less than the margin amount, the excess margin is returned to the Fund. If the Fund has a gain, the full margin amount and the amount of the gain are paid to the Fund and the FCM pays the Fund any excess gain over the margin amount.
There is a risk of loss by a Fund of the initial and variation margin deposits in the event of bankruptcy or insolvency of the FCM with which the Fund has an open position in a futures contract. The assets of a Fund may not be fully protected in the event of the bankruptcy or insolvency of the FCM or clearinghouse because the Fund might be limited to recovering only a pro rata share of all available funds and margin segregated on behalf of an FCM’s customers. If the FCM does not provide accurate reporting, a Fund is also subject to the risk that the FCM could use the Fund’s assets, which are held in an omnibus account with assets belonging to the FCM’s other customers, to satisfy its own financial obligations or the payment obligations of another customer to the clearinghouse.
Closing out an open futures contract is effected by entering into an offsetting futures contract for the same aggregate amount of the identical underlying instrument or asset and the same delivery or settlement date. There can be no assurance, however, that a Fund will be able to enter into an offsetting contract with respect to a particular futures contract at a particular time. If a Fund is not able to enter into an offsetting contract, it will continue to be required to maintain the margin deposits on the futures contract.
In addition, if a Fund were unable to liquidate a futures contract or an option on a futures contract position due to the absence of a liquid secondary market or the imposition of price limits, it could incur substantial losses. The Fund would continue to be subject to market risk with respect to the position. In addition, except in the case of purchased options, the Fund would continue to be required to make daily variation margin payments.
Types of Futures Contracts:
Commodity Futures: A commodity futures contract is an exchange-traded contract to buy or sell a particular commodity at a specified price at some time in the future. Commodity futures contracts are highly volatile; therefore, the prices of a Fund’s shares may be subject to greater volatility to the extent it invests in commodity futures.
Currency Futures: A currency futures contract is a standardized, exchange-traded contract to buy or sell a particular currency at a specified price at a future date (commonly three months or more). Currency futures contracts may be highly volatile and thus result in substantial gains or losses to the Fund.
A Fund may either exchange the currencies specified at the maturity of a currency futures contract or, prior to maturity, enter into a closing transaction involving the purchase or sale of an offsetting contract. A Fund may also enter into currency futures contracts that do not provide for physical settlement of the two currencies but instead are settled by a single cash payment calculated as the difference between the agreed upon exchange rate and the spot rate at settlement based upon an agreed upon notional amount. Closing transactions with respect to currency futures contracts are usually effected with the counterparty to the original currency futures contract.
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Index Futures: An index futures contract is an exchange-traded contract that provides for the delivery, at a designated date, time and place, of an amount of cash equal to a specified dollar amount times the difference between the index value at the close of trading on the date specified in the contract and the price agreed upon in the futures contract; no physical delivery of securities comprising the index is made. Index futures can be based on stock, bond or other indices. Such indices cannot be purchased or sold directly.
Interest Rate Futures: An interest rate futures contract is a