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AIM Variable Insurance Funds (Invesco Variable Insurance Funds)

10/05/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/05/2021 10:09

Filing by Investment Company (SEC Filing - 497)

497
STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Dated September 30, 2021, as revised October 5, 2021
AIM Variable Insurance Funds (Invesco Variable Insurance Funds)
This Statement of Additional Information (the SAI) relates to each portfolio (each a Fund, collectively the Funds) of AIM Variable Insurance Funds (Invesco Variable Insurance Funds) (the Trust) listed below. Each Fund offers Series I and Series II shares as follows:
Fund
Series I
Series II
Prospectus Date
Invesco® V.I. NASDAQ 100 Buffer Fund - March
Series I
Series II
September 7, 2021
Invesco® V.I. NASDAQ 100 Buffer Fund - June
Series I
Series II
September 7, 2021
Invesco® V.I. NASDAQ 100 Buffer Fund - September
Series I
Series II
September 30, 2021
Invesco® V.I. NASDAQ 100 Buffer Fund - December
Series I
Series II
September 7, 2021
Invesco® V.I. S&P 500 Buffer Fund - March
Series I
Series II
September 7, 2021
Invesco® V.I. S&P 500 Buffer Fund - June
Series I
Series II
September 7, 2021
Invesco® V.I. S&P 500 Buffer Fund - September
Series I
Series II
September 30, 2021
Invesco® V.I. S&P 500 Buffer Fund - December
Series I
Series II
September 7, 2021
This SAI is not a Prospectus, and it should be read in conjunction with the Prospectuses for the Funds listed above. Because the Funds are new, financial statements are not yet available for the Funds.
You may obtain, without charge, a copy of any Prospectus and/or Annual Report for any Fund listed above from an authorized dealer or by writing to:
Invesco Distributors, 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
The Trust has established other funds which are offered by one or more separate prospectuses and SAIs. Any reference to the term "Fund" or "Funds" throughout this SAI refers to each Fund named above unless otherwise indicated.
AVIF-SOAI-2
STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE TRUST
1
Fund History
1
Shares of Beneficial Interest
1
Share Certificates
3
DESCRIPTION OF THE FUNDS AND THEIR INVESTMENTS AND RISKS
3
Classification
3
Investment Strategies and Risks
3
Equity Investments
4
Foreign Investments
8
Exchange-Traded Funds
14
Exchange-Traded Notes
15
Debt Investments
16
Other Investments
36
Investment Techniques
42
Derivatives
48
LIBOR Transition Risk
63
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Considerations
64
Receipt of Issuer's Nonpublic Information
65
Business Continuity and Operational Risk
65
Cybersecurity Risk
65
Natural Disaster/Epidemic Risk
65
Fund Policies
66
Portfolio Turnover
69
Policies and Procedures for Disclosure of Fund Holdings
69
Selective Disclosures
70
MANAGEMENT OF THE TRUST
72
Board of Trustees
72
Management Information
78
Committee Structure
80
Trustee Ownership of Fund Shares
81
Compensation
81
Retirement Policy
81
Pre-Amendment Retirement Plan For Trustees
82
Amendment of Retirement Plan and Conversion to Defined Contribution Plan
83
Deferred Compensation Agreements
83
Code of Ethics
83
Proxy Voting Policies
83
CONTROL PERSONS AND PRINCIPAL HOLDERS OF SECURITIES
84
INVESTMENT ADVISORY AND OTHER SERVICES
84
Investment Adviser
84
Investment Sub-Advisers
87
Service Agreements
88
Other Service Providers
88
Custodian
89
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Page
Securities Lending Arrangements
89
Portfolio Managers
89
BROKERAGE ALLOCATION AND OTHER PRACTICES
90
Brokerage Transactions
90
Commissions
91
Broker Selection
91
Directed Brokerage (Research Services)
94
Affiliated Transactions
94
Regular Brokers
94
Allocation of Portfolio Transactions
94
Allocation of Initial Public Offering (IPO) Transactions
95
PURCHASE, REDEMPTION AND PRICING OF SHARES
95
DIVIDENDS, DISTRIBUTIONS AND TAX MATTERS
98
Dividends and Distributions
98
Tax Matters
98
DISTRIBUTION OF SECURITIES
110
Distributor
110
Distribution Plan
110
FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
111
APPENDIX A - RATINGS OF DEBT SECURITIES
A-1
APPENDIX B - PERSONS TO WHOM INVESCO PROVIDES NON-PUBLIC PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS
ON AN ONGOING BASIS
B-1
APPENDIX C - TRUSTEES AND OFFICERS
C-1
APPENDIX D - TRUSTEE COMPENSATION TABLE
D-1
APPENDIX E - PROXY POLICY AND PROCEDURES
E-1
APPENDIX F - CONTROL PERSONS AND PRINCIPAL HOLDERS OF SECURITIES
F-1
APPENDIX G - MANAGEMENT FEES
G-1
APPENDIX H - PORTFOLIO MANAGER(S)
H-1
APPENDIX I - ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES FEES
I-1
APPENDIX J - BROKERAGE COMMISSIONS AND COMMISSIONS ON AFFILIATED
TRANSACTIONS
J-1
APPENDIX K - DIRECTED BROKERAGE (RESEARCH SERVICES) AND PURCHASES OF
SECURITIES OF REGULAR BROKERS OR DEALERS
K-1
APPENDIX L - CERTAIN FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARIES THAT RECEIVE ONE OR MORE TYPES OF
PAYMENTS
L-1
APPENDIX M - AMOUNTS PAID TO INVESCO DISTRIBUTORS, INC. PURSUANT TO DISTRIBUTION
PLAN
M-1
APPENDIX N - ALLOCATION OF ACTUAL FEES PAID PURSUANT TO DISTRIBUTION PLAN
N-1
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GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE TRUST
Fund History
AIM Variable Insurance Funds (Invesco Variable Insurance 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 January 22, 1993 and re-organized as a Delaware statutory trust on May 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 Variable Insurance Funds.
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 or capital, 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.
The Trust understands that insurance company separate accounts owning shares of the Funds will vote their shares in accordance with the instructions received from owners of variable annuity contracts and variable life insurance policies (Contract Owners), annuitants and beneficiaries. Fund shares held by a separate account as to which no instructions have been received will be voted for or against any proposition, or in abstention, in the same proportion as the shares of that separate account as to which instructions have
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been received. Fund shares held by a separate account that are not attributable to Contract Owners will also be voted for or against any proposition in the same proportion as the shares for which voting instructions are received by that separate account. If an insurance company determines, however, that it is permitted to vote any such shares of the Funds in its own right, it may elect to do so, subject to the then current interpretation of the 1940 Act and the rules thereunder.
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. Only shareholders of a specific class may vote on matters relating to that class's distribution plan.
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. There are no automatic conversion rights but each Fund may offer voluntary rights to convert between certain share classes, as described in each Fund's prospectus. 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 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 or 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.
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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; 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.
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 and that the right to jury trial be waived to the fullest extent permitted by law.
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 are classified as "diversified" for purposes of the 1940 Act and intends to be diversified in approximately the same proportion as its target index is diversified. However, the Fund may be "non-diversified," as defined in the 1940 Act, solely as a result of a change in relative market capitalization or index weighting of one or more constituents of its target index. A non-diversified 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.
Any percentage limitations relating to the composition of a Fund's portfolio identified in a Fund's Prospectus or this SAI apply at the time the Fund acquires an investment. Subsequent changes that result from market fluctuations generally will not require a Fund to sell any portfolio security. However, a Fund may sell its illiquid investments holdings, or reduce its borrowings, if any, in response to fluctuations in the value of such holdings.
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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.
Investing in Special Situations. At times, investment benefit may be sought from what a portfolio manager considers to be "special situations," such as mergers, reorganizations, restructurings or other unusual events, that are expected to affect a particular issuer. There is a risk that the expected change or event might not occur, which could cause the price of the security to fall, perhaps sharply. In that case, the investment might not produce the expected gains or might cause a loss. This is an aggressive investment technique that may be considered speculative.
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.
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 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.
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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.
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
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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.
Alternative Entity Securities. The Funds may invest in alternative entity securities, which 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.
Special Purpose Acquisition Companies. Special purpose acquisition companies ("SPACs") are investment entities, acquired through stocks, warrants and other securities, that pool funds to seek potential acquisition or merger opportunities. A SPAC is a publicly traded company that raises funds through an initial public offering ("IPO") for the purpose of acquiring or merging with another company to be identified subsequent to the SPAC's IPO. The securities of a SPAC are often issued in "units" that include one share of
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common stock and one right or warrant (or partial right or warrant) conveying the right to purchase additional common shares or partial shares of the SPAC. In some cases, the rights and warrants may be separated from the common stock at the election of the holder, after which they may become freely tradeable. If the Fund purchases shares of a SPAC in an IPO it will generally bear a sales commission, which may be significant.
Unless and until a business combination transaction is completed, a SPAC generally invests its assets (which are constituted solely by the proceeds of the IPO), less a portion retained to cover expenses, in U.S. government securities, money market funds and similar investments whose returns or yields may be significantly lower than those of the Fund's other investments. If an acquisition or merger that meets the requirements for the SPAC is not completed within a pre-established period of time, the invested funds are returned to the SPAC's shareholders, less certain permitted expenses, and any rights or warrants issued by the SPAC will expire worthless. Under any circumstances in which the Fund receives a refund of all or a portion of its original investment in a SPAC, the returns on that investment may be negligible, and the Fund may be subject to opportunity costs to the extent that alternative investments would have produced higher returns. Further, the Fund may be delayed in receiving any redemption or liquidation proceeds from a SPAC to which it is entitled.
Because SPACs are in essence "blank check" companies without operating histories or ongoing business operations (other than identifying and pursuing acquisition or merger opportunities), the potential for the long term capital appreciation of their securities is dependent on the ability of the SPAC's sponsor to identify and complete a profitable business combination. There is no guarantee that the SPACs in which the Fund invests will complete a business combination or that any transaction completed by the SPACs in which the Fund invests will be profitable. Even if a SPAC in which the Fund has invested identifies a desirable acquisition or merger target and reaches agreement with that company as to the terms of the business combination, there can be no guarantee that the transaction will ultimately be consummated because, among other conditions that must be satisfied, a requisite number of shareholders of the SPAC or of the target company do not vote in favor of the transaction. The values of investments in SPACs may be highly volatile and may depreciate significantly over time. Some SPACs may pursue acquisitions or mergers only within certain industries or regions, which may ultimately lead to an increase in the volatility of their prices following completion of a business combination. In addition, some of these securities may be considered illiquid and/or subject to restrictions on resale, leaving a Fund unable to sell its interest in a SPAC or able to sell its interest only at a price below what the Fund believes is the SPAC interest's intrinsic value. Additionally, an investment in a SPAC may be diluted by additional later offerings of interests in the SPAC or by other investors exercising their warrants to purchase shares of the SPAC.
Due to the risk of the loss of sponsors' and other initial investors' capital if an acquisition or merger is not consummated, sponsors of SPACs may be incentivized to consummate business combinations at less attractive valuations at the expense of SPAC shareholders. In addition, as the number of SPACs grows, there is greater competition among SPACs and traditional purchasers of companies, which further increases the likelihood that SPAC sponsors may be incentivized to consummate acquisitions or mergers at less attractive valuations, as well as the risk that SPACs cannot successfully complete business combinations.
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
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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 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
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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 clearance and settlement procedures. If a Fund experiences settlement problems, it may result in temporary periods when a portion of the Fund's assets are uninvested and could cause the Fund to miss attractive investment opportunities or a potential liability to the Fund arising out of the Fund's 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.
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Risks of Developing/Emerging Markets 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 markets 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, or (ii) determined by the Adviser to be an emerging market country. As of the date of this SAI, the Adviser considers "emerging markets 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 markets 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 markets equity and emerging markets 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 markets 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 markets countries;
v. Many of the developing and emerging markets 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 markets 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;
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 have material limitations on Public Company Accounting Oversight Board ("PCAOB") inspection, investigation and enforcement capabilities which hinder the ability to engage in
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independent oversight or inspection of accounting firms located in or operating in certain developing or emerging markets; therefore, 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.
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 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.
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. 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 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.
Risks of Investments in the China Interbank Bond Market through the Bond Connect Program.Certain Funds may invest in China onshore bonds traded on the China Interbank Bond Market ("CIBM") through the China - Hong Kong Bond Connect Program ("Bond Connect"). In China, the Hong Kong
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Monetary Authority Central Moneymarkets Unit holds Bond Connect securities on behalf of ultimate investors (such as the Funds) in accounts maintained with a China-based custodian (either the China Central Depository & Clearing Co. or the Shanghai Clearing House). This recordkeeping system subjects a Fund to various risks, including the risks of settlement delays and counterparty default of the China custodian and Hong Kong custody agent. In addition, the Fund may have a limited ability to enforce rights as a bondholder because enforcing the ownership rights of a beneficial holder of Bond Connect securities is untested and courts in China have limited experience in applying the concept of beneficial ownership.
Bond Connect uses the trading infrastructure of both Hong Kong and China and is not available on trading holidays in Hong Kong. As a result, prices of securities purchased through Bond Connect may fluctuate at times when the Fund is unable to add to or exit its position. Securities offered through Bond Connect may lose their eligibility for trading through Bond Connect at any time. If Bond Connect securities lose their eligibility for trading through Bond Connect, they may be sold but can no longer be purchased through Bond Connect.
Because Bond Connect trades are settled in RMB, the Funds investing through Bond Connect must have timely access to a reliable supply of offshore RMB, which cannot be guaranteed.
Market volatility and potential lack of liquidity due to low trading volume of certain bonds on the CIBM may result in prices of such bonds fluctuating significantly, exposing a Fund to liquidity and volatility risks. The bid-ask spreads of the prices of such securities may be large, and a Fund may therefore incur significant costs and may suffer losses when selling such investments. Bonds traded on the CIBM may be difficult or impossible to sell, which may impact a Fund's ability to acquire or dispose of such securities at their expected prices.
Bond Connect is relatively new and its effects on the Chinese interbank bond market are uncertain. Trading through Bond Connect is performed through newly developed trading platforms and operational systems, and in the event of systems malfunctions or extreme market conditions, trading via Bond Connect could be disrupted. There can be no assurance as to Bond Connect's continued existence or whether future developments regarding Bond Connect (including further interpretation and guidance provided by regulators in Hong Kong and China) may restrict or adversely affect the Fund's investments or returns. Finally, uncertainties in China tax rules governing taxation of income and gains from investments via Bond Connect could result in unexpected tax liabilities for a Fund.
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.
Foreign Exchange Transactions. The Funds 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, 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.
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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. Certain Funds may also engage in foreign exchange transactions, such as forward contracts, for non-hedging purposes to enhance returns. Open positions in forward foreign currency contracts used for non-hedging purposes will be covered by the segregation of a sufficient amount of liquid assets.
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 their 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 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 facilities. For more information, see "Forward Foreign Currency Contracts" and "Swaps."
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.
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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. 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 a 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."
Floating Rate Corporate Loans and Corporate Debt Securities of Non-U.S. Borrowers. Floating rate loans and debt securities made to and issued by non-U.S. borrowers in which the Funds invest 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. In all 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.
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.
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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.
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 (directly or through its respective Subsidiary) it will bear its proportionate share of any fees and expenses borne by the ETN. A decision by a Fund or its respective Subsidiary 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 a Fund or its respective Subsidiary characterizes and treats ETNs 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,
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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 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.
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. Certain Funds 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.
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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 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, a Fund may not achieve its investment objective.
Low or Negative 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 response to recent market volatility and economic uncertainty arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. government and certain foreign central banks have taken steps to stabilize markets by, among other things, reducing interest rates. As a result, interest rates in the United States are at historically low levels, and certain foreign countries have pursued negative interest rate policies. These actions 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.
If low or negative interest rates become more prevalent in the market and/or if low or negative interest rates persist for a sustained period of time, 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
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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 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.
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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 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. Discussions among policymakers continue, however, as to whether FNMA and FHLMC should be nationalized, privatized, restructured, or eliminated altogether. 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.
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.
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
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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.
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,
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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 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.
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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.
Event-Linked Bonds. Investments may be made in "event-linked" bonds or interests in trusts and other pooled entities that invest primarily or exclusively in event-linked bonds, including entities sponsored and/or advised by Invesco or its affiliates.
Event-linked bonds, including "catastrophe" bonds and other insurance-linked securities, are fixed income securities for which the return of principal and payment of interest is contingent on the non-occurrence of a specific trigger event, such as a hurricane, earthquake, or other occurrence that leads to physical or economic loss. In some cases, the trigger event will not be deemed to have occurred unless the event is of a certain magnitude (based on, for example, scientific readings) or causes a certain measurable amount of loss to the issuer, a particular industry group or a reference index. If the trigger event occurs prior to maturity, a Fund may lose all or a portion of its principal and additional interest. A Fund may also invest in similar bonds where the Fund may lose all or a portion of its principal and additional interest if the mortality rate in a geographic area exceeds a stated threshold prior to maturity whether or not a particular catastrophic event has occurred. Event-linked bonds include the universe of insurance-linked securities, including privately-placed event-linked securities including sidecards, collateralized reinsurance and industry loss warranties. Some of these investments are illiquid but they are event-linked in that they default as a result of an event or series of events.
Event-linked bonds may be issued by government agencies, insurance companies, reinsurers, and financial institutions, among other issuers, or special purpose vehicles associated with the foregoing. Often event-links bonds provide for extensions of maturity in order to process and audit loss claims in those cases when a trigger event has occurred or is likely to have occurred. An extension of maturity may increase a bond's volatility.
Event-linked bonds may expose a Fund to certain other risks, including issuer default, adverse regulatory or jurisdictional interpretations, liquidity risk and adverse tax consequences. Lack of a liquid market may result in higher transaction costs and the possibility that a Fund may be forced to liquidate positions when it would not be advantageous to do so. Event-linked bonds are typically rated by one or more nationally recognized statistical rating organizations and a Fund will only invest in event-linked bonds that meet the credit quality requirements for the Fund.
The issuers of the event-linked bonds in which a Fund will invest are generally treated as PFICs for U.S. income tax purposes. For more information about PFICs, see "Passive Investment Foreign Corporations."
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
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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 of the Funds. 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.
The Funds can invest in commercial paper if it is rated within the top three rating categories of S&P and Moody's or other rating organizations. If the paper is not rated, it may be purchased if Invesco determines that it is comparable to rated commercial paper in the top three rating categories of national rating organizations.
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 fixed and 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 Fund. 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
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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.
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 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.
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 bonds 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.
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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 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
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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 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
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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.
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 Obligations. Inverse floating rate obligations are variable rate debt instruments that pay interest at rates that move in the opposite direction of prevailing interest rates. Because the interest rate paid to holders of such obligations is generally determined by subtracting a variable or floating rate from a predetermined amount, the interest rate paid to holders of such obligations will decrease as such variable or floating rate increases and increase as such variable or floating rate decreases. The inverse floating rate obligations in which a Fund may invest include derivative instruments such as residual interest bonds, tender option bonds (TOBs) or municipal bond trust certificates. Such instruments are typically created by a special purpose trust (the TOB Trust) that holds long-term fixed rate bonds, which are contributed by a Fund (the "underlying security"), and sells two classes of beneficial interests: short-term floating rate interests, which are sold to or held by third party investors (Floaters), and inverse floating residual interests, which are purchased by the Funds (Residuals). The Floaters have first priority on the cash flow from the bonds held by the TOB Trust and a Fund (as holder of the Residuals) is paid the residual cash flow from the bonds held by the TOB Trust. Like most other fixed-income securities, the value of inverse floating rate obligations will decrease as interest rates increase. They are more volatile, however, than most other fixed-income securities because the coupon rate on an inverse floating rate obligation typically changes at a multiple of the change in the relevant index rate. Thus, any rise in the index rate (as a consequence of an increase in interest rates) causes a correspondingly greater drop in the coupon rate of an inverse floating rate obligation while a drop in the index rate causes a correspondingly greater increase in the coupon of an inverse floating rate obligation. Some inverse floating rate obligations may also increase or decrease substantially because of changes in the rate of prepayments. Inverse floating rate obligations tend to underperform the market for fixed rate bonds in a rising interest rate environment, but tend to outperform the market for fixed rate bonds when interest rates decline or remain relatively stable. Inverse floating rate obligations have varying degrees of liquidity.
The primary risks associated with inverse floating rate securities are varying degrees of liquidity and decreases in the value of such securities in response to changes in interest rates to a greater extent than fixed rate securities having similar credit quality, redemption provisions and maturity, which may cause the Fund's net asset value to be more volatile than if it had not invested in inverse floating rate securities. In
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certain instances, the short-term floating rate notes created by the TOB Trust may not be able to be sold to third parties or, in the case of holders tendering (or putting) such notes for repayment of principal, may not be able to be remarketed to third parties. In such cases, the TOB Trust holding the fixed rate bonds may be collapsed with the entity that contributed the fixed rate bonds to the TOB Trust. In the case where a TOB Trust is collapsed with a Fund, the Fund will be required to repay the principal amount of the tendered securities, which may require the Fund to sell other portfolio holdings to raise cash to meet that obligation. The Fund could therefore be required to sell other portfolio holdings at a disadvantageous time or price to raise cash to meet this obligation, which risk will be heightened during times of market volatility, illiquidity or uncertainty. The embedded leverage in the TOB Trust could cause a Fund to lose more money than the value of the asset it has contributed to the TOB Trust and greater levels of leverage create the potential for greater losses. In addition, a Fund may enter into reimbursement agreements with the liquidity provider of certain TOB transactions in connection with certain residuals held by the Fund. These agreements commit a Fund to reimburse the liquidity provider to the extent that the liquidity provider must provide cash to a TOB Trust, including following the termination of a TOB Trust resulting from a mandatory tender event (liquidity shortfall). The reimbursement agreement will effectively make the Fund liable for the amount of the negative difference, if any, between the liquidation value of the underlying security and the purchase price of the floating rate notes issued by the TOB Trust.
Final rules implementing section 619 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the "Volcker Rule") prohibit banking entities from engaging in proprietary trading of certain instruments and limit such entities' investments in, and relationships with, "covered funds", as defined in the rules. These rules preclude banking entities and their affiliates from sponsoring and/or providing services for existing TOB Trusts. A new TOB structure is being utilized by a Fund wherein the Fund, as holder of the residuals, will perform certain duties previously performed by banking entities as "sponsors" of TOB Trusts. These duties may be performed by a third-party service provider. A Fund's expanded role under the new TOB structure may increase its operational and regulatory risk. The new structure is substantially similar to the previous structure; however, pursuant to the Volcker Rule, the remarketing agent would not be able to repurchase tendered floaters for its own account upon a failed remarketing. In the event of a failed remarketing, a banking entity serving as liquidity provider may loan the necessary funds to the TOB Trust to purchase the tendered floaters. The TOB Trust, not a Fund, would be the borrower and the loan from the liquidity provider will be secured by the purchased floaters now held by the TOB Trust. However, as previously described, a Fund would bear the risk of loss with respect to any liquidity shortfall to the extent it entered into a reimbursement agreement with the liquidity provider.
Further, the SEC and various banking agencies have adopted rules implementing credit risk retention requirements for asset-backed securities (the Risk Retention Rules). The Risk Retention Rules require the sponsor of a TOB Trust to retain at least 5% of the credit risk of the underlying assets supporting the TOB Trust's municipal bonds. As applicable, the Funds have adopted policies intended to comply with the Risk Retention Rules. The Risk Retention Rules may adversely affect the Funds' ability to engage in TOB Trust transactions or increase the costs of such transactions in certain circumstances.
There can be no assurances that the new TOB structure will continue to be a viable form of leverage. Further, there can be no assurances that alternative forms of leverage will be available to the Fund in order to maintain current levels of leverage. Any alternative forms of leverage may be less advantageous to a Fund, and may adversely affect the Fund's net asset value, distribution rate and ability to achieve its investment objective.
Certificates of participation (or Participation certificates) are obligations issued by state or local governments or authorities to finance the acquisition of equipment and facilities. They may represent participations in a lease, an installment purchase contract or a conditional sales contract. These participation interests may give the purchaser an undivided interest in one or more underlying Municipal Securities. Municipal securities may not be backed by the faith, credit and taxing power of the issuer.
Custodial receipts are underwritten by securities dealers or banks and evidence ownership of future interest payments, principal payments or both on certain municipal securities.
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Municipal Lease Obligations. Investments in municipal lease obligations may be made by purchasing such obligations directly or through participation interests. Municipal lease 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 a Municipal Security which is purchased on a when-issued basis with longer-than-standard settlement dates, in some cases taking place up to five years from the date of purchase. The buyer, in this case a Fund, will execute a receipt evidencing the obligation to purchase the bond on the specified issue date, and must segregate cash to meet that forward commitment. 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.
Investment Grade Debt Obligations. Debt obligations include, among others, bonds, notes, debentures or variable rate demand notes. They may be 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. There may be 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) comparably rated short term securities, or (iii) unrated securities determined by the Adviser to be of comparable quality, each at the time of purchase. 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.
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.
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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.
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. In the event of financial deterioration on the part of the borrower, these covenants are included to permit the lenders to renegotiate the terms of the loan, such as increasing borrowing costs to the borrower, or to take other actions which would improve the position of the lender. 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
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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.
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.
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 addition, the 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, the 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, the 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 to 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 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).
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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.
Investments in Pooled Investment Entities that Invest in Loans. Certain Funds can buy interests in trusts and other pooled entities (including other investment companies) that invest primarily or exclusively in loan obligations, including entities sponsored or advised by the Adviser or an affiliate. The loans underlying these investments may include loans to foreign or U.S. borrowers, may be collateralized or uncollateralized and may be rated investment-grade or below, or may be unrated. These investments are subject to risks applicable to loan investments, including the risk of default by the borrower, interest rate and prepayment risk. The Fund will be subject to the pooled entity's credit risks as well as the credit risks of the underlying loans. There is a risk that a borrower of the underlying loan may have difficulty making payments. If a borrower fails to pay scheduled interest or principal payments, the Fund's income may be reduced and the value of the investment in the pooled entity might also decline.
Highly Leveraged Transactions and Insolvent Borrowers. Loans made in connection with highly leveraged transactions may include operating loans, leveraged buyout loans, leveraged capitalization loans and other types of acquisition financing. Those loans are subject to greater credit risks than other loans. Highly leveraged loans and loans in default also may be less liquid than other loans. If the Fund voluntarily or involuntarily sold those types of loans, it might not receive the full value it expected.
The Fund can also invest in loans of borrowers that are experiencing, or are likely to experience, financial difficulty. In addition, the Fund can invest in loans of borrowers that have filed for bankruptcy protection or that have had involuntary bankruptcy petitions filed against them by creditors. Various laws enacted for the protection of debtors may apply to loans. A bankruptcy proceeding against a borrower could delay or limit the ability of the Fund to collect the principal and interest payments on that borrower's loans. If a lawsuit is brought by creditors of a borrower under a loan, a court or a trustee in bankruptcy could take certain actions that would be adverse to the Fund. For example:
Other creditors might convince the court to set aside a loan or the collateralization of the loan as a "fraudulent conveyance" or "preferential transfer." In that event, the court could recover from the
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Fund the interest and principal payments that the borrower made before becoming insolvent. There can be no assurance that the Fund would be able to prevent that recapture.
A bankruptcy court may restructure the payment obligations under the loan so as to reduce the amount to which the Fund would be entitled.
The court might discharge the amount of the loan that exceeds the value of the collateral or assets to which the lenders have recourse.
The court could subordinate the Fund's rights to the rights of other creditors of the borrower under applicable law.
Delayed Draw Loans. There may be obligations under a loan agreement to make disbursements of loans after the initial disbursement in certain circumstances, for example if the loan was partially "unfunded" at the time the Fund invested or if there otherwise is an ongoing commitment from the lenders to disburse further loans. The Fund intends to establish a reserve against such contingent obligations by identifying on its books cash or other liquid assets. The Fund will not purchase a loan that would require the Fund to make additional loans if as a result of that purchase all of the Fund's additional loan commitments in the aggregate would cause the Fund to fail to meet any applicable asset segregation requirements.
Delayed Settlement. Compared to securities and to certain other types of financial assets, purchases and sales of loans, including via participation, take relatively longer to settle. This is partly due to the nature of loans, which require a written assignment agreement and various ancillary documents for each transfer, and frequently require discretionary consents from both the borrower and the administrative agent. In addition, dealers frequently insist on matching their purchases and sales, which can lead to delays in the Fund's settlement of a purchase or sale in circumstances where the dealer's corresponding transaction with another party is delayed. Dealers will also sometimes sell loans short, and hold their trades open for an indefinite period while waiting for a price movement or looking for inventory to purchase.
This extended settlement process can (i) increase the counterparty credit risk borne by the Fund; (ii) leave the Fund unable to timely vote, or otherwise act with respect to, loans it has agreed to purchase; (iii) delay the Fund from realizing the proceeds of a sale of a loan; (iv) inhibit the Fund's ability to re-sell a loan that it has agreed to purchase if conditions change (leaving the Fund more exposed to price fluctuations); (v) prevent the Fund from timely collecting principal and interest payments; and (vi) expose the Fund to adverse tax or regulatory consequences.
The Loan Syndications and Trading Association (the "LSTA") has promulgated a "delay compensation" provision in its standard loan documentation that mitigates the direct risk of permanently losing interest payments as a result of delayed settlement by causing interest to begin to accrue for the buyer's account after the seventh business day following the trade date (for distressed trades, the twentieth business day). However, this does not mitigate the other risks of delayed settlement. In addition, the mechanism itself can result in opportunistic behavior: A seller, having locked in its trade, might delay closing for seven business days in order to maximize its interest collections, even if it could have closed earlier, while a buyer may no longer feel any pressure to close at all, since interest is accruing for its benefit, and may choose to use its cash elsewhere. The LSTA has further attempted to put an outer limit on long, unjustified settlement delays by promulgating "buy-in/sell-out" provisions that allow a party to enter into a "cover" trade if the other party refuses to close. However, these provisions are complicated, time-consuming, and little-used, and are in any event not triggered until the fifteenth business day after the trade date (for distressed trades, the fiftieth business day).
To the extent the extended loan settlement process gives rise to short-term liquidity needs, such as the need to satisfy redemption requests, the Fund may hold cash, sell investments or temporarily borrow from banks or other lenders.
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
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indicators (reference instruments). Indexed securities may include structured notes and other securities wherein the interest rate or principal is determined by a reference instrument.
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 in which the Funds may invest 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.
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.
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Other Investments
Additional Information Concerning the S&P 500 Index. The S&P 500® Index is a product of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC or its affiliates ("SPDJI") and has been licensed for use by Invesco. Standard & Poor's® and S&P® are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC ("S&P") and Dow Jones® is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC ("Dow Jones"). These trademarks have been licensed for use by SPDJI and sublicensed for certain purposes by Invesco. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. The Invesco® V.I. S&P 500 Buffer Fund is not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by SPDJI, Dow Jones, S&P, any of their respective affiliates (collectively, "S&P Dow Jones Indices"). S&P Dow Jones Indices does not make any representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of the Invesco® V.I. S&P 500 Buffer Fund or any member of the public regarding the advisability of investing in securities generally or in the Invesco® V.I. S&P 500 Buffer Fund particularly or the ability of the S&P 500® Index to track general market performance. Past performance of an index is not an indication or guarantee of future results. S&P Dow Jones Indices' only relationship to Invesco with respect to the S&P 500® Index is the licensing of the Index and certain trademarks, service marks and/or trade names of S&P Dow Jones Indices and/or its licensors. The S&P 500® Index is determined, composed and calculated by S&P Dow Jones Indices without regard to Invesco or the Invesco® V.I. S&P 500 Buffer Fund. S&P Dow Jones Indices has no obligation to take the needs of Invesco or the owners of the Invesco® V.I. S&P 500 Buffer Fund into consideration in determining, composing or calculating the S&P 500® Index. S&P Dow Jones Indices is not responsible for and has not participated in the determination of the prices, and amount of the Invesco® V.I. S&P 500 Buffer Fund or the timing of the issuance or sale of the Invesco® V.I. S&P 500 Buffer Fund or in the determination or calculation of the equation by which Invesco® V.I. S&P 500 Buffer Fund is to be converted into cash, surrendered or redeemed, as the case may be. S&P Dow Jones Indices has no obligation or liability in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of the Invesco® V.I. S&P 500 Buffer Fund. There is no assurance that investment products based on the S&P 500® Index will accurately track index performance or provide positive investment returns. S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC is not an investment or tax advisor. A tax advisor should be consulted to evaluate the impact of any tax-exempt securities on portfolios and the tax consequences of making any particular investment decision. Inclusion of a security within an index is not a recommendation by S&P Dow Jones Indices to buy, sell, or hold such security, nor is it considered to be investment advice.
S&P DOW JONES INDICES DOES NOT GUARANTEE THE ADEQUACY, ACCURACY, TIMELINESS AND/OR THE COMPLETENESS OF THE S&P 500® INDEX OR ANY DATA RELATED THERETO OR ANY COMMUNICATION, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, ORAL OR WRITTEN COMMUNICATION (INCLUDING ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS) WITH RESPECT THERETO. S&P DOW JONES INDICES SHALL NOT BE SUBJECT TO ANY DAMAGES OR LIABILITY FOR ANY ERRORS, OMISSIONS, OR DELAYS THEREIN. S&P DOW JONES INDICES MAKES NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE OR AS TO RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED BY INVESCO, OWNERS OF THE INVESCO® V.I. S&P 500 BUFFER FUND, OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY FROM THE USE OF THE S&P 500® INDEX OR WITH RESPECT TO ANY DATA RELATED THERETO. WITHOUT LIMITING ANY OF THE FOREGOING, IN NO EVENT WHATSOEVER SHALL S&P DOW JONES INDICES BE LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, PUNITIVE, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, LOSS OF PROFITS, TRADING LOSSES, LOST TIME OR GOODWILL, EVEN IF THEY HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, TORT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR OTHERWISE. THERE ARE NO THIRD PARTY BENEFICIARIES OF ANY AGREEMENTS OR ARRANGEMENTS BETWEEN S&P DOW JONES INDICES AND INVESCO, OTHER THAN THE LICENSORS OF S&P DOW JONES INDICES.
THE ADVISER, SUB-ADVISER AND THEIR AFFILIATES (COLLECTIVELY, THE ADVISER PARTIES) DO NOT GUARANTEE THE ACCURACY AND/OR THE COMPLETENESS OF THE UNDERLYING INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN, AND THE ADVISER PARTIES SHALL HAVE NO LIABILITY FOR ANY ERRORS, OMISSIONS, RESTATEMENTS, RE-CALCULATIONS OR INTERRUPTIONS THEREIN. THE ADVISER PARTIES MAKE NO WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO RESULTS TO BE
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OBTAINED BY EACH INVESCO® V.I. S&P 500 BUFFER FUND, OWNERS OF SHARES OF EACH INVESCO® V.I. S&P 500 BUFFER FUND, OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY FROM THE USE OF THE UNDERLYING INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. THE ADVISER PARTIES MAKE NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE WITH RESPECT TO THE UNDERLYING INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. WITHOUT LIMITING ANY OF THE FOREGOING, IN NO EVENT SHALL THE ADVISER PARTIES HAVE ANY LIABILITY FOR ANY SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, DIRECT, INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING LOST PROFITS) ARISING OUT OF MATTERS RELATING TO THE USE OF THE UNDERLYING INDEX, EVEN IF NOTIFIED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.
Additional Information Concerning the NASDAQ 100 Index. Each Invesco V.I. NASDAQ 100 Buffer Fund is not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by Nasdaq, Inc. or its affiliates (Nasdaq, with its affiliates, are referred to as the "Corporations"). The Corporations have not passed on the legality or suitability of, or the accuracy or adequacy of descriptions and disclosures relating to each Invesco V.I. NASDAQ 100 Buffer Fund. The Corporations make no representation or warranty, express or implied, to the owners of each Invesco V.I. NASDAQ 100 Buffer Fund or any member of the public regarding the advisability of investing in securities generally or in each Invesco V.I. NASDAQ 100 Buffer Fund particularly, or the ability of the Underlying Index to track general stock market performance. The Corporations' only relationship to the Adviser and each Invesco V.I. NASDAQ 100 Buffer Fund (together, the "Licensee") is in the licensing of the Nasdaq®, Nasdaq-100®, Nasdaq 100 Index®, NDX®, "Invesco QQQ TrustSM", and certain trade names of the Corporations and the use of the Underlying Index which is determined, composed and calculated by Nasdaq without regard to the Licensee. Nasdaq has no obligation to take the needs of the Licensee or the owners of each Invesco V.I. NASDAQ 100 Buffer Fund into consideration in determining, composing or calculating the Underlying Index. The Corporations are not responsible for and have not participated in the determination of the timing of, prices at, or quantities of each Invesco V.I. NASDAQ 100 Buffer Fund to be issued or in the determination or calculation of the equation by which each Invesco V.I. NASDAQ 100 Buffer Fund is to be converted into cash. The Corporations have no liability in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of each Invesco V.I. NASDAQ 100 Buffer Fund.
THE CORPORATIONS DO NOT GUARANTEE THE ACCURACY AND/OR UNINTERRUPTED CALCULATION OF THE UNDERLYING INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. THE CORPORATIONS MAKE NO WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED BY THE LICENSEE, OWNERS OF EACH INVESCO V.I. NASDAQ 100 BUFFER FUND, OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY FROM THE USE OF THE UNDERLYING INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. THE CORPORATIONS MAKE NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE WITH RESPECT TO THE UNDERLYING INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. WITHOUT LIMITING ANY OF THE FOREGOING, IN NO EVENT SHALL THE CORPORATIONS HAVE ANY LIABIITY FOR ANY LOST PROFITS OR SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, PUNITIVE, INDIRECT, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, EVEN IF NOTIFIED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.
THE ADVISER, THE SUB-ADVISER AND THEIR AFFILIATES (COLLECTIVELY, THE "ADVISER PARTIES") DO NOT GUARANTEE THE ACCURACY AND/OR THE COMPLETENESS OF THE UNDERLYING INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN, AND THE ADVISER PARTIES SHALL HAVE NO LIABILITY FOR ANY ERRORS, OMISSIONS, RESTATEMENTS, RE-CALCULATIONS OR INTERRUPTIONS THEREIN. THE ADVISER PARTIES MAKE NO WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED BY EACH INVESCO V.I. NASDAQ 100 BUFFER FUND, OWNERS OF SHARES OF EACH INVESCO V.I. NASDAQ 100 BUFFER FUND, OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY FROM THE USE OF THE UNDERLYING INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. THE ADVISER PARTIES MAKE NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE WITH RESPECT TO THE UNDERLYING INDEX OR ANY DATA INCLUDED THEREIN. WITHOUT LIMITING ANY OF THE FOREGOING, IN NO EVENT SHALL THE ADVISER PARTIES HAVE ANY LIABILITY FOR ANY
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SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, DIRECT, INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING LOST PROFITS) ARISING OUT OF MATTERS RELATING TO THE USE OF THE UNDERLYING INDEX, EVEN IF NOTIFIED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.
Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). Each Fund may invest in equity interests and/or debt obligations issued by 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 own 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.
Initial Public Offerings. Certain Funds may invest in securities of companies in IPOs. IPOs of securities issued by unseasoned companies with little or no operating history are risky and their prices are highly volatile, but they can result in very large gains in their initial trading. Attractive IPOs are often oversubscribed and may not be available to a Fund, or only in very limited quantities. Thus, when a Fund's size is smaller, any gains from IPOs will have an exaggerated impact on the Fund's reported performance than when the Fund is larger. A Fund may engage in short-term trading in connection with its IPO investments, which could produce higher trading costs and adverse tax consequences. There can be no assurance that a Fund will have favorable IPO investment opportunities.
Other Investment Companies. Unless otherwise indicated in this SAI or in a Fund's prospectus, each Fund may purchase shares of other investment companies. For each Fund, the 1940 Act imposes the following restrictions on investments in other investment companies, including ETFs: (i) a Fund may not purchase more than 3% of the total outstanding voting stock of another investment company; (ii) a Fund may not invest more than 5% of its total assets in securities issued by another investment company; and (iii) a Fund may not invest more than 10% of its total assets in securities issued by other investment companies.
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The 1940 Act and related rules provide certain exemptions from these restrictions. For example, under certain conditions, a Fund may acquire an unlimited amount of shares of mutual funds that are part of the same group of investment companies as the acquiring fund. In addition, these restrictions do not apply to investments by the Funds in investment companies that are money market funds, including money market funds that have Invesco or an affiliate of Invesco as an investment adviser (the Affiliated Money Market Funds).
When a Fund purchases shares of another investment company, including an Affiliated Money Market Fund, 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.
In October 2020, the SEC adopted rules related to investments in other investment vehicles that, when effective in 2022, could require certain Funds to adjust their investments accordingly. These adjustments may have an impact on a Fund's investment performance, strategy and process as well as those of the underlying investment vehicles.
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). MLPs generally are 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.
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
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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 may 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 the 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 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 the Fund's investment in the MLP and lower income to the Fund. Also, to the extent a distribution received by a Fund from an MLP is treated as a return of capital, the Fund's adjusted tax basis in the interests of the MLP will be reduced, which may increase the Fund's tax liability upon the sale of the interests in the MLP or upon subsequent distributions in respect of such interests.
Greenfield Projects. Greenfield projects are energy-related projects built by private joint ventures formed by energy infrastructure companies. Greenfield projects may include the creation of a new pipeline, processing plant or storage facility or other energy infrastructure asset that is integrated with the company's existing assets. The primary risk involved with the greenfield projects is execution risk or construction risk. Changing project requirements, elevated costs for labor and materials, and unexpected construction hurdles all can increase construction costs. Financing risk exists should changes in construction costs or financial markets occur. Regulatory risk exists should changes in regulation occur during construction or the necessary permits are not secured prior to beginning construction.
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
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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.
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, unless Invesco and/or the Sub-Advisers determines that such defaulted securities are liquid under guidelines adopted by the Board, except as otherwise may be determined under the Trust's applicable policies and procedures.
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
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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 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. Certain Funds may invest in 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. Certain Funds 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 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 also include "to be announced" (TBA) dollar roll transactions, which are contracts for the purchase or sale of mortgage-backed securities to be delivered at a future agreed upon date, whereby the specific mortgage-backed securities that will be delivered to fulfill the trade obligation or terms of the contract are not specifically identified at the time of the trade. A Fund may also enter into buy/sell back transactions (a form of delayed delivery agreement). In a buy/sell back transaction, a Fund enters a trade to sell securities at one price and simultaneously enters a trade to buy the same securities at another price for settlement at a future 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 sell these securities or its commitment before the
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settlement date if deemed advisable. 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 rights and risks of ownership of the security, including the risk of price and yield fluctuation, 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 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 obligations to a Fund. A Fund may obtain no or only limited recovery in a bankruptcy or other organizational proceedings, and any recovery may be significantly delayed. With respect to forward settling TBA transactions involving U.S. Government agency mortgage-backed securities, 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. Until the settlement date, a Fund will segregate liquid assets of a dollar value sufficient at all times to make payment for the forward commitment, when-issued or delayed delivery transactions. Such segregated liquid assets will be marked-to-market daily, and the amount segregated will be increased if necessary to maintain adequate coverage of the delayed delivery commitments. 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 transactions in other forward-settling mortgage-backed securities are effected pursuant to a collateral agreement with the seller. A Fund provides to the seller collateral consisting of cash or liquid securities in an amount as specified by the agreement upon initiation of the transaction. A Fund 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 seller 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 of principal and interest if the value of the collateral declines. In these situations, a Fund will be subject to greater risk that the value of the collateral will decline before it is recovered or, in some circumstances, the Fund may not be able to recover the collateral, and the Fund will experience a loss.
Short Sales. A Fund may engage in short sales and may also make short sales against the box. The Funds do not currently intend to engage in short sales of securities other than short sales of securities that a Fund owns or has the right to obtain (short sales against the box).
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, a Fund will be required to deposit cash or liquid securities with the broker. In addition, a Fund may have to pay a premium to borrow the securities, and while the loan of the security sold short is outstanding, the Fund is required to pay to the
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broker the amount of any dividends paid on shares sold short. In addition to maintaining collateral with the broker, a Fund will earmark or segregate an amount of cash or liquid securities equal to the difference, if any, between the current market value of the securities sold short and any cash or liquid securities deposited as collateral with the broker-dealer in connection with the short sale. The collateral will be marked to market daily. The amounts deposited with the broker or segregated with the custodian do not have the effect of limiting the amount of money that a Fund may lose on a short sale. Short sale transactions covered in this manner are not treated as senior securities for purposes of a Fund's fundamental investment limitation on senior securities and borrowings.
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 volatility. 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.
Certain Funds may also enter into short sales against the box. 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 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. The Funds will not 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 related 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
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temporary or emergency purposes; (ii) in anticipation of or in response to adverse market conditions; or, (iii) for cash management purposes. 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.
The ability to borrow money to purchase additional securities 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 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. A Fund may not purchase additional securities when any borrowings from banks or broker-dealers exceed 5% of a Fund's total assets or when any borrowings from an Invesco Fund are outstanding.
Lending Portfolio Securities. Certain Funds 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 income earned would justify the risks.
A Fund will not have the right to vote securities while they are on loan, but it can call a loan in anticipation of an important vote. 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 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.
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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. Certain Funds 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 acquires ownership of a security from a broker-dealer or bank that agrees to repurchase the security at a mutually agreed upon time and price (which is higher than the purchase price), thereby determining the yield 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 transaction, collateral for a repurchase agreement may include cash items, obligations issued by the U.S. Government or its agencies or instrumentalities. The Funds may engage in repurchase agreements collateralized by securities that are rated investment grade and 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 underlying security to the extent that the proceeds of the sale including accrued interest are less than the resale price provided in the 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.
A Fund 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 so that the value of such securities is at least equal to the investment value of the repurchase agreement, including any accrued interest thereon. 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 collateralized by cash or Government Securities, 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 Funds would have invested more than 15% of its net assets in illiquid investments that are assets.
For purposes of the above 15% limitation, 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.
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.
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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.
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. 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. During the reverse repurchase agreement period, the Fund continues to receive interest and principal payments on the securities sold. 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 purchased by the Fund may decline below the price at which the Fund is obligated to repurchase the securities, 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. At the time the Fund enters into a reverse repurchase agreement, it will segregate, and maintain, liquid assets having a dollar value equal to the repurchase price, if specified, or the value of proceeds received on any sale subject to the repurchase plus accrued interest. This practice of segregating assets is referred to as "cover." Reverse repurchase agreements "covered" in this manner are not treated as senior securities for purposes of a Fund's fundamental investment limitation on senior securities and borrowings. The liquidity of the Fund and its ability to meet redemption requests may be impaired to the extent that a substantial portion of the Fund's otherwise liquid assets is used as cover or pledged to the counterparty as collateral. 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. Certain Funds may engage in mortgage dollar rolls (a dollar roll). 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.
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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. At the time a Fund enters into a dollar roll transaction, a sufficient amount of assets held by the Fund will be segregated to meet the forward commitment. Dollar roll transactions covered in this manner are not treated as senior securities for purposes of a Fund's fundamental investment limitation on senior securities and borrowings.
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.
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 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.
Because 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, federal securities laws, regulations and guidance may require the Fund to earmark assets, to reduce the risks associated with derivatives, or to otherwise hold instruments that offset the Fund's current obligations under the derivatives instrument. This process is known as "cover." A Fund will not enter into any derivative transaction unless it can comply with SEC guidance regarding cover, and, if SEC guidance so requires, the Fund will earmark cash or liquid assets with a value at least sufficient to cover its current obligations under a derivative transaction or otherwise "cover" the transaction in accordance with applicable SEC guidance. If a large portion of the Fund's assets is used for cover, it could affect portfolio management or the Fund's ability
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to meet redemption requests or other current obligations. The leverage involved in certain derivative transactions may result in the Fund's net asset value being more sensitive to changes in the value of the related investment.
For swaps, forwards, options and futures that are contractually required to "cash-settle," the Funds are permitted to set aside liquid assets in an amount equal to these Funds' respective daily mark-to-market (net) obligations, if any (i.e., the Funds' respective daily net liabilities, if any), rather than such contracts' full notional value. By setting aside assets equal to only its net obligations under cash-settled swaps, forwards, options and futures contracts, the Funds will have the ability to employ leverage to a greater extent than if the Funds were required to segregate assets equal to the full notional value of such contracts. Instruments that do not cash settle may be treated as cash settled for purposes of setting aside assets when a Fund has entered into a contractual arrangement with a third party futures commission merchant (FCM) or other counterparty to off-set the Fund's exposure under the contract and, failing that, to assign its delivery obligation under the contract to the counterparty. The Funds reserve the right to modify their asset segregation policies in the future to comply with any changes in the positions articulated from time to time by the SEC. The Subsidiary will comply with these asset segregation requirements to the same extent as the Funds, as applicable.
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 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.
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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 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. The agreement may allow for netting of the counterparty's obligations with respect to a specific transaction, in which case a Fund's obligation or right will be the net amount owed to or by the counterparty. 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 instead of the counterparty. If a counterparty's creditworthiness declines, the value of the derivative would also likely decline, potentially resulting in losses to the Fund.
The Fund will not enter into a transaction with any single counterparty if the net amount owed or to be received under existing transactions under the agreements with that counterparty would exceed 5% of the Fund's net assets determined on the date the transaction is entered into or as otherwise permitted by law.
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. The Fund segregates or earmarks assets or otherwise covers transactions that may give rise to leverage. 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. The Fund does not segregate or otherwise cover investments in derivatives with economic leverage.
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.
Risks of Potential Increased Regulation 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.
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.
Regulatory Risk: The risk that a change in laws or regulations will materially impact a security or market.
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."
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Position Limits. The CFTC and various futures exchanges have established limits, referred to as position limits, on the maximum net long or net short positions that any person may hold or control in certain options and futures contracts. More specifically, the CFTC has long established and enforced speculative position limits for futures and options contracts on various agricultural commodities (e.g., corn, oats, wheat, soybeans and cotton). In addition, various futures exchanges currently impose position limits on many other commodities.
The CFTC has proposed rules (which are not yet finalized or effective) that would expand its position limits to include futures and options on so-called "exempt commodities" (which include most energy and metals contracts) and apply position limits to economically equivalent swaps. If the CFTC successfully implements these new rules, the size or duration of positions available to certain Funds may be severely limited and certain Funds' performance could be negatively impacted.
In order to avoid exceeding position limits, the Adviser may have to modify its trading decisions for certain Funds, and a Fund's positions may have to be liquidated. Additionally, an exchange may order the liquidation of positions found to be in violation of applicable limits and it may impose other sanctions or restrictions. Such actions could limit the implementation of certain Funds' investment strategy and adversely affect a Fund's performance.
The CFTC's existing regulations require the aggregation of all positions owned or controlled by the same person or entity, even if in different accounts, for the purpose of determining whether applicable position limits have been exceeded, unless an exemption from such aggregation is available. Due to this requirement, even if a Fund does not intend to exceed applicable position limits, it is possible that the positions of other clients managed by the Adviser and their related parties may be aggregated with those of a Fund for this purpose. As a result, the Adviser may have to limit a Fund's investment strategy and liquidate Fund positions even where a Fund has not exceeded any position limits on its own.
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.
Each Fund may enter into swap agreements. 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
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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.
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 related regulatory developments imposed comprehensive regulatory requirements on swaps and swap market participants. The regulatory framework includes: (1) registration and regulation of swap dealers and major swap participants; (2) requiring central clearing and execution of standardized swaps; (3) imposing margin requirements in 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 credits, or narrow-based indices of securities or credits.
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 contract resulting from, among other things, interest on the notional value of the contract, market value changes in the underlying investment, and/or dividends paid by the issuer of the underlying instrument. 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
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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.
Currently, the Funds do not typically provide initial margin in connection with uncleared swaps. However, rules 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, it will under applicable swap 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 counterparty. In such an event, the Fund will have contractual remedies pursuant to the swap agreements, 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 exchange-trading. Central clearing is intended to reduce counterparty credit risk and increase liquidity, but central clearing does not eliminate these risks and may involve additional costs and risks not involved with uncleared swaps. The Dodd-Frank Act and related regulatory developments will ultimately require the clearing and exchange-trading of many swaps. Mandatory exchange-trading and clearing will occur on a phased-in basis based on the type of market participant and CFTC approval of contracts for central clearing and public trading facilities making such cleared swaps available to trade. 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 trading 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 central counterparty (via the FCM) an amount referred to as "initial margin." Initial margin requirements are determined by the central counterparty, and are typically calculated as an amount equal to 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 central counterparty. During the term of the swap agreement, a "variation margin" amount may also be required to be paid by the Fund or may be received by the Fund in accordance with margin controls set for such accounts. 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 of the FCM with which the Fund has an open position, or the central counterparty in a swap contract. The assets of a Fund may not be fully protected in the event of the bankruptcy of the FCM or central counterparty 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
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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 central counterparty. 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. Central counterparties 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 central counterparty 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 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
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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 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.
Caps, floors and collars. Other types of swaps include (i) interest rate caps, under which, in return for a premium, one party agrees to make payments to the other to the extent that interest rates exceed a specified rate, or "cap," (ii) interest rate floors, under which, in return for a premium, one party agrees to make payments to the other to the extent that interest rates fall below a specified level, or "floor," and (iii) interest rate collars, under which a party sells a cap and purchases a floor or vice versa in an attempt to protect itself against interest rate movements exceeding given minimum or maximum levels.
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
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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.
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. Each Fund may invest in 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.
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
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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 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.
Index Options. Index options (or options on securities indices) give the holder the right to receive, upon exercise, cash instead of securities, 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 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. 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 a call index option by holding a diversified portfolio of securities similar to those on which the underlying index is based. However, the Fund cannot, as a practical matter, acquire and hold a portfolio containing exactly the same securities that underlie 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.
Non-Standard Options. In addition to the options described above, certain options used by the Fund may have non-standard payout structures or other features. These options, which are sometimes referred to as "exotic" options, include, but are not limited to: (i) digital options (otherwise known as binary options or all-or-nothing options), which are cash-settled options that provide for a pre-determined all-or-nothing payment if, at the time of the expiration of the contract, the price of a reference asset exceeds a particular threshold; and (ii) barrier or window barrier options, which come into existence (knock-in) or cease to exist (knock-out) if the price of a reference asset reaches a particular threshold before the contract's expiration. These options are typically traded over-the-counter (OTC) and entail all of the investment risks associated with OTC options
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discussed herein. In addition, due to their non-standard terms, these options may have price movements that vary markedly from those of simple put or call options. Exotic options may be more difficult to value than more standard types of options, and may be subject to greater liquidity risk. While some exotic options have fairly active markets, others are mostly thinly traded instruments. Furthermore, to the extent that the Fund uses options that provide for all-or-nothing payouts (e.g., digital options) for hedging purposes, there may be a heightened risk that the payout will not fully offset the downside risk being hedged. Certain exotic options are considered swaps, and therefore are included in the definition of "commodity interests."
Flex Options. Flex Options are cleared and guaranteed for settlement by the OCC, but are not listed like other exchange-traded options. Therefore, Flex Options may be less liquid than certain other securities, such as conventional, listed options, and the Fund may not be able to close out certain Flex Options positions at desirable times and prices, which could prevent the Fund from achieving its strategy. FLEX Options provide investors with the ability to customize assets and indices referenced by the options, exercise prices, exercise styles (i.e., American-style) and expiration dates, while achieving price discovery in competitive, transparent auctions markets and avoiding the counterparty exposure of over-the-counter options positions. Each option contract entitles the holder thereof to purchase (for the call options) or sell (for the put options) shares of the reference asset at the strike price.
Flex Options typically can be exercised only on the expiration date, and until that date the value of a Flex Option will be affected by, among other factors, changes in the value of an underlying security or index, changes in interest rates, the price volatility of an underlying security or index and the remaining time until the expiration date. The FLEX Options in which the Funds invest are options on either the S&P 500 Index or Nasdaq 100 Index (as applicable, the "Underlying Index"). An index fluctuates with changes in the market values of the securities included in the index. Prior to the expiration date, the value of the FLEX Options will be affected by, among other factors, changes in the actual and implied volatility of the Underlying Index and the time remaining until the FLEX Options expire. The value of a Flex Option does not increase or decrease at the same rate as the security or underlying index, but typically moves in line with value of the Underlying Index as it approaches its expiration date. Options on indices give the holder the right to receive an amount of cash upon exercise of the option. Receipt of this cash amount will depend upon the closing level of the index upon which the option is based being greater than (in the case of a call) or less than (in the case of put) the exercise price of the option. Certain Flex Options could expire without value.
Each of the options exchanges has established limitations governing the maximum number of call or put options on the same index that may be bought or written by a single investor, whether acting alone or in concert with others (regardless of whether such options are written on the same or different exchanges or are held or written on one or more accounts or through one or more brokers). Pursuant to these limitations, an exchange may order the liquidation of positions and may impose other sanctions or restrictions. These positions limits may restrict the number of listed options that the Fund may buy or sell.
The Funds will comply with guidelines established by the SEC with respect to coverage of options by investment companies, and if the guidelines so require, will set aside or earmark appropriate liquid assets in the amount prescribed. Such assets cannot be sold while the option is outstanding, unless they are replaced with other suitable assets. As a result, there is a possibility that the reservation of a large percentage of a Fund's assets could impede portfolio management or the Fund's ability to meet redemption requests or other current obligations.
Option Techniques:
Writing Options. A Fund may write options to generate additional income and to seek to hedge its portfolio against market or exchange rate movements. 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
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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 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
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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. Each Fund for hedging purposes, or for speculative purposes, may enter into straddles, spreads or collars to adjust the risk and return characteristics of the Fund's overall position.
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, 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.
A futures contract is a standard binding agreement to buy or sell a specified amount of a specified security, currency, commodity, interest rate or index (or delivery of a cash settlement price, in the case of certain futures such as an index future, Eurodollar Future or volatility future) for a specified price at a designated date, time and place (collectively, futures contracts). 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.
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 financial instrument. Futures exchanges and trading thereon in the United States are regulated under the CEA and by the CFTC. Foreign futures exchanges or exempt markets and trading thereon are not regulated by the CFTC and are not 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.
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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 funds that must be deposited by a Fund in order to initiate futures contracts trading and maintain its open positions in futures contracts. 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 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 during the term of the futures contract.
Subsequent payments, called "variation margin," received from or paid to the FCM through which a Fund enters into the futures contract will be made on a daily basis as the futures 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 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 of the FCM or central counterparty 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 central counterparty.
Closing out an open futures contract is effected by entering into an offsetting futures contract for the same aggregate amount of the identical financial instrument or currency and the same delivery date. There can be no assurance, however, that a Fund will be able to enter into an offsetting transaction with respect to a particular futures contract at a particular time. If a Fund is not able to enter into an offsetting transaction, 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.
Pursuant to federal securities laws and regulations, a Fund's use of futures contracts may require the Fund to set aside assets to reduce the risks associated with using futures contracts. This process is described in more detail above in the section "Derivatives."
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
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transactions with respect to currency futures contracts are usually effected with the counterparty to the original currency futures contract.
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 an exchange-traded contract in which the specified underlying security is either an interest-bearing fixed income security or an inter-bank deposit. Two examples of common interest rate futures contracts are U.S. Treasury futures and Eurodollar futures contracts. The specified security for U.S. Treasury futures is a U.S. Treasury security. The specified security for Eurodollar futures is the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), which is a daily reference rate based on the interest rates at which banks offer to lend unsecured funds to other banks in the London wholesale money market.
Dividend Futures: A dividend futures contract is an exchange-traded contract to purchase or sell an amount equal to the total dividends paid by a selected security, basket of securities or index, over a period of time for a specified price that is based on the expected dividend payments from the selected security, basket of securities or index.
Security Futures: A security futures contract is an exchange-traded contract to purchase or sell, in the future, a specified quantity of a security (other than a Treasury security), or a narrow-based securities index at a certain price.
Options on Futures Contracts. Options on futures contracts are similar to options on securities or currencies except that options on futures contracts give the purchaser the right, in return for the premium paid, to assume a position in a futures contract (a long position if the option is a call and a short position if the option is a put) at a specified exercise price at any time during the period of the option. Upon exercise of the option, the delivery of the futures contract position by the writer of the option to the holder of the option will be accompanied by delivery of the accumulated balance in the writer's futures contract margin account. The Funds currently may not invest in any security (including futures contracts or options thereon) that is secured by physical commodities.
Pursuant to federal securities laws and regulations, a Fund's use of options on futures contracts may require the Fund to set aside assets to reduce the risks associated with using options on futures contracts. This process is described in more detail above in the section "Derivatives."
Forward Foreign Currency Contracts. Each Fund may enter into forward foreign currency contracts to hedge against adverse movements in the foreign currencies in which portfolio securities are denominated. Certain Funds may also enter into forward foreign currency transactions for speculative purposes, including to seek additional income or increased returns for the Fund.
A forward foreign currency contract is an obligation to buy or sell a particular currency in exchange for another currency, which may be U.S. dollars, at a specified price at a future date. Forward foreign currency contracts are typically individually negotiated and privately traded by currency traders and their customers in the interbank market. A Fund may enter into forward foreign currency contracts with respect to a specific purchase or sale of a security, or with respect to its portfolio positions generally.
At the maturity of a forward foreign currency contract, a Fund may either exchange the currencies specified at the maturity of the contract or, prior to maturity, a Fund may enter into a closing transaction involving the purchase or sale of an offsetting contract. Closing transactions with respect to forward foreign currency contracts are usually effected with the counterparty to the original forward contract. A Fund may also enter into forward foreign currency contracts that do not provide for physical settlement of the two currencies but instead provide for settlement by a single cash payment calculated as the difference between the agreed
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upon exchange rate and the spot rate at settlement based upon an agreed upon notional amount (non-deliverable forwards).
The Funds will comply with guidelines established by the SEC with respect to "cover" requirements of forward foreign currency contracts (See Derivatives above). With respect to forward foreign currency contracts that are contractually required to "cash-settle" (i.e., a non-deliverable forward (NDF) or the synthetic equivalent thereof), however, the Fund may set aside liquid assets in an amount equal to the Fund's daily mark-to-market obligation (i.e., the Fund's daily net liabilities, if any), rather than the contract's full notional value. By setting aside assets equal to its net obligations under forward foreign currency contracts that are cash-settled or treated as being cash-settled, the Funds will have the ability to employ leverage to a greater extent than if the Funds were required to segregate assets equal to the full notional value of such contracts. Segregated assets cannot be sold or transferred unless equivalent assets are substituted in their place or it is no longer necessary to segregate them. As a result, there is a possibility that segregation of a large percentage of the Fund's assets could impede portfolio management or a Fund's ability to meet redemption requests or other current obligations.
Under definitions adopted by the CFTC and SEC, non-deliverable forwards are considered swaps, and therefore are included in the definition of "commodity interests." Although non-deliverable forwards have historically been traded in the OTC market, as swaps they may in the future be required to be centrally cleared and traded on public facilities. For more information on central clearing and trading of cleared swaps, see "Swaps" and "Risks of Potential Increased Regulation of Derivatives." Forward foreign currency contracts that qualify as deliverable forwards are not regulated as swaps for most purposes, and are not included in the definition of "commodity interests." However these forwards are subject to some requirements applicable to swaps, including reporting to swap data repositories, documentation requirements, and business conduct rules applicable to swap dealers. CFTC regulation of forward foreign currency contracts, especially non-deliverable forwards, may restrict a Fund's ability to use these instruments in the manner described above or subject Invesco to CFTC registration and regulation as a CPO.
The cost to a Fund of engaging in forward foreign currency contracts varies with factors such as the currencies involved, the length of the contract period, interest rate differentials and the prevailing market conditions. Because forward foreign currency contracts are usually entered into on a principal basis, no fees or commissions are typically involved. The use of forward foreign currency contracts does not eliminate fluctuations in the prices of the underlying securities a Fund owns or intends to acquire, but it does establish a rate of exchange in advance. While forward foreign currency contract sales limit the risk of loss due to a decline in the value of the hedged currencies, they also limit any potential gain that might result should the value of the currencies increase.
Forward Contract Limitations. As one alternative, a Fund could purchase a call option permitting the Fund to purchase the amount of foreign currency being hedged by a forward sale contract at a price no higher than the forward contract price. As another alternative, a Fund could purchase a put option permitting the Fund to sell the amount of foreign currency subject to a forward purchase contract at a price as high or higher than the forward contract price. A Fund could also cover its short positions by identifying assets on its books equal to the aggregate amount of the Fund's commitment under forward contracts or the excess amount of those obligations.
LIBOR Transition Risk
A Fund may invest in financial instruments (including variable or floating rate loans, debt securities, and derivatives such as interest rate futures) that are tied to the London Interbank Offered Rate ("LIBOR"). LIBOR is a common benchmark interest rate index used to make adjustments to variable-rate loans and to determine interest rates for a variety of financial instruments and borrowing arrangements. A Fund's investments may pay interest at floating rates based on LIBOR, may be subject to interest caps or floors based on LIBOR, or may otherwise reference LIBOR as a reference rate to determine payment obligations, financing terms, hedging strategies or investment value.
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On July 27, 2017, the head of the United Kingdom's Financial Conduct Authority announced a desire to phase out the use of LIBOR by the end of 2021, and it is currently expected that LIBOR will cease to be published after that time. Although many LIBOR rates will be phased out at the end of 2021 as originally intended, a selection of widely used USD LIBOR rates will continue to be published until June 2023 in order to assist with the transition. There remains uncertainty regarding the effect of the LIBOR transition process and therefore any impact of a transition away from LIBOR on a Fund or the instruments in which a Fund invests cannot yet be determined. There is no assurance that the composition or characteristics of any alternative reference rate will be similar to or produce the same value or economic equivalence as LIBOR or that instruments using an alternative rate will have the same volume or liquidity. As a result, the transition process might lead to increased volatility and reduced liquidity in markets that currently rely on LIBOR to determine interest rates; a reduction in the value of some LIBOR-based investments; increased difficulty in borrowing or refinancing and diminished effectiveness of any applicable hedging strategies against instruments whose terms currently include LIBOR; and/or costs incurred in connection with temporary borrowings and closing out positions and entering into new agreements. Additionally, while some existing LIBOR-based instruments may contemplate a scenario where LIBOR is no longer available by providing for an alternative or "fallback" rate-setting methodology, there may be significant uncertainty regarding the effectiveness of any such alternative methodologies to replicate LIBOR. Not all existing LIBOR-based instruments have such fallback provisions and there remains uncertainty regarding the willingness and ability of issuers to add alternative rate-setting provisions in certain existing instruments. These effects could occur prior to the end of 2021 as the utility of LIBOR as a reference rate could deteriorate during the transition period. Any such effects of the transition away from LIBOR and the adoption of alternative reference rates could result in losses to a Fund.
Industry initiatives are underway to identify and begin implementation of alternative reference rates; however, there are challenges to converting certain securities and transactions to a new reference rate.
In June 2017, the Alternative Reference Rates Committee, a group of large U.S. banks working with the Federal Reserve, announced a replacement for LIBOR, the Secured Overnight Funding Rate (SOFR). The Federal Reserve Bank of New York began publishing the SOFR in April 2018, which is a broad measure of the cost of overnight borrowing of cash collateralized by Treasury securities. SOFR is intended to serve as a reference rate for U.S. dollar-based debt and derivatives and ultimately reduce the markets' dependence on LIBOR. Bank working groups and regulators in other countries have suggested other alternatives for their markets, including the Sterling Overnight Interbank Average Rate in the United Kingdom.
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Considerations
The ESG considerations described herein may not be used by a Fund and will vary depending on a Fund's particular investment strategy and in accordance with what a Fund's investment team deems relevant when making investment decisions. Further, a Fund's prospectus may describe additional ESG strategies and risks.
ESG considerations, either quantitative or qualitative, may be utilized as a component of a Fund's investment process to implement its investment strategy in pursuit of its investment objective. ESG factors may be incorporated to evaluate an issuer, as part of risk analysis, credit analysis or in other manners. ESG factors may vary across types of investments and issuers, and not every ESG factor may be identified or evaluated. The incorporation of ESG factors may affect a Fund's exposure to certain issuers or industries and may not work as intended. A Fund may underperform other funds that do not assess an issuer's ESG factors as part of the investment process or that use a different methodology to identify and/or incorporate ESG factors. Because ESG considerations may be used as one part of an overall investment process, a Fund may still invest in securities of issuers that are not considered ESG-focused or that may be viewed as having a high ESG risk profile. As investors can differ in their views regarding ESG factors, a Fund may invest in issuers that do not reflect the views with respect to ESG of any particular investor. Information used by a Fund to evaluate such factors, including information from reliance on third-party research and/or proprietary research, may not be readily available, complete or accurate, and may vary across providers and issuers as ESG is not a uniformly defined characteristic, which could negatively impact a Fund's ability to accurately
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assess an issuer, which could negatively impact a Fund's performance. There is no guarantee that the evaluation of ESG considerations will be additive to a Fund's performance.
Receipt of Issuer's Nonpublic Information
The Adviser or Sub-Advisers (through their portfolio managers, analysts, or other representatives) may receive material nonpublic information about an issuer that may restrict the ability of the Adviser or Sub-Advisers to cause the Funds to buy or sell securities of the issuer on behalf of the Funds for substantial periods of time. This may impact the Funds' ability to realize profit or avoid loss with respect to the issuer and may adversely affect the Funds' flexibility with respect to buying or selling securities, potentially impacting Fund performance. For example, activist investors of certain issuers in which the Adviser or Sub-Advisers hold large positions may contact representatives of the Adviser or Sub-Advisers and may disclose material nonpublic information in such communication. The Adviser or Sub-Advisers would be restricted from trading on the basis of such material nonpublic information, limiting their flexibility in managing the Funds and possibly impacting Fund performance.
Business Continuity and Operational Risk
The Adviser, the Funds and the Funds' service providers may experience disruptions or operating errors, such as processing errors or human errors, inadequate or failed internal or external processes, systems or technology failures, or other disruptive events, that could negatively impact and cause disruptions in normal business operations of the Adviser, the Funds or the Funds' service providers. The Adviser has developed a Business Continuity Program (the "Program") designed to minimize the disruption of normal business operations in the event of an adverse incident affecting the Funds, the Adviser and/or its affiliates. The Program is also designed to enable the Adviser to reestablish normal business operations in a timely manner during such an adverse incident; however, there are inherent limitations in such programs (including the possibility that contingencies have not been anticipated and procedures do not work as intended) and, under some circumstances (e.g. natural disasters, terrorism, public health crises, power or utility shortages and failures, system failures or malfunctions), the Adviser, its affiliates, and any service providers or vendors used by the Adviser, its affiliates, or the Fund could be prevented or hindered from providing services to the Funds for extended periods of time. These circumstances could cause disruptions and negatively impact the Funds' service providers and the Funds' business operations, potentially including an inability to process Fund shareholder transactions, an inability to calculate a Fund's net asset value and price the Fund's investments, and impediments to trading portfolio securities.
Cybersecurity Risk
The Funds, like all companies, may be susceptible to operational and information security risks. Cybersecurity failures or breaches of the Funds or their service providers or the issuers of securities in which the Funds invest, have the ability to cause disruptions and impact business operations, potentially resulting in financial losses, the inability of Fund shareholders to transact business, violations of applicable privacy and other laws, regulatory fines, penalties, reputational damage, reimbursement or other compensation costs, and/or additional compliance costs. The Funds and their shareholders could be negatively impacted as a result.
Natural Disaster/Epidemic Risk
Natural or environmental disasters, such as earthquakes, fires, floods, hurricanes, tsunamis and other severe weather-related phenomena generally, and widespread disease, including pandemics and epidemics, have been and can be highly disruptive to economies and markets, adversely impacting individual companies, sectors, industries, markets, currencies, interest and inflation rates, credit ratings, investor sentiment, and other factors affecting the value of the Funds' investments. Given the increasing interdependence among global economies and markets, conditions in one country, market, or region are increasingly likely to adversely affect markets, issuers, and/or foreign exchange rates in other countries, including the U.S. These disruptions could prevent the Funds from executing advantageous investment decisions in a timely manner
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and negatively impact the Funds' ability to achieve their investment objectives. Any such event(s) could have a significant adverse impact on the value and risk profile of the Funds.
COVID-19. The current outbreak of the novel strain of coronavirus, COVID-19, has resulted in instances of market closures and dislocations, extreme volatility, liquidity constraints and increased trading costs. Efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 have resulted in travel restrictions, closed international borders, disruptions of healthcare systems, business operations and supply chains, layoffs, lower consumer demand, defaults and other significant economic impacts, all of which have disrupted global economic activity across many industries and may exacerbate other pre-existing political, social and economic risks, locally or globally. The ongoing effects of COVID-19 are unpredictable and may result in significant and prolonged effects on a Fund's performance.
Fund Policies
Fundamental Restrictions. Except as otherwise noted below, each Fund is subject to the following investment restrictions, which may be changed only by a vote of such Fund's outstanding shares. Fundamental restrictions may be changed only by a vote of the lesser of (i) 67% or more of the Fund's shares present at a meeting if the holders of more than 50% of the outstanding shares are present in person or represented by proxy, or (ii) more than 50% of the Fund's outstanding shares. Any investment restriction that involves a maximum or minimum percentage of securities or assets (other than with respect to borrowing) shall not be considered to be violated unless an excess over or a deficiency under the percentage occurs immediately after, and is caused by, an acquisition or disposition of securities or utilization of assets by the Fund.
(1)
The Fund is a "diversified company" as defined in the 1940 Act. The Fund will not purchase the securities of any issuer if, as a result, the Fund would fail to be a diversified company within the meaning of the 1940 Act, and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, as such statute, rules and regulations are amended from time to time or are interpreted from time to time by the SEC staff (collectively, the "1940 Act Laws and Interpretations") or except to the extent that the Fund may be permitted to do so by exemptive order or similar relief (collectively, with the 1940 Act Laws and Interpretations, the "1940 Act Laws, Interpretations and Exemptions"), including as may be necessary to approximate the composition of its target index. In complying with this restriction, however, the Fund may purchase securities of other investment companies to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act Laws, Interpretations and Exemptions.
(2)
The Fund may not borrow money or issue senior securities, except as permitted by the 1940 Act Laws, Interpretations and Exemptions.
(3)
The Fund may not underwrite the securities of other issuers. This restriction does not prevent the Fund from engaging in transactions involving the acquisition, disposition or resale of its portfolio securities, regardless of whether the Fund may be considered to be an underwriter under the 1933 Act.
(4)
The Fund will not make investments that will result in the concentration (as that term may be defined or interpreted by the 1940 Act Laws, Interpretations and Exemptions) of its investments in the securities of issuers primarily engaged in the same industry, except that the Fund will concentrate to approximately the same extent that its underlying index concentrates in an industry or group of industries. This restriction does not limit the Fund's investments in (i) obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government, its agencies or instrumentalities, or (ii) tax-exempt obligations issued by governments or political subdivisions of governments. In complying with this restriction, the Fund will not consider a bank-issued guaranty or financial guaranty insurance as a separate security.
(5)
The Fund may not purchase real estate or sell real estate unless acquired as a result of ownership of securities or other instruments. This restriction does not prevent the Fund from
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investing in issuers that invest, deal, or otherwise engage in transactions in real estate or interests therein, or investing in securities that are secured by real estate or interests therein.
(6)
The Fund may not purchase or sell physical commodities except to the extent permitted by the 1940 Act and any other governing statute, and by the rules thereunder, and by the SEC or other regulatory agency with authority over the Fund.
(7)
The Fund may not make personal loans or loans of its assets to persons who control or are under common control with the Fund, except to the extent permitted by 1940 Act Laws, Interpretations and Exemptions. This restriction does not prevent the Fund from, among other things, purchasing debt obligations, entering into repurchase agreements, loaning its assets to broker-dealers or institutional investors, or investing in loans, including assignments and participation interests.
(8)
The Fund may, notwithstanding any other fundamental investment policy or limitation, invest all of its assets in the securities of a single open-end management investment company with substantially the same fundamental investment objectives, policies and restrictions as the Fund.
The investment restrictions set forth above provide each of the Funds with the ability to operate under new interpretations of the 1940 Act or pursuant to exemptive relief from the SEC without receiving prior shareholder approval of the change. Even though each of the Funds has this flexibility, the Board has adopted non-fundamental restrictions for each of the Funds relating to certain of these restrictions which Invesco and, when applicable, the Sub-Advisers must follow in managing the Funds. Any changes to these non-fundamental restrictions, which are set forth below, require the approval of the Board.
Explanatory Note
For purposes of the Fund's fundamental restriction related to diversification above, the Fund intends to be diversified in approximately the same proportion as its target index is diversified. The Fund may become "non-diversified," as defined in the 1940 Act, solely as a result of a change in relative market capitalization or index weighting of one or more constituents of its target index. Shareholder approval will not be sought if the Fund becomes non-diversified due solely to a change in the relative market capitalization or index weighting of one or more constituents of its target index.
For purposes of the Fund's fundamental restriction related to industry concentration above, investments in tax-exempt municipal securities where the payment of principal and interest for such securities is derived solely from a specific project associated with an issuer that is not a governmental entity or a political subdivision of a government are subject to a Fund's industry concentration policy.
For purposes of the Fund's fundamental restriction related to physical commodities above, the Fund is currently permitted to invest in futures, swaps and other instruments on physical commodities to the extent disclosed in a Fund's prospectus or SAI.
For purposes of the Fund's fundamental restriction related to physical commodities, the 1940 Act does not prohibit a fund from owning real estate, commodities or contracts related to commodities. The extent to which the Fund can invest in real estate and/or commodities or contracts related to commodities is set out in the investment strategies described in the Fund's prospectus and this SAI.
For purposes of the Fund's fundamental restriction related to senior securities, the 1940 Act prohibits a fund from issuing a "senior security," which is generally defined as any bond, debenture, note, or similar obligation or instrument constituting a security and evidencing indebtedness, or any stock of a class having priority over any other class of the fund's shares with respect to the payment of dividends or the distribution of fund assets, except that the fund may borrow money as described above.
For purposes of the Fund's fundamental restriction related to loans made by the Fund, current SEC staff interpretations under the 1940 Act prohibit a fund from lending more than one-third of its total assets, except through the purchase of debt obligations or the use of repurchase agreements.
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Non-Fundamental Restrictions. Non-fundamental restrictions may be changed for any Fund without shareholder approval. The non-fundamental investment restrictions listed below apply to each of the Funds unless otherwise indicated.
(1)
In complying with the fundamental restriction regarding issuer diversification, each Fund will not, with respect to 75% of its total assets, purchase the securities of any issuer (other than securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities and securities issued by other investment companies), if, as a result, (i) more than 5% of the Fund's total assets would be invested in the securities of that issuer, or (ii) the Fund would hold more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of that issuer. Each Fund may purchase securities of other investment companies as permitted by the 1940 Act Laws, Interpretations and Exemptions.
In complying with the fundamental restriction regarding issuer diversification, any Fund that invests in municipal securities will regard each state (including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico), territory and possession of the United States, each political subdivision, agency, instrumentality and authority thereof, and each multi-state agency of which a state is a member as a separate "issuer." When the assets and revenues of an agency, authority, instrumentality or other political subdivision are separate from the government creating the subdivision and the security is backed only by assets and revenues of the subdivision, such subdivision would be deemed to be the sole issuer. Similarly, in the case of an Industrial Development Bond or Private Activity Bond, if that bond is backed only by the assets and revenues of the non-governmental user, then that non-governmental user would be deemed to be the sole issuer. However, if the creating government or another entity guarantees a security, then to the extent that the value of all securities issued or guaranteed by that government or entity and owned by the Fund exceeds 10% of the Fund's total assets, the guarantee would be considered a separate security and would be treated as issued by that government or entity. Securities issued or guaranteed by a bank or subject to financial guaranty insurance are not subject to the limitations set forth in the preceding sentence.
(2)
In complying with the fundamental restriction regarding borrowing money and issuing senior securities, each Fund may borrow money in an amount not exceeding 33 1/3% of its total assets (including the amount borrowed) less liabilities (other than borrowings).
(3)
In complying with the fundamental restriction regarding industry concentration, the Fund may invest up to 25% of its total assets in the securities of issuers whose principal business activities are in the same industry.
(4)
In complying with the fundamental restriction with regard to making loans, each Fund may lend up to 33 1/3% of its total assets and may lend money to an Invesco Fund, on such terms and conditions as the SEC may require in an exemptive order.
(5)
Notwithstanding the fundamental restriction with regard to investing all assets in an open-end fund, each Fund may currently not invest all of its assets in the securities of a single open-end management investment company with the same fundamental investment objectives, policies and restrictions as the Fund.
(6)
The Invesco® V.I. Nasdaq 100 Buffer Fund-March, Invesco® V.I. Nasdaq 100 Buffer Fund-June, Invesco® V.I. Nasdaq 100 Buffer Fund-September and Invesco® V.I. Nasdaq 100 Buffer Fund-December invests, under normal circumstances, at least 80% its net assets (plus any borrowings for investment purposes) in options that reference the Nasdaq 100 Index or options that reference the Invesco QQQ ETF, which is an exchange-traded unit investment trust that seeks to track the Nasdaq 100 Index.
(7)
The Invesco® V.I. S&P 500 Buffer Fund-March, Invesco® V.I. S&P 500 Buffer Fund-June, Invesco® V.I. S&P 500 Buffer Fund-September and Invesco® V.I. S&P 500 Buffer Fund-December invests, under normal circumstances, at least 80% its net assets (plus any borrowings for investment purposes) in options that reference the S&P 500 Index or options that reference
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the SPDR®S&P 500® ETF Trust, which is an exchange-traded unit investment trust that seeks to track the S&P 500 Index.
For purposes of the foregoing, "assets" means net assets, plus the amount of any borrowings for investment purposes. Derivatives and other instruments that have economic characteristics similar to the securities in a Fund's 80% policy described above for a Fund may be counted toward that Fund's 80% policy. The Fund will provide written notice to its shareholders prior to any change to this policy, as required by the 1940 Act Laws, Interpretations and Exemptions.
If a percentage restriction on the investment or use of assets set forth in the Prospectus or this SAI is adhered to at the time a transaction is effected, later changes in percentage resulting from changing asset values will not be considered a violation. It is the intention of the Fund, unless otherwise indicated, that with respect to the Fund's policies that are a result of application of law, the Fund will take advantage of the flexibility provided by rules or interpretations of the SEC currently in existence or promulgated in the future, or changes to such laws.
Portfolio Turnover
Each Fund calculates its portfolio turnover rate by dividing the value of the lesser of purchases or sales of portfolio securities for the fiscal period by the monthly average of the value of portfolio securities owned by the Fund during the fiscal period. A 100% portfolio turnover rate would occur, for example, if all of the portfolio securities (other than short-term securities) were replaced once during the fiscal period. Portfolio turnover rates will vary from year to year, depending on market conditions.
Policies and Procedures for Disclosure of Fund Holdings
The Board has adopted policies and procedures with respect to the disclosure of the Funds' portfolio holdings (the Holdings Disclosure Policy). Invesco and the Board may amend the Holdings Disclosure Policy at any time without prior notice. Details of the Holdings Disclosure Policy and a description of the basis on which employees of Invesco and its affiliates may release information about portfolio securities in certain contexts are provided below. As used in the Holdings Disclosure Policy and throughout the SAI, the term "portfolio holdings information" includes information with respect to the portfolio holdings of a Fund, including holdings that are derivatives and holdings held as short positions. Information generally excluded from "portfolio holdings information" includes, without limitation, (i) descriptions of allocations among asset classes, regions, countries, industries or sectors; (ii) aggregated data such as average or median ratios, market capitalization, credit quality or duration; (iii) performance attributions by asset class, country, industry or sector; (iv) aggregated risk statistics, analysis and simulations, such as stress testing; (v) the characteristics of the stock and bond components of a Fund's portfolio holdings and other investment positions; (vi) the volatility characteristics of a Fund; (vii) information on how various weightings and factors contributed to Fund performance; (viii) various financial characteristics of a Fund or its underlying portfolio investments; and (ix) other information where, in the reasonable belief of the Funds' Chief Compliance Officer (or a designee), the release of such information would not present risks of dilution, arbitrage, market timing, insider trading or other inappropriate trading for the applicable Fund.
Public release of portfolio holdings. The Funds disclose the following portfolio holdings information at www.invesco.com/us. 1
Information
Approximate Date of Website Posting
Information Remains Available on Website
Select portfolio holdings information, such
as top ten holdings as of the month-end
15 days after month-end
Until replaced with the following month's
top ten holdings
Select portfolio holdings information
included in the Fund's Quarterly
Performance Update
29 days after calendar quarter-end
Until replaced with the following
quarter's Quarterly Performance Update
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Information
Approximate Date of Website Posting
Information Remains Available on Website
Complete portfolio holdings information as
of calendar quarter-end
30 days after month-end
For one year
Complete portfolio holdings information as
of fiscal quarter-end
60-70 days after fiscal quarter-end
For one year
1
To locate each Fund's portfolio holdings information go to www.invesco.com/us, select "Financial Professional" or "Individual Investor," if applicable. Hover over the "Products" tab, then click on "Mutual Funds." On the "Mutual Funds" page click on "Fund Materials." Links to each Fund's portfolio holdings are located under the "Holdings" column.
You may also obtain the publicly available portfolio holdings information described above by contacting us at 1-800-959-4246.
Selective Disclosures
Selective Disclosure to Insurance Companies. The Holdings Disclosure Policy permits Invesco to disclose Fund Portfolio Holdings Information to Insurance Companies, upon request/on a selective basis, up to five days prior to the scheduled release dates of such information to allow the Insurance Companies to post the information on their websites at approximately the same time that Invesco posts the same information. The Holdings Disclosure Policy incorporates the Board's determination that selectively disclosing portfolio holdings information to facilitate an Insurance Company's dissemination of the information on its website is a legitimate business purpose of the Funds. Insurance Companies that wish to receive such portfolio holdings information in advance must sign a non-disclosure agreement requiring them to maintain the confidentiality of the information until the later of five business days or the scheduled release dates and to refrain from using that information to execute transactions in securities. Invesco does not post the portfolio holdings of the Funds to its website. Not all Insurance Companies that receive Fund portfolio holdings information provide such information on their websites. To obtain information about Fund portfolio holdings, please contact the Insurance Company that issued your variable annuity or variable life insurance policy.
Upon request, Invesco may also disclose certain portfolio holding characteristic information (but not actual portfolio holdings) to Insurance Companies that hold shares in the Funds. Invesco makes such information available to such Insurance Companies prior to the release of full portfolio holdings information pursuant to confidentiality agreements.
Selective disclosure of portfolio holdings information pursuant to Non-Disclosure Agreement.Employees of Invesco and its affiliates may disclose non-public full portfolio holdings information on a selective basis only if Invesco approves the parties to whom disclosure of non-public full portfolio holdings information will be made. Invesco must determine that the proposed selective disclosure will be made for business purposes of the applicable Fund and is in the best interest of the applicable Fund's shareholders. In making such determination, Invesco will address any perceived conflicts of interest between shareholders of such Fund and Invesco or its affiliates as part of granting its approval.
The Board exercises continuing oversight of the disclosure of Fund portfolio holdings information by (1) overseeing the implementation and enforcement of the Holdings Disclosure Policy and the Invesco Funds' Code of Ethics by the Chief Compliance Officer (or his designee) of Invesco and the Invesco Funds and (2) considering reports and recommendations by the Chief Compliance Officer concerning any material compliance matters (as defined in Rule 38a-1 under the 1940 Act and Rule 206(4)-7 under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended (Advisers Act)) that may arise in connection with the Holdings Disclosure Policy. Pursuant to the Holdings Disclosure Policy, the Board receives reports on the specific types of situations in which Invesco proposes to provide such selective disclosure and the situations where providing selective disclosure raises perceived conflicts of interest between shareholders of the applicable Fund and Invesco or its affiliates. In any specific situation where Invesco addresses a perceived conflict, Invesco will report to the Board on the persons to whom such disclosures are to be made and the treatment of such conflict before agreeing to provide selective disclosure.
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Invesco discloses non-public full portfolio holdings information to the following persons in connection with the day-to-day operations and management of the funds advised by Invesco (the Invesco Funds):
Attorneys and accountants;
Securities lending agents;
Lenders to the Invesco Funds;
Rating and rankings agencies;
Persons assisting in the voting of proxies;
Invesco Funds' custodians;
The Invesco Funds' transfer agent(s) (in the event of a redemption in kind);
Pricing services, market makers, or other fund accounting software providers (to determine the price of investments held by an Invesco Fund);
Brokers identified by the Invesco Funds' portfolio management team who provide execution and research services to the team;
Analysts hired to perform research and analysis for the Invesco Funds' portfolio management team; and
Insurance companies which receive portfolio holdings information before Invesco posts portfolio holdings information to Invesco's website (to allow such insurance companies to post portfolio holdings information to their websites at approximately the same time that Invesco posts portfolio holdings information to Invesco's website).
In many cases, Invesco will disclose current portfolio holdings information on a daily basis to these persons. In these situations, Invesco has entered into non-disclosure agreements which provide that the recipient of the portfolio holdings information will maintain the confidentiality of such portfolio holdings information and will not trade on such information (Non-disclosure Agreements). Please refer to Appendix B for a list of examples of persons to whom Invesco provides non-public portfolio holdings information on an ongoing basis.
Invesco will also disclose non-public portfolio holdings information if such disclosure is required by applicable laws, rules or regulations, or by regulatory authorities having jurisdiction over Invesco and its affiliates or the Invesco Funds, and where there is no other way to transact the Funds' business without disclosure of such portfolio holdings information.
The Holdings Disclosure Policy provides that the Funds, Invesco or any other party in connection with the disclosure of portfolio holdings information will not request, receive or accept any compensation (including compensation in the form of the maintenance of assets in any Fund or other mutual fund or account managed by Invesco or one of its affiliates) for the selective disclosure of portfolio holdings information.
Disclosure of certain portfolio holdings information without Non-Disclosure Agreement. Invesco and its affiliates that provide services to the Funds, the Sub-Advisers and each of their employees may receive or have access to portfolio holdings information as part of the day to day operations of the Funds.
From time to time, employees of Invesco and its affiliates may express their views orally or in writing on one or more of the Funds' portfolio investments or may state that a Fund has recently purchased or sold, or continues to own, one or more investments. The investments subject to these views and statements may be ones that were purchased or sold since the date on which portfolio holdings was made available on the Fund's website and therefore may not be reflected on the portfolio holdings information disclosed on the website. Such views and statements may be made to various persons, including members of the press, shareholders in the applicable Fund, persons considering investing in the applicable Fund or representatives of such shareholders or potential shareholders, such as fiduciaries of a 401(k) plan and their advisers. The nature and content of the views and statements provided to each of these persons may differ.
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Disclosure of portfolio holdings information to traders. Additionally, employees of Invesco and its affiliates may disclose one or more of the investments held by a Fund when purchasing and selling investments through broker-dealers, futures commissions merchants, clearing agencies and other counterparties requesting bids on investments, obtaining price quotations on investments, or in connection with litigation involving the Funds' portfolio investments. Invesco does not enter into formal Non-Disclosure Agreements in connection with these situations; however, the Funds would not continue to conduct business with a person who Invesco believed was misusing the disclosed information.
Disclosure of portfolio holdings of other Invesco-managed products. Invesco and its affiliates manage products sponsored by companies other than Invesco, including investment companies, offshore funds, and separate accounts. In many cases, these other products are managed in a similar fashion to certain Invesco Funds (as defined herein) and thus have similar portfolio holdings. The sponsors of these other products managed by Invesco and its affiliates may disclose the portfolio holdings of their products at different times than Invesco discloses portfolio holdings for the Invesco Funds.
MANAGEMENT OF THE TRUST
Board of Trustees
The Trustees and officers of the Trust, their principal occupations during at least the last five years and certain other information concerning them are set forth in Appendix C.
Qualifications and Experience. In addition to the information set forth in Appendix C, the following sets forth additional information about the qualifications and experiences of each of the Trustees.
Interested Trustee
Martin L. Flanagan, Trustee and Vice Chair
Martin L. Flanagan has been a member of the Board of Trustees and Vice Chair of the Invesco Funds since 2007. Mr. Flanagan is president and chief executive officer of Invesco Ltd., a position he has held since August 2005. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Invesco Ltd.
Mr. Flanagan joined Invesco, Ltd. from Franklin Resources, Inc., where he was president and co-chief executive officer from January 2004 to July 2005. Previously he had been Franklin's co-president from May 2003 to January 2004, chief operating officer and chief financial officer from November 1999 to May 2003, and senior vice president and chief financial officer from 1993 until November 1999.
Mr. Flanagan served as director, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Templeton, Galbraith & Hansberger, Ltd. before its acquisition by Franklin in 1992. Before joining Templeton in 1983, he worked with Arthur Andersen & Co.
Mr. Flanagan is a chartered financial analyst and a certified public accountant. He serves as vice chairman of the Investment Company Institute and a member of the executive board at the SMU Cox School of Business.
The Board believes that Mr. Flanagan's long experience as an executive in the investment management area benefits the Funds.
Independent Trustees
Christopher L. Wilson, Trustee and Chair
Christopher L. Wilson has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Invesco Funds since 2017 and Chair since January 2021. He previously served as Chair Designate since March 27, 2019 and Vice Chair since June 10, 2019.
Mr. Wilson started a career in the investment management business in 1980. From 2004 to 2009, Mr. Wilson served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Columbia Funds, a mutual fund complex with over
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$350 billion in assets. From 2009 to 2017, Mr. Wilson served as a Managing Partner of CT2, LLC, an early stage investing and consulting firm for start-up companies.
From 2014 to 2016, Mr. Wilson served as a member of the Board of Directors of the mutual fund company managed by TDAM USA Inc., an affiliate of TD Bank, N.A.
From 2011 to 2020, Mr. Wilson served as a member of the Board of Directors of ISO New England, Inc., the company that establishes the wholesale electricity market and manages the electrical power grid in New England. Mr. Wilson served as the chair of the Audit and Finance Committee, which also oversaw cybersecurity, and was a member of the systems planning committee of ISO-NE, Inc. He also previously served as chair of the Human Resources and Compensation Committee and was a member of the Markets Committee.
From June 2020 to August 2021, Mr. Wilson served as a Board member of enaible Inc., a technology company focused on providing artificial intelligence solutions.
The Board believes that Mr. Wilson's knowledge of financial services and investment management, his experience as a director and audit committee member of other companies, including a mutual fund company, and other professional experience gained through his prior employment benefit the Funds.
Beth Ann Brown, Trustee
Beth Ann Brown has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Invesco Funds since 2019. From 2016 to 2019, Ms. Brown served on the boards of certain investment companies in the Oppenheimer Funds complex.
Ms. Brown has served as Director of Caron Engineering, Inc. since 2018 and as an Independent Consultant since September 2012. Since 2013, she has also served as Director, Vice President (through 2019) and President (since 2019) of Grahamtastic Connection, a non-profit organization.
Previously, Ms. Brown served in various capacities at Columbia Management Investment Advisers LLC, including Head of Intermediary Distribution, Managing Director, Strategic Relations and Managing Director, Head of National Accounts. She also served as Senior Vice President, National Account Manager from 2002-2004 and Senior Vice President, Key Account Manager from 1999 to 2002 of Liberty Funds Distributor, Inc.
From 2014 to 2017, Ms. Brown served on the Board of Advisors of Caron Engineering Inc. and also served as President and Director of Acton Shapleigh Youth Conservation Corps, a non-profit organization, from 2012 to 2015.
The Board believes that Ms. Brown's experience in financial services and investment management and as a director of other investment companies benefits the Funds.
Jack M. Fields, Trustee
Jack M. Fields has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Invesco Funds since 1997.
Mr. Fields served as a member of Congress, representing the 8th Congressional District of Texas from 1980 to 1997. As a member of Congress, Mr. Fields served as Chairman of the House Telecommunications and Finance Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction and oversight of the Federal Communications Commission and the SEC. Mr. Fields co-sponsored the National Securities Markets Improvements Act of 1996, and played a leadership role in enactment of the Securities Litigation Reform Act. In addition, Mr. Fields led the effort to reform telecommunications policy which resulted in the passage of The Telecommunications Act of 1996, which was the first major reform of telecommunications policy since 1934.
Mr. Fields currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of the Twenty-First Century Group, Inc. in Washington, D.C., a bipartisan Washington consulting firm specializing in Federal government affairs. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Baylor College of Medicine.
Mr. Fields also served as a Director of Insperity, Inc. (formerly known as Administaff), a premier professional employer organization with clients nationwide until 2015. In addition, Mr. Fields serves as a
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Board member of Impact(Ed), a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing educational resources to people in need around the world through the use of technology.
The Board believes that Mr. Fields' experience in the House of Representatives, especially concerning regulation of the securities markets, benefits the Funds.
Cynthia Hostetler, Trustee
Cynthia Hostetler has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Invesco Funds since 2017.
Ms. Hostetler is currently a member of the board of directors of the Vulcan Materials Company, a public company engaged in the production and distribution of construction materials, Trilinc Global Impact Fund LLC, a publicly registered non-traded limited liability company that invests in a diversified portfolio of private debt instruments, Resideo Technologies, Inc., a public company that manufactures and distributes smart home security products and solutions worldwide, and Textainer Group Holdings, a public company that is the world's second largest shipping container leasing company. Ms. Hostetler also serves on the board of governors of the Investment Company Institute and is a member of the governing council of the Independent Directors Council, both of which are professional organizations in the investment management industry. Ms. Hostetler is also a member of the board of directors of the Eisenhower Foundation, a non-profit organization.
Previously, Ms. Hostetler served as a member of the board of directors/trustees of Aberdeen Investment Funds, a mutual fund complex, Edgen Group Inc., a public company that provides products and services to energy and construction companies, from 2012 to 2013, prior to its sale to Sumitomo, and Genesee & Wyoming, Inc., a public company that owns and operates railroads worldwide, from 2018 to 2019, prior to its sale to Brookfield Asset Management.
From 2001 to 2009 Ms. Hostetler served as Head of Investment Funds and Private Equity at Overseas Private Investment Corporation ("OPIC"), a government agency that supports US investment in the emerging markets. Ms. Hostetler oversaw a multi-billion dollar investment portfolio in private equity funds. Prior to joining OPIC, Ms. Hostetler served as President and member of the board of directors of First Manhattan Bancorporation, a bank holding company, from 1991 to 2007, and its largest subsidiary, First Savings Bank, from 1991 to 2006 (Board Member) and from 1996 to 2001 (President).
The Board believes that Ms. Hostetler's knowledge of financial services and investment management, her experience as a director of other companies, including a mutual fund complex, her legal background, and other professional experience gained through her prior employment benefit the Funds.
Dr. Eli Jones, Trustee
Dr. Eli Jones has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Invesco Funds since 2016.
Since 2021, Dr. Jones has served on the regional board of First Financial Bancop, a regional bank. Since 2020, Dr. Jones has served as a director on the board of directors of Insperity, Inc. ("Insperity"). From 2004 to 2016, Dr. Jones was chair of the Compensation Committee, a member of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee and a director on the board of directors of Insperity.
Dr. Eli Jones is a Professor of Marketing, Lowry and Peggy Mays Eminent Scholar, and Dean Emeritus of Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. From 2015 to 2021, Dr. Jones served as Dean of Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. From 2012-2015, Dr. Jones was the dean of the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas and holder of the Sam M. Walton Leadership Chair in Business. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Arkansas, he was dean of the E. J. Ourso College of Business and Ourso Distinguished Professor of Business at Louisiana State University from 2008 to 2012; professor of marketing and associate dean at the C.T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston from 2007 to 2008; an associate professor of marketing from 2002 to 2007; and an assistant professor from 1997 until 2002. He taught at Texas A&M University for several years before joining the faculty of the University of Houston.
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Dr. Jones served as the executive director of the Program for Excellence in Selling and the Sales Excellence Institute at the University of Houston from 1997 to 2007. Before becoming a professor, he worked in sales and sales management for three Fortune 100 companies: Quaker Oats, Nabisco, and Frito-Lay. Dr. Jones is a past director of Arvest Bank. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in journalism in 1982, his MBA in 1986 and his Ph.D. in 1997, all from Texas A&M University.
The Board believes that Dr. Jones' experience in academia and his experience in marketing benefits the Funds.
Elizabeth Krentzman, Trustee
Elizabeth Krentzman has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Invesco Funds since 2019. From 2014 to 2019, Ms. Krentzman served on the boards of certain investment companies in the Oppenheimer Funds complex.
Ms. Krentzman currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Florida National Board Foundation. She is a member of the Cartica Funds Board of Directors (private investment funds). Ms. Krentzman previously served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Florida Law Center Association, Inc. from 2016 to 2021, as a member of its Audit Committee from 2016 to 2020, and as a member of its Membership Committee from 2020 to 2021.
Ms. Krentzman served from 1997 to 2004 and from 2007 and 2014 in various capacities at Deloitte & Touche LLP, including Principal and Chief Regulatory Advisor for Asset Management Services, U.S. Mutual Fund Leader and National Director of the Investment Management Regulatory Consulting Practice. She served as General Counsel of the Investment Company Institute from 2004 to 2007.
From 1996 to 1997, Ms. Krentzman served as an Assistant Director of the Division of Investment Management - Office of Disclosure and Investment Adviser Regulation of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. She also served from 1991 to 1996 in various positions with the Division of Investment Management - Office of Regulatory Policy of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and from 1987 to 1991 as an Associate at Ropes & Gray LLP.
The Board believes that Ms. Krentzman's legal background, experience in financial services and accounting and as a director of other investment companies benefits the Funds.
Anthony J. LaCava, Jr., Trustee
Anthony J. LaCava, Jr. has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Invesco Funds since 2019.
Previously, Mr. LaCava served as a member of the board of directors and as a member of the audit committee of Blue Hills Bank, a publicly traded financial institution.
Mr. LaCava retired after a 37-year career with KPMG LLP ("KPMG") where he served as senior partner for a wide range of firm clients across the retail, financial services, consumer markets, real estate, manufacturing, health care and technology industries. From 2005 to 2013, Mr. LaCava served as a member of the board of directors of KPMG and chair of the board's audit and finance committee and nominating committee. He also previously served as Regional Managing Partner from 2009 through 2012 and Managing Partner of KPMG's New England practice.
Mr. LaCava currently serves as Chairman of the Business Advisory Council of Bentley University and as a member of American College of Corporate Directors and Board Leaders, Inc.
The Board believes that Mr. LaCava's experience in audit and financial services benefits the Funds.
Dr. Prema Mathai-Davis, Trustee
Dr. Prema Mathai-Davis has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Invesco Funds since 1998.
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Previously, Dr. Mathai-Davis served as co-founder and partner of Quantalytics Research, LLC, (a FinTech Investment Research Platform) from 2017 to October 2019, when the firm was acquired by Forbes Media Holdings, LLC.
Dr. Mathai-Davis previously served as Chief Executive Officer of the YWCA of the USA from 1994 until her retirement in 2000. Prior to joining the YWCA, Dr. Mathai-Davis served as the Commissioner of the New York City Department for the Aging. She was a Commissioner and Board Member of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York, the largest regional transportation network in the U.S. Dr. Mathai-Davis also serves as a Trustee of the YWCA Retirement Fund, the first and oldest pension fund for women, and on the advisory board of the Johns Hopkins Bioethics Institute. She was a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, and on the visiting Committee of The Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
Dr. Mathai-Davis was the president and chief executive officer of the Community Agency for Senior Citizens, a non-profit social service agency that she established in 1981. She also directed the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine-Hunter College Long-Term Care Gerontology Center, one of the first of its kind.
The Board believes that Dr. Mathai-Davis' extensive experience in running public and charitable institutions benefits the Funds.
Joel W. Motley, Trustee
Joel W. Motley has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Invesco Funds since 2019. From 2002 to 2019, Mr. Motley served on the boards of certain investment companies in the Oppenheimer Funds complex.
Since 2021, Mr. Motley has served as a Board member of the Trust for Mutual Understanding, which makes grants to arts and environmental organizations in Russia and Eastern Europe. Since 2016, Mr. Motley has served as an independent director of the Office of Finance of the Federal Home Loan Bank System. He has served as Managing Director of Carmona Motley, Inc., a privately-held financial advisory firm, since January 2002. He previously served as a member of the Vestry of Trinity Church Wall Street.
Mr. Motley also serves as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and its Finance and Budget Committee. He is a member of the Investment Committee and is Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Human Rights Watch and a member of the Investment Committee and the Board of Historic Hudson Valley, a non-profit cultural organization.
Since 2011, he has served as a Board Member and Investment Committee Member of the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, a non-profit journalism organization. Mr. Motley also serves as Director and member of the Board and Investment Committee of The Greenwall Foundation, a bioethics research foundation, and as a Director of Friends of the LRC, a South Africa legal services foundation.
Previously, Mr. Motley served as Managing Director of Public Capital Advisors, LLC, a privately held financial advisory firm, from 2006 to 2017. He also served as Managing Director of Carmona Motley Hoffman Inc. a privately-held financial advisor, and served as a Director of Columbia Equity Financial Corp., a privately-held financial advisor, from 2002 to 2007.
The Board believes that Mr. Motley's experience in financial services and as a director of other investment companies benefits the Funds.
Teresa M. Ressel, Trustee
Teresa Ressel has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Invesco Funds since 2017.
Ms. Ressel has previously served within the private sector and the U.S. government as well as consulting. Formerly, Ms. Ressel served at UBS AG in various capacities, including as Chief Executive Officer of UBS Securities LLC, a broker-dealer division of UBS Investment Bank, and as Group Chief Operating Officer of the Americas.
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Between 2001 and 2004, Ms. Ressel served at the U.S. Treasury, initially as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Management & Budget and then as Assistant Secretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer. Ms. Ressel was confirmed by the U.S. Senate and anchored financial duties at the Department, including finance, accounting, risk, audit and performance measurement.
From 2014 to 2017, Ms. Ressel served on the board of directors at Atlantic Power Corporation, a publicly traded company with a fleet of power generation assets. From 2012 to 2020, Ms. Ressel served on the board of directors of ON Semiconductor, a publicly traded manufacturer of semiconductors.
From 2017 to 2021, Ms. Ressel served as a director of Elucida Oncology, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on the development of therapeutics for cancer treatment. Ms. Ressel also volunteers within her community across a number of functions and serves on the board of GAVI, the Global Vaccine Alliance (non-profit) supporting children's health.
The Board believes that Ms. Ressel's risk management and financial experience in both the private and public sectors benefits the Funds.
Ann Barnett Stern, Trustee
Ann Barnett Stern has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Invesco Funds since 2017.
Ms. Stern is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of Houston Endowment Inc., a private philanthropic institution. She has served in this capacity since 2012. Formerly, Ms. Stern served in various capacities at Texas Children's Hospital from 2003 to 2012, including General Counsel and Executive Vice President.
Previously, Ms. Stern served as a member of the Dallas Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, from 2013 through 2019.
The Board believes that Ms. Stern's knowledge of financial services and investment management and her experience as a director, and other professional experience gained through her prior employment benefit the Funds.
Robert C. Troccoli, Trustee
Robert C. Troccoli has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Invesco Funds since 2016.
Mr. Troccoli retired after a 39-year career with KPMG LLP ("KPMG"), where he served as a senior Partner. From 2013 to 2017, he was an adjunct professor at the University of Denver's Daniels College of Business.
Mr. Troccoli's leadership roles during his career with KPMG included managing partner and partner in charge of the Denver office's Financial Services Practice. He served regulated investment companies, investment advisors, private partnerships, private equity funds, sovereign wealth funds, and financial services companies. Toward the end of his career, Mr. Troccoli was a founding member of KPMG's Private Equity Group in New York City, where he served private equity firms and sovereign wealth funds. Mr. Troccoli also served mutual fund clients along with several large private equity firms as Global Lead Partner of KPMG's Private Equity Group.
The Board believes that Mr. Troccoli's experience as a partner in a large accounting firm and his knowledge of investment companies, investment advisors, and private equity firms benefits the Funds.
Daniel S. Vandivort, Trustee
Daniel S. Vandivort has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Invesco Funds since 2019. From 2014 to 2019, Mr. Vandivort served on the boards of certain investment companies in the Oppenheimer Funds complex.
Mr. Vandivort also served as Chairman, Lead Independent Director, and Chairman of the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors of the Value Line Funds from 2008 through 2014.
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Mr. Vandivort was also a Trustee on the Board of Trustees of Huntington Disease Foundation of America from 2007 to 2013 and from 2015 to 2019. He also served as Treasurer and Chairman of the Audit Committee of Huntington Disease Foundation of America from 2016 to 2019.
Previously, Mr. Vandivort served at Weiss Peck and Greer/Robeco Investment Management from 1994 to 2007, as President and Chief Investment Officer and prior to that as Managing Director and Head of Fixed Income. Mr. Vandivort also served in various capacities at CS First Boston from 1984 to 1994, including as Head of Fixed Income at CS First Boston Investment Management.
Mr. Vandivort currently serves as President of Flyway Advisory Services LLC, a consulting and property management company.
The Board believes that Mr. Vandivort's experience in financial services and investment management and as a director of other investment companies benefits the Funds.
James D. Vaughn, Trustee
James D. Vaughn has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Invesco Funds since 2019. From 2012 to 2019, Mr. Vaughn served on the boards of certain investment companies in the Oppenheimer Funds complex.
Prior to his retirement, Mr. Vaughn served as managing partner of the Denver office of Deloitte & Touche LLP, and held various positions in the Denver and New York offices of Deloitte & Touche LLP during his 32 year career.
Mr. Vaughn has served as a Board member and Chairman of the Audit Committee of AMG National Trust Bank since 2005. He also serves as a Trustee of the University of South Dakota Foundation. In addition, Mr. Vaughn has served as a Board member, Audit Committee member and past Board Chair of Junior Achievement since 1993.
Previously, Mr. Vaughn served as Trustee and Chairman of the Audit Committee of Schroder Funds from 2003 to 2012. He also previously served as a Board Member of Mile High United Way, Boys and Girls Clubs, Boy Scouts, Colorado Business Committee for the Arts, Economic Club of Colorado and Metro Denver Network.
The Board believes that Mr. Vaughn's experience in financial services and accounting and as a director of other investment companies benefits the Funds.
Management Information
The Trustees have the authority to take all actions that they consider necessary or appropriate in connection with oversight of the Trust, including, among other things, approving the investment objectives, investment policies and fundamental investment restrictions for the Funds. The Trust has entered into agreements with various service providers, including the Funds' investment advisers, administrator, transfer agent, distributor and custodians, to conduct the day-to-day operations of the Funds. The Trustees are responsible for selecting these service providers, approving the terms of their contracts with the Funds, and exercising general oversight of these arrangements on an ongoing basis.
Certain Trustees and officers of the Trust are affiliated with Invesco and Invesco Ltd., the parent corporation of Invesco. All of the Trust's executive officers hold similar offices with some or all of the other Trusts.
Leadership Structure and the Board of Trustees. The Board is currently composed of fifteen Trustees, including fourteen Trustees who are not "interested persons" of the Funds, as that term is defined in the 1940 Act (collectively, the Independent Trustees and each, an Independent Trustee). In addition to eight regularly scheduled meetings per year, the Board holds special meetings or informal conference calls to discuss specific matters that may require action prior to the next regular meeting. As discussed below, the Board has
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established four standing committees - the Audit Committee, the Compliance Committee, the Governance Committee and the Investments Committee (the Committees), to assist the Board in performing its oversight responsibilities.
The Board has appointed an Independent Trustee to serve in the role of Chair. The Chair's primary role is to preside at meetings of the Board and act as a liaison with the Adviser and other service providers, officers, including the Senior Officer of the Trust, attorneys, and other Trustees between meetings. The Chair also participates in the preparation of the agenda for the meetings of the Board, is active with mutual fund industry organizations, and may perform such other functions as may be requested by the Board from time to time. Except for any duties specified pursuant to the Trust's Declaration of Trust or By-laws, the designation of Chair does not impose on such Independent Trustee any duties, obligations or liability that is greater than the duties, obligations or liability imposed on such person as a member of the Board generally.
The Board believes that its leadership structure, including having an Independent Trustee as Chair, allows for effective communication between the Trustees and management, among the Trustees and among the Independent Trustees. The existing Board structure, including its Committee structure, provides the Independent Trustees with effective control over Board governance while also allowing them to receive and benefit from insight from the interested Trustee who is an active officer of the Funds' investment adviser. The Board's leadership structure promotes dialogue and debate, which the Board believes allows for the proper consideration of matters deemed important to the Funds and their shareholders and results in effective decision-making.
Risk Oversight. The Board considers risk management issues as part of its general oversight responsibilities throughout the year at its regular meetings and at regular meetings of its Committees. Invesco prepares regular reports that address certain investment, valuation and compliance matters, and the Board as a whole or the Committees also receive special written reports or presentations on a variety of risk issues at the request of the Board, a Committee or the Senior Officer.
The Board also considers liquidity risk management issues as part of its general oversight responsibilities and oversees the Trust's liquidity risk through, among other things, receiving periodic reporting and presentations by Invesco personnel that address liquidity matters. As required by Rule 22e-4 under the 1940 Act, the Board, including a majority of the Independent Trustees, has approved the Trust's Liquidity Risk Management ("LRM") Program, which is reasonably designed to assess and manage the Trust's liquidity risk, and has appointed the LRM Program Administrator that is responsible for administering the LRM Program. The Board also reviews, no less frequently than annually, a written report prepared by the LRM Program Administrator that addresses, among other items, the operation of the program and assesses its adequacy and effectiveness of implementation.
The Audit Committee is apprised by, and discusses with, management its policies on risk assessment and risk management. Such discussion includes a discussion of the guidelines governing the process by which risks are assessed and managed and an identification of each Fund's major financial risk exposures. In addition, the Audit Committee meets regularly with representatives of Invesco Ltd.'s internal audit group to review reports on their examinations of functions and processes within Invesco that affect the Funds. The Audit Committee also oversees the valuation of the Funds' portfolio securities and receives reports from management regarding the valuation of the Funds' portfolio securities as consistent with the Funds' Pricing Procedures.
The Compliance Committee receives regular compliance reports prepared by Invesco's compliance group and meets regularly with the Fund's Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) to discuss compliance issues, including compliance risks. The Compliance Committee has recommended and the Board has adopted compliance policies and procedures for the Funds and for the Funds' service providers. The compliance policies and procedures are designed to detect, prevent and correct violations of the federal securities laws.
The Governance Committee monitors the composition of the Board and each of its Committees and monitors the qualifications of the Trustees to ensure adherence to certain governance undertakings applicable
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to the Funds. In addition, the Governance Committee oversees an annual self-assessment of the Board and addresses governance risks, including insurance and fidelity bond matters, for the Trust.
The Investments Committee and its sub-committees receive regular written reports describing and analyzing the investment performance of the Invesco Funds. In addition, Invesco's Chief Investment Officers and the portfolio managers of the Funds meet regularly with the Investments Committee or its sub-committees to discuss portfolio performance, including investment risk, such as the impact on the Funds of investments in particular types of securities or instruments, such as derivatives. To the extent that a Fund changes a particular investment strategy that could have a material impact on the Fund's risk profile, the Board generally is consulted in advance with respect to such change.
Committee Structure
The members of the Audit Committee are Messrs. LaCava (Chair), Troccoli, Vaughn (Vice Chair), Wilson, Dr. Jones, and Mss. Hostetler and Stern. The Audit Committee performs a number of functions with respect to the oversight of the Funds' accounting and financial reporting, including: (i) assisting the Board with its oversight of the qualifications, independence and performance of the independent registered public accountants; (ii) selecting independent registered public accountants for the Funds; (iii) to the extent required, pre-approving certain audit and permissible non-audit services; (iv) overseeing the financial reporting process for the Funds; (v) assisting the Board with its oversight of the integrity of the Funds' financial statements and compliance with legal and regulatory requirements that relate to the Funds' accounting and financial reporting, internal control over financial reporting and independent audits; (vi) pre-approving engagements for non-audit services to be provided by the Funds' independent auditors to the Funds' investment adviser or to any of its affiliates; and (vii) overseeing the valuation of the Funds' portfolio securities. During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, the Audit Committee held four meetings.
The members of the Compliance Committee are Messrs. Fields, Motley and Vandivort, and Mss. Brown, Krentzman (Chair), and Ressel (Vice Chair) and Dr. Mathai-Davis. The Compliance Committee performs a number of functions with respect to compliance matters, including: (i) reviewing and making recommendations concerning the qualifications, performance and compensation of the Funds' Chief Compliance Officer; (ii) reviewing recommendations and reports made by the Chief Compliance Officer or Senior Officer of the Funds regarding compliance matters; (iii) overseeing compliance policies and procedures of the Funds and their service providers; (iv) overseeing potential conflicts of interest that are reported to the Compliance Committee by Invesco, the Chief Compliance Officer, or the Senior Officer; (v) reviewing reports prepared by a third party's compliance review of Invesco; (vi) if requested by the Board, overseeing risk management with respect to the Funds, including receiving and overseeing risk management reports from Invesco that are applicable to the Funds and their service providers; and (vii) reviewing reports by Invesco on correspondence with regulators or governmental agencies with respect to the Funds and recommending to the Board what action, if any, should be taken by the Funds in light of such reports. During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, the Compliance Committee held four meetings.
The members of the Governance Committee are Messrs. Fields (Chair), LaCava, Vandivort and Wilson, Ms. Stern (Chair Designate and Vice Chair) and Drs. Jones and Mathai-Davis. The Governance Committee performs a number of functions with respect to governance, including: (i) nominating persons to serve as Independent Trustees and as members of each Committee, and nominating the Chair of the Board and the Chair and Vice Chair of each Committee; (ii) reviewing and making recommendations to the full Board regarding the size and composition of the Board and the compensation payable to the Independent Trustees;(iii) overseeing the annual evaluation of the performance of the Board and its Committees; (iv) considering and overseeing the selection of independent legal counsel to the Independent Trustees; (v) reviewing and approving the compensation paid to the Senior Officer; (vi) reviewing administrative and/or logistical matters pertaining to the operations of the Board; and (vii) reviewing annually recommendations from Invesco regarding amounts and coverage of primary and excess directors and officers/errors and omissions liability insurance and allocation of premiums. During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, the Governance Committee held six meetings.
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The Governance Committee will consider nominees recommended by a shareholder to serve as trustees, provided: (i) that such submitting shareholder is a shareholder of record at the time he or she submits such names and is entitled to vote at the meeting of shareholders at which trustees will be elected; and (ii) that the Governance Committee or the Board, as applicable, shall make the final determination of persons to be nominated. Notice procedures set forth in the Trust's bylaws require that any shareholder of a Fund desiring to nominate a candidate for election at a shareholder meeting must provide certain information about itself and the candidate, and must submit to the Trust's Secretary the nomination in writing not later than the close of business on the later of the 90th day, nor earlier than the close of business on the 120th day, prior to the first anniversary of the preceding year's annual meeting; provided, however, that in the event that the date of the annual meeting is advanced by more than 30 days or delayed by more than 60 days from such anniversary date or if the Trust has not previously held an annual meeting, notice by the Shareholder to be timely must be so delivered not earlier than the close of business on the 120th day prior to such annual meeting and not later than the close of business on the later of the 90th day prior to such annual meeting or the tenth day following the day on which public announcement of the date of such meeting is first made by the Trust.
The members of the Investments Committee are Messrs. Fields, Flanagan, LaCava, Motley, Troccoli, Vandivort (Vice Chair), Vaughn and Wilson, Mss. Brown, Hostetler (Chair), Krentzman, Ressel (Vice Chair) and Stern (Vice Chair) and Drs. Jones and Mathai-Davis. The Investments Committee's primary purposes are to assist the Board in its oversight of the investment management services provided by Invesco and the Sub-Advisers and to periodically review Fund performance information, information regarding the Funds' trading practices and such other reports pertaining to portfolio securities transactions and information regarding the investment personnel and other resources devoted to the management of the Funds and make recommendations to the Board, when applicable. During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, the Investments Committee held five meetings.
The Investments Committee has established three Sub-Committees and delegated to the Sub-Committees responsibility for, among other matters: (i) reviewing the performance of the Funds that have been assigned to a particular Sub-Committee (for each Sub-Committee, the Designated Funds), except to the extent the Investments Committee takes such action directly; (ii) reviewing with the applicable portfolio managers from time to time the investment objective(s), policies, strategies, performance and risks and other investment-related matters of the Designated Funds; and (iii) being generally familiar with the investment objectives and principal investment strategies of the Designated Funds.
Trustee Ownership of Fund Shares
The dollar range of equity securities beneficially owned by each trustee (i) in the Funds and (ii) on an aggregate basis, in all registered investment companies overseen by the trustee within the Invesco Funds complex, is set forth in Appendix C.
Compensation
Each Trustee who is not affiliated with Invesco is compensated for his or her services according to a fee schedule that recognizes the fact that such Trustee also serves as a Trustee of other Invesco Funds. Each such Trustee receives a fee, allocated among the Invesco Funds for which he or she serves as a Trustee that consists of an annual retainer component and a meeting fee component. The Chair of the Board and of each Committee and Sub-Committee receive additional compensation for their services.
Information regarding compensation paid or accrued for each Trustee of the Trust who was not affiliated with Invesco during the year ended December 31, 2020 is found in Appendix D.
Retirement Policy
The Trustees have adopted a retirement policy that permits each Trustee to serve until December 31 of the year in which the Trustee turns 75.
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Pre-Amendment Retirement Plan For Trustees
The Trustees have adopted a Retirement Plan for the Trustees who are not affiliated with the Adviser. A description of the pre-amendment Retirement Plan follows. Annual retirement benefits are available from the Funds and/or the other Invesco Funds for which a Trustee serves (each, a Covered Fund), for each Trustee who is not an employee or officer of the Adviser, who either (a) became a Trustee prior to December 1, 2008, and who has at least five years of credited service as a Trustee (including service to a predecessor fund) of a Covered Fund, or (b) was a member of the Board of Trustees of a Van Kampen Fund immediately prior to June 1, 2010 (Former Van Kampen Trustee), and has at least one year of credited service as a Trustee of a Covered Fund after June 1, 2010.
For Trustees other than Former Van Kampen Trustees, effective January 1, 2006, for retirements after December 31, 2005, the retirement benefits will equal 75% of the Trustee's annual retainer paid to or accrued by any Covered Fund with respect to such Trustee during the twelve-month period prior to retirement, including the amount of any retainer deferred under a separate deferred compensation agreement between the Covered Fund and the Trustee. The amount of the annual retirement benefit does not include additional compensation paid for Board meeting fees or compensation paid to the Chair of the Board and the Chairs and Vice Chairs of certain Board committees, whether such amounts are paid directly to the Trustee or deferred. The annual retirement benefit is payable in quarterly installments for a number of years equal to the lesser of (i) sixteen years or (ii) the number of such Trustee's credited years of service. If a Trustee dies prior to receiving the full amount of retirement benefits, the remaining payments will be made to the deceased Trustee's designated beneficiary for the same length of time that the Trustee would have received the payments based on his or her service or, if the Trustee has elected, in a discounted lump sum payment. A Trustee must have attained the age of 65 (60 in the event of disability) to receive any retirement benefit. A Trustee may make an irrevocable election to commence payment of retirement benefits upon retirement from the Board before age 72; in such a case, the annual retirement benefit is subject to a reduction for early payment.
If the Former Van Kampen Trustee completes at least 10 years of credited service after June 1, 2010, the retirement benefit will equal 75% of the Former Van Kampen Trustee's annual retainer paid to or accrued by any Covered Fund with respect to such Trustee during the twelve-month period prior to retirement, including the amount of any retainer deferred under a separate deferred compensation agreement between the Covered Fund and such Trustee. The amount of the annual retirement benefit does not include additional compensation paid for Board meeting fees or compensation paid to the Chair of the Board and the Chairs and Vice Chairs of certain Board committees, whether such amounts are paid directly to the Trustee or deferred. The annual retirement benefit is payable in quarterly installments for 10 years beginning after the later of the Former Van Kampen Trustee's termination of service or attainment of age 72 (or age 60 in the event of disability or immediately in the event of death). If a Former Van Kampen Trustee dies prior to receiving the full amount of retirement benefits, the remaining payments will be made to the deceased Trustee's designated beneficiary or, if the Trustee has elected, in a discounted lump sum payment.
If the Former Van Kampen Trustee completes less than 10 years of credited service after June 1, 2010, the retirement benefit will be payable at the applicable time described in the preceding paragraph, but will be paid in two components successively. For the period of time equal to the Former Van Kampen Trustee's years of credited service after June 1, 2010, the first component of the annual retirement benefit will equal 75% of the compensation amount described in the preceding paragraph. Thereafter, for the period of time equal to the Former Van Kampen Trustee's years of credited service after June 1, 2010, the second component of the annual retirement benefit will equal the excess of (x) 75% of the compensation amount described in the preceding paragraph, over (y) $68,041 plus an interest factor of 4% per year compounded annually measured from June 1, 2010 through the first day of each year for which payments under this second component are to be made. In no event, however, will the retirement benefits under the two components be made for a period of time greater than 10 years. For example, if the Former Van Kampen Trustee completes 7 years of credited service after June 1, 2010, he or she will receive 7 years of payments under the first component and thereafter 3 years of payments under the second component, and if the Former Van Kampen Trustee
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completes 4 years of credited service after June 1, 2010, he or she will receive 4 years of payments under the first component and thereafter 4 years of payments under the second component.
Amendment of Retirement Plan and Conversion to Defined Contribution Plan
The Trustees approved an amendment to the Retirement Plan to convert it to a defined contribution plan for active Trustees (the Amended Plan). Under the Amended Plan, the benefit amount was amended for each active Trustee to the present value of the Trustee's existing retirement plan benefit as of December 31, 2013 (the Existing Plan Benefit) plus the present value of retirement benefits expected to be earned under the Retirement Plan through the end of the calendar year in which the Trustee attained age 75 (the Expected Future Benefit and, together with the Existing Plan Benefit, the Accrued Benefit). On the conversion date, the Covered Funds established bookkeeping accounts in the amount of their pro rata share of the Accrued Benefit, which is deemed to be invested in one or more Invesco Funds selected by the participating Trustees. Such accounts will be adjusted from time to time to reflect deemed investment earnings and losses. Each Trustee's Accrued Benefit is not funded and, with respect to the payments of amounts held in the accounts, the participating Trustees have the status of unsecured creditors of the Covered Funds. Trustees will be paid the adjusted account balance under the Amended Plan in quarterly installments for the same period as described above.
Deferred Compensation Agreements
Four retired Trustees, as well as Messrs. LaCava, Motley, Troccoli, Vandivort, Vaughn and Wilson, Mss. Hostetler and Stern and Drs. Jones and Mathai-Davis (for purposes of this paragraph only, the Deferring Trustees) have each executed a Deferred Compensation Agreement (collectively, the Compensation Agreements). Pursuant to the Compensation Agreements, the Deferring Trustees have the option to elect to defer receipt of up to 100% of their compensation payable by the Funds, and such amounts are placed into a deferral account and deemed to be invested in one or more Invesco Funds selected by the Deferring Trustees.
Distributions from these deferral accounts will be paid in cash, generally in equal quarterly installments over a period of up to ten (10) years (depending on the Compensation Agreement) beginning on the date selected under the Compensation Agreement. If a Deferring Trustee dies prior to the distribution of amounts in his or her deferral account, the balance of the deferral account will be distributed to his or her designated beneficiary. The Compensation Agreements are not funded and, with respect to the payments of amounts held in the deferral accounts, the Deferring Trustees have the status of unsecured creditors of the Funds and of each other Invesco Fund from which they are deferring compensation.
Code of Ethics
Invesco, the Trust, Invesco Distributors and certain of the Sub-Advisers each have adopted a Code of Ethics that applies to all Invesco Fund trustees and officers, and employees of Invesco, the Sub-Advisers and their affiliates, and governs, among other things, the personal trading activities of all such persons. Certain Sub-Advisers have adopted their own Code of Ethics. Each Code of Ethics is designed to detect and prevent improper personal trading by portfolio managers and certain other employees that could compete with or take advantage of the Fund's portfolio transactions. Unless specifically noted, to the extent a Sub-Adviser has adopted its own Code of Ethics, each Sub-Adviser's Code of Ethics does not materially differ from Invesco's Code of Ethics discussed below. The Code of Ethics is intended to address conflicts of interest with the Trust that may arise from personal trading in the Invesco Funds. Personal trading, including personal trading involving securities that may be purchased or held by an Invesco Fund, is permitted under the Code of Ethics subject to certain restrictions; however, employees are required to pre-clear security transactions with the Compliance Officer or a designee and to report transactions on a regular basis.
Proxy Voting Policies
Invesco has adopted its own specific Proxy Voting Policies.
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The Board has delegated responsibility for decisions regarding proxy voting for securities held by each Fund to the following Adviser/Sub-Adviser(s):
Fund Name
Adviser/Sub-Adviser
Invesco® V.I. NASDAQ 100 Buffer Fund -
March
Invesco Advisers, Inc./ Invesco Asset Management Limited
Invesco® V.I. NASDAQ 100 Buffer Fund -
June
Invesco Advisers, Inc./ Invesco Asset Management Limited
Invesco® V.I. NASDAQ 100 Buffer Fund -
September
Invesco Advisers, Inc./ Invesco Asset Management Limited
Invesco® V.I. NASDAQ 100 Buffer Fund -
December
Invesco Advisers, Inc./ Invesco Asset Management Limited
Invesco® V.I. S&P 500 Buffer Fund -
March
Invesco Advisers, Inc./ Invesco Asset Management Limited
Invesco® V.I. S&P 500 Buffer Fund - June
Invesco Advisers, Inc./ Invesco Asset Management Limited
Invesco® V.I. S&P Buffer Fund -
September
Invesco Advisers, Inc./ Invesco Asset Management Limited
Invesco® V.I. S&P 500 Buffer Fund -
December
Invesco Advisers, Inc./ Invesco Asset Management Limited
Invesco (the Proxy Voting Entity) will vote such proxies in accordance with its proxy voting policies and procedures, as outlined above, which have been reviewed and approved by the Board, and which are found in Appendix E. Any material changes to the proxy voting policies and procedures will be submitted to the Board for approval. The Board will be supplied with a summary quarterly report of each Fund's proxy voting record. Information regarding how the Funds voted proxies related to their portfolio securities during the twelve months ended June 30, 2020 is available without charge at our website, http://www.invesco.com/us. This information will also be available at the SEC website, http://www.sec.gov.
CONTROL PERSONS AND PRINCIPAL HOLDERS OF SECURITIES
Information about the ownership of each class of each Fund's shares by beneficial or record owners of such Fund and ownership of Fund shares by trustees and officers as a group is found in Appendix F. A shareholder who owns beneficially 25% or more of the outstanding shares of a Fund is presumed to "control" that Fund.
INVESTMENT ADVISORY AND OTHER SERVICES
Investment Adviser
Invesco serves as the Funds' investment adviser. The Adviser manages the investment operations of the Funds as well as other investment portfolios that encompass a broad range of investment objectives, and has agreed to perform or arrange for the performance of the Funds' day-to-day management. The Adviser, as successor in interest to multiple investment advisers, has been an investment adviser since 1976. Invesco Advisers, Inc. is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Invesco Ltd. Invesco Ltd. and its subsidiaries are an independent global investment management group. Certain of the directors and officers of Invesco are also executive officers of the Trust and their affiliations are shown under "Management Information" herein.
As investment adviser, Invesco supervises all aspects of the Funds' operations and provides investment advisory services to the Funds. Invesco obtains and evaluates economic, statistical and financial information to formulate and implement investment programs for the Funds. The Master Investment Advisory Agreement (Advisory Agreement) provides that, in fulfilling its responsibilities, Invesco may engage the services of other investment managers with respect to one or more of the Funds. The investment advisory services of Invesco are not exclusive and Invesco is free to render investment advisory services to others, including other investment companies.
Pursuant to an administrative services agreement with the Funds, Invesco is also responsible for furnishing to the Funds, at Invesco's expense, the services of persons believed to be competent to perform all
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supervisory and administrative services required by the Funds, which in the judgment of the trustees, are necessary to conduct the business of the Funds effectively, as well as the offices, equipment and other facilities necessary for their operations. Such functions include the maintenance of each Fund's accounts and records, and the preparation of all requisite corporate documents such as tax returns and reports to the SEC and shareholders.
The Advisory Agreement provides that each Fund will pay or cause to be paid all expenses of such Fund not assumed by Invesco, including, without limitation: brokerage commissions, taxes, legal, auditing or governmental fees, custodian, transfer and shareholder service agent costs, expenses of issue, sale, redemption, and repurchase of shares, expenses of registering and qualifying shares for sale, expenses relating to trustee and shareholder meetings, the cost of preparing and distributing reports and notices to shareholders, the fees and other expenses incurred by the Trust on behalf of each Fund in connection with membership in investment company organizations, and the cost of printing copies of prospectuses and statements of additional information distributed to the Funds' shareholders.
Invesco, at its own expense, furnishes to the Trust office space and facilities. Invesco furnishes to the Trust all personnel for managing the affairs of the Trust and each of its series of shares.
Pursuant to its Advisory Agreement with the Trust, Invesco receives a monthly fee from each Fund calculated at the annual rates indicated in the second column below, based on the average daily net assets of each Fund during the year. Each Fund allocates advisory fees to a class based on the relative net assets of each class.
Fund Name
Annual Rate/Net Assets
Per Advisory Agreement
Invesco® V.I. NASDAQ 100 Buffer Fund -
March
First $2 billion 0.42%
Over $2 billion 0.40%
Invesco® V.I. NASDAQ 100 Buffer Fund -
June
First $2 billion 0.42%
Over $2 billion 0.40%
Invesco® V.I. NASDAQ 100 Buffer Fund -
September
First $2 billion 0.42%
Over $2 billion 0.40%
Invesco® V.I. NASDAQ 100 Buffer Fund -
December
First $2 billion 0.42%
Over $2 billion 0.40%
Invesco® V.I. S&P 500 Buffer Fund -
March
First $2 billion 0.42%
Over $2 billion 0.40%
Invesco® V.I. S&P 500 Buffer Fund - June
First $2 billion 0.42%
Over $2 billion 0.40%
Invesco® V.I. S&P 500 Buffer Fund -
September
First $2 billion 0.42%
Over $2 billion 0.40%
Invesco® V.I. S&P 500 Buffer Fund -
December
First $2 billion 0.42%
85
Fund Name
Annual Rate/Net Assets
Per Advisory Agreement
Over $2 billion 0.40%
Invesco may from time to time waive or reduce its fee. Voluntary fee waivers or reductions may be rescinded at any time without further notice to investors. During periods of voluntary fee waivers or reductions, Invesco will retain its ability to be reimbursed for such fee prior to the end of the respective fiscal year in which the voluntary fee waiver or reduction was made.
Invesco has contractually agreed through at least June 30, 2022, to waive advisory fees payable by each Fund in an amount equal to 100% of the net advisory fee Invesco receives from the Affiliated Money Market Funds as a result of each Fund's investment of uninvested cash in the Affiliated Money Market Funds. See "Description of the Funds and Their Investments and Risks - Investment Strategies and Risks - Other Investments - Other Investment Companies."
Invesco also has contractually agreed through at least April 30, 2023, to waive advisory fees or reimburse expenses to the extent necessary to limit the total annual fund operating expenses (excluding (i) interest; (ii) taxes; (iii) dividend expenses on short sales; (iv) extraordinary or non-routine items, including litigation expenses; and (v) expenses that each Fund has incurred but did not actually pay because of an expense offset arrangement, if applicable). The expense limitations are as follows:
Fund
Annual Rate/Net Assets Per
Expense Limitation Agreement
Expiration Date
Invesco® V.I. NASDAQ 100 Buffer Fund -
March
Series I Shares
0.70%
April 30, 2023
Series II Shares
0.95%
April 30, 2023
Invesco® V.I. NASDAQ 100 Buffer Fund -
June
Series I Shares
0.70%
June 30, 2023
Series II Shares
0.95%
June 30, 2023
Invesco® V.I. NASDAQ 100 Buffer Fund -
September
Series I Shares
0.70%
April 30, 2023
Series II Shares
0.95%
April 30, 2023
Invesco® V.I. NASDAQ 100 Buffer Fund -
December
Series I Shares
0.70%
April 30, 2023
Series II Shares
0.95%
April 30, 2023
Invesco® V.I. S&P 500 Buffer Fund -
March
Series I Shares
0.70%
April 30, 2023
Series II Shares
0.95%
April 30, 2023
Invesco® V.I. S&P 500 Buffer Fund - June
Series I Shares
0.70%
June 30, 2023
Series II Shares
0.95%
June 30, 2023
Invesco® V.I. S&P 500 Buffer Fund -
September
Series I Shares
0.70%
April 30, 2023
Series II Shares
0.95%
April 30, 2023
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Fund
Annual Rate/Net Assets Per
Expense Limitation Agreement
Expiration Date
Invesco® V.I. S&P 500 Buffer Fund -
December
Series I Shares
0.70%
April 30, 2023
Series II Shares
0.95%
April 30, 2023
Acquired Fund Fees and Expenses are not operating expenses of the Funds directly, but are fees and expenses, including management fees of the investment companies in which the Funds invest. As a result, the Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses After Fee Waiver and/or Expense Reimbursement may exceed a Fund's expense limit.
If applicable, such contractual fee waivers or reductions are set forth in the Fee Table to the Fund's Prospectus. Unless Invesco continues the fee waiver agreements, they will terminate on the expiration dates disclosed above. During their terms, the fee waiver agreements cannot be terminated or amended to increase the expense limits or reduce the advisory fee waiver without approval of the Board.
The management fees payable by each Fund, the amounts waived by Invesco and the net fees paid by each Fund during the last three fiscal years or periods, as applicable, ended December 31 are found in Appendix G.
Investment Sub-Advisers
Invesco has entered into a Sub-Advisory Agreement with certain affiliates to serve as sub-advisers to each Fund (each, a Sub-Adviser), pursuant to which these affiliated sub-advisers may be appointed by Invesco from time to time to provide discretionary investment management services, investment advice, and/or order execution services to the Funds. These affiliated sub-advisers, each of which is a registered investment adviser under the Advisers Act are:
Invesco Asset Management (Japan) Limited (Invesco Japan)
Invesco Asset Management Deutschland GmbH (Invesco Deutschland)
Invesco Asset Management Limited (Invesco Asset Management)
Invesco Canada Ltd. (Invesco Canada)
Invesco Hong Kong Limited (Invesco Hong Kong)
Invesco Senior Secured Management, Inc. (Invesco Senior Secured)
Invesco has also entered into a Sub-Advisory Agreement with another affiliate, Invesco Capital Management LLC (Invesco Capital), also a registered investment adviser under the Advisers Act, to provide discretionary investment management services, investment advice, and/or order execution services to the Funds.
Invesco has also entered into a Sub-Advisory Agreement with another affiliate, Invesco Asset Management (India) Private Limited (Invesco India), also a registered investment adviser under the Advisers Act, to provide discretionary investment management services, investment advice, and/or order execution services to the Funds.
The only fees payable to the Sub-Advisers described above under the Sub-Advisory Agreements are for providing discretionary investment management services. For such services, Invesco will pay each Sub-Adviser a fee, computed daily and paid monthly, equal to (i) 40% of the monthly compensation that Invesco receives from the Trust, multiplied by (ii) the fraction equal to the net assets of such Fund as to which such Sub-Adviser shall have provided discretionary investment management services for that month divided by the net assets of such Fund for that month. Pursuant to the Sub-Advisory Agreement, this fee is reduced to reflect contractual or voluntary fee waivers or expense limitations by Invesco, if any, in effect from time to time. In no
87
event shall the aggregate monthly fees paid to the Sub-Advisers under the Sub-Advisory Agreement exceed 40% of the monthly compensation that Invesco receives from the Trust pursuant to its advisory agreement with the Trust, as reduced to reflect contractual or voluntary fee waivers or expense limitations by Invesco, if any.
Invesco and each Sub-Adviser are indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries of Invesco Ltd.
Service Agreements
Administrative Services Agreement. Invesco and the Trust have entered into a Master Administrative Services Agreement (Administrative Services Agreement) pursuant to which Invesco may perform or arrange for the provision of certain accounting and other administrative services to each Fund which are not required to be performed by Invesco under the Advisory Agreement. The Administrative Services Agreement provides that it will remain in effect and continue from year to year only if such continuance is specifically approved at least annually by the Board, including the independent trustees. Under the Administrative Services Agreement, Invesco is entitled to receive from the Funds reimbursement of its costs or such reasonable compensation. The advisory fee payable by each Fund shall be reduced by any amounts paid by each Fund under the Administrative Services Agreement. Currently, Invesco is reimbursed for the services of the Trust's principal financial officer and her staff and any expenses related to fund accounting services.
In addition, Invesco contracts with Participating Insurance Companies for certain administrative services provided to the Funds, which services are described in the Funds' prospectus.
Each Participating Insurance Company negotiates the fees to be paid for the provision of these services. The cost of providing the services and the overall package of services provided may vary from one Participating Insurance Company to another. Invesco does not make an independent assessment of a Participating Insurance Company's cost of providing such services.
The Administrative Services Agreement provides that the Funds will reimburse Invesco for its costs in paying the Participating Insurance Companies that provide these services, currently subject to an annual limit of 0.15% of the average net assets invested in each Fund by each Participating Insurance Company. Any amounts paid by Invesco to a Participating Insurance Company in excess of 0.15% of the average net assets invested in each Fund are paid by Invesco out of its own financial resources.
Administrative services fees paid to Invesco by each Fund or the last three fiscal years ended December 31 are found in Appendix I.
Other Service Providers
Transfer Agent. Invesco Investment Services, Inc., (Invesco Investment Services), 11 Greenway Plaza, Suite 1000, Houston, Texas 77046, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Invesco Ltd., is the Trust's transfer agent.
The Amended and Restated Transfer Agency and Service Agreement (the TA Agreement) between the Trust and Invesco Investment Services provides that Invesco Investment Services will perform certain services related to the servicing of shareholders of the Funds. For servicing Fund accounts, the TA Agreement provides that Invesco Investment Services will receive an asset-based fee from the Trust, on behalf of the Funds. The TA Agreement also provides that Invesco Investment Services is responsible for out-of-pocket expenses relating to the procurement of goods and services as they relate to its obligations under the TA Agreement.
Sub-Transfer Agent. Invesco Canada, 5140 Yonge Street, Suite 800, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M2N6X7, a wholly-owned, indirect subsidiary of Invesco Ltd., provides services to the Trust as a sub-transfer agent, pursuant to an agreement between Invesco Canada and Invesco Investment Services. The Trust does not pay a fee to Invesco Canada for these services. Rather Invesco Canada is compensated by Invesco Investment Services, as a sub-contractor.
In addition, Invesco (India) Private Limited, Divyasree Orion, B6 15TH FLOOR, Raidurgam, Serilingampalli, Hyderabad, India K7 500032, a wholly-owned, indirect subsidiary of Invesco Ltd., provides
88
services to the Trust as a sub-transfer agent, pursuant to an agreement between Invesco (India) Private Limited and Invesco Investment Services. The Trust does not pay a fee to Invesco (India) Private Limited and Invesco Investment Services. Rather Invesco (India) Private Limited is compensated by Invesco Investment Services, as a sub-contractor.
Custodian
State Street Bank and Trust Company (the Custodian), 225 Franklin Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02110, is custodian of all securities and cash of the Funds. The Bank of New York Mellon, 2 Hanson Place, Brooklyn, New York 11217-1431, serves as sub-custodian to facilitate cash management.
The Custodian and sub-custodian are authorized to establish separate accounts in foreign countries and to cause foreign securities owned by the Funds to be held outside the United States in branches of U.S. banks and, to the extent permitted by applicable regulations, in certain foreign banks and securities depositories. Invesco is responsible for selecting eligible foreign securities depositories and for assessing the risks associated with investing in foreign countries, including the risk of using eligible foreign securities' depositories in a country. The Custodian is responsible for monitoring eligible foreign securities depositories.
Under its contract with the Trust, the Custodian maintains the portfolio securities of the Funds, administers the purchases and sales of portfolio securities, collects interest and dividends and other distributions made on the securities held in the portfolios of the Funds and performs other ministerial duties. These services do not include any supervisory function over management or provide any protection against any possible depreciation of assets.
Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm. The Funds' independent registered public accounting firm is responsible for auditing the financial statements of the Funds. The Audit Committee of the Board has selected, and the Board has ratified and approved PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, 1000 Louisiana Street, Suite 5800, Houston, Texas 77002-5021, as the independent registered public accounting firm to audit the financial statements of the Funds. In connection with the audit of the Funds' financial statements, the Funds entered into an engagement letter with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. The terms of the engagement letter required by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and agreed to by the Funds' Audit Committee, include a provision mandating the use of mediation and arbitration to resolve any controversy or claim between the parties arising out of or relating to the engagement letter or the services provided thereunder.
Counsel. Legal matters for the Funds have been passed upon by Ropes & Gray LLP, 1211 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036-8704.
Securities Lending Arrangements
The Advisory Agreement describes the administrative services to be rendered by Invesco if a Fund engages in securities lending activities, as well as the compensation Invesco may receive for such administrative services. Services to be provided include: (a) overseeing participation in the securities lending program to ensure compliance with all applicable regulatory and investment guidelines; (b) assisting the securities lending agent or principal (the agent) in determining which specific securities are available for loan; (c) monitoring the agent to ensure that securities loans are effected in accordance with Invesco's instructions and with procedures adopted by the Board; (d) preparing appropriate periodic reports for, and seeking appropriate approvals from, the Board with respect to securities lending activities; (e) responding to agent inquiries; and (f) performing such other duties as may be necessary.
The Advisory Agreement authorizes Invesco to receive a separate fee equal to 25% of the net monthly interest or fee income retained or paid to a Fund for the administrative services that Invesco renders in connection with securities lending. Invesco has contractually agreed, however, not to charge this fee and to obtain Board approval prior to charging such fee in the future.
Portfolio Managers
Appendix H contains the following information regarding the portfolio managers identified in each Fund's prospectus:
89
The dollar range of the managers' investments in each Fund.
A description of the managers' compensation structure.
Information regarding other accounts managed and potential conflicts of interest that might arise from the management of multiple accounts.
BROKERAGE ALLOCATION AND OTHER PRACTICES
The Sub-Advisers have adopted compliance procedures that cover, among other items, brokerage allocation and other trading practices. If all or a portion of a Fund's assets are managed by one or more Sub-Advisers, the decision to buy and sell securities and broker selection will be made by the Sub-Adviser for the assets it manages. Unless specifically noted, the Sub-Advisers brokerage allocation procedures do not materially differ from Invesco Advisers, Inc.'s procedures.
As discussed below, Invesco and the Sub-Advisers, unless prohibited by applicable law, may cause a Fund to pay a broker-dealer a commission for effecting a transaction that exceeds the amount another broker-dealer would have charged for effecting the same transaction in recognition of the value of brokerage and research services provided by that broker-dealer. Effective January 3, 2018, under the European Union's Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II), European Union investment advisers, including Invesco Deutschland and Invesco Asset Management, which may act as sub-adviser to certain Invesco Funds as described in such Funds' prospectuses, must pay for research from broker-dealers directly out of their own resources, rather than through client commissions.
Brokerage Transactions
Placing trades generally involves acting on portfolio manager instructions to buy or sell a specified amount of portfolio securities, including selecting one or more broker-dealers, including affiliated and third-party broker-dealers, to execute the trades, and negotiating commissions and spreads. Various Invesco Ltd. subsidiaries have created a global equity trading desk. The global equity trading desk has assigned local traders in six primary trading centers to place equity securities trades in their regions. Invesco Advisers' Americas desk, located in Atlanta and Toronto, generally places trades of equity securities trading in North America, Canada and Latin America; the Hong Kong desk of Invesco Hong Kong (the Hong Kong Desk) generally places trades of equity securities in the Asia-Pacific markets, except Japan and China; the Japan trading desk of Invesco Japan generally places trades of equity securities in the Japanese markets; the EMEA trading desk of Invesco Asset Management Limited (the EMEA Desk) generally places trades of equity securities in European, Middle Eastern and African countries; the Australia desk, located in Sydney and Melbourne, for the execution of orders of equity securities trading in the Australian and New Zealand markets and the Taipei desk, located in Taipei, for the execution of orders of securities trading in the Chinese market. Invesco, Invesco Canada, Invesco Japan, Invesco Deutschland, Invesco Hong Kong, Invesco Capital and Invesco Asset Management use the global equity trading desk to place equity trades. Other Sub-Advisers may use the global equity trading desk in the future. The trading procedures for the global trading desks are similar in all material respects.
References in the language below to actions by Invesco or a Sub-Adviser making determinations or taking actions related to equity trading include these entities' delegation of these determinations/actions to the Americas Desk, the Hong Kong Desk, and the EMEA Desk. Even when trading is delegated by Invesco or the Sub-Advisers to the various arms of the global equity trading desk, Invesco or the Sub-Advisers that delegate trading is responsible for oversight of this trading activity.
Invesco or the Sub-Advisers make decisions to buy and sell securities for each Fund, select broker-dealers (each, a Broker), effect the Funds' investment portfolio transactions, allocate brokerage fees in such transactions and, where applicable, negotiate commissions and spreads on transactions. Invesco's and the Sub-Advisers' primary consideration in effecting a security transaction is to obtain best execution, which Invesco defines as prompt and efficient execution of the transaction at the best obtainable price with payment of commissions, mark-ups or mark-downs which are reasonable in relation to the value of the brokerage
90
services provided by the Broker. While Invesco or the Sub-Advisers seek reasonably competitive commission rates, the Funds may not pay the lowest commission or spread available. See "Broker Selection" below.
Some of the securities in which the Funds invest are traded in OTC markets. Portfolio transactions in such markets may be effected on a principal basis at net prices without commissions, but which include compensation to the Broker in the form of a mark-up or mark-down, or on an agency basis, which involves the payment of negotiated brokerage commissions to the Broker, including electronic communication networks. Purchases of underwritten issues, which include initial public offerings and secondary offerings, include a commission or concession paid by the issuer (not the Funds) to the underwriter. Purchases of money market instruments may be made directly from issuers without the payment of commissions.
Historically, Invesco and the Sub-Advisers did not negotiate commission rates on stock markets outside the United States. In recent years many overseas stock markets have adopted a system of negotiated rates; however, a number of markets maintain an established schedule of minimum commission rates.
In some cases, Invesco may decide to place trades on a "blind principal bid" basis, which involves combining all trades for one or more portfolios into a single basket, and generating a description of the characteristics of the basket for provision to potential executing brokers. Based on the trade characteristics information provided by Invesco, these brokers submit bids for executing all of the required trades at a designated time for a specific commission rate. Invesco generally selects the broker with the lowest bid to execute these trades.
Commissions
The Funds may engage in certain principal and agency transactions with banks and their affiliates that own 5% or more of the outstanding voting securities of an Invesco Fund, provided the conditions of an exemptive order received by the Invesco Funds from the SEC are met. In addition, the Funds may purchase or sell a security from or to certain other Invesco Funds or other accounts (and may invest in the Affiliated Money Market Funds) provided the Funds follow procedures adopted by the Boards of the various Invesco Funds, including the Trust. These inter-fund transactions generally do not generate brokerage commissions but may result in custodial fees or taxes or other related expenses.
Brokerage commissions are found in Appendix J.
Broker Selection
Invesco's or the Sub-Advisers' primary consideration in selecting Brokers to execute portfolio transactions for a Fund is to obtain best execution. In selecting a Broker to execute a portfolio transaction in equity securities for a Fund, Invesco or the Sub-Advisers consider the full range and quality of a Broker's services, including the value of research and/or brokerage services provided (if permitted by applicable law or regulation), execution capability, commission rate, and willingness to commit capital, anonymity and responsiveness. Invesco's and the Sub-Advisers' primary consideration when selecting a Broker to execute a portfolio transaction in fixed income securities for a Fund is the Broker's ability to deliver or sell the relevant fixed income securities; however, Invesco and the Sub-Advisers will, if permitted by applicable law or regulation, also consider the various factors listed above. In each case, the determinative factor is not the lowest commission or spread available but whether the transaction represents the best qualitative execution for the Fund. Invesco and the Sub-Advisers will not select Brokers based upon their promotion or sale of Fund shares.
Unless prohibited by applicable law, such as MiFID II (described herein), in choosing Brokers to execute portfolio transactions for the Funds, Invesco or the Sub-Advisers may select Brokers that provide brokerage and/or research services (Soft Dollar Products) to the Funds and/or the other accounts over which Invesco and its affiliates have investment discretion. For the avoidance of doubt, European Union investment advisers, including Invesco Deutschland and Invesco Asset Management, which may act as sub-adviser to certain Invesco Funds as described in such Funds' prospectuses, must pay for research from broker-dealers directly out of their own resources, rather than through client commissions. Therefore, the use of the defined term "Sub-Advisers" throughout this section shall not be deemed to apply to those Sub-Advisers subject to the
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MiFID II prohibitions. Section 28(e) of the Exchange Act, provides that Invesco or the Sub-Advisers, under certain circumstances, lawfully may cause an account to pay a higher commission than the lowest available. Under Section 28(e)(1), Invesco or the Sub-Advisers must make a good faith determination that the commissions paid are "reasonable in relation to the value of the brokerage and research services provided ... viewed in terms of either that particular transaction or [Invesco's or the Sub-Advisers'] overall responsibilities with respect to the accounts as to which [it] exercises investment discretion." The services provided by the Broker also must lawfully and appropriately assist Invesco or the Sub-Advisers in the performance of its investment decision-making responsibilities. Accordingly, a Fund may pay a Broker commissions higher than those available from another Broker in recognition of the Broker's provision of Soft Dollar Products to Invesco or the Sub-Advisers.
Invesco and the Sub-Advisers face a potential conflict of interest when they use client trades to obtain Soft Dollar Products. This conflict exists because Invesco and the Sub-Advisers are able to use the Soft Dollar Products to manage client accounts without paying cash for the Soft Dollar Products, which reduces Invesco's or a Sub-Adviser's expenses to the extent that Invesco or such Sub-Adviser would have purchased such products had they not been provided by Brokers. Section 28(e) permits Invesco or the Sub-Advisers to use Soft Dollar Products for the benefit of any account it manages. Certain Invesco-managed accounts (or accounts managed by the Sub-Advisers) may generate soft dollars used to purchase Soft Dollar Products that ultimately benefit other Invesco-managed accounts (or Sub-Adviser-managed accounts), effectively cross subsidizing the other Invesco-managed accounts (or the other Sub-Adviser-managed accounts) that benefit directly from the product. Invesco or the Sub-Advisers may not use all of the Soft Dollar Products provided by Brokers through which a Fund effects securities transactions in connection with managing the Fund whose trades generated the soft dollars used to purchase such products.
Invesco presently engages in the following instances of cross-subsidization:
Fixed income funds normally do not generate soft dollar commissions to pay for Soft Dollar Products. Therefore, soft dollar commissions used to pay for Soft Dollar Products which are used to manage certain fixed income Invesco Funds are generated entirely by equity Invesco Funds and other equity client accounts managed by Invesco. In other words, certain fixed income Invesco Funds are cross-subsidized by the equity Invesco Funds in that the fixed income Invesco Funds receive the benefit of Soft Dollar Products services for which they do not pay. Similarly, other accounts managed by Invesco or certain of its affiliates may benefit from Soft Dollar Products services for which they do not pay.
Invesco and the Sub-Advisers attempt to reduce or eliminate the potential conflicts of interest concerning the use of Soft Dollar Products by directing client trades for Soft Dollar Products only if Invesco or the Sub-Adviser concludes that the Broker supplying the product is capable of providing best execution.
Certain Soft Dollar Products may be available directly from a vendor on a hard dollar basis; other Soft Dollar Products are available only through Brokers in exchange for soft dollars. Invesco and the Sub-Adviser use soft dollars to purchase two types of Soft Dollar Products:
proprietary research created by the Broker executing the trade, and
other products created by third parties that are supplied to Invesco or the Sub-Advisers through the Broker executing the trade.
Proprietary research consists primarily of traditional research reports, recommendations and similar materials produced by the in-house research staffs of broker-dealer firms. This research includes evaluations and recommendations of specific companies or industry groups, as well as analyses of general economic and market conditions and trends, market data, contacts and other related information and assistance. Invesco periodically rates the quality of proprietary research produced by various Brokers. Based on the evaluation of the quality of information that Invesco receives from each Broker, Invesco develops an estimate of each Broker's share of Invesco clients' commission dollars and attempts to direct trades to these firms to meet these estimates.
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Invesco and the Sub-Advisers also use soft dollars to acquire products from third parties that are supplied to Invesco or the Sub-Advisers through Brokers executing the trades or other Brokers who "step in" to a transaction and receive a portion of the brokerage commission for the trade. Invesco or the Sub-Advisers may from time to time instruct the executing Broker to allocate or "step out" a portion of a transaction to another Broker. The Broker to which Invesco or the Sub-Advisers have "stepped out" would then settle and complete the designated portion of the transaction, and the executing Broker would settle and complete the remaining portion of the transaction that has not been "stepped out." Each Broker may receive a commission or brokerage fee with respect to that portion of the transaction that it settles and completes.
Soft Dollar Products received from Brokers supplement Invesco's and the Sub-Advisers' own research (and the research of certain of its affiliates), and may include the following types of products and services:
Database Services - comprehensive databases containing current and/or historical information on companies and industries and indices. Examples include historical securities prices, earnings estimates and financial data. These services may include software tools that allow the user to search the database or to prepare value-added analyses related to the investment process (such as forecasts and models used in the portfolio management process).
Quotation/Trading/News Systems - products that provide real time market data information, such as pricing of individual securities and information on current trading, as well as a variety of news services.
Economic Data/Forecasting Tools - various macro economic forecasting tools, such as economic data or currency and political forecasts for various countries or regions.
Quantitative/Technical Analysis - software tools that assist in quantitative and technical analysis of investment data.
Fundamental/Industry Analysis - industry specific fundamental investment research.
Fixed Income Security Analysis - data and analytical tools that pertain specifically to fixed income securities. These tools assist in creating financial models, such as cash flow projections and interest rate sensitivity analyses, which are relevant to fixed income securities.
Other Specialized Tools - other specialized products, such as consulting analyses, access to industry experts, and distinct investment expertise such as forensic accounting or custom built investment-analysis software.
If Invesco or the Sub-Advisers determine that any service or product has a mixed use (i.e., it also serves functions that do not assist the investment decision-making or trading process), Invesco or the Sub-Advisers will allocate the costs of such service or product accordingly in its reasonable discretion. Invesco or the Sub-Advisers will allocate brokerage commissions to Brokers only for the portion of the service or product that Invesco or the Sub-Advisers determine assists it in the investment decision-making or trading process and will pay for the remaining value of the product or service in cash.
Outside research assistance is useful to Invesco or the Sub-Advisers because the Brokers used by Invesco or the Sub-Advisers tend to provide more in-depth analysis of a broader universe of securities and other matters than Invesco's or the Sub-Advisers' staff follow. In addition, such services provide Invesco or the Sub-Advisers with a diverse perspective on financial markets. Some Brokers may indicate that the provision of research services is dependent upon the generation of certain specified levels of commissions and underwriting concessions by Invesco's or the Sub-Advisers' clients, including the Funds. However, the Funds are not under any obligation to deal with any Broker in the execution of transactions in portfolio securities. In some cases, Soft Dollar Products are available only from the Broker providing them. In other cases, Soft Dollar Products may be obtainable from alternative sources in return for cash payments. Invesco and the Sub-Advisers believe that because Broker research supplements rather than replaces Invesco's or the Sub-Advisers' research, the receipt of such research tends to improve the quality of Invesco's or the Sub-Advisers' investment advice. The advisory fee paid by the Funds is not reduced because Invesco or the Sub-Advisers
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receive such services. To the extent the Funds' portfolio transactions are used to obtain Soft Dollar Products, the brokerage commissions obtained by the Funds might exceed those that might otherwise have been paid.
Invesco or the Sub-Advisers may determine target levels of brokerage business with various Brokers on behalf of its clients (including the Funds) over a certain time period. Invesco determines target levels based upon the following factors, among others: (1) the execution services provided by the Broker; and (2) the research services provided by the Broker. Portfolio transactions may be effected through Brokers that recommend the Funds to their clients, or that act as agent in the purchase of a Fund's shares for their clients, provided that Invesco or the Sub-Advisers believe such Brokers provide best execution and such transactions are executed in compliance with Invesco's policy against using directed brokerage to compensate Brokers for promoting or selling Invesco Fund shares. Invesco and the Sub-Advisers will not enter into a binding commitment with Brokers to place trades with such Brokers involving brokerage commissions in precise amounts.
As noted above, under MiFID II, European Union investment advisers, including Invesco Deutschland and Invesco Asset Management, are not permitted to use Soft Dollar Products to pay for research from brokers but rather must pay for research out of their own profit and loss or have research costs paid by clients through research payment accounts that are funded by a specific client research charge or the research component of trade orders. Such payments for research must be unbundled from the payments for execution. As a result, Invesco Deutschland and Invesco Asset Management are restricted from using Soft Dollar Products in managing the Invesco Funds that they sub-advise.
Directed Brokerage (Research Services)
Directed brokerage (research services) commissions are found in Appendix K.
Affiliated Transactions
The Adviser or Sub-Adviser may place trades with Invesco Capital Markets, Inc. (ICMI), a broker-dealer with whom it is affiliated, provided the Adviser or Sub-Adviser determines that ICMI's trade execution abilities and costs are at least comparable to those of non-affiliated brokerage firms with which the Adviser or Sub-Adviser could otherwise place similar trades. ICMI receives brokerage commissions in connection with effecting trades for the Funds and, therefore, use of ICMI presents a conflict of interest for the Adviser or Sub-Adviser. Trades placed through ICMI, including the brokerage commissions paid to ICMI, are subject to procedures adopted by the Board.
Brokerage commissions on affiliated transactions are found in Appendix J.
Regular Brokers
Information concerning the Funds' acquisition of securities of its Brokers is found in Appendix K.
Allocation of Portfolio Transactions
Invesco and the Sub-Advisers manage numerous Invesco Funds and other accounts. Some of these accounts may have investment objectives similar to the Funds. Occasionally, identical securities will be appropriate for investment by multiple Invesco Funds or other accounts. However, the position of each account in the same security and the length of time that each account may hold its investment in the same security may vary. Invesco and the Sub-Adviser will also determine the timing and amount of purchases for an account based on its cash position. If the purchase or sale of securities is consistent with the investment policies of the Fund(s) and one or more other accounts, and is considered at or about the same time, Invesco or the Sub-Adviser will allocate transactions in such securities among the Fund(s) and these accounts on a pro rata basis based on order size or in such other manner believed by Invesco to be fair and equitable. Invesco or the Sub-Adviser may combine transactions in accordance with applicable laws and regulations to obtain the most favorable execution. Simultaneous transactions could, however, adversely affect a Fund's ability to obtain or dispose of the full amount of a security which it seeks to purchase or sell.
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Allocation of Initial Public Offering (IPO) Transactions
Certain of the Invesco Funds or other accounts managed by Invesco may become interested in participating in IPOs. Purchases of IPOs by one Invesco Fund or other accounts may also be considered for purchase by one or more other Invesco Funds or accounts. Invesco combines indications of interest for IPOs for all Invesco Funds and accounts participating in purchase transactions for that IPO. When the full amount of all IPO orders for such Invesco Funds and accounts cannot be filled completely, Invesco shall allocate such transactions in accordance with the following procedures.
Invesco or the Sub-Adviser may determine the eligibility of each Invesco Fund and account that seeks to participate in a particular IPO by reviewing a number of factors, including market capitalization/liquidity suitability and sector/style suitability of the investment with the Invesco Fund's or account's investment objective, policies, strategies and current holdings. Invesco will allocate securities issued in IPOs to eligible Invesco Funds and accounts on a pro rata basis based on order size.
Invesco Canada, Invesco Hong Kong and Invesco Japan allocate IPOs on a pro rata basis based on size of order or in such other manner which they believe is fair and equitable.
Invesco Asset Management allocates IPOs on a pro rata basis based on account size or in such other manner believed by Invesco Asset Management to be fair and equitable.
Invesco Deutschland and Invesco Senior Secured do not subscribe to IPOs.
PURCHASE, REDEMPTION AND PRICING OF SHARES
The Trust offers the shares of the Funds, on a continuous basis, to both registered and unregistered separate accounts of affiliated and unaffiliated Participating Insurance Companies to fund variable annuity contracts (the Contracts) and variable life insurance policies (Policies). Each separate account contains divisions, each of which corresponds to a Fund in the Trust. Net purchase payments under the Contracts are placed in one or more of the divisions of the relevant separate account and the assets of each division are invested in the shares of the Fund which corresponds to that division. Each separate account purchases and redeems shares of these Funds for its divisions at net asset value without sales or redemption charges. Currently several insurance company separate accounts invest in the Funds.
Shares of the Funds may also be sold to funds of funds that serve as underlying investments to insurance company separate accounts. In addition, the Trust, in the future, may offer the shares of its Funds to certain pension and retirement plans (Plans) qualified under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the Code). The relationships of Plans and Plan participants to the Fund would be subject, in part, to the provisions of the individual plans and applicable law. Accordingly, such relationships could be different from those described in this Prospectus for separate accounts and owners of Contracts and Policies, in such areas, for example, as tax matters and voting privileges.
The Board monitors for possible conflicts among separate accounts and funds of funds (and will do so for Plans) buying shares of the Funds. Conflicts could develop for a variety of reasons. For example, violation of the federal tax laws by one separate account investing in a Fund could cause the contracts or policies funded through another separate account to lose their tax-deferred status, unless remedial actions were taken. For example, differences in treatment under tax and other laws or the failure by a separate account to comply with such laws could cause a conflict. To eliminate a conflict, the Board may require a separate account, fund of funds or Plan to withdraw its participation in a Fund. A Fund's net asset value could decrease if it had to sell investment securities to pay redemptions proceeds to a separate account or fund of funds (or Plan) withdrawing because of a conflict.
Calculation of Net Asset Value
Each Fund generally determines its net asset value per share once daily on each day the NYSE is open for trading (a business day) as of approximately 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time (the customary close of regular trading) or earlier in the case of a scheduled early close. In the event of an unscheduled early close of the NYSE, each Fund generally still will determine its net asset value per share as of 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time on
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that business day. For purposes of determining net asset value per share, futures and option contracts generally will be valued 15 minutes after the close of the customary trading session of the NYSE. Futures contracts are valued at the final settlement price set by an exchange on which they are principally traded. Listed options are valued at the mean between the last bid and the ask prices from the exchange on which they are principally traded. Options not listed on an exchange are valued by an independent source at the mean between the last bid and ask prices. The Funds determine net asset value per share by dividing the value of a Fund's securities, cash and other assets (including interest accrued but not collected) attributable to a particular class, less all its liabilities (including accrued expenses and dividends payable) attributable to that class, by the total number of shares outstanding of that class. Determination of a Fund's net asset value per share is made in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. The net asset value for shareholder transactions may be different than the net asset value reported in the Fund's financial statements due to adjustments required by generally accepted accounting principles made to the net assets of the Fund at period end.
Investments in open-end and closed-end registered investment companies that do not trade on an exchange are valued at the end of day net asset value per share. Investments in open-end and closed-end registered investment companies that trade on an exchange are valued at the last sales price or official closing price as of the close of the customary trading session on the exchange where the security is principally traded.
A security listed or traded on an exchange (excluding convertible bonds) held by a Fund is valued at its last sales price or official closing price on the exchange where the security is principally traded or, lacking any sales on a particular day, the security may be valued at the closing bid price on that day. Each equity security traded in the OTC market is valued on the basis of prices furnished by independent pricing vendors or market makers. Debt securities (including convertible bonds) and unlisted equities are fair valued using an evaluated quote on the basis of prices provided by an independent pricing vendor. Evaluated quotes provided by the pricing vendor may be determined without exclusive reliance on quoted prices, and may reflect appropriate factors such as institution-size trading in similar groups of securities, developments related to special securities, dividend rate, yield, quality, coupon rate, maturity, type of issue, individual trading characteristics and other market data.
Securities for which market prices are not provided by any of the above methods may be valued based upon quotes furnished by independent sources and are valued at the last bid price in the case of equity securities and in the case of debt obligations, the mean between the last bid and ask prices. Short-term obligations having 60 days or less to maturity and commercial paper are priced at amortized cost, which approximates value.
Generally, trading in corporate bonds, U.S. Government securities and money market instruments is substantially completed each day at various times prior to the close of the customary trading session of the NYSE. The values of such securities used in computing the net asset value of the Fund's shares are determined at such times. Occasionally, events affecting the values of such securities may occur between the times at which such values are determined and the close of the customary trading session of the NYSE. If Invesco believes a development/event has actually caused a closing price to no longer reflect current market value, the closing price may be adjusted to reflect the fair value of the affected security as of the close of the NYSE as determined in good faith using procedures approved by the Board.
Foreign securities are converted into U.S. dollar amounts using exchange rates as of the close of the NYSE. If market quotations are available and reliable for foreign exchange traded equity securities, the securities will be valued at the market quotations. Because trading hours for certain foreign securities end before the close of the NYSE, closing market quotations may become unreliable. If between the time trading ends on a particular security and the close of the customary trading session on the NYSE, events occur that are significant and may make the closing price unreliable, the Fund may fair value the security. If the event is likely to have affected the closing price of the security, the security will be valued at fair value in good faith using procedures approved by the Board of Trustees. Adjustments to closing prices to reflect fair value may also be based on a screening process from a pricing vendor to indicate the degree of certainty, based on
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historical data, that the closing price in the principal market where a foreign security trades is not the current market value as of the close of the NYSE. For foreign securities where Invesco believes, at the approved degree of certainty, that the price is not reflective of current market value, Invesco will use the indication of fair value from the pricing vendor to determine the fair value of the security. The pricing vendor, pricing methodology or degree of certainty may change from time to time. Multiple factors may be considered by the pricing vendor in determining adjustments to reflect fair value and may include information relating to sector indices, ADRs, domestic and foreign index futures, and exchange-traded funds.
Fund securities primarily traded in foreign markets may be traded in such markets on days that are not business days of the Fund. Because the net asset value per share of each Fund is determined only on business days of the Fund, the value of the portfolio securities of a Fund that invests in foreign securities may be significantly affected on days when an investor cannot exchange or redeem shares of the Fund.
Swap agreements are fair valued using an evaluated quote provided by an independent pricing service. Evaluated quotes provided by the pricing service are based on a model that may include end of day net present values, spreads, ratings, industry, and company performance.
Securities for which market prices are not provided by any of the above methods may be valued based upon quotes furnished by independent sources and are valued at the last bid price in the case of equity securities and in the case of debt obligations, the mean between the last bid and ask prices.
Securities for which market quotations are not readily available or are unreliable are valued at fair value as determined in good faith by or under the supervision of the Trust's officers following procedures approved by the Board of Trustees. Issuer specific events, market trends, bid/ask quotes of brokers and information providers and other market data may be reviewed in the course of making a good faith determination of a security's fair value.
For financial reporting purposes and shareholder transactions on the last day of the fiscal quarter, transactions are normally accounted for on a trade date basis. For purposes of executing shareholder transactions in the normal course of business (other than shareholder transactions at a fiscal period-end), each non-money market fund's portfolio securities transactions are recorded no later than the first business day following the trade date. Transactions in money market fund portfolio securities transactions are recorded no later than the first business day following the trade date. Transactions in money market fund portfolio securities are normally accounted for on a trade date basis.
Redemptions In Kind
Although the Funds generally intend to pay redemption proceeds solely in cash, the Funds reserve the right to determine, in their sole discretion, whether to satisfy redemption requests by making payment in securities or other property (known as a redemption in kind). For instance, a Fund may make a redemption in kind if a cash redemption would disrupt its operations or performance. Securities that will be delivered as payment in redemptions in kind will be valued using the same methodologies that the Fund typically utilizes in valuing such securities. Shareholders receiving such securities are likely to incur transaction and brokerage costs on their subsequent sales of such securities, and the securities may increase or decrease in value until the shareholder sells them. The Trust, on behalf of the Funds, has made an election under Rule 18f-1 under the 1940 Act (a Rule 18f-1 Election), and therefore, the Trust, on behalf of the Fund, is obligated to redeem for cash all shares presented to such Fund for redemption by any one shareholder in an amount up to the lesser of $250,000 or 1% of that Fund's net assets in any 90-day period. The Rule 18f-1 Election is irrevocable while Rule 18f-1 under the 1940 Act is in effect unless the SEC by order permits withdrawal of such Rule 18f-1 Election.
Payments to Participating Insurance Companies and/or their Affiliates
Invesco or Invesco Distributors may, from time to time, at their expense out of their own financial resources, make cash payments to Participating Insurance Companies and/or their affiliates, as an incentive to promote the sale and retention of Fund shares and for other marketing support services, as further described in each Fund's prospectus. Such cash payments may be calculated on the average daily net assets
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of the applicable Fund(s) attributable to that particular Participating Insurance Company or its affiliates (Asset-Based Payments), in which case the total amount of such cash payments shall not exceed 0.25% per annum of those assets during a defined period. Invesco or Invesco Distributors may also make other cash payments to Participating Insurance Companies and/or their affiliates in addition to or in lieu of Asset-Based Payments, in the form of payment for travel expenses, including lodging, incurred in connection with trips taken by qualifying registered representatives of those dealer firms and their families to places within or outside the United States; meeting fees; entertainment; transaction processing and transmission charges; advertising or other promotional expenses; or other expenses as determined in Invesco's or Invesco Distributors' discretion. In certain cases these other payments could be significant to the Participating Insurance Companies and/or their affiliates. Generally, commitments to make such payments are terminable upon notice to the Participating Insurance Company and/or their affiliates. However, Invesco and Invesco Distributors have entered into unique agreements with RiverSource Life Insurance Company and its affiliates (RiverSource), where the payment obligation of Invesco or Invesco Distributors can only be terminated on the occurrence of certain specified events. For example, in the event that RiverSource obtains an SEC order to substitute out such RiverSource assets in the Funds or such RiverSource assets in the Funds falls below a pre-determined level, payments by Invesco or Invesco Distributors to RiverSource can then be terminated. Any payments described above will not change the price paid by RiverSource for the purchase of the applicable Fund's shares or the amount that any particular Fund will receive as proceeds from such sales. Invesco or Invesco Distributors determines the cash payments described above in its discretion in response to requests from RiverSource, based on factors it deems relevant. RiverSource may not use sales of the Funds' shares to qualify for any incentives to the extent that such incentives may be prohibited by the laws of any state.
A list of certain entities that received payments as described in this SAI during the 2020 calendar year is attached as Appendix L. The list is not necessarily current and will change over time. Certain arrangements are still being negotiated, and there is a possibility that payments will be made retroactively to entities not listed below. Accordingly, please contact your Participating Insurance Company to determine whether it or its affiliates currently may be receiving such payments and to obtain further information regarding any such payments.
DIVIDENDS, DISTRIBUTIONS AND TAX MATTERS
Dividends and Distributions
The following discussion of dividends and distributions should be read in connection with the applicable sections in the Prospectus.
All dividends and distributions will be automatically reinvested in additional shares of the same class of a Fund unless the shareholder has requested in writing to receive such dividends and distributions in cash or that they be invested in shares of another Invesco Fund, subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Prospectus under the caption "Purchasing Shares - Automatic Dividend and Distribution Investment." Such dividends and distributions will be reinvested at the net asset value per share determined on the ex-dividend date.
The Fund calculates income dividends and capital gain distributions the same way for each class. The amount of any income dividends per share will differ, however, generally due to any differences in the distribution and service (Rule 12b-1) fees applicable to the classes, as well as any other expenses attributable to a particular class (Class Expenses). Class Expenses, including distribution plan expenses, must be allocated to the class for which they are incurred consistent with applicable legal principles under the 1940 Act.
Tax Matters
The following is a summary of certain additional tax considerations generally affecting the Fund and its shareholders that are not described in the Prospectus. No attempt is made to present a detailed explanation
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of the tax treatment of the Fund or its shareholders, and the discussion here and in the Prospectus is not intended as a substitute for careful tax planning.
This "Tax Matters" section is based on the Code and applicable regulations in effect on the date of this SAI. Future legislative, regulatory or administrative changes, including provisions of current law that sunset and thereafter no longer apply, or court decisions may significantly change the tax rules applicable to the Fund and its shareholders. Any of these changes or court decisions may have a retroactive effect.
For federal income tax purposes, the insurance company (rather than the purchaser of a variable contract) is treated as the owner of shares of the Fund selected as an investment option. This is for general information only and not tax advice. Holders of variable contracts should ask their own tax advisors for more information on their own tax situation, including possible federal, state, local and foreign taxes.
Taxation of the Fund. The Fund has elected and intends to qualify (or, if newly organized, intends to elect and qualify) each year as a "regulated investment company" (sometimes referred to as a regulated investment company, RIC or fund) under Subchapter M of the Code. If the Fund qualifies, the Fund will not be subject to federal income tax on the portion of its investment company taxable income (i.e., generally, taxable interest, dividends, net short-term capital gains and other taxable ordinary income net of expenses without regard to the deduction for dividends paid) and net capital gain (i.e., the excess of net long-term capital gains over net short-term capital losses) that it distributes to shareholders.
Qualification as a regulated investment company. In order to qualify for treatment as a regulated investment company, the Fund must satisfy the following requirements:
Distribution Requirement - the Fund must distribute an amount equal to the sum of at least 90% of its investment company taxable income and 90% of its net tax-exempt income, if any, for the tax year (certain distributions made by the Fund after the close of its tax year are considered distributions attributable to the previous tax year for purposes of satisfying this requirement).
Income Requirement - the Fund must derive at least 90% of its gross income from dividends, interest, certain payments with respect to securities loans, and gains from the sale or other disposition of stock, securities or foreign currencies, or other income (including, but not limited to, gains from options, futures or forward contracts) derived from its business of investing in such stock, securities or currencies and net income derived from qualified publicly traded partnerships (QPTPs).
Asset Diversification Test - the Fund must satisfy the following asset diversification test at the close of each quarter of the Fund's tax year: (1) at least 50% of the value of the Fund's assets must consist of cash and cash items, U.S. Government Securities, securities of other regulated investment companies, and securities of other issuers (as to which the Fund has not invested more than 5% of the value of the Fund's total assets in securities of an issuer and as to which the Fund does not hold more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of the issuer); and (2) no more than 25% of the value of the Fund's total assets may be invested in the securities of any one issuer (other than U.S. Government Securities or securities of other regulated investment companies) or of two or more issuers which the Fund controls and which are engaged in the same or similar trades or businesses, or, collectively, in the securities of QPTPs.
In some circumstances, the character and timing of income realized by the Fund for purposes of the Income Requirement or the identification of the issuer for purposes of the Asset Diversification Test is uncertain under current law with respect to a particular investment, and an adverse determination or future guidance by the IRS with respect to such type of investment may adversely affect the Fund's ability to satisfy these requirements. See "Tax Treatment of Portfolio Transactions" with respect to the application of these requirements to certain types of investments. In other circumstances, the Fund may be required to sell portfolio holdings in order to meet the Income Requirement, Distribution Requirement, or Asset Diversification Test, which may have a negative impact on the Fund's income and performance. In lieu of potential disqualification, the Fund is permitted to pay a tax for certain failures to satisfy the Asset Diversification Test or Income Requirement, which, in general, are limited to those due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect.
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The Fund may use "equalization accounting" (in lieu of making some cash distributions) in determining the portion of its income and gains that has been distributed. If the Fund uses equalization accounting, it will allocate a portion of its undistributed investment company taxable income and net capital gain to redemptions of Fund shares and will correspondingly reduce the amount of such income and gains that it distributes in cash. However, the Fund intends to make cash distributions for each taxable year in an aggregate amount that is sufficient to satisfy the Distribution Requirement without taking into account its use of equalization accounting. If the IRS determines that the Fund's allocation is improper and that the Fund has under-distributed its income and gain for any taxable year, the Fund may be liable for federal income and/or excise tax.
If for any taxable year the Fund does not qualify as a regulated investment company, all of its taxable income (including its net capital gain) would be subject to tax at the corporate income tax rate without any deduction for dividends paid to shareholders, and the dividends would be taxable to the shareholders as ordinary income (or possibly as qualified dividend income) to the extent of the Fund's current and accumulated earnings and profits. Failure to qualify as a regulated investment company thus would have a negative impact on the Fund's income and performance. Subject to savings provisions for certain inadvertent failures to satisfy the Income Requirement or Asset Diversification Test which, in general, are limited to those due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect, it is possible that the Fund will not qualify as a regulated investment company in any given tax year. Even if such savings provisions apply, the Fund may be subject to a monetary sanction of $50,000 or more. Moreover, the Board reserves the right not to maintain the qualification of the Fund as a regulated investment company if it determines such a course of action to be beneficial to shareholders.
Capital loss carryovers. The capital losses of the Fund, if any, do not flow through to shareholders. Rather, the Fund may use its capital losses, subject to applicable limitations, to offset its capital gains without being required to pay taxes on or distribute to shareholders such gains that are offset by the losses. If the Fund has a "net capital loss" (that is, capital losses in excess of capital gains), the excess (if any) of the Fund's net short-term capital losses over its net long-term capital gains is treated as a short-term capital loss arising on the first day of the Fund's next taxable year, and the excess (if any) of the Fund's net long-term capital losses over its net short-term capital gains is treated as a long-term capital loss arising on the first day of the Fund's next taxable year. Any such net capital losses of the Fund that are not used to offset capital gains may be carried forward indefinitely to reduce any future capital gains realized by the Fund in succeeding taxable years. The amount of capital losses that can be carried forward and used in any single year is subject to an annual limitation if there is a more than 50% "change in ownership" of the Fund. An ownership change generally results when shareholders owning 5% or more of the Fund increase their aggregate holdings by more than 50% over a three-year look-back period. An ownership change could result in capital loss carryovers being used at a slower rate thereby reducing the Fund's ability to offset capital gains with those losses. An increase in the amount of taxable gains distributed to the Fund's shareholders could result from an ownership change. The Fund undertakes no obligation to avoid or prevent an ownership change, which can occur in the normal course of shareholder purchases and redemptions or as a result of engaging in a tax-free reorganization with another fund. Moreover, because of circumstances beyond the Fund's control, there can be no assurance that the Fund will not experience, or has not already experienced, an ownership change.
Deferral of late year losses. The Fund may elect to treat part or all of any "qualified late year loss" as if it had been incurred in the succeeding taxable year in determining the Fund's taxable income, net capital gain, net short-term capital gain, and earnings and profits. The effect of this election is to treat any such "qualified late year loss" as if it had been incurred in the succeeding taxable year, which may change the timing, amount, or characterization of Fund distributions (see "Taxation of Fund Distributions - Capital gain dividends" below). A "qualified late year loss" includes:
(i) any net capital loss incurred after October 31 of the current taxable year, or, if there is no such loss, any net long-term capital loss or any net short-term capital loss incurred after October 31 of the current taxable year (post-October capital losses); and
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(ii) the sum of (1) the excess, if any, of (a) specified losses incurred after October 31 of the current taxable year, over (b) specified gains incurred after October 31 of the current taxable year and (2) the excess, if any, of (a) ordinary losses incurred after December 31 of the current taxable year, over (b) the ordinary income incurred after December 31 of the current taxable year.
The terms "specified losses" and "specified gains" mean ordinary losses and gains from the sale, exchange, or other disposition of property (including the termination of a position with respect to such property), foreign currency losses and gains, and losses and gains resulting from holding stock in a passive foreign investment company (PFIC) for which a mark-to-market election is in effect. The terms "ordinary losses" and "ordinary income" mean other ordinary losses and income that are not described in the preceding sentence.
Special rules apply to a fund with a fiscal year ending in November or December that elects to use its taxable year for determining its capital gain net income for excise tax purposes.
Undistributed capital gains. The Fund may retain or distribute to shareholders its net capital gain for each taxable year. The Fund currently intends to distribute net capital gains. If the Fund elects to retain its net capital gain, the Fund will be taxed thereon (except to the extent of any available capital loss carryovers) at the corporate income tax rate. If the Fund elects to retain its net capital gain, it is expected that the Fund also will elect to have shareholders treated as if each received a distribution of its pro rata share of such gain, with the result that each shareholder will be required to report its pro rata share of such gain on its tax return as long-term capital gain, will receive a refundable tax credit for its pro rata share of tax paid by the Fund on the gain and will increase the tax basis for its shares by an amount equal to the deemed distribution less the tax credit.
Asset allocation funds. If the Fund is a fund of funds, asset allocation fund, or a feeder fund in a master-feeder structure (collectively referred to as a "fund of funds" which invests in one or more underlying funds taxable as regulated investment companies) distributions by the underlying funds, redemptions of shares in the underlying funds and changes in asset allocations may result in taxable distributions to shareholders of ordinary income or capital gains. A fund of funds (other than a feeder fund in a master-feeder structure) generally will not be able currently to offset gains realized by one underlying fund in which the fund of funds invests against losses realized by another underlying fund. If shares of an underlying fund are purchased within 30 days before or after redeeming at a loss other shares of that underlying fund (whether pursuant to a rebalancing of the Fund's portfolio or otherwise), all or a part of the loss will not be deductible by the Fund and instead will increase its basis for the newly purchased shares. Also, except with respect to a qualified fund of funds, a fund of funds (a) is not eligible to pass-through to shareholders foreign tax credits from an underlying fund that pays foreign income taxes and (b) is not eligible to pass-through to shareholders exempt-interest dividends from an underlying fund. A qualified fund of funds, i.e., a fund at least 50 percent of the value of the total assets of which (at the close of each quarter of the taxable year) is represented by interests in other RICs, is eligible to pass-through to shareholders (a) foreign tax credits and (b) exempt-interest dividends. Also a fund of funds, whether or not it is a qualified fund of funds, is eligible to pass-through to shareholders dividends eligible for the corporate dividends-received deduction earned by an underlying fund (see "Taxation of Fund Distributions ― Corporate dividends-received deduction" below). However, dividends paid to shareholders by a fund of funds from interest earned by an underlying fund on U.S. Government obligations are unlikely to be exempt from state and local income tax.
Federal excise tax. To avoid a 4% non-deductible excise tax, the Fund must distribute by December 31 of each year an amount equal to at least: (1) 98% of its ordinary income for the calendar year, (2) 98.2% of capital gain net income (the excess of the gains from sales or exchanges of capital assets over the losses from such sales or exchanges) for the one-year period ended on October 31 of such calendar year (or, at the election of a regulated investment company having a taxable year ending November 30 or December 31, for its taxable year), and (3) any prior year undistributed ordinary income and capital gain net income. The Fund may elect to defer to the following year any net ordinary loss incurred for the portion of the calendar year which is after the beginning of the Fund's taxable year. Also, the Fund will defer any "specified gain" or "specified loss" which would be properly taken into account for the portion of the calendar after October 31.
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Any net ordinary loss, specified gain, or specified loss deferred shall be treated as arising on January 1 of the following calendar year. Generally, the Fund may make sufficient distributions to avoid liability for federal income and excise tax, but can give no assurances that all or a portion of such liability will be avoided. In addition, under certain circumstances temporary timing or permanent differences in the realization of income and expense for book and tax purposes can result in the Fund having to pay an excise tax. However, in any calendar year in which the investment made by Invesco and its affiliates in the Fund does not exceed $250,000, the Fund may qualify for an exemption from the excise tax regardless of whether it has satisfied the foregoing distribution requirements. Funds that do not qualify for this exemption intend to make sufficient distributions to avoid imposition of the excise tax.
Foreign income tax. Investment income received by the Fund from sources within foreign countries may be subject to foreign income tax withheld at the source, and the amount of tax withheld generally will be treated as an expense of the Fund. The United States has entered into tax treaties with many foreign countries that entitle the Fund to a reduced rate of, or exemption from, tax on such income. Some countries require the filing of a tax reclaim or other forms to receive the benefit of the reduced tax rate; whether or when the Fund will receive the tax reclaim is within the control of the individual country. Information required on these forms may not be available such as shareholder information; therefore, the Fund may not receive the reduced treaty rates or potential reclaims. Other countries have conflicting and changing instructions and restrictive timing requirements which may cause the Fund not to receive the reduced treaty rates or potential reclaims. Other countries may subject capital gains realized by the Fund on sale or disposition of securities of that country to taxation. It is impossible to determine the effective rate of foreign tax in advance since the amount of the Fund's assets to be invested in various countries is not known. Under certain circumstances, the Fund may elect to pass-through foreign taxes paid by the Fund to shareholders, although it reserves the right not to do so. If the Fund makes such an election and obtains a refund of foreign taxes paid by the Fund in a prior year, the Fund may be eligible to reduce the amount of foreign taxes reported by the Fund to its shareholders, generally by the amount of the foreign taxes refunded, for the year in which the refund is received.
Special Rules Applicable To Variable Contracts. The Fund intends to comply with the diversification requirements imposed by Section 817(h) of the Code and the regulations thereunder. These requirements, which are in addition to the diversification requirements imposed on the Fund by the 1940 Act and Subchapter M of the Code, place certain limitations on (i) the assets of the insurance company separate accounts (referred to as "segregated asset accounts" for federal income tax purposes) that may be invested in securities of a single issuer and (ii) eligible investors. Because Section 817(h) and those regulations treat the assets of the Fund as assets of the corresponding division of the insurance company segregated asset accounts, the Fund intends to comply with these diversification requirements. Specifically, the regulations provide that, except as permitted by the "safe harbor" described below, as of the end of each calendar quarter or within 30 days thereafter no more than 55% of the Fund's total assets may be represented by any one investment, no more than 70% by any two investments, no more than 80% by any three investments and no more than 90% by any four investments. For this purpose, all securities of the same issuer are considered a single investment, and while each U.S. Government agency and instrumentality is considered a separate issuer, a particular foreign government and its agencies, instrumentalities and political subdivisions all will be considered the same issuer. Section 817(h) provides, as a safe harbor, that a segregated asset account will be treated as being adequately diversified if the Asset Diversification Test is satisfied and no more than 55% of the value of the account's total assets are cash and cash items (including receivables), government securities and securities of other RICs. The regulations also provide that the Fund's shareholders are limited, generally, to life insurance company segregated asset accounts, general accounts of the same life insurance company, an investment adviser or affiliate in connection with the creation or management of the Fund or the trustee of a qualified pension plan. Failure of the Fund to satisfy the Section 817(h) requirements would result in taxation of and treatment of the contract holders investing in a corresponding insurance company division other than as described in the applicable prospectuses of the various insurance company segregated asset accounts.
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Also, a contract holder should not be able to direct the Fund's investment in any particular asset so as to avoid the prohibition on investor control. The IRS may consider several factors in determining whether a contract holder has an impermissible level of investor control over a segregated asset account. One factor the IRS considers when a segregated asset account invests in one or more RICs is whether a RIC's investment strategies are sufficiently broad to prevent a contract holder from being deemed to be making particular investment decisions through its investment in the segregated asset account. Current IRS guidance indicates that typical RIC investment strategies, even those with a specific sector or geographical focus, are generally considered sufficiently broad to prevent a contract holder from being deemed to be making particular investment decisions through its investment in a segregated asset account. The relationship between the Fund and the variable contracts is designed to satisfy the current expressed view of the IRS on this subject, such that the investor control doctrine should not apply. However, because of some uncertainty with respect to this subject and because the IRS may issue further guidance on this subject, the Fund reserves the right to make such changes as are deemed necessary or appropriate to reduce the risk that a variable contract might be subject to current taxation because of investor control.
Another factor that the IRS examines concerns actions of contract holders. Under the IRS pronouncements, a contract holder may not select or control particular investments, other than choosing among broad investment choices such as selecting a particular fund. A contract holder thus may not select or direct the purchase or sale of a particular investment of the Fund. All investment decisions concerning the Fund must be made by the portfolio managers in their sole and absolute discretion, and not by a contract holder. Furthermore, under the IRS pronouncements, a contract holders may not communicate directly or indirectly with such portfolio managers or any related investment officers concerning the selection, quality, or rate of return of any specific investment or group of investments held by the Fund.
The Treasury Department may issue future pronouncements addressing the circumstances in which a variable contract owner's control of the investments of a segregated asset account may cause the contract owner, rather than the insurance company, to be treated as the owner of the assets held by the segregated asset account. If the contract owner is considered the owner of the segregated asset account, income and gains produced by those securities would be included currently in the contract owner's gross income. It is not known what standards will be set forth in any such pronouncements or when, if at all, these pronouncements may be issued.
Taxation of Fund Distributions. The Fund anticipates distributing substantially all of its investment company taxable income and net capital gain for each taxable year. Distributions by the Fund will be treated in the manner described below regardless of whether such distributions are paid in cash or reinvested in additional shares of the Fund (or of another Fund). The Fund will send you information annually as to the federal income tax consequences of distributions made (or deemed made) during the year.
Distributions of ordinary income. The Fund receives income generally in the form of dividends and/or interest on its investments. The Fund may also recognize ordinary income from other sources, including, but not limited to, certain gains on foreign currency-related transactions. This income, less expenses incurred in the operation of the Fund, constitutes the Fund's net investment income from which dividends may be paid. In the case of a Fund whose strategy includes investing in stocks of corporations, a portion of the income dividends paid may be qualified dividends eligible for the corporate dividends-received deduction.
Capital gain dividends. Taxes on distributions of capital gains are determined by how long the Fund owned the investments that generated them, rather than how long a shareholder has owned its shares. In general, the Fund will recognize long-term capital gain or loss on the sale or other disposition of assets it has owned for more than one year, and short-term capital gain or loss on investments it has owned for one year or less. Distributions of net capital gain (the excess of net long-term capital gain over net short-term capital loss) that are properly reported by the Fund to shareholders as capital gain dividends generally will be taxable to a shareholder receiving such distributions as long-term capital gain. Distributions of net short-term capital gains for a taxable year in excess of net long-term capital losses for such taxable year generally will be taxable to a shareholder receiving such distributions as ordinary income.
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Corporate dividends-received deduction. Ordinary income dividends reported by the Fund to shareholders as derived from qualified dividends from domestic corporations will qualify for the 50% dividends-received deduction generally available to corporations. The availability of the dividends-received deduction is subject to certain holding period and debt financing restrictions imposed under the Code on the corporation claiming the deduction. Income derived by the Fund from investments in derivatives, fixed-income and foreign securities generally is not eligible for this treatment.
Return of capital distributions. Distributions by the Fund that are not paid from earnings and profits will be treated as a return of capital to the extent of (and in reduction of) the shareholder's tax basis in his shares; any excess will be treated as gain from the sale of his shares. Thus, the portion of a distribution that constitutes a return of capital will decrease the shareholder's tax basis in his Fund shares (but not below zero), and will result in an increase in the amount of gain (or decrease in the amount of loss) that will be recognized by the shareholder for tax purposes on the later sale of such Fund shares. Return of capital distributions can occur for a number of reasons including, among others, the Fund over-estimates the income to be received from certain investments such as those classified as partnerships or equity REITs. See "Tax Treatment of Portfolio Transactions - Investments in U.S. REITs".
Pass-through of foreign tax credits. If more than 50% of the value of the Fund's total assets at the end of a fiscal year is invested in foreign securities, or if the Fund is a qualified fund of funds (i.e., a fund at least 50 percent of the value of the total assets of which, at the close of each quarter of the taxable year, is represented by interests in other RICs), the Fund may elect to "pass-through" to the Fund's shareholders the amount of foreign income tax paid by the Fund (the Foreign Tax Election) in lieu of deducting such amount in determining its investment company taxable income. Pursuant to the Foreign Tax Election, shareholders will be required (i) to include in gross income, even though not actually received, their respective pro-rata shares of the foreign income tax paid by the Fund that are attributable to any distributions they receive; and (ii) either to deduct their pro-rata share of foreign tax in computing their taxable income or to use it (subject to various Code limitations) as a foreign tax credit against federal income tax (but not both). No deduction for foreign tax may be claimed by a noncorporate shareholder who does not itemize deductions or who is subject to the alternative minimum tax. Shareholders may be unable to claim a credit for the full amount of their proportionate shares of the foreign income tax paid by the Fund due to certain limitations that may apply. The Fund reserves the right not to pass-through to its shareholders the amount of foreign income taxes paid by the Fund. Additionally, any foreign tax withheld on payments made "in lieu of" dividends or interest will not qualify for the pass-through of foreign tax credits to shareholders. See "Tax Treatment of Portfolio Transactions - Securities lending" below.
Consent dividends. The Fund may utilize consent dividend provisions of Section 565 of the Code to make distributions. Provided that all shareholders agree in a consent filed with the income tax return of the Fund to treat as a dividend the amount specified in the consent, the amount will be considered a distribution just as any other distribution paid in money and reinvested back into the Fund.
Reportable transactions. Under Treasury regulations, if a shareholder recognizes a loss with respect to the Fund's shares of $2 million or more for an individual shareholder or $10 million or more for a corporate shareholder (or certain greater amounts over a combination of years), the shareholder must file with the IRS a disclosure statement on Form 8886. The fact that a loss is reportable under these regulations does not affect the legal determination of whether the taxpayer's treatment of the loss is proper. Shareholders should consult their tax advisors to determine the applicability of these regulations in light of their individual circumstances.
Tax Treatment of Portfolio Transactions. Set forth below is a general description of the tax treatment of certain types of securities, investment techniques and transactions that may apply to a fund. This section should be read in conjunction with the discussion under "Description of the Funds and their Investments and Risks - Investment Strategies and Risks" for a detailed description of the various types of securities and investment techniques that apply to the Fund.
In general. In general, gain or loss recognized by a fund on the sale or other disposition of portfolio investments will be a capital gain or loss. Such capital gain and loss may be long-term or short-term depending, in general, upon the length of time a particular investment position is maintained and, in some
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cases, upon the nature of the transaction. Property held for more than one year generally will be eligible for long-term capital gain or loss treatment. The application of certain rules described below may serve to alter the manner in which the holding period for a security is determined or may otherwise affect the characterization as long-term or short-term, and also the timing of the realization and/or character, of certain gains or losses.
Certain fixed-income investments. Gain recognized on the disposition of a debt obligation purchased by a fund at a market discount (generally, at a price less than its principal amount) will be treated as ordinary income to the extent of the portion of the market discount that accrued during the period of time the fund held the debt obligation unless the fund made a current inclusion election to accrue market discount into income as it accrues. If a fund purchases a debt obligation (such as a zero coupon security or pay-in-kind security) that was originally issued at a discount, the fund generally is required to include in gross income each year the portion of the original issue discount that accrues during such year. Therefore, a fund's investment in such securities may cause the fund to recognize income and make distributions to shareholders before it receives any cash payments on the securities. To generate cash to satisfy those distribution requirements, a fund may have to sell portfolio securities that it otherwise might have continued to hold or to use cash flows from other sources such as the sale of fund shares.
Investments in debt obligations that are at risk of or in default present tax issues for a fund. Tax rules are not entirely clear about issues such as whether and to what extent a fund should recognize market discount on a debt obligation, when a fund may cease to accrue interest, original issue discount or market discount, when and to what extent a fund may take deductions for bad debts or worthless securities and how a fund should allocate payments received on obligations in default between principal and income. These and other related issues will be addressed by a fund in order to ensure that it distributes sufficient income to preserve its status as a regulated investment company.
Options, futures, forward contracts, swap agreements and hedging transactions. In general, option premiums received by a fund are not immediately included in the income of the fund. Instead, the premiums are recognized when the option contract expires, the option is exercised by the holder, or the fund transfers or otherwise terminates the option (e.g., through a closing transaction). If an option written by a fund is exercised and the fund sells or delivers the underlying stock, the fund generally will recognize capital gain or loss equal to (a) the sum of the strike price and the option premium received by the fund minus (b) the fund's basis in the stock. Such gain or loss generally will be short-term or long-term depending upon the holding period of the underlying stock. If securities are purchased by a fund pursuant to the exercise of a put option written by it, the fund generally will subtract the premium received from its cost basis in the securities purchased. The gain or loss with respect to any termination of a fund's obligation under an option other than through the exercise of the option and related sale or delivery of the underlying stock generally will be short-term gain or loss depending on whether the premium income received by the fund is greater or less than the amount paid by the fund (if any) in terminating the transaction. Thus, for example, if an option written by a fund expires unexercised, the fund generally will recognize short-term gain equal to the premium received.
The tax treatment of certain futures contracts entered into by a fund as well as listed non-equity options written or purchased by the fund on U.S. exchanges (including options on futures contracts, broad-based equity indices and debt securities) may be governed by section 1256 of the Code (section 1256 contracts). Gains or losses on section 1256 contracts generally are considered 60% long-term and 40% short-term capital gains or losses (60/40), although certain foreign currency gains and losses from such contracts may be treated as ordinary in character. Also, any section 1256 contracts held by a fund at the end of each taxable year (and, for purposes of the 4% excise tax, on certain other dates as prescribed under the Code) are "marked-to-market" with the result that unrealized gains or losses are treated as though they were realized and the resulting gain or loss is treated as ordinary or 60/40 gain or loss, as applicable. Section 1256 contracts do not include any interest rate swap, currency swap, basis swap, interest rate cap, interest rate floor, commodity swap, equity swap, equity index swap, credit default swap or similar agreement.
In addition to the special rules described above in respect of options and futures transactions, a fund's transactions in other derivative instruments (including options, forward contracts and swap agreements) as
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well as its other hedging, short sale, or similar transactions, may be subject to one or more special tax rules (including the constructive sale, notional principal contract, straddle, wash sale and short sale rules). These rules may affect whether gains and losses recognized by a fund are treated as ordinary or capital or as short-term or long-term, accelerate the recognition of income or gains to the fund, defer losses to the fund, and cause adjustments in the holding periods of the fund's securities. These rules, therefore, could affect the amount, timing and/or character of distributions to shareholders. Moreover, because the tax rules applicable to derivative financial instruments are in some cases uncertain under current law, an adverse determination or future guidance by the IRS with respect to these rules (which determination or guidance could be retroactive) may affect whether a fund has made sufficient distributions and otherwise satisfied the relevant requirements to maintain its qualification as a regulated investment company and avoid a fund-level tax.
Certain of a fund's investments in derivatives and foreign currency-denominated instruments, and the fund's transactions in foreign currencies and hedging activities, may produce a difference between its book income and its taxable income. If a fund's book income is less than the sum of its taxable income and net tax-exempt income (if any), the fund could be required to make distributions exceeding book income to qualify as a regulated investment company. If a fund's book income exceeds the sum of its taxable income and net tax-exempt income (if any), the distribution of any such excess will be treated as (i) a dividend to the extent of the fund's remaining earnings and profits (including current earnings and profits arising from tax-exempt income, reduced by related deductions), (ii) thereafter, as a return of capital to the extent of the recipient's basis in the shares, and (iii) thereafter, as gain from the sale or exchange of a capital asset.
Foreign currency transactions. A fund's transactions in foreign currencies, foreign currency-denominated debt obligations and certain foreign currency options, futures contracts and forward contracts (and similar instruments) may give rise to ordinary income or loss to the extent such income or loss results from fluctuations in the value of the foreign currency concerned. This treatment could increase or decrease a fund's ordinary income distributions to you, and may cause some or all of the fund's previously distributed income to be classified as a return of capital. In certain cases, a fund may make an election to treat such gain or loss as capital.
PFIC investments. A fund may invest in securities of foreign companies that may be classified under the Code as PFICs. In general, a foreign company is classified as a PFIC if at least one-half of its assets constitute investment-type assets or 75% or more of its gross income is investment-type income. When investing in PFIC securities, a fund intends to mark-to-market these securities under certain provisions of the Code and recognize any unrealized gains as ordinary income at the end of the fund's fiscal and excise tax years. Deductions for losses are allowable only to the extent of any current or previously recognized gains. These gains (reduced by allowable losses) are treated as ordinary income that a fund is required to distribute, even though it has not sold or received dividends from these securities. You should also be aware that the designation of a foreign security as a PFIC security will cause its income dividends to fall outside of the definition of qualified foreign corporation dividends. These dividends generally will not qualify for the reduced rate of taxation on qualified dividends when distributed to you by a fund. Foreign companies are not required to identify themselves as PFICs. Due to various complexities in identifying PFICs, a fund can give no assurances that it will be able to identify portfolio securities in foreign corporations that are PFICs in time for the fund to make a mark-to-market election. If a fund is unable to identify an investment as a PFIC and thus does not make a mark-to-market election, the fund may be subject to U.S. federal income tax on a portion of any "excess distribution" or gain from the disposition of such shares even if such income is distributed as a taxable dividend by the fund to its shareholders. Additional charges in the nature of interest may be imposed on a fund in respect of deferred taxes arising from such distributions or gains.
Investments in non-U.S. REITs. While non-U.S. REITs often use complex acquisition structures that seek to minimize taxation in the source country, an investment by a fund in a non-U.S. REIT may subject the fund, directly or indirectly, to corporate taxes, withholding taxes, transfer taxes and other indirect taxes in the country in which the real estate acquired by the non-U.S. REIT is located. The fund's pro rata share of any such taxes will reduce the fund's return on its investment. A fund's investment in a non-U.S. REIT may be considered an investment in a PFIC, as discussed above in "Tax Treatment of Portfolio Transactions - PFIC investments." Additionally, foreign withholding taxes on distributions from the non-U.S. REIT may be reduced
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or eliminated under certain tax treaties, as discussed above in "Taxation of the Fund - Foreign income tax." Also, the fund in certain limited circumstances may be required to file an income tax return in the source country and pay tax on any gain realized from its investment in the non-U.S. REIT under rules similar to those in the United States which tax foreign persons on gain realized from dispositions of interests in U.S. real estate.
Investments in U.S. REITs. A U.S. REIT is not subject to federal income tax on the income and gains it distributes to shareholders. Dividends paid by a U.S. REIT, other than capital gain distributions, will be taxable as ordinary income up to the amount of the U.S. REIT's current and accumulated earnings and profits. Capital gain dividends paid by a U.S. REIT to a fund will be treated as long-term capital gains by the fund and, in turn, may be distributed by the fund to its shareholders as a capital gain distribution. Because of certain noncash expenses, such as property depreciation, an equity U.S. REIT's cash flow may exceed its taxable income. The equity U.S. REIT, and in turn a fund, may distribute this excess cash to shareholders in the form of a return of capital distribution. However, if a U.S. REIT is operated in a manner that fails to qualify as a REIT, an investment in the U.S. REIT would become subject to double taxation, meaning the taxable income of the U.S. REIT would be subject to federal income tax at the corporate income tax rate without any deduction for dividends paid to shareholders and the dividends would be taxable to shareholders as ordinary income (or possibly as qualified dividend income) to the extent of the U.S. REIT's current and accumulated earnings and profits. Also, see "Tax Treatment of Portfolio Transactions - Investment in taxable mortgage pools (excess inclusion income)."
Investment in taxable mortgage pools (excess inclusion income). Under a Notice issued by the IRS, the Code and Treasury regulations to be issued, a portion of a fund's income from a U.S. REIT that is attributable to the REIT's residual interest in a real estate mortgage investment conduit (REMIC) or equity interests in a "taxable mortgage pool" (referred to in the Code as an excess inclusion) will be subject to federal income tax in all events. The excess inclusion income of a regulated investment company, such as a fund, will be allocated to shareholders of the regulated investment company in proportion to the dividends received by such shareholders, with the same consequences as if the shareholders held the related REMIC residual interest or, if applicable, taxable mortgage pool directly. In general, excess inclusion income allocated to shareholders (i) cannot be offset by net operating losses (subject to a limited exception for certain thrift institutions), (ii) will constitute unrelated business taxable income (UBTI) to entities (including qualified pension plans, individual retirement accounts, 401(k) plans, Keogh plans or other tax-exempt entities) subject to tax on UBTI, thereby potentially requiring such an entity that is allocated excess inclusion income, and otherwise might not be required to file a tax return, to file a tax return and pay tax on such income, and (iii) in the case of a foreign stockholder, will not qualify for any reduction in U.S. federal withholding tax. In addition, if at any time during any taxable year a "disqualified organization" (which generally includes certain cooperatives, governmental entities, and tax-exempt organizations not subject to tax on UBTI) is a record holder of a share in a regulated investment company, then the regulated investment company will be subject to a tax equal to that portion of its excess inclusion income for the taxable year that is allocable to the disqualified organization, multiplied by the corporate income tax rate. The Notice imposes certain reporting requirements upon regulated investment companies that have excess inclusion income. Code Section 860E(f) further provides that, except as provided in regulations (which have not been issued), with respect to any variable contract (as defined in section 817), there shall be no adjustment in the reserve to the extent of any excess inclusion. There can be no assurance that a fund will not allocate to shareholders excess inclusion income.
These rules are potentially applicable to a fund with respect to any income it receives from the equity interests of certain mortgage pooling vehicles, either directly or, as is more likely, through an investment in a U.S. REIT. It is unlikely that these rules will apply to a fund that has a non-REIT strategy.
Investments in partnerships and QPTPs. For purposes of the Income Requirement, income derived by a fund from a partnership that is not a QPTP will be treated as qualifying income only to the extent such income is attributable to items of income of the partnership that would be qualifying income if realized directly by the fund. While the rules are not entirely clear with respect to a fund investing in a partnership outside a master-feeder structure, for purposes of testing whether a fund satisfies the Asset Diversification Test, the fund
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generally is treated as owning a pro rata share of the underlying assets of a partnership. See "Taxation of the Fund - Qualification as a regulated investment company." In contrast, different rules apply to a partnership that is a QPTP. A QPTP is a partnership (a) the interests in which are traded on an established securities market, (b) that is treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes, and (c) that derives less than 90% of its income from sources that satisfy the Income Requirement (e.g., because it invests in commodities). All of the net income derived by a fund from an interest in a QPTP will be treated as qualifying income but the fund may not invest more than 25% of its total assets in one or more QPTPs. However, there can be no assurance that a partnership classified as a QPTP in one year will qualify as a QPTP in the next year. Any such failure to annually qualify as a QPTP might, in turn, cause a fund to fail to qualify as a regulated investment company. Although, in general, the passive loss rules of the Code do not apply to RICs, such rules do apply to a fund with respect to items attributable to an interest in a QPTP. Fund investments in partnerships, including in QPTPs, may result in the fund being subject to state, local or foreign income, franchise or withholding tax liabilities.
If an MLP is treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes (whether or not a QPTP), all or portion of the dividends received by a fund from the MLP likely will be treated as a return of capital for U.S. federal income tax purposes because of accelerated deductions available with respect to the activities of such MLPs. Further, because of these accelerated deductions, on the disposition of interests in such an MLP, a fund likely will realize taxable income in excess of economic gain with respect to those MLP interests (or if the fund does not dispose of the MLP, the fund could realize taxable income in excess of cash flow with respect to the MLP in a later period), and the fund must take such income into account in determining whether the fund has satisfied its Distribution Requirement. A fund may have to borrow or liquidate securities to satisfy its Distribution Requirement and to meet its redemption requests, even though investment considerations might otherwise make it undesirable for the fund to sell securities or borrow money at such time. In addition, any gain recognized, either upon the sale of a fund's MLP interest or sale by the MLP of property held by it, including in excess of economic gain thereon, treated as so-called "recapture income," will be treated as ordinary income. Therefore, to the extent a fund invests in MLPs, fund shareholders might receive greater amounts of distributions from the fund taxable as ordinary income than they otherwise would in the absence of such MLP investments.
Although MLPs are generally expected to be treated as partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes, some MLPs may be treated as PFICs or "regular" corporations for U.S. federal income tax purposes. The treatment of particular MLPs for U.S. federal income tax purposes will affect the extent to which a fund can invest in MLPs and will impact the amount, character, and timing of income recognized by the Fund.
Investments in commodities ― structured notes, corporate subsidiary and certain ETFs. Gains from the disposition of commodities, including precious metals, will neither be considered qualifying income for purposes of satisfying the Income Requirement nor qualifying assets for purposes of satisfying the Asset Diversification Test. See "Taxation of the Fund - Qualification as a regulated investment company." Also, the IRS has issued a revenue ruling which holds that income derived from commodity-linked swaps is not qualifying income for purposes of the Income Requirement. In a subsequent revenue ruling, as well as in a number of follow-on private letter rulings (upon which only the fund that received the private letter ruling may rely), the IRS provides that income from certain alternative investments which create commodity exposure, such as certain commodity-linked or structured notes or a corporate subsidiary (such as the Subsidiary) that invests in commodities, may be considered qualifying income under the Code. However, the portion of such rulings relating to the treatment of a corporation as a regulated investment company that require a determination of whether a financial instrument or position is a security under section 2(a)(36) of the 1940 Act was revoked because of changes in the IRS's position. (A financial instrument or position that constitutes a security under section 2(a)(36) of the 1940 Act generates qualifying income for a corporation taxed as a regulated investment company.) Accordingly, a fund may invest in certain commodity-linked notes relying on an opinion of counsel confirming that income from such investments should be qualifying income because such commodity-linked notes constitute securities under section 2(a)(36) of the 1940 Act. In addition, a RIC may gain exposure to commodities through investment in a QPTP, such as an exchange-traded fund or ETF
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that is classified as a partnership and which invests in commodities, or through investment in a wholly-owned foreign subsidiary that is treated as a controlled foreign corporation for federal income tax purposes. Treasury regulations treat "Subpart F" income (defined in Section 951 of the Code to include passive income such as income from commodity-linked derivatives) as qualifying income, even if a foreign corporation, such as a wholly-owned foreign subsidiary, does not make a distribution of such income. If a distribution is made, such income will be treated as a dividend by the Fund to the extent that, under applicable provisions of the Code, there is a distribution out of the earnings and profits of the foreign corporation attributable to the distribution. Accordingly, the extent to which a fund directly invests in commodities or commodity-linked derivatives may be limited by the Income Requirement and the Asset Diversification Test, which the fund must continue to satisfy to maintain its status as a regulated investment company. A fund also may be limited in its ability to sell its investments in commodities, commodity-linked derivatives, and certain ETFs or be forced to sell other investments to generate income due to the Income Requirement. If a fund does not appropriately limit such investments or if such investments (or the income earned on such investments) were to be recharacterized for U.S. tax purposes, the fund could fail to qualify as a regulated investment company. In lieu of potential disqualification, a fund is permitted to pay a tax for certain failures to satisfy the Asset Diversification Test or Income Requirement, which, in general, are limited to those due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect.
Securities lending. While securities are loaned out by a fund, the fund generally will receive from the borrower amounts equal to any dividends or interest paid on the borrowed securities. For federal income tax purposes, payments made "in lieu of" dividends are not considered dividend income. These distributions will neither qualify for the reduced rate of taxation for individuals on qualified dividends nor the 50% dividends-received deduction for corporations. Also, any foreign tax withheld on payments made "in lieu of" dividends or interest will not qualify for the pass-through of foreign tax credits to shareholders. Additionally, in the case of a fund with a strategy of investing in tax-exempt securities, any payments made "in lieu of" tax-exempt interest will be considered taxable income to the fund, and thus, to the investors, even though such interest may be tax-exempt when paid to the borrower.
Investments in convertible securities. Convertible debt is ordinarily treated as a "single property" consisting of a pure debt interest until conversion, after which the investment becomes an equity interest. If the security is issued at a premium (i.e., for cash in excess of the face amount payable on retirement), the creditor-holder may amortize the premium over the life of the bond. If the security is issued for cash at a price below its face amount, the creditor-holder must accrue original issue discount in income over the life of the debt. The creditor-holder's exercise of the conversion privilege is treated as a nontaxable event. Mandatorily convertible debt (e.g., an exchange-traded note or ETN issued in the form of an unsecured obligation that pays a return based on the performance of a specified market index, exchange currency, or commodity) is often, but not always, treated as a contract to buy or sell the reference property rather than debt. Similarly, convertible preferred stock with a mandatory conversion feature is ordinarily, but not always, treated as equity rather than debt. Dividends received may be qualified dividend income and eligible for the corporate dividends-received deduction. In general, conversion of preferred stock for common stock of the same corporation is tax-free. Conversion of preferred stock for cash is a taxable redemption. Any redemption premium for preferred stock that is redeemable by the issuing company might be required to be amortized under original issue discount principles. A change in the conversion ratio or conversion price of a convertible security on account of a dividend paid to the issuer's other shareholders may result in a deemed distribution of stock to the holders of the convertible security equal to the value of their increased interest in the equity of the issuer. Thus, an increase in the conversion ratio of a convertible security can be treated as a taxable distribution of stock to a holder of the convertible security (without a corresponding receipt of cash by the holder) before the holder has converted the security.
Tax Certification and Backup Withholding. Tax certification and backup withholding tax laws may require that you certify your tax information when you become an investor in the Fund. For U.S. citizens and resident aliens, this certification is made on IRS Form W-9. Under these laws, the Fund must withhold a portion of your taxable distributions and sales proceeds unless you:
provide your correct Social Security or taxpayer identification number;
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certify that this number is correct;
certify that you are not subject to backup withholding; and
certify that you are a U.S. person (including a U.S. resident alien).
The Fund also must withhold if the IRS instructs it to do so. When withholding is required, the amount will be 24% of any distributions or proceeds paid. Backup withholding is not an additional tax. Any amounts withheld may be credited against the shareholder's U.S. federal income tax liability, provided the appropriate information is furnished to the IRS. Certain payees and payments are exempt from backup withholding and information reporting.
Non-U.S. investors have special U.S. tax certification requirements. See "Foreign Shareholders - Tax certification and backup withholding."
Local Tax Considerations. Rules of state and local taxation of ordinary income, qualified dividend income and capital gain dividends may differ from the rules for U.S. federal income taxation described above. Distributions may also be subject to additional state, local and foreign taxes depending on each shareholder's particular situation.
DISTRIBUTION OF SECURITIES
Distributor
The Trust has entered into a master distribution agreement, as amended, relating to the Funds (the Distribution Agreement) with Invesco Distributors, Inc. (Invesco Distributors), a registered broker-dealer and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Invesco Ltd., pursuant to which Invesco Distributors acts as the distributor of shares of the Funds. The address of Invesco Distributors is 11 Greenway Plaza, Suite 1000, Houston, Texas 77046-1173. Certain trustees and officers of the Trust are affiliated with Invesco Distributors. See "Management of the Trust."
The Distribution Agreement provides Invesco Distributors with the exclusive right to distribute shares of the Funds on a continuous basis.
The Trust (on behalf of any class of any Fund) or Invesco Distributors may terminate the Distribution Agreement on sixty (60) days' written notice without penalty. The Distribution Agreement will terminate automatically in the event of its assignment.
Distribution Plan
The Trust has adopted a distribution plan pursuant to Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act with respect to each Fund's Series II shares (the Plan). Each Fund, pursuant to the Plan, pays Invesco Distributors compensation at the annual rate of 0.25% of average daily net assets of Series II shares.
The Plan compensates Invesco Distributors for expenses incurred for the purpose of financing any activity that is primarily intended to result in the sale of Series II shares of the Funds. Such activities include, but are not limited to, the following: printing and distributing prospectuses and reports used for sales purposes, preparing and distributing sales literature (and any related services), advertisements, and other distribution-related services permitted by Rule 12b-1.
The Plan obligates the Funds to pay Invesco Distributors the full amount of the distribution and service fees reflected on the schedules to the Plan. Thus, even if Invesco Distributors' actual expenses exceed the fee payable to Invesco Distributors at any given time, the Funds will not be obligated to pay more than that fee. If Invesco Distributors' expenses are less than the fee it receives, Invesco Distributors will retain the full amount of the fee. No provision of this Distribution Plan shall be interpreted to prohibit any payments by the Trust during periods when the Trust has suspended or otherwise limited sales. Payments pursuant to the Plan are subject to any applicable limitations imposed by rules of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
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Invesco Distributors may from time to time waive or reduce any portion of its 12b-1 fee for Series II shares. Voluntary fee waivers or reductions may be rescinded at any time without further notice to investors. During periods of voluntary fee waivers or reductions, Invesco Distributors will retain its ability to be reimbursed for such fee prior to the end of each fiscal year.
Invesco Distributors has entered into agreements with Participating Insurance Companies and other financial intermediaries to provide the distribution services in furtherance of the Plan. Currently, Invesco Distributors pays Participating Insurance Companies and others at the annual rate of 0.25% of average daily net assets of Series II shares attributable to the Contracts issued by the Participating Insurance Company as compensation for providing such distribution services. Invesco Distributors does not act as principal, but rather as agent for the Funds, in making distribution service payments. These payments are an obligation of the Funds and not of Invesco Distributors.
For a list of the amounts paid by Series II shares to Invesco Distributors pursuant to the Plan for the year, or period, are found in Appendix M and for an estimate by category of the allocation of actual fees paid by Series II shares of each Fund pursuant to its respective distribution plan for the year or period are found in Appendix N.
As required by Rule 12b-1, the Plan approved by a majority of the Board, including a majority of the trustees who are not "interested persons" (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the Trust and who have no direct or indirect financial interest in the operation of the Plan or in any agreements related to the Plan (the "Rule 12b-1 Trustees). In approving the Plans in accordance with the requirements of Rule 12b-1, the Trustees considered various factors and determined that there is a reasonable likelihood that the Plan would benefit each Series II class shares of the Funds and its respective shareholders by, among other things, providing broker-dealers with an incentive to sell additional shares of the Trust, thereby helping to satisfy the Trust's liquidity needs and helping to increase the Trust's investment flexibility.
Unless terminated earlier in accordance with its terms, the Plan continues from year to year as long as such continuance is specifically approved, at least annually by the Board, including a majority of the Rule 12b-1 Trustees. The Plan requires Invesco Distributors to provide the Board at least quarterly with a written report of the amounts expended pursuant to the Distribution Plan and the purposes for which such expenditures were made. The Board reviews these reports in connection with their decisions with respect to the Plan. A Plan may be terminated at any time in whole or with respect to any Fund or Series II shares by the vote of a majority of the Rule 12b-1 Trustees or, with respect to the Series II shares, by the vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities of the Series II shares.
Any amendment to the Plan that would increase materially the distribution expenses paid by the Series II shares requires shareholder approval. No material amendment to the Plan may be made unless approved by the affirmative vote of a majority of the Rule 12b-1 Trustees cast at a meeting called for the purpose of voting upon such amendment.
FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
Because the Funds are new, financial statements are not yet available for the Funds.
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APPENDIX A - RATINGS OF DEBT SECURITIES
The following is a description of the factors underlying the debt ratings of Moody's, S&P, and Fitch.
Moody's Long-Term Debt Ratings
Aaa: Obligations rated 'Aaa' are judged to be of the highest quality, subject to the lowest level of credit risk.
Aa: Obligations rated 'Aa' are judged to be of high quality and are subject to very low credit risk.
A: Obligations rated 'A' are judged to be upper-medium grade and are subject to low credit risk.
Baa: Obligations rated 'Baa' are judged to be medium-grade and subject to moderate credit risk and as such may possess certain speculative characteristics.
Ba: Obligations rated 'Ba' are judged to be speculative and are subject to substantial credit risk.
B: Obligations rated 'B' are considered speculative and are subject to high credit risk.
Caa: Obligations rated 'Caa' are judged to be speculative of poor standing and are subject to very high credit risk.
Ca: Obligations rated 'Ca' are highly speculative and are likely in, or very near, default, with some prospect of recovery of principal and interest.
C: Obligations rated 'C' are the lowest rated and are typically in default, with little prospect for recovery of principal or interest.
Note: Moody's appends numerical modifiers 1, 2, and 3 to each generic rating classification from Aa through Caa. The modifier 1 indicates that the obligation ranks in the higher end of its generic rating category; the modifier 2 indicates a mid-range ranking; and the modifier 3 indicates a ranking in the lower end of that generic rating category. Additionally, a "(hyb)" indicator is appended to all ratings of hybrid securities issued by banks, insurers, finance companies, and securities firms*.
* By their terms, hybrid securities allow for the omission of scheduled dividends, interest, or principal payments, which can potentially result in impairment if such an omission occurs. Hybrid securities may also be subject to contractually allowable write-downs of principal that could result in impairment. Together with the hybrid indicator, the long-term obligation rating assigned to a hybrid security is an expression of the relative credit risk associated with that security.
Moody's Short-Term Prime Rating System
P-1: Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Prime-1 have a superior ability to repay short-term debt obligations.
P-2: Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Prime-2 have a strong ability to repay short-term debt obligations.
P-3: Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Prime-3 have an acceptable ability to repay short-term obligations.
NP (Not Prime): Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Not Prime do not fall within any of the Prime rating categories.
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Moody's MIG/VMIG US Short-Term Ratings
Short-Term Obligation Ratings
We use the global short-term Prime rating scale for commercial paper issued by US municipalities and nonprofits. These commercial paper programs may be backed by external letters of credit or liquidity facilities, or by an issuer's self-liquidity.
For other short-term municipal obligations, we use one of two other short-term rating scales, the Municipal Investment Grade (MIG) and Variable Municipal Investment Grade (VMIG) scales discussed below.
We use the MIG scale for US municipal cash flow notes, bond anticipation notes and certain other short-term obligations, which typically mature in three years or less. Under certain circumstances, we use the MIG scale for bond anticipation notes with maturities of up to five years.
MIG 1: This designation denotes superior credit quality. Excellent protection is afforded by established cash flows, highly reliable liquidity support, or demonstrated broad-based access to the market for refinancing.
MIG 2: This designation denotes strong credit quality. Margins of protection are ample, although not as large as in the preceding group.
MIG 3: This designation denotes acceptable credit quality. Liquidity and cash-flow protection may be narrow, and market access for refinancing is likely to be less well-established.
SG: This designation denotes speculative-grade credit quality. Debt instruments in this category may lack sufficient margins of protection.
Demand Obligation Ratings
In the case of variable rate demand obligations (VRDOs), a two-component rating is assigned. The components are a long-term rating and a short-term demand obligation rating. The long-term rating addresses the issuer's ability to meet scheduled principal and interest payments. The short-term demand obligation rating addresses the ability of the issuer or the liquidity provider to make payments associated with the purchase-price-upon-demand feature ("demand feature") of the VRDO. The short-term demand obligation rating uses the VMIG scale. VMIG ratings with liquidity support use as an input the short-term Counterparty Risk Assessment of the support provider, or the long-term rating of the underlying obligor in the absence of third party liquidity support. Transitions of VMIG ratings of demand obligations with conditional liquidity support differ from transitions on the Prime scale to reflect the risk that external liquidity support will terminate if the issuer's long-term rating drops below investment grade. Please see our methodology that discusses demand obligations with conditional liquidity support.
We typically assign the VMIG short-term demand obligation rating if the frequency of the demand feature is less than every three years. If the frequency of the demand feature is less than three years but the purchase price is payable only with remarketing proceeds, the short-term demand obligation rating is "NR".
VMIG 1: This designation denotes superior credit quality. Excellent protection is afforded by the superior short-term credit strength of the liquidity provider and structural and legal protections that ensure the timely payment of purchase price upon demand.
VMIG 2: This designation denotes strong credit quality. Good protection is afforded by the strong short-term credit strength of the liquidity provider and structural and legal protections that ensure the timely payment of purchase price upon demand.
VMIG 3: This designation denotes acceptable credit quality. Adequate protection is afforded by the satisfactory short-term credit strength of the liquidity provider and structural and legal protections that ensure the timely payment of purchase price upon demand.
SG: This designation denotes speculative-grade credit quality. Demand features rated in this category may be supported by a liquidity provider that does not have an investment grade short-term rating or
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may lack the structural and/or legal protections necessary to ensure the timely payment of purchase price upon demand.
Standard & Poor's Long-Term Issue Credit Ratings
Issue credit ratings are based, in varying degrees, on S&P Global Ratings' analysis of the following considerations:
The likelihood of payment--the capacity and willingness of the obligor to meet its financial commitment on an obligation in accordance with the terms of the obligation;
The nature and provisions of the financial obligation, and the promise we impute; and
The protection afforded by, and relative position of, the financial obligation in the event of bankruptcy, reorganization, or other arrangement under the laws of bankruptcy and other laws affecting creditors' rights.
Issue ratings are an assessment of default risk but may incorporate an assessment of relative seniority or ultimate recovery in the event of default. Junior obligations are typically rated lower than senior obligations, to reflect the lower priority in bankruptcy, as noted above. (Such differentiation may apply when an entity has both senior and subordinated obligations, secured and unsecured obligations, or operating company and holding company obligations.)
AAA: An obligation rated 'AAA' has the highest rating assigned by S&P Global Ratings. The obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation is extremely strong.
AA: An obligation rated 'AA' differs from the highest-rated obligations only to a small degree. The obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation is very strong.
A: An obligation rated 'A' is somewhat more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions than obligations in higher-rated categories. However, the obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation is still strong.
BBB: An obligation rated 'BBB' exhibits adequate protection parameters. However, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to weaken the obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.
BB, B, CCC, CC and C: Obligations rated 'BB', 'B', 'CCC' 'CC', and 'C' are regarded as having significant speculative characteristics. 'BB' indicates the least degree of speculation and 'C' the highest. While such obligations will likely have some quality and protective characteristics, these may be outweighed by large uncertainties or major exposure to adverse conditions.
BB: An obligation rated 'BB' is less vulnerable to nonpayment than other speculative issues. However, it faces major ongoing uncertainties or exposure to adverse business, financial, or economic conditions which could lead to the obligor's inadequate capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.
B: An obligation rated 'B' is more vulnerable to nonpayment than obligations rated 'BB', but the obligor currently has the capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation. Adverse business, financial, or economic conditions will likely impair the obligor's capacity or willingness to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.
CCC: An obligation rated 'CCC' is currently vulnerable to nonpayment and is dependent upon favorable business, financial, and economic conditions for the obligor to meet its financial commitments on the obligation. In the event of adverse business, financial, or economic conditions, the obligor is not likely to have the capacity to meet its financial commitments on the obligation.
CC: An obligation rated 'CC' is currently highly vulnerable to nonpayment. The 'CC' rating is used when a default has not yet occurred but S&P Global Ratings expects default to be a virtual certainty, regardless of the anticipated time to default.
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C: An obligation rated 'C' is currently highly vulnerable to nonpayment, and the obligation is expected to have lower relative seniority or lower ultimate recovery compared with obligations that are rated higher.
D: An obligation rated 'D' is in default or in breach of an imputed promise. For non-hybrid capital instruments, the 'D' rating category is used when payments on an obligation are not made on the date due, unless S&P Global Ratings believes that such payments will be made within five business days in the absence of a stated grace period or within the earlier of the stated grace period or 30 calendar days. The 'D' rating also will be used upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition or the taking of similar action and where default on an obligation is a virtual certainty, for example due to automatic stay provisions. An obligation's rating is lowered to 'D' if it is subject to a distressed exchange offer.
Plus (+) or minus (-): The ratings from 'AA' to 'CCC' may be modified by the addition of a plus (+) or minus (-) sign to show relative standing within the major rating categories.
NR: This indicates that no rating has been requested, or that there is insufficient information on which to base a rating, or that S&P Global Ratings does not rate a particular obligation as a matter of policy.
Standard & Poor's Short-Term Issue Credit Ratings
A-1: An obligor rated 'A-1' has strong capacity to meet its financial commitments. It is rated in the highest category by S&P Global Ratings. Within this category, certain obligors are designated with a plus sign (+). This indicates that the obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitments is extremely strong.
A-2: An obligor rated 'A-2' has satisfactory capacity to meet its financial commitments. However, it is somewhat more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions than obligors in the highest rating category.
A-3: An obligor rated 'A-3' has adequate capacity to meet its financial obligations. However, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to weaken the obligor's capacity to meet its financial commitments.
B: An obligor rated 'B' is regarded as vulnerable and has significant speculative characteristics. The obligor currently has the capacity to meet its financial commitments; however, it faces major ongoing uncertainties that could lead to the obligor's inadequate capacity to meet its financial commitments.
C: An obligor rated 'C' is currently vulnerable to nonpayment that would result in an 'D' issuer rating and is dependent upon favorable business, financial, and economic conditions to meet its financial commitments.
D: A short-term obligation rated 'D' is in default or in breach of an imputed promise. For non-hybrid capital instruments, the 'D' rating category is used when payments on an obligation are not made on the date due, unless S&P Global Ratings believes that such payments will be made within any stated grace period. However, any stated grace period longer than five business days will be treated as five business days. The 'D' rating also will be used upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition or the taking of a similar action and where default on an obligation is a virtual certainty, for example due to automatic stay provisions. A rating on an obligation is lowered to 'D' if it is subject to a distressed debt restructuring.
Standard & Poor's Municipal Short-Term Note Ratings Definitions
An S&P Global Ratings U.S. municipal note rating reflects S&P Global Ratings' opinion about the liquidity factors and market access risks unique to the notes. Notes due in three years or less will likely receive a note rating. Notes with an original maturity of more than three years will most likely receive a long-term debt rating. In determining which type of rating, if any, to assign, S&P Global Ratings' analysis will review the following considerations:
Amortization schedule -- the larger final maturity relative to other maturities, the more likely it will be treated as a note; and
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Source of payment -- the more dependent the issue is on the market for its refinancing, the more likely it will be treated as a note.
Note rating symbols are as follows:
SP-1: Strong capacity to pay principal and interest. An issue determined to possess a very strong capacity to pay debt service is given a plus (+) designation.
SP-2: Satisfactory capacity to pay principal and interest, with some vulnerability to adverse financial and economic changes over the term of the notes.
SP-3: Speculative capacity to pay principal and interest.
D: 'D' is assigned upon failure to pay the note when due, completion of a distressed exchange offer, or the filing of a bankruptcy petition or the taking of similar action and where default on an obligation is a virtual certainty, for example due to automatic stay provisions.
Standard & Poor's Dual Ratings
Dual ratings may be assigned to debt issues that have a put option or demand feature. The first component of the rating addresses the likelihood of repayment of principal and interest as due, and the second component of the rating addresses only the demand feature. The first component of the rating can relate to either a short-term or long-term transaction and accordingly use either short-term or long-term rating symbols. The second component of the rating relates to the put option and is assigned a short-term rating symbol (for example, 'AAA/A-1+' or 'A-1+/A-1'). With U.S. municipal short-term demand debt, the U.S. municipal short-term note rating symbols are used for the first component of the rating (for example, 'SP-1+/A-1+').
Fitch Credit Rating Scales
Fitch Ratings publishes opinions on a variety of scales. The most common of these are credit ratings, but the agency also publishes ratings, scores and other relative opinions relating to financial or operational strength. For example, Fitch also provides specialized ratings of servicers of residential and commercial mortgages, asset managers and funds. In each case, users should refer to the definitions of each individual scale for guidance on the dimensions of risk covered in each assessment.
Fitch's credit ratings relating to issuers are an opinion on the relative ability of an entity to meet financial commitments, such as interest, preferred dividends, repayment of principal, insurance claims or counterparty obligations. Credit ratings relating to securities and obligations of an issuer can include a recovery expectation (please see section Specific Limitations Relating to Credit Rating Scales for details). Credit ratings are used by investors as indications of the likelihood of receiving the money owed to them in accordance with the terms on which they invested. The agency's credit ratings cover the global spectrum of corporate, sovereign financial, bank, insurance, and public finance entities (including supranational and sub-national entities) and the securities or other obligations they issue, as well as structured finance securities backed by receivables or other financial assets.
The terms "investment grade" and "speculative grade" have established themselves over time as shorthand to describe the categories 'AAA' to 'BBB' (investment grade) and 'BB' to 'D' (speculative grade). The terms investment grade and speculative grade are market conventions and do not imply any recommendation or endorsement of a specific security for investment purposes. Investment grade categories indicate relatively low to moderate credit risk, while ratings in the speculative categories either signal a higher level of credit risk or that a default has already occurred.
For the convenience of investors, Fitch may also include issues relating to a rated issuer that are not and have not been rated on its web page. Such issues are also denoted as 'NR'.
Credit ratings express risk in relative rank order, which is to say they are ordinal measures of credit risk and are not predictive of a specific frequency of default or loss. For information about the historical
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performance of ratings please refer to Fitch's Ratings Transition and Default studies which detail the historical default rates and their meaning. The European Securities and Markets Authority also maintains a central repository of historical default rates.
Fitch's credit ratings do not directly address any risk other than credit risk. In particular, ratings do not deal with the risk of a market value loss on a rated security due to changes in interest rates, liquidity and other market considerations. However, in terms of payment obligation on the rated liability, market risk may be considered to the extent that it influences the ability of an issuer to pay upon a commitment. Ratings nonetheless do not reflect market risk to the extent that they influence the size or other conditionality of the obligation to pay upon a commitment (for example, in the case of index-linked bonds).
In the default components of ratings assigned to individual obligations or instruments, the agency typically rates to the likelihood of non-payment or default in accordance with the terms of that instrument's documentation. In limited cases, Fitch may include additional considerations (i.e. rate to a higher or lower standard than that implied in the obligation's documentation).
The primary credit rating scales can be used to provide a rating of privately issued obligations or certain note issuance programs or for private ratings. In this case the rating is not published, but only provided to the issuer or its agents in the form of a rating letter.
The primary credit rating scales may also be used to provide ratings for a more narrow scope, including interest strips and return of principal or in other forms of opinions such as Credit Opinions or Rating Assessment Services. Credit Opinions are either a notch- or category-specific view using the primary rating scale and omit one or more characteristics of a full rating or meet them to a different standard. Credit Opinions will be indicated using a lower case letter symbol combined with either an '*' (e.g. 'bbb+*') or (cat) suffix to denote the opinion status. Credit Opinions will be point-in-time typically but may be monitored if the analytical group believes information will be sufficiently available. Rating Assessment Services are a notch-specific view using the primary rating scale of how an existing or potential rating may be changed by a given set of hypothetical circumstances. Rating Assessments are point-in-time opinions. Rating Assessments are not monitored; they are not placed on Watch or assigned an Outlook and are not published.
Fitch Long-Term Rating Scales
Issuer Default Ratings
Rated entities in a number of sectors, including financial and non-financial corporations, sovereigns, insurance companies and certain sectors within public finance, are generally assigned Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs). IDRs are also assigned to certain entities in global infrastructure and project finance. IDRs opine on an entity's relative vulnerability to default on financial obligations. The threshold default risk addressed by the IDR is generally that of the financial obligations whose non-payment would best reflect the uncured failure of that entity. As such, IDRs also address relative vulnerability to bankruptcy, administrative receivership or similar concepts.
In aggregate, IDRs provide an ordinal ranking of issuers based on the agency's view of their relative vulnerability to default, rather than a prediction of a specific percentage likelihood of default.
AAA: Highest credit quality.
'AAA' ratings denote the lowest expectation of default risk. They are assigned only in cases of exceptionally strong capacity for payment of financial commitments. This capacity is highly unlikely to be adversely affected by foreseeable events.
AA: Very high credit quality.
'AA' ratings denote expectations of very low default risk. They indicate very strong capacity for payment of financial commitments. This capacity is not significantly vulnerable to foreseeable events.
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A: High credit quality.
'A' ratings denote expectations of low default risk. The capacity for payment of financial commitments is considered strong. This capacity may, nevertheless, be more vulnerable to adverse business or economic conditions than is the case for higher ratings.
BBB: Good credit quality.
'BBB' ratings indicate that expectations of default risk are currently low. The capacity for payment of financial commitments is considered adequate, but adverse business or economic conditions are more likely to impair this capacity.
BB: Speculative.
'BB' ratings indicate an elevated vulnerability to default risk, particularly in the event of adverse changes in business or economic conditions over time; however, business or financial flexibility exists that supports the servicing of financial commitments.
B: Highly speculative.
'B' ratings indicate that material default risk is present, but a limited margin of safety remains. Financial commitments are currently being met; however, capacity for continued payment is vulnerable to deterioration in the business and economic environment.
CCC: Substantial credit risk.
Default is a real possibility.
CC: Very high levels of credit risk.
Default of some kind appears probable.
C: Near default
A default or default-like process has begun, or the issuer is in standstill, or for a closed funding vehicle, payment capacity is irrevocably impaired. Conditions that are indicative of a 'C' category rating for an issuer include:
a. the issuer has entered into a grace or cure period following non-payment of a material financial obligation;
b. the issuer has entered into a temporary negotiated waiver or standstill agreement following a payment default on a material financial obligation; or
c. the formal announcement by the issuer or their agent of a distressed debt exchange;
d. a closed financing vehicle where payment capacity is irrevocably impaired such that it is not expected to pay interest and/or principal in full during the life of the transaction, but where no payment default is imminent
RD: Restricted default.
'RD' ratings indicate an issuer that in Fitch's opinion has experienced:
a. an uncured payment default or distressed debt exchange on a bond, loan or other material financial obligation, but
b. has not entered into bankruptcy filings, administration, receivership, liquidation, or other formal winding-up procedure, and
c. has not otherwise ceased operating.
This would include:
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i. the selective payment default on a specific class or currency of debt;
ii. the uncured expiry of any applicable grace period, cure period or default forbearance period following a payment default on a bank loan, capital markets security or other material financial obligation;
iii. the extension of multiple waivers or forbearance periods upon a payment default on one or more material financial obligations, either in series or in parallel; ordinary execution of a distressed debt exchange on one or more material financial obligations.
D: Default.
'D' ratings indicate an issuer that in Fitch Ratings' opinion has entered into bankruptcy filings, administration, receivership, liquidation or other formal winding-up procedure or which has otherwise ceased business.
Default ratings are not assigned prospectively to entities or their obligations; within this context, non-payment on an instrument that contains a deferral feature or grace period will generally not be considered a default until after the expiration of the deferral or grace period, unless a default is otherwise driven by bankruptcy or other similar circumstance, or by a distressed debt exchange.
In all cases, the assignment of a default rating reflects the agency's opinion as to the most appropriate rating category consistent with the rest of its universe of ratings and may differ from the definition of default under the terms of an issuer's financial obligations or local commercial practice.
Notes
The modifiers + or - may be appended to a rating to denote relative status within major rating categories. Such suffixes are not added to the 'AAA' Long-Term IDR category, or to Long-Term IDR categories below 'B'.
Fitch Short-Term Ratings Assigned to Issuers and Obligations
A short-term issuer or obligation rating is based in all cases on the short-term vulnerability to default of the rated entity and relates to the capacity to meet financial obligations in accordance with the documentation governing the relevant obligation. Short-term deposit ratings may be adjusted for loss severity. Short-Term Ratings are assigned to obligations whose initial maturity is viewed as "short term" based on market convention. Typically, this means up to 13 months for corporate, sovereign, and structured obligations and up to 36 months for obligations in U.S. public finance markets.
F1: Highest Short-Term Credit Quality. Indicates the strongest intrinsic capacity for timely payment of financial commitments; may have an added "+" to denote any exceptionally strong credit feature.
F2: Good Short-Term Credit Quality. Good intrinsic capacity for timely payment of financial commitments.
F3: Fair Short-Term Credit Quality. The intrinsic capacity for timely payment of financial commitments is adequate.
B: Speculative Short-Term Credit Quality. Minimal capacity for timely payment of financial commitments, plus heightened vulnerability to near term adverse changes in financial and economic conditions.
C: High Short-Term Default Risk. Default is a real possibility.
RD: Restricted Default. Indicates an entity that has defaulted on one or more of its financial commitments, although it continues to meet other financial obligations. Typically applicable to entity ratings only.
D: Default. Indicates a broad-based default event for an entity, or the default of a short-term obligation.
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APPENDIX B - PERSONS TO WHOM INVESCO PROVIDES NON-PUBLIC PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS ON AN ONGOING BASIS
(as of May 31, 2021)
Service Provider
Disclosure Category
ABN AMRO Financial Services, Inc.
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
Absolute Color
Financial Printer
Anglemyer & Co.
Analyst (for certain Invesco Funds)
AXA
Other
Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP
Special Insurance Counsel
Barclays Capital, Inc.
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
Blaylock Robert Van LLC
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
BB&T Capital Markets
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
Bear Stearns Pricing Direct, Inc.
Pricing Vendor (for certain Invesco Funds)
BLNS Securities Ltd.
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
BOSC, Inc.
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.
Custodian and Securities Lender (each, respectively, for certain Invesco Funds)
Cabrera Capital Markets
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
Charles River Systems, Inc.
System Provider
Chas. P. Young Co.
Financial Printer
Cirrus Research, LLC
Trading System
Citibank, N.A.
Custodian and Securities Lender (each, respectively, for certain Invesco Funds)
Citigroup Global Markets, Inc.
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
Commerce Capital Markets
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
Crane Data, LLC
Analyst (for certain Invesco Funds)
Credit Suisse International / Credit Suisse
Securities (Europe) Ltd.
Service Provider
Crews & Associates
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
D.A. Davidson & Co.
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
Dechert LLP
Legal Counsel
DEPFA First Albany
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas
Custodian and Securities Lender (each, respectively, for certain Invesco Funds)
E.K. Riley Investments LLC
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
Empirical Research Partners
Analyst (for certain Invesco Funds)
Finacorp Securities
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
First Miami Securities
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
First Southwest Co.
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
First Tryon Securities
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
Fitch, Inc.
Rating & Ranking Agency (for certain Invesco Funds)
FT Interactive Data Corporation
Pricing Vendor
FTN Financial Group
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
GainsKeeper
Software Provider (for certain Invesco Funds)
GCom2 Solutions
Software Provider (for certain Invesco Funds)
George K. Baum & Company
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
Glass, Lewis & Co.
System Provider (for certain Invesco Funds)
Global Trading Analytics, LLC
Software Provider
Global Trend Alert
Analyst (for certain Invesco Funds)
Hattier, Sanford & Reynoir
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
Hutchinson, Shockey, Erley & Co.
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
ICI (Investment Company Institute)
Analyst (for certain Invesco Funds)
ICRA Online Ltd.
Rating & Ranking Agency (for certain Invesco Funds)
Lincoln Investment Advisors Corporation
Other
iMoneyNet, Inc.
Rating & Ranking Agency (for certain Invesco Funds)
B-1
Service Provider
Disclosure Category
Initram Data, Inc.
Pricing Vendor
Institutional Shareholder Services, Inc.
Proxy Voting Service (for certain Invesco Funds)
Invesco Investment Services, Inc.
Transfer Agent
Invesco Senior Secured Management, Inc.
System Provider (for certain Invesco Funds)
Investment Company Institute
Analyst (for certain Invesco Funds)
Investortools, Inc.
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
ITG, Inc.
Pricing Vendor (for certain Invesco Funds)
J.P. Morgan Chase Bank
Custodian and Securities Lender (each, respectively, for certain Invesco Funds)
J.P. Morgan Securities, Inc.
Analyst (for certain Invesco Funds)
J.P. Morgan Securities Inc.\Citigroup Global
Markets Inc.\JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.
Lender (for certain Invesco Funds)
J.P. Morgan Securities
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
Janney Montgomery Scott LLC
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
John Hancock Investment Management
Services, LLC
Sub-advisor (for certain sub-advised accounts)
Jorden Burt LLP
Special Insurance Counsel
KeyBanc Capital Markets, Inc.
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP
Legal Counsel
Lebenthal & Co. LLC
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
Lipper, Inc.
Rating & Ranking Agency (for certain Invesco Funds)
Loan Pricing Corporation
Pricing Service (for certain Invesco Funds)
Loop Capital Markets
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
M.R. Beal
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
MarkIt Group Limited
Pricing Vendor (for certain Invesco Funds)
Merrill Communications LLC
Financial Printer
Mesirow Financial, Inc.
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
Middle Office Solutions
Software Provider
Moody's Investors Service
Rating & Ranking Agency (for certain Invesco Funds)
Morgan Keegan & Company, Inc.
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
Morrison Foerster LLP
Legal Counsel
MS Securities Services, Inc. and Morgan
Stanley & Co. Incorporated
Securities Lender (for certain Invesco Funds)
Muzea Insider Consulting Services, LLC
Analyst (for certain Invesco Funds)
Ness USA Inc.
System provider
Noah Financial, LLC
Analyst (for certain Invesco Funds)
Omgeo LLC
Trading System
Piper Jaffray
Analyst (for certain Invesco Funds)
Prager, Sealy & Co.
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm (for all Invesco Funds)
Protective Securities
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
Ramirez & Co., Inc.
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
Raymond James & Associates, Inc.
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
RBC Capital Markets
Analyst (for certain Invesco Funds)
RBC Dain Rauscher Incorporated
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
Reuters America LLC
Pricing Service (for certain Invesco Funds)
Rice Financial Products
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
RR Donnelley Financial
Financial Printer
Ryan Beck & Co.
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
SAMCO Capital Markets, Inc.
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
Seattle-Northwest Securities Corporation
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
Siebert Brandford Shank & Co., L.L.C.
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
Simon Printing Company
Financial Printer
B-2
Service Provider
Disclosure Category
Southwest Precision Printers, Inc.
Financial Printer
Southwest Securities
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
Standard and Poor's/Standard and Poor's
Securities Evaluations, Inc.
Pricing Service and Rating and Ranking Agency (each, respectively, for certain
Invesco Funds)
StarCompliance, Inc.
System Provider
State Street Bank and Trust Company
Custodian, Lender, Securities Lender, and System Provider (each, respectively, for
certain Invesco Funds)
Sterne, Agee & Leach, Inc.
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP
Legal Counsel
The Bank of New York
Custodian and Securities Lender (each, respectively, for certain Invesco Funds)
The MacGregor Group, Inc.
Software Provider
The Savader Group LLC
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
Thomson Information Services
Incorporated
Software Provider
TradingHub Group Ltd.
Analyst (for certain Invesco Funds)
UBS Financial Services, Inc.
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
UMB Bank, N.A.
Custodian and Securities Lender (each, respectively, for certain Invesco Funds)
VCI Group Inc.
Financial Printer
Vining Sparks IBG
Broker (for Certain Invesco Funds)
W.H Mell Associates, Inc.
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
Wachovia National Bank, N.A.
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
Western Lithograph
Financial Printer
Wiley Bros. Aintree Capital L.L.C.
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
William Blair & Co.
Broker (for certain Invesco Funds)
XSP, LLC\Solutions Plus, Inc.
Software Provider
B-3
APPENDIX C - TRUSTEES AND OFFICERS
As of July 31, 2021
The address of each trustee and officer is 11 Greenway Plaza, Suite 1000, Houston, Texas 77046-1173. The trustees serve for the life of the Trust, subject to their earlier death, incapacitation, resignation, retirement or removal as more specifically provided in the Trust's organizational documents. Each officer serves for a one year term or until their successors are elected and qualified. Column two below includes length of time served with predecessor entities, if any.
Interested Trustee
Name, Year of Birth
Position(s) Held
with the Trust
Trustee and/or
Officer Since
Principal Occupation(s)
During Past 5 Years
Number of
Funds in
Fund
Complex
Overseen by
Trustee
Other Trusteeship(s)/
Directorship Held by
Trustee/Director During
Past 5 Years
Martin L. Flanagan1 - 1960
Trustee and
Vice Chair
2007
Executive Director, Chief
Executive Officer and
President, Invesco Ltd.
(ultimate parent of Invesco
and a global investment
management firm);
Trustee and Vice Chair,
The Invesco Funds; Vice
Chair, Investment
Company Institute; and
Member of Executive
Board, SMU Cox School
of Business
Formerly: Advisor to the
Board, Invesco Advisers,
Inc. (formerly known as
Invesco Institutional
(N.A.), Inc.); Chairman
and Chief Executive
Officer, Invesco Advisers,
Inc. (registered investment
adviser); Director,
Chairman, Chief Executive
Officer and President,
Invesco Holding Company
(US), Inc. (formerly IVZ
Inc.) (holding company),
Invesco Group Services,
Inc. (service provider) and
Invesco North American
Holdings, Inc. (holding
company); Director, Chief
Executive Officer and
President, Invesco Holding
Company Limited (parent
of Invesco and a global
investment management
firm); Director, Invesco
Ltd.; Chairman,
Investment Company
Institute and President,
Co-Chief Executive
Officer, Co-President,
Chief Operating Officer
184
None
C-1
Name, Year of Birth
Position(s) Held
with the Trust
Trustee and/or
Officer Since
Principal Occupation(s)
During Past 5 Years
Number of
Funds in
Fund
Complex
Overseen by
Trustee
Other Trusteeship(s)/
Directorship Held by
Trustee/Director During
Past 5 Years
and Chief Financial
Officer, Franklin
Resources, Inc. (global
investment management
organization)
1.
Mr. Flanagan is considered an interested person (within the meaning of Section 2(a)(19) of the 1940 Act) of the Trust because he is an officer of the Adviser to the Trust, and an officer and a director of Invesco Ltd., ultimate parent of the Adviser.
Independent Trustees
Name, Year of Birth
Position(s) Held
with the Trust
Trustee and/or
Officer Since
Principal Occupation(s)
During Past 5 Years
Number of
Funds in
Fund
Complex
Overseen by
Trustee
Other Trusteeship(s)/
Directorship Held by
Trustee/Director During
Past 5 Years
Christopher L. Wilson -
1957
Trustee and
Chair
2017
Retired
Formerly: Director, TD
Asset Management USA
Inc. (mutual fund complex)
(22 portfolios); Managing
Partner, CT2, LLC
(investing and consulting
firm); President/Chief
Executive Officer,
Columbia Funds, Bank of
America Corporation;
President/Chief Executive
Officer, CDC IXIS Asset
Management Services,
Inc.; Principal & Director
of Operations, Scudder
Funds, Scudder, Stevens
& Clark, Inc.; Assistant
Vice President, Fidelity
Investments
184
Director, ISO New
England, Inc. (non-
profit organization
managing regional
electricity
market)Formerly:
enaible, Inc. (artificial
intelligence
technology);
Beth Ann Brown - 1968
Trustee
2019
Independent Consultant
Formerly: Head of
Intermediary Distribution,
Managing Director,
Strategic Relations,
Managing Director, Head
of National Accounts,
Senior Vice President,
National Account Manager
and Senior Vice President,
Key Account Manager,
Columbia Management
Investment Advisers LLC;
Vice President, Key
Account Manager, Liberty
Funds Distributor, Inc.;
and Trustee of certain
Oppenheimer Funds
184
Director, Board of
Directors of Caron
Engineering Inc.;
Advisor, Board of
Advisors of Caron
Engineering Inc.;
President and Director,
Acton Shapleigh Youth
Conservation Corps
(non -profit); and
President and Director
of Grahamtastic
Connection (non-profit)
Jack M. Fields - 1952
Trustee
1997
Chief Executive Officer,
184
Member, Board of
C-2
Name, Year of Birth
Position(s) Held
with the Trust
Trustee and/or
Officer Since
Principal Occupation(s)
During Past 5 Years
Number of
Funds in
Fund
Complex
Overseen by
Trustee
Other Trusteeship(s)/
Directorship Held by
Trustee/Director During
Past 5 Years
Twenty First Century
Group, Inc. (government
affairs company); and
Board Member,
Impact(Ed) (non-profit)
Formerly: Owner and
Chief Executive Officer,
Dos Angeles Ranch L.P.
(cattle, hunting, corporate
entertainment); Director,
Insperity, Inc. (formerly
known as Administaff)
(human resources
provider); Chief Executive
Officer, Texana Timber LP
(sustainable forestry
company); Director of
Cross Timbers Quail
Research Ranch (non-
profit); and member of the
U.S. House of
Representatives
Directors of Baylor
College of Medicine
Cynthia Hostetler -1962
Trustee
2017
Non-Executive Director
and Trustee of a number
of public and private
business corporations
Formerly: Director,
Aberdeen Investment
Funds (4 portfolios);
Director, Artio Global
Investment LLC (mutual
fund complex); Director,
Edgen Group, Inc.
(specialized energy and
infrastructure products
distributor); Director,
Genesee & Wyoming, Inc.
(railroads); Head of
Investment Funds and
Private Equity, Overseas
Private Investment
Corporation; President,
First Manhattan
Bancorporation, Inc.;
Attorney, Simpson
Thacher & Bartlett LLP
184
Resideo
Technologies(smart
home technology);
Vulcan Materials
Company (construction
materials company);
Trilinc Global Impact
Fund; Textainer Group
Holding, (shipping
container leasing
company); Investment
Company Institute
(professional
organization);
Independent Directors
Council (professional
organization);
Eisenhower
Foundation (non-profit)
Eli Jones - 1961
Trustee
2016
Professor and Dean
Emeritus, Mays Business
School - Texas A&M
University
Formerly: Dean, Mays
Business School - Texas
A&M University; Professor
184
Insperity, Inc. (formerly
known as Administaff)
(human resources
provider); First
Financial Bancorp
(regional bank)
C-3
Name, Year of Birth
Position(s) Held
with the Trust
Trustee and/or
Officer Since
Principal Occupation(s)
During Past 5 Years
Number of
Funds in
Fund
Complex
Overseen by
Trustee
Other Trusteeship(s)/
Directorship Held by
Trustee/Director During
Past 5 Years
and Dean, Walton College
of Business, University of
Arkansas and E.J. Ourso
College of Business,
Louisiana State University;
Director, Arvest Bank
Elizabeth Krentzman - 1959
Trustee
2019
Formerly: Principal and
Chief Regulatory Advisor
for Asset Management
Services and U.S. Mutual
Fund Leader of Deloitte &
Touche LLP; General
Counsel of the Investment
Company Institute (trade
association); National
Director of the Investment
Management Regulatory
Consulting Practice,
Principal, Director and
Senior Manager of
Deloitte & Touche LLP;
Assistant Director of the
Division of Investment
Management - Office of
Disclosure and Investment
Adviser Regulation of the
U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission
and various positions with
the Division of Investment
Management - Office of
Regulatory Policy of the
U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission;
Associate at Ropes &
Gray LLP; and Trustee of
certain Oppenheimer
Funds
184
Trustee of the
University of Florida
National Board
Foundation; Member of
the Cartica Funds
Board of Directors
(private investment
funds)Formerly:
Member of the
University of Florida
Law Center
Association, Inc. Board
of Trustees, Audit
Committee and
Membership
Committee
Anthony J. LaCava, Jr.-
1956
Trustee
2019
Formerly: Director and
Member of the Audit
Committee, Blue Hills
Bank (publicly traded
financial institution) and
Managing Partner, KPMG
LLP
184
Blue Hills Bank;
Chairman, Bentley
University; Member,
Business School
Advisory Council; and
Nominating Committee,
KPMG LLP
Prema Mathai-Davis - 1950
Trustee
1998
Retired
Formerly: Co-Founder &
Partner of Quantalytics
Research, LLC, (a
FinTech Investment
Research Platform for the
Self-Directed Investor);
Trustee of YWCA
Retirement Fund; CEO of
184
None
C-4
Name, Year of Birth
Position(s) Held
with the Trust
Trustee and/or
Officer Since
Principal Occupation(s)
During Past 5 Years
Number of
Funds in
Fund
Complex
Overseen by
Trustee
Other Trusteeship(s)/
Directorship Held by
Trustee/Director During
Past 5 Years
YWCA of the USA; Board
member of the NY
Metropolitan
Transportation Authority;
Commissioner of the NYC
Department of Aging;
Board member of Johns
Hopkins Bioethics Institute
Joel W. Motley - 1952
Trustee
2019
Director of Office of
Finance, Federal Home
Loan Bank System;
Managing Director of
Carmona Motley Inc.
(privately held financial
advisor); Member of the
Council on Foreign
Relations and its Finance
and Budget Committee;
Chairman Emeritus of
Board of Human Rights
Watch and Member of its
Investment Committee;
and Member of
Investment Committee
and Board of Historic
Hudson Valley (non-profit
cultural organization)
Formerly: Managing
Director of Public Capital
Advisors, LLC (privately
held financial advisor);
Managing Director of
Carmona Motley Hoffman,
Inc. (privately held
financial advisor); Trustee
of certain Oppenheimer
Funds; Director of
Columbia Equity Financial
Corp. (privately held
financial advisor); and
Member of the Vestry of
Trinity Church Wall Street
184
Member of Board of
Trust for Mutual
Understanding (non-
profit promoting the
arts and environment);
Member of Board of
Greenwall Foundation
(bioethics research
foundation) and its
Investment Committee;
Member of Board of
Friends of the LRC
(non-profit legal
advocacy); Board
Member and
Investment Committee
Member of Pulitzer
Center for Crisis
Reporting (non-profit
journalism)
Teresa M. Ressel - 1962
Trustee
2017
Non-executive director
and trustee of a number of
public and private
business corporations
Formerly: Chief Executive
Officer, UBS Securities
LLC (investment banking);
Chief Operating Officer,
UBS AG Americas
(investment banking); Sr.
Management Team
Olayan America, The
184
Formerly: Elucida
Oncology
(nanotechnology &
medical particles
company)
C-5
Name, Year of Birth
Position(s) Held
with the Trust
Trustee and/or
Officer Since
Principal Occupation(s)
During Past 5 Years
Number of
Funds in
Fund
Complex
Overseen by
Trustee
Other Trusteeship(s)/
Directorship Held by
Trustee/Director During
Past 5 Years
Olayan Group
(international
investor/commercial/industrial);
Assistant Secretary for
Management & Budget
and Designated Chief
Financial Officer, U.S.
Department of Treasury;
Director, Atlantic Power
Corporation (power
generation company) and
ON Semiconductor
Corporation
(semiconductor
manufacturing)
Ann Barnett Stern - 1957
Trustee
2017
President and Chief
Executive Officer, Houston
Endowment Inc. (private
philanthropic institution)
Formerly: Executive Vice
President, Texas
Children's Hospital; Vice
President, General
Counsel and Corporate
Compliance Officer, Texas
Children's Hospital;
Attorney, Beck, Redden
and Secrest, LLP and
Andrews & Kurth LLP
184
Director and Audit
Committee Member of
Federal Reserve Bank
of Dallas; Trustee and
Board Chair of
Holdsworth Center,
Good Reason
Houston, (nonprofit);
Trustee, Vice Chair,
Chair of
Nomination/Governance
Committee, Chair of
Personnel Committee
of Holdsworth Center
(nonprofit); Trustee and
Investment Committee
member of University
of Texas Law School
Foundation (nonprofit);
Board Member of
Greater Houston
Partnership
Robert C. Troccoli - 1949
Trustee
2016
Retired
Formerly: Adjunct
Professor, University of
Denver - Daniels College
of Business; and
Managing Partner, KPMG
LLP
184
None
Daniel S. Vandivort -1954
Trustee
2019
President, Flyway
Advisory Services LLC
(consulting and property
management)
184
Formerly: Trustee,
Board of Trustees,
Treasurer and
Chairman of the Audit
Committee, Huntington
Disease Foundation of
America; Trustee and
Governance Chair, of
certain Oppenheimer
Funds
C-6
Name, Year of Birth
Position(s) Held
with the Trust
Trustee and/or
Officer Since
Principal Occupation(s)
During Past 5 Years
Number of
Funds in
Fund
Complex
Overseen by
Trustee
Other Trusteeship(s)/
Directorship Held by
Trustee/Director During
Past 5 Years
James D. Vaughn - 1945
Trustee
2019
Retired
Formerly: Managing
Partner, Deloitte & Touche
LLP; Trustee and
Chairman of the Audit
Committee, Schroder
Funds; Board Member,
Mile High United Way,
Boys and Girls Clubs, Boy
Scouts, Colorado
Business Committee for
the Arts, Economic Club of
Colorado and Metro
Denver Network
(economic development
corporation); and Trustee
of certain Oppenheimer
Funds
184
Board member and
Chairman of Audit
Committee of AMG
National Trust Bank;
Trustee, University of
South Dakota
Foundation; Board
member, Audit
Committee Member
and past Board Chair,
Junior Achievement
(non-profit)
Officers
Name, Year of Birth
Position(s) Held
with the Trust
Trustee and/or
Officer Since
Principal Occupation(s) During Past 5 Years
Sheri Morris - 1964
President and
Principal
Executive
Officer
1999
Head of Global Fund Services, Invesco Ltd.; President and
Principal Executive Officer, The Invesco Funds; Vice President,
Invesco Exchange-Traded Fund Trust, Invesco Exchange-Traded
Fund Trust II, Invesco India Exchange-Traded Fund Trust, Invesco
Actively Managed Exchange-Traded Fund Trust, Invesco Actively
Managed Exchange-Traded Commodity Fund Trust and Invesco
Exchange-Traded Self-Indexed Fund Trust; and Vice President,
OppenheimerFunds, Inc.
Formerly: Vice President, Treasurer and Principal Financial
Officer, The Invesco Funds; Vice President, Invesco AIM Advisers,
Inc., Invesco AIM Capital Management, Inc. and Invesco AIM
Private Asset Management, Inc.; Assistant Vice President and
Assistant Treasurer, The Invesco Funds; Vice President and
Assistant Vice President, Invesco Advisers, Inc.; Assistant Vice
President, Invesco AIM Capital Management, Inc. and Invesco
AIM Private Asset Management, Inc.; Treasurer, Invesco
Exchange-Traded Fund Trust, Invesco Exchange-Traded Fund
Trust II, Invesco India Exchange-Traded Fund Trust and Invesco
Actively Managed Exchange-Traded Fund Trust and Senior Vice
President, Invesco Advisers, Inc. (formerly known as Invesco
Institutional (N.A.), Inc.) (registered investment adviser)
Russell C. Burk - 1958
Senior Vice
President and
Senior Officer
2005
Senior Vice President and Senior Officer, The Invesco Funds
Jeffrey H. Kupor - 1968
Senior Vice
President, Chief
Legal Officer
and Secretary
2018
Head of Legal of the Americas, Invesco Ltd.; Senior Vice
President and Secretary, Invesco Advisers, Inc. (formerly known
as Invesco Institutional (N.A.), Inc.) (registered investment
adviser); Secretary, Invesco Distributors, Inc. (formerly known as
Invesco AIM Distributors, Inc.); Vice President and Secretary,
Invesco Investment Services, Inc. (formerly known as Invesco
AIM Investment Services, Inc.) Senior Vice President, Chief Legal
C-7
Name, Year of Birth
Position(s) Held
with the Trust
Trustee and/or
Officer Since
Principal Occupation(s) During Past 5 Years
Officer and Secretary, The Invesco Funds; Secretary and General
Counsel, Invesco Investment Advisers LLC (formerly known as
Van Kampen Asset Management); Secretary and General
Counsel, Invesco Capital Markets, Inc. (formerly known as Van
Kampen Funds Inc.) and Chief Legal Officer, Invesco Exchange-
Traded Fund Trust, Invesco Exchange-Traded Fund Trust II,
Invesco India Exchange-Traded Fund Trust, Invesco Actively
Managed Exchange-Traded Fund Trust, Invesco Actively
Managed Exchange-Traded Commodity Fund Trust and Invesco
Exchange-Traded Self-Indexed Fund Trust; Secretary and Vice
President, Harbourview Asset Management Corporation;
Secretary and Vice President, OppenheimerFunds, Inc. and
Invesco Managed Accounts, LLC; Secretary and Senior Vice
President, OFI Global Institutional, Inc.; Secretary and Vice
President, OFI SteelPath, Inc.; Secretary and Vice President,
Oppenheimer Acquisition Corp.; Secretary and Vice President,
Shareholder Services, Inc.; Secretary and Vice President, Trinity
Investment Management Corporation
Formerly: Senior Vice President, Invesco Distributors, Inc.;
Secretary and Vice President, Jemstep, Inc.; Head of Legal,
Worldwide Institutional, Invesco Ltd.; Secretary and General
Counsel, INVESCO Private Capital Investments, Inc.; Senior Vice
President, Secretary and General Counsel, Invesco Management
Group, Inc. (formerly known as Invesco AIM Management Group,
Inc.); Assistant Secretary, INVESCO Asset Management
(Bermuda) Ltd.; Secretary and General Counsel, Invesco Private
Capital, Inc.; Assistant Secretary and General Counsel, INVESCO
Realty, Inc.; Secretary and General Counsel, Invesco Senior
Secured Management, Inc.; Secretary, Sovereign G./P. Holdings
Inc.; Secretary, Invesco Indexing LLC; and Secretary, W.L. Ross
& Co., LLC;
Andrew R. Schlossberg -
1974
Senior Vice
President
2019
Head of the Americas and Senior Managing Director, Invesco
Ltd.; Director and Senior Vice President, Invesco Advisers, Inc.
(formerly known as Invesco Institutional (N.A.), Inc.) (registered
investment adviser); Director and Chairman, Invesco Investment
Services, Inc. (formerly known as Invesco AIM Investment
Services, Inc.) (registered transfer agent); Senior Vice President,
The Invesco Funds; Director, Invesco Investment Advisers LLC
(formerly known as Van Kampen Asset Management)
Formerly: Director, President and Chairman, Invesco Insurance
Agency, Inc.; Director, Invesco UK Limited; Director and Chief
Executive, Invesco Asset Management Limited and Invesco Fund
Managers Limited; Assistant Vice President, The Invesco Funds;
Senior Vice President, Invesco Advisers, Inc. (formerly known as
Invesco Institutional (N.A.), Inc.) (registered investment adviser);
Director and Chief Executive, Invesco Administration Services
Limited and Invesco Global Investment Funds Limited; Director,
Invesco Distributors, Inc.; Head of EMEA, Invesco Ltd.; President,
Invesco Actively Managed Exchange-Traded Commodity Fund
Trust, Invesco Actively Managed Exchange-Traded Fund Trust,
Invesco Exchange-Traded Fund Trust, Invesco Exchange-Traded
Fund Trust II and Invesco India Exchange-Traded Fund Trust;
Managing Director and Principal Executive Officer, Invesco
Capital Management LLC
John M. Zerr - 1962
Senior Vice
President
2006
Chief Operating Officer of the Americas; Senior Vice President,
Invesco Advisers, Inc. (formerly known as Invesco Institutional
(N.A.), Inc.) (registered investment adviser); Senior Vice
C-8
Name, Year of Birth
Position(s) Held
with the Trust
Trustee and/or
Officer Since
Principal Occupation(s) During Past 5 Years
President, Invesco Distributors, Inc. (formerly known as Invesco
AIM Distributors, Inc.); Director and Vice President, Invesco
Investment Services, Inc. (formerly known as Invesco AIM
Investment Services, Inc.) Senior Vice President, The Invesco
Funds; Managing Director, Invesco Capital Management LLC;
Director, Invesco Investment Advisers LLC (formerly known as
Van Kampen Asset Management); Senior Vice President, Invesco
Capital Markets, Inc. (formerly known as Van Kampen Funds
Inc.); Manager, Invesco Indexing LLC; Manager, Invesco
Specialized Products, LLC; Member, Invesco Canada Funds
Advisory Board; Director, President and Chief Executive Officer,
Invesco Corporate Class Inc. (corporate mutual fund company);
and Director, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer,
Invesco Canada Ltd. (formerly known as Invesco Trimark
Ltd./Invesco Trimark Ltèe) (registered investment adviser and
registered transfer agent); President, Invesco, Inc.; President,
Invesco Global Direct Real Estate Feeder GP Ltd.; President,
Invesco IP Holdings (Canada) Ltd; President, Invesco Global
Direct Real Estate GP Ltd.; President, Invesco Financial Services
Ltd. / Services Financiers Invesco Ltée; President, Trimark
Investments Ltd./Placements Trimark Ltée; and Director and
Chairman, Invesco Trust Company
Formerly: Director and Senior Vice President, Invesco Insurance
Agency, Inc.; Director and Senior Vice President, Invesco
Management Group, Inc. (formerly known as Invesco AIM
Management Group, Inc.); Secretary and General Counsel,
Invesco Management Group, Inc. (formerly known as Invesco AIM
Management Group, Inc.); Secretary, Invesco Investment
Services, Inc. (formerly known as Invesco AIM Investment
Services, Inc.); Chief Legal Officer and Secretary, The Invesco
Funds; Secretary and General Counsel, Invesco Investment
Advisers LLC (formerly known as Van Kampen Asset
Management); Secretary and General Counsel, Invesco Capital
Markets, Inc. (formerly known as Van Kampen Funds Inc.); Chief
Legal Officer, Invesco Exchange-Traded Fund Trust, Invesco
Exchange-Traded Fund Trust II, Invesco India Exchange-Traded
Fund Trust, Invesco Actively Managed Exchange-Traded Fund
Trust, Invesco Actively Managed Exchange-Traded Commodity
Fund Trust and Invesco Exchange-Traded Self-Indexed Fund
Trust; Secretary, Invesco Indexing LLC; Director, Secretary,
General Counsel and Senior Vice President, Van Kampen
Exchange Corp.; Director, Vice President and Secretary, IVZ
Distributors, Inc. (formerly known as INVESCO Distributors, Inc.);
Director and Vice President, INVESCO Funds Group, Inc.;
Director and Vice President, Van Kampen Advisors Inc.; Director,
Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel, Van Kampen
Investor Services Inc.; Director and Secretary, Invesco
Distributors, Inc. (formerly known as Invesco AIM Distributors,
Inc.); Director, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and
Secretary, Invesco AIM Advisers, Inc. and Van Kampen
Investments Inc.; Director, Vice President and Secretary, Fund
Management Company; Director, Senior Vice President,
Secretary, General Counsel and Vice President, Invesco AIM
Capital Management, Inc.; Chief Operating Officer and General
Counsel, Liberty Ridge Capital, Inc. (an investment adviser)
Gregory G. McGreevey -
1962
Senior Vice
President
2012
Senior Managing Director, Invesco Ltd.; Director, Chairman,
President, and Chief Executive Officer, Invesco Advisers, Inc.
(formerly known as Invesco Institutional (N.A.), Inc.) (registered
investment adviser); Director, Invesco Mortgage Capital, Inc. and
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Name, Year of Birth
Position(s) Held
with the Trust
Trustee and/or
Officer Since
Principal Occupation(s) During Past 5 Years
Invesco Senior Secured Management, Inc.; and Senior Vice
President, The Invesco Funds; and President, SNW Asset
Management Corporation and Invesco Managed Accounts, LLC;
Chairman and Director, Invesco Private Capital, Inc.; Chairman
and Director, INVESCO Private Capital Investments, Inc;.
Chairman and Director, INVESCO Realty, Inc.; and Senior Vice
President, Invesco Group Services, Inc.
Formerly: Senior Vice President, Invesco Management Group,
Inc. and Invesco Advisers, Inc.; Assistant Vice President, The
Invesco Funds
Adrien Deberghes - 1967
Principal
Financial Officer,
Treasurer and
Vice President
2020
Head of the Fund Office of the CFO and Fund Administration;
Vice President, Invesco Advisers, Inc.; Principal Financial Officer,
Treasurer and Vice President, The Invesco Funds; Vice President,
Invesco Exchange-Traded Fund Trust, Invesco Exchange-Traded
Fund Trust II, Invesco India Exchange-Traded Fund Trust, Invesco
Actively Managed Exchange-Traded Fund Trust, Invesco Actively
Managed Exchange-Traded Commodity Fund Trust and Invesco
Exchange-Traded Self-Indexed Fund Trust
Formerly: Senior Vice President and Treasurer, Fidelity
Investments
Crissie M. Wisdom - 1969
Anti-Money
Laundering
Compliance
Officer
2013
Anti-Money Laundering and OFAC Compliance Officer for Invesco
U.S. entities including: Invesco Advisers, Inc. and its affiliates,
Invesco Capital Markets, Inc., Invesco Distributors, Inc., Invesco
Investment Services, Inc., The Invesco Funds, Invesco Capital
Management, LLC, Invesco Trust Company; and Fraud
Prevention Manager for Invesco Investment Services, Inc.
Todd F. Kuehl - 1969
Chief
Compliance
Officer and
Senior Vice
President
2020
Chief Compliance Officer, Invesco Advisers, Inc. (registered
investment adviser); and Chief Compliance Officer and Senior
Vice President, The Invesco Funds
Formerly: Managing Director and Chief Compliance Officer, Legg
Mason (Mutual Funds); Chief Compliance Officer, Legg Mason
Private Portfolio Group (registered investment adviser)
Michael McMaster - 1962
Chief Tax
Officer, Vice
President and
Assistant
Treasurer
2020
Head of Global Fund Services Tax; Chief Tax Officer, Vice
President and Assistant Treasurer, The Invesco Funds; Vice
President, Invesco Advisers, Inc.; Assistant Treasurer, Invesco
Capital Management LLC, Assistant Treasurer and Chief Tax
Officer, Invesco Exchange-Traded Fund Trust, Invesco Exchange-
Traded Fund Trust II, Invesco India Exchange-Traded Fund Trust,
Invesco Actively Managed Exchange-Traded Fund Trust, Invesco
Actively Managed Exchange-Traded Commodity Fund Trust and
Invesco Exchange-Traded Self-Indexed Fund Trust; Assistant
Treasurer, Invesco Specialized Products, LLC
Formerly: Senior Vice President - Managing Director of Tax
Services, U.S. Bank Global Fund Services (GFS)
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Trustee Ownership of Fund Shares as of December 31, 2020
Name of Trustee
Dollar Range of Equity Securities Per
Fund
Aggregate Dollar Range of Equity
Securities in All Registered Investment
Companies Overseen by Trustee in
Invesco Funds
Interested Person
Martin L. Flanagan
None
Over $100,000
Independent Trustees
Beth A. Brown
None
Over $100,000
Jack M. Fields
None
Over $100,000
Cynthia Hostetler
None
Over $100,0002
Eli Jones
None
Over $100,0002
Elizabeth Krentzman
None
Over $100,000
Anthony J. LaCava, Jr.
None
None2
Prema Mathai-Davis
None
Over $100,0002
Joel W. Motley
None
Over $100,0002
Teresa M. Ressel
None
Over $100,000
Ann Barnett Stern
None
Over $100,0002
Robert C. Troccoli
None
Over $100,0002
Daniel S. Vandivort
None
Over $100,0002
James D. Vaughn
None
Over $100,0002
Christopher L. Wilson
None
Over $100,0002
2.
Includes total amount of compensation deferred by the trustee at his or her election pursuant to a deferred compensation plan. Such deferred compensation is placed in a deferral account and deemed to be invested in one or more of the Invesco Funds.
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APPENDIX D - TRUSTEE COMPENSATION TABLE
Set forth below is information regarding compensation paid or accrued for certain officers and each trustee of the Trust who was not affiliated with Invesco during the year ended December 31, 2020, unless otherwise noted. The information below also provides information regarding compensation paid to Russell Burk, the Fund's Senior Vice President and Senior Officer during the year ended December 31, 2020.
Trustee
Aggregate
Compensation
From the Trust(1)
Retirement
Benefits Accrued
by All Invesco
Funds
Estimated
Annual Benefits
Upon Retirement(2)
Total
Compensation
From All Invesco Funds Paid to
the Trustees(3)
Independent Trustees(4)
Beth Ann Brown
$ 41,040
-
-
$ 401,978
Jack M. Fields
43,643
-
$ 205,000
426,970
Cynthia Hostetler
44,240
-
-
436,324
Eli Jones
40,526
-
-
396,978
Elizabeth Krentzman
42,993
-
-
424,478
Anthony J. LaCava, Jr.
47,954
-
-
474,776
Prema Mathai-Davis
43,643
-
205,000
426,970
Joel W. Motley
39,988
-
-
391,978
Teresa M. Ressel
42,689
-
-
421,328
Ann Barnett Stern
42,313
-
-
414,178
Robert C. Troccoli
43,064
-
-
425,228
Daniel S. Vandivort
41,449
-
-
405,578
James D. Vaughn
41,775
-
-
412,728
Christopher L. Wilson
51,276
-
-
500,578
Officers
Russell Burk
84,416
-
-
N/A
(1)
Amounts shown are based on the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020. The total amount of compensation deferred by all trustees of the Trust during the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, including earnings, was $159,260. The table also provides the compensation paid by the Trust to certain Officers for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020.
(2)
These amounts represent the estimated annual benefits payable by the Invesco Funds upon the trustees' retirement and assumes each trustee serves until his or her normal retirement date. These amounts are not adjusted to reflect deemed investment appreciation or depreciation.
(3)
These amounts represent the compensation paid from all Invesco Funds to the individuals who serve as trustees. All trustees currently serve as trustee of 32 registered investment companies advised by Invesco.
(4)
On December 31, 2020, Mr. David Arch and Mr. Bruce Crockett retired. During the fiscal year ended December 2020, compensation from the Trust for Messrs. Arch and Crockett was $114,923.
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APPENDIX E - PROXY POLICY AND PROCEDURES
Invesco's Policy Statement on Global Corporate Governance and Proxy Voting
The Adviser and each sub-adviser rely on this policy. In addition, Invesco Asset Management (Japan) Limited and Invesco Asset Management (India) Pvt. Ltd. have also adopted operating guidelines and procedures for proxy voting particular to each regional investment center. Such guidelines and procedures are attached hereto.
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Invesco's Policy Statement on Global
Corporate Governance and
Proxy Voting
Effective January 2021
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I.
INTRODUCTION
Invesco Ltd. and its affiliated investment advisers (collectively, "Invesco", the "Company", "our" or "we") has adopted and implemented this Policy Statement on Global Corporate Governance and Proxy Voting ("Policy") which it believes describes policies and procedures reasonably designed to ensure that proxies are voted in the best interests of its clients. This Policy is intended to help Invesco's clients understand our commitment to responsible investing and proxy voting, as well as the good governance principles that inform our approach to engagement and voting at shareholder meetings.
A. Our Commitment to Environmental, Social and Governance Investment Stewardship and Proxy Voting
Our commitment to environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles is a core element of our ambition to be the most client centric asset manager. We aspire to incorporate ESG considerations into all of our investment capabilities in the context of financial materiality and in the best interest of our clients. Our Global ESG team functions as a center of excellence, providing specialist insights on research, engagement, voting, integration, tools, and client and product solutions with investment teams implementing ESG approaches appropriate to asset class and investment style. Much of our work is rooted in fundamental research and frequent dialogue with companies.
Invesco views proxy voting as an integral part of its investment management responsibilities. The proxy voting process at Invesco focuses on protecting clients' rights and promoting governance structures and practices that reinforce the accountability of corporate management and boards of directors to shareholders. The voting decision lies with our portfolio managers and analysts with input and support from our Global ESG team and Proxy Operations functions. Our proprietary proxy voting platform ("PROXYintel") facilitates implementation of voting decisions and rationales across global investment teams. Our good governance principles, governance structure and processes are designed to ensure that proxy votes are cast in accordance with clients' best interests.
As a large active investor, Invesco is well placed to use our ESG expertise and beliefs to engage with portfolio companies in ways which drive corporate change that we believe will enhance shareholder value. We take our responsibility as active owners very seriously and see engagement as an opportunity to encourage continual improvement and ensure that our clients' interests are represented and protected. Dialogue with portfolio companies is a core part of the investment process. Invesco may engage with investee companies to discuss environmental, social and governance issues throughout the year or on specific ballot items to be voted on.
Our passive strategies and certain other client accounts managed in accordance with fixed income, money market and index strategies (including exchange traded funds) will typically vote in line with the majority holder of the active-equity shares held by Invesco outside of those strategies. Invesco refers to this approach as "Majority Voting". This process of Majority Voting ensures that our passive strategies benefit from the engagement and deep dialogue of our active investors, which Invesco believes benefits shareholders in passively-managed accounts. In the absence of overlap between the active and passive holders, the passive holders vote in line with our internally developed voting guidelines (as defined below). Portfolio managers and analysts for accounts employing Majority Voting retain full discretion to override Majority Voting and to vote the shares as they determine to be in the best interest of those accounts, absent certain types of conflicts of interest, which are discussed elsewhere in this Policy.
B. Applicability of Policy
Invesco may be granted by its clients the authority to vote the proxies of securities held in client portfolios. Invesco's investment teams vote proxies on behalf of Invesco-sponsored funds and both fund and non-fund advisory clients that have explicitly granted Invesco authority in writing to vote proxies on their behalf. In the case of institutional or sub-advised clients, Invesco will vote the proxies in accordance with this Policy unless the client agreement specifies that the client retains the right to vote or has designated a named fiduciary to direct voting.
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This Policy applies to all entities in Exhibit A. Due to regional or asset class specific considerations, there may be certain entities that have local proxy voting guidelines or policies and procedures that differ from this Policy. In the event that local policies and the Global Policy differ, the local policy will apply. These entities are also listed in Exhibit A and include proxy voting guidelines specific to; Invesco Asset Management (Japan) Limited, Invesco Asset Management (India) Pvt. Ltd, Invesco Taiwan Ltd and Invesco Capital Markets, Inc. for Invesco Unit Investment Trusts. In Europe, we comply with the Shareholder Rights Directive and publish our disclosures and voting practices in this regard.
II.
GLOBAL PROXY VOTING OPERATIONAL PROCEDURES
Invesco's global proxy voting operational procedures are in place to implement the provisions of this Policy (the "Procedures"). At Invesco, proxy voting is conducted by our investment teams through PROXYintel. Our investment teams globally are supported by Invesco's centralized team of ESG professionals and proxy voting specialists. Invesco's Global ESG team oversees the proxy policy, operational procedures, inputs to analysis and research and leads the Global Invesco Proxy Advisory Committee ("Global IPAC"). Invesco's global proxy administration team is responsible for operational implementation including vote execution oversight.
Invesco aims to vote all proxies where we have been granted voting authority in accordance with this Policy as implemented by the Procedures. Our portfolio managers and analysts review voting items based on their individual merits and retain full discretion on vote execution conducted through our proprietary proxy voting platform. Invesco may supplement its internal research with information from independent third-parties, such as proxy advisory firms.
A. Proprietary Proxy Voting Platform
Invesco's proprietary proxy voting platform is supported by a dedicated team of internal proxy specialists. PROXYintel streamlines the proxy voting process by providing our investment teams globally with direct access to meeting information and proxies, external proxy research and ESG ratings, as well as related functions, such as management of conflicts of interest issues, significant votes, global reporting and record-keeping capabilities. Managing these processes internally, as opposed to relying on third parties, is designed to provide Invesco greater quality control, oversight and independence in the proxy administration process.
Historical proxy voting information is stored to build institutional knowledge across the Invesco complex with respect to individual companies and proxy issues. Certain investment teams also use PROXYintel to access third-party proxy research and ESG ratings.
Our proprietary systems facilitate internal control and oversight of the voting process. Invesco may choose to leverage this capability to automatically vote proxies based on its internally developed voting guidelines and in circumstances where Majority Voting applies.
B. Oversight of Voting Operations
Invesco's Proxy Governance and Voting Manager provides oversight of the proxy voting verification processes facilitated by a dedicated proxy administration team which include; (i) the monthly global vote audit review of votes cast containing documented rationales of conflicts of interest votes, market and operational limitations; (ii) the quarterly sampling of proxy votes cast to determine that (a) Invesco is voting consistently with this Policy and (b) third-party proxy advisory firms' methodologies in formulating the vote recommendation are consistent with their publicly disclosed guidelines; and (iii) quarterly review of rationales with the Global IPAC of occasions where a portfolio manager may take a position that may not be in accordance with Invesco's good governance principles and our internally developed voting guidelines.
To the extent material errors are identified in the proxy voting process, such errors are reviewed and reported to, as appropriate, the Global Head of ESG, Global Proxy Governance and Voting Manager, legal and compliance, the Global IPAC and relevant boards and clients, where applicable. Invesco's
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Global Head of ESG and Proxy Governance and Voting Manager provide proxy voting updates and reporting to the Global IPAC, various boards and clients. Invesco's proxy voting administration and operations are subject to periodic review by Internal Audit and Compliance groups.
C. Disclosures and Record Keeping
Unless otherwise required by local or regional requirements, Invesco maintains voting records in either electronic format or hard copy for at least 6 years. Invesco makes available its proxy voting records publicly in compliance with regulatory requirements and industry best practices in the regions below:
In accordance with the US Securities and Exchange Commission regulations, Invesco will file a record of all proxy voting activity for the prior 12 months ending June 30th for each U.S. registered fund. That filing is made on or before August 31st of each year. Each year, the proxy voting records are made available on Invesco's website here. Moreover, and to the extent applicable, the U.S. Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended ("ERISA"), including Department of Labor regulations and guidance thereunder, provide that the named fiduciary generally should be able to review not only the investment manager's voting procedure with respect to plan-owned stock, but also to review the actions taken in individual proxy voting situations. In the case of institutional and sub-advised Clients, Clients may contact their client service representative to request information about how Invesco voted proxies on their behalf. Absent specific contractual guidelines, such requests may be made on a semi-annual basis.
In the UK and Europe, Invesco publicly discloses our proxy votes monthly in compliance with the UK Stewardship Code and for the European Shareholder Rights Directive annually here.
In Canada, Invesco publicly discloses our annual proxy votes each year here by August 31st, covering the 12-month period ending June 30th in compliance with the National Instrument 81-106 Investment Fund Continuous Disclosure.
In Japan, Invesco publicly discloses our proxy votes annually in compliance with the Japan Stewardship Code.
In India, Invesco publicly discloses our proxy votes quarterly in compliance with The Securities and Exchange Board of India ("SEBI") Circular on stewardship code for all mutual funds and all categories of Alternative Investment Funds in relation to their investment in listed equities. SEBI has implemented principles on voting for Mutual Funds through circulars dated March 15, 2010 and March 24, 2014, which prescribed detailed mandatory requirements for Mutual Funds in India to disclose their voting policies and actual voting by Mutual Funds on different resolutions of investee companies.
In Hong Kong, Invesco Hong Kong Limited will provide proxy voting records upon request in compliance with the Securities and Futures Commission ("SFC") Principles of Responsible Ownership.
In Taiwan, Invesco publicly discloses our proxy voting policy and proxy votes annually in compliance with Taiwan's Stewardship Principles for Institutional Investors.
D. Global Invesco Proxy Advisory Committee
Guided by its philosophy that investment teams should manage proxy voting, Invesco has created the Global IPAC. The Global IPAC is an investments-driven committee comprised of representatives from various investment management teams globally, Invesco's Global Head of ESG and chaired by its Global Proxy Governance and Voting Manager. The Global IPAC provides a forum for investment teams to monitor, understand and discuss key proxy issues and voting trends within the Invesco complex, to assist Invesco in meeting regulatory obligations, to review votes not aligned with our good governance principles and to consider conflicts of interest in the proxy voting process, all in accordance with this Policy.
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In fulfilling its responsibilities, the Global IPAC meets as necessary, but no less than semi- annually, and has the following responsibilities and functions: (i) acts as a key liaison between the Global ESG team and local proxy voting practices to ensure compliance with this Policy; (ii) provides insight on market trends as it relates to stewardship practices; (iii) monitors proxy votes that present potential conflicts of interest; (iv) the Conflict of Interest sub-committee will make voting decisions on submissions made by portfolio managers on conflict of interest issues to override the Policy; and (v) reviews and provides input, at least annually, on this Policy and related internal procedures and recommends any changes to the Policy based on, but not limited to, Invesco's experience, evolving industry practices, or developments in applicable laws or regulations.
In addition to the Global IPAC, for some clients, third parties (e.g., U.S. fund boards) provide oversight of the proxy voting process.
E. Market and Operational Limitations
In the great majority of instances, Invesco will vote proxies. However, in certain circumstances, Invesco may refrain from voting where the economic or other opportunity costs of voting exceeds any benefit to clients. Moreover, ERISA fiduciaries, in voting proxies or exercising other shareholder rights, must not subordinate the economic interests of plan participants and beneficiaries to unrelated objectives. These matters are left to the discretion of the relevant portfolio manager. Such circumstances could include, for example:
In some countries the exercise of voting rights imposes temporary transfer restrictions on the related securities ("share blocking"). Invesco generally refrains from voting proxies in share blocking countries unless Invesco determines that the benefit to the client(s) of voting a specific proxy outweighs the client's temporary inability to sell the security.
Some companies require a representative to attend meetings in person to vote a proxy, additional documentation or the disclosure of beneficial owner details to vote. Invesco may determine that the costs of sending a representative, signing a power-of-attorney or submitting additional disclosures outweigh the benefit of voting a particular proxy.
Invesco may not receive proxy materials from the relevant fund or client custodian with sufficient time and information to make an informed independent voting decision.
Invesco held shares on the record date but has sold them prior to the meeting date.
In some non-U.S. jurisdictions, although Invesco uses reasonable efforts to vote a proxy, proxies may not be accepted or rejected due to changes in the agenda for a shareholder meeting for which Invesco does not have sufficient notice, a proxy voting service may not be offered by the custodian in the local market or due to operational issues experienced by third-parties involved in the process or by the issuer or sub-custodian. In addition, despite the best efforts of Invesco and its proxy voting agent, there may be instances where our votes may not be received or properly tabulated by an issuer or the issuer's agent.
F. Securities Lending
Invesco's funds may occasionally participate in a securities lending program. In circumstances where shares are on loan, the voting rights of those shares are transferred to the borrower. If the security in question is on loan as part of a securities lending program, Invesco may determine that the benefit to the client of voting a particular proxy outweighs the benefits of securities lending. In those instances, Invesco may determine to recall securities that are on loan prior to the meeting record date, so that we will be entitled to vote those shares. There may be instances where Invesco may be unable to recall shares or may choose not to recall shares. The relevant portfolio manager will make these determinations.
G. Conflicts of Interest
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There may be occasions where voting proxies may present a perceived or actual conflict of interest between Invesco, as investment manager, and one or more of Invesco's clients or vendors.
Firm-Level Conflicts of interest
A conflict of interest may exist if Invesco has a material business relationship with either the company soliciting a proxy or a third party that has a material interest in the outcome of a proxy vote or that is actively lobbying for a particular outcome of a proxy vote. Such relationships may include, among others, a client relationship, serving as a vendor whose products / services are material or significant to Invesco, serving as a distributor of Invesco's products, a significant research provider or broker to Invesco.
Invesco identifies potential conflicts of interest based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to the materiality of the relationship between the issuer or its affiliates to Invesco.
Invesco's proxy administration team maintains a list of all such issuers for which a conflict of interest exists ("Global Conflicts List"). Material firm-level conflicts of interests are identified by individuals and groups within Invesco globally based on criteria established by the proxy administration team. The Global Conflicts List is updated periodically by the proxy administration team so as to seek to ensure an updated view is available when conducting conflicts checks.
Operating procedures and associated governance are designed to seek to ensure conflicts of interest are appropriately considered ahead of voting proxies. The Global IPAC Conflict of Interest Sub-committee maintains oversight of the process. Companies on the Global Conflicts List will be voted in line with the principles below as implemented by Invesco's internally developed voting guidelines. To the extent a portfolio manager disagrees with the Policy, our processes and procedures seek to ensure justification and rationales are fully documented and presented to the Global IPAC Sub-committee for a majority vote of its members.
As an additional safeguard, persons from Invesco's marketing, distribution and other customer- facing functions may not serve on the Global IPAC. For the avoidance of doubt, Invesco may not consider Invesco Ltd.'s pecuniary interest when voting proxies on behalf of clients. To avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest, Invesco will not vote proxies issued by Invesco Ltd. that may be held in client accounts.
Personal Conflicts of Interest
A conflict also may exist where an Invesco employee has a known personal or business relationship with other proponents of proxy proposals, participants in proxy contests, corporate directors, or candidates for directorships. Under Invesco's Global Code of Conduct, Invesco entities and individuals must act in the best interests of clients and must avoid any situation that gives rise to an actual or perceived conflict of interest.
All Invesco personnel with proxy voting responsibilities are required to report any known personal or business conflicts of interest regarding proxy issues with which they are involved. In such instances, the individual(s) with the conflict will be excluded from the decision-making process relating to such issues.
Voting Fund of Funds
There may be conflicts that can arise from Invesco voting on matters when shares of Invesco- sponsored funds are held by other Invesco funds or entities. The scenarios below set out how Invesco votes in these instances.
In the United States, as required by law, proportional voting applies.
Shares of an Invesco-sponsored fund held by other Invesco funds will be voted in the same proportion as the votes of external shareholders of the underlying fund, where required by law.
Shares of an unaffiliated registered fund held by one or more Invesco funds will be voted
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in the same proportion as the votes of external shareholders of the underlying fund where the thresholds are met as required by federal securities law or any exemption therefrom.
To the extent proportional voting is required by law, but not operationally possible, Invesco will not vote the shares.
For US fund of funds where proportional voting is not required by law, Invesco will still apply proportional voting. In the event this is not operationally possible, Invesco will vote in line with our internally developed voting guidelines (as defined below).
For non-US fund of funds Invesco will vote in line with our above-mentioned firm-level conflicts of interest process unless we have local policies in place as per Exhibit A.
H. Use of Third-Party Proxy Advisory Services
Invesco may supplement its internal research with information from independent third-parties, such as proxy advisory firms. Globally, Invesco leverages research from Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. ("ISS") and Glass Lewis ("GL"). Invesco generally retains full and independent discretion with respect to proxy voting decisions.
ISS and GL both provide research reports, including vote recommendations, to Invesco and its portfolio managers and analysts. Invesco retains ISS to provide recommendations based on Invesco's internally developed custom guidelines. Updates to previously issued proxy research reports may be provided to incorporate newly available information or additional disclosure provided by the issuer regarding a matter to be voted on, or to correct factual errors which may result in the issuance of revised proxy vote recommendations. Invesco's proxy administration team may periodically monitor for these research alerts issued by ISS and GL that are shared with our investment teams. There may be instances where these updates may not be provided in a timely manner ahead of the vote deadline.
Invesco also retains ISS to assist with services that include receipt of proxy ballots, vote execution through PROXYintel and vote disclosure in Canada, the UK and Europe to meet regulatory reporting obligations.
As part of its fiduciary obligation to clients, Invesco performs extensive initial and ongoing due diligence on the proxy advisory firms it engages globally. This includes reviews of information regarding the capabilities of their research staff, methodologies for formulating voting recommendations, the adequacy and quality of personnel and technology, as applicable, and internal controls, policies and procedures, including those relating to possible conflicts of interest.
The proxy advisory firms Invesco engages globally complete an annual due diligence questionnaire submitted by Invesco, and Invesco conducts annual due diligence meetings in part to discuss their responses to the questionnaire. In addition, Invesco monitors and communicates with these firms and monitors their compliance with Invesco's performance and policy standards. ISS and GL disclose conflicts to Invesco through a review of their policies, procedures and practices regarding potential conflicts of interests (including inherent internal conflicts) as well as disclosure of the work ISS and GL perform for corporate issuers and the payments they receive from such issuers. Invesco conducts semi-annual roundtables with external proxy and governance experts and our Global IPAC to ensure transparency, dialogue and engagement with the firms. These meetings provide Invesco with an opportunity to assess the firms' capabilities, conflicts of interest and service levels, as well as provide investment professionals with direct insight into the advisory firms' stances on key governance and proxy topics and their policy framework/methodologies.
Invesco's compliance function completes a review of the System and Organizational Controls ("SOC") Reports for each proxy advisory firm to ensure the related controls operated effectively to provide reasonable assurance.
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In addition to ISS and GL, Invesco may use regional third-party research providers to access regionally specific research.
I. Review of Policy
The Global IPAC and Invesco's Global ESG team, proxy administration team, compliance and legal teams annually communicate and review this Policy and our internally developed voting guidelines to seek to ensure that they remain consistent with clients' best interests, regulatory requirements, governance trends and industry best practices. At least annually, this Policy and our internally developed voting guidelines are reviewed by various groups within Invesco to ensure that they remain consistent with Invesco's views on best practice in corporate governance and long-term investment stewardship.
III.
OUR GOOD GOVERNANCE PRINCIPLES
Invesco's good governance principles outline our views on best practice in corporate governance and long-term investment stewardship. These principles have been developed by our global investment teams in collaboration with the Global ESG team. The broad philosophy and guiding principles in this section inform our approach to investment stewardship and proxy voting. These principles are not intended to be exhaustive or prescriptive.
Our portfolio managers and analysts retain full discretion on vote execution except where otherwise specified in this Policy. The final voting decisions may incorporate the unique circumstances affecting companies, regional best practices and any dialogue we have had with company management. To the extent a portfolio manager chooses to vote a proxy in a way that is not aligned with the principles below, such manager's rationales are fully documented.
The following guiding principles apply to operating companies. We apply a separate approach to investment companies and unit investment trusts. Where appropriate, these guidelines are supplemented by additional internal guidance that considers regional variations in best practices, disclosure and region-specific voting items.
The following are high-level governance principles that Invesco endorses:
A. Transparency
Investors require accurate, timely and complete information in order to make informed investment decisions and effectively carry out their stewardship obligations. Invesco supports the highest standards in corporate transparency, including but not limited to the following areas:
Financial reporting: Company accounts and reporting must accurately reflect the underlying economic position of a company. Arrangements that may constitute an actual or perceived conflict with this objective should be avoided.
We will generally vote against the incumbent audit committee chair, or nearest equivalent, where the non-audit fees paid to the independent auditor exceed audit fees for two consecutive years or other problematic accounting practices are identified such as fraud, misapplication of audit standards or persistent material weaknesses/deficiencies in internal controls over financial reporting.
We will generally not support the ratification of the independent auditor and/or ratification of their fees payable if non-audit fees exceed audit and audit related fees or there are significant auditing controversies or questions regarding the independence of the external auditor. We will consider an auditor's length of service as a company's independent auditor in applying this policy.
B. Accountability
Robust shareholder rights and strong board oversight help ensure that management adhere to the highest standards of ethical conduct, are held to account for poor performance and responsibly deliver
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value creation for stakeholders over the long-term. We therefore encourage companies to adopt governance features that ensure board and management accountability. In particular, we consider the following as key mechanisms for enhancing accountability to investors:
One share one vote: Voting rights are an important tool for investors to hold boards and management teams accountable. Unequal voting rights may limit the ability of investors to exercise their stewardship obligations.
We generally do not support proposals that establish or perpetuate dual classes of voting shares, double voting rights or other means of differentiated voting or disproportionate board nomination rights.
We generally support proposals to decommission differentiated voting rights.
Where unequal voting rights are established, we expect these to be accompanied by reasonable safeguards to protect minority shareholders' interests.
Anti-takeover devices: Mechanisms designed to prevent or unduly delay takeover attempts may unduly limit the accountability of boards and management teams to shareholders.
We generally will not support proposals to adopt antitakeover devices such as poison pills. Exceptions may be warranted at entities without significant operations and to preserve the value of net operating losses carried forward or where the applicability of the pill is limited in scope and duration.
In addition, we will generally not support capital authorizations or amendments to corporate articles or bylaws at operating companies that may be utilized for antitakeover purposes, for example, the authorization of classes of shares of preferred stock with unspecified voting, dividend, conversion or other rights ("blank check" authorizations).
Shareholder rights: We support the rights of shareholders to hold boards and management teams accountable for company performance. We generally support best practice aligned proposals to enhance shareholder rights, including but not limited to the following:
Adoption of proxy access rights
Rights to call special meetings
Rights to act by written consent
Reduce supermajority vote requirements
Remove antitakeover provisions
Requirement that directors are elected by a majority vote
In addition, we oppose practices that limit shareholders' ability to express their views at a general meeting such as bundling unrelated proposals or several significant article or bylaw amendments into a single voting item. We will generally vote against these proposals unless we are satisfied that all the underlying components are aligned with our views on best practice.
Director Indemnification: Invesco recognizes that individuals may be reluctant to serve as corporate directors if they are personally liable for all related lawsuits and legal costs. As a result, reasonable limitations on directors' liability can benefit a company and its shareholders by helping to attract and retain qualified directors while preserving recourse for shareholders in the event of misconduct by directors. Accordingly, unless there is insufficient information to make a decision about the nature of the proposal, Invesco will generally support proposals to limit directors' liability and provide indemnification and/or exculpation, provided that the arrangements are reasonably limited in scope to directors acting in good faith and, in relation to criminal matters, limited in scope to directors having reasonable grounds for believing the conduct was lawful.
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Responsiveness: Boards should respond to investor concerns in a timely fashion, including reasonable requests to engage with company representatives regarding such concerns, and address matters that receive significant voting dissent at general meetings of shareholders.
We will generally vote against the lead independent director and/or the incumbent chair of the governance committee, or nearest equivalent, in cases where the board has not adequately responded to items receiving significant voting opposition from shareholders at an annual or extraordinary general meeting.
We will generally vote against the lead independent director and/or incumbent chair of the governance committee, or nearest equivalent, where the board has not adequately responded to a shareholder proposal which has received significant support from shareholders.
We will generally vote against the incumbent chair of the compensation committee if there are significant ongoing concerns with a company's compensation practices that have not been addressed by the committee or egregious concerns with the company's compensation practices for two years consecutively.
In addition, we will generally vote against the incumbent compensation committee chair where there are ongoing concerns with a company's compensation practices and there is no opportunity to express dissatisfaction by voting against an advisory vote on executive compensation, remuneration report (or policy) or nearest equivalent.
C. Board Composition
Annual director elections: Board members should generally stand for election annually and individually.
We will generally support proposals requesting that directors stand for election annually.
We will generally vote against the incumbent governance committee chair or lead independent director if a company has a declassified board structure that is not being phased out. This policy will not apply in regions where market practice is for directors to stand for election on a staggered basis or for boards that do not oversee significant commercial operations.
When a board is presented for election as a slate (i.e., shareholders are unable to vote against individual nominees and must vote for or against the entire nominated slate of directors) and this approach is not aligned with local market practice, we will generally vote against the slate in cases where we otherwise would vote against an individual nominee.
Where market practice is to elect directors as a slate we will generally support the nominated slate unless there are governance concerns with several of the individuals included on the slate or we have broad concerns with the composition of the board such as a lack independence.
Board size: We will generally defer to the board with respect to determining the optimal number of board members, provided that the proposed board size is sufficiently large to represent shareholder interests and sufficiently limited to remain effective.
Definition of independence: Invesco considers local market definitions of director independence but applies a proprietary standard for assessing director independence considering a director's status as a current or former employee of the business, any commercial or consulting relationships with the company, the level of shares beneficially owned or represented and familial relationships, among others.
Board and committee independence: The board of directors, board committees and regional equivalents should be sufficiently independent from management, substantial shareholders and conflicts of interest. We consider local market practices in this regard and in general we look for a balance across the board of directors. Above all, we like to see signs of robust challenge and discussion in the boardroom.
We will generally vote against one or more non-independent directors when a board is less than
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majority independent, but we will take into account local market practice with regards to board independence in limited circumstances where this standard is not appropriate.
We will generally vote against non-independent directors serving on the audit committee.
We will generally vote against non-independent directors serving on the compensation committee.
We will generally vote against non-independent directors serving on the nominating committee.
In relation to the board, compensation committee and nominating committee we will consider the appropriateness of significant shareholder representation in applying this policy. This exception will generally not apply to the audit committee.
Separation of Chair and CEO roles: We believe that independent board leadership generally enhances management accountability to investors. Companies deviating from this best practice should provide a strong justification and establish safeguards to ensure that there is independent oversight of a board's activities (e.g., by appointing a lead or senior independent director with clearly defined powers and responsibilities).
We will generally vote against the incumbent nominating committee chair where the board chair is not independent unless a lead independent or senior director is appointed.
We will generally support shareholder proposals requesting that the board chair be an independent director.
We will generally not vote against a CEO or executive serving as board chair solely on the basis of this issue, however, we may do so in instances where we have significant concerns regarding a company's corporate governance, capital allocation decisions and/or compensation practices.
Attendance and over boarding: Directors serving on the board should attend at least 75% of their board and committee meetings, where applicable. In addition, directors should not have excessive external board or managerial commitments that may interfere with their ability to execute the duties of a director.
We will generally vote against directors who do not attend 75% of their meetings unless there are extenuating circumstances such as health matters or family emergencies.
We will generally vote against directors who have more than four total mandates at public operating companies. We apply a lower threshold for directors with significant commitments such as executive positions and chairmanships.
Diversity: We encourage companies to continue to evolve diversity and inclusion practices. Boards should be comprised of directors with a variety of relevant skills and industry expertise together with a diverse profile of individuals of different genders, ethnicities, skills, tenures and backgrounds in order to provide robust challenge and debate. We consider diversity at the board level, within the executive management team and in the succession pipeline.
We will generally vote against the incumbent nominating committee chair of a board where women constitute less than two board members or 25% of the board, whichever is lower, for two or more consecutive years, unless incremental improvements are being made to diversity practices.
In addition, we will consider a company's performance on broader types of diversity which may include diversity of skills, non-executive director tenure, ethnicity or other factors where appropriate and reasonably determinable. We will generally vote against the incumbent nominating committee chair if there are multiple concerns on diversity issues.
We generally believe that an individual board's nominating committee is best positioned to determine whether director term limits would be an appropriate measure to help achieve these
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goals and, if so, the nature of such limits. Invesco generally opposes proposals to limit the tenure of outside directors through mandatory retirement ages.
D. Long Term Stewardship of Capital
Capital allocation: Invesco expects companies to responsibly raise and deploy capital towards the long-term, sustainable success of the business. In addition, we expect capital allocation authorizations and decisions to be made with due regard to shareholder dilution, rights of shareholders to ratify significant corporate actions and pre-emptive rights, where applicable.
Share issuance and repurchase authorizations: We generally support authorizations to issue shares up to 20% of a company's issued share capital for general corporate purposes. Shares should not be issued at a substantial discount to the market price or be repurchased at a substantial premium to the market price.
Stock splits: We generally support management proposals to implement a forward or reverse stock split, provided that a reverse stock split is not being used to take a company private. In addition, we will generally support requests to increase a company's common stock authorization if requested in order to facilitate a stock split.
Increases in authorized share capital: We will generally support proposals to increase a company's number of authorized common and/or preferred shares, provided we have not identified concerns regarding a company's historical share issuance activity or the potential to use these authorizations for antitakeover purposes. We will consider the amount of the request in relation to the company's current authorized share capital, any proposed corporate transactions contingent on approval of these requests and the cumulative impact on a company's authorized share capital, for example, if a reverse stock split is concurrently submitted for shareholder consideration.
Mergers, acquisitions, proxy contests, disposals and other corporate transactions: Invesco's investment teams will review proposed corporate transactions including mergers, acquisitions, reorganizations, proxy contests, private placements, dissolutions and divestitures based on a proposal's individual investment merits. In addition, we broadly approach voting on other corporate transactions as follows:
We will generally support proposals to approve different types of restructurings that provide the necessary financing to save the company from involuntary bankruptcy.
We will generally support proposals to enact corporate name changes and other proposals related to corporate transactions that we believe are in shareholders' best interests.
We will generally support reincorporation proposals, provided that management have provided a compelling rationale for the change in legal jurisdiction and provided further that the proposal will not significantly adversely impact shareholders' rights.
With respect to contested director elections, we consider the following factors, among others, when evaluating the merits of each list of nominees: the long term performance of the company relative to its industry, management's track record, any relevant background information related to the contest, the qualifications of the respective lists of director nominees, the strategic merits of the approaches proposed by both sides including the likelihood that the proposed goals can be met, positions of stock ownership in the company.
E. Environmental, Social and Governance Risk Oversight
Director responsibility for risk oversight: The board of directors are ultimately responsible for overseeing management and ensuring that proper governance, oversight and control mechanisms are in place at the companies they oversee. Invesco may take voting action against director nominees in response to material governance or risk oversight failures that adversely affect shareholder value.
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Invesco considers the adequacy of a company's response to material oversight failures when determining whether any voting action is warranted. In addition, Invesco will consider the responsibilities delegated to board subcommittees when determining if it is appropriate to hold certain director nominees accountable for these material failures.
Material governance or risk oversight failures at a company may include, without limitation:
i. significant bribery, corruption or ethics violations;
ii. events causing significant environmental degradation;
iii. significant health and safety incidents; or
iv. failure to ensure the protection of human rights.
Reporting of financially material ESG information: Companies should report on their environmental, social and governance opportunities and risks where material to their business operations.
Where Invesco finds significant gaps in terms of management and disclosure of environmental, social and governance risk policies, we will generally vote against the annual reporting and accounts or an equivalent resolution.
Shareholder proposals addressing environmental and social risks: Invesco may support shareholder resolutions requesting that specific actions be taken to address environmental and social issues or mitigate exposure to material environmental and social risks, including reputational risk, related to these issues. When considering such proposals, we will consider a company's track record managing these risks, the efficacy of the proposal's request and whether the requested action is unduly burdensome.
We generally do not support resolutions where insufficient information has been provided in advance of the vote or a lack of disclosure inhibits our ability to make fully informed voting decisions.
We will generally support shareholder resolutions requesting that companies provide additional information on material environmental, social and governance risks facing their businesses, provided that such requests are not unduly burdensome or duplicative with a company's existing reporting. These may include but are not limited to the following: gender pay gap reporting requests, political contributions and lobbying disclosure, information on data security, privacy, and internet practices, and reporting on climate change risks.
Ratification of board and/or management acts: We will generally support proposals to ratify the actions of the board of directors, supervisory board and/or executive decision-making bodies, provided there are no material oversight failures as described above. When such oversight concerns are identified, we will consider a company's response to any issues raised and may vote against ratification proposals instead of, or in addition to, director nominees.
F. Executive Compensation and Alignment
Invesco supports compensation polices and equity incentive plans that promote alignment between management incentives and shareholders' long-term interests. We pay close attention to local market practice and may apply stricter or modified criteria where appropriate.
Advisory votes on executive compensation, remuneration policy and remuneration reports: We will generally not support compensation related proposals where more than one of the following is present:
i. there is an unmitigated misalignment between executive pay and company performance for at least two consecutive years;
ii. there are problematic compensation practices which may include among others incentivizing excessive risk taking or circumventing alignment between management and shareholders' interests via repricing of underwater options;
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iii. vesting periods for long term incentive awards are less than three years;
iv. the company "front loads" equity awards;
v. there are inadequate risk mitigating features in the program such as clawback provisions;
vi. excessive, discretionary one-time equity grants are awarded to executives;
vii. less than half of variable pay is linked to performance targets, except where prohibited by law.
Invesco will consider company reporting on pay ratios as part of our evaluation of compensation proposals, where relevant.
Equity plans: Invesco generally supports equity compensation plans that promote the proper alignment of incentives with shareholders' long-term interests, and generally votes against plans that are overly dilutive to existing shareholders, plans that contain objectionable structural features which may include provisions to reprice options without shareholder approval, plans that include evergreen provisions or plans that provide for automatic accelerated vesting upon a change in control.
Employee stock purchase plans: We generally support employee stock purchase plans that are reasonably designed to provide proper incentives to a broad base of employees, provided that the price at which employees may acquire stock represents a reasonable discount from the market price.
Severance Arrangements: Invesco considers proposed severance arrangements (sometimes known as "golden parachute" arrangements) on a case-by-case basis due to the wide variety among their terms. Invesco acknowledges that in some cases such arrangements, if reasonable, may be in shareholders' best interests as a method of attracting and retaining high quality executive talent. We generally vote in favor of proposals requiring shareholder ratification of senior executives' severance agreements where the proposed terms and disclosure align with good market practice.
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Exhibit A
Invesco Advisers, Inc.
Invesco Asset Management (India) Pvt. Ltd*1
Invesco Asset Management (Japan) Limited*1
Invesco Asset Management (Schweiz) AG
Invesco Asset Management Deutschland GmbH
Invesco Asset Management Limited1
Invesco Asset Management Singapore Ltd
Invesco Asset Management Spain
Invesco Australia Ltd
Invesco Canada Ltd.1
Invesco Capital Management LLC
Invesco Capital Markets, Inc.*1
Invesco Hong Kong Limited
Invesco Investment Advisers LLC
Invesco Investment Management (Shanghai) Limited
Invesco Investment Management Limited
Invesco Managed Accounts, LLC
Invesco Management S.A
Invesco Overseas Investment Fund Management (Shanghai) Limited
Invesco Pensions Limited
Invesco Private Capital, Inc.
Invesco Real Estate Management S.a.r.l1
Invesco Senior Secured Management, Inc.
Invesco Taiwan Ltd*1
Invesco Trust Company
Oppenheimer Funds, Inc.
WL Ross & Co. LLC
* Invesco entities with specific proxy voting guidelines
1 Invesco entities with specific conflicts of interest policies
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Proxy Voting Guidelines
for
Invesco Asset Management (Japan) Limited
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Basic Policy on Proxy Voting
We vote proxies for the purpose of seeking to maximize the interests of our clients (investors) and beneficiaries over time, acknowledging the importance of corporate governance, based on fiduciary duties to our clients (investors) and beneficiaries. We do not vote proxies for the interests of ourselves and any third party other than clients (investors) and beneficiaries. The interests of clients (investors) and beneficiaries is to expand the corporate value or the economic interest of shareholders or the preventing of damage thereto. . Proxy voting is an integral part of our stewardship activities and we make voting decisions considering whether or not the proposal would contribute to the corporate value expansion and sustainable growth.
In order to vote proxies adequately we have established the Responsible Investment Committee and developed these Proxy Voting Guidelines to oversee control of the decision making process concerning proxy voting. While we may seek advice from an external service provider based on our own guidelines, our investment professionals make voting decisions in principle, based on our proxy voting guidelines, taking into account whether or not they contribute to shareholder value enhancement of the subject company.
Responsible proxy voting and constructive dialogue with investee companies are important components of stewardship activities. While the proxy voting guidelines are principles for our making voting decisions, depending on the proposals, we may make special decisions to maximize the interests of clients (investors) and beneficiaries, through the establishment of constructive dialogue with the investee companies. In such case, approval of the Responsible Investment Committee shall be obtained.
The Responsible Investment Committee is consisted of members including Director in charge of the Investment Division as the chair, Head of Compliance, Responsible Investment Officer, investment professionals nominated by the chair and persons in charge at the Client Reporting Department.
We have developed the Conflict of Interest Control Policy and, even in the situation where any conflict of interest is likely to arise, we work to control conflict of interest to protect the interests of clients (investors) and beneficiaries. The Compliance Department is responsible for overseeing company-wide control of conflict of interest. The Compliance Department is independent from investment and marketing divisions, and shall not receive any command or order with respect to the matters concerning compliance with the laws and regulations including the matters concerning conflict of interest from investment and marketing divisions.
Proxy Voting Guidelines
1. Profit Allocation and Dividends
We decide how to vote on the proposals seeking approval for profit allocation and dividends, taking into account the financial conditions and business performance of the subject company, and the economic interest of shareholders, etc.
Taking into account the status of capital adequacy and business strategies, etc. of the subject company, if the total payout ratio including dividends and share buybacks is significantly low, we consider to vote against the proposals, unless reasonable explanation is given by the company.
With respect to the company where profit allocation is determined by the board of directors, taking into account the status of capital adequacy and business strategies, etc. of the subject company, if the total payout ratio including dividends and share buybacks is significantly low, we consider to vote against reelection of directors, unless reasonable explanation is given by the company.
Taking into account the status of capital adequacy and business strategies, etc. of the subject company, if the total payout ratio including dividends and share buybacks is significantly low, we consider to vote for the shareholder proposals that require more payout to shareholders.
2. Election of Directors
We decide how to vote on the proposals concerning election of directors, taking into account independence, competence and existence of anti-social acts of director candidates, etc. We decide how to vote on reelection of director candidates, taking into account their approach to corporate governance and
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accountability during their tenure, business performance of the company and existence of anti-social acts of the company, etc. in addition to the above factors.
Directors should make efforts to continuously gain knowledge and skills from time to time to fulfill the important role and responsibilities in governance of the subject company. Companies are also required to provide sufficient opportunities of such training.
Independent outside directors are expected to play a significant role such as to secure the interest of minority shareholders through activities based on their insights to increase the corporate value of the subject company. It is desirable to enhance the board's governance function with independent outside directors accounting for the majority of the board. However, given the challenge to secure competent candidates, we also recognize that, under the current conditions, it is difficult for all the companies, irrespective of their size, to deploy a majority of the board with independent outside directors.
(1)
Independence
We generally vote for election of outside directors; provided, however, that we generally vote against the candidate who is not regarded as independent from the subject company. With respect to independence, it is desirable that the subject company discloses numerical standard which should support our decision.
We view following candidates for outside directors are not enough independent;
Candidates who have been working for following companies during the last 10 years or relatives of those people.
The subject company
Subsidiary of the subject company
Parent of the subject company
Candidates who have been working for following companies during the last five years or relatives of those people.
Shareholders who own more than 10% of the subject company
Principal loan lender
Principal securities broker
Major business relationship
Auditor of the subject company
Audit companies, consulting companies or any related service providers which have any consulting contracts with the subject company
Any other counterparts which have any interests in the subject company
We further scrutinize the independence of candidates who are regarded as not independent enough, even though those are not categorized the case listed above.
We carefully consider the independence of the candidates who are regarded as being in the cross-share-holding relationship, or the relationship in which companies are sending outside directors each other. We expect that the company should disclose the detail information related to the independence of those candidates reasonably, to enable investors to understand those relationships enough, both in terms of the disclosure timing and method.
We judge independence based on the independence criteria stipulated by the stock exchange, with focus on whether independence is substantially secured. We consider each company's
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business surroundings and make best effort to have constructive dialogue with the subject company to understand the independence of the candidates.
We regard the outside director with significantly long tenure as non-independent, and vote against reelection of such outside director. We generally consider voting against the candidate whose tenure is longer than 10 years.
In the case where the subject company is the company with a board with audit committee structure, we judge independence of outside director candidates who become members of the audit committee based on the same independence criteria for election of statutory auditors in principle.
In the case where the subject company is the company with a three committee board structure or the company with a board with audit committee structure, we generally consider to vote against the director candidates who are top executives of the subject company, if independent outside directors of the subject company account for less than 1/3 of the board after the shareholders meeting.
In the case where the subject company is the company with a statutory auditor structure, we generally vote against the director candidates who are top executives, unless there are at least two outside directors who are independent from the subject company after the shareholders meeting.
In the case where the subject company has a parent company, we generally consider voting against the director candidates who are top executives of the subject company, if outside directors who are independent from the subject company account for less than half of the board after the shareholders meeting.
(2)
Attendance rate and concurrent duties
All members are expected to attend the board meetings and each committee in principle, and companies are generally obligated to facilitate all members to attend meetings. We generally vote against reelection of the director candidate who attended less than 75% of the board meetings or the respective committee.
We take into account not only the number of attendance but reasons for nomination and substantial contribution, if disclosed.
We carefully consider the quality of the candidates who have many concurrent duties as outside directors or outside auditors of listed companies, given that outside directors/auditors are expected to make an important contribution to the board discussion. The company which nominates the candidates who have many concurrent duties should explain the reasonable background and eligibility for such nomination and make best effort to enable investors to understand them enough, both in terms of the disclosure timing and method.
(3)
Business performance of the company
We consider voting against reelection of director candidates, if the subject company made a loss for the three-consecutive year during their tenure.
We consider voting against reelection of director candidates, if it is judged that the business performance of the subject company is significantly behind peers in the same industry during their tenure.
We consider voting against the directors who are top executives, if business strategies that enable the corporate value enhancement and sustainable growth are not demonstrated and no constructive dialogue is conducted, with respect to capital efficiency including return on capital.
(4)
Anti-social acts of the company
If it is judged that there has been any corporate scandal that has significant social effects and has impaired, or is likely to impair, the shareholder value during the tenure, we shall conduct sufficient
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dialogue with the subject company on the background and subsequent resolutions of the scandal. Based on the dialogue and taking into account impact on the shareholder value, we decide how to vote on reelection of the director candidates who are top executives, directors in charge of those cases and members of the audit committee or the similar committee.
With respect to domestic scandals, if the company has received administrative disposition on cartel or bid-rigging, we consider voting against reelection of the director candidates who are top executives, directors in charge and members of the audit committee or the similar committee, at the time when the disposition is determined by the Fair Trade Commission, etc. If the final disposition is subsequently determined on appeal or complaint, we do not vote against reelection again at such time. We decide case-by-case with respect to an order for compensation in a civil case or disposition by the Consumer Affairs Agency and administrative disposition imposed overseas.
With respect to administrative disposition imposed on a subsidiary or affiliate, if the subsidiary or affiliate is unlisted, we consider voting against reelection of the director candidates who are top executives, directors in charge and members of the audit committee or the similar committee of the holding company or the parent company. If the subsidiary or affiliate is listed, we consider to vote against reelection of the director candidates who are top executives, directors in charge and members of the audit committee or the similar committee of the subsidiary or affiliate and the parent company; provided, however, that we decide case-by-case depending on importance of the disposition on the subsidiary or affiliate, its impact on business performance of the holding company or parent company.
With respect to a scandal of an individual employee, if such scandal has impaired, or is likely to impair the shareholder value, and it is judged that the subject company should assume responsibility as a manager, we consider to vote against reelection of the director candidates who are top executives, directors in charge and members of the audit committee or the similar committee.
We consider voting against reelection of director candidates, if the subject company has committed window-dressing and inadequate accounting activities during their tenure.
(5)
Acts against the interest of shareholders
If the company has increased capital through a third-party allotment that is excessively dilutive without resolution by the shareholders meeting, we consider to vote against reelection of director candidates, particularly the director candidates who are top executives.
If the company has increased capital through a large-scale public offering without reasonable explanation, we consider voting against reelection of director candidates, particularly the director candidates who are top executives.
If the shareholder proposal that is judged desirable for minority shareholders has received the majority support, but the company does not implement such proposal or make the similar proposal as the company proposal at the shareholders meeting in the following year, we consider voting against the director candidates who are top executives.
(6)
Other
If information of a director candidate is not fully disclosed, we generally vote against such director candidate.
3. Composition of Board of Directors, etc.
Depending on the size of companies, etc., we believe that a three-committee board structure is desirable to achieve better governance as a listed company. Even for a company with a statutory auditor structure or a company with a board with audit committee, it is also desirable to voluntarily deploy the nomination
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committee, compensation committee and other necessary committees. It is also desirable that the chair of the board of directors is an independent outside director. We believe that composition of the highly transparent board of directors secures transparency of the management and contributes to a persistent increase in the enterprise value. It is also desirable that the third-party assessment of the board of directors is disclosed.
We are concerned about the retired director assuming a consulting, advisory or other similar position which is likely to have negative impact on greater transparency and decision making of the board of directors. If such position or a person assuming such position exists, it is desirable that its existence, expected role and effects or compensation and other treatment for such position are fully disclosed.
(1)
Number of members and change in constituents of the board of directors
We decide how to vote on the proposals concerning the number of members and change in constituents of the board of directors, by comparing with the current structure and taking into account impact on the subject company and the economic interest of shareholders.
Number of the board member should be well optimized to make the right management decision at the right timing. We may take into consideration each company's business situation and business scale; however we generally consider to vote against the director candidates who are top executives, in the case that the number of board member exceeds 20 and is not decreased from the previous shareholder's meeting and also the reason for such case is not enough disclosed and reasonably explained.
We generally vote against the director candidates who are top executives in the case that the percentage of outside directors declines substantially through the decrease of outside directors or the increase of internal directors.
(2)
Procedures for election of directors, scope of responsibilities of directors, etc.
We decide how to vote on the proposals concerning a change in procedures for election of directors, by comparing with the current procedures and taking into account reasonableness of such change, etc.
We generally vote against the proposals that reduce responsibility of directors for monetary damages due to their breach of duty of care of a prudent manager.
Responsibilities of the board of directors include proper supervision over the succession plan for top executives. The nomination committee at the company with a three-committee board structure, or the nomination committee that should be voluntarily deployed by the company with a different structure, should provide proper supervision over fostering and election of successors with secured transparency. It is desirable that an independent outside director serves as the chair of the nomination committee. If the process is judged to significantly lack transparency and reasonableness, we consider to vote against the director candidates who are top executives.
4. Election of Statutory Auditors
We decide how to vote on the proposals concerning election of statutory auditors, taking into account independence, competence and existence of anti-social acts of auditor candidates, etc. We decide how to vote on reelection of statutory auditor candidates, taking into account their approach to corporate governance and accountability during their tenure, existence of anti-social acts of the company, etc. in addition to the above factors.
Statutory auditors and directors who are members of the audit committee or the similar committee are required to have deep specialized knowledge of accounting and laws and regulations, and should make efforts to continuously gain knowledge and skills from time to time to fulfill the important role and responsibilities in governance of the subject company. Companies are also required to provide sufficient opportunities of such training.
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(1)
Independence
We generally vote against non-independent outside statutory auditors.
The person who has no relationship with the subject company other than being elected as a statutory auditor is regarded as independent.
We regard the outside statutory auditor with significantly long tenure as non-independent, and vote against reelection of such outside statutory auditor. We generally consider to vote against the candidate whose tenure is longer than 10 years.
(2)
Attendance rate and concurrent duties
All statutory auditors are expected to attend meetings of the board of directors or the board of statutory auditors in principle, and companies are generally obligated to facilitate all statutory auditors to attend meetings. We generally vote against reelection of the statutory auditor candidate who attended less than 75% of meetings of the board of directors or the board of statutory auditors.
We take into account not only the number of attendance but reasons for nomination and substantial contribution, if disclosed.
We carefully consider the quality of the candidates who have many concurrent duties as outside directors or outside auditors of listed companies, given that outside directors/auditors are expected to make an important contribution to the board discussion. The company which nominate the candidates who have many concurrent duties should explain the reasonable background and eligibility for such nomination and make best effort to enable investors to understand them enough, both in terms of the disclosure timing and method.
(3)
Accountability
If there are material concerns about the provided auditor report or auditing procedures, or if the matters to be disclosed are not fully disclosed, we vote against reelection of statutory auditor candidates.
(4)
Anti-social acts of the company
If it is judged that there has been any corporate scandal that has significant social effects and has impaired, or is likely to impair, the shareholder value during the tenure, we shall conduct sufficient engagement with the subject company on the background and subsequent resolutions of the scandal. Based on the engagement and taking into account impact on the shareholder value, we decide how to vote on reelection of statutory auditor candidates.
With respect to domestic scandals, if the company has received administrative disposition on cartel or bid-rigging, we consider to vote against reelection of statutory auditor candidates, at the time when the disposition is determined by the Fair Trade Commission, etc. If the final disposition is subsequently determined on appeal or complaint, we do not vote against reelection again at such time. We decide case-by-case with respect to an order for compensation in a civil case or disposition by the Consumer Affairs Agency and administrative disposition imposed overseas.
With respect to administrative disposition imposed on a subsidiary or affiliate, if the subsidiary or affiliate is unlisted, we consider to vote against reelection of statutory auditor candidates of the holding company or the parent company. If the subsidiary or affiliate is listed, we consider to vote against reelection of statutory auditor candidates of the subsidiary or affiliate and the holding company; provided, however, that we decide case-by-case depending on importance of the disposition on the subsidiary or affiliate, its impact on business performance of the holding company or parent company.
With respect to a scandal of an individual employee, if such scandal has impaired, or is likely to
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impair the shareholder value, and it is judged that the subject company should assume responsibility as a manager, we consider to vote against reelection of statutory auditor candidates.
We consider voting against reelection of statutory auditor candidates, if the subject company has committed window-dressing and inadequate accounting activities during their tenure.
5. Composition of Board of Statutory Auditors
We decide how to vote on the proposals concerning the number of members and change in constituents of the board of statutory auditors, by comparing with the current structure and taking into account impact on the subject company and the economic interest of shareholders.
We favorably consider an increase in the number of statutory auditors, but in the case of a decrease in the number of statutory auditors, unless reasons are clearly and reasonably stated, we consider to vote against reelection of the director candidates who are top executives.
6. Election and Removal of Accounting Auditors
We decide how to vote on the proposals concerning election and removal of accounting auditors, taking into account competence of candidates and the level of costs for the accounting audit, etc.
If it is judged that there are following problems with the accounting audit services in the subject company, and the accounting auditor in question is not removed but reelected, we generally vote against reelection of the statutory auditor candidates and the director candidates who are members of the audit committee or the similar committee:
It is judged that the accounting auditor has expressed incorrect opinions on financial conditions;
In the case where there are concerns on the financial statements, the matters to be disclosed are not fully disclosed;
In the case where the accounting auditor has a contract of non-accounting audit services with the subject company, it is judged that such non-accounting audit services are recognized to have conflict of interest with accounting audit services;
In the case where excessive accounting audit costs are paid;
It is judged that gross fraudulence or negligence of the accounting auditor is recognized.
If it is judged that there are problems with accounting audit services in another company, and the accounting auditor in question becomes a candidate for election or is not removed but reelected, we decide how to vote, giving full consideration to impact on the enterprise value of the subject company.
We generally vote against the proposals concerning a change in accounting auditors, if difference in views about the accounting principles between the previous accounting auditor and the subject company is judged to be the reason for such change.
7. Compensation and Bonuses for Directors, Statutory Auditors and Employees
(1)
Compensation and bonuses for Directors
In determining compensation and bonuses for directors, it is desirable to increase the proportion of stocks in compensation and bonuses, taking into account whether the performance-based compensation structure is developed, whether transparency is fully secured such as disclosure of an index or formula as a basis for calculation, and impact on shareholders such as dilution. The compensation committee at the company with a three-committee board structure, or the compensation committee that should be voluntarily deployed by the company with a different
E-24
structure, should ensure the compensation structure with secured transparency. It is desirable that an independent outside director serves as the chair of the compensation committee.
We consider to vote against the proposals seeking approval for compensation and bonuses in the following cases:
where negative correlation is seen between the business performance of the subject company and compensation and bonuses;
where there exist problematic system and practices;
where the aggregate amount of compensation and bonuses is not disclosed;
where mismanagement is clear as shown by share price erosion or and significant deterioration in profit;
where the person who is judged to be responsible for acts against the interest of shareholders is among recipients of compensation and bonuses.
We generally vote for the proposals requesting disclosure of compensation and bonuses of individual directors.
If any measures are implemented to secure transparency of the system other than individual disclosure, such measures are taken into account.
If there is no proposal seeking approval for compensation and bonuses and the system is not clear, we consider to vote against election of the director candidates who are top executives,
We generally vote against bonuses for statutory auditors and the directors who become members of the audit committee under the audit committee system
As directors who become members of the audit committee at the company with a three committee structure, directors who become members of the audit committee at the company with a board with audit committee structure and outside directors are required to perform duties as director, we consider their compensation and bonuses differently from statutory auditors at the company with a statutory auditor structure.
(2)
Stock compensation
We decide how to vote on the proposals concerning stock compensation including stock option plans and restricted stock units, taking into account impact on the shareholder value and rights of shareholders, the level of compensation, the recipients of stock compensation, and reasonableness, etc.
We generally vote against the proposals seeking to lower the strike price of stock options.
We generally vote for the proposals seeking to require approval of shareholders for change in the strike price of stock options.
We generally vote against the stock compensation, if terms of exercise including the percentage of dilution are unclear. We generally consider to vote against the proposal in which there is a 10% or more dilution potentiality.
Stock compensation should be a long-term incentive and its plan should be aligned with a long-term corporate value growth. Considering that, we generally vote against the proposal which enables the beneficiaries to exercise whole rights vested in the subject year within two years. However, the beneficiary who retires during the subject year is the exception for this clause. We will carefully review its validity if the restricted period is regarded as too long.
We generally vote against the stock compensation granted to statutory auditors and the directors who become members of the audit committee under the audit committee system.
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As directors who become members of the audit committee at the company with a three committee structure are required to perform duties as director, we consider the stock compensation for them differently from statutory auditors and the directors who become members of the audit committee under the audit committee system at the company with a statutory auditor structure.
We generally vote against the stock compensation granted to any third parties other than employees.
We generally vote against the stock compensation if it is judged likely to be used as a tool for takeover defense.
(3)
Stock purchase plan
We decide how to vote on the proposals concerning stock purchase plan, taking into account impact on the shareholder value and rights of shareholders, the recipients of stock compensation and reasonableness, etc.
(4)
Retirement benefits for directors
We decide how to vote on the proposals concerning grant of retirement benefits, taking into account the scope of recipients, existence of anti-social acts of recipients, business performance of the company and anti-social acts of the company, etc.
We generally vote for the proposals granting retirement benefits, if all of the following criteria are met:
The granted amount is disclosed;
Outside directors, statutory auditors and the directors who become members of the audit committee under the audit committee system are not included in recipients;
There has been no serious scandal involving recipients during their tenure;
The subject company has not suffered from loss for the three consecutive year, or its business performance is not judged to significantly lag relative to peers in the same industry;
There has been no corporate scandal that has significant social effects on the subject company and has impaired, or likely to impair, the shareholder value during the tenure of recipients;
The subject company has not committed window-dressing and inadequate accounting activities during the tenure of recipients.
8. Cross-shareholdings
If the company holds shares for relationship purpose, we believe that the company is required to explain about medium- to long-term business and financial strategies and disclose criteria for proxy voting decisions and voting results, etc. If no reasonable views are indicated and no constructive dialogue is conducted, we consider to vote against the director candidates who are top executives. It is important that the company does not prevent companies who have its shares as a "policy-share-holding" from selling/reducing them.
9. Capital Policy
As the capital policy of listed companies is likely to have important impact on the shareholder value and the interest of shareholders of the subject company, the subject company should implement the reasonable capital policy and explain basic policies of the capital policy to shareholders. We consider voting against the proposals concerning the capital policy that is judged to impair the shareholder value. If there exists the capital policy that is not part of proposals at the shareholders meeting but is judged to impair the shareholder value, we consider voting against reelection of director candidates.
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The company may not intend to keep/increase "so-called loyal shareholders" for the company management to hinder minority shareholders right through the third party allotment, transfer of the treasury stocks or transfer of the stocks which are held by the company management to the foundations which have a close relationship with the subject company.
(1)
Change in authorized capital
We decide how to vote on the proposals seeking to increase authorized capital, taking into account impact of the change in authorized capital on the shareholder value and rights of shareholders, reasonableness of the change in authorized capital and impact on share listing or sustainability of the company, etc.
We generally vote for the proposals seeking to increase authorized capital, if it is judged that not increasing authorized capital is likely to cause delisting of the subject company or have significant impact on sustainability of the company.
We generally vote against the proposals seeking to increase authorized capital after emergence of acquirer.
(2)
Issuance of new shares
We decide how to vote on issuance of new shares, taking into account reasons for issuance of new shares, issuing terms, impact of dilution on the shareholder value and rights of shareholders, and impact on share listing or sustainability of the company, etc.
(3)
Share buybacks, reissuance of shares
We decide how to vote on the proposals concerning share buybacks or reissuance of shares, taking into account their reasonableness, etc.
(4)
Share split
We generally vote for the proposals seeking to split shares.
(5)
Consolidation of shares (reverse share split)
We decide how to vote on the proposals seeking consolidation of shares, taking into account its reasonableness, etc.
(6)
Preferred shares
We generally vote against the proposals seeking to create, or increase authorized capital of, carte blanche preferred shares that are issued without specifying the voting right, dividends, conversion and other rights.
We generally vote for the proposals seeking to create, or increase authorized capital of, preferred shares where the voting right, dividends, conversion and other rights are specified and those rights are judged reasonable.
We generally vote for the proposals requiring approval of shareholders for issuance of preferred shares.
(7)
Issuance of bonds with share options
We decide how to vote on the proposals seeking to issue bonds with share options, taking into account the number of new shares and the redemption period of bonds, etc.
(8)
Issuance of straight bonds, expansion of credit facility
We decide how to vote on the proposals concerning issuance of straight bonds or expansion of credit facility, taking into account the financial conditions, etc. of the subject company.
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(9)
Capitalization of debt
We decide how to vote on the proposals seeking to change authorized capital or issue shares in connection with restructuring of debt, taking into account the terms of change in authorized capital or issuance of shares, impact on the shareholder value and rights of shareholders, their reasonableness and impact on share listing or sustainability of the company, etc.
(10)
Capital reduction
We decide how to vote on the proposals concerning reduction in capital, taking into account impact of capital reduction on the shareholder value and rights of shareholders, reasonableness of capital reduction and impact on share listing or sustainability of the company, etc.
We generally vote for the proposals seeking to reduce capital as typical accounting procedures.
(11)
Financing plan
We decide how to vote on the proposals concerning financing plan, taking into account impact on the shareholder value and rights of shareholders, its reasonableness and impact on share listing or sustainability of the company, etc.
(12)
Capitalization of reserves
We decide how to vote on the proposals seeking capitalization of reserves, taking into account its reasonableness, etc.
10. Amendment to the Articles of Incorporation, etc.
(1)
Change in accounting period
We generally vote for the proposals seeking to change the accounting period, unless it is judged to aim to delay the shareholders meeting.
(2)
Amendments of articles of incorporation
We decide how to vote on the proposals concerning article amendments, taking into account impact of article amendments on the shareholder value and rights of shareholders, necessity and reasonableness of article amendments, etc.
We generally vote for the proposals seeking article amendments, if such amendments are required by the laws.
We generally vote against the proposals seeking article amendments, if such amendments are judged to be likely to infringe on rights of shareholders or impair the shareholder value.
We generally vote for transition to the company with a three committee board structure.
We decide how to vote on the proposals seeking to ease or eliminate requirements for special resolutions, taking into account its reasonableness.
We are concerned about the retired director assuming a consulting, advisory or other similar position which is likely to have negative impact on greater transparency and decision making of the board of directors. We generally vote against the proposals seeking to create such position.
(3)
Change in quorum for the shareholders meeting
We decide how to vote on the proposals concerning change in quorum for the shareholders meeting, taking into account impact on the shareholder value and rights of shareholders, etc.
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11. Change in company organization, etc
(1)
Change in trade name and registered address
We decide how to vote on the proposals seeking to change the trade name, taking into account impact on the shareholder value, etc.
We generally vote for the proposals seeking to change the registered address.
(2)
Company reorganization
We decide how to vote on the proposals concerning the following company reorganization, taking into account their respective impact on the shareholder value and rights of shareholders, impact on financial conditions and business performance of the subject company, and impact on share listing or sustainability of the company, etc.
Mergers and acquisitions
Transfer of business
Spin-off
Sale of assets
Sale of company
Liquidation
12. Proxy Fight
(1)
Proxy fight
We decide how to vote on the proposals concerning election of directors among rival candidates, taking into account independence, competence, existence of anti-social acts, approach to corporate governance and accountability of director candidates, business performance of the company, existence of anti-social acts of the company, as well as the background of the proxy fight, etc.
(2)
Proxy fight defense measures
Classified board structure
We generally vote against the proposals seeking to introduce the classified board structure.
We generally vote for the proposals seeking to set a director's term of one year.
Right to remove directors
We generally vote against the proposals seeking to tighten requirements for shareholders to remove directors.
Cumulative voting system
We decide how to vote on the proposals seeking to introduce the cumulative voting system for election of directors, taking into account its background, etc.
We decide how to vote on the proposals seeking to eliminate the cumulative voting system for election of directors, taking into account its background, etc.
13. Takeover Defense
We believe that the interests of the management and shareholders do not always align with each other, and generally vote against new establishment, amendment and update of takeover defense measures that are judged to decrease the shareholder value or interfere with rights of shareholders. We generally vote against reelection of director candidates, if there exist takeover defense measures that are not part of
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proposals at the shareholders meeting but are judged to decrease the shareholder value or interfere with rights of shareholders.
Relaxation of requirements for amendment to the articles of incorporation and company regulations
We decide how to vote on the proposals seeking to relax the requirements for amendment to the articles of incorporation or company regulations, taking into account impact on the shareholder value and rights of shareholders, etc.
Relaxation of requirements for approval of mergers
We decide how to vote on the proposals seeking to relax the requirements for approval of mergers, taking into account impact on the shareholder value and rights of shareholders.
14. ESG
We support the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment and acknowledge that how companies address to ESG is an important factor in making investment decisions. Thus, we consider voting against reelection of the director candidates who are top executives and directors in charge, if it is judged that any event that is likely to significantly impair the enterprise value has occurred. We consider to vote for the related proposal, if it is judged to contribute to protection from impairment of, or enhancement of, the enterprise value, and if not, vote against such proposal.
15. Disclosure
Disclosure of information and constructive dialogue based thereon are important in making proxy voting decisions and investment decisions.
We generally vote against the proposals where sufficient information to make proxy voting decision is not disclosed.
We generally vote for the proposals seeking to enhance disclosure of information, if such information is beneficial to shareholders.
If disclosure of information about financial and non-financial information of the subject company is significantly poor, and if the level of investor relations activities by the management or persons in charge is significantly low, we consider to vote against reelection of the director candidates who are top executives and directors in charge.
16. Conflict of Interest
We abstain from voting proxies of the following companies that are likely to have conflict of interest.
We also abstain from voting proxies with respect to the following investment trusts, etc. that are managed by us or Invesco Group companies, as conflict of interest is likely to arise.
Companies and investment trusts, etc. that we abstain from voting proxies:
Invesco Ltd.
Investment corporations managed by Invesco Global Real Estate Asia Pacific, Inc.
Our proxy voting and stewardship activities are to be reported to Responsible Investment Committee and approved by the Committee. Further, the Compliance Department reviews appropriateness of proxy voting activities from a conflict of interest viewpoint and then reports to Conflict of Interest Committee. Those results are reported to Tokyo's Executive Committee and global Proxy Advisory Committee.
We have developed the Conflict of Interest Control Policy. If any conflict of interest may arise, we work to control conflict of interest so as to protect the interests of clients (investors) and beneficiaries. The Compliance Department is responsible for overseeing company-wide control of conflict of interest. The Compliance Department is independent from investment, sales and marketing department, and shall not
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receive any command or order from investment, sales and marketing department with respect to the matters concerning compliance with the laws and regulations including the matters concerning conflict of interest.
17. Shareholder Proposals
We vote case-by-case on the shareholder proposals in accordance with the Guidelines along with the company proposals in principle.
DISCLAIMER: The English version is a translation of the original in Japanese for information purposes only. In case of a discrepancy, the Japanese original will prevail. You can download the Japanese version from our website: http://www.invesco.co.jp/footer/proxy.html.
C2019-08-021
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Proxy Voting Guidelines
for
Invesco Asset Management (India) Pvt. Ltd.
Voting Policy
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Invesco Asset Management (India) Pvt. Ltd.
Voting Policy
Draft
:
Final
Version
:
8
Effective Date
:
May 25, 2020
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A.
Preamble
SEBI vide its circular reference no. SEBI/IMD/Cir No.18/198647/2010 dated March 15, 2010 has stated that mutual fund should play an active role in ensuring better corporate governance of listed companies. The said circular stated that the AMCs should disclose their general policies and procedures for exercising the voting rights in respect of shares held by them.
Subsequently, SEBI vide its circular ref. no. CIR/IMD/DF/05/2014 dated March 24, 2014, SEBI/HO/IMD/DF2/CIR/P/2016/68 dated August 10, 2016 and SEBI vide its circular ref. no. CIR/CFD/CMD1/ 168 /2019 dated December 24, 2019 have amended certain provisions of above mentioned circular specifying additional compliance / disclosure requirements with respect to exercise of voting rights by mutual funds.
This policy is drafted in pursuance of SEBI circular dated March 15, 2010 read with March 24, 2014, August 10, 2016 and December 24, 2019 and provides general philosophy, broad guidelines, procedures and principles for exercising voting rights.
Invesco Asset Management (India) Private Limited ("IAMI") is an Investment Manager to the scheme(s) of Invesco Mutual Fund ("the Fund"). As an investment manager, IAMI has fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interest of unit-holders of the Fund. This responsibility includes exercising voting rights attached to the securities of the companies in which the schemes of the Fund invest. It will be IAMI's endeavor to participate in the voting process (i.e. exercise voting rights) based on the philosophy enunciated in this policy.
B.
Philosophy of Voting Policy
Good corporate governance ensures that a corporation is managed keeping in mind the long-term interest of shareholders. Promoting good corporate governance standards forms an integral part of corporate ownership responsibilities.
With this in the forefront, IAMI expects all corporations, in which it invests in, to comply with high corporate governance standards. Accordingly, as the decision to invest is generally an endorsement of sound management practices, IAMI may generally vote with the management of these corporations. However, when IAMI is of the view that the unit holders will be prejudiced by any such proposal, then it may vote against such proposal to protect the interest of unit holders. Also in case of resolutions moved by the shareholders of the company, IAMI will exercise its voting rights in the best interest of its unit holders. In certain circumstances, IAMI may also decide to refrain from voting where it has insufficient information or there is conflict of interest or it does not have a clear stance on the proposal under consideration.
IAMI, as an investment manager, will generally vote in accordance with the Voting Policy. However, it may deviate from the policy if there are particular facts and/or circumstances that warrant for such deviation to protect the interests of unit-holders of the Fund.
C.
Conflict of Interest in Exercising Voting Rights
IAMI, under schemes, may invest in the securities of associate/group companies (to the extent permitted under SEBI (Mutual Funds) Regulations, 1996 as amended from time to time). Further, IAMI is an Indian subsidiary of global organization consisting of many affiliates. Moreover, schemes under IAMI may invest in securities of companies which have invested in schemes of Invesco Mutual Fund. Such scenarios may lead to a situation creating conflict of interest. Potential Conflict of interest may also arise if IAMI and the investee company are associates or are part of the same group; or the investee company holds a material ownership interest in IAMI; a nominee of IAMI has been appointed as a director of the investee company or having cross-directorships, the Investee Company is an entity participating in the distribution of investment products advised or administered by the Investment Manager and/or any of its affiliate; the Investee Company is a client of Investment Manager and/or its affiliates.
IAMI will attempt to avoid conflict of interest and will exercise its voting rights in the best interest of the unit-holders. Voting decisions in such cases will be based on merits without any bias and the same parameters will be applied for taking voting decisions as are applied for other companies.
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In cases where there is a potential conflict of interest, IAMI will vote exactly as per recommendations of the proxy voting advisory entity with no modifications whatsoever. In case there is need for a clearer direction, the matter may be referred to the Investment committee for its guidance. Rationale for decision taken/ voting on the issue shall be recorded.
D.
Voting Policy Guidelines
The matters regarding, but not limited to, which the IAMI may exercise the voting rights in the Annual General Meeting (AGMs) /Extra Ordinary General Meeting (EGMs)/ Through Postal Ballots/Electronic voting of the investee companies are as follows:
Corporate governance matters, including changes in the state of incorporation, merger and other corporate restructuring and anti- takeover provisions.
Changes to capital structure, including increase and decrease of capital and preferred stock issuances.
Stock option plans and other management compensation issues.
Social and corporate responsibility issues.
Appointment and Removal of Directors.
Any other issue that may affect the interest of the shareholders in general and interest of the unit-holders in particular.
IAMI will exercise voting rights keeping in mind the need to improve economic value of the companies and importance of protecting the interests of unit holders of its schemes but subject to importance of the matter and cost/time implications. The analysts in equity team will make recommendations on key voting issues and same will be approved by the Head of Equity or Fund Manager. In case of conflicts or need for a clearer direction, the matter may be referred to the Voting Committee for its guidance.
E.
Voting Committee
As a guiding principle, IAMI shall exercise voting rights solely in the interest of unit holders of the Fund. IAMI has constituted a Voting Committee (VC). The Committee is empowered to provide guidance on the voting matters referred to it, establish voting guidelines and procedures as it may consider necessary and is responsible to ensure that these guidelines and procedures are adhered to and also make changes in the Policy as may be required from time to time. The members of this Committee are as follows:
CEO / COO/Head - Operations (any one)
Head of Compliance or Member of compliance team
Head of Equity or Fund Manager (equity)
Head of Fixed Income and/ or Fund Managers (fixed income)
Any other representative as the Committee may co-opt from time to time
Broad Guidelines for functioning of Voting Committee are:
1. Voting Committee may record its decisions by circulation including decisions/guidance on voting matters that have been referred to it.
2. Voting Committee may consult with outside experts and other investors on issues as it may deem fit
3. Decisions of Voting Committee should be maintained by compliance
4. Details of voting decisions taken by the Fund Management team will be presented to the Voting Committee/Investment Committee.
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5. Voting Committee may review this policy from time to time.
F.
Steps (Procedure) in Exercising Voting Rights
The following points outline the key steps in exercising Voting rights:
1) Notification of company AGMs / EGMs and relevant voting items to Fund Management Team.
2) The IAMI shall endeavor to vote for all holdings of the Fund, aggregated for all its schemes, but subject to the importance of the matter and the cost/time implications. The voting will cover all equity holding across all schemes of Invesco Mutual Fund. (except for companies which are held only in arbitrage fund)
3) Custodian will send ballots and or other relevant papers (notice of meeting, proxy form, attendance slips etc.) to IAMI relating to AGM/EGM as soon as it receives.
4) The fund management team is authorized to decide on voting decisions but may refer decisions to the Voting Committee for its guidance/direction.
5) Based on internal discussion within the fund management team, a decision would be arrived at as to whether IAMI should vote on the proposed resolution. Routine matters and ordinary resolutions like adoption of financials (unless there are significant auditor qualifications), dividend declaration, general updating/corrective amendments to the Articles of Association would also be considered for voting purpose. However IAMI may on a case to case basis, not vote on such resolutions, if it deems fit to do so.
6) Proposed resolutions would be discussed within the fund management team and decision would be taken on whether to vote ("for"/ "against") or "abstain" from voting. IAMI may abstain from voting on proposals that do not have a readily determinable financial impact on shareholder value and/or matters for which disclosure is inadequate. For the remaining proposals, IAMI would vote either "for" or "against" based on overall merits and demerits of the proposed resolution. IAMI will generally support and vote "for" proposals which are likely to result in maximizing long-term investment returns for unit holders. IAMI would not support and will vote "against" proposals that appear to be detrimental to the company financials / interest of the minority shareholders or which would adversely impact shareholders' value.
7) IAMI may exercise its voting rights by authorizing its own executives/authorized representative to attend the AGM/EGM or may instruct the Custodian to exercise voting rights in accordance with the instructions of IAMI.
8) IAMI may exercise its voting rights through Postal Ballot or may use Electronic voting mechanism, wherever available, either through its own executives or by authorizing the Custodian. The records of voting exercised through Postal Ballot will be maintained by IAMI.
9) IAMI may utilize the services of third party professional agencies for getting in-depth analyses of proposals and vote recommendations. However, the recommendations of the third party agencies will be non-binding in nature. IAMI will perform due diligence on proxy voting advisory firms at the time of initial selection as well as at the time of renewal of services of the proxy voting. The due diligence will be carried out on parameters viz. resource strength, Companies under coverage, extent of institutional ownership, depth of analysis, quality of advice / recommendations, analyst access & support, timely availability of reports, composition of board of directors, advisory board and top management, web-based interface platform and clientele.
10) The rationale supporting each voting decision (For, Against and Abstain) will be recorded and such records will be retained for number of years (currently 8 years) as may be required under the SEBI (Mutual Funds) Regulations, 1996 from time to time.
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G.
Details of Service Provider
IIAS (Institutional Investor advisory Services) has been appointed as our proxy voting advisor. The scope of the agreement with IIAS includes: IIAS shall provide non-binding Voting Recommendations for each Voting Event for Investee companies, access to their research portal and analysts for any discussion, access to their online voting management systems etc. The details of the service provider (currently IIAS) are provided in the "Rationale for continuation of Proxy Voting advisory report" which is prepared once in 2 years. IIAS has standardized voting policies and has a committee-based voting decision making system. Their analysis to arrive at the recommendations are detailed in nature and recommendations are fairly objective. However, the recommendations of IIAS are non-binding in nature, and IAMI, reserves the right to vote differently based on their own judgement on the matter involved.
H.
Disclosures
The disclosures of voting rights exercised are as follows:
Details of votes cast by the schemes of the Fund will be uploaded on the website of IAMI (www.invescomutualfund.com) on a quarterly basis in the prescribed format within the stipulated timelines as prescribed by SEBI from time to time.
Details of votes cast by the schemes of the Fund will be uploaded on the website of IAMI (www.invescomutualfund.com) on an annual basis in the prescribed format and the same will also be disclosed in Annual Report of the schemes of the Fund.
Summary on actual exercise of votes cast and its break-up in terms of total number of votes cast in favor, against or abstained will also be uploaded on the website of IAMI (www.invescomutualfund.com) on an annual basis.
I.
Certification/Confirmation
On an annual basis, IAMI will obtain a certification from scrutinizer (in terms of Rule 20 (3) (ix) of Companies (Management and Administration) Rules, 2014) on voting reports and the same will be placed before the Boards of AMC and Trustee. The scrutinizer's certificate will form part of Annual Report and will also be uploaded on the website of IAMI (www.invescomutualfund.com).
A confirmation shall also be submitted by Trustees in its half yearly report to SEBI that IAMI have voted on important decisions affecting interests of unitholders.
J.
Review
The Board of Directors of IAMI and Trustees shall review and ensure that IAMI have voted on important decisions affecting interests of unitholders and the rationale recorded for vote decision is prudent and adequate.
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References of SEBI Circular:
Sr. #
Circular Number
Date
1.
SEBI/IMD/CIR No 18 / 198647 /2010
March 15, 2010
2.
E-mail from SEBI
June 23, 2011
3.
CIR/IMD/DF/05/2014
March 24, 2014
4.
SEBI/HO/IMD/DF2/CIR/P/2016/68
August 10, 2016
5.
CIR/CFD/CMD1/168/2019
December 24, 2019
The Voting Policy will be available on the website of the fund (www.invescomutualfund.com) and link will be provided on the home page.
Date of Review: May 25, 2020
Next Date of Review: On or before May 31, 2021
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Noted for Implementation:
Taher Badshah
Head - Equity
Sujoy Das
Head - Fixed Income
Suresh Jakhotiya
Head - Compliance & Risk
Neelesh Dhamnaskar
Fund Manager
Kavita Bhanej
Vice President - Operations
Noted:
Saurabh Nanavati
Chief Executive Officer
Ketan Ugrankar
COO & CFO
Version History:
Version
Date
Description
Initiator
Approved by
1.0
September 2, 2010
Initial Adoption of Voting Policy
Suresh Jakhotiya
Board of Religare Invesco AMC
and Trustees at board meetings
held on September 16, 2010.
2.0
June 28, 2011
Policy amended pursuant to SEBI
e-mail dated June 23, 2011
Suresh Jakhotiya
Board of Religare Invesco AMC
and Trustees at board meetings
held on July 13, 2011.
3.0
May 23, 2014
Policy amended pursuant to SEBI
circular dated March 24, 2014
Suresh Jakhotiya
Board of Religare Invesco AMC
and Trustees at board meetings
held on May 22, 2014 and
May 23, 2014 respectively.
3.1
July 5, 2016
Names of AMC and Trustee
Company were changed to
reflect new names and logo was
changed
Suresh Jakhotiya
N.A.
4
November 18, 2016
Amended Policy pursuant to SEBI
circular dated August 10, 2016 and
for the purpose of IAMI's
application to SEC for registration
as an advisor.
Suresh Jakhotiya
Board of IAMI & ITPL at their
meetings held on
November 18, 2016 and
November 25, 2016, respectively.
5
May 5, 2017
Reviewed and no changes
to be made
Suresh Jakhotiya
N.A.
6
May 31, 2018
Changes in the
voting policy guidelines.
Suresh Jakhotiya
Board of IAMI & ITPL at their
meetings held on July 13, 2018
respectively.
7
May 9, 2019
Reviewed and changes made
w.r.t voting for holdings in
arbitrage fund
Suresh Jakhotiya
Will be placed before the
Board of IAMI and ITC for
noting at their forthcoming
meetings.
8
May 25, 2020
Reviewed and changes made
pursuant to Stewardship code
introduced by SEBI vide SEBI
Circular dated
December 24, 2019
Suresh Jakhotiya
Will be placed before the
Board of IAMI and ITC for
noting at their forthcoming
meetings.
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APPENDIX F - CONTROL PERSONS AND PRINCIPAL HOLDERS OF SECURITIES
A shareholder who owns beneficially 25% or more of the outstanding securities of a Fund is presumed to "control" that Fund as defined in the 1940 Act. Such control may affect the voting rights of other shareholders. Prior to the date of this SAI, the Fund had not yet commenced operations and, therefore, the Fund did not have any shareholders.
Management Ownership
Because the Funds are new, as of August 31, 2021, the trustees and officers as a group owned less than 1% of the outstanding shares of each class of the Funds.
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APPENDIX G - MANAGEMENT FEES
Because the Funds are new, no management fees have been paid.
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APPENDIX H - PORTFOLIO MANAGER(S)
Portfolio Manager Fund Holdings and Information on Other Managed Accounts
Invesco's portfolio managers develop investment models which are used in connection with the management of certain Invesco Funds as well as other mutual funds for which Invesco or an affiliate acts as sub-adviser, other pooled investment vehicles that are not registered mutual funds, and other accounts managed for organizations and individuals. The 'Investments' chart reflects the portfolio managers' investments in the Fund(s) that they manage and includes investments in the Fund's shares beneficially owned by a portfolio manager, as determined in accordance with Rule 16a-1(a)(2) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (beneficial ownership includes ownership by a portfolio manager's immediate family members sharing the same household). The 'Assets Managed' chart reflects information regarding accounts other than the Funds for which each portfolio manager has day-to-day management responsibilities. Accounts are grouped into three categories: (i) other registered investment companies; (ii) other pooled investment vehicles; and (iii) other accounts. To the extent that any of these accounts pay advisory fees that are based on account performance (performance-based fees), information on those accounts is specifically noted. In addition, any assets denominated in foreign currencies have been converted into U.S. dollars using the exchange rates as of the applicable date.
Investments
The following information is as of June 30, 2021 (unless otherwise noted):
Fund
Portfolio
Manager(s)
Dollar Range of
Investments in the Fund
Invesco® V.I. NASDAQ 100 Buffer Fund - March
Duy Nguyen
None
Jacob Borbidge
None
Alessio de Longis
None
Ali Zouiten
None
Invesco® V.I. NASDAQ 100 Buffer Fund - June
Duy Nguyen
None
Jacob Borbidge
None
Alessio de Longis
None
Ali Zouiten
None
Invesco® V.I. NASDAQ 100 Buffer Fund - September
Duy Nguyen
None
Jacob Borbidge
None
Alessio de Longis
None
Ali Zouiten
None
Invesco® V.I. NASDAQ 100 Buffer Fund - December
Duy Nguyen
None
Jacob Borbidge
None
Alessio de Longis
None
Ali Zouiten
None
Invesco® V.I. S&P 500 Buffer Fund - March
Duy Nguyen
None
Jacob Borbidge
None
Alessio de Longis
None
Ali Zouiten
None
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Fund
Portfolio
Manager(s)
Dollar Range of
Investments in the Fund
Invesco® V.I. S&P 500 Buffer Fund - June
Duy Nguyen
None
Jacob Borbidge
None
Alessio de Longis
None
Ali Zouiten
None
Invesco® V.I. S&P Buffer Fund - September
Duy Nguyen
None
Jacob Borbidge
None
Alessio de Longis
None
Ali Zouiten
None
Invesco® V.I. S&P 500 Buffer Fund - December
Duy Nguyen
None
Jacob Borbidge
None
Alessio de Longis
None
Ali Zouiten
None
Assets Managed
The following information is as of June 30, 2021 (unless otherwise noted):
Portfolio Manager(s)
Other Registered
Investment Companies
Managed
Other Pooled
Investment Vehicles
Managed
Other Accounts
Managed
Number of
Accounts
Assets
(in millions)
Number of
Accounts
Assets
(in millions)
Number of
Accounts
Assets
(in millions)
Invesco® V.I. NASDAQ 100 Buffer Fund - March
Duy Nguyen
28
$10,186.1
12
$521.0
21,0051
$4,831.11
Jacob Borbidge
27
$8,771.0
4
$13.9
21,0051
$4,831.11
Alessio de Longis
1
$1,415.1
1
$15.4
1
$18.0
Ali Zouiten
None
None
None
None
None
None
Invesco® V.I. NASDAQ 100 Buffer Fund - June
Duy Nguyen
28
$10,186.1
12
$521.0
21,0051
$4,831.11
Jacob Borbidge
27
$8,771.0
4
$13.9
21,0051
$4,831.11
Alessio de Longis
1
$1,415.1
1
$15.4
1
$18.0
Ali Zouiten
None
None
None
None
None
None
Invesco® V.I. NASDAQ 100 Buffer Fund - September
Duy Nguyen
28
$10,186.1
12
$521.0
21,0051
$4,831.11
Jacob Borbidge
27
$8,771.0
4
$13.9
21,0051
$4,831.11
Alessio de Longis
1
$1,415.1
1
$15.4
1
$18.0
Ali Zouiten
None
None
None
None
None
None
Invesco® V.I. NASDAQ 100 Buffer Fund - December
Duy Nguyen
28
$10,186.1
12
$521.0
21,0051
$4,831.11
Jacob Borbidge
27
$8,771.0
4
$13.9
21,0051
$4,831.11
Alessio de Longis
1
$1,415.1
1
$15.4
1
$18.0
Ali Zouiten
None
None
None
None
None
None
Invesco® V.I. S&P 500 Buffer Fund - March
Duy Nguyen
28
$10,186.1
12
$521.0
21,0051
$4,831.11
Jacob Borbidge
27
$8,771.0
4
$13.9
21,0051
$4,831.11
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Portfolio Manager(s)
Other Registered
Investment Companies
Managed
Other Pooled
Investment Vehicles
Managed
Other Accounts
Managed
Alessio de Longis
1
$1,415.1
1
$15.4
1
$18.0
Ali Zouiten
None
None
None
None
None
None
Invesco® V.I. S&P 500 Buffer Fund - June
Duy Nguyen
28
$10,186.1
12
$521.0
21,0051
$4,831.11
Jacob Borbidge
27
$8,771.0
4
$13.9
21,0051
$4,831.11
Alessio de Longis
1
$1,415.1
1
$15.4
1
$18.0
Ali Zouiten
None
None
None
None
None
None
Invesco® V.I. S&P Buffer Fund - September
Duy Nguyen
28
$10,186.1
12
$521.0
21,0051
$4,831.11
Jacob Borbidge
27
$8,771.0
4
$13.9
21,0051
$4,831.11
Alessio de Longis
1
$1,415.1
1
$15.4
1
$18.0
Ali Zouiten
None
None
None
None
None
None
Invesco® V.I. S&P 500 Buffer Fund - December
Duy Nguyen
28
$10,186.1
12
$521.0
21,0051
$4,831.11
Jacob Borbidge
27
$8,771.0
4
$13.9
21,0051
$4,831.11
Alessio de Longis
1
$1,415.1
1
$15.4
1
$18.0
Ali Zouiten
None
None
None
None
None
None
These are accounts of individual investors for which Invesco provides investment advice. Invesco offers separately managed accounts that are managed according to the investment models developed by its portfolio managers and used in connection with the management of certain Invesco Funds. These accounts may be invested in accordance with one or more of those investment models and investments held in those accounts are traded in accordance with the applicable models.
Potential Conflicts of Interest
Actual or apparent conflicts of interest may arise when a portfolio manager has day-to-day management responsibilities with respect to more than one Fund or other account. More specifically, portfolio managers who manage multiple Funds and/or other accounts may be presented with one or more of the following potential conflicts:
The management of multiple Funds and/or other accounts may result in a portfolio manager devoting unequal time and attention to the management of each Fund and/or other account. The Adviser and each Sub-Adviser seek to manage such competing interests for the time and attention of portfolio managers by having portfolio managers focus on a particular investment discipline. Most other accounts managed by a portfolio manager are managed using the same investment models that are used in connection with the management of the Funds.
If a portfolio manager identifies a limited investment opportunity which may be suitable for more than one Fund or other account, a Fund may not be able to take full advantage of that opportunity due to an allocation of filled purchase or sale orders across all eligible Funds and other accounts. To deal with these situations, the Adviser, each Sub-Adviser and the Funds have adopted procedures for allocating portfolio transactions across multiple accounts.
The Adviser and each Sub-Adviser determine which broker to use to execute each order for securities transactions for the Funds, consistent with its duty to seek best execution of the transaction. However, for certain other accounts (such as mutual funds for which Invesco or an affiliate acts as sub-adviser, other pooled investment vehicles that are not registered mutual funds, and other accounts managed for organizations and individuals), the Adviser and each Sub-Adviser may be limited by the client with respect to the selection of brokers or may be instructed to direct trades through a particular broker. In these cases, trades for a Fund in a particular security may be placed separately from, rather than aggregated with, such other accounts. Having separate
H-3
transactions with respect to a security may temporarily affect the market price of the security or the execution of the transaction, or both, to the possible detriment of the Fund or other account(s) involved.
Finally, the appearance of a conflict of interest may arise where the Adviser or Sub-Adviser has an incentive, such as a performance-based management fee, which relates to the management of one Fund or account but not all Funds and accounts for which a portfolio manager has day-to-day management responsibilities. None of the Invesco Fund accounts managed have a performance fee.
The Adviser, each Sub-Adviser, and the Funds have adopted certain compliance procedures which are designed to address these types of conflicts. However, there is no guarantee that such procedures will detect each and every situation in which a conflict arises.
Description of Compensation Structure
For the Adviser and each Sub-Adviser
The Adviser and each Sub-Adviser seek to maintain a compensation program that is competitively positioned to attract and retain high-caliber investment professionals. Portfolio managers receive a base salary, an incentive cash bonus opportunity and a deferred compensation opportunity. Portfolio manager compensation is reviewed and may be modified each year as appropriate to reflect changes in the market, as well as to adjust the factors used to determine bonuses to promote competitive Fund performance. The Adviser and each Sub-Adviser evaluate competitive market compensation by reviewing compensation survey results conducted by an independent third party of investment industry compensation. Each portfolio manager's compensation consists of the following three elements:
Base Salary. Each portfolio manager is paid a base salary. In setting the base salary, the Adviser and each Sub-Adviser's intention is to be competitive in light of the particular portfolio manager's experience and responsibilities.
Annual Bonus. The portfolio managers are eligible, along with other employees of the Adviser and each Sub-Adviser, to participate in a discretionary year-end bonus pool. The Compensation Committee of Invesco Ltd. reviews and approves the firm-wide bonus pool based upon progress against strategic objectives and annual operating plan, including investment performance and financial results. In addition, while having no direct impact on individual bonuses, assets under management are considered when determining the starting bonus funding levels. Each portfolio manager is eligible to receive an annual cash bonus which is based on quantitative (i.e. investment performance) and non-quantitative factors (which may include, but are not limited to, individual performance, risk management and teamwork).
Each portfolio manager's compensation is linked to the pre-tax investment performance of the Funds/accounts managed by the portfolio manager as described in Table 1 below.
Sub-Adviser
Performance time period2
Invesco3
One-, Three- and Five-year performance against Fund peer group
Invesco Deutschland
Invesco Hong Kong3
Invesco Asset Management
Invesco India
Invesco Listed Real Assets Division3
Invesco Senior Secured3, 4
Not applicable
Invesco Capital3, 5
Invesco Canada3
One-year performance against Fund peer group and three- and five-year performance
against entire universe of Canadian funds
H-4
Sub-Adviser
Performance time period2
Invesco Japan
One-, Three- and Five-year performance
2 Rolling time periods based on calendar year-end.
3 Portfolio Managers may be granted an annual deferral award that vests on a pro-rata basis over a four-year period.
4 Invesco Senior Secured's bonus is based on annual measures of equity return and standard tests of collateralization performance.
5 Portfolio Managers for Invesco Capital base their bonus on Invesco results as well as overall performance of Invesco Capital.
High investment performance (against applicable peer group and/or benchmarks) would deliver compensation generally associated with top pay in the industry (determined by reference to the third-party provided compensation survey information) and poor investment performance (versus applicable peer group) would result in low bonus compared to the applicable peer group or no bonus at all. These decisions are reviewed and approved collectively by senior leadership which has responsibility for executing the compensation approach across the organization.
With respect to Invesco Capital, there is no policy regarding, or agreement with, the Portfolio Managers or any other senior executive of the Adviser to receive bonuses or any other compensation in connection with the performance of any of the accounts managed by the Portfolio Managers.
Deferred / Long Term Compensation. Portfolio managers may be granted a deferred compensation award based on a firm-wide bonus pool approved by the Compensation Committee of Invesco Ltd. Deferred compensation awards may take the form of annual deferral awards or long-term equity awards. Annual deferral awards may be granted as an annual stock deferral award or an annual fund deferral award. Annual stock deferral awards are settled in Invesco Ltd. common shares. Annual fund deferral awards are notionally invested in certain Invesco Funds selected by the Portfolio Manager and are settled in cash. Long-term equity awards are settled in Invesco Ltd. common shares. Both annual deferral awards and long-term equity awards have a four-year ratable vesting schedule. The vesting period aligns the interests of the Portfolio Managers with the long-term interests of clients and shareholders and encourages retention.
Retirement and health and welfare arrangements. Portfolio managers are eligible to participate in retirement and health and welfare plans and programs that are available generally to all employees.
H-5
APPENDIX I - ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES FEES
Because the Funds are new, no administrative services fees have been paid.
I-1
APPENDIX J - BROKERAGE COMMISSIONS AND COMMISSIONS ON AFFILIATED TRANSACTIONS
Because the FundsFund are new, no brokerage commissions have been paid.
J-1
APPENDIX K - DIRECTED BROKERAGE (RESEARCH SERVICES) AND PURCHASES OF SECURITIES OF REGULAR BROKERS OR DEALERS
Directed Brokerage
Because the Funds are new, no research services have been purchased.
Regular Broker-Dealers
Because the Funds are new, no securities have been purchased.
K-1
APPENDIX L - CERTAIN FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARIES THAT RECEIVE ONE OR MORE TYPES OF PAYMENTS
Admin Partners LLC
ADP Broker Dealer Inc
Advisor Group
Advisory Services
AIG Capital Services Inc
Alight Financial Solutions LLC
Allianz Life
Allstate
Alta Montclair
American Enterprise Investment
American Fidelity Assurance Company
American General
American Portfolios Financial
American United Life Insurance Company
Ascensus College Savings Recordkeeping Services LLC
Ascensus LLC
Avantax Investment Services Inc
AXA Advisors LLC
AXA Equitable
Bank of America NA
Bank of New York Mellon
Bank of Oklahoma - Nabank & Co
Bay Bridge Administrators LLC
Benefit Consultants Group
Benefit Plans Administrators
Benefit Trust Company
BMO Harris Bank NA
BOSC Inc
Branch Banking & Trust Co
Brighthouse Life Insurance Co
Brighthouse Services LLC
Broadway National Bank
Brown Brothers Harriman & Co
Cadaret Grant and Co Inc
Cambridge Investment Research Inc
Cantella & Company
Cavu Securities, LLC
Cetera Financial Group Inc
Cetera Investment Services LLC
Charles Schwab and Company Inc
Citibank NA
Citigroup Global Markets
Citistreet
City Bank Trust
CLS Investments
CoBank
Comerica Bank
Commonwealth Annuity and Life Insurance Company
Commonwealth Financial Network
CUSO Financial Services LP
Delaware Life Insurance Company
Digital Retirement Solutions
Donnelley Financials LLC
E Trade Financial
Educators Benefit Consultants LLC
Edward Jones & Co
EKON Benefits
Empire Fidelity Investments
Envestnet Asset Management Inc
Envoy Plan Services Inc
Equitable Advisors LLC
Equitable Life
Farmers Financial Solutions LLC
Fidelity Brokerage Services
Fidelity Institutional
Fidelity Investments
Fifth Third
Financial Data Services Inc
First Command
Foley and Lardner LLP
Forethought Life Insurance Company
Forrest T Jones & Company
Frost Brokerage Services Inc
Frost National Bank
FSC Securities Cororation
Genworth Financial
Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Company
Global Atlantic Distributors LLC
Goldman Sachs & Co
Great West
Guardian
Guardian Insurance & Annuity Co Inc
GWFS Equites Inc
GWN Marketing
Hantz Financial Services Inc
Hare and Company
Hartford Life
Hartford Life Insurance Co Inc
Hilltop Securities Inc
Huntington Securities Inc
ING Life Insurance Annuity Company
Institutional Cash Distributors LLC
Janney Montgomery Scott LLC
Jefferson National Life Insurance Company
Jefferson National Life Insurance Company of New York
JNT Resource Partners, LP
John Hancock
JP Morgan Chase Bank
JP Morgan Clearing Corp
JP Morgan Securities LLC
Kestra Investment Services LLC
Key Bank National Association
Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc
Legend Group Adserv
Lincoln Benefit Life Company
Lincoln Financial
Lincoln Financial Securities Corp
Lincoln Investment Planning
Lincoln National Life Insurance
LPL Financial LLC
M&T Bank
Mass Mutual
Merrill Lynch
Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner and Smith Inc
Metropolitan Life Insurance Company
Mid Atlantic Capital Corporation
Minnesota Life
MML Investors Services LLC
Moreton Asset Management
Moreton Capital Markets LLC
Morgan Stanley
MSCS Financial Services Inc
Mutual Securities Inc
Nassau Companies of New York
National Benefit Services LLC
National Financial Services Corporation
National Financial Services LLC
National Plan Administrators Inc
Nationwide
New Mexico
New York Life
New York Life Insurance and Annuity Corporation
Newport Retirement Plan Services Inc
Next Financial Group Inc
Northwestern Mutual Investment Services
Oppenheimer & Co Inc
ORANJ
Pacific Life Fund Advisors LLC
Pacific Life Insurance Company
Penserv Plan Services Inc
Pershing
Pershing LLC
PFS Investments
PFS Shareholder Services
Piper Jaffray
Plains Capital Bank
Plan Administrators Inc
PNC Bank NA
PNC Capital Markets LLC
PNC Investments LLC
Principal Life Insurance Company
Princor Financial Services Corporation
Protective Life
Pruco Life Insurance Company
Pruco Life Insurance Company of New Jersey
Pruco Securities LLC
Prudential
Raymond James
RBC Capital Markets LLC
RBC Wealth Management
Reliance Trust Company
Research Affiliates LLC
Rhode Island
Riversource Life Insurance Company
Robert W Baird and Co Inc
Russell Investment Management LLC
Sammons Financial Network LLC
Santander Bank NA
SB Business Services LLC
Schools First Plan Administration
Security Benefit Life
Security Distributors Inc
Security Financial Resources
SEI Private Trust Company
Siracusa Benefits Programs, Inc
Sorrento Pacific Financial LLC
Standard Insurance Company
State Street Corporation
L-1
Stifel Nicolaus & Co Inc
Stifel Trust Company Delaware NA
Sungard
T Rowe Price Associates Inc
Talcott Resolution Life Insurance Company
TD Ameritrade
TD Bank NA
TDS Group Inc
Texas Capital Bank
The OMNI Group
TIAA-CREF
Toppan Merrill LLC
Transamerica Financial Life Insurance Company
Transamerica Life Insurance Company
Transamerica Premier Life Insurance Co
Treasury Curve
Truist
Trust Management Network LLC
TSA Consulting Group Inc
Tuition Plan Consortium LLC
UBS Financial Services Inc
Ultimas Asset Services LLC
UMB Bank
Union Bank
US Bancorp Investments Inc
US Bank
VALIC Financial
Vanguard Brokerage Services
Vanguard Group Inc
Variable Annuity Life Insurance Co
Variable Life Insurance Co
VOYA Financial Advisors Inc
VOYA Institutional Plan Services LLC
VOYA Insurance and Annuity Company
VOYA Retirement Insurance and Annuity Company
VOYA Services Company
VRSCO-American General Distributors
Wachovia Bank NA
Waddell & Reed
Wedbush Securities Inc
Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo Bank NA
Wells Fargo Securities LLC
Woodforest National Bank
Zions First National Bank
Zurich American Life Insurance Company
L-2
APPENDIX M - AMOUNTS PAID TO INVESCO DISTRIBUTORS, INC. PURSUANT TO DISTRIBUTION PLAN
Because the Funds are new, no amounts have been paid to Invesco Distributors.
M-1
APPENDIX N - ALLOCATION OF ACTUAL FEES PAID PURSUANT TO DISTRIBUTION PLAN
Because the Funds are new, no actual fees were paid.
N-1