Invesco Exchange-Traded Fund Trust

12/17/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/17/2021 16:16

Prospectus by Investment Company (Form 497)

497
INVESCO EXCHANGE-TRADED FUND TRUST
SUPPLEMENT DATED DECEMBER 17, 2021 TO THE PROSPECTUSES AND
STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION DATED AUGUST 27, 2021
AS PREVIOUSLY SUPPLEMENTED, OF:
Invesco Golden Dragon China ETF (PGJ)
and
INVESCO EXCHANGE-TRADED FUND TRUST II
SUPPLEMENT DATED DECEMBER 17, 2021 TO THE PROSPECTUSES AND
STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION DATED FEBRUARY 26, 2021
AS PREVIOUSLY SUPPLEMENTED, OF:
Invesco PureBetaSMFTSE Emerging Markets ETF (PBEE)
(each, a "Fund" and collectively, the "Funds")
The following information replaces the section titled "China Investment Risk" under the heading "Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund" in the Summary Prospectus for each Fund:
China Investment Risk.Investments in companies located or operating in Greater China involve risks not associated with investments in Western nations, such as nationalization, expropriation, or confiscation of property; difficulty in obtaining information necessary for investigations into and/or litigation against Chinese companies, as well as in obtaining and/or enforcing judgments; limited legal remedies for shareholders; alteration or discontinuation of economic reforms; military conflicts, either internal or with other countries; inflation, currency fluctuations and fluctuations in inflation and interest rates that may have negative effects on the economy and securities markets of Greater China; and Greater China's dependency on the economies of other Asian countries, many of which are developing countries. Events in any one country within Greater China may impact the other countries in the region or Greater China as a whole. Export growth continues to be a major driver of China's rapid economic growth. As a result, a reduction in spending on Chinese products and services, the institution of additional tariffs or other trade barriers (or the threat thereof), including as a result of trade tensions between China and the United States, or a downturn in any of the economies of China's key trading partners may have an adverse impact on the Chinese economy.In addition, actions by the U.S. government, such as delisting of certain Chinese companies from U.S. securities exchanges or otherwise restricting their operations in the U.S., may negatively impact the value of such securities held by the Fund. Further, health events, such as the recent coronavirus outbreak, may cause uncertainty and volatility in the Chinese economy, especially in the consumer discretionary (leisure, retail, gaming, tourism), industrials, and commodities sectors. Additionally, the inability of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board ("PCAOB") to inspect audit work papers and practices of PCAOB-registered accounting firms in China with respect to their audit work of U.S. reporting companies may impose significant additional risks associated with investments in China.
Investments in Chinese companies may be made through a special structure known as a variable interest entity ("VIE") that is designed to provide foreign investors, such as the Fund, with exposure to Chinese companies that operate in certain sectors in which China restricts or prohibits foreign investments. Investments in VIEs may pose additional risks because the investment is made through an intermediary shell company that has entered into service and other contracts with the underlying Chinese operating company in order to provide investors with exposure to the operating company, and therefore does not represent equity ownership in the operating company. As a result, such investment may limit the rights of an investor with respect to the underlying Chinese operating company. The value of the shell company is derived from its ability to consolidate the VIE into its financials pursuant to contractual arrangements that allow the shell company to exert a degree of control over, and obtain economic benefits arising from, the VIE without formal legal ownership. The contractual arrangements between the shell company and the operating company may not be as effective in providing operational control as direct equity ownership, and a foreign investor's (such as the Fund's) rights may be limited. While VIEs are a longstanding industry
practice and are well known by Chinese officials and regulators, the structure has not been formally recognized under Chinese law and it is uncertain whether Chinese officials or regulators will withdraw their implicit acceptance of the structure. It is also uncertain whether the contractual arrangements, which may be subject to conflicts of interest between the legal owners of the VIE and foreign investors, would be enforced by Chinese courts or arbitration bodies. Prohibitions of these structures by the Chinese government, or the inability to enforce such contracts, from which the shell company derives its value, would likely cause the VIE-structured holding(s) to suffer significant, detrimental, and possibly permanent loss, and in turn, adversely affect the Fund's returns and net asset value.
From time to time, certain companies in which the Fund invests may operate in, or have dealings with, countries subject to sanctions or embargoes imposed by the U.S. Government and the United Nations and/or in countries the U.S. Government identified as state sponsors of terrorism. One or more of these companies may be subject to constraints under U.S. law or regulations that could negatively affect the company's performance. Additionally, one or more of these companies could suffer damage to its reputation if the market identifies it as a company that invests or deals with countries that the U.S. Government identifies as state sponsors of terrorism or subjects to sanctions.
The following information replaces the section titled "China Investment Risk" under the heading "Additional Information About the Fund's Strategies and Risks - Principal Risks of Investing in the Fund" in the Statutory Prospectus for each Fund:
China Investment Risk.Investments in companies located or operating in Greater China (normally considered to be the geographical area that includes mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) involve risks not associated with investments in the U.S. and other Western nations, such as greater government control over the economy; political, legal and regulatory uncertainty; nationalization, expropriation, or confiscation of property; difficulty in obtaining information necessary for investigations into and/or litigation against Chinese companies, as well as in obtaining and/or enforcing judgments; limited legal remedies for shareholders; alteration or discontinuation of economic reforms; military conflicts, either internal or with other countries; inflation, currency fluctuations and fluctuations in inflation and interest rates that may have negative effects on the economy and securities markets of Greater China; and Greater China's dependency on the economies of other Asian countries, many of which are developing countries. Events in any one country within Greater China may impact the other countries in the region or Greater China as a whole. Further, health events, such as the recent coronavirus outbreak, may cause uncertainty and volatility in the Chinese economy, especially in the consumer discretionary (leisure, retail, gaming, tourism), industrials, and commodities sectors. Additionally, the inability of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board ("PCAOB") to inspect audit work papers and practices of PCAOB-registered accounting firms in China with respect to their audit work of U.S. reporting companies may impose significant additional risks associated with investments in China.
Investments in Chinese companies may be made through a special structure known as a variable interest entity ("VIE") that is designed to provide foreign investors, such as the Fund, with exposure to Chinese companies that operate in certain sectors in which China restricts or prohibits foreign investments. Investments in VIEs may pose additional risks because the investment is made through an intermediary shell company that has entered into service and other contracts with the underlying Chinese operating company in order to provide investors with exposure to the operating company but does not represent equity ownership in the operating company. As a result, such investment may limit the rights of an investor with respect to the underlying Chinese operating company. The value of the shell company is derived from its ability to consolidate the VIE into its financials pursuant to contractual arrangements that allow the shell company to exert a degree of control over, and obtain economic benefits arising from, the VIE without formal legal ownership. The contractual arrangements between the shell company and the operating company may not be as effective in providing operational control as direct equity ownership, and a foreign investor's (such as the Fund's) rights may be limited. While VIEs are a longstanding industry practice and are well known by Chinese officials and regulators, the structure has not been formally recognized under Chinese law and it is uncertain whether Chinese officials or regulators will withdraw their implicit acceptance of the structure. It is also uncertain whether the contractual arrangements, which may be subject to conflicts of interest between the legal owners of the VIE and foreign investors, would be enforced by Chinese courts or arbitration bodies. Prohibitions of these structures by the Chinese government, or the
inability to enforce such contracts, from which the shell company derives its value, would likely cause the VIE-structured holding(s) to suffer significant, detrimental, and possibly permanent loss, and in turn, adversely affect the Fund's returns and net asset value.
Certain securities issued by companies located or operating in Greater China, such as China A-shares, are subject to trading restrictions and suspensions, quota limitations and sudden changes in those limitations, and operational, clearing and settlement risks. Significant portions of the Chinese securities markets may become rapidly illiquid, as Chinese issuers have the ability to suspend the trading of their equity securities and have shown a willingness to exercise that option in response to market volatility and other events. The liquidity of Chinese securities may shrink or disappear suddenly and without warning as a result of adverse economic, market or political events, or adverse investor perceptions, whether or not accurate.
Export growth continues to be a major driver of China's rapid economic growth. As a result, a reduction in spending on Chinese products and services, the institution of tariffs or other trade barriers (or the threat thereof), or a downturn in any of the economies of China's key trading partners may have an adverse impact on the Chinese economy. The ongoing trade dispute and imposition of tariffs between China and the United States continues to introduce uncertainty into the Chinese economy and may result in reductions in international trade, the oversupply of certain manufactured goods, substantial price reductions of goods and possible failure of individual companies and/or large segments of China's export industry, which could have a negative impact on the Fund's performance. Events such as these and their consequences are difficult to predict and it is unclear whether further tariffs may be imposed or other escalating actions may be taken in the future. In addition, actions by the U.S. government, such as delisting of certain Chinese companies from U.S. securities exchanges or otherwise restricting their operations in the U.S., may negatively impact the value of such securities held by the Fund.
Additionally, developing countries, such as those in Greater China, may subject the Fund's investments to a number of tax rules, and the application of many of those rules may be uncertain. Moreover, China has implemented a number of tax reforms in recent years, and may amend or revise its existing tax laws and/or procedures in the future, possibly with retroactive effect. Changes in applicable Chinese tax law could reduce the after-tax profits of the Fund, directly or indirectly, including by reducing the after-tax profits of companies in China in which the Fund invests. Chinese taxes that may apply to the Fund's investments include income tax or withholding tax on dividends, interest or gains earned by the Fund, business tax and stamp duty. Uncertainties in Chinese tax rules could result in unexpected tax liabilities for the Fund.
The following information replaces the section titled "China Investment Risk" under the heading "Investment Strategies and Risks - Investment Risks" in the Statement of Additional Information for Invesco PureBetaSMFTSE Emerging Markets ETF, and is added to the Statement of Additional Information for Invesco Golden Dragon China ETF under the heading "Investment Strategies and Risks - Investment Risks":
China Investment Risk. The value of securities of companies that derive the majority of their revenues from China is likely to be more volatile than that of other issuers. The economy of China differs, often unfavorably, from the U.S. economy in such respects as structure, general development, government involvement, wealth distribution, rate of inflation, growth rate, allocation of resources and capital reinvestment, among others. Under China's political and economic system, the central government has historically exercised substantial control over virtually every sector of the Chinese economy through administrative regulation and/or state ownership. Since 1978, the Chinese government has been, and is expected to continue, reforming its economic policies, which has resulted in less direct central and local government control over the business and production activities of Chinese enterprises and companies. Notwithstanding the economic reforms instituted by the Chinese government and the Chinese Communist Party, actions of the Chinese central and local government authorities continue to have a substantial effect on economic conditions in China, which could affect its public and private sector companies. In the past, the Chinese government has, from time to time, taken actions that influenced the prices at which certain goods may be sold, encouraged companies to invest or concentrate in particular industries, induced mergers between companies in certain industries and induced private companies to publicly offer their securities to increase or continue the rate of economic growth, controlled the rate of inflation or otherwise regulated economic expansion. It may do so in the future as well. As a result, Chinese markets generally
continue to experience inefficiency, volatility and pricing anomalies. Further, health events, such as the recent coronavirus outbreak, may cause uncertainty and volatility in the Chinese economy, especially in the consumer discretionary (leisure, retail, gaming, tourism), industrials, and commodities sectors. In addition, any reduction in spending on Chinese products and services, institution of tariffs or other trade barriers or a downturn in any of the economies of China's key trading partners may have an adverse impact on the Chinese economy. From time to time, certain companies in which a Fund invests may operate in, or have dealings with, countries subject to sanctions or embargoes imposed by the U.S. Government and the United Nations and/or in countries the U.S. Government identified as state sponsors of terrorism. One or more of these companies may be subject to constraints under U.S. law or regulations that could negatively affect the company's performance. Additionally, one or more of these companies could suffer damage to its reputation if the market identifies it as a company that invests or deals with countries that the U.S. Government identifies as state sponsors of terrorism or subjects to sanctions.
China A-Share Investment Risk.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 a Fund can trade eligible listed China A-shares. Investing in A-shares through the Connect Program is subject to trading, clearance, settlement and other procedures, which could pose risks to a Fund. Trading through the Connect Program is subject to the Daily Quota, which may restrict a Fund's ability to invest in A-shares through the Connect Program on a timely basis. The Connect Program will only operate on days when both the Chinese and Hong Kong markets are open for trading and when banking services are available in both markets on the corresponding settlement days. Therefore, an investment in A-shares through the Connect Program may subject a Fund to the risk of price fluctuations on days when the Chinese markets are open, but the Connect Program is not trading.
Chinese Variable Interest Entity Investment Risk.Many Chinese companies have created a special structure, which is based in China, known as a variable interest entity ("VIE") as a means to circumvent limits on direct foreign ownership of equity in Chinese operating companies in certain sectors, such as internet, media, education and telecommunications, imposed by the Chinese government. Typically in such an arrangement, a China-based operating company establishes an offshore "holding" company in another jurisdiction that likely does not have the same disclosure, reporting, and governance requirements as the United States. The holding company issues shares, i.e., is "listed", on a foreign exchange such as the New York Stock Exchange or the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The listed holding company enters into service and other contracts with the China-based operating company, typically through the China-based VIE. The VIE must be owned by Chinese nationals (and/or other Chinese companies), which often are the VIE's founders, in order to obtain the licenses and/or assets required to operate in the restricted or prohibited sector in China. The operations and financial position of the VIE are included in consolidated financial statements of the listed holding company. Foreign investors, including mutual funds and ETFs (such as the Fund), hold stock in the listed holding company rather than directly in the China-based operating company.
The VIE structure allows foreign shareholders to exert a degree of control and obtain economic benefits arising from the operating company but without formal legal ownership because the listed holding company's control over the operating company is predicated entirely on contracts with the VIE. The listed holding company is distinct from the underlying operating company, and an investment in the listed holding company represents exposure to a company that maintains service contracts with the operating company, not equity ownership in the operating company.
Investments in companies that use VIEs may pose additional risks because the investment is made through the listed holding company's service and other contractual arrangements with the underlying Chinese operating company. As a result, such investment may limit the rights of an investor with respect to the underlying Chinese operating company. The contractual arrangements between the VIE and the operating company may not be as effective in providing operational control as direct equity ownership. The Chinese government could determine at any time and without notice that the underlying contractual arrangements on which control of the VIE is based violate Chinese law. While VIEs are a longstanding industry practice, well known to Chinese officials and regulators, VIEs are not
formally recognized under Chinese law. The owners of the VIE could decide to breach the contractual arrangements with the listed holding company and it is uncertain whether the contractual arrangements, which may be subject to conflicts of interest between the legal owners of the VIE and foreign investors, would be enforced by Chinese courts or arbitration bodies. Prohibitions of these structures by the Chinese government, or the inability to enforce such contracts, from which the shell company derives its value, would likely cause the VIE-structured holding(s) to suffer significant, detrimental, and possibly permanent loss, and in turn, adversely affect a Fund's returns and net asset value.
The Chinese government previously placed restrictions on China-based companies raising capital offshore in certain sectors, including through VIEs, and investors face uncertainty about future actions by the Chinese government that could significantly affect the operating company's financial performance and the enforceability of the contractual arrangements underlying the VIE structure. It is uncertain whether Chinese officials or regulators will withdraw their implicit acceptance of the VIE structure, or whether any new laws, rules or regulations relating to VIE structures will be adopted and what impact such laws may have on foreign investors. There is a risk that China might prohibit the existence of VIEs or sever their ability to transmit economic and governance rights to foreign individuals and entities; if so, the market value of any associated portfolio holdings would likely suffer substantial, detrimental, and possibly permanent loss.
Chinese companies, including those listed on U.S. exchanges, are generally not subject to the same degree of regulatory requirements, accounting standards or auditor oversight as companies in more developed countries. As a result, information about VIEs may be less reliable or complete. Foreign companies with securities listed on U.S. exchanges, including those that utilize VIEs, may be delisted if they do not meet the requirements of the listing exchange, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board ("PCAOB") and the U.S. government, which could significantly decrease the liquidity and value of such securities. Actions by the U.S. government, such as delisting of certain Chinese companies from U.S. securities exchanges or otherwise restricting their operations in the U.S., may negatively impact the liquidity and value of such securities.
Please Retain This Supplement For Future Reference.
P-PROSOAI-SUP-2 121721
INVESCO EXCHANGE-TRADED FUND TRUST
SUPPLEMENT DATED DECEMBER 17, 2021 TO THE PROSPECTUSES AND
STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION DATED AUGUST 27, 2021
AS PREVIOUSLY SUPPLEMENTED, OF:
Invesco NASDAQ Internet ETF (PNQI)
Invesco MSCI Sustainable Future ETF (ERTH)
(each, a "Fund" and collectively, the "Funds")
The following information is added to the Statutory Prospectus of each Fund under the heading "Additional Information About the Fund's Strategies and Risks - Additional Risks of Investing in the Fund":
China Investment Risk.Investments in companies located or operating in Greater China (normally considered to be the geographical area that includes mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) involve risks not associated with investments in the U.S. and other Western nations, such as greater government control over the economy; political, legal and regulatory uncertainty; nationalization, expropriation, or confiscation of property; difficulty in obtaining information necessary for investigations into and/or litigation against Chinese companies, as well as in obtaining and/or enforcing judgments; limited legal remedies for shareholders; alteration or discontinuation of economic reforms; military conflicts, either internal or with other countries; inflation, currency fluctuations and fluctuations in inflation and interest rates that may have negative effects on the economy and securities markets of Greater China; and Greater China's dependency on the economies of other Asian countries, many of which are developing countries. Events in any one country within Greater China may impact the other countries in the region or Greater China as a whole. Further, health events, such as the recent coronavirus outbreak, may cause uncertainty and volatility in the Chinese economy, especially in the consumer discretionary (leisure, retail, gaming, tourism), industrials, and commodities sectors. Additionally, the inability of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board ("PCAOB") to inspect audit work papers and practices of PCAOB-registered accounting firms in China with respect to their audit work of U.S. reporting companies may impose significant additional risks associated with investments in China.
Investments in Chinese companies may be made through a special structure known as a variable interest entity ("VIE") that is designed to provide foreign investors, such as the Fund, with exposure to Chinese companies that operate in certain sectors in which China restricts or prohibits foreign investments. Investments in VIEs may pose additional risks because the investment is made through an intermediary shell company that has entered into service and other contracts with the underlying Chinese operating company in order to provide investors with exposure to the operating company but does not represent equity ownership in the operating company. As a result, such investment may limit the rights of an investor with respect to the underlying Chinese operating company. The value of the shell company is derived from its ability to consolidate the VIE into its financials pursuant to contractual arrangements that allow the shell company to exert a degree of control over, and obtain economic benefits arising from, the VIE without formal legal ownership. The contractual arrangements between the shell company and the operating company may not be as effective in providing operational control as direct equity ownership, and a foreign investor's (such as the Fund's) rights may be limited. While VIEs are a longstanding industry practice and are well known by Chinese officials and regulators, the structure has not been formally recognized under Chinese law and it is uncertain whether Chinese officials or regulators will withdraw their implicit acceptance of the structure. It is also uncertain whether the contractual arrangements, which may be subject to conflicts of interest between the legal owners of the VIE and foreign investors, would be enforced by Chinese courts or arbitration bodies. Prohibitions of these structures by the Chinese government, or the inability to enforce such contracts, from which the shell company derives its value, would likely cause the VIE-structured holding(s) to suffer significant, detrimental, and possibly permanent loss, and in turn, adversely affect the Fund's returns and net asset value.
Certain securities issued by companies located or operating in Greater China, such as China A-shares, are subject to trading restrictions and suspensions, quota limitations and sudden changes in those limitations, and operational, clearing and settlement risks. Significant portions of the Chinese securities markets may
become rapidly illiquid, as Chinese issuers have the ability to suspend the trading of their equity securities and have shown a willingness to exercise that option in response to market volatility and other events. The liquidity of Chinese securities may shrink or disappear suddenly and without warning as a result of adverse economic, market or political events, or adverse investor perceptions, whether or not accurate.
Export growth continues to be a major driver of China's rapid economic growth. As a result, a reduction in spending on Chinese products and services, the institution of tariffs or other trade barriers (or the threat thereof), or a downturn in any of the economies of China's key trading partners may have an adverse impact on the Chinese economy. The ongoing trade dispute and imposition of tariffs between China and the United States continues to introduce uncertainty into the Chinese economy and may result in reductions in international trade, the oversupply of certain manufactured goods, substantial price reductions of goods and possible failure of individual companies and/or large segments of China's export industry, which could have a negative impact on the Fund's performance. Events such as these and their consequences are difficult to predict and it is unclear whether further tariffs may be imposed or other escalating actions may be taken in the future. In addition, actions by the U.S. government, such as delisting of certain Chinese companies from U.S. securities exchanges or otherwise restricting their operations in the U.S., may negatively impact the value of such securities held by the Fund.
Additionally, developing countries, such as those in Greater China, may subject the Fund's investments to a number of tax rules, and the application of many of those rules may be uncertain. Moreover, China has implemented a number of tax reforms in recent years, and may amend or revise its existing tax laws and/or procedures in the future, possibly with retroactive effect. Changes in applicable Chinese tax law could reduce the after-tax profits of the Fund, directly or indirectly, including by reducing the after-tax profits of companies in China in which the Fund invests. Chinese taxes that may apply to the Fund's investments include income tax or withholding tax on dividends, interest or gains earned by the Fund, business tax and stamp duty. Uncertainties in Chinese tax rules could result in unexpected tax liabilities for the Fund.
The following information is added to the Statement of Additional Information of each Fund under the heading "INVESTMENT STRATEGIES AND RISKS - Investment Risks":
China Investment Risk.The value of securities of companies that derive the majority of their revenues from China is likely to be more volatile than that of other issuers. The economy of China differs, often unfavorably, from the U.S. economy in such respects as structure, general development, government involvement, wealth distribution, rate of inflation, growth rate, allocation of resources and capital reinvestment, among others. Under China's political and economic system, the central government has historically exercised substantial control over virtually every sector of the Chinese economy through administrative regulation and/or state ownership. Since 1978, the Chinese government has been, and is expected to continue, reforming its economic policies, which has resulted in less direct central and local government control over the business and production activities of Chinese enterprises and companies. Notwithstanding the economic reforms instituted by the Chinese government and the Chinese Communist Party, actions of the Chinese central and local government authorities continue to have a substantial effect on economic conditions in China, which could affect its public and private sector companies. In the past, the Chinese government has, from time to time, taken actions that influenced the prices at which certain goods may be sold, encouraged companies to invest or concentrate in particular industries, induced mergers between companies in certain industries and induced private companies to publicly offer their securities to increase or continue the rate of economic growth, controlled the rate of inflation or otherwise regulated economic expansion. It may do so in the future as well. As a result, Chinese markets generally continue to experience inefficiency, volatility and pricing anomalies. Further, health events, such as the recent coronavirus outbreak, may cause uncertainty and volatility in the Chinese economy, especially in the consumer discretionary (leisure, retail, gaming, tourism), industrials, and commodities sectors. In addition, any reduction in spending on Chinese products and services, institution of tariffs or other trade barriers or a downturn in any of the economies of China's key trading partners may have an adverse impact on the Chinese economy. From time to time, certain companies in which a Fund invests may operate in, or have dealings with, countries subject to sanctions or embargoes imposed by the U.S. Government and the United Nations and/or in countries the U.S. Government identified as state sponsors of terrorism. One or more of these companies may be subject to constraints under U.S. law or regulations that could negatively affect
the company's performance. Additionally, one or more of these companies could suffer damage to its reputation if the market identifies it as a company that invests or deals with countries that the U.S. Government identifies as state sponsors of terrorism or subjects to sanctions.
China A-Share Investment Risk.The Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect program and the Shenzhen-HongKong Stock Connect program (both programs collectively referred to as the Connect Program) are securities trading and clearing programs through which a Fund can trade eligible listed China A-shares. Investing in A-shares through the Connect Program is subject to trading, clearance, settlement and other procedures, which could pose risks to a Fund. Trading through the Connect Program is subject to the Daily Quota, which may restrict a Fund's ability to invest in A-shares through the Connect Program on a timely basis. The Connect Program will only operate on days when both the Chinese and Hong Kong markets are open for trading and when banking services are available in both markets on the corresponding settlement days. Therefore, an investment in A-shares through the Connect Program may subject a Fund to the risk of price fluctuations on days when the Chinese markets are open, but the Connect Program is not trading.
Chinese Variable Interest Entity Investment Risk.Many Chinese companies have created a special structure, which is based in China, known as a variable interest entity ("VIE") as a means to circumvent limits on direct foreign ownership of equity in Chinese operating companies in certain sectors, such as internet, media, education and telecommunications, imposed by the Chinese government. Typically in such an arrangement, a China-based operating company establishes an offshore "holding" company in another jurisdiction that likely does not have the same disclosure, reporting, and governance requirements as the United States. The holding company issues shares, i.e., is "listed", on a foreign exchange such as the New York Stock Exchange or the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The listed holding company enters into service and other contracts with the China-based operating company, typically through the China-based VIE. The VIE must be owned by Chinese nationals (and/or other Chinese companies), which often are the VIE's founders, in order to obtain the licenses and/or assets required to operate in the restricted or prohibited sector in China. The operations and financial position of the VIE are included in consolidated financial statements of the listed holding company. Foreign investors, including mutual funds and ETFs, hold stock in the listed holding company rather than directly in the China-based operating company.
The VIE structure allows foreign shareholders to exert a degree of control and obtain economic benefits arising from the operating company but without formal legal ownership because the listed holding company's control over the operating company is predicated entirely on contracts with the VIE. The listed holding company is distinct from the underlying operating company, and an investment in the listed holding company represents exposure to a company that maintains service contracts with the operating company, not equity ownership in the operating company.
Investments in companies that use VIEs may pose additional risks because the investment is made through the listed holding company's service and other contractual arrangements with the underlying Chinese operating company. As a result, such investment may limit the rights of an investor with respect to the underlying Chinese operating company. The contractual arrangements between the VIE and the operating company may not be as effective in providing operational control as direct equity ownership. The Chinese government could determine at any time and without notice that the underlying contractual arrangements on which control of the VIE is based violate Chinese law. While VIEs are a longstanding industry practice, well known to Chinese officials and regulators, VIEs are not formally recognized under Chinese law. The owners of the VIE could decide to breach the contractual arrangements with the listed holding company and it is uncertain whether the contractual arrangements, which may be subject to conflicts of interest between the legal owners of the VIE and foreign investors, would be enforced by Chinese courts or arbitration bodies. Prohibitions of these structures by the Chinese government, or the inability to enforce such contracts, from which the shell company derives its value, would likely cause the VIE-structured holding(s) to suffer significant, detrimental, and possibly permanent loss, and in turn, adversely affect a Fund's returns and net asset value.
The Chinese government previously placed restrictions on China-based companies raising capital offshore in certain sectors, including through VIEs, and investors face uncertainty about future actions by the Chinese government that could significantly affect the operating company's financial performance and the enforceability of the contractual arrangements underlying the VIE structure. It is uncertain whether Chinese officials or regulators will withdraw their implicit acceptance of the VIE structure, or whether any new laws, rules or regulations relating to VIE structures will be adopted and what impact such laws may have on foreign investors. There is a risk that China might prohibit the existence of VIEs or sever their ability to transmit economic and governance rights to foreign individuals and entities; if so, the market value of any associated portfolio holdings would likely suffer substantial, detrimental, and possibly permanent loss.
Chinese companies, including those listed on U.S. exchanges, are generally not subject to the same degree of regulatory requirements, accounting standards or auditor oversight as companies in more developed countries. As a result, information about VIEs may be less reliable or complete. Foreign companies with securities listed on U.S. exchanges, including those that utilize VIEs, may be delisted if they do not meet the requirements of the listing exchange, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board ("PCAOB") and the U.S. government, which could significantly decrease the liquidity and value of such securities. Actions by the U.S. government, such as delisting of certain Chinese companies from U.S. securities exchanges or otherwise restricting their operations in the U.S., may negatively impact the liquidity and value of such securities.
Please Retain This Supplement For Future Reference.
P-PROSOAI-SUP-3 121721