Tag Archives: MLPs

JPMorgan Caps Shares of Alerian MLP ETN

Obviously, the big news from JPMorgan Chase this week was Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon apologizing to the Senate Banking Committee for his firm’s recent multibillion-dollar trading loss. And while not nearly as momentous as the Dimon hearing, JPMorgan also released some highly unusual news to ETF Land.

The firm on Thursday put a limit on the number of shares it’s willing to create for its Alerian MLP Index ETN (AMJ), essentially making the exchange traded note act like a closed-end fund. JPMorgan capped maximum issuance of shares at 129 million exchange traded notes. As of June 13, JPMorgan Chase had issued 117.95 million ETNs with an aggregate market capitalization of $4.29 billion based on the $36.39 closing price.

Limiting the number of shares means that the ETN will not allow creation units once that number is met. This turns the ETN from an open-end investment vehicle into one that acts like a closed-end fund. This occurs because the arbitrage mechanism that allows market makers to create or sell shares to capture the difference between the indicative value and the price at which the share trades is no longer available. Unable to create shares, market makers are less likely to take on the risk of shorting the shares. Thus, the price of the ETN may trade at a premium or discount to its indicated value depending on the demand for the notes. Of course, if shares are redeemed, the ETN can later create more shares until the limit is hit again.

MLPs, or master limited partnerships, are limited partnerships that invest in natural resources, or companies that provide services such as pipeline companies that transport oil or natural gas. These companies offer large dividends and have been very popular since the fiscal crisis. Over the past 18 months assets in exchange traded products that hold MLPs has grown from nearly nothing to about $7.55 billion. Nearly all of that inflow sits in two products, AMJ, which has $4.2 billion in asset under management, and the ALPS Alerian MLP ETF (AMLP), with $3.25 billion.

“When AMJ reaches the maximum threshold, we will closely monitor the availability of AMJ notes available in stock loan as well as any premium in the funds pricing on the secondary market,” said Chris Hempstead, director of ETF execution services at Wallach Beth Capital. “This could bode well in the short term for existing holders of AMJ as the fund will likely trade at a premium once the creation facility is shut down. Early investors would not have expected this so it’s a win for them. That being said, once this happens I expect investors looking at MLP ETPs will be drawn away from the AMJ ETN and towards [other ETNS].”

Competing ETNs include the ALPS product as well as recent launches such as the Yorkville High Income MLP ETF (YMLP), with just $37 million in assets, and the Global X MLP ETF (MLPA), which has only $5 million.

Hempstead says because these ETNs will continue issue creation units, they will continue to trade close to their indicative values. This will make them more attractive investments as AMJ’s share price diverts from its indicative value.

Down 50% in 2 Days, TVIX Could Fall More Monday

After the VelocityShares Daily 2x Long VIX Short-Term ETN (TVIX) plunged 30% in Thursday, Credit Suisse, the sponsor of the controversial fund, reopened share issuance on a “limited basis.” The ETF proceed to fall again Friday for a 50% drop over two days.

The Swiss banking giant was blamed for the two-day decline, by Benzinga, because it had temporarily halting new issuance of TVIX shares last month.

“Beginning March 23, 2012, Credit Suisse may from time to time issue the ETNs into inventory of its affiliates to make the ETNs available for lending at or about rates that prevailed prior to the temporary suspension of issuances of the ETNs. Also, beginning as soon as March 28, 2012, Credit Suisse may issue additional ETNs from time to time to be sold solely to authorized market makers,” according to a written statement issued by the bank after Thursday’s close.

Benzinga says “the halt in TVIX share creations may have caused a massive spike in the ETN’s net asset value. The elevated NAV and ensuing plunge in TVIX indicates that, simply put, traders discovered said premium and exploited it.”

TVIX’s slide continued in after-hours trading where the ETN lost almost another 12% and was found at $9 at 8:30PM Eastern Time. That’s by far the the lowest price TVIX has ever traded at.

On Friday, the shares fell 30% to $7.16 on volume of 29.3 million shares, more than twice its daily average volume. That’s 62% of the 46.7 million shares outstanding. And with the shares still 7% above their indicative value of $6.70, according to VelocityShares, the ETN could see another decline on Monday.

ETF Reading List:

China’s PMI Data Could Hinder, Help These ETFs (HAO, FXI, MCHI) (Benzinga)

Happy Water Day? Maybe For Water ETFs (PIO, PHO, CGW) (Benzinga)

Yorkville High Income MLP ETF’s Yield 8.5% On Average (Investors.com)

Seriously? Credit Suisse to Allow New TVIX Creations (TVIX, CS) (Benzinga)

Avoid These ETFs For Now (FXI, TVIX, GDXJ) (Benzinga)

List of ETFs That Issue K-1s Skips MLPs

I’m sure you’ve all heard the mantra for why ETFs are better than mutual funds: They’re cheaper, have greater transparency and flexibility and are much more tax efficient. That’s definitely true for ETFs that are structured at investment companies under the 1940 Act. These ETFs, which typically hold stocks or bonds, report their taxable gains and losses on IRS Form 1099.

However, some exchange-traded products are structured as partnerships, such as the ones that hold shares of master limited partnerships or futures contracts for commodities, currencies or volatility. Because of the creation/redemption system of acquiring securities, most ETFs don’t post capital gains. That means an investor only pays capital gains when he or she sells the shares in the fund.

However, limited partnerships pass through their taxes to the investor/partners every year. So investors need to pay taxes on any profits earned during the year. These investors receive a K-1 tax form, which outlines their profits or losses in the partnership over the past year. It’s a complicated form that can make figuring out and reporting taxes a big headache.

ETF Database has created what it calls the Complete List of ETFs that Issue K-1s. It’s a good list, but I don’t think it’s complete. It doesn’t list any of the ETFs that track master limited partnerships, which are usually companies that deal with natural resources.

Nonetheless, this is a good starting point on whether you should expect to receive a K-1 form from your ETP this year.