Principal U.S. Listing Exchange: NYSE Arca, Inc.
Putnam BDC Income ETF
a series of Putnam ETF Trust
STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (SAI)
This SAI is not a prospectus. If the fund has more than one form of current prospectus, each reference to the prospectus in this SAI includes all of the fund’s prospectuses, unless otherwise noted. The SAI should be read together with the applicable prospectus. For a free copy of the fund’s prospectus dated September 28, 2022 as revised from time to time, call 1-833-228-5577, or visit Putnam’s website at putnam.com.
Part I of this SAI contains specific information about the fund. Part II includes information about the fund and other Putnam funds.
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Table of Contents
|FUND ORGANIZATION AND CLASSIFICATION||I-3|
|CHARGES AND EXPENSES||I-5|
|INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM AND FINANCIAL STATEMENTS||I-9|
|GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE FUNDS||II-1|
|BUYING AND SELLING SHARES||II-1|
|MISCELLANEOUS INVESTMENTS, INVESTMENT PRACTICES AND RISKS||II-8|
|EXCHANGE TRADED FUNDS RISK||II-66|
|DETERMINATION OF NET ASSET VALUE||II-94|
|DISCLOSURE OF PORTFOLIO INFORMATION||II-96|
|INFORMATION SECURITY RISKS||II-98|
|PROXY VOTING GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES||II-98|
|APPENDIX A - PROXY VOTING GUIDELINES||II-105|
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FUND ORGANIZATION AND CLASSIFICATION
The Fund is a series of Putnam ETF Trust (the “Trust”). The Trust is a Delaware statutory trust organized on December 22, 2020.
The fund is an open-end non-diversified management investment company with an unlimited number of authorized shares of beneficial interest. The Trustees may, without shareholder approval, create two or more series of shares representing separate investment portfolios. Any series of shares may be divided without shareholder approval into two or more classes of shares having such preferences and special or relative rights and privileges as the Trustees determine.
Each share has one vote per dollar of net asset value represented by such share. Shares of all classes vote together as a single class except when otherwise required by law or as determined by the Trustees. The Trustees may take many actions affecting the fund without shareholder approval, including under certain circumstances merging your fund into another Putnam fund. Shares are freely transferable, are entitled to dividends as declared by the Trustees, and, if the fund were liquidated, would receive the net assets of the fund.
The fund may refuse any order to purchase shares. Although the fund is not required to hold annual meetings of its shareholders, shareholders holding at least 10% of the outstanding shares entitled to vote have the right to call a meeting to elect or remove Trustees, or to take other actions as provided in the Agreement and Declaration of Trust.
Information about the Summary Prospectus, Prospectus, and SAI
The fund has entered into contractual arrangements with an investment adviser, distributor, transfer agent, and custodian who each provide services to the fund. Unless expressly stated otherwise, shareholders are not parties to, or intended beneficiaries of these contractual arrangements, and these contractual arrangements are not intended to create any shareholder right to enforce them against the service providers or to seek any remedy under them against the service providers, either directly or on behalf of the fund.
Under the Trust’s Agreement and Declaration of Trust, any claims asserted against or on behalf of the fund or another series of the Trust, including claims against Trustees and Officers, must be brought in courts of the State of Delaware.
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As fundamental investment restrictions, which may not be changed without a vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities, the fund may not and will not:
(1) Borrow money in excess of 33 1/3% of the value of its total assets (not including the amount borrowed) at the time the borrowing is made.
(2) Underwrite securities issued by other persons except to the extent that, in connection with the disposition of its portfolio investments, it may be deemed to be an underwriter under certain federal securities laws.
(3) Purchase or sell real estate, although it may purchase securities of issuers which deal in real estate, securities which are secured by interests in real estate, and securities representing interests in real estate, and it may acquire and dispose of real estate or interests in real estate acquired through the exercise of its rights as a holder of debt obligations secured by real estate or interests therein.
(4) Purchase or sell commodities or commodity contracts, except as permitted by applicable law and the fund may purchase or sell (a) other instruments backed by commodities and (b) commodities acquired as a result of ownership of securities or other instruments.
(5) Make loans, except by purchase of debt obligations in which the fund may invest consistent with its investment policies (including without limitation debt obligations issued by other Putnam funds), by entering into repurchase agreements, or by lending its portfolio securities.
(6) With respect to 50% of its total assets, invest in securities of any issuer if, immediately after such investment, more than 5% of the total assets of the fund (taken at current value) would be invested in the securities of such issuer; provided that this limitation does not apply to obligations issued or guaranteed as to interest or principal by the U.S. government or its agencies or instrumentalities or to securities issued by other investment companies.
(7) With respect to 50% of its total assets, acquire more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of any issuer; provided that this limitation does not apply to obligations issued or guaranteed as to interest or principal by the U.S. government or its agencies or instrumentalities or to securities issued by other investment companies.
(8) Invest more than 25% of its total assets in a particular industry or group of industries, except that the Fund will invest more than 25% of its total assets in business development companies (“BDCs”). This limitation is not applicable to investments in obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies and instrumentalities or repurchase agreements with respect thereto.
(9) Issue any class of securities which is senior to the fund’s shares of beneficial interest, except for permitted borrowings.
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The Investment Company Act of 1940 provides that a “vote of a majority of the outstanding voting securities” of a fund means the affirmative vote of the lesser of (1) more than 50% of the outstanding fund shares, or (2) 67% or more of the shares present at a meeting if more than 50% of the outstanding fund shares are represented at the meeting in person or by proxy.
For purposes of the fund’s fundamental policy on commodities and commodities contracts (#4 above), notwithstanding any federal legislation or regulatory action by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) that subject such swaps to regulation by the CFTC, the fund will not consider such instruments to be commodities or commodity contracts for purposes of this policy.
For purposes of the fund’s fundamental policies on diversification (# 6 and #7 above), the fund will consider the term “investment companies” to include any issuer that qualifies as a “regulated investment company” under Section 851(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, including, without limitation, an issuer that has in effect an election under the Investment Company Act of 1940 to be treated as a “business development company.”
For purposes of the fund’s fundamental policy on industry concentration (#8 above), Putnam Investment Management, LLC (“Putnam Management”), the fund’s investment manager, determines the appropriate industry categories and assigns issuers to them, informed by a variety of considerations, including relevant third-party categorization systems. Industry categories and issuer assignments may change over time as industry sectors and issuers evolve. Portfolio allocations shown in shareholder reports and other communications may use broader investment sectors or narrower sub-industry categories.
All percentage limitations on investments will apply at the time of the making of an investment and shall not be considered violated unless an excess or deficiency occurs or exists immediately after and as a result of such investment.
CHARGES AND EXPENSES
Creation/Redemption Transaction Fees
The following table shows the standard transaction fees for creations and redemptions.
|Standard Creation/ Redemption Transaction Fee (in kind)||Standard Creation/Redemption Transaction Fee (cash)|
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The fund pays an annual all-inclusive management fee of 0.75% to Putnam Management based on the fund’s average daily net assets. The management fee is calculated and accrued daily. In consideration of the management fee, Putnam Management pays all expenses incurred by the fund, or reimburses the fund for, all of the fund’s organizational and other operating expenses, excluding only: (i) interest and taxes (including, but not limited to, income, excise, transfer and withholding taxes); (ii) expenses of the fund incurred with respect to the acquisition and disposition of portfolio securities, commodities or other financial instruments and the execution of portfolio transactions, including brokerage commissions; (iii) expenses incurred in connection with any distribution plan adopted by the fund in compliance with Rule 12b-1 under the 1940 Act, including distribution fees; (iv) expenses of printing and mailing proxy materials to shareholders of the fund; (v) all other expenses incidental to holding meetings of the fund’s shareholders, including proxy solicitations therefor; (vi) litigation expenses (including, but not limited to, any indemnification obligation, attorneys’ fees, expenses, costs, judgments, amounts paid in settlement, fines, penalties, fees of expert witnesses, document production fees, and all other liabilities whatsoever incurred or paid by the fund or a person indemnified by the fund); (vii) the fee payable to Putnam Management hereunder; (viii) any extraordinary expenses (which, for the avoidance of doubt, do not include expenses related to the organization of any subsidiary for a fund or the ongoing corporate expenses of maintaining such subsidiary) and (ix) acquired fund fees and expenses.
Because the fund has yet to commence investment operations as of the date of this SAI, the fund has not paid any brokerage commissions.
Because the fund has yet to commence investment operations, the fund does not hold any securities of its/their regular broker-dealers.
Trustee responsibilities and fees
The Trustees are responsible for generally overseeing the conduct of fund business. Subject to such policies as the Trustees may determine, Putnam Management furnishes a continuing investment program for the fund and makes investment decisions on its behalf. Subject to the control of the Trustees, Putnam Management also manages the fund’s other affairs and business.
The table below shows the aggregate value of each Trustee’s holdings in all of the funds in the Putnam funds complex as of December 31, 2021. No Trustee owned shares of the fund as of the date of this SAI.
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|Name of Trustee||Dollar range of fund shares owned||Aggregate dollar range of shares held in all of the Putnam funds overseen by Trustee|
|Liaquat Ahamed||None||Over $100,000|
|Katinka Domotorffy||None||Over $100,000|
|Catharine Bond Hill||None||Over $100,000|
|Mona K. Sutphen||None||$50,001-$100,000|
|*Aaron Cooper||None||Over $100,000|
* Trustee who is an “interested person” (as defined in the Investment Company Act of 1940) of the fund and Putnam Management. Mr. Cooper is deemed an “interested person” by virtue of his positions as an officer of the fund and Putnam Management. Mr. Cooper is the President and Chief Operating Officer of Putnam Investments, LLC and President of your fund and each of the other funds of the Trust. None of the other Trustees is an “interested person”.
Number of committee meetings
The Audit Committee met twice during the last fiscal year.
Each Independent Trustee of the fund receives an annual retainer fee. Independent Trustees also are reimbursed for expenses they incur relating to their services as Trustees.
The following table shows the year each Trustee was first elected a Trustee of the Putnam funds, the estimated fees to be paid to each Trustee by the fund for its first full fiscal year, and the fees paid to each Trustee by all of the Putnam funds for services rendered during calendar year 2021.
|Trustee/Year||Aggregate compensation from the fund(1)||Pension or retirement benefits accrued as part of fund expenses||Estimated annual benefits from all Putnam funds upon retirement||Total compensation from all Putnam funds(2)|
|Catharine Bond Hill/2017(3)||$7,500||N/A||N/A||$345,000|
|Mona K. Sutphen/2020||$7,500||N/A||N/A||$345,000|
(1) The fund has not yet commenced operations as of the date of this SAI.
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(2) As of December 31, 2021, there were 100 funds in the Putnam funds complex.
(3) Certain Trustees are also owed compensation deferred pursuant to a Trustee Compensation Deferral Plan.
(4) Mr. Cooper is an “interested person” of the fund and Putnam Management.
For additional information concerning the Trustees, see “Management” in Part II of this SAI.
As of the date of this SAI, the fund has not issued any shares.
Other accounts managed
The following table shows the number and approximate assets of other investment accounts (or portions of investment accounts) that the fund’s portfolio manager managed as of August 31, 2022. The other accounts may include accounts for which the individual was not designated as a portfolio manager. Unless noted, none of the accounts pays a fee based on the account’s performance.
Other SEC-registered open-end and closed-end funds
Other accounts that pool assets from more than one client
|Other accounts (including separate accounts, managed account programs and single-sponsor defined contribution plan offerings)|
|Number of accounts||
|Number of accounts||
|Number of accounts||
See “Management—Portfolio Transactions—Potential conflicts of interest in managing multiple accounts” in Part II of this SAI for information on how Putnam Management addresses potential conflicts of interest resulting from an individual’s management of more than one account.
Compensation of portfolio managers
Portfolio managers are evaluated and compensated across specified products they manage, in part, based on their performance relative to the applicable benchmark, based on a blend of 3-year and 5-year performance, or, if shorter, the period of time that the portfolio manager has managed the product. In addition to their individual performance, evaluations take into account the performance of their group and a subjective component.
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Each portfolio manager is assigned an industry-competitive incentive compensation target consistent with this goal and evaluation framework. Actual incentive compensation may be higher or lower than the target, based on individual, group, and subjective performance, and may also reflect the performance of Putnam as a firm.
Incentive compensation includes a cash bonus and may also include grants of deferred cash, stock or options. In addition to incentive compensation, portfolio managers receive fixed annual salaries typically based on level of responsibility and experience.
For this fund, Putnam evaluates performance based on the fund’s pre-tax return relative to its benchmark, the S&P BDC Index.
Ownership of securities
At the date of this SAI, the portfolio managers of the fund owned no shares of the fund, including investments by immediate family members and amounts invested through retirement and deferred compensation plans.
INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM AND FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, 101 Seaport Boulevard, Boston, Massachusetts 02210, is the fund’s independent registered public accounting firm providing audit services, tax return review and other tax consulting services and assistance and consultation in connection with the review of various Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The fund has not yet commenced operations as of the date of this SAI.
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THE PUTNAM ETFS
STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (“SAI”)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
|GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE FUNDS||1|
|BUYING AND SELLING SHARES||1|
|MISCELLANEOUS INVESTMENTS, INVESTMENT PRACTICES AND RISKS||8|
|EXCHANGE TRADED FUND RISKS||65|
|DETERMINATION OF NET ASSET VALUE||94|
|DISCLOSURE OF PORTFOLIO INFORMATION||96|
|INFORMATION SECURITY RISKS||98|
|PROXY VOTING GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES||98|
|APPENDIX A - PROXY VOTING GUIDELINES||105|
|September 28, 2022|
THE PUTNAM ETFS
STATEMENT OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (“SAI”)
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE FUNDS
Each fund is an actively managed exchange-traded fund. Each fund issues and redeems shares on a continuous basis at net asset value per share (“NAV”) in aggregations of a specified number of shares called “Creation Units.” Creation Units are generally issued in exchange for portfolio securities and an amount of cash. Shares are listed and traded on an exchange. Shares trade in the secondary market at market prices that may differ from the shares’ NAV. Shares are not individually redeemable, but are redeemable only in Creation Unit aggregations, also in exchange for portfolio securities and an amount of cash. Shareholders who are not Authorized Participants (as defined herein), therefore, will not be able to purchase or redeem shares directly with or from a fund. Instead, most shareholders who are not Authorized Participants will buy and sell shares in the secondary market through a broker.
BUYING AND SELLING SHARES
Book-Entry Only System
The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) acts as securities depository for the shares. Shares of each fund are represented by securities registered in the name of DTC or its nominee and deposited with, or on behalf of, DTC. Certificates will not be issued for shares.
DTC, a limited-purpose trust company, was created to hold securities of its participants and to facilitate the clearance and settlement of securities transactions among DTC participants in such securities through electronic book-entry changes in accounts of the DTC participants, thereby eliminating the need for physical movement of securities certificates. DTC participants include securities brokers and dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations, and certain other organizations, some of whom (and/or their representatives) own DTC. Access to the DTC system is also available to others such as banks, brokers, dealers, and trust companies that clear through or maintain a custodial relationship with a DTC participant, either directly or indirectly.
Beneficial ownership of shares is limited to DTC participants and persons holding interests through DTC participants. Ownership of beneficial interests in shares (owners of beneficial interests are referred to herein as Beneficial Owners) is shown on, and the transfer of ownership is effected only through, records maintained by DTC (with respect to DTC participants) and on the records of DTC participants (with respect to indirect DTC participants and Beneficial Owners that are not DTC participants). Beneficial Owners will receive from or through a DTC participant a written confirmation relating to their purchase of shares.
Conveyance of all notices, statements and other communications to Beneficial Owners is effected as follows. Pursuant to the Depositary Agreement between the trust and DTC, DTC is required to make available to the trust upon request and for a fee to be charged to the trust a listing of the shares of each fund held by each DTC participant. The trust shall inquire of each such DTC participant as to the number of Beneficial Owners holding fund shares, directly or indirectly, through such DTC participant. The trust shall provide each such DTC participant with copies of such notice, statement or other communication, in such form, number and at such place as such DTC participant may reasonably request, in order that such notice, statement or communication may be transmitted by such DTC participant, directly or indirectly, to such Beneficial Owners. In addition, the trust shall pay to each such DTC participant a fair and reasonable amount as reimbursement for the expenses attendant to such transmittal, all subject to applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.
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Share distributions shall be made to DTC or its nominee, Cede & Co., as the registered holder of all shares. DTC or its nominee, upon receipt of any such distributions, shall credit immediately DTC participants’ accounts with payments in amounts proportionate to their respective beneficial interests in shares of each fund as shown on the records of DTC or its nominee. Payments by DTC participants to indirect DTC participants and Beneficial Owners of shares held through such DTC participants will be governed by standing instructions and customary practices, as is now the case with securities held for the accounts of customers in bearer form or registered in a “street name,” and will be the responsibility of such DTC participants.
The trust has no responsibility or liability for any aspect of the records relating to or notices to Beneficial Owners, or payments made on account of beneficial ownership interests in such shares, or for maintaining, supervising or reviewing any records relating to such beneficial ownership interests, or for any other aspect of the relationship between DTC and the DTC participants or the relationship between such DTC participants and the indirect DTC participants and Beneficial Owners owning through such DTC participants.
DTC may decide to discontinue providing its service with respect to shares at any time by giving reasonable notice to the trust and discharging its responsibilities with respect thereto under applicable law. Under such circumstances, the trust shall take action either to find a replacement for DTC to perform its functions at a comparable cost or, if such a replacement is unavailable, to issue and deliver printed certificates representing ownership of shares, unless the trust makes other arrangements with respect thereto satisfactory to the listing exchange.
The trust issues and redeems shares of each fund only in Creation Unit aggregations on a continuous basis through Foreside Fund Services, LLC (“Foreside”), the Fund’s distributor, without a sales load, at its NAV next determined after receipt, on any Business Day (as defined herein), of an order in proper form. An Authorized Participant that is not a “qualified institutional buyer,” as such term is defined under Rule 144A of the 1933 Act, will not be able to receive, as part of a redemption, restricted securities eligible for resale under Rule 144A.
A “Business Day” with respect to each fund is any day on which the listing exchange or the NYSE is open for business. As of the date of the prospectus, the listing exchange and the NYSE observe the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, President’s Day (Washington’s Birthday) (U.S.), Good Friday, Memorial Day, Juneteenth National Independence Day, Independence Day (U.S.), Labor Day (U.S.), Thanksgiving Day (U.S.), and Christmas Day.
To be eligible to place orders to purchase a Creation Unit of each fund, an entity must be an “Authorized Participant” which is a member or participant of a clearing agency registered with the SEC, which has a written agreement with Foreside, the fund’s distributor, that allows the Authorized Participant to place orders for the purchase and redemption of Creation Units (“Participant Agreement”). All shares of each fund, however created, will be entered on the records of DTC in the name of Cede & Co. for the account of a DTC participant.
Each fund reserves the right to adjust the prices of fund shares and the number of shares in a Creation Unit in the future to maintain convenient trading ranges for investors. Any adjustments would be accomplished through stock splits or reverse stock splits, which would have no effect on the net assets of each fund.
The consideration for purchase of a Creation Unit generally consists of an in-kind deposit of a portfolio of securities (“Deposit Securities”) designated by a fund (or in certain circumstances, cash in lieu of certain Deposit Securities) together with a deposit of a specified cash payment (“Cash Component”) computed as described herein. Alternatively, each fund may issue and redeem Creation Units in exchange for a specified
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all-cash payment (“Cash Deposit”). Together, the Deposit Securities (including any cash in lieu amounts) and the Cash Component or, alternatively, the Cash Deposit, constitute the “Portfolio Deposit,” which represents the minimum initial and subsequent investment amount for a Creation Unit. In the event each fund requires Deposit Securities (including any cash in lieu amounts) and a Cash Component in consideration for purchasing a Creation Unit, the function of the Cash Component is to compensate for any differences between the NAV per Creation Unit and the Deposit Amount (as defined below). The Cash Component would be an amount equal to the difference between the NAV of the shares (per Creation Unit) and the “Deposit Amount,” which is an amount equal to the market value of the Deposit Securities. If the Cash Component is a positive number (the NAV per Creation Unit exceeds the Deposit Amount), the Authorized Participant will deliver the Cash Component. If the Cash Component is a negative number (the NAV per Creation Unit is less than the Deposit Amount), the Authorized Participant will receive the Cash Component. Computation of the Cash Component excludes any stamp duty or other similar fees and expenses payable upon transfer of beneficial ownership of the Deposit Securities, which shall be the sole responsibility of the Authorized Participant.
A fund may determine, upon receiving a purchase order from an Authorized Participant, to accept a basket of securities or cash that differs from Deposit Securities or to permit the substitution of an amount of cash (i.e., a “cash-in-lieu” amount) to be added to the Cash Component to replace any Deposit Security. In cases where a fund purchases portfolio securities with cash, the Authorized Participant will reimburse the fund for, among other things, any difference between the market value at which the securities were purchased by the fund and the cash in lieu amount (which amount, at Putnam Management’s discretion, may be capped), applicable registration fees and taxes. Brokerage commissions incurred in connection with a fund’s acquisition of Deposit Securities will be at the expense of the fund and will affect the value of all shares of the fund; but Putnam Management may adjust the transaction fee to the extent the composition of the Deposit Securities changes or cash in lieu is added to the Cash Component to protect ongoing shareholders.
Procedures for Creation Unit Purchases.
All purchase orders must be placed for one or more Creation Units. All orders to purchase Creation Units must be received by Foreside or its agent no later than the closing time of regular trading hours on the listing exchange or the NYSE (ordinarily 4:00 p.m. Eastern time) (the Closing Time) or at an earlier time set forth in the Participant Agreement or otherwise provided to all Authorized Participants on the date such order is placed in order for the creation of Creation Units to be effected based on the NAV of shares of each fund as next determined on such date after receipt of the order in proper form. The date on which an order to purchase Creation Units (or an order to redeem Creation Units as discussed below) is placed is referred to as the “Transmittal Date.” Orders must be transmitted by an Authorized Participant by telephone or other transmission method acceptable to Foreside pursuant to procedures set forth in the Participant Agreement. Severe economic or market disruptions or changes, or telephone or other communications failure may impede the ability to reach Foreside or an Authorized Participant.
All orders to purchase Creation Units shall be placed with an Authorized Participant, as applicable, in the form required by such Authorized Participant. In addition, in the event an Authorized Participant places an order on behalf of an investor, the Authorized Participant may request the investor to make certain representations or enter into agreements with respect to the order, including payments of cash to pay the Cash Component, when required. Investors should be aware that their particular broker may not have executed a Participant Agreement and that, therefore, orders to purchase Creation Units have to be placed by the investor’s broker through an Authorized Participant that has executed a Participant Agreement. In such cases there may be additional charges to such investor. At any given time, there may be only a limited number of broker-dealers that have executed a Participant Agreement.
Those placing orders to purchase Creation Units should afford sufficient time to permit proper submission of the order to Foreside or its agent prior to the applicable deadlines on the Transmittal Date. Authorized participants may ascertain the deadlines applicable to DTC and the Federal Reserve Bank wire system by
|September 28, 2022||II-3|
contacting the operations department of the broker or depository institution effecting such transfer of Deposit Securities and Cash Component.
Portfolio Deposits must be delivered through the Federal Reserve System (for cash and government securities) and through DTC (for corporate securities) by an Authorized Participant that has executed a Participant Agreement. The Portfolio Deposit transfer must be ordered by the Authorized Participant on the Transmittal Date in a timely fashion so as to ensure the delivery of the requisite number of Deposit Securities through DTC to the account of each fund by no later than 1:00 p.m. Eastern time of the next Business Day immediately following the Transmittal Date. In certain cases Authorized Participants will purchase and redeem Creation Units of each fund on the same Transmittal Date. In these instances, each fund reserves the right to settle these transactions on a net basis.
All questions as to the number of Deposit Securities to be delivered, and the validity, form and eligibility (including time of receipt) for the deposit of any tendered securities, will be determined by each fund, whose determination shall be final and binding. For purchase orders composed solely of a Cash Component, the amount of cash equal to the Cash Component must be transferred directly to each fund’s custodian through the Federal Reserve Bank wire transfer system in a timely manner so as to be received by each fund’s custodian no later than 10:00 a.m. Eastern time on the next Business Day immediately following such Transmittal Date. An order to purchase Creation Units is deemed received by Foreside on the Transmittal Date if (i) such order is received by Foreside or its agent not later than the Closing Time, or 3:00 p.m. Eastern time in the case of nonconforming orders, on such Transmittal Date; and (ii) all other procedures set forth in the Participant Agreement are properly followed. However, if each fund’s custodian does not receive the required Deposit Securities together with the associated Cash Component by 1:00 p.m. or, with respect to purchase orders composed solely of a Cash Component, the Cash Component by 10:00 a.m. on the next Business Day immediately following the Transmittal Date, such order will be deemed not in proper form and canceled. Upon written notice to Foreside, such canceled order may be resubmitted the following Business Day using a Portfolio Deposit as newly constituted to reflect the next calculated NAV of each fund. The delivery of Creation Units so purchased will occur not later than the second (2nd) Business Day following the day on which the purchase order is deemed received by Foreside.
Foreside or its agent will inform the transfer agent, Putnam Management and each fund’s custodian upon receipt of a purchase order. The custodian will then provide such information to the appropriate sub-custodian. The custodian will cause the sub-custodian to maintain an account into which the Deposit Securities (or the cash value of all or part of such securities, in the case of a cash purchase or “cash in lieu” amount) will be delivered. Deposit Securities must be delivered to an account maintained at the applicable local custodian. The trust must also receive, on or before the contractual settlement date, immediately available or same day funds estimated by the custodian to be sufficient to pay the Cash Component next determined after receipt in proper form of the purchase order, together with the purchase transaction fee described in Part I of this SAI.
Once the Trust has accepted a purchase order, the trust will confirm the issuance of a Creation Unit of a fund against receipt of payment, at such NAV as will have been calculated after receipt in proper form of such order. Foreside or its agent will then transmit a confirmation of acceptance of such order.
Creation Units will not be issued until the transfer of good title to the trust of the Deposit Securities and the payment of the Cash Component have been completed. When the sub-custodian has confirmed to the custodian that the required Deposit Securities (or the cash value thereof) have been delivered to the account of the relevant sub-custodian, Foreside and Putnam Management will be notified of such delivery and the trust will issue and cause the delivery of the Creation Units.
Creation Units may be created in advance of receipt by each fund of all or a portion of the applicable Deposit Securities as described below. In these circumstances, the initial deposit will have a value greater than the NAV of the shares on the date the order is placed in proper form since, in addition to available Deposit Securities, cash must be deposited in an amount equal to the sum of (i) the Cash Component (including any
|September 28, 2022||II-4|
Transaction Fees), plus (ii) 105% of the market value of the undelivered Deposit Securities (“Additional Cash Deposit”). The order shall be deemed to be received on the Business Day on which the order is placed provided that the order is placed in proper form prior to 3:00 p.m. Eastern time on such date and federal funds in the appropriate amount are deposited with each fund’s custodian by 10:00 a.m. Eastern time the following Business Day. If the order is not placed in proper form by 3:00 p.m. or federal funds in the appropriate amount are not received by 10:00 a.m. the next Business Day, then the order may be deemed to be rejected and the Authorized Participant shall be liable to each fund for losses, if any, resulting therefrom. An additional amount of cash shall be required to be deposited with each fund, pending delivery of the missing Deposit Securities to the extent necessary to maintain the Additional Cash Deposit with each fund in an amount at least equal to 105% of the daily marked to market value of the missing Deposit Securities. In the sole discretion of each fund following the Business Day on which the order was received a fund may use the cash on deposit to purchase the missing Deposit Securities. Authorized Participants will be liable to each fund for the costs incurred by each fund in connection with any such purchases. These costs will be deemed to include the amount by which the actual purchase price of the Deposit Securities exceeds the market value of such Deposit Securities on the day the purchase order was deemed received by Foreside plus the brokerage and related transaction costs associated with such purchases and the Authorized Participant shall be liable to the fund for any shortfall between the cost to the fund of purchasing any missing Deposit Securities and the value of the collateral. Each fund will return any unused portion of the Additional Cash Deposit once all of the missing Deposit Securities have been properly received by Foreside or purchased by each fund and deposited into each fund.
Acceptance of Purchase Orders.
Each fund and Foreside reserve the right to reject or revoke acceptance of a creation order transmitted to it in respect to the fund, if, including but not limited to, the following conditions are present(i) the order is not in proper form; (ii) the investor(s), upon obtaining the shares ordered, would own 80% or more of the currently outstanding shares of each fund; (iii) acceptance of the Deposit Securities would have certain adverse tax consequences to each fund; (iv) acceptance of the Portfolio Deposit would, in the opinion of the fund, be unlawful; or (iv) in the event that circumstances outside the control of each fund, make it impossible to process creation orders for all practical purposes. Examples of such circumstances include, without limitation, acts of God; public service or utility problems such as earthquakes, fires, floods, extreme weather conditions, and power outages resulting in telephone, telecopy, and computer failures; wars; civil or military disturbances, including acts of civil or military authority or governmental actions; terrorism; sabotage; epidemics; riots; labor disputes; market conditions or activities causing trading halts; systems failures involving computer or other information systems affecting each fund, Putnam Management, Foreside, DTC, NSCC, the transfer agent, or any other participant in the purchase process, and similar extraordinary events. Each fund and Foreside have the right to require information to determine beneficial share ownership for purposes of (ii) above should it so choose or to rely on a certification from a broker-dealer who is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. as to the cost basis of Deposit Securities. Foreside or the fund shall notify a prospective purchaser of a Creation Unit and/or the Authorized Participant acting on the purchaser’s behalf, of its rejection of the purchaser’s order. Each fund, the transfer agent, and Foreside are under no duty, however, to verify or give notification of any defects or irregularities in any written order or in the delivery of a Portfolio Deposit, nor shall any of them incur any liability for the failure to give any such notification.
Redemption of Creation Units
Shares may be redeemed only in Creation Units at their NAV next determined after receipt of a redemption request in proper form by each fund through the transfer agent and only on a Business Day through an Authorized Participant that has entered into a Participant Agreement. Each fund generally will not redeem shares in amounts less than Creation Unit-size aggregations. Beneficial Owners must accumulate enough shares to constitute a Creation Unit in order to have such shares redeemed by each fund. There can be no assurance, however, that there will be sufficient liquidity in the public trading market at any time to permit assembly of a Creation Unit. Investors should expect to incur brokerage and other costs in connection with assembling a sufficient number of shares to constitute a redeemable Creation Unit.
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The redemption proceeds for a Creation Unit may consist of a portfolio of securities (Fund Securities) – as announced by Putnam Management, or its agent, on the Business Day of the request for redemption received in proper form – plus cash in an amount equal to the difference between the NAV of the shares being redeemed, as next determined after a receipt of the request in proper form, and the value of the Fund Securities (“Cash Redemption Amount”), less a redemption transaction fee and any variable fee as listed in Part I of this SAI. In the event that the Fund Securities have a value greater than the NAV of the shares being redeemed, a compensating cash payment to a fund equal to the differential plus the applicable redemption transaction fee is required to be made by or through an Authorized Participant by the redeeming shareholder. Notwithstanding the foregoing, each fund will substitute a cash-in-lieu amount to replace any Fund Security that is a non-deliverable instrument. The amount of the cash paid out in such cases will be equivalent to the value of the instrument listed as a Fund Security.
The right of redemption may be suspended or the date of payment postponed with respect to each fund (i) for any period during which the NYSE is closed (other than customary weekend and holiday closings); (ii) for any period during which trading on the NYSE is suspended or restricted; (iii) for any period during which an emergency exists as a result of which disposal of the shares or determination of each fund’s NAV is not reasonably practicable; or (iv) in such other circumstances as is permitted by the SEC.
Orders to redeem Creation Units must be delivered through an Authorized Participant. An order to redeem Creation Units is deemed received by each fund on the Transmittal Date if (i) such order is received in proper form by the transfer agent not later than the Closing Time (or one hour prior to the Closing Time (ordinarily 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time) for nonconforming orders) on such Transmittal Date; (ii) such order is accompanied or followed by the requisite number of shares of each fund and the Cash Redemption Amount specified in such order, which delivery must be made through DTC to each fund’s custodian no later than 1:00 p.m., for the shares, and 3:00 p.m., for the Cash Redemption Amount, Eastern time on the next Business Day following such Transmittal Date (the “DTC Cut-Off-Time”); and (iii) all other procedures set forth in the Participant Agreement are properly followed. The requisite Fund Securities and the Cash Redemption Amount will generally be transferred by the second (2nd) Business Day following the date on which such request for redemption is deemed received, which will generally be no more than seven (7) days after such request for redemption but may be up to fifteen days for funds that invest in foreign securities. In certain cases, Authorized Participants will redeem and purchase Creation Units of each fund on the same Transmittal Date. In these instances, each fund reserves the right to settle these transactions on a net basis.
If each fund determines, based on information available to each fund when a redemption request is submitted by an Authorized Participant, that: (i) the short interest of each fund in the marketplace (i.e., the number of shares of the fund that have been sold short but have not yet been covered or closed out) is greater than or equal to 100%; and (ii) the orders in the aggregate from all Authorized Participants redeeming shares on a Business Day represent 25% or more of the outstanding shares of each fund, such Authorized Participant will be required to verify to each fund the accuracy of its representations that are deemed to have been made by submitting a request for redemption. If, after receiving notice of the verification requirement, the Authorized Participant does not verify the accuracy of its representations that are deemed to have been made by submitting a request for redemption in accordance with this requirement, its redemption request will be considered not to have been received in proper form.
To the extent contemplated by an Authorized Participant’s agreement, in the event the Authorized Participant has submitted a redemption request in proper form but is unable to transfer all or part of the Creation Units to be redeemed to Foreside, on behalf of each fund, at or prior to the closing time of regular trading on the listing exchange on the date such redemption request is submitted, Foreside will nonetheless accept the redemption request in reliance on the undertaking by the Authorized Participant to deliver the missing fund shares as soon as possible, which undertaking shall be secured by the Authorized Participant’s delivery and maintenance of collateral consisting of cash having a value (marked to market daily) at least equal to 105% of the value of the missing fund shares. The current procedures for collateralization of missing shares require, among other things,
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that any cash collateral shall be in the form of U.S. dollars in immediately-available funds and shall be held by each fund and marked to market daily, and that the fees of each fund and any sub-custodians in respect of the delivery, maintenance, and redelivery of the cash collateral shall be payable by the Authorized Participant. The Participant Agreement will permit each fund to purchase the missing fund shares or acquire the Deposit Securities underlying such shares at any time and will subject the Authorized Participant to liability for any shortfall between the cost to each fund of purchasing such shares or Deposit Securities and the value of the collateral.
The calculation of the value of the Fund Securities and the Cash Redemption Amount to be delivered upon redemption will be made by Putnam Management according to the procedures set forth in the section entitled “Determination of Net Asset Value” computed on the Business Day on which a redemption order is deemed received by the transfer agent. Therefore, if a conforming redemption order in proper form is submitted to the transfer agent by an Authorized Participant not later than Closing Time, or 3:00 p.m. Eastern time in the case of nonconforming orders, on the Transmittal Date, and the requisite number of shares of each fund are delivered to each fund’s custodian prior to the DTC Cut-Off-Time, then the value of the Fund Securities and the Cash Redemption Amount to be delivered will be determined by State Street Bank and Trust Company on such Transmittal Date. If, however, a conforming redemption order is submitted to the transfer agent by an Authorized Participant not later than the Closing Time, or 3:00 p.m. Eastern time in the case of nonconforming orders, on the Transmittal Date but either (i) the requisite number of shares of each fund and the Cash Redemption Amount are not delivered by the DTC Cut-Off-Time as described above on the next Business Day following the Transmittal Date, or (ii) the redemption order is not submitted in proper form, then the redemption order will not be deemed received as of the Transmittal Date. In such case, the value of the Fund Securities and the Cash Redemption Amount to be delivered will be computed as of the Closing Time on the Business Day that such order is deemed received by the transfer agent, i.e., the Business Day on which the shares of each fund are delivered through DTC to Foreside by the DTC Cut-Off-Time on such Business Day pursuant to a properly submitted redemption order.
A fund may in its discretion exercise its option to redeem shares in cash, and the redeeming Beneficial Owner will be required to receive its redemption proceeds in cash. In addition, an investor may request a redemption in cash that each fund may, in its sole discretion, permit. In either case, the investor will receive a cash payment equal to the NAV of its shares based on the NAV of shares of each fund next determined after the redemption request is received in proper from (minus a redemption transaction fee and additional charge for requested cash redemptions specified above, to offset each fund’s brokerage and other transaction costs associated with the disposition of Fund Securities). In addition, each fund reserves the right to honor a redemption request by delivering a basket of securities or cash that differs from the Fund Securities.
Redemption of shares for Fund Securities will be subject to compliance with applicable federal and state securities laws and each fund (whether or not it otherwise permits cash redemptions) reserves the right to redeem Creation Units for cash to the extent that each fund could not lawfully deliver specific Fund Securities upon redemptions or could not do so without first registering the Fund Securities under such laws. An Authorized Participant or a Beneficial Owner for which it is acting subject to a legal restriction with respect to a particular stock included in the Fund Securities applicable to the redemption of a Creation Unit may be paid an equivalent amount of cash. The Authorized Participant may request the redeeming Beneficial Owner of the shares to complete an order form or to enter into agreements with respect to such matters as compensating cash payment.
In connection with taking delivery of shares for Fund Securities upon redemption of Creation Units, a redeeming shareholder or entity acting on behalf of a redeeming shareholder must maintain appropriate custody arrangements with a qualified broker-dealer, bank or other custody providers in each jurisdiction in which any of the Fund Securities are customarily traded, to which account such Fund Securities will be delivered. If neither the redeeming shareholder nor the entity acting on behalf of a redeeming shareholder has appropriate arrangements to take delivery of the Fund Securities in the applicable foreign jurisdiction and it is not possible to make other such arrangements, or if it is not possible to effect deliveries of the Fund Securities
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in such jurisdictions, the trust may, in its discretion, exercise its option to redeem such shares in cash, and the redeeming shareholder will be required to receive its redemption proceeds in cash.
Deliveries of redemption proceeds generally will be made within two Business Days. Due to the schedule of holidays in certain countries, however, the delivery of redemption proceeds may take longer than two Business Days after the day on which the redemption request is received in proper form. In such cases, the local market settlement procedures will not commence until the end of the local holiday periods.
Creation/Redemption Transaction Fees
A standard (fixed) transaction fee payable to the funds’ custodian is imposed on each transaction regardless of the number of Creation Units involved. The amount of such fee is set forth in Part I of this SAI. In addition, a variable charge for cash creations and redemptions may be imposed. Where a fund permits cash creations (or redemptions) or cash in lieu of depositing one or more Deposit Securities, the purchaser (or redeemer) may be assessed a higher transaction fee to offset the transaction cost to a fund of buying (or selling) those particular Deposit Securities. Each fund reserves the right to not impose the additional transaction fee or to vary the amount of the additional transaction fee, depending on the materiality of the fund’s actual transaction costs incurred or where the Adviser believes that not imposing or varying the additional transaction fee would be in the fund’s interest. Transaction fees associated with the redemption of Creation Units will not exceed 2% of the value of shares redeemed. To the extent the fund cannot recoup the amount of transaction costs incurred in connection with a redemption from the redeeming shareholder because of the 2% cap or otherwise, those transaction costs will be borne by the fund’s remaining shareholders and negatively affect the fund’s performance. Actual transaction costs may vary depending on the time of day an order is received or the nature of the securities. Investors bear the costs of transferring Deposit Securities or Fund Securities to/from each fund to/from their account or on their order. See “Creation/Redemption Transaction Fees” in Part I of this SAI for information on standard transaction fees and maximum additional transaction fees.
MISCELLANEOUS INVESTMENTS, INVESTMENT PRACTICES AND RISKS
As noted in the prospectus, in addition to the main investment strategies and the principal risks described in the prospectus, the fund may employ other investment practices and may be subject to other risks, which are described below. Because the following is a combined description of investment strategies of all series of Putnam ETF Trust that disclose their holdings daily, certain matters described herein may not apply to your fund. Unless a strategy or policy described below is specifically prohibited or limited by the investment restrictions discussed in the fund’s prospectus or in this SAI, or by applicable law, the fund may engage in each of the practices described below without limit. This section contains information on the investments and investment practices listed below. With respect to funds for which Putnam Investments Limited (“PIL”) and/or PanAgora Asset Management, Inc. (“PanAgora”) serve as sub-adviser (as described in the fund’s prospectus), references to Putnam Management in this section include PIL and/or PanAgora, as appropriate.
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|Bank Loans, Loan Participations, and Assignments||Market Risk|
|Borrowing and Other Forms of Leverage||Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs)|
|Collateralized Debt and Loan Obligations||Money Market Instruments|
Commodities and Commodity-Related Investments
Mortgage-backed and Asset-backed Securities
Options on Securities
|ESG Considerations||Preferred Stocks and Convertible Securities|
|Exchange-Traded Notes||Private Placements and Restricted Securities|
|Floating Rate and Variable Rate Demand Notes||Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)|
|Foreign Currency Transactions||Redeemable Securities|
|Foreign Investments and Related Risks||Repurchase Agreements|
|Forward Commitments and Dollar Rolls||Securities of Other Investment Companies|
|Futures Contracts and Related Options||Short Sales|
Special Purpose Acquisition Companies
|Inflation-Protected Securities||Structured Investments|
|Initial Public Offerings (IPOs)||Swap Agreements|
|Inverse Floaters||Tax-exempt Securities|
|Legal and Regulatory Risk Relating to Investment Strategy||Temporary Defensive Strategies|
London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR)
Zero-coupon and Payment-in-kind Bonds
Bank Loans, Loan Participations, and Assignments
The fund may invest in bank loans. Bank loans are typically senior debt obligations of borrowers (issuers) and, as such, are considered to hold a senior position in the capital structure of the borrower. These may include loans that hold the most senior position, that hold an equal ranking with other senior debt, or loans that are, in the judgment of Putnam Management, in the category of senior debt of the borrower. This capital structure position generally gives the holders of these loans a priority claim on some or all of the borrower’s assets in the event of a default. Many loans are either partially or fully secured by the assets of the borrower, and some impose restrictive covenants which must be met by the borrower, although these covenants have become less common, and the terms of covenants have eroded, in recent years. Loans are typically made by a syndicate of banks, represented by an agent bank which has negotiated and structured the loan and which is responsible generally for collecting interest, principal, and other amounts from the borrower on its own behalf and on behalf of the other lending institutions in the syndicate, and for enforcing its and their other rights against the borrower. Each of the lending institutions, including the agent bank, lends to the borrower a portion of the total amount of the loan, and retains the corresponding interest in the loan.
By purchasing a loan, the fund acquires some or all of the interest of a bank or other lending institution in a loan to a particular borrower. The fund may acquire a loan interest directly by acting as a member of the original lending syndicate. The fund may also invest in a loan in other ways, including through novations, assignments and participating interests. In a novation, the fund assumes all of the rights of a lending institution in a loan, including the right to receive payments of principal and interest and other amounts directly from the borrower and to enforce its rights as a lender directly against the borrower. The fund assumes the position of a co-lender with other syndicate members. In an assignment, the fund purchases a portion of a lender’s interest in a loan. In this case, the fund may be required generally to rely upon the assigning bank to demand payment and enforce its rights against the borrower, but would otherwise be entitled to all of such bank’s rights in the loan. The fund may also purchase a participating interest in a portion of the rights of a lending institution in a loan. Participation interests typically result in a contractual relationship only with the lending institution, not with the borrower. In such case, the fund will be entitled to receive payments of principal, interest and
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premium, if any, but will not generally be entitled to enforce its rights directly against the agent bank or the borrower, and must rely for that purpose on the lending institution. In addition, with a participation interest, the fund generally will have no rights of set-off against the borrower, and the fund may not directly benefit from the collateral supporting the loan in which it has purchased the participation.
The fund’s ability to receive payments of principal and interest and other amounts in connection with loan interests held by it will depend primarily on the financial condition of the borrower (and, in some cases, the lending institution from which it purchases the loan). Adverse changes in the creditworthiness of the borrower may affect the borrower’s ability to pay principal and interest, and borrowers that are in bankruptcy or restructuring may never pay off their indebtedness, or may pay only a small fraction of the amount owed. The value of collateral, if any, securing a loan can decline, or may be insufficient to meet the borrower’s obligations or difficult to liquidate. In addition, the fund’s access to collateral may be limited by bankruptcy or other insolvency laws. The failure by the fund to receive scheduled interest or principal payments on a loan would adversely affect the income of the fund and would likely reduce the value of its assets, which would be reflected in a reduction in the fund’s net asset value. Banks and other lending institutions generally perform a credit analysis of the borrower before originating a loan or participating in a lending syndicate. In selecting the loan interests in which the fund will invest, however, Putnam Management will not rely solely on that credit analysis, but will perform its own investment analysis of the borrowers. Putnam Management’s analysis may include consideration of the borrower’s financial strength and managerial experience, debt coverage, additional borrowing requirements or debt maturity schedules, changing financial conditions, and responsiveness to changes in business conditions and interest rates. Putnam Management will generally not have access to non-public information to which other investors in syndicated loans may have access. Because loans in which the fund may invest are not generally rated by independent credit rating agencies, a decision by the fund to invest in a particular loan will depend almost exclusively on Putnam Management’s, and the original lending institution’s, credit analysis of the borrower. Investments in loans may be of any quality, including “distressed” loans, and will be subject to the fund’s credit quality policy. The loans in which the fund may invest include those that pay fixed rates of interest and those that pay floating rates – i.e., rates that adjust periodically based on a known lending rate, such as a bank’s prime rate. To the extent an applicable interest rate is based on LIBOR, the fund will be exposed to certain additional risks. See “London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR)” below for more information.
The fund will in many cases be required to rely upon the lending institution from which it purchases the loan interest to collect and pass on to the fund such payments and to enforce the fund’s rights under the loan. This may subject the fund to greater delays, expenses, and risks than if the fund could enforce its rights directly against the borrower. For example, an insolvency, bankruptcy or reorganization of the lending institution may delay or prevent the fund from receiving principal, interest and other amounts with respect to the underlying loan. When the fund is required to rely upon a lending institution to pay to the fund principal, interest and other amounts received by it, Putnam Management will also evaluate the creditworthiness of the lending institution.
The borrower of a loan in which the fund holds an interest may, either at its own election or pursuant to terms of the loan documentation, prepay amounts of the loan from time to time. The rate of such prepayments may be affected by, among other things, general business and economic conditions, as well as the financial status of the borrower. Prepayment would cause the actual duration of a loan to be shorter than its stated maturity. There is no assurance that the fund will be able to reinvest the proceeds of any loan prepayment at the same interest rate or on the same terms as those of the original loan.
Corporate loans in which the fund may invest are generally made to finance internal growth, mergers, acquisitions, stock repurchases, leveraged buy-outs and other corporate activities. A significant portion of the corporate loan interests purchased by the fund may represent interests in loans made to finance highly leveraged corporate acquisitions, known as “leveraged buy-out” transactions, leveraged recapitalization loans and other types of acquisition financing. The highly leveraged capital structure of the borrowers in such transactions may make such loans especially vulnerable to adverse changes in economic or market conditions.
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The market for bank loans may not be highly liquid. In addition, loan interests generally are subject to restrictions on transfer, and only limited opportunities may exist to sell such interests in secondary markets. As a result, the fund may be unable to sell loan interests at a time when it may otherwise be desirable to do so or may be able to sell them only at a price that is less than their fair market value. The fund may hold investments in loans for a very short period of time when opportunities to resell the investments that Putnam Management believes are attractive arise.
Certain of the loan interests acquired by the fund may involve letters of credit, revolving credit facilities, or other standby financing commitments obligating the fund to make additional loans upon demand by the borrower pursuant to the terms specified in the loan documentation. This obligation may have the effect of requiring the fund to increase its investment in a borrower at a time when it would not otherwise have done so. To the extent that the fund is committed to make additional loans under the loan documentation, it will at all times set aside on its books liquid assets in an amount sufficient to meet such commitments.
Certain of the loan interests acquired by the fund may also involve loans made in foreign (i.e., non-U.S.) currencies. The fund’s investment in such interests would involve the risks of currency fluctuations described in this SAI with respect to investments in the foreign securities.
With respect to its management of investments in bank loans, Putnam Management will normally seek to avoid receiving material, non-public information (“Confidential Information”) about the issuers of bank loans being considered for acquisition by the fund or held in the fund’s portfolio. In many instances, borrowers may offer to furnish Confidential Information to prospective investors, and to holders, of the issuer’s loans. Putnam Management’s decision not to receive Confidential Information may place Putnam Management at a disadvantage relative to other investors in loans (which could have an adverse effect on the price the fund pays or receives when buying or selling loans). Also, in instances where holders of loans are asked to grant amendments, waivers or consent, Putnam Management’s ability to assess their significance or desirability may be adversely affected. For these and other reasons, it is possible that Putnam Management’s decision not to receive Confidential Information under normal circumstances could adversely affect the fund’s investment performance.
Notwithstanding its intention generally not to receive material, non-public information with respect to its management of investments in loans, Putnam Management may from time to time come into possession of material, non-public information about the issuers of loan interests that may be held in the fund’s portfolio. Possession of such information may in some instances occur despite Putnam Management’s efforts to avoid such possession, but in other instances Putnam Management may choose to receive such information (for example, in connection with participation in a creditors’ committee with respect to a financially distressed issuer). As, and to the extent, required by applicable law, Putnam Management’s ability to trade in these loan interests for the account of the fund could potentially be limited by its possession of such information. Such limitations on Putnam Management’s ability to trade could have an adverse effect on the fund by, for example, preventing the fund from selling a loan interest that is experiencing a material decline in value. In some instances, these trading restrictions could continue in effect for a substantial period of time.
In some instances, other accounts managed by Putnam Management or an affiliate may hold other securities issued by borrowers in whose loans the fund may hold an interest. These other securities may include, for example, debt securities that are subordinate to the loan interests held in the fund’s portfolio, convertible debt or common or preferred equity securities. In certain circumstances, such as if the credit quality of the issuer deteriorates, the interests of holders of these other securities may conflict with the interests of the holders of the issuer’s loans. In such cases, Putnam Management may owe conflicting fiduciary duties to the fund and other client accounts. Putnam Management will endeavor to carry out its obligations to all of its clients (including the fund) to the fullest extent possible, recognizing that in some cases certain clients may achieve a lower economic return, as a result of these conflicting client interests, than if Putnam Management’s client accounts collectively held only a single category of the issuer’s securities.
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The settlement period (the period between the execution of the trade and the delivery of cash to the purchaser) for some bank loan transactions may be significantly longer than the settlement period for other investments, and in some cases longer than seven days. Requirements to obtain the consent of the borrower and/or agent can delay or impede the fund’s ability to sell bank loan interests and can adversely affect the price that can be obtained. It is possible that sale proceeds from bank loan transactions will not be available to meet redemption obligations, in which case the fund may be required to utilize other sources to meet the redemption obligations, such as cash balances or proceeds from the sale of its more liquid investments or investments with shorter settlement periods.
Some loan interests may not be considered “securities” for certain purposes under the federal securities laws, and, as a result, purchasers, such as the fund, may not be entitled to rely on the anti-fraud protections of the federal securities laws.
If legislation or federal or state regulators impose additional requirements or restrictions on the ability of financial institutions to make loans that are considered highly leveraged transactions, the availability of bank loans for investment by a fund may be adversely affected. In addition, such requirements or restrictions could reduce or eliminate sources of financing for certain borrowers. This would increase the risk of default. If legislation or federal or state regulators require financial institutions to dispose of bank loans that are considered highly leveraged transactions or subject such bank loans to increased regulatory scrutiny, financial institutions may determine to sell such bank loans. If a fund attempts to sell a bank loan at a time when a financial institution is engaging in such a sale, the price a fund could get for the bank loan may be adversely affected.
Borrowing and Other Forms of Leverage
The fund may borrow money to the extent permitted by its investment policies and restrictions and by Section 18 of the 1940 Act. When the fund borrows money, it must pay interest and other fees, which will reduce the fund’s returns if such costs exceed the returns on the portfolio securities purchased or retained with such borrowings. In addition, if the fund makes additional investments while borrowings are outstanding, this may be considered a form of leverage.
Each fund participates in a committed line of credit provided by State Street Bank and Trust Company and an uncommitted line of credit provided by State Street Bank and Trust Company. These lines of credit are intended to provide a temporary source of cash in extraordinary or emergency circumstances, such as unexpected shareholder redemption requests. The fund may pay a commitment or other fee to maintain a line of credit, in addition to the stated interest rate. Each participating fund in the committed line of credit is required to maintain a specified asset coverage ratio.
In addition to borrowing money from banks, the fund may engage in certain other investment transactions that may be viewed as forms of financial leverage – for example, using dollar rolls, investing collateral from loans of portfolio securities, entering into when-issued, delayed-delivery or forward commitment transactions or using derivatives such as swaps, futures, forwards, and options. Because the fund either (1) sets aside cash (or other assets determined to be liquid by Putnam Management in accordance with procedures established by the Trustees) on its books in respect of such transactions during the period in which the transactions are open or (2) otherwise “covers” its obligations under the transactions, such as by holding offsetting investments, the fund does not consider these transactions to be borrowings for purposes of its investment restrictions or “senior securities” for purposes of the 1940 Act. In some cases (e.g., with respect to futures, options, forwards and certain swaps such as total return swaps that are contractually required to “cash-settle”), the fund is permitted under relevant guidance from the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) or SEC staff to set aside assets with respect to an investment transaction in the amount of its net (marked-to-market) obligations thereunder, rather than the full notional amount of the transaction. By setting aside assets equal only to its net
|September 28, 2022||II-12|
(marked-to-market) obligations, the fund will have the ability to employ leverage to a greater extent than if it set aside assets equal to the notional amount of the transaction, which may increase the risk associated with such investments. When the fund is a seller of credit protection under a credit default swap, the fund will set aside the full notional amount of the swap transaction.
Leveraging tends to exaggerate the effect of any increase or decrease in the value of the fund’s holding. When the fund borrows money or otherwise leverages its portfolio, the value of an investment in the fund will be more volatile and other investment risks will tend to be compounded. Leveraging also may require that the fund liquidate portfolio securities when it may not be advantageous to do so, to satisfy its obligations. Leveraging may expose the fund to losses in excess of the amounts invested. Furthermore, if the fund uses leverage through purchasing derivative instruments, the fund has the risk that losses may exceed the net assets of the fund.
Collateralized Debt and Loan Obligations.
The fund may invest in collateralized debt obligations (“CDOs”). CDOs are types of asset-backed securitized instruments and include collateralized loan obligations (“CLOs”) and other similarly structured securities. Although certain CDOs may benefit from credit enhancement in the form of a senior-subordinate structure, overcollateralization or bond insurance, such enhancement may not always be present, and may fail to protect a fund against the risk of loss on default of the collateral. CDOs may charge management and administrative fees, which are in addition to those of a fund. CDOs may be less liquid than other types of securities.
The risks of an investment in a CDO largely depend on the type of underlying collateral securities and the tranche in which a fund invests. CDOs are subject to the typical risks associated with debt instruments and fixed income and/or asset-backed securities discussed elsewhere in the prospectus and in this SAI, including interest rate risk (which may be exacerbated if the interest rate payable on a structured financing changes based on multiples of changes in interest rates or inversely to changes in interest rates), prepayment risk, credit risk (including adverse credit spread moves), liquidity risk and market risk. , CDOs carry additional risks including, but not limited to: (i) the possibility that distributions from collateral securities will not be adequate to make interest or other payments and one or more tranches may be subject to up to 100% loss of invested capital; (ii) the possibility that the quality of the collateral may decline in value or default, due to factors such as the availability of any credit enhancement, the level and timing of payments and recoveries on and the characteristics of the underlying receivables, loans, or other assets that are being securitized, remoteness of those assets from the originator or transferor, the adequacy of and ability to realize upon any related collateral, and the capability of the servicer of the securitized assets (particularly where the underlying collateral in a loan portfolio is not individually assessed prior to purchase); (iii) market and illiquidity risks affecting the price of a structured finance investment, if required to be sold, at the time of sale; and (iv) if the particular structured product is invested in a security in which a fund is also invested, this would tend to increase the fund’s overall exposure to the credit of the issuer of such securities, at least on an absolute, if not on a relative basis. In addition, due to the complex nature of a CDO, an investment in a CDO may not perform as expected. An investment in a CDO also is subject to the risk that the issuer and the investors may interpret the terms of the instrument differently, giving rise to disputes.
A CLO is an obligation of a trust or other special purpose vehicle typically collateralized by a pool of loans, which may include, among others, domestic and foreign senior secured loans, senior unsecured loans, and subordinate corporate loans, including loans that may be rated below investment grade or equivalent unrated loans. CLOs may charge management and other administrative fees. Payments of principal and interest are passed through to investors in a CLO and divided into several tranches of rated debt securities, which vary in risk and yield, and typically at least one tranche of unrated subordinated securities, which may be debt or equity (“CLO Securities”). CLO Securities generally receive some variation of principal and/or interest installments and, with the exception of certain subordinated securities, bear different interest rates. If there are
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defaults or if a CLO’s collateral otherwise underperforms, scheduled payments to senior tranches typically take priority over less senior tranches.
CLO Securities may be privately placed and thus subject to restrictions on transfer to meet securities law and other legal requirements. In the event that any fund does not satisfy certain of the applicable transfer restrictions at any time that it holds CLO Securities, it may be forced to sell the related CLO Securities and may suffer a loss on sale. CLO Securities may be considered illiquid investments in the event there is no secondary market for the CLO Securities. CLOs are also subject to the same risks associated with CDOs, as described above.
Commodities and Commodity-Related Investments
Some funds may gain exposure to commodity markets by investing in physical commodities or commodity-related instruments directly or indirectly. Such instruments include, but are not limited to, futures contracts, swaps, options, forward contracts, and structured notes and equities, debt securities, convertible securities, and warrants of issuers in commodity-related industries.
Commodity prices can be extremely volatile and may be directly or indirectly affected by many factors, including changes in overall market movements, real or perceived inflationary trends, commodity index volatility, changes in interest rates or currency exchange rates, population growth and changing demographics, and factors affecting a particular industry or commodity, such as drought, floods, or other weather conditions or natural disasters, livestock disease, trade embargoes, economic sanctions, competition from substitute products, transportation bottlenecks or shortages, fluctuations in supply and demand, tariffs, and international regulatory, political, and economic developments (e.g., regime changes and changes in economic activity levels). In addition, some commodities are subject to limited pricing flexibility because of supply and demand factors, and others are subject to broad price fluctuations as a result of the volatility of prices for certain raw materials and the instability of supplies of other materials.
Actions of and changes in governments, and political and economic instability, in commodity-producing and -exporting countries may affect the production and marketing of commodities. In addition, commodity-related industries throughout the world are subject to greater political, environmental, and other governmental regulation than many other industries. Changes in government policies and the need for regulatory approvals may adversely affect the products and services of companies in the commodities industries. For example, the exploration, development, and distribution of coal, oil, and gas in the United States are subject to significant federal and state regulation, which may affect rates of return on coal, oil, and gas and the kinds of services that the federal and state governments may offer to companies in those industries. In addition, compliance with environmental and other safety regulations has caused many companies in commodity-related industries to incur production delays and significant costs. Government regulation also may impede the development of new technologies. The effect of future regulations affecting commodity-related industries cannot be predicted.
The value of commodity-related derivatives fluctuates based on changes in the values of the underlying commodity, commodity index, futures contract, or other economic variable to which they are related. Additionally, economic leverage will increase the volatility of these instruments as they may increase or decrease in value more quickly than the underlying commodity or other relevant economic variable. See “Derivatives,” “Forward Commitments and Dollar Rolls,” “Futures Contracts and Related Options,” “Hybrid Instruments,” “Short Sales,” “Structured Investments,” “Swap Agreements” and “Warrants” herein for more information on the fund’s investments in derivatives, including commodity-related derivatives such as swap agreements, commodity futures contracts, and options on commodity futures contracts.
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Certain of the instruments in which the fund may invest, such as futures contracts, certain foreign currency transactions, options, warrants, hybrid instruments, forward contracts, swap agreements and structured investments, are considered to be “derivatives.” Derivatives are financial instruments whose value depends upon, or is derived from, the value or other attributes of one or more underlying investments, pools of investments, indexes or currencies. Investments in derivatives may be applied toward meeting a requirement to invest in a particular kind of investment if the derivatives have economic characteristics similar to that investment.
The value of derivatives may move in unexpected ways due to unanticipated market movements, the use of leverage, imperfect correlation between the derivatives instrument and the reference asset, or other factors, especially in unusual market conditions, and may result in increased volatility. Derivatives may be difficult to value and may increase the fund’s transactions costs. The successful use of derivatives depends on the ability to manage these sophisticated instruments. There is no assurance that the fund’s use of derivative instruments will enable the fund to achieve its investment objective or that Putnam Management will be able to predict correctly the direction of securities prices, interest rates, currency exchange rates and other economic factors.
The fund’s use of derivatives may cause the fund to recognize higher amounts of short-term capital gains, which are generally taxed to individual shareholders at ordinary income tax rates, and higher amounts of ordinary income, and more generally may affect the timing, character and amount of a fund’s distributions to shareholders. The fund’s use of commodity-linked derivatives can be limited by the fund’s intention to qualify as a “regulated investment company” under the Code or bear adversely on the fund’s ability to so qualify, as discussed in “Taxes” below.
The fund’s use of certain derivatives may in some cases involve forms of financial leverage, which means they provide the fund with investment exposure greater than the value of the fund’s investment in the derivatives. The use of leverage involves risk and may increase the volatility of the fund’s net asset value. See “Borrowing and Other Forms of Leverage.”
In its use of derivatives, the fund may take both long positions (the values of which move in the same direction as the prices of the underlying investments, pools of investments, indexes or currencies), and short positions (the values of which move in the opposite direction from the prices of the underlying investments, pools of investments indexes or currencies). Short positions may involve greater risks than long positions, as the risk of loss may be theoretically unlimited (unlike a long position, in which the risk of loss may be limited to the amount invested). The fund may use derivatives that combine “long” and “short” positions in order to capture the difference between underlying investments, pools of investments, indexes or currencies.
Some derivatives transactions are required to be centrally cleared, and a party to a cleared derivatives transaction is subject to the credit risk of the clearing house and the clearing member through which it holds its cleared position. Credit risk of market participants with respect to derivatives that are centrally cleared is concentrated in a few clearing houses, and it is not clear how an insolvency proceeding of a clearing house would be conducted and what impact an insolvency of a clearing house would have on the financial system or on the fund’s ability to exercise remedies. Also, the fund is subject to risk if it enters into a derivatives transaction that is required to be cleared, and no clearing member is willing or able to clear the transaction on the fund’s behalf.
Some derivative contracts may be privately negotiated in the over-the-counter market. These contracts also involve exposure to credit risk, since contract performance depends in part on the financial condition of the counterparty, and counterparty risk, since the counterparty may be unable or unwilling to perform its obligations under the contract for reasons unrelated to its financial condition, such as operational issues, business interruptions or contract disputes. If a privately negotiated over-the-counter contract calls for payments by the fund, the fund must be prepared to make the payments when due. If a counterparty’s
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creditworthiness declines or the counterparty is otherwise unable or unwilling to perform its obligations under the contract, the fund may not receive payments owed under the contract, or the payments may be delayed and the value of the agreements with the counterparty may decline, potentially resulting in losses to the fund.
Derivatives also are subject to the risk that the fund may be delayed or prevented from recovering margin or other amounts deposited with a clearinghouse, futures commission merchant or other counterparty. If the fund has insufficient cash, it may have to sell securities to meet daily variation margin requirements at a time when it may be disadvantageous to do so.
Other risks arise from the potential inability to terminate or sell derivatives positions. A liquid secondary market may not always exist for the fund’s derivatives positions. In fact, some over-the-counter instruments may be considered illiquid, and it may not be possible for the fund to liquidate a derivative position at an advantageous time or price, which may result in significant losses.
Legislation and regulation of derivatives in the U.S. and other countries, including margin, clearing, trading and reporting requirements, and leveraging and position limits, may make derivatives more costly and/or less liquid, limit the availability of certain types of derivatives, cause the Fund to change its use of derivatives, or otherwise adversely affect a Fund’s use of derivatives.
The funds are required to comply with the derivatives rule when they engage in derivatives transactions. See “Legal and Regulatory Risks Relating to Investment Strategy” below.
Further information about these instruments and the risks involved in their use is included elsewhere in the prospectus and in this SAI.
A fund may purchase and write options in combination with each other, or in combination with futures or forward contracts, options on futures contracts, indexed securities, swap agreements or other derivative instruments, to adjust the risk and return characteristics of its overall position. For example, a fund may purchase a put option and write a call option on the same underlying instrument, in order to construct a combined position whose risk and return characteristics are similar to selling a futures contract. Another possible combined position would involve writing a call option at one strike price and buying a call option at a lower price, in order to reduce the risk of the written call option in the event of a substantial price increase. Because combined options positions involve multiple trades, they result in higher transaction costs and may be more difficult to open and close out.
A fund may integrate environmental, social, or governance (“ESG”) considerations into its research process and/or investment decision-making. Putnam Management believes that ESG considerations, like other, more traditional subjects of investment analysis such as market position, growth prospects, and business strategy, have the potential to impact risk and returns. The relevance and materiality of ESG considerations in a fund’s process will differ from strategy to strategy, from sector to sector, and from portfolio manager to portfolio
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manager, and, in some cases (such as where Putnam Management lacks relevant ESG data), ESG considerations may not represent a material component of a fund’s investment process. The consideration of ESG factors as part of a fund’s investment process does not mean that a fund pursues a specific “ESG” or “sustainable” investment strategy, and, depending on the fund, Putnam Management may sometimes make investment decisions other than on the basis of relevant ESG considerations.
The fund may invest in exchange-traded notes (“ETNs”). An ETN is a type of senior, unsecured, unsubordinated debt security whose returns are linked to the performance of a particular market index or other reference assets less applicable fees and expenses. ETNs are listed on an exchange and traded in the secondary market. Investors may hold the ETN until maturity, at which time the issuer is obligated to pay a return linked to the performance of the relevant market index less applicable fees and expenses. ETNs typically do not make periodic interest payments and principal typically is not protected.
The market value of an ETN may be influenced by, among other things, time to maturity, level of supply and demand of the ETN, economic, legal, political or geographic events that affect the reference assets, volatility and lack of liquidity in the reference assets, changes in the applicable interest rates, the current performance of the market index to which the ETN is linked, and the credit rating of the ETN issuer. The market value of an ETN may differ from the performance of the applicable market index, and there may be times when an ETN trades at a premium or discount. 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 underlying the market index that the ETN seeks to track. A change in the issuer’s credit rating may also impact the value of an ETN despite the underlying market index remaining unchanged.
ETNs are also subject to tax risk. No assurance can be given that the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) will accept, or a court will uphold, how the fund characterizes and treats ETNs for tax purposes.
An ETN that is tied to a specific market index may not be able to replicate and maintain exactly the composition and relative weighting of securities, commodities or other components in the applicable market index. ETNs also incur certain expenses not incurred by their applicable market index, and the fund would bear a proportionate share of any fees and expenses borne by the ETN in which it invests.
The fund’s ability to sell its 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. Some ETNs that use leverage in an effort to amplify the returns of an underlying market index can, at times, be relatively illiquid and may therefore be difficult to purchase or sell at a fair price. Leveraged ETNs may offer the potential for greater return, but the potential for loss and speed at which losses can be realized also are greater. The extent of the fund’s investment in commodity-linked ETNs, if any, is limited by tax considerations. For more information regarding the tax treatment of commodity-linked ETNs, please see “Taxes” below.
ETNs are generally similar to structured investments and hybrid instruments. For discussion of these investments and the risks generally associated with them, see “Hybrid Instruments” and “Structured Investments” in this SAI.
Floating Rate and Variable Rate Demand Notes
The fund may purchase taxable or tax-exempt floating rate and variable rate demand notes for short-term cash management or other investment purposes. Floating rate and variable rate demand notes are debt instruments that provide for periodic adjustments in the interest rate. The interest rate on these instruments may be reset daily, weekly or on some other reset period and may have a floor or ceiling on interest rate changes. The
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interest rate of a floating rate instrument may be based on a known lending rate, such as a bank’s prime rate, and is reset whenever such rate is adjusted. The interest rate on a variable rate demand note is reset at specified intervals at a market rate. To the extent an applicable interest rate is based on LIBOR, the fund will be exposed to certain additional risks. See “London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR)” below for more information.
Interest rate adjustments are designed to help stabilize the instrument’s price or maintain a fixed spread to a predetermined benchmark. While this feature may protect against a decline in the instrument’s market price when interest rates or benchmark rates rise, it lowers the fund’s income when interest rates or benchmark rates fall. The fund’s income from its floating rate and variable rate investments also may increase if interest rates rise. Floating rate and variable rate obligations are less effective than fixed rate instruments at locking in a particular yield. Nevertheless, such obligations may fluctuate in value in response to interest rate changes if there is a delay between changes in market interest rates and the interest reset date for the obligation, or for other reasons.
The fund’s ability to receive payments of principal and interest and other amounts in connection with loans held by it will depend primarily on the financial condition of the issuer. The failure by the fund to receive scheduled interest or principal payments on a loan would adversely affect the income of the fund and would likely reduce the value of its assets, which would be reflected in a reduction in the fund’s NAV.
Floating rate and variable rate demand notes and bonds may have a stated maturity in excess of one year, but may have features that permit a holder to demand payment of principal plus accrued interest upon a specified number of days’ notice. Frequently, such obligations are secured by letters of credit or other credit support arrangements provided by banks. If these obligations are not secured by letters of credit or other credit support arrangements, the fund’s right to demand payment will be dependent on the ability of the issuer to pay principal and interest on demand. In addition, these obligations frequently are not rated by credit rating agencies and may involve heightened risk of default by the issuer. The issuer of such obligations normally has a corresponding right, after a given period, to prepay in its discretion the outstanding principal of the obligation plus accrued interest upon a specific number of days notice to the holders. There is no assurance that the fund will be able to reinvest the proceeds of any prepayment at the same interest rate or on the same terms as those of the original instrument.
The absence of an active secondary market for floating rate and variable rate demand notes could make it difficult for the fund to dispose of the instruments, and the fund could suffer a loss if the issuer defaults or during periods in which the fund is not entitled to exercise its demand rights. When a reliable trading market for the floating rate and variable rate instruments held by the fund does not exist and the fund may not demand payment of the principal amount of such instruments within seven days, the instruments may be deemed illiquid and therefore subject to the fund’s limitation on investments in illiquid securities.
Foreign Currency Transactions
The fund may engage in foreign currency exchange transactions, including purchasing and selling foreign currency, foreign currency options, foreign currency forward contracts and foreign currency futures contracts and related options. The fund may engage in these transactions for a variety of reasons, including to manage the exposure to foreign currencies inherent in the fund’s investments, to increase its returns, and to offset some of the costs of hedging transactions. Foreign currency transactions involve costs, and, if unsuccessful, may reduce the fund’s return.
Generally, the fund may engage in both “transaction hedging” and “position hedging” (the sale of forward currency with respect to portfolio security positions). The fund may also engage in foreign currency transactions for non-hedging purposes, subject to applicable law. When it engages in transaction hedging, the fund enters into foreign currency transactions with respect to specific receivables or payables, generally arising in connection with the fund’s purchase or sale of portfolio securities. The fund will engage in transaction hedging when it desires to “lock in” the U.S. dollar price of a security it has agreed to purchase or sell, or the U.S. dollar equivalent of a dividend or interest payment in a foreign currency. By transaction hedging, the fund
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will attempt to protect itself against a possible loss resulting from an adverse change in the relationship between the U.S. dollar and the applicable foreign currency during the period between the date on which the security is purchased or sold, or on which the dividend or interest payment is earned, and the date on which such payments are made or received. The fund may also engage in position hedging, in which the fund enters into foreign currency transactions on a particular currency with respect to portfolio positions denominated or quoted in that currency. By position hedging, the fund attempts to protect against a decline in the value relative to the U.S. dollar of the currencies in which its portfolio securities are denominated or quoted (or an increase in the value of the currency in which securities the fund intends to buy are denominated or quoted). While such a transaction would generally offset both positive and negative currency fluctuations, such currency transactions would not offset changes in security values caused by other factors.
The fund may purchase or sell a foreign currency on a spot (i.e., cash) basis at the prevailing spot rate in connection with the settlement of transactions in portfolio securities denominated in that foreign currency or for other hedging or non-hedging purposes. If conditions warrant, for hedging or non-hedging purposes, the fund may also enter into contracts to purchase or sell foreign currencies at a future date (“forward contracts”) and purchase and sell foreign currency futures contracts. The fund may also purchase or sell exchange-listed and over-the-counter call and put options on foreign currency futures contracts and on foreign currencies.
A foreign currency futures contract is a standardized exchange-traded contract for the future delivery of a specified amount of a foreign currency at a price set at the time of the contract. Foreign currency futures contracts traded in the United States are designed by and traded on exchanges regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”), such as the New York Mercantile Exchange, and have margin requirements.
A foreign currency forward contract is a negotiated agreement to exchange currency at a future time, which may be any fixed number of days from the date of the contract as agreed by the parties, at a price set at the time of the contract. The contract price may be higher or lower than the current spot rate. In the case of a cancelable forward contract, the holder has the unilateral right to cancel the contract at maturity by paying a specified fee. Forward foreign currency exchange contracts differ from foreign currency futures contracts in certain respects. For example, the maturity date of a forward contract may be any fixed number of days from the date of the contract agreed upon by the parties, rather than a predetermined date in a given month. Forward contracts may be in any amount agreed upon by the parties rather than predetermined amounts. In addition, forward contracts are traded in the interbank market conducted directly between currency traders (usually large commercial banks) and their customers, so that no intermediary is required. A forward contract generally has no deposit requirement, and no commissions are charged at any stage for trades.
At the maturity of a forward or futures contract, the fund either may accept or make delivery of the currency specified in the contract, or at or prior to maturity enter into a closing transaction involving the purchase or sale of an offsetting contract. Closing transactions with respect to forward contracts are usually effected with the currency trader who is a party to the original forward contract. Closing transactions with respect to futures contracts may be effected only on a commodities exchange or board of trade which provides a secondary market in such contracts; a clearing corporation associated with the exchange assumes responsibility for closing out such contracts.
Positions in foreign currency futures contracts may be closed out only on an exchange or board of trade that provides a secondary market in such contracts or options. Although the fund intends to purchase or sell foreign currency futures contracts only on exchanges or boards of trade where there appears to be an active secondary market, there is no assurance that a secondary market on an exchange or board of trade will exist for any particular contract or at any particular time. In such event, it may not be possible to close a futures position and, in the event of adverse price movements, the fund would continue to be required to make daily cash payments of variation margin on its futures positions.
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The precise matching of the amounts of foreign currency exchange transactions and the value of the portfolio securities involved will not generally be possible since the future value of such securities in foreign currencies will change as a consequence of market movements in the value of those securities between the dates the currency exchange transactions are entered into and the dates they mature. It is also impossible to forecast with precision the market value of portfolio securities at the expiration or maturity of a forward or futures contract. Accordingly, it may be necessary for the fund to purchase additional foreign currency on the spot market (and bear the expense of such purchase) if the market value of the security or securities being hedged is less than the amount of foreign currency the fund is obligated to deliver and a decision is made to sell the security or securities and make delivery of the foreign currency. Conversely, it may be necessary to sell on the spot market some of the foreign currency received upon the sale of the portfolio security or securities if the market value of such security or securities exceeds the amount of foreign currency the fund is obligated to deliver.
As noted above, the fund may purchase or sell exchange-listed and over-the-counter call and put options on foreign currency futures contracts and on foreign currencies. A put option on a futures contract gives the fund the right to assume a short position in the futures contract until the expiration of the option. A put option on a currency gives the fund the right to sell the currency at an exercise price until the expiration of the option. A call option on a futures contract gives the fund the right to assume a long position in the futures contract until the expiration of the option. A call option on a currency gives the fund the right to purchase the currency at the exercise price until the expiration of the option.
Options on foreign currencies operate similarly to options on securities, and are traded primarily in the over-the-counter market, although options on foreign currencies are also listed on several exchanges. Options are traded not only on the currencies of individual nations, but also on the euro, the joint currency of most countries in the European Union.
The fund will only purchase or write foreign currency options when Putnam Management believes that a liquid secondary market exists for such options. There can be no assurance that a liquid secondary market will exist for a particular option at any specific time. Options on foreign currencies may be affected by all of those factors which influence foreign exchange rates and investments generally.
The fund’s currency hedging transactions may call for the delivery of one foreign currency in exchange for another foreign currency and may at times not involve currencies in which its portfolio securities are then denominated. Putnam Management will engage in such “cross hedging” activities when it believes that such transactions provide significant hedging opportunities for the fund. Cross hedging transactions by the fund involve the risk of imperfect correlation between changes in the values of the currencies to which such transactions relate and changes in the value of the currency or other asset or liability which is the subject of the hedge.
Transaction and position hedging do not eliminate fluctuations in the underlying prices of the securities that the fund owns or intends to purchase or sell. They simply establish a rate of exchange which one can achieve at some future point in time. Additionally, although these techniques tend to minimize the risk of loss due to a decline in the value of the hedged currency, they involve costs to the fund and tend to limit any potential gain which might result from the increase in value of such currency.
The fund may also engage in non-hedging currency transactions. For example, Putnam Management may believe that exposure to a currency is in the fund’s best interest but that securities denominated in that currency are unattractive. In this situation, the fund may purchase a currency forward contract or option in order to increase its exposure to the currency. In accordance with SEC regulations, the fund will set aside liquid assets on its books to cover forward contracts used for non-hedging purposes.
In addition, the fund may seek to increase its current return or to offset some of the costs of hedging against fluctuations in current exchange rates by writing covered call options and covered put options on foreign currencies. The fund receives a premium from writing a call or put option, which increases the fund’s current return if the option expires unexercised or is closed out at a net profit. The fund may terminate an option that it
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has written prior to its expiration by entering into a closing purchase transaction in which it purchases an option having the same terms as the option written.
The value of any currency, including U.S. dollars and foreign currencies, may be affected by complex political and economic factors applicable to the issuing country. In addition, the exchange rates of foreign currencies (and therefore the values of foreign currency options, forward contracts and futures contracts) may be affected significantly, fixed, or supported directly or indirectly by U.S. and foreign government actions. Government intervention may increase risks involved in purchasing or selling foreign currency options, forward contracts and futures contracts, since exchange rates may not be free to fluctuate in response to other market forces. The value of a foreign currency option, forward contract or futures contract reflects the value of an exchange rate, which in turn reflects relative values of two currencies -- the U.S. dollar and the foreign currency in question. Although foreign exchange dealers do not charge a fee for currency conversion, they do realize a profit based on the difference (the “spread”) between prices at which they are buying and selling various currencies. Thus, a dealer may offer to sell a foreign currency to the fund at one rate, while offering a lesser rate of exchange should the fund desire to resell that currency to the dealer. Because foreign currency transactions occurring in the interbank market involve substantially larger amounts than those that may be involved in the exercise of foreign currency options, forward contracts and futures contracts, the fund may be disadvantaged by having to deal in an odd-lot market for the underlying foreign currencies in connection with options at prices that are less favorable than for round lots. Foreign governmental restrictions or taxes could result in adverse changes in the cost of acquiring or disposing of foreign currencies.
There is no systematic reporting of last sale information for foreign currencies and there is no regulatory requirement that quotations available through dealers or other market sources be firm or revised on a timely basis. Available quotation information is generally representative of very large round-lot transactions in the interbank market and thus may not reflect exchange rates for smaller odd-lot transactions (less than $1 million) where rates may be less favorable. The interbank market in foreign currencies is a global, around-the-clock market. To the extent that options markets are closed while the markets for the underlying currencies remain open, significant price and rate movements may take place in the underlying markets that cannot be reflected in the options markets.
Numerous regulatory changes related to foreign currency transactions are expected to occur over time and could materially and adversely affect the ability of the fund to enter into foreign currency transactions or could increase the cost of foreign currency transactions. In the future, certain foreign currency transactions may be required to be subject to initial as well as variation margin requirements. Foreign currency transactions that are not centrally cleared are subject to the creditworthiness of the counterparty to the foreign currency transaction (usually large commercial banks), and their values may decline substantially if the counterparty’s creditworthiness deteriorates. In a cleared foreign currency transaction, performance of the transaction will be effected by a central clearinghouse rather than by the original counterparty to the transaction. Foreign currency transactions that are centrally cleared will be subject to the creditworthiness of the clearing member and the clearing organization involved in the transaction.
The decision as to whether and to what extent the fund will engage in foreign currency exchange transactions will depend on a number of factors, including prevailing market conditions, the composition of the fund’s portfolio and the availability of suitable transactions. There can be no assurance that suitable foreign currency transactions will be available for the fund at any time or that the fund will engage in foreign currency exchange transactions at any time or under any circumstances even if suitable transactions are available to it.
Successful use of currency management strategies will depend on Putnam Management’s skill in analyzing currency values. Currency management strategies may increase the volatility of the fund’s returns and could result in significant losses to the fund if currencies do not perform as Putnam Management anticipates. There is no assurance that Putnam Management’s use of currency management strategies will be advantageous to the fund or that it will hedge at appropriate times.
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Foreign Investments and Related Risks
Foreign securities are normally denominated and traded in foreign currencies. As a result, the value of the fund’s foreign investments and the value of its shares may be affected favorably or unfavorably by changes in currency exchange rates relative to the U.S. dollar. In addition, the fund is required to compute and distribute its income in U.S. dollars. Therefore, if the exchange rate for a foreign currency declines after a fund’s income has been earned and translated into U.S. dollars (but before payment), the fund could be required to liquidate portfolio securities to make such distributions. Similarly, if an exchange rate declines between the time a fund incurs expenses in U.S. dollars and the time such expenses are paid, the amount of such currency required to be converted into U.S. dollars in order to pay such expenses in U.S. dollars will be greater than the equivalent amount in any such currency of such expenses at the time they were incurred.
There may be less information publicly available about a foreign issuer than about a U.S. issuer, and foreign issuers may not be subject to accounting, auditing, custody, disclosure and financial reporting standards and practices comparable to those in the United States. In addition, there may be less (or less effective) regulation of exchanges, brokers and listed companies in some foreign countries. The securities of some foreign issuers are less liquid and at times more volatile than securities of comparable U.S. issuers. Foreign brokerage commissions, custodial expenses and other fees are also generally higher than in the United States.
Foreign settlement procedures and trade regulations may be more complex and involve certain risks (such as delay in payment or delivery of securities or in the recovery of the fund’s assets held abroad) and expenses not present in the settlement of investments in U.S. markets. For example, settlement of transactions involving foreign securities or foreign currencies (see below) may occur within a foreign country, and the fund may accept or make delivery of the underlying securities or currency in conformity with any applicable U.S. or foreign restrictions or regulations, and may pay fees, taxes or charges associated with such delivery. In addition, local market holidays or other factors may extend the time for settlement of purchases and sales of the Fund’s investments in securities that trade on foreign markets. Such investments may also involve the risk that an entity involved in the settlement may not meet its obligations. Extended settlement cycles or other delays in settlement may increase the fund’s liquidity risk and require the fund to employ alternative methods (e.g., through borrowings) to satisfy redemption requests during periods of large redemption activity in Fund shares.
In addition, foreign securities may be subject to the risk of nationalization or expropriation of assets, imposition of economic sanctions or embargoes (whether imposed by the United States. or another country or other governmental or non-governmental organization), currency exchange controls, foreign withholding or other taxes or restrictions on the repatriation of foreign currency, confiscatory taxation, political, social or financial instability and diplomatic developments which could affect the value of the fund’s investments in certain foreign countries. Such actions could result in the devaluation of a country’s currency or a decline in the value and liquidity of securities of issuers in that country. In some cases (including in the case of sanctions), such actions also could result in a freeze on an issuer’s securities which would prevent the fund from selling securities it holds. Governments of many countries have exercised and continue to exercise substantial influence over many aspects of the private sector through the ownership or control of many companies, including some of the largest in these countries. As a result, government actions in the future could have a significant effect on economic conditions which may adversely affect prices of certain portfolio securities. There is also generally less government supervision and regulation of stock exchanges, brokers, and listed companies than in the United States. Moreover, foreign economies may differ favorably or unfavorably from the U.S. economy in such respects as growth of gross national product, rate of inflation, capital reinvestment, resource self-sufficiency and balance of payments position. Dividends or interest on, or proceeds from the sale of, foreign securities may be subject to foreign withholding or other taxes, and special U.S. tax considerations may apply.
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Note on MSCI indices. Due to the potential for foreign withholding taxes, MSCI, Inc. (MSCI) publishes two versions of its indices reflecting the reinvestment of dividends using two different methodologies: gross dividends and net dividends. While both versions reflect reinvested dividends, they differ with respect to the manner in which taxes associated with dividend payments are treated. In calculating the net dividends version, MSCI incorporates reinvested dividends applying the withholding tax rate applicable to foreign non-resident institutional investors that do not benefit from double taxation treaties. Putnam Management believes that the net dividends version of MSCI indices better reflects the returns U.S. investors might expect were they to invest directly in the component securities of an MSCI index
Many foreign countries are heavily dependent upon exports, particularly to developed countries, and, accordingly, have been and may continue to be adversely affected by trade barriers, managed adjustments in relative currency values, and other protectionist measures imposed or negotiated by the United States and other countries with which they trade. These economies also have been and may continue to be negatively impacted by economic conditions in the United States and other trading partners, which can lower the demand for goods produced in those countries.
Legal remedies available to investors in certain foreign countries may be more limited than those available with respect to investments in the United States or in other foreign countries. The laws of some foreign countries may limit the fund’s ability to invest in securities of certain issuers organized under the laws of those foreign countries. These restrictions may take the form of prior governmental approval requirements, limits on the amount or type of securities held by foreigners and limits on the types of companies in which foreigners may invest (e.g., limits on investment in certain industries). Some countries also limit the investment of foreign persons to only a specific class of securities of an issuer that may have less advantageous terms or rights or preferences than securities of the issuer available for purchase by domestic parties (and such securities may be less liquid than other classes of securities of an issuer), or may directly limit foreign investors’ rights (such as voting rights). Although securities subject to such restrictions may be marketable abroad, they may be less liquid than foreign securities of the same class that are not subject to such restrictions. Foreign laws may also impact the availability of derivatives or hedging techniques relating to a foreign country’s government securities. In each of these situations, the funds’ ability to invest significantly in desired issuers, or the terms of such investments, could be negatively impacted as a result of the relevant legal restriction. Sanctions imposed by the United States government on other countries or persons or issuers operating in such countries could restrict the fund’s ability to buy affected securities or to sell any affected securities it has previously purchased, which may subject the fund to greater risk of loss in those securities. Foreign countries may have reporting requirements with respect to the ownership of securities, and those reporting requirements may be subject to interpretation or change without prior notice to investors. No assurance can be given that the fund will satisfy applicable foreign reporting requirements at all times.
For purposes of some foreign holding limits or disclosure thresholds, all positions owned or controlled by the same person or entity, even if in different accounts, may be aggregated for purposes of determining whether the applicable limits or thresholds have been exceeded. Thus, even if the fund does not intend to exceed applicable limits, it is possible that different clients managed by Putnam Management and its affiliates (including separate affiliates owned by Power Corporation of Canada outside the Putnam Investments group) may be aggregated for this purpose. These limits may adversely affect the fund’s ability to invest in the applicable security.
The risks described above, including the risks of nationalization or expropriation of assets, typically are increased in connection with investments in developing countries, also known as “emerging markets.” For example, political and economic structures in these countries may be in their infancy and developing rapidly, and such countries may lack the social, political and economic stability characteristic of more developed countries. In such a dynamic environment, there can be no assurance that any or all of these capital markets will present viable investment opportunities for the fund. Certain of these countries have in the past failed to
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recognize private property rights and have at times nationalized and expropriated the assets of private companies. In such an event, it is possible that the fund could lose the entire value of its investments in the affected market. High rates of inflation or currency devaluations may adversely affect the economies and securities markets of such countries. In addition, the economies of certain developing or emerging market countries may be dependent on a single industry or limited group of industries, which may increase the risks described above and make those countries particularly vulnerable to global economic and market changes. Investments in emerging markets may be considered speculative.
The currencies of certain emerging market countries have experienced devaluations relative to the U.S. dollar, and future devaluations may adversely affect the value of assets denominated in such currencies. Many emerging market countries have experienced substantial, and in some periods extremely high, rates of inflation for many years, and future inflation may adversely affect the economies and securities markets of such countries. When debt and similar obligations issued by foreign issuers are denominated in a currency (e.g., the U.S. dollar or the Euro) other than the local currency of the issuer, the subsequent strengthening of the non-local currency against the local currency will generally increase the burden of repayment on the issuer and may increase significantly the risk of default by the issuer.
In addition, unanticipated political or social developments may affect the value of investments in emerging markets and the availability of additional investments in these markets. The small size, limited trading volume and relative inexperience of the securities markets in these countries may make investments in securities traded in emerging markets illiquid and more volatile than investments in securities traded in more developed countries, and the fund may be required to establish special custodial or other arrangements before making investments in securities traded in emerging markets. There may be little financial or accounting information available with respect to issuers of emerging market securities, and it may be difficult as a result to assess the value or prospects of an investment in such securities. In certain countries with emerging capital markets, reporting standards vary widely. As a result, traditional investment measurements used in the United States, such as price/earnings ratios, may not be applicable.
Practices in relation to settlement of securities transactions in emerging markets involve higher risks than those in developed markets, in part because the fund may need to use brokers and counterparties that are less well capitalized, and custody and registration of assets in some countries may be unreliable. The possibility of fraud, negligence, undue influence being exerted by the issuer, or refusal to recognize ownership exists in some emerging markets, and, along with other factors, could result in ownership registration being completely lost. The fund would absorb any loss resulting from such registration problems and may have no successful claim for compensation.
American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”) as well as other “hybrid” forms of ADRs, including European Depositary Receipts (“EDRs”) and Global Depositary Receipts (“GDRs”), are certificates evidencing ownership of shares of a foreign issuer. These certificates are issued by depository banks and generally trade on an established market in the United States or elsewhere. The underlying shares are held in trust by a custodian bank or similar financial institution in the issuer’s home country. The depository bank may not have physical custody of the underlying securities at all times and may charge fees for various services, including forwarding dividends and interest and corporate actions. ADRs are alternatives to directly purchasing the underlying foreign securities in their national markets and currencies. However, ADRs continue to be subject to many of the risks associated with investing in foreign securities.
Certain of the foregoing risks may also apply to some extent to securities of U.S. issuers that are denominated in foreign currencies or that are traded in foreign markets, or securities of U.S. issuers having significant foreign operations or other exposure to foreign markets. If the fund invests in securities issued by foreign issuers, the fund may be subject to the risks described above even if all of the fund’s investments are denominated in U.S. dollars, especially with respect to issuers whose revenues are principally earned in a foreign currency but whose debt obligations have been issued in U.S. dollars or other hard currencies.
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Investing through Stock Connect. The fund may, directly or indirectly (through, for example, participation notes or other types of equity-linked notes), purchase shares in mainland China-based companies that trade on Chinese stock exchanges such as the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (“China A-Shares”) through the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect (“Stock Connect”), or that may be available in the future through additional stock connect programs, a mutual market access program designed to, among other things, enable foreign investment in the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”) via brokers in Hong Kong.
There are significant risks inherent in investing in China A-Shares through Stock Connect. The underdeveloped state of PRC’s investment and banking systems subjects the settlement, clearing, and registration of China A-Shares transactions to heightened risks. Stock Connect can only operate when both PRC and Hong Kong markets are open for trading and when banking services are available in both markets on the corresponding settlement days. As such, if either or both markets are closed on a U.S. trading day, the fund may not be able to dispose of its China A-Shares in a timely manner, which could adversely affect the fund’s performance. Because Stock Connect is relatively new, its effects on the market for trading China A-shares are uncertain. In addition, the trading, settlement and information technology (“IT”) systems required to operate Stock Connect are relatively new and continuing to evolve. In the event that the relevant systems do not function properly, trading through Stock Connect could be disrupted.
PRC regulations require that, in order to sell its China A-Shares, the fund must pre-deliver the China A-Shares to a broker. If the China A-Shares are not in the broker’s possession before the market opens on the day of sale, the sell order will be rejected. This requirement could also limit the fund’s ability to dispose of its China A-Shares purchased through Stock Connect in a timely manner. Additionally, Stock Connect is subject to daily quota limitations on purchases of China A Shares. Once the daily quota is reached, orders to purchase additional China A-Shares through Stock Connect will be rejected. The fund’s investment in China A-Shares may only be traded through Stock Connect and is not otherwise transferable. Stock Connect utilizes an omnibus clearing structure, and the fund’s shares will be registered in its custodian’s name on the Central Clearing and Settlement System. This may limit the ability of Putnam Management to effectively manage the fund, and may expose the fund to the credit risk of its custodian or to greater risk of expropriation. Investment in China A-Shares through Stock Connect may be available only through a single broker that is an affiliate of the fund’s custodian, which may affect the quality of execution provided by such broker. Stock Connect restrictions could also limit the ability of the fund to sell its China A-Shares in a timely manner, or to sell them at all. Further, different fees, costs and taxes are imposed on foreign investors acquiring China A-Shares acquired through Stock Connect, and these fees, costs and taxes may be higher than comparable fees, costs and taxes imposed on owners of other securities providing similar investment exposure.
Stock Connect trades are settled in Renminbi (“RMB”), the official currency of PRC, and investors must have timely access to a reliable supply of RMB in Hong Kong, which cannot be guaranteed.
Investing through Bond Connect: Chinese debt instruments trade on the China Interbank Bond Market (“CIBM”) and may be purchased through a market access program that is designed to, among other things, enable foreign investment in the PRC (“Bond Connect”). There are significant risks inherent in investing in Chinese debt instruments, similar to the risks of investing in other fixed-income securities in emerging markets. The prices of debt instruments traded on the CIBM may fluctuate significantly due to low trading volume and potential lack of liquidity. The rules to access debt instruments that trade on the CIBM through Bond Connect are relatively new and subject to change, which may adversely affect the fund’s ability to invest in these instruments and to enforce its rights as a beneficial owner of these instruments. Trading through Bond Connect is subject to a number of restrictions that may affect the fund’s investments and returns. In addition, securities offered through Bond Connect may lose their eligibility for trading through the program at any time. If Bond Connect securities lose their eligibility for trading through the program, they may be sold but can no longer be purchased through Bond Connect. There can be no assurance as to the program’s continued existence or whether future developments regarding the program may restrict or adversely affect the fund’s investments or returns.
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Investments made through Bond Connect are subject to order, clearance and settlement procedures that are relatively untested in China, which could pose risks to the fund. CIBM does not support all trading strategies (such as short selling) and investments in Chinese debt instruments that trade on the CIBM are subject to the risks of suspension of trading without cause or notice, trade failure or trade rejection and default of securities depositories and counterparties. Furthermore, Chinese debt instruments purchased via Bond Connect will be held via a book entry omnibus account in the name of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority Central Money Markets Unit (“CMU”) maintained with a China-based depository (either the China Central Depository & Clearing Co. (“CDCC”) or the Shanghai Clearing House (“SCH”)). The fund’s ownership interest in these Chinese debt instruments will not be reflected directly in book entry with CSDCC or SCH and will instead only be reflected on the books of the fund’s Hong Kong sub-custodian. Therefore, the fund’s ability to enforce its rights as a bondholder may depend on CMU’s ability or willingness as record-holder of the bonds to enforce the fund’s rights as a bondholder. Additionally, the omnibus manner in which Chinese debt instruments are held could expose the fund to the credit risk of the relevant securities depositories and the fund’s Hong Kong sub-custodian. While the fund holds a beneficial interest in the instruments it acquires through Bond Connect, the mechanisms that beneficial owners may use to enforce their rights are untested. In addition, courts in China have limited experience in applying the concept of beneficial ownership. Moreover, Chinese debt instruments acquired through Bond Connect generally may not be sold, purchased or otherwise transferred other than through Bond Connect in accordance with applicable rules.
The fund’s investments in Chinese debt instruments acquired through Bond Connect are generally subject to a number of regulations and restrictions, including Chinese securities regulations and listing rules, loss recovery limitations and disclosure of interest reporting obligations. The fund will not benefit from access to Hong Kong investor compensation funds, which are set up to protect against defaults of trades, when investing through Bond Connect.
Bond Connect can only operate when both China and Hong Kong markets are open for trading and when banking services are available in both markets on the corresponding settlement days. In addition, the trading, settlement and IT systems required for non-Chinese investors in Bond Connect are relatively new. In the event of systems malfunctions or extreme market conditions, trading via Bond Connect could be disrupted. The rules applicable to taxation of Chinese debt instruments acquired through Bond Connect remain subject to further clarification. Uncertainties in the Chinese tax rules governing taxation of income and gains from investments via Bond Connect could result in unexpected tax liabilities for the fund, which may negatively affect investment returns for shareholder.
Bond Connect trades are settled in RMB, and investors must have timely access to a reliable supply of RMB in Hong Kong, which cannot be guaranteed.
Forward Commitments and Dollar Rolls
The fund may enter into contracts to purchase securities for a fixed price at a future date beyond customary settlement time (“forward commitments”) if the fund sets aside on its books liquid assets in an amount sufficient to meet the purchase price, or if the fund enters into offsetting contracts for the forward sale of other securities it owns. In the case of to-be-announced (“TBA”) purchase commitments, the unit price and the estimated principal amount are established when the fund enters into a contract, with the actual principal amount being within a specified range of the estimate. Forward commitments may be considered securities in themselves, and involve a risk of loss if the value of the security to be purchased declines prior to the settlement date, which risk is in addition to the risk of decline in the value of the fund’s other assets. Where such purchases are made through dealers, the fund relies on the dealer to consummate the sale. The dealer’s failure to do so may result in the loss to the fund of an advantageous yield or price. Although the fund will generally enter into forward commitments with the intention of acquiring securities for its portfolio or for delivery pursuant to options contracts it has entered into, the fund may dispose of a commitment prior to settlement if Putnam Management deems it appropriate to do so. The fund may realize short-term profits or losses upon the sale of forward commitments.
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The fund may enter into TBA sale commitments to hedge its portfolio positions, to sell securities it owns under delayed delivery arrangements, or to take a short position in mortgage-backed securities. Proceeds of TBA sale commitments are not received until the contractual settlement date. Under the derivatives rule, a fund is permitted to invest in a security on a forward-settling basis, or with a non-standard settlement cycle, and the transaction will be deemed not to involve a senior security under the 1940 Act, provided that the transaction compliance with the Delayed-Settlement Securities Provision (as defined below) meaning (i) the fund intends to physically settle the transaction and (ii) the transaction will settle within 35 days of its trade date. A fund may otherwise engage in such transactions that do not meet the conditions of the Delayed-Settlement Securities Provision so long as the fund treats any such transaction as a derivatives transaction for purposes of compliance with the derivatives rule. Unsettled TBA sale commitments are valued at current market value of the underlying securities. If the TBA sale commitment is closed through the acquisition of an offsetting purchase commitment, the fund realizes a gain or loss on the commitment without regard to any unrealized gain or loss on the underlying security. If the fund delivers securities under the commitment, the fund realizes a gain or loss from the sale of the securities based upon the unit price established at the date the commitment was entered into.
The fund may enter into dollar roll transactions (generally using TBAs) in which it sells a fixed income security for delivery in the current month and simultaneously contracts to purchase similar securities (for example, same type, coupon and maturity) at an agreed upon future time. By engaging in a dollar roll transaction, the fund foregoes principal and interest paid on the security that is sold while the dollar roll is outstanding, but receives the difference between the current sales price and the forward price for the future purchase. In addition, the fund may reinvest the cash proceeds of the sale while the dollar roll is outstanding in an effort to enhance returns. The reinvestment of such proceeds may be considered a form of investment leverage and may increase the fund’s risk and volatility. If the income and capital gains from the investment of the cash from the initial sale do not exceed the income, capital appreciation and gain or loss that would have been realized on the securities sold as part of the dollar roll, the use of this technique will result in a lower return than would have been realized without the use of the dollar rolls. The fund accounts for dollar rolls as purchases and sales. Because cash (or other assets determined to be liquid by Putnam Management in accordance with procedures established by the Trustees) in the amount of the fund’s commitment under a dollar roll is set aside on the fund’s books, the fund does not consider these transactions to be borrowings for purposes of its investment restrictions.
Purchases of securities on a forward commitment basis may involve more risk than other types of purchases. The obligation to purchase securities on a specified future date involves the risk that the market value of the securities that the fund is obligated to purchase may decline below the purchase price. In addition, when entering into a forward commitment transaction, the fund will rely on the other party to consummate the transaction. In the event that the other party files for bankruptcy, becomes insolvent or defaults on its obligation, the fund may be adversely affected. For example, the other party’s failure to complete the transaction may result in the loss to the fund of an advantageous yield or price.
Futures Contracts and Related Options
Subject to applicable law, the fund may invest in futures contracts and related options for hedging and non-hedging purposes, such as to manage the effective duration of the fund’s portfolio or as a substitute for direct investment. A futures contract sale creates an obligation by the seller to deliver the type of financial instrument called for in the contract in a specified delivery month for a stated price. A futures contract purchase creates an obligation by the purchaser to take delivery of the type of financial instrument called for in the contract in a specified delivery month at a stated price. The specific instruments delivered or taken, respectively, at settlement date are not determined until on or near that date. The determination is made in accordance with the rules of the exchange on which the futures contract sale or purchase was made. Futures contracts are traded in
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the United States only on commodity exchanges or boards of trade -- known as “contract markets” -- approved for such trading by the CFTC, and must be executed through a futures commission merchant or brokerage firm which is a member of the relevant contract market. Examples of futures contracts that the fund may use include, without limitation, U.S. Treasury futures, index futures, corporate or municipal bond futures, U.S. Government agency futures, interest rate futures, commodities futures, futures contracts on sovereign debt, and Eurodollar futures. In addition, as described elsewhere in this SAI, the fund may use foreign currency futures.
The value of a futures contract tends to increase and decrease in tandem with the value of its underlying instrument. Therefore, purchasing futures contracts will tend to increase the fund’s exposure to positive and negative price fluctuations in the underlying instrument, much as if it had purchased the underlying instrument directly. When the fund sells a futures contract, by contrast, the value of its futures position will tend to move in a direction contrary to the market for the underlying instrument. Selling futures contracts, therefore, will tend to offset both positive and negative market price changes, much as if the underlying instrument had been sold.
When the fund enters into a futures contract, the fund is required to deliver to the futures broker an amount of liquid assets known as “initial margin.” The nature of initial margin in futures transactions is different from that of margin in security transactions in that futures contract margin does not involve the borrowing of funds to finance the transactions. Rather, initial margin is similar to a performance bond or good faith deposit in that it is returned to the fund upon termination of the futures contract, assuming all contractual obligations have been satisfied. Initial margin requirements are established by the exchanges on which futures contracts trade and may, from time to time, change. Futures contracts also involve brokerage costs. Subsequent payments, called “variation margin” or “maintenance margin,” to and from the broker are made on a daily basis as the value of the futures contract fluctuates, a process known as “marking to the market.” For example, if the fund purchases a futures contract on an underlying security and the price of that security rises, the value of the futures contract will increase and the fund will receive from the broker a variation margin payment based on that increase in value. Conversely, if the price of the underlying security declines, the value of the futures contract will decrease and the fund will be required to make a variation margin payment to the broker based on that decrease in value. Upon the closing of a futures contract, the fund will receive or be required to pay additional cash based on a final determinations of variation margin.
Although futures contracts (other than index futures and futures based on the volatility or variance experienced by an index) by their terms call for actual delivery or acceptance of commodities or securities, in most cases the contracts are closed out before the settlement date without the making or taking of delivery. Index futures and futures based on the volatility or variance experienced by an index do not call for actual delivery or acceptance of commodities or securities, but instead require cash settlement of the futures contract on the settlement date specified in the contract. Such contracts may also be closed out before the settlement date. The fund may close some or all of its futures positions at any time prior to their expiration. Closing out a futures contract sale is effected by purchasing a futures contract for the same aggregate amount of the specific type of financial instrument or commodity with the same delivery date. If the price of the initial sale of the futures contract exceeds the price of the offsetting purchase, the seller is paid the difference and realizes a gain. Conversely, if the price of the offsetting purchase exceeds the price of the initial sale, the seller realizes a loss. If the fund is unable to enter into a closing transaction, the amount of the fund’s theoretical loss is unlimited. The closing out of a futures contract purchase is effected by the purchaser’s entering into a futures contract sale. If the offsetting sale price exceeds the purchase price, the purchaser realizes a gain, and if the purchase price exceeds the offsetting sale price, he realizes a loss. Such closing transactions involve additional commission costs.
A portion of any capital gains from futures contracts in which the fund invests directly will be treated for federal income tax purposes as short-term capital gains that, when distributed to taxable shareholders, will be taxable as ordinary income. The fund’s investments in futures may cause the fund to recognize income without receiving cash with which to make the distributions necessary to qualify and be eligible for treatment as a
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regulated investment company and avoid a fund-level tax. The fund may therefore need to liquidate other investments, including when it is not advantageous to do so, to meet its distribution requirement.
With respect to each fund, Putnam Management has claimed an exclusion from the definition of the term “commodity pool operator” under the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”) pursuant to Rule 4.5 under the CEA (the “exclusion”) promulgated by the CFTC. Accordingly, Putnam Management (with respect to these funds) is not subject to registration or regulation as a “commodity pool operator” under the CEA. To remain eligible for the exclusion, each of these funds will be limited in its ability to use certain financial instruments regulated under the CEA (“commodity interests”), including futures, options on futures and certain swaps. In the event that a fund’s investments in commodity interests are not within the thresholds set forth in the exclusion, Putnam Management may be required to register as a “commodity pool operator” and/or “commodity trading advisor” with the CFTC with respect to that fund. Putnam Management’s eligibility to claim the exclusion with respect to a fund will be based upon, among other things, the level and scope of the fund’s investment in commodity interests, the purposes of such investments and the manner in which the fund holds out its use of commodity interests. A fund’s ability to invest in commodity interests is limited by Putnam Management’s intention to operate the fund in a manner that would permit Putnam Management to continue to claim the exclusion under Rule 4.5, which may adversely affect the fund’s total return. In the event the fund’s investments in commodity interests require Putnam Management to register with the CFTC as a commodity pool operator with respect to a fund, the fund’s expenses may increase, adversely affecting that fund’s total return.
Index futures. An index futures contract is a contract to buy or sell units of an index at a specified future date at a price agreed upon when the contract is made. Entering into a contract to buy units of an index is commonly referred to as buying or purchasing a contract or holding a long position in the index. Entering into a contract to sell units of an index is commonly referred to as selling a contract or holding a short position. A unit is the current value of the index. The fund may enter into stock index futures contracts, debt index futures contracts, or other index futures contracts appropriate to its objective(s). The fund may also purchase and sell options on index futures contracts.
For example, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Composite Stock Price Index (“S&P 500”) is composed of 500 selected U.S. common stocks. The S&P 500 assigns relative weightings to the common stocks that comprise the index, and the value of the index fluctuates with changes in the market values of those common stocks. In the case of the S&P 500, contracts are currently to buy or sell 250 units. Thus, if the value of the S&P 500 were $150, one contract would be worth $37,500 (250 units x $150). The stock index futures contract specifies that no delivery of the actual stocks making up the index will take place. Instead, settlement in cash must occur upon the termination of the contract, with the settlement being the difference between the contract price and the actual level of the stock index at the expiration of the contract. For example, if the fund enters into a futures contract to buy 250 units of the S&P 500 at a specified future date at a contract price of $150 and the S&P 500 is at $154 on that future date, the fund will gain $1,000 (250 units x gain of $4). If the fund enters into a futures contract to sell 250 units of the stock index at a specified future date at a contract price of $150 and the S&P 500 is at $152 on that future date, the fund will lose $500 (250 units x loss of $2).
Options on futures contracts. The fund may purchase and write call and put options on futures contracts it may buy or sell and enter into closing transactions with respect to such options to terminate existing positions. Options on futures contracts possess many of the same characteristics as options on securities and indices. An option on a futures contract gives the holder the right, in return for the premium paid to assume a long position (call) or short position (put) in a futures contract at a specified exercise price at any time during the period of the option (in the case of an American-style option) or on the expiration date (in the case of European-style option). After entering into a put or call option on a futures contract, the fund will be required to deposit initial margin and variation margin as described above for futures contracts.
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When a call option on a futures contract is exercised, the holder acquires a long position in the futures contract and the writer is assigned the opposite short position. When a put option on a futures contract is exercised, the holder acquires a short position in the futures contract and the writer is assigned the opposite long position. When an option is exercised, the delivery of the futures 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 margin account, which represents the amount by which the market price of the futures contract, at exercise, exceeds (in the case of a call) or is less than (in the case of a put) the exercise price of the option on the future. If an option is exercised on the last trading day prior to its expiration date, the settlement will be made entirely in cash equal to the difference between the exercise price of the option and the closing level of the underlying asset on which the future is based on the expiration date. Purchasers of options who fail to exercise their options prior to the exercise date suffer a loss of the premium paid. The holder or writer of an option on a futures contract may terminate its position by selling or purchasing an offsetting option on the same financial instrument (subject to the availability of a liquid market).
The fund may use options on futures contracts in lieu of purchasing or writing options directly on the underlying instruments or purchasing and writing the underlying futures contracts. For example, to hedge against a possible decrease in the value of its portfolio securities, the fund may purchase put options or write call options on futures contracts rather than selling futures contracts. Similarly, the fund may purchase call options or write put options on futures contracts as a substitute for the purchase of futures contracts to hedge against a possible increase in the price of securities that the fund expects to purchase. Such options generally operate in the same manner, and involve the same risks, as options purchased or written directly on the underlying investments. As an alternative to purchasing or writing call and put options on index futures, the fund may purchase and write call and put options on the underlying indices themselves. Such options would be used in a manner identical to the use of options on index futures.
Compared to the purchase or sale of futures contracts, the purchase of call or put options on futures contracts generally involves less potential risk to the fund because the maximum amount at risk is the premium paid for the options (plus transaction costs). However, there may be circumstances when the purchase of a call or put option on a futures contract would result in a loss to the fund when the purchase or sale of a futures contract would not, such as when there is no movement in the prices of the hedged investments.
The writing of an option on a futures contract involves risks similar to those relating to the sale of futures contracts (which are described below). In addition, by writing a call option, the fund becomes obligated to sell a futures contract if the option is exercised, which may have a value higher than the exercise price. Similarly, by writing a put option, the fund becomes obligated to purchase a futures contract if the option is exercised, which may have a value lower than the exercise price. The writing of an option on a futures contract generates a premium, which may partially offset an increase (in the case of a written call option) or decrease (in the case of a written put option) in the value of the underlying futures contract. However, the loss incurred by the fund in writing options on futures contracts is potentially unlimited and may exceed the amount of the premium received. The fund will also incur transaction costs in connection with the writing of options on futures contracts.
Risks of transactions in futures contracts and related options. Successful use of futures contracts and options on futures contracts by the fund is subject to Putnam Management’s ability to predict movements in various factors affecting securities markets, including interest rates and market movements, and, in the case of index futures and futures based on the volatility or variance experienced by an index, Putnam Management’s ability to predict the future level of the index or the future volatility or variance experienced by an index. For example, it is possible that, where the fund has sold futures contracts to hedge its portfolio against a decline in the market, the index on which the futures contracts are written may advance and the value of securities held in the fund’s portfolio, which may differ from those that comprise the index, may decline. If this occurred, the fund would lose money on the futures contracts and experience a decline in value in its portfolio securities. It is also possible that, if the fund has hedged against the possibility of a decline in the market adversely affecting securities held in its portfolio and securities prices increase instead, the fund will lose part or all of the benefit
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of the increased value of those securities it has hedged because it will have offsetting losses in its futures positions.
The use of futures and options strategies also involves the risk of imperfect correlation among movements in the prices of the securities or other assets underlying the futures contracts and options purchased and sold by the fund, of the options and futures contracts themselves, and, in the case of hedging transactions, of the securities which are the subject of a hedge. In addition to the possibility that there may be an imperfect correlation, or no correlation at all, between movements in the futures contracts used by the fund and the portion of the portfolio being hedged, the prices of futures contracts may not correlate perfectly with movements in the underlying asset due to certain market distortions. First, all participants in the futures market are subject to margin deposit and maintenance requirements. Rather than meeting additional margin deposit requirements, investors may close futures contracts through offsetting transactions which could distort the expected relationship between the underlying asset and futures markets. Second, margin requirements in the futures market are less onerous than margin requirements in the securities market, and as a result the futures market may attract more speculators than the securities market does. Increased participation by speculators in the futures market may also cause temporary price distortions. Due to the possibility of price distortions in the futures market and also because of the imperfect correlation between movements in the underlying asset and movements in the prices of related futures, even a correct forecast of general market trends by Putnam Management may still not result in a profitable position. In addition, in the case of hedging transactions, an incorrect correlation could result in a loss on both the hedged securities in the fund and the hedging vehicle, so that the portfolio return might have been greater had hedging not been attempted.
The risk of a position in a futures contract may be very large compared to the relatively low level of margin a fund is required to deposit. In many cases, a relatively small price movement in a futures contract may result in immediate and substantial loss or gain to the fund relative to the size of a required margin deposit. In addition, if the fund has insufficient cash, it may have to sell securities to meet daily variation margin requirements at a time when it is disadvantageous to do so. The fund will typically be required to post margin with its futures commission merchant in connection with its transactions in futures contracts. In the event of an insolvency of the futures commission merchant, the fund may not be able to recover all (or any) of the margin it has posted with the futures commission merchant, or to realize the value of any increase in the price of its positions. The fund also may be delayed or prevented from recovering margin or other amounts deposited with a futures commission merchant or futures clearinghouse.
There is no assurance that higher than anticipated trading activity or other unforeseen events might not, at times, render certain market clearing facilities inadequate, and thereby result in the institution by exchanges of special procedures that may interfere with the timely execution of customer orders. For example, futures exchanges may limit the amount of fluctuation permitted in certain futures contract prices during a single trading day. The daily limit establishes the maximum amount that the price of a futures contract may vary either up or down from the previous day’s settlement price at the end of the current trading session. Once the daily limit has been reached in a futures contract subject to the limit, no more trades may be made on that day at a price beyond that limit. The daily limit governs only price movements during a particular trading day and therefore does not limit potential losses because the limit may work to prevent the liquidation of unfavorable positions. Futures prices have occasionally moved to the daily limit for several consecutive trading days with little or no trading, thereby preventing prompt liquidation of positions and subjecting some holders of futures contracts to substantial losses.
To reduce or eliminate a position held by the fund, the fund may seek to close out such position. The ability to establish and close out positions will be subject to the development and maintenance of a liquid secondary market. It is not certain that this market will develop or continue to exist for a particular futures contract or option. Reasons for the absence of a liquid secondary market on an exchange include the following: (i) there may be insufficient trading interest in certain contracts or options; (ii) restrictions may be imposed by an exchange on opening transactions or closing transactions or both; (iii) trading halts, suspensions or other
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restrictions may be imposed with respect to particular classes or series of contracts or options, or underlying securities; (iv) unusual or unforeseen circumstances may interrupt normal operations on an exchange; (v) the facilities of an exchange or a clearing corporation may not at all times be adequate to handle current trading volume; or (vi) one or more exchanges could, for economic or other reasons, decide or be compelled at some future date to discontinue the trading of contracts or options (or a particular class or series of contracts or options), in which event the secondary market on that exchange for such contracts or options (or in the class or series of contracts or options) would cease to exist, although outstanding contracts or options on the exchange that had been issued by a clearing corporation as a result of trades on that exchange would continue to be exercisable in accordance with their terms. If the fund were unable to liquidate a futures contract or an option on a futures contract due to the absence of a liquid secondary market, the imposition of price limits or otherwise, it could incur substantial losses. The fund would continue to be subject to market risk with respect to the position. Also, except in the case of purchased options, the fund would continue to be required to make daily variation margin payments and might be required to maintain a position being hedged by the futures contract or option The funds are required to comply with the derivatives rule when they engage in transactions involving futures and options thereon. See “Legal and Regulatory Risks Relating to Investment Strategy” below.
Hybrid instruments are generally considered derivatives and include indexed or structured securities and combine the elements of futures contracts or options with those of debt, preferred equity, commodity or a depository instrument. A hybrid instrument may be a debt security, preferred stock, warrant, convertible security, certificate of deposit or other evidence of indebtedness on which a portion of or all interest payments, and/or the principal or stated amount payable at maturity, redemption or retirement is determined by reference to prices, changes in prices, or differences between prices, of securities, currencies, intangibles, goods, articles or commodities (collectively, “underlying assets”), or by another objective index, economic factor or other measure, including interest rates, currency exchange rates, or commodities or securities indices (collectively, “benchmarks”).
Hybrid instruments can be an efficient means of creating exposure to a particular market, or segment of a market, with the objective of enhancing total return. For example, a fund may wish to take advantage of expected declines in interest rates in several European countries but avoid the transaction costs associated with buying and currency-hedging the foreign bond positions. One solution would be to purchase a U.S. dollar-denominated hybrid instrument whose redemption price is linked to the average three-year interest rate in a designated group of countries. The redemption price formula would provide for payoffs of less than par if rates were above the specified level. Furthermore, a fund could limit the downside risk of the security by establishing a minimum redemption price so that the principal paid at maturity could not be below a predetermined minimum level if interest rates were to rise significantly. The purpose of this arrangement, known as a structured security with an embedded put option, would be to give the fund the desired European bond exposure while avoiding currency risk, limiting downside market risk, and lowering transaction costs. Of course, there is no guarantee that the strategy will be successful, and the fund could lose money if, for example, interest rates do not move as anticipated or credit problems develop with the issuer of the hybrid instrument.
The risks of investing in hybrid instruments reflect a combination of the risks of investing in securities, options, futures and currencies. An investment in a hybrid instrument may entail significant risks that are not associated with a similar investment in a traditional debt instrument that has a fixed principal amount, is denominated in U.S. dollars or pays interest either at a fixed rate or a floating rate determined by reference to a common, nationally published benchmark. The risks of a particular hybrid instrument will depend upon the terms of the instrument but may include the possibility of significant changes in the benchmark(s) or the prices of the underlying assets to which the instrument is linked. Such risks generally depend upon factors unrelated to the operations or credit quality of the issuer of the hybrid instrument, which may not be foreseen by the
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purchaser, such as economic and political events, the supply and demand of the underlying assets and interest rate movements. In addition, the various benchmarks and prices for underlying assets can be highly volatile.
Hybrid instruments are potentially more volatile and carry greater market risks than traditional debt instruments. Depending on the structure of the particular hybrid instrument, changes in a benchmark may be magnified by the terms of the hybrid instrument and have an even more dramatic and substantial effect upon the value of the hybrid instrument. Also, the prices of the hybrid instrument and the benchmark or underlying asset may not move in the same direction or at the same time.
Hybrid instruments may bear interest or pay preferred dividends at below market (or even relatively nominal) rates. Alternatively, hybrid instruments may bear interest at above market rates but bear an increased risk of principal loss (or gain). The latter scenario may result if “leverage” is used to structure the hybrid instrument. Leverage risk occurs when the hybrid instrument is structured so that a given change in a benchmark or underlying asset is multiplied to produce a greater value change in the hybrid instrument, thereby magnifying the risk of loss as well as the potential for gain.
If the fund attempts to use a hybrid instrument as a hedge against, or as a substitute for, a portfolio investment, the hybrid instrument may not correlate as expected with the portfolio investment, resulting in losses to the fund. While hedging strategies involving hybrid instruments can reduce the risk of loss, they can also reduce the opportunity for gain or even result in losses by offsetting favorable price movements in other fund investments.
Hybrid instruments may also carry liquidity risk since the instruments are often “customized” to meet the portfolio needs of a particular investor, and therefore, the number of investors that are willing and able to buy such instruments in the secondary market may be smaller than that for more traditional debt securities. Under certain conditions, the redemption value of such an investment could be zero. In addition, because the purchase and sale of hybrid investments could take place in an over-the-counter market without the guarantee of a central clearing organization, or in a transaction between the fund and the issuer of the hybrid instrument, the creditworthiness of the counterparty of the issuer of the hybrid instrument would be an additional risk factor the fund would have to consider and monitor, and the value of the hybrid instrument may decline substantially if the issuer’s creditworthiness deteriorates. In addition, uncertainty regarding the tax treatment of hybrid instruments may reduce demand for such instruments. Hybrid instruments also may not be subject to regulation by the CFTC, which generally regulates the trading of commodity futures by U.S. persons, the SEC, which regulates the offer and sale of securities by and to U.S. persons, or any other governmental regulatory authority.
An illiquid investment means any investment that 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. A fund’s illiquid investments may be considered speculative and may be difficult to sell. The sale of many of these investments may be prohibited or limited by law or contract. Illiquid investments may be difficult to value for purposes of calculating a fund’s net asset value. A fund may not be able to sell illiquid investments when Putnam Management considers it desirable to do so, or a fund may be able to sell them only at less than their value. The larger size of certain fund holdings and the lack of liquidity in securities markets may limit a fund’s ability to sell illiquid investments, or to sell them at appropriate prices, thereby negatively impacting the fund.
The fund may invest in U.S. Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (“U.S. TIPS”), which are fixed income securities issued by the U.S. Department of Treasury, the principal amounts of which are adjusted daily based upon changes in the rate of inflation or deflation. The fund may also invest in other inflation-protected securities issued by non-U.S. governments or by private issuers. Two structures are common. While the U.S.
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Treasury and some other issuers use a structure that accrues inflation/deflation into the principal value of the bond, many other issuers adjust the coupon accruals for inflation-related changes.
U.S. TIPS pay interest on a semi-annual basis, equal to a fixed percentage of the inflation-adjusted principal amount. The interest rate on these securities is fixed at issuance, but over the life of the security this interest may be paid on an increasing or decreasing principal value that has been adjusted for inflation. U.S. TIPS currently are issued with maturities of five, ten, or thirty years, although it is possible that securities with other maturities will be issued in the future.
Repayment of the original principal upon maturity (as adjusted for inflation) is guaranteed for U.S. TIPS, even during a period of deflation. However, because the principal amount of U.S. TIPS would be adjusted downward during a period of deflation, the fund will be subject to deflation risk with respect to its investments in these securities. In addition, the current market value of U.S. TIPS is not guaranteed, and will fluctuate. If the fund purchases U.S. TIPS in the secondary market whose principal values have been adjusted upward due to inflation since issuance, the fund may experience a loss if there is a subsequent period of deflation. The fund may also invest in other inflation-related securities which may or may not provide a guarantee of principal. If a guarantee of principal is not provided, the adjusted principal value of the security repaid at maturity may be less than the original principal amount.
In addition, inflation-indexed securities do not protect holders from increases in interest rates due to reasons other than inflation (such as changes in currency exchange rates). The periodic adjustment of U.S. TIPS is currently tied to the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (“CPI-U”), which is calculated by the U.S. Department of Treasury. 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-protected securities issued by a non-U.S. government are generally adjusted to reflect a comparable inflation index, calculated by that government. There can no assurance that the CPI-U or any non-U.S. inflation index will accurately measure the real rate of inflation in the prices of goods and services. 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 security’s inflation measure, which could result in losses to the fund. In addition, there can be no assurance that the rate of inflation in a non-U.S. country will be correlated to the rate of inflation in the United States.
Although inflation-indexed bonds securities may protect their holders from long-term inflationary trends, short-term increases in inflation may result in a decline in value. In general, the value of inflation-protected securities is expected to fluctuate in response to changes in real interest rates, which are in turn tied to the relationship between nominal interest rates and the rate of inflation. Therefore, if inflation were to rise at a faster rate than nominal interest rates, real interest rates might decline, leading to an increase in value of inflation-protected securities. 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-protected securities. If inflation is lower than expected during the period the fund holds the security, the fund may earn less on the security than on a conventional bond.
Any increase in principal value is taxable in the year the increase occurs, even though holders do not receive cash representing the increase at that time. As a result, when the fund invests in inflation-protected securities, it could be required at times to liquidate other investments, including when it is not advantageous to do so, in order to satisfy its distribution requirements as a regulated investment company and to eliminate any fund-level income tax liability under the Code.
Initial Public Offerings
The fund may purchase debt or equity securities in initial public offerings (“IPOs”). These securities, which are often issued by unseasoned companies, may be subject to many of the same risks of investing in companies with smaller market capitalizations. Securities issued in an IPO frequently are very volatile in price (and may,
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therefore, involve greater risk) due to factors such as market psychology prevailing at the time of the IPO, the absence of a prior public market, unseasoned trading, the small number of shares available for trading, and limited availability of information about the issuer. Because of the price volatility of IPO securities, the fund may hold securities purchased in an IPO for a very short period of time. As a result, the fund’s investments in IPOs may increase portfolio turnover, which increases brokerage and administrative costs and may result in taxable distributions to shareholders.
There can be no assurance that investments in IPOs will be available to the funds or improve a fund’s performance. At any particular time or from time to time the fund may not be able to invest in securities issued in IPOs, or invest to the extent desired because, for example, only a small portion (if any) of the securities being offered in an IPO may be made available to the fund. In addition, under certain market conditions a relatively small number of companies may issue securities in IPOs. Similarly, to the extent that the number of Putnam funds to which IPO securities are allocated increases, the number of securities issued to any one fund may decrease. The investment performance of the fund during periods when it is unable to invest significantly or at all in IPOs may be lower than during periods when the fund is able to do so. When a fund’s asset base is small, a significant portion of the fund’s performance could be attributable to investments in IPOs because such investments would have a magnified impact on the fund. As the fund increases in size, the impact of IPOs on the fund’s performance will generally decrease.
Inverse floating rate debt securities (or “inverse floaters”) are debt securities structured with variable interest rates that reset in the opposite direction from the market rate of interest to which the inverse floater is indexed. An inverse floater may be considered to be leveraged to the extent that its interest rate varies by a magnitude that exceeds the magnitude of the change in the index rate of interest. As a result, inverse floaters may be more volatile and more sensitive to interest rate changes than other types of debt securities with comparable maturities. Inverse floaters may be subject to legal or contractual restrictions on resale and therefore may be less liquid than other types of securities. Certain inverse floaters may be illiquid.
Legal and Regulatory Risks Relating to Investment Strategy
The fund may be adversely affected by new (or revised) laws or regulations that may be imposed by the Internal Revenue System or Treasury Department, the CFTC, the SEC, the U.S. Federal Reserve or other banking regulators, or other governmental regulatory authorities or self-regulatory organizations that supervise the financial markets. These agencies are empowered to promulgate a variety of rules pursuant to financial reform legislation in the United States. The fund may also be adversely affected by changes in the enforcement or interpretation of existing statutes and rules by these governmental regulatory authorities or self-regulatory organizations. It is impossible to predict what, if any, changes in regulations may occur, but any regulation that restricts the ability of the fund to trade in securities or otherwise execute its investment strategy could have a material adverse impact on the fund’s performance.
The regulatory environment for funds is evolving, and changes in regulation may adversely affect the value of the investments held by the fund and the ability of the fund to execute its investment strategy. In addition, the securities and futures markets are subject to comprehensive statutes, regulations and margin requirements. The CFTC, the SEC, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, other regulators and self-regulatory organizations and exchanges are authorized to take extraordinary actions in the event of market emergencies. The regulation of securitization and derivatives transactions and funds that engage in such transactions is an evolving area of law and is subject to modification by government and judicial action.
In October 2016, the SEC adopted a liquidity risk management rule, Rule 22e-4 under the 1940 Act (the “Liquidity Rule”) that requires each fund to establish a liquidity risk management program. The funds have implemented a liquidity risk management program, and the fund’s Board of Trustees has appointed Putnam Management to administer the program. Under the liquidity risk management program, the liquidity risk of
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each fund is assessed, managed, and periodically reviewed and each portfolio investment held by each fund is classified as a “highly liquid investment,” “moderately liquid investment,” “less liquid investment” or “illiquid investment.” The Liquidity Rule defines “liquidity risk” as the risk that a fund could not meet requests to redeem shares issued by the fund without significant dilution of the remaining investors’ interest in the fund. The liquidity of a fund’s portfolio investments is determined based on relevant market, trading and investment-specific considerations under the fund’s liquidity risk management program. The impact the Liquidity Rule will have on the funds, and on the open-end fund industry in general, is not yet fully known, but the rule could impact a fund’s performance and its ability to achieve its investment objective(s). Please see “Illiquid Investments” above for more information.
The U.S. government has enacted legislation that provides for new regulation of the derivatives market, including clearing, margin, reporting and registration requirements. The CFTC, SEC, and other federal regulators have adopted and continue to develop rules and regulations enacting the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”). The European Union (“EU”) and some other countries have implemented and are in the process of implementing similar requirements that affect the fund when it enters into derivatives transactions with a counterparty organized in that country or otherwise subject to that country’s derivatives regulations. For example, the U.S. government, the EU and certain other jurisdictions have adopted mandatory minimum margin requirements for bilateral derivatives. New variation margin requirements became effective in 2017 and new initial margin requirements are expected to become effective for swaps between swap dealers and many buy-side entities in the near future. Such requirements could increase the amount of margin the fund needs to provide in connection with its derivatives transactions and, therefore, make derivatives transactions more expensive.
The regulation of the derivatives markets has increased over the past several years, and additional future regulation of the derivatives markets may make derivatives more costly, may limit the availability or reduce the liquidity of derivatives, or may otherwise adversely affect the value or performance of derivatives. Any such adverse future developments could impair the effectiveness or raise the costs of a fund’s derivative transactions, impede the employment of a fund’s derivatives strategies, or adversely affect the fund’s performance. For instance, in October 2020, the SEC adopted a final rule related to the use of derivatives, short sales, reverse repurchase agreements and certain other transactions by registered investment companies (the “derivatives rule”). Subject to certain exceptions, the derivatives rule requires a fund to trade derivatives and other transactions that create future payment or delivery obligations subject to a value-at-risk (“VaR”) leverage limit and certain derivatives risk management program and reporting requirements. Generally, these requirements apply unless a fund qualifies as a “limited derivatives users” exception that is included in the derivatives rule. Under the derivatives rule, when a fund trades reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions, including certain tender option bonds, it needs to aggregate the amount of indebtedness associated with the reverse repurchase agreements or similar financing transactions with the aggregate amount of any other senior securities representing indebtedness (e.g., bank borrowings, if applicable) when calculating a fund’s asset coverage ratio or treat all such transactions as derivatives transactions. In addition, under the derivatives rule, a fund is permitted to invest in a security on a when-issued or forward-settling basis, or with a non-standard settlement cycle, and the transaction will be deemed not to involve a senior security under the 1940 Act, provided that (i) the fund intends to physically settle the transaction and (ii) the transaction will settle within 35 days of its trade date (the “Delayed-Settlement Securities Provision”). A fund may otherwise engage in such transactions that do not meet the conditions of the Delayed-Settlement Securities Provision so long as the fund treats any such transaction as a derivatives transaction for purposes of compliance with the derivatives rule. Furthermore, under the derivatives rule, a fund will be permitted to enter into an unfunded commitment agreement, and such unfunded commitment agreement will not be subject to the asset coverage requirements under the 1940 Act, if the fund reasonably believes, at the time it enters into such agreement, that it will have sufficient cash and cash equivalents to meet its obligations with respect to all such agreements as they come due. These requirements may limit the ability of a fund to use derivatives, short sales, reverse repurchase agreements and similar financing transactions, and unfunded commitments as part of its investment strategies. These requirements may increase the cost of a fund’s investments and cost of doing business, which
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could adversely affect investors. Putnam Management cannot predict the effects of these requirements on a fund. Putnam Management intends to monitor developments and seek to manage a fund in a manner consistent with achieving the fund’s investment objective.
Regulatory changes also may affect counterparty risk. For example, new regulatory requirements may limit the ability of the fund to protect its interests in the event of an insolvency of a derivatives counterparty. In the event of a counterparty’s (or its affiliate’s) insolvency, the fund’s ability to exercise remedies, such as the termination of transactions, netting of obligations and realization on collateral, could be stayed or eliminated under new special resolution regimes adopted in the United States, the EU and various other jurisdictions. Such regimes provide government authorities with broad authority to intervene when a financial institution is experiencing financial difficulty. In particular, with respect to counterparties who are subject to such proceedings in the EU, the liabilities of such counterparties to the fund could be reduced, eliminated, or converted to equity in such counterparties (sometimes referred to as a “bail in”).
The CFTC and domestic exchanges have established speculative position limits, referred to as “position limits,” on the maximum speculative positions which any person, or group of persons acting in concert, may hold or control in particular futures and options on futures contracts. All positions owned or controlled by the same person or entity, even if in different accounts, must be aggregated for purposes of determining whether the applicable position limits have been exceeded. Thus, even if the fund does not intend to exceed applicable position limits, it is possible that different clients managed by Putnam Management and its affiliates may be aggregated for this purpose. Any modification of trading decisions or elimination of open positions that may be required to avoid exceeding such limits may adversely affect the profitability of the fund. In addition, the CFTC recently adopted rules that, once effective, will materially expand the scope of contracts subject to federal limits to include additional futures and options on futures and certain swaps. Such regulations may adversely affect the fund’s ability to hold positions in certain futures contracts and related options and swaps.
The SEC has in the past adopted interim rules requiring reporting of all short positions above a certain de minimis threshold and may adopt rules requiring monthly public disclosure in the future. In addition, other non-U.S. jurisdictions where the fund may trade have adopted reporting requirements. If the fund’s short positions or its strategy become generally known, the fund’s ability to implement its investment strategy could be adversely affected. In particular, other investors could cause a “short squeeze” in the securities held short by the fund forcing the fund to cover its positions at a loss. Such reporting requirements may also limit the fund’s ability to access management and other personnel at certain companies where the fund seeks to take a short position. In addition, if other investors engage in copycat behavior by taking positions in the same issuers as the fund, the cost of borrowing securities to sell short could increase drastically and the availability of such securities to the fund could decrease drastically. Such events could make a fund unable to execute its investment strategy. Short sales are also subject to certain SEC regulations. If the SEC were to adopt additional restrictions on short sales, they could restrict the fund’s ability to engage in short sales in certain circumstances. The SEC and regulatory authorities in other jurisdictions may adopt (and in certain cases, have adopted) bans on new or increases in short sales of certain securities, including short positions on such securities acquired through swaps, in response to market events. Bans on short selling and such short positions may make it impossible for the fund to execute certain investment strategies and may have a material adverse effect on the fund’s ability to generate returns.
In October 2020, the SEC adopted certain regulatory changes and took other actions related to the ability of an investment company to invest in another investment company. These changes include, among other things, amendments to Rule 12d1-1, the rescission of Rule 12d1-2, the adoption of Rule 12d1-4, and the rescission of certain exemptive relief issued by the SEC permitting such investments in excess of statutory limits. These regulatory changes may adversely impact each fund’s investment strategies and operations.
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Rules implementing the credit risk retention requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act for asset-backed securities require the sponsor of certain securitization vehicles to retain, and to refrain from transferring, selling, conveying to a third party, or hedging 5% of the credit risk in assets transferred, sold, or conveyed through the issuance of such vehicle, subject to certain exceptions. These requirements may increase the costs to originators, securitizers, and, in certain cases, collateral managers of securitization vehicles in which the fund may invest, which costs could be passed along to the fund as an investor in such transactions.
Some EU-regulated institutions (banks, certain investment firms, and authorized managers of alternative investment funds) are currently restricted from investing in securitizations (including U.S.-related securitizations), unless, in summary: (i) the institution is able to demonstrate that it has undertaken certain due diligence in respect of various matters, including its investment position, the underlying assets, and (in the case of authorized managers of alternative investment funds) the sponsor and the originator of the securitization; and (ii) the originator, sponsor, or original lender of the securitization has explicitly disclosed to the institution that it will retain, on an ongoing basis, a net economic interest of not less than five percent of specified credit risk tranches or asset exposures related to the securitization. In the future, EU insurance and reinsurance undertakings and UCITS funds are expected to become subject to similar restrictions. Although the requirements do not apply to the fund directly, the costs of compliance, in the case of any securitization within the EU risk retention rules in which the fund has invested or is seeking to invest, could be indirectly borne by the fund and the other investors in the securitization.
The regulations described in this SAI as well as other new or evolving regulations could, among other things, further restrict the fund’s ability to engage in, or increase the cost to the fund of, derivatives transactions, and the fund may be unable to execute its investment strategy as a result. Because these requirements are new and evolving, their ultimate impact on the fund and the financial system is not yet known. While the new rules and regulations and central clearing of some derivatives transactions are designed to reduce systemic risk (i.e., the risk that the interdependence of large derivatives dealers could cause them to suffer liquidity, solvency or other challenges simultaneously), there is no assurance that they will achieve that result, and in the meantime, the requirements can expose the fund to new kinds of costs and risks.
London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR)
On July 27, 2017, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”), which regulates LIBOR, announced its intention to cease compelling banks to provide the quotations needed to sustain LIBOR after 2021. ICE Benchmark Administration, the administrator of LIBOR, ceased publication of most LIBOR settings on a representative basis at the end of 2021 and is expected to cease publication of a majority of U.S. dollar LIBOR settings on a representative basis after June 30, 2023. In addition, global regulators have announced that, with limited exceptions, no new LIBOR-based contracts should be entered into after 2021.LIBOR has historically been a common benchmark interest rate index used to make adjustments to variable-rate loans. It is used throughout global banking and financial industries to determine interest rates for a variety of financial instruments and borrowing arrangements. Actions by regulators have resulted in the establishment of alternative reference rates to LIBOR in most major currencies. Various financial industry groups have been planning for the transition away from LIBOR, but there are obstacles to converting certain longer-term securities and transactions to new reference rates. Markets are developing slowly and questions around liquidity in these rates and how to appropriately adjust these rates to mitigate any economic value transfer at the time of transition remain a significant concern. Neither the effect of the transition process nor its ultimate success can yet be known. The transition process might lead to increased volatility and illiquidity in markets that rely on LIBOR to determine interest rates. It could also lead to a reduction in the value of some LIBOR-based investments and reduce the effectiveness of related transactions, such as hedges. While some LIBOR-based instruments may contemplate a scenario where LIBOR is no longer available by providing for an alternative rate-setting methodology, not all may have such provisions and there may be significant uncertainty regarding the effectiveness of any such alternative methodologies. Since the usefulness of LIBOR as a benchmark could deteriorate during the transition period, these effects could occur at any time.
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The fund may invest in lower-rated fixed-income securities (commonly known as “junk bonds”) and may hold fixed-income securities that are downgraded to a lower rating after the time of purchase by the fund. Compared to higher-rated fixed-income securities, lower-rated securities generally offer the potential for higher investment returns but subject holders to greater credit, market and liquidity risk, including the possibility of default or bankruptcy. The lower ratings reflect a greater possibility that adverse changes in the financial condition of the issuer or in general economic conditions, or both, or an unanticipated rise in interest rates, may impair the ability of the issuer to make payments of interest and principal. The inability (or perceived inability) of issuers to make timely payment of interest and principal would likely make the values of securities held by the fund more volatile and could limit the fund’s ability to sell its securities at prices approximating the values the fund had placed on such securities. The market price of lower-rated securities also generally responds to short-term corporate and market developments to a greater extent than do the price and liquidity of higher-rated securities because such developments are perceived to have a more direct relationship to the ability of an issuer of lower-rated securities to meet its ongoing debt obligations. In addition, the market may be less liquid for lower-rated securities than for higher-rated securities. In the absence of a liquid trading market for securities held by it, the fund at times may be unable to establish the fair value of such securities.
Securities ratings are based largely on the issuer’s historical financial condition and the rating agencies’ analysis at the time of rating. Consequently, the rating assigned to any particular security is not necessarily a reflection of the issuer’s current financial condition, which may be better or worse than the rating would indicate. In addition, the rating assigned to a security by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. or Standard & Poor’s (or by any other nationally recognized securities rating agency) does not reflect an assessment of the volatility of the security’s market value or the liquidity of an investment in the security. See “SECURITIES RATINGS.”
Like those of other fixed-income securities, the values of lower-rated securities fluctuate in response to changes in interest rates. A decrease in interest rates will generally result in an increase in the value of the fund’s fixed-income assets. Conversely, during periods of rising interest rates, the value of the fund’s fixed-income assets will generally decline. The values of lower-rated securities may often be affected to a greater extent than higher-rated securities by changes in general economic conditions and business conditions affecting the issuers of such securities and their industries. Negative publicity or investor perceptions may also adversely affect the values of lower-rated securities, whether or not justified by fundamental factors. Changes by nationally recognized securities rating agencies in their ratings of any fixed-income security, changes in the ability of an issuer to make payments of interest and principal or regulation that limits the ability of certain categories of financial institutions to invest in lower-rated securities may also affect the value of these investments. Changes in the value of portfolio securities generally will not affect income derived from these securities, but will affect the fund’s net asset value. The fund will not necessarily dispose of a security when its rating is reduced below its rating at the time of purchase. However, Putnam Management will monitor the investment to determine whether its retention will assist in meeting the fund’s goal(s).
Lower-rated securities may contain redemption, call or prepayment provisions which permit the issuer of such securities to, at its discretion, redeem the securities. During periods of falling interest rates, issuers of these securities are likely to redeem or prepay the securities and refinance them with debt securities with a lower interest rate. To the extent an issuer is able to refinance the securities, or otherwise redeem them, the fund may have to replace the securities with a lower yielding security, which would result in a lower return.
Issuers of lower-rated fixed-income securities may be (i) in poor financial condition, (ii) experiencing poor operating results, (iii) having substantial capital needs or negative net worth, or (iv) facing special competitive or product obsolescence problems, and may include companies involved in bankruptcy or other reorganizations or liquidation proceedings. Issuers of lower-rated securities are also often highly leveraged, and their relatively high debt-to-equity ratios increase the risk that their operations may not generate sufficient cash flow to service their debt obligations, especially during an economic downturn or during sustained
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periods of rising interest rates. Such issuers may not have more traditional methods of financing available to them and may be unable to repay outstanding obligations at maturity by refinancing. The risk of loss due to default in payment of interest or repayment of principal by issuers of lower-rated securities is significantly greater than for issuers of higher-rated securities because such securities frequently are unsecured and subordinated to the prior payment of senior indebtedness.
At times, a substantial portion of the fund’s assets may be invested in an issue of which the fund, by itself or together with other funds and accounts managed by Putnam Management or its affiliates, holds all or a major portion. Although Putnam Management generally considers such securities to be liquid because of the availability of an institutional market for such securities, it is possible that, under adverse market or economic conditions or in the event of adverse changes in the financial condition of the issuer, the fund could find it more difficult to sell these securities when Putnam Management believes it advisable to do so or may be able to sell the securities only at prices lower than if they were more widely held. Under these circumstances, it may also be more difficult to determine the fair value of such securities for purposes of computing the fund’s net asset value. In order to enforce its rights in the event of a default, the fund may be required to participate in various legal proceedings or take possession of and manage assets securing the issuer’s obligations on such securities. This could increase the fund’s operating expenses and adversely affect the fund’s net asset value. In the case of tax-exempt funds, any income derived from the fund’s ownership or operation of such assets would not be tax-exempt. The ability of a holder of a tax-exempt security to enforce the terms of that security in a bankruptcy proceeding may be more limited than would be the case with respect to securities of private issuers. In addition, the fund’s intention to qualify as a “regulated investment company” under the Code may limit the extent to which the fund may exercise its rights by taking possession of such assets.
To the extent the fund invests in lower-rated securities, the achievement of the fund’s goals is more dependent on Putnam Management’s investment analysis than would be the case if the fund were investing in higher-rated securities
The value of securities in a fund’s portfolio may fall or fail to rise over extended periods of time for a variety of reasons, including general economic, political or financial market conditions, investor sentiment and market perceptions (including perceptions about monetary policy, interest rates or the risk of default), government actions (including protectionist measures, intervention in the financial markets or other regulation, and changes in fiscal, monetary or tax policies), geopolitical events or changes (including natural disasters, epidemics or pandemics, terrorism and war), and factors related to a specific issuer, geography, industry or sector. In addition, the increasing popularity of passive index-based investing may have the potential to increase security price correlations and volatility. (As passive strategies generally buy or sell securities based simply on inclusion and representation in an index, securities prices will have an increasing tendency to rise or fall based on whether money is flowing into or out of passive strategies rather than based on an analysis of the prospects and valuation of individual securities. This may result in increased market volatility as more money is invested through passive strategies). These and other factors may lead to increased volatility and reduced liquidity in the fund’s portfolio holdings, particularly for larger investments. During those periods, the fund may experience high levels of shareholder redemptions, and may have to sell securities at times when it would otherwise not do so, and at unfavorable price.
Legal, political, regulatory and tax changes may cause fluctuations in markets and securities prices. In the past, governmental and non-governmental issuers have defaulted on, or have been forced to restructure, their debts, and many other issuers have faced difficulties obtaining credit. Defaults or restructurings by governments or others of their debts could have substantial adverse effects on economies, financial markets, and asset valuations around the world. In addition, financial regulators, including the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank, at times have taken steps to maintain historically low interest rates, such as by purchasing bonds.
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Some governmental authorities at times have taken steps to devalue their currencies substantially or have taken other steps to counter actual or anticipated market or other developments. Steps by those regulators and authorities to implement, or to curtail or taper, these activities could have substantial negative effects on financial markets. The withdrawal of support, failure of efforts in response to a financial crisis, or investor perception that these efforts are not succeeding could negatively affect financial markets generally as well as the values and liquidity of certain securities.
The fund is subject to the risk that geopolitical events will disrupt securities markets and adversely affect global economies and markets. War, terrorism, economic uncertainty, and other geopolitical events (including sanctions, tariffs, exchange controls or other cross-border trade barriers) have led, and in the future may lead, to increased short-term market volatility and may have adverse long-term effects on U.S. and world economies and markets generally. In addition, trade disputes (such as the “trade war” between the United States and China that intensified in 2018 and 2019) may affect investor and consumer confidence and may adversely impact financial markets and the broader economy, perhaps suddenly and to a significant degree. Events such as these and their impact on the fund are difficult to predict. For example, Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 resulted in the United States, other countries, and certain international organizations levying broad economic sanctions against Russia and Russian individuals. These sanctions and any additional sanctions or other intergovernmental actions that may be undertaken against Russia in the future may result in the devaluation of the ruble, a downgrade in the country’s credit rating, and a decline in the value and liquidity of Russian securities. Such actions could result in a freeze of Russian securities, impairing the ability of a fund to buy, sell, receive, or deliver those securities. Retaliatory action by the Russian government could involve the seizure of U.S. and/or European residents’ assets, and any such actions are likely to impair the value and liquidity of such assets. Any or all of these potential results could have an adverse/recessionary effect on Russia’s economy. All of these factors could have a negative effect on the performance of funds that have significant exposure to Russia.
In addition, the extent and duration of the military action associated with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, resulting sanctions and resulting future market disruptions, including declines in Russian stock markets and the value of the ruble against the U.S. dollar, are impossible to predict, but could be significant. Any disruptions caused by such military action or other actions (including cyberattacks and espionage) or resulting actual and threatened responses to such activity, including purchasing and financing restrictions, boycotts or changes in consumer or purchaser preferences, sanctions, tariffs or cyberattacks on the Russian government, Russian companies, or Russian individuals, including politicians, may negatively impact Russia’s economy and Russian issuers of securities in which the fund invests. Actual and threatened responses to such military action may also impact the markets for certain Russian commodities, such as oil and natural gas, as well as other sectors of the Russian economy, and may likely have collateral impacts on such sectors globally. These and any related events could have a significant impact on fund performance and the value of an investment in the fund.
Likewise, natural and environmental disasters, epidemics or pandemics, and systemic market dislocations may be highly disruptive to economies and markets, and may result in significant market volatility, exchange trading suspensions or closures, or a substantial economic downturn or recession. Those events, as well as other changes in foreign and domestic economic and political conditions, also could disrupt the operations of the fund or its service providers or adversely affect individual issuers or related groups of issuers, interest rates, credit ratings, default rates, inflation, supply chains, consumer demand, investor sentiment, and other factors affecting the value or liquidity of the fund’s investments.
An outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus designated as COVID-19 was first detected in China in December 2019 and subsequently spread internationally. The transmission of COVID-19 and efforts to contain its spread have resulted in, among other things, border closings and other significant travel restrictions and disruptions; significant disruptions to business operations, supply chains and customer activity; lower consumer demand for goods and services; higher levels of unemployment; event cancellations and restrictions; service cancellations, reductions and other changes; significant challenges in healthcare service
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preparation and delivery; prolonged quarantines; and general concern and uncertainty. These impacts have negatively affected, and may continue to negatively affect, the global economy, the economies of individual countries, and the financial performance of individual issuers, sectors, industries, asset classes, and markets in significant and unforeseen ways. The COVID-19 pandemic also has resulted in significant market volatility, exchange trading suspensions and closures, declines in global financial markets, higher default rates, and economic downturns and recessions, and may continue to have similar effects in the future. In addition, actions taken by government and quasi-governmental authorities and regulators throughout the world in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including significant fiscal and monetary policies changes, may affect the value, volatility, and liquidity of some securities and other assets. Health crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic may also exacerbate other pre-existing political, social, economic, market and financial risks. The effects of the outbreak in developing or emerging market countries may be greater due to less established health care systems. The foregoing could impair the fund’s ability to maintain operational standards (such as with respect to creations and redemptions of fund shares), disrupt the operations of the fund’s service providers, adversely affect the value and liquidity of the fund’s investments, and negatively impact the fund’s performance and your investment in the fund. Given the significant uncertainty surrounding the magnitude, duration, reach, costs and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as actions that have been or could be taken by governmental authorities or other third parties, it is difficult to predict its potential impacts on a fund’s investments.
Securities and financial markets may be susceptible to market manipulation or other fraudulent trade practices, which could disrupt the orderly functioning of these markets, contribute to overall market volatility and adversely affect the values of the fund’s investments.
Given the increasing interdependence among global economies and markets, conditions in one country, region or market might adversely affect financial conditions or issuers in other countries, regions or markets. For example, any partial or complete dissolution of the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union, or any increased uncertainty as to its status, could have significant adverse effects on global currency and financial markets, and on the values of the fund’s investments. On January 31, 2020, the United Kingdom formally withdrew from the European Union (commonly known as “Brexit”). An agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union governing their future trade relationship became effective January 1, 2021. While the full impact of Brexit is unknown, Brexit has already resulted in volatility in European and global markets. Potential negative long-term effects could include, among others, greater market volatility and illiquidity, disruptions to world securities markets, currency fluctuations, deterioration in economic activity, a decrease in business confidence, and an increased likelihood of a recession in the United Kingdom. To the extent the fund has focused its investments in a particular country, region or market, adverse geopolitical and other events impacting that country, region or market could have a disproportionate impact on the fund.
Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs)
A MLP generally is a publicly traded company organized as a limited partnership or limited liability company and treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes. MLPs may derive income and gains from, among other things, the exploration, development, mining or production, processing, refining, transportation (including pipelines transporting gas, oil, or products thereof), or the marketing of any mineral or natural resources. MLPs generally have two classes of owners, the general partner and limited partners. The general partner of an MLP is typically owned by one or more of the following: a major energy company, an investment fund, or the direct management of the MLP. The general partner may be structured as a private or publicly traded corporation or other entity. The general partner typically controls the operations and management of the MLP through an up to 2% equity interest in the MLP plus, in many cases, ownership of common units and subordinated units. Limited partners own the remainder of the partnership through ownership of common units and have a limited role in the partnership’s operations and management.
MLP securities in which certain funds may invest can include, but are not limited to: (i) equity securities of MLPs, including common units, preferred units or convertible subordinated units; (ii) debt securities of MLPs, including debt securities rated below investment grade; (iii) securities of MLP affiliates; (iv) securities of
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open-end funds, closed-end funds or exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”) that invest primarily in MLP securities; or (v) exchange-traded notes whose returns are linked to the returns of MLPs or MLP indices.
The risks of investing in an MLP are generally those inherent in investing in a partnership as opposed to a corporation. For example, 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. In addition, state law governing partnerships is often less restrictive than state law governing corporations. Accordingly, there may be fewer protections afforded investors in an MLP than investors in a corporation.
MLP common units and other equity securities can be affected by macro-economic and other factors affecting the stock market in general, expectations of interest rates, investor sentiment towards MLPs, changes in a particular issuer’s financial condition, or unfavorable or unanticipated poor performance of a particular issuer (in the case of MLPs, generally measured in terms of distributable cash flow). Prices of common units of individual MLPs and other equity securities can also be affected by fundamentals unique to the partnership or company, including earnings power and coverage ratios.
Additional risks involved with investing in an MLP are risks associated with the specific industry or industries in which the partnership invests. For example, companies operating in the energy MLP sector are subject to risks that are specific to the industry in which they operate. MLPs and other companies that provide crude oil, refined product and natural gas services are subject to supply and demand fluctuations in the markets they serve which may be impacted by a wide range of factors including fluctuating commodity prices, weather, increased conservation or use of alternative fuel sources, increased governmental or environmental regulation, depletion, rising interest rates, declines in domestic or foreign production, accidents or catastrophic events, and economic conditions, among others. Energy MLP companies are subject to varying demand for oil, natural gas or refined products in the markets they serve, as well as changes in the supply of products requiring gathering, transport, processing, or storage due to natural declines in reserves and production in the supply areas serviced by the companies’ facilities. Declines in oil or natural gas prices, as well as adverse regulatory decisions, may cause producers to curtail production or reduce capital spending for production or exploration activities, which may in turn reduce the need for the services provided by energy MLP companies. Lower prices may also create lower processing margins. Energy MLPs may also be subject to regulation by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) with respect to tariff rates that these companies may charge for interstate pipeline transportation services. An adverse determination by FERC with respect to tariff rates of a pipeline MLP could have a material adverse effect on the business, financial conditions, result of operations, cash flows and prospects of that pipeline MLP and its ability to make cash distributions to its equity owners.
Money Market Instruments
Money market instruments, or short-term debt instruments, consist of obligations such as commercial paper, bank obligations (e.g., certificates of deposit and bankers’ acceptances), repurchase agreements, and various government obligations, such as Treasury bills. These instruments have a remaining maturity of one year or less and are generally of high credit quality. Money market instruments may be structured to be, or may employ a trust or other form so that they are, eligible investments for money market funds. For example, put features can be used to modify the maturity of a security or interest rate adjustment features can be used to enhance price stability. If a structure fails to function as intended, adverse tax or investment consequences may result. Neither the IRS nor any other regulatory authority has ruled definitively on certain legal issues presented by certain structured securities. Future tax or other regulatory determinations could adversely affect the value, liquidity, or tax treatment of the income received from these securities or the nature and timing of distributions made by the funds.
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Commercial paper is a money market instrument issued by banks or companies to raise money for short-term purposes. Commercial paper is usually sold on a discounted basis rather than as an interest-bearing instrument. Unlike some other debt obligations, commercial paper is typically unsecured, which increases the credit risk associated with this type of investment. In some cases, commercial paper may be backed by some form of credit enhancement, typically in the form of a guarantee by a commercial bank. Commercial paper backed by guarantees of foreign banks may involve additional risk due to the difficulty of obtaining and enforcing judgments against such banks and the generally less restrictive regulations to which such banks are subject. Commercial paper also may be issued as an asset-backed security (that is, backed by a pool of assets representing the obligations of a number of different issuers), in which case certain of the risks discussed in “Mortgage-backed and Asset-backed securities” would apply. Commercial paper is traded primarily among institutions.
Certificates of deposit are receipts issued by a depository institution in exchange for the deposit of funds. The issuer agrees to pay the amount deposited plus interest to the bearer of the receipt on the date specified on the certificate. The certificate usually can be traded in the secondary market prior to maturity. Certificates of deposit may include those issued by foreign banks outside the United States. Such certificates of deposit include Eurodollar and Yankee certificates of deposit. Eurodollar certificates of deposit are U.S. dollar-denominated certificates of deposit issued by branches of foreign and domestic banks located outside the United States. Yankee certificates of deposit are certificates of deposit issued by a U.S. branch of a foreign bank denominated in U.S. dollars and held in the United States.
Bankers’ acceptances typically arise from short-term credit arrangements designed to enable businesses to obtain funds to finance commercial transactions. Generally, an acceptance is a time draft drawn on a bank by an exporter or an importer to obtain a stated amount of funds to pay for specific merchandise. The draft is then “accepted” by a bank that, in effect, unconditionally guarantees to pay the face value of the instrument on its maturity date. The acceptance may then be held by the accepting bank as an earning asset or it may be sold in the secondary market at the going rate of discount for a specific maturity. Although maturities for acceptances can be as long as 270 days, most acceptances have maturities of six months or less.
Time deposits are interest-bearing non-negotiable deposits at a bank or a savings and loan association that have a specific maturity date. A time deposit earns a specific rate of interest over a definite period of time. Time deposits cannot be traded on the secondary market and those exceeding seven days and with a withdrawal penalty are considered to be illiquid.
In accordance with rules issued by the SEC, the fund may from time to time invest all or a portion of its cash balances in money market and/or short-term bond funds advised by Putnam Management. In connection with such investments, Putnam Management may waive a portion of the advisory fees otherwise payable by the fund. See “Charges and expenses” in Part I of this SAI for the amount, if any, waived by Putnam Management in connection with such investments.
Mortgage-backed and Asset-backed Securities
Mortgage-backed securities, including collateralized mortgage obligations (“CMOs”) and certain stripped mortgage-backed securities, represent a participation in, or are secured by, mortgage loans. Mortgage-backed securities may be issued by agencies or instrumentalities of the U.S. government (including those whose securities are neither guaranteed nor insured by the U.S. government, such as Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and FHLBs), foreign governments (or their agencies or instrumentalities), or non-governmental issuers. Interest and principal payments (including prepayments) on the mortgage loans underlying mortgage-backed securities pass through to the holders of the mortgage-backed securities. 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 or installment loan contracts, home equity loans, leases of various types of real, personal and other property and receivables from credit card agreements. Similar to mortgage-backed securities, other types of asset-backed securities may be issued by agencies or
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instrumentalities of the U.S. government (including those whose securities are neither guaranteed nor insured by the U.S. government), foreign governments (or their agencies or instrumentalities), or non-governmental issuers.
Mortgage-backed securities have yield and maturity characteristics corresponding to the underlying assets. Unlike traditional debt securities, which may pay a fixed rate of interest until maturity, when the entire principal amount comes due, payments on certain mortgage-backed securities include both interest and a partial repayment of principal. Besides the scheduled repayment of principal, repayments of principal may result from the voluntary prepayment, refinancing or foreclosure of the underlying mortgage loans. If property owners make unscheduled prepayments of their mortgage loans, these prepayments will result in early payment of the applicable mortgage-backed securities. In that event the fund may be unable to invest the proceeds from the early payment of the mortgage-backed securities in an investment that provides as high a yield as the mortgage-backed securities. Consequently, early payment associated with mortgage-backed securities may cause these securities to experience significantly greater price and yield volatility than that experienced by traditional fixed-income securities. The occurrence of mortgage prepayments is affected by factors including the level of interest rates, general economic conditions, the location and age of the mortgage and other social and demographic conditions. During periods of falling interest rates, the rate of mortgage prepayments tends to increase, thereby tending to decrease the life of mortgage-backed securities. During periods of rising interest rates, the rate of mortgage prepayments usually decreases, thereby tending to increase the life of mortgage-backed securities. If the life of a mortgage-backed security is inaccurately predicted, the fund may not be able to realize the rate of return it expected.
Adjustable rate mortgage securities (“ARMs”), like traditional mortgage-backed securities, are interests in pools of mortgage loans that provide investors with payments consisting of both principal and interest as mortgage loans in the underlying mortgage pool are paid off by the borrowers. Unlike fixed-rate mortgage-backed securities, ARMs are collateralized by or represent interests in mortgage loans with variable rates of interest. These interest rates are reset at periodic intervals, usually by reference to an interest rate index or market interest rate. Although the rate adjustment feature may act as a buffer to reduce sharp changes in the value of adjustable rate securities, these securities are still subject to changes in value based on, among other things, changes in market interest rates or changes in the issuer’s creditworthiness. If rates increase due to a reset, the risk of default by underlying borrowers may increase. Because the interest rates are reset only periodically, changes in the interest rate on ARMs may lag changes in prevailing market interest rates. The market value of an ARM may be adversely affected if interest rates increase faster than the rates of interest payable on the ARM or by the adjustable rate mortgage loans underlying the ARM. Also, some ARMs (or the underlying mortgages) are subject to caps or floors that limit the maximum change in the interest rate during a specified period or over the life of the security. As a result, changes in the interest rate on an ARM may not fully reflect changes in prevailing market interest rates during certain periods.
The fund may also invest in “hybrid” ARMs, whose underlying mortgages combine fixed-rate and adjustable rate features. A hybrid ARM is a type of mortgage in which the interest rate is fixed for a specified period and then resets periodically, or floats, for the remaining mortgage term. During the initial interest period, hybrid ARMs behave more like fixed income securities and are thus subject to the risks associated with fixed income securities. All hybrid ARMs have reset dates. A reset date is the date when a hybrid ARM changes from a fixed interest rate to a floating interest rate. At the reset date, a hybrid ARM can adjust by a maximum specified amount based on a margin over an identified index. Like ARMs, hybrid ARMs have periodic and lifetime limitations on the increases that can be made to the interest rates that mortgagors pay. Therefore, if during a floating rate period interest rates rise above the interest rate limits of the hybrid ARM, a fund holding the hybrid ARM does not benefit from further increases in interest rates.
Mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities are less effective than other types of securities as a means of “locking in” attractive long-term interest rates. One reason is the need to reinvest prepayments of principal; another is the possibility of significant unscheduled prepayments resulting from declines in interest rates. These prepayments would have to be reinvested at lower rates. The automatic interest rate adjustment feature
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of mortgages underlying ARMs likewise reduces the ability to lock-in attractive rates. As a result, mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities may have less potential for capital appreciation during periods of declining interest rates than other securities of comparable maturities, although they may have a similar risk of decline in market value during periods of rising interest rates. Prepayments may also significantly shorten the effective maturities of these securities, especially during periods of declining interest rates. Conversely, during periods of rising interest rates, a reduction in prepayments may increase the effective maturities of these securities, subjecting them to a greater risk of decline in market value in response to rising interest rates than traditional debt securities, and, therefore, potentially increasing the volatility of the fund.
At times, some mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities will have higher than market interest rates and therefore will be purchased at a premium above their par value. Prepayments may cause losses on securities purchased at a premium. To the extent an applicable interest rate is based on LIBOR, the fund will be exposed to certain additional risks. See “London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR)” above for more information.
Mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities are subject to varying degrees of credit risk, depending on whether they are issued by agencies or instrumentalities of the U.S. government (including those whose securities are neither guaranteed nor insured by the U.S. government) or by non-governmental issuers. Securities issued by private organizations may not be readily marketable, and since the deterioration of worldwide economic and liquidity conditions that became acute in 2008, mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities have been subject to greater liquidity risk. These conditions may occur again. Also, government actions and proposals affecting the terms of underlying home loans, changes in demand for products (e.g., automobiles) financed by those loans, and the inability of borrowers to refinance existing loans (e.g., sub-prime mortgages), have had, and may continue to have, adverse valuation and liquidity effects on mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities. Although liquidity of mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities has improved recently, there can be no assurance that in the future the market for mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities will continue to improve and become more liquid.
CMOs may be issued by a U.S. government agency or instrumentality or by a private issuer. Although payment of the principal of, and interest on, the underlying collateral securing privately issued CMOs may be guaranteed by the U.S. government or its agencies or instrumentalities (such as Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, or Ginnie Mae), these CMOs represent obligations solely of the private issuer and are not insured or guaranteed by the U.S. government, its agencies or instrumentalities or any other person or entity. CMOs may also be less liquid and may exhibit greater price volatility than other types of mortgage- or other asset-backed securities.
Prepayments could cause early retirement of CMOs. CMOs are designed to reduce the risk of prepayment for investors by issuing multiple classes of securities (or “tranches”), each having different maturities, interest rates and payment schedules, and with the principal and interest on the underlying mortgages allocated among the several classes in various ways. Payment of interest or principal on some classes or series of CMOs may be subject to contingencies or some classes or series may bear some or all of the risk of default on the underlying mortgages. CMOs of different classes or series are generally retired in sequence as the underlying mortgage loans in the mortgage pool are repaid. If enough mortgages are repaid ahead of schedule, the classes or series of a CMO with the earliest maturities generally will be retired prior to their maturities. Thus, the early retirement of particular classes or series of a CMO would have the same effect as the prepayment of mortgages underlying other mortgage-backed securities. Conversely, slower than anticipated prepayments can extend the effective maturities of CMOs, subjecting them to a greater risk of decline in market value in response to rising interest rates than traditional debt securities, and, therefore, potentially increasing their volatility.
Prepayments could result in losses on stripped mortgage-backed securities. Stripped mortgage-backed securities are usually structured with two classes that receive different portions of the interest and principal distributions on a pool of mortgage loans. A common type of stripped mortgage-backed security will have one class receiving all of the interest from the mortgage assets (interest only or “IOs”), while the other class will receive all of the principal (principal only or “POs”). The yield to maturity on an IO class of stripped mortgage-backed securities is extremely sensitive not only to changes in prevailing interest rates but also to the
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rate of principal payments (including prepayments) on the underlying assets. A rapid rate of principal prepayments may have a measurable adverse effect on the fund’s yield to maturity to the extent it invests in IOs. If the assets underlying the IO experience greater than anticipated prepayments of principal, the fund may fail to recoup fully its initial investment in these securities. Conversely, POs tend to increase in value if prepayments are greater than anticipated and decline if prepayments are slower than anticipated. Generally, the market value of POs is unusually volatile in response to changes in interest rates. The secondary market for stripped mortgage-backed securities may be more volatile and less liquid than that for other mortgage-backed securities, potentially limiting the fund’s ability to buy or sell those securities at any particular time.
The risks associated with other asset-backed securities (including in particular the risks of issuer default and of early prepayment) are generally similar to those described above for CMOs. In addition, because asset-backed securities generally do not have the benefit of a security interest in the underlying assets that is comparable to a mortgage, asset-backed securities present certain additional risks that are not present with mortgage-backed securities. The ability of an issuer of asset-backed securities to enforce its security interest in the underlying assets may be limited. For example, revolving credit receivables are generally unsecured and the debtors on such receivables are entitled to the protection of a number of state and federal consumer credit laws, many of which give debtors the right to set-off certain amounts owed, thereby reducing the balance due. Automobile receivables generally are secured, but by automobiles, rather than by real property.
Asset-backed securities may be collateralized by the fees earned by service providers. The value of asset-backed securities may be substantially dependent on the servicing of the underlying asset and are therefore subject to risks associated with negligence by, or defalcation of, their servicers. In certain circumstances, the mishandling of related documentation may also affect the rights of the security holders in and to the underlying collateral. The insolvency of entities that generate receivables or that utilize the assets may result in added costs and delays in addition to losses associated with a decline in the value of the underlying assets.
Payment of interest on asset-backed securities and repayment of principal largely depends on the cash flows generated by the underlying assets backing the securities and, in certain cases, may be supported by letters of credit, surety bonds, or other credit enhancements. The amount of market risk associated with asset-backed securities depends on many factors, including the deal structure (i.e., determination as to the amount of underlying assets or other support needed to produce the cash flows necessary to service interest and make principal payments), the quality of the underlying assets, the level of credit support, if any, provided for the securities, and the credit quality of the credit-support provider, if any. In recent years, a significant number of asset-backed security insurers have defaulted on their obligations.
Consistent with the fund’s investment objective and policies, the fund may invest in other types of mortgage- and asset-backed securities offered currently or in the future, including certain yet-to-be-developed types of mortgage- and asset-backed securities which may be created as the market evolves.
Options on Securities
Writing covered options. The fund may write (i.e., sell) covered call options and covered put options on optionable securities held in its portfolio or that it has an absolute and immediate right to acquire without additional cash consideration (or, if additional cash consideration is required, cash or other assets determined to be liquid by Putnam Management in accordance with procedures established by the Trustees, in such amount as are set aside on the fund’s books), when in the opinion of Putnam Management such transactions are consistent with the fund’s goal(s) and policies. Call options written by the fund give the purchaser the right to buy the underlying securities from the fund at a stated exercise price, regardless of the security’s market price; put options written by the fund give the purchaser the right to sell the underlying securities to the fund at a stated exercise price, regardless of the security’s market price.
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The fund may write only covered options, which means that, so long as the fund is obligated as the writer of a call option, it will own the underlying securities subject to the option (or comparable securities satisfying the cover requirements of securities exchanges) or have an absolute and immediate right to acquire without additional cash consideration (or, if additional cash consideration is required, cash or other assets determined to be liquid by Putnam Management in accordance with procedures established by the Trustees, in such amount as are set aside on the fund’s books). In the case of put options, the fund will set aside on its books assets determined to be liquid by Putnam Management in accordance with procedures established by the Trustees and equal in value to the price to be paid if the option is exercised. In addition, the fund will be considered to have covered a put or call option if and to the extent that it holds an option that offsets some or all of the risk of the option it has written. The fund may write combinations of covered puts and calls (straddles) on the same underlying security.
The fund will receive a premium from writing a put or call option, which increases the fund’s return on the underlying security in the event the option expires unexercised or is closed out at a profit. The amount of the premium reflects, among other things, the relationship between the exercise price and the current market value of the underlying security, the volatility of the underlying security, the amount of time remaining until expiration, current interest rates, and the effect of supply and demand in the options market and in the market for the underlying security. By writing a call option, if the fund holds the security, the fund limits its opportunity to profit from any increase in the market value of the underlying security above the exercise price of the option but continues to bear the risk of a decline in the value of the underlying security. If the fund does not hold the underlying security, the fund bears the risk that, if the market price exceeds the option strike price, the fund will suffer a loss equal to the difference at the time of exercise. By writing a put option, the fund assumes the risk that it may be required to purchase the underlying security for an exercise price higher than its then-current market value, resulting in a potential capital loss unless the security subsequently appreciates in value.
The fund may terminate an option that it has written prior to its expiration by entering into a closing purchase transaction, in which it purchases an offsetting option. A closing purchase transaction will ordinarily be effected in order to realize a profit on an outstanding option, to prevent an underlying instrument from being called, to permit the sale of the underlying instrument or to permit the writing of a new option containing different terms on such underlying instrument. The fund realizes a profit or loss from a closing transaction if the cost of the transaction (option premium plus transaction costs) is less or more than the premium received from writing the option. Because increases in the market price of a call option generally reflect increases in the market price of the security underlying the option, any loss resulting from a closing purchase transaction may be offset in whole or in part by unrealized appreciation of the underlying security.
If the fund writes a call option but does not own the underlying security, and when it writes a put option, the fund may be required to deposit cash or securities with its broker as “margin,” or collateral, for its obligation to buy or sell the underlying security. As the value of the underlying security varies, the fund may have to deposit additional margin with the broker. Margin requirements are complex and are fixed by individual brokers, subject to minimum requirements currently imposed by the Federal Reserve Board and by stock exchanges and other self-regulatory organizations.
Purchasing put options. The fund may purchase put options to protect its portfolio holdings in an underlying security against a decline in market value. Such protection is provided during the life of the put option since the fund, as holder of the option, is able to sell the underlying security at the put exercise price regardless of any decline in the underlying security’s market price. If such a price decline occurs, the put option will permit the fund to sell the security at the higher exercise price or to close out the option at a profit. In order for a put option to be profitable, the market price of the underlying security must decline sufficiently below the exercise price to cover the premium and transaction costs. By using put options in this manner, the fund will reduce any profit it might otherwise have realized from appreciation of the underlying security by the premium paid for the put option and by transaction costs. The fund may also purchase put options for other investment purposes, including to take a short position in the security underlying the put option.
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Purchasing call options. The fund may purchase call options to hedge against an increase in the price of securities that the fund wants ultimately to buy. Such protection is provided during the life of the call option since the fund, as holder of the call option, is able to buy the underlying security at the exercise price regardless of any increase in the underlying security’s market price. If such a price increase occurs, a call option will permit the fund to purchase the securities at the exercise price or to close out the option at a profit. In order for a call option to be profitable, the market price of the underlying security must rise sufficiently above the exercise price to cover the premium and transaction costs. The fund may also purchase call options for other investment purposes.
Risk factors in options transactions. The successful use of the fund’s options strategies depends on the ability of Putnam Management to forecast correctly interest rate and market movements. For example, if the fund were to write a call option based on Putnam Management’s expectation that the price of the underlying security would fall, but the price were to rise instead, the fund could be required to sell the security upon exercise at a price below the current market price. Similarly, if the fund were to write a put option based on Putnam Management’s expectation that the price of the underlying security would rise, but the price were to fall instead, the fund could be required to purchase the security upon exercise at a price higher than the current market price.
When the fund purchases an option, it runs the risk that it will lose its entire investment in the option in a relatively short period of time, unless the fund exercises the option or enters into a closing sale transaction before the option’s expiration. If the price of the underlying security does not rise (in the case of a call) or fall (in the case of a put) to an extent sufficient to cover the option premium and transaction costs, the fund will lose part or all of its investment in the option. This contrasts with an investment by the fund in the underlying security, since the fund will not realize a loss if the security’s price does not change.
The effective use of options also depends on the fund’s ability to terminate option positions at times when Putnam Management deems it desirable to do so. There is no assurance that the fund will be able to effect closing transactions at any particular time or at an acceptable price. If a secondary market in options were to become unavailable, the fund could no longer engage in closing transactions. Lack of investor interest might adversely affect the liquidity of the market for particular options or series of options. A market may discontinue trading of a particular option or options generally. In addition, a market could become temporarily unavailable if unusual events -- such as volume in excess of trading or clearing capability -- were to interrupt its normal operations. Although the fund may be able to offset to some extent any adverse effects of being unable to terminate an option position, the fund may experience losses in some cases as a result of such inability.
A market may at times find it necessary to impose restrictions on particular types of options transactions, such as opening transactions. For example, if an underlying security ceases to meet qualifications imposed by the market or the Options Clearing Corporation, new series of options on that security will no longer be opened to replace expiring series, and opening transactions in existing series may be prohibited. If an options market were to become unavailable, the fund as a holder of an option would be able to realize profits or limit losses only by exercising the option, and the fund, as option writer, would remain obligated under the option until expiration or exercise.
Disruptions in the markets for the securities underlying options purchased or sold by the fund could result in losses on the options. For example, if a fund is unable to purchase a security underlying a put option it had purchased, the fund may be unable to exercise the put option. If trading is interrupted in an underlying security, the trading of options on that security is normally halted as well. As a result, the fund as purchaser or writer of an option will be unable to close out its positions until options trading resumes, and it may be faced with considerable losses if trading in the security reopens at a substantially different price. In addition, the Options Clearing Corporation or other options markets may impose exercise restrictions. If a prohibition on exercise is imposed at the time when trading in the option has also been halted, the fund as purchaser or writer of an
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option will be locked into its position until one of the two restrictions has been lifted. If the Options Clearing Corporation were to determine that the available supply of an underlying security appears insufficient to permit delivery by the writers of all outstanding calls in the event of exercise, it may prohibit indefinitely the exercise of put options. The fund, as holder of such a put option, could lose its entire investment if it is unable to exercise the put option prior to its expiration.
The fund may use both European-style options, which are only exercisable immediately prior to their expiration, and American-style options, which are exercisable at any time prior to the expiration date. Since an American-style option allows the holder to exercise its rights any time before the option’s expiration, the writer of an American-style option has no control over when it will be required to fulfill its obligations as a writer of the option. (The writer of a European-style option is not subject to this risk because the holder may only exercise the option on its expiration date.)
Options can be traded either through established exchanges (“exchange traded options”) or privately negotiated transactions (over-the-counter or “OTC” options). Exchange traded options are standardized with respect to, among other things, the underlying interest, expiration date, contract size and strike price. The terms of OTC options are generally negotiated by the parties to the option contract which allows the parties greater flexibility in customizing the agreement, but OTC options are generally less liquid than exchange traded options. OTC options purchased by the fund and assets held to cover OTC options written by the fund may, under certain circumstances, be considered illiquid securities for purposes of any limitation on the fund’s ability to invest in illiquid securities. All option contracts involve credit risk if the counterparty to the option contract (e.g., the clearing house or OTC counterparty) or the third party effecting the transaction in the case of cleared options (e.g., futures commission merchant or broker/dealer) fails to perform. The credit risk in OTC options that are not cleared is dependent on the credit worthiness of the individual counterparty to the contract and may be greater than the credit risk associated with cleared options.
Foreign-traded options are subject to many of the same risks presented by internationally-traded securities. In addition, because of time differences between the United States and other countries, and because different holidays are observed in different countries, foreign options markets may be open for trading during hours or on days when U.S. markets are closed. As a result, option premiums may not reflect the current prices of the underlying interest in the United States.
There are significant differences between the securities and options markets that could result in an imperfect correlation between these markets, causing a given transaction not to achieve its objectives. In addition, many options, in particular OTC options, are complex and often valued based on subjective factors. Improper valuations can result in increased cash payment requirements to counterparties or a loss of value to the fund.
The market price of an option is affected by many factors, including changes in the market prices or dividend rates of underlying securities (or in the case of indices, the securities in such indices); the time remaining before expiration; changes in interest rates or exchange rates; and changes in the actual or perceived volatility of the relevant stock market and underlying securities. The market price of an option also may be adversely affected if the market for the option becomes less liquid.
In addition to options on securities and futures, the fund may also enter into options on futures, swaps, or other instruments as described elsewhere in this SAI.
Preferred Stocks and Convertible Securities
The fund may invest in preferred stocks or convertible securities. A preferred stock is a class of stock that generally pays dividends at a specified rate and has preference over common stock in the payment of dividends and the liquidation of an issuer’s assets but is junior to the debt securities of the issuer in those same respects. Under ordinary circumstances, preferred stock does not carry voting rights. As with all equity securities, the value of preferred stock fluctuates based on changes in a company’s financial condition and on overall market
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and economic conditions. The value of preferred stocks is particularly sensitive to changes in interest rates and is more sensitive to changes in an issuer’s creditworthiness than is the value of debt securities. In addition, many preferred stocks may be called or redeemed prior to their maturity by the issuer under certain conditions, which can limit the benefit to investors of a decline in interest rates. Shareholders of preferred stock may suffer a loss of value if dividends are not paid. Additionally, if the issuer of preferred stock experiences economic or financial difficulties, its preferred stock may lose value due to the reduced likelihood that its board of directors will declare a dividend. Certain preferred stocks contain provisions that allow an issuer under certain conditions to skip or defer distributions. If the fund owns a preferred stock that is deferring its distribution, it may be required to report income for tax purposes despite the fact that it is not receiving current income on this position. Preferred stocks often are subject to legal provisions that allow for redemption in the event of certain tax or legal changes or at the issuer’s call. In the event of redemption, the fund may not be able to reinvest the proceeds at comparable rates of return. Preferred stocks are subordinated to bonds and other debt securities in an issuer’s capital structure in terms of priority for corporate income and liquidation payments, and therefore will be subject to greater credit risk than those debt securities. Preferred stocks may trade less frequently and in a more limited volume and may be subject to more abrupt or erratic price movements than many other securities, such as common stocks, corporate debt securities, and U.S. government securities.
Convertible securities include bonds, debentures, notes, preferred stocks and other securities that may be converted into or exchanged for, at a specific price or formula within a particular period of time, a prescribed amount of common stock or other equity securities of the same or a different issuer. The conversion may occur automatically upon the occurrence of a predetermined event or at the option of either the issuer or the security holder. The holder of a convertible security is generally entitled to participate in the capital appreciation resulting from a market price increase in the issuer’s common stock and to receive interest paid or accrued on debt or dividends 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 or preferred securities, as applicable. Convertible securities rank senior to common stock in an issuer’s capital structure and, therefore, normally entail less risk than the issuer’s common stock. However, convertible securities may also be subordinate to any senior debt obligations of the issuer, and, therefore, an issuer’s convertible securities may entail more risk than such senior debt obligations. Convertible securities usually offer lower interest or dividend yields than non-convertible debt securities of similar credit quality because of the potential for capital appreciation. In addition, convertible securities are often lower-rated securities.
The market value of a convertible security is a function of its “investment value” and its “conversion value.” A security’s “investment value” represents the value of the security without its conversion feature (i.e., a nonconvertible fixed income security). The investment value may be determined by reference to its credit quality and the current value of its yield to maturity or probable call date. At any given time, investment value may be dependent upon such factors as the general level of interest rates, the yield of similar nonconvertible securities, the financial strength of the issuer and the seniority of the security in the issuer’s capital structure. A security’s “conversion value” is determined by multiplying the number of shares the holder is entitled to receive upon conversion or exchange by the current market price of the underlying security. Because of the conversion feature, the market value of a convertible security will normally fluctuate in some proportion to changes in the market value of the underlying security, and, accordingly, convertible securities are subject to risks relating to the activities of the issuer and/or general market and economic conditions.
A convertible security generally will sell at a premium over its conversion value by the extent to which investors place value on the right to acquire the underlying common stock while holding a fixed income security. If the conversion value of a convertible security is significantly below its investment value, the convertible security generally trades like nonconvertible debt or preferred stock and its market value will not be influenced greatly by fluctuations in the market price of the underlying security. Conversely, if the conversion value of a convertible security is near or above its investment value, the market value of the convertible security is typically more heavily influenced by fluctuations in the market price of the underlying security. Generally, the amount of the premium decreases as the convertible security approaches maturity. Convertible securities generally have less potential for gain than common stocks.
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The fund’s investments in convertible securities may at times include securities that have a mandatory conversion feature, pursuant to which the securities convert automatically into common stock or other equity securities at a specified date and a specified conversion ratio, or that are convertible at the option of the issuer. Because conversion of the security is not at the option of the holder, the fund may be required to convert the security into the underlying common stock even at times when the value of the underlying common stock or other equity security has declined substantially.
The fund’s investments in preferred stocks and convertible securities, particularly securities that are convertible into securities of an issuer other than the issuer of the convertible security, may be illiquid. The fund may not be able to dispose of such securities in a timely fashion or for a fair price, which could result in losses to the fund.
Private Placements and Restricted Securities
The fund may invest in securities that are purchased in private placements and, accordingly, are subject to restrictions on resale as a matter of contract or under federal securities laws. Because there may be relatively few potential purchasers for such investments, especially under adverse market or economic conditions or in the event of adverse changes in the financial condition of the issuer, the fund could find it more difficult to sell such securities when Putnam Management believes it advisable to do so or may be able to sell such securities only at prices lower than if such securities were more widely held. There can be no assurance that a liquid market will exist for any such security at any particular time, and a security which when purchased was liquid in the institutional markets may subsequently become illiquid.
Many private placement securities are issued by companies that are not required to file periodic financial reports, leading to challenges in evaluating the company’s overall business prospects and gauging how the investment is likely to perform over time. In addition, market quotations for these securities are less readily available. Due to the more limited financial information and lack of publicly available prices, it may be more difficult to determine the fair value of these securities for purposes of computing the fund’s net asset value. As a result, the judgment of Putnam Management may at times play a greater role in valuing these securities than in the case of publicly traded securities, and the fair value prices determined for the fund could differ from those of other market participants.
While such private placements may offer attractive opportunities for investment not otherwise available on the open market, the securities so purchased are often “restricted securities,” i.e., securities which cannot be sold to the public without registration under the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Securities Act”) or the availability of an exemption from registration (such as Rules 144, 144A or Regulation S), or which are “not readily marketable” because they are subject to other legal or contractual delays in or restrictions on resale. In addition, the issuer typically does not have an obligation to provide liquidity to investors by buying the securities back when the investor wants to sell. Disposing of these securities may involve time-consuming negotiation and legal expenses, and it may be difficult or impossible for the fund to sell them promptly at an acceptable price. The fund may have to bear the extra expense of registering these securities for resale and the risk of substantial delay in effecting the registration. Since the offering is not registered with the SEC, investors in a private placement have less protection under the federal securities laws against improper practices than investors in registered securities.
Generally speaking, restricted securities may be sold only to qualified institutional buyers, or in a privately negotiated transaction to a limited number of purchasers, or in limited quantities after they have been held for a specified period of time and other conditions are met pursuant to an exemption from registration, or in a public offering for which a registration statement is in effect under the Securities Act. The fund may be deemed to be an “underwriter” for purposes of the Securities Act when selling restricted securities to the public, and in such event the fund may be liable to purchasers of such securities if the registration statement prepared by the issuer, or the prospectus forming a part of it, is materially inaccurate or misleading. The SEC Staff currently
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takes the view that any delegation by the Trustees of the authority to determine that a restricted security is readily marketable (as described in the investment restrictions of the funds) must be pursuant to written procedures established by the Trustees and the Trustees have delegated such authority to Putnam Management.
Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)
The fund may invest in REITs. REITs are pooled investment vehicles that invest primarily in income-producing real estate or real estate related loans or interests. REITs may concentrate their investments in specific geographic areas or in specific property types (i.e., hotels, shopping malls, residential complexes and office buildings). Like regulated investment companies such as the fund, REITs are not taxed on income distributed to shareholders provided that they comply with certain requirements under the Code. The fund will indirectly bear its proportionate share of any expenses (such as operating expenses and advisory fees) paid by REITs in which it invests in addition to the fund’s own expenses.
Investing in REITs may involve certain unique risks in addition to those risks associated with investing in the real estate industry in general (such as possible declines in the value of real estate, lack of availability of mortgage funds, or extended vacancies of property). The market value of REIT shares and the ability of the REITs to distribute income may be adversely affected by several factors, including rising interest rates, changes in the national, state and local economic climate and real estate conditions, perceptions of prospective tenants of the safety, convenience and attractiveness of the properties, the ability of the owners to provide adequate management, maintenance and insurance, the cost of complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act, increased competition from new properties, the impact of present or future environmental legislation and compliance with environmental laws, failing to maintain their exemptions from registration under the Investment Company Act, changes in real estate taxes and other operating expenses, adverse changes in governmental rules and fiscal policies, adverse changes in zoning laws, and other factors beyond the control of the issuers of the REITs.
REITs are generally classified as equity REITs, mortgage REITs or a combination of equity and mortgage REITs (“hybrid REITs”). 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 properties that have appreciated in value. Mortgage REITs invest the majority of their assets in real estate mortgages and derive income from the collection of interest payments. Equity REITs may be affected by changes in the value of the underlying property owned by the REITs, while mortgage REITs may be affected by the risk of borrower default, the likelihood of which is increased for mortgage REITs that invest in sub-prime mortgages. REITs, and mortgage REITs in particular, are also subject to interest rate risk. Rising interest rates may cause REIT investors to demand a higher annual yield, which may, in turn, cause a decline in the market price of the equity securities issued by a REIT. Rising interest rates also generally increase the costs of obtaining financing, which could cause the value of the fund’s REIT investments to decline. During periods when interest rates are declining, mortgages are often refinanced. Refinancing may reduce the yield on investments in mortgage REITs. In addition, since REITs depend on payment under their mortgage loans and leases to generate cash to make distributions to their shareholders, investments in REITs may be adversely affected by defaults on such mortgage loans or leases. A hybrid REIT combines the characteristics of equity REITs and mortgage REITs, generally by holding both ownership interests and mortgage interests in real estate, and thus may be subject to risks associated with both real estate ownership and investments in mortgage-related securities.
Investing in certain REITs, which often have small market capitalizations, may also involve the same risks as investing in other small capitalization companies. REITs may have limited financial resources and their securities may trade less frequently and in limited volume and may be subject to more abrupt or erratic price movements than larger company securities. Historically, small capitalization stocks, such as REITs, have been more volatile in price than the larger capitalization stocks such as those included in the S&P 500 Index. The management of a REIT may be subject to conflicts of interest with respect to the operation of the business of the REIT and may be involved in real estate activities competitive with the REIT. REITs may own properties
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through joint ventures or in other circumstances in which the REIT may not have control over its investments. REITs may incur significant amounts of leverage.
REITs are dependent upon their operators’ management skills, are generally not diversified (except to the extent the Code requires), and are subject to heavy cash flow dependency, borrower default or self-liquidation. REITs are also subject to the possibility of failing to qualify for the tax-advantaged treatment available to REITs under the Code or failing to maintain their exemptions from registration under the 1940 Act. In addition, REITs may be adversely affected by changes in federal tax law, for example, by limiting their permissible businesses or investments. REITs may have limited financial resources, may trade less frequently and in a limited volume, and may be subject to more abrupt or erratic price movements than more widely held securities.
The fund’s investment in a REIT may result in the fund making distributions that constitute a return of capital to fund shareholders for federal income tax purposes or may require the fund to accrue and distribute income not yet received. In addition, distributions by a fund from REITs will not qualify for the corporate dividends-received deduction, or, generally, for treatment as qualified dividend income.
Certain securities held by the fund may permit the issuer at its option to “call” or redeem its securities. Issuers of redeemable securities are generally more likely to exercise a “call” option in periods when interest rates are below the rate at which the original security was issued. If an issuer were to redeem securities held by the fund during a time of declining interest rates, the fund may not be able to reinvest the proceeds in securities providing the same investment return as the securities redeemed. The fund also may fail to recover additional amounts (i.e., premiums) paid for securities with higher interest rates, resulting in an unexpected capital loss.
A repurchase agreement is a contract under which the fund, the buyer under the contract, acquires a security for a relatively short period (usually not more than one week) subject to the obligation of the seller (or repurchase agreement counterparty) to repurchase, and the fund to resell, the security at a fixed time and price, which represents the fund’s cost plus interest (or, for repurchase agreements under which the fund acquires a security and then sells it short, the fund’s cost of “borrowing” the security). A repurchase agreement with a stated maturity of longer than one week is generally considered an illiquid investment. It is the fund’s present intention to enter into repurchase agreements only with banks and registered broker-dealers. The fund may enter into repurchase agreements, including with respect to securities it wishes to sell short. See “Short Sales” in this SAI. Certain of the repurchase agreements related to securities sold short may provide that, at the option of the fund, settlement may be made by delivery of cash equal to the difference between (a) the sum of (i) the market value of the securities sold short at the time the repurchase agreement is closed out and (ii) transaction costs associated with the acquisition in the market by the repurchase agreement counterparty of the securities sold short and (b) the repurchase price specified in the repurchase agreement.
The fund may be exposed to the credit risk of the repurchase agreement counterparty (or seller) in the event that the counterparty is unable or unwilling to close out the repurchase agreement in accordance with its terms or the parties disagree as to the meaning or application of those terms. In such an event, the fund may be subject to expenses, delays, and risk of loss, including: (i) possible declines in the value of the underlying security while the fund seeks to enforce its rights under the agreement; (ii) possible reduced levels of income and lack of access to income during this period; and (iii) the inability to enforce its rights and the expenses involved in attempted enforcement. If the seller defaults, the fund could realize 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, if the seller should be involved in bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings, the fund may incur delay and costs in selling the underlying security or may suffer a loss of principal and interest if the fund is treated as an unsecured creditor and required to return the underlying
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collateral to the seller’s estate. The fund is also subject to the risk that the repurchase agreement instrument may not perform as expected.
Pursuant to no-action relief granted by the SEC, the fund may transfer uninvested cash balances into a joint account, along with cash of other Putnam funds and certain other accounts. These balances may be invested in one or more repurchase agreements and/or short-term money market instruments.
The fund may also enter into reverse repurchase agreements. Under a reverse repurchase agreement, the fund sells portfolio assets to another party subject to an agreement by the fund to repurchase the same assets from that party at an agreed upon price and date. During the reverse repurchase agreement period, the fund continues to receive principal and interest payments on the assets and also has the opportunity to earn a return on the collateral furnished by the counterparty to secure its obligation to redeliver the assets. The fund can use the proceeds received from entering into a reverse repurchase agreement to make additional investments, which generally causes the fund’s portfolio to behave as if it were leveraged.
When entering into a reverse repurchase agreement, the fund bears the risk of delay and costs involved in recovery of securities if the initial purchaser of the securities fails to return the securities upon repurchase or fails financially. These delays and costs could be greater with respect to foreign securities. Although securities repurchase transactions are generally marked to market daily, the fund also faces the risk that securities subject to a reverse repurchase transaction will decline quickly in value, and the fund will remain obligated to repurchase those securities at a higher price, potentially resulting in a loss. If the buyer in a reverse repurchase agreement files for bankruptcy or becomes insolvent, the fund may be unable to recover the securities it sold and as a result would realize a loss equal to the difference between the value of those securities and the payment it received for them. The size of this loss will depend upon the difference between what the buyer paid for the securities the fund sold to it and the value of those securities (e.g., a buyer may pay $95 for a bond with a market value of $100). In the event of a buyer’s bankruptcy or insolvency, the fund’s use of proceeds from the sale of its securities may be restricted while the other party or its trustee or receiver determines whether to honor the fund’s right to repurchase the securities. The fund’s use of reverse repurchase agreements also subjects the fund to interest costs based on the difference between the sale and repurchase price of a security involved in such a transaction. Additionally, reverse repurchase agreements entail the same risks as over-the-counter derivatives. These include the risk that the counterparty to the reverse repurchase agreement may not be able to fulfill its obligations, as discussed above, that the parties may disagree as to the meaning or application of contractual terms, or that the instrument may not perform as expected.
Securities of Other Investment Companies
Securities of other investment companies, including shares of open- and closed-end investment companies and unit investment trusts (which may include ETFs), represent interests in collective investment portfolios that, in turn, invest directly in underlying instruments. The fund may invest in other investment companies when it has more uninvested cash than Putnam Management believes is advisable, when there is a shortage of direct investments available, or when Putnam Management believes that investment companies offer attractive values.
Investment companies may be structured to perform in a similar fashion to a broad-based securities index or may focus on a particular strategy or class of assets. ETFs typically seek to track the performance or dividend yield of specific indexes or companies in related industries, though unlike the index, an ETF incurs administrative expenses and transaction costs in trading securities. These indexes may be broad-based, sector-based or international.
Investing in investment companies involves substantially the same risks as investing directly in the underlying instruments, but also involves expenses at the investment company-level, such as portfolio management fees and operating expenses. These expenses are in addition to the fees and expenses of the fund itself, which may lead to duplication of expenses while the Putnam fund owns another investment company’s shares. In addition,
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investing in investment companies involves the risk that they will not perform in exactly the same fashion, or in response to the same factors, as the underlying instruments or index. To the extent the fund invests in other investment companies that are professionally managed, its performance will also depend on the investment and research abilities of investment managers other than Putnam Management.
Open-end investment companies typically offer their shares continuously at net asset value plus any applicable sales charge and stand ready to redeem shares upon shareholder request. The shares of certain other types of investment companies, such as ETFs and closed-end investment companies, typically trade on a stock exchange or over-the-counter at a premium or a discount to their net asset value. In the case of closed-end investment companies, the number of shares is typically fixed. The securities of closed-end investment companies and ETFs carry the risk that the price the fund pays or receives may be higher or lower than the investment company’s net asset value. ETFs also are subject to the risk that the timing and magnitude of cash inflows and outflows from and to investors buying and redeeming shares in the ETF could create cash balances that cause the ETF’s performance to deviate from the index (which remains “fully invested” at all times).
Performance of an ETF and the index it is designed to track also may diverge because the composition of the index and the securities held by the ETF may occasionally differ. ETFs and closed-end investment companies are also subject to certain additional risks, including the risks of illiquidity and of possible trading halts or interruptions due to policies of the relevant exchange, unusual market conditions or other reasons. There can be no assurance that shares of a closed-end investment company or ETF will continue to be listed on an active exchange. The shares of investment companies, particularly closed-end investment companies, may also be leveraged, which would increase the volatility of the fund’s net asset value.
Business development companies (“BDCs”). BDCs are a type of closed-end fund regulated under the 1940 Act, which typically invest in and lend to small-and medium-sized private companies that may lack access to public equity markets for capital raising. Under the 1940 Act, BDCs must invest at least 70% of the value of their total assets in certain asset types, which are typically the securities of private U.S. businesses. Additionally, BDCs must make available significant managerial assistance to the issuers of such securities. BDCs are not taxed on income distributed to shareholders provided they qualify as a regulated investment company under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). The Funds will indirectly bear their proportionate share of any management and other expenses charged by the BDCs in which they invest.
Because BDCs typically invest in small and medium-sized companies, a BDC’s portfolio is subject to the risks inherent in investing in smaller companies, including that portfolio companies may be dependent on a small number of products or services and may be more adversely affected by poor economic or market conditions. Some BDCs invest substantially, or even exclusively, in one sector or industry group and therefore the BDC may be susceptible to adverse conditions and economic or regulatory occurrences affecting the sector or industry group, which tends to increase volatility and result in higher risk. Investments in BDCs are also subject to management risk, including management’s ability to meet the BDC’s investment objective, and management’s ability to manage the BDC’s portfolio during periods of market turmoil and as investors’ perceptions regarding a BDC or its underlying investments change.
The extent to which the fund can invest in securities of other investment companies, including ETFs, is generally limited by federal securities laws. For more information regarding the tax treatment of ETFs, please see “Taxes” below.
In seeking the fund’s objective(s), Putnam Management will buy or sell portfolio securities whenever Putnam Management believes it appropriate to do so. From time to time the fund will buy securities intending to seek short-term trading profits. A change in the securities held by the fund is known as “portfolio turnover” and generally involves some expense to the fund. This expense may include brokerage commissions or dealer markups and other transaction costs on both the sale of securities and the reinvestment of the proceeds in other securities. If sales of portfolio securities cause the fund to realize net short-term capital gains, such gains will
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be taxable as ordinary income when distributed to taxable individual shareholders. As a result of the fund’s investment policies, under certain market conditions the fund’s portfolio turnover rate may be higher than that of other ETFs. Portfolio turnover rate for a fiscal year is the ratio of the lesser of purchases or sales of portfolio securities to the monthly average of the value of portfolio securities -- excluding securities whose maturities at acquisition were one year or less. The fund’s portfolio turnover rate is not a limiting factor when Putnam Management considers a change in the fund’s portfolio.
Special Purpose Acquisition Companies
The fund may invest in stock, rights, warrants, and other securities of special purpose acquisition companies (“SPACs”) or similar special purpose entities. A SPAC is a publicly traded company that raises investment capital in the form of a blind pool via an IPO for the purpose of acquiring an existing company. The shares of a SPAC are typically issued in “units” that include one share of common stock and one right or warrant (or partial right or warrant) conveying the right to purchase additional shares or partial shares. At a specified time following the SPAC’s IPO (generally 1-2 months), the rights and warrants may be separated from the common stock at the election of the holder, after which they become freely tradeable. After going public and until an acquisition is completed, a SPAC generally invests the proceeds of its IPO (less a portion retained to cover expenses), which are held in trust, in U.S. government securities, money market securities and cash. To the extent the SPAC is invested in cash or similar securities, this may impact a Fund’s ability to meet its investment objective. If a SPAC does not complete an acquisition within a specified period of time after going public, the SPAC is dissolved, at which point the invested funds are returned to the SPAC’s shareholders (less certain permitted expenses) and any rights or warrants issued by the SPAC expire worthless.
Because SPACs and similar entities are in essence blank check companies without an operating history or ongoing business other than seeking acquisitions, the value of their securities is particularly dependent on the ability of the entity’s management to identify and complete a profitable acquisition. Some SPACs may pursue acquisitions only within certain industries or regions, which may increase the volatility of their prices. In addition, the securities issued by a SPAC, which are typically traded in the over-the-counter market, may be considered illiquid and/or be subject to restrictions on resale.
A structured investment is a security having a return tied to an underlying index or other security or asset class. Structured investments generally are individually negotiated agreements and may be traded over-the-counter. Structured investments are organized and operated to restructure the investment characteristics of the underlying security. This restructuring involves the deposit with or purchase by an entity, such as a corporation or trust, or specified instruments (such as commercial bank loans) and the issuance by that entity or one or more classes of securities (“structured securities”) backed by, or representing interests in, the underlying instruments. The cash flow on the underlying instruments may be apportioned among the newly issued structured securities to create securities with different investment characteristics, such as varying maturities, payment priorities and interest rate provisions, and the extent of such payments made with respect to structured securities is dependent on the extent of the cash flow on the underlying instruments. Because structured securities typically involve no credit enhancement, their credit risk generally will be equivalent to that of the underlying instruments. Investments in structured securities are generally of a class of structured securities that is either subordinated or unsubordinated to the right of payment of another class. Subordinated structured securities typically have higher yields and present greater risks than unsubordinated structured securities. Structured securities are typically sold in private placement transactions, and there currently is no active trading market for structured securities. Investments in government and government-related and restructured debt instruments are subject to special risks, including the inability or unwillingness to repay principal and interest, requests to reschedule or restructure outstanding debt and requests to extend additional loan amounts.
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The fund may enter into swap agreements and other types of over-the-counter transactions such as caps, floors and collars with broker-dealers or other financial institutions for hedging or investment purposes. A swap involves the exchange by the fund with another party of their respective commitments to pay or receive cash flows, e.g., an exchange of floating rate payments for fixed-rate payments. The purchase of a cap entitles the purchaser, to the extent that a specified index or other underlying financial measure exceeds a predetermined value on a predetermined date or dates, to receive payments on a notional principal amount from the party selling the cap. The purchase of a floor entitles the purchaser, to the extent that a specified index or other underlying financial measure falls or other underlying measure below a predetermined value on a predetermined date or dates, to receive payments on a notional principal amount from the party selling the floor. A collar combines elements of a cap and a floor.
Swap agreements and similar transactions can be individually negotiated and structured to include exposure to a variety of different types of investments or market factors. A swap agreement may be structured with reference to an index of securities that is created and maintained by the swap counterparty. Depending on their structures, swap agreements may increase or decrease the fund’s exposure to long-or short-term interest rates (in the United States or abroad), foreign currency values, mortgage securities, mortgage rates, corporate borrowing rates, or other factors such as security prices, inflation rates or the volatility of an index or one or more securities. For example, if the fund agrees to exchange payments in U.S. dollars for payments in a non-U.S. currency, the swap agreement would tend to decrease the fund’s exposure to U.S. interest rates and increase its exposure to that non-U.S. currency and interest rates. To the extent an applicable interest rate is based on LIBOR, the fund will be exposed to certain additional risks. See “London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR)” above for more information.
The fund may also engage in total return swaps, in which payments made by the fund or the counterparty are based on the total return of a particular reference asset or assets (such as an equity or fixed-income security, a combination of such securities, or an index). Total return swap agreements may be used to obtain exposure to a security, commodity, or market without owning or taking physical custody of such security or investing directly in such market. The fund may also enter into swap agreements on futures contracts including, but not limited to, index futures contracts. Swap agreements on futures contracts are generally subject to the same risks involved in the fund’s use of futures contracts, in addition to the risks involved in the fund’s use of swap agreements. See “-Futures Contracts and Related Options.” A total return swap, or a swap on a futures contract, may add leverage to a portfolio by providing investment exposure to an underlying asset or market where the fund does not own or take physical custody of such asset or invest directly in such market.
The value of the fund’s swap positions would increase or decrease depending on the changes in value of the underlying rates, currency values, volatility or other indices or measures. Caps and floors have an effect similar to buying or writing options. Depending on how they are used, swap agreements may increase or decrease the overall volatility of the fund’s investments and its share price. The fund’s ability to engage in certain swap transactions may be limited by tax considerations.
The fund’s ability to realize a profit from such transactions will depend on the ability of the financial institutions with which it enters into the transactions to meet their obligations to the fund. If a counterparty’s creditworthiness declines, the value of the agreement would be likely to decline, potentially resulting in losses. If a default occurs by the other party to such transaction, the fund will have contractual remedies pursuant to the agreements related to the transaction, which may be limited by applicable law in the case of a counterparty’s insolvency. If the returns of an index upon which a swap is based are unavailable or cannot be calculated (including where the index is created and maintained by the swap counterparty), the fund may experience difficulty in valuing the swap or in determining the amounts owed to or by the counterparty, regardless of whether the counterparty has defaulted. Under certain circumstances, suitable transactions may not be available to the fund, or the fund may be unable to close out its position under such transactions at the same time, or at the same price, as if it had purchased comparable publicly traded securities. Swaps carry
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counterparty risks that cannot be fully anticipated. Also, because swap transactions typically involve a contract between the two parties, such swap investments can be extremely illiquid, as it is uncertain as to whether another counterparty would wish to take assignment of the rights under the swap contract at a price acceptable to the fund.
The fund’s investments in swaps will generate ordinary income and losses for federal income tax purposes and may cause the fund to recognize income without receiving cash with which to make the distributions necessary to qualify and be eligible for treatment as a regulated investment company and avoid a fund-level tax. The fund may therefore need to liquidate other investments, including when it is not advantageous to do so, to meet its distribution requirement. The fund is not permitted to carry forward any net ordinary losses it realizes in a taxable year to offset ordinary income it realizes in subsequent taxable years.
A credit default swap is an agreement between the fund and a counterparty that enables the fund to buy or sell protection against a credit event related to a particular issuer. One party, acting as a “protection buyer,” makes periodic payments to the other party, a “protection seller,” in exchange for a promise by the protection seller to make a payment to the protection buyer if a negative credit event (such as a delinquent payment or default) occurs with respect to a referenced bond or group of bonds. Credit default swaps may also be structured based on the debt of a basket of issuers, rather than a single issuer, and may be customized with respect to the default event that triggers purchase or other factors (for example, the Nth default within a basket, or defaults by a particular combination of issuers within the basket, may trigger a payment obligation). The fund may enter into credit default swap contracts for investment purposes. As a credit protection seller in a credit default swap contract, the fund would be required to pay the par (or other agreed-upon) value of a referenced debt obligation to the counterparty in the event of a default by a third party, such as a U.S. or non-U.S. corporate issuer, on the debt obligation. In return for its obligation, the fund would receive from the counterparty a periodic stream of payments over the term of the contract provided that no event of default has occurred. If no default occurs, the fund would keep the stream of payments and would have no payment obligations to the counterparty. As the seller, the fund would be subject to investment exposure on the notional amount of the swap.
The fund may also purchase credit default swap contracts in order to hedge against the risk of default of the debt of a particular issuer or basket of issuers or attempt to profit from changes or perceived changes in the creditworthiness of the particular issuer(s) (also known as “buying credit protection”). In these cases, the fund would function as the counterparty referenced in the preceding paragraph. This would involve the risk that the investment may expire worthless and would only generate income in the event of an actual default by the issuer(s) of the underlying obligation(s) (or, as applicable, a credit downgrade or other indication of financial instability). It would also involve the risk that the seller may fail to satisfy its payment obligations to the fund in the event of a default. The purchase of credit default swaps involves costs, which will reduce the fund’s return.
Credit default swaps involve a number of special risks. A protection seller may have to pay out amounts following a negative credit event greater than the value of the reference obligation delivered to it by its counterparty and the amount of periodic payments previously received by it from the counterparty. When the fund acts as a seller of a credit default swap, it is exposed to, among other things, leverage risk because if an event of default occurs the seller must pay the buyer the full notional value of the reference obligation. Each party to a credit default swap is subject to the credit risk of its counterparty (the risk that its counterparty may be unwilling or unable to perform its obligations on the swap as they come due). The value of the credit default swap to each party will change based on changes in the actual or perceived creditworthiness of the underlying issuer.
A protection buyer may lose its investment and recover nothing should an event of default not occur. The fund may seek to realize gains on its credit default swap positions, or limit losses on its positions, by selling those positions in the secondary market. There can be no assurance that a liquid secondary market will exist at any given time for any particular credit default swap or for credit default swaps generally.
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The market for credit default swaps has at times become more volatile as the creditworthiness of certain counterparties has been questioned and/or downgraded. The parties to a credit default swap may be required to post collateral to each other. If the fund posts initial or periodic collateral to its counterparty, it may not be able to recover that collateral from the counterparty in accordance with the terms of the swap. In addition, if the fund receives collateral from its counterparty, it may be delayed or prevented from realizing on the collateral in the event of the insolvency or bankruptcy of the counterparty. The Fund may exit its obligations under a credit default swap only by terminating the contract and paying applicable breakage fees, or by entering into an offsetting credit default swap position, which may cause the Fund to incur more losses.
The fund may also enter into options on swap agreements (“swaptions”). A swaption is a contract that gives a counterparty the right (but not the obligation) to enter into a new swap agreement or to shorten, extend, cancel or otherwise modify an existing swap agreement, at some designated future time on specified terms. The fund may purchase and write (sell) put and call swaptions to the same extent it may make use of standard options on securities or other instruments. Swaptions are generally subject to the same risks involved in the fund’s use of options. See “-Options on Securities.”
Many swaps are complex and often valued subjectively. Many over-the-counter derivatives are complex and their valuation often requires modeling and judgment, which increases the risk of mispricing or incorrect valuation. The pricing models used may not produce valuations that are consistent with the values the Fund realizes when it closes or sells an over-the-counter derivative. Valuation risk is more pronounced when the Fund enters into over-the-counter derivatives with specialized terms because the market value of those derivatives in some cases is determined in part by reference to similar derivatives with more standardized terms. Incorrect valuations may result in increased cash payment requirements to counterparties, undercollateralization and/or errors in calculation of the Fund’s NAV.
General description. As used in this SAI, the term “Tax-exempt Securities” includes debt obligations issued by a state, a territory or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and their political subdivisions (for example, counties, cities, towns, villages, districts and authorities), agencies, instrumentalities or other governmental units, the interest from which is, in the opinion of bond counsel, exempt from federal income tax and (if applicable) the corresponding state’s personal income tax. Such obligations are issued to obtain funds for various public purposes, including the construction of a wide range of public facilities, such as airports, bridges, highways, housing, hospitals, mass transportation, schools, streets and water and sewer works. Other public purposes for which Tax-exempt Securities may be issued include to refund of outstanding obligations, to obtain funds for general operating expenses, or to obtain funds to lend to other public institutions and facilities in anticipation of the receipt of revenue or the issuance of other obligations.
Tax-exempt Securities can be classified into two principal categories, including “general obligation” bonds and other securities and “revenue” bonds and other securities. General obligation bonds are secured by the issuer’s full faith, credit and taxing power for the payment of principal and interest. Revenue securities are 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, such as the user of the facility being financed. Tax-exempt Securities may be structured as fixed-, variable- or floating-rate obligations or as zero-coupon, payment-in-kind and step-coupon securities and may be privately placed or publicly offered.
Short-term Tax-exempt Securities are generally issued by state and local governments and public authorities as interim financing in anticipation of tax collections, revenue receipts or bond sales to finance such public purposes.
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In addition, certain types of “private activity” bonds may be issued by public authorities to finance projects of privately-owned entities, such as privately - operated housing facilities; certain local facilities for supplying water, gas or electricity; sewage or solid waste disposal facilities; student loans; or public or private institutions for the construction of educational, hospital, housing and other facilities. Such obligations are included within the term Tax-exempt Securities if the interest paid thereon is, in the opinion of bond counsel, exempt from federal income tax and (if applicable) state personal income tax (such interest may, however, be subject to federal alternative minimum tax). Other types of private activity bonds, the proceeds of which are used for the construction, repair or improvement of, or to obtain equipment for, privately operated industrial or commercial facilities, may also constitute Tax-exempt Securities, although the current federal tax laws place substantial limitations on the size of such issues. The credit quality of private activity bonds is usually directly related to the credit standing of the corporate user of the facility involved.
Tax-exempt Securities share many of the structural features and risks of other bonds, as described elsewhere in this SAI. For example, the fund may purchase callable Tax-exempt Securities, zero-coupon Tax-exempt Securities, or “stripped” Tax-exempt Securities, which entail additional risks. The fund may also purchase structured or asset-backed Tax-exempt Securities, such as the securities (including preferred stock) of special purpose entities that hold interests in the Tax-exempt Securities of one or more issuers and issue “tranched” securities that are entitled to receive payments based on the cash flows from those underlying securities. See “Redeemable securities,” “-Zero-coupon and Payment-in-kind Bonds,” “-Structured investments,” and “Mortgage-backed and Asset-backed Securities” in this SAI. Structured Tax-exempt Securities may involve increased risk that the interest received by the fund may not be exempt from federal or state income tax, or that such interest may result in liability for the alternative minimum tax for shareholders of the fund. For example, in certain cases, the issuers of certain securities held by a special purpose entity may not have received an unqualified opinion of bond counsel that the interest from the securities will be exempt from federal income tax and (if applicable) the corresponding state’s personal income tax.
Even though Tax-exempt Securities are interest-bearing investments that promise a stable flow of income, their prices are generally inversely affected by changes in interest rates and, therefore, are subject to the risk of market price fluctuations. The values of Tax-exempt Securities with longer remaining maturities typically fluctuate more than those of similarly rated Tax-exempt Securities with shorter remaining maturities. The values of Tax-exempt Securities also may be affected by changes in their actual or perceived credit quality. The credit quality of Tax-exempt Securities can be affected by, among other things, the financial condition of the issuer or guarantor, the issuer’s future borrowing plans and sources of revenue, the economic feasibility of the revenue bond project or general borrowing purpose, political or economic developments in the state or region where the security is issued, and the liquidity of the security. The amount of information about the financial condition of an issuer of Tax-exempt Securities may not be as extensive as that which is made available by corporations whose securities are publicly traded. As a result, the achievement of the fund’s goals is more dependent on Putnam Management’s investment analysis than would be the case if the fund were investing in securities of better-known issuers. In addition, Tax-exempt Securities may be harder to value than securities issued by corporations that are publicly traded.
The secondary market for some Tax-exempt Securities issued within a state (including issues that are privately placed with the fund) is less liquid than that for taxable debt obligations or other more widely traded municipal obligations. No established resale market exists for certain of the Tax-exempt Securities in which the fund may invest. The market for Tax-exempt Securities rated below investment grade is also likely to be less liquid than the market for higher rated obligations. As a result, the fund may be unable to dispose of these municipal obligations at times when it would otherwise wish to do so at the prices at which they are valued.
Tax-exempt Securities Issued by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Tax-exempt Securities issued by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or its political subdivisions, agencies, instrumentalities, or public corporations may be affected by economic, market, political, and social conditions in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico has recently experienced (and may in the future experience) significant fiscal and economic challenges, including substantial debt service obligations, high levels of unemployment, underfunded public retirement systems, and
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persistent government budget deficits. These challenges may negatively affect the value of the fund’s investments in Puerto Rico Tax-Exempt Securities. Major ratings agencies have downgraded the general obligation debt of Puerto Rico to below investment grade and continue to maintain a negative outlook for this debt, which increases the likelihood that the rating will be lowered further. In both August 2015 and January 2016, Puerto Rico defaulted on its debt by failing to make full payment due on its outstanding bonds, and there can be no assurance that Puerto Rico will be able to satisfy its future debt obligations. Further downgrades or defaults may place additional strain on the Puerto Rico economy and may negatively affect the value, liquidity, and volatility of the fund’s investments in Puerto Rico Tax-exempt Securities. In 2016, the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act, known as “PROMESA,” was signed into law. Among other things, PROMESA established a federally-appointed Oversight Board to oversee Puerto Rico’s financial operations and provides Puerto Rico a path to restructuring its debts, thus increasing the risk that Puerto Rico may never pay off municipal indebtedness, or may pay only a small fraction of the amount owed. Proceedings under PROMESA remain ongoing, and it is unclear at this time how those proceedings will be resolved or what impact they will have on the value of a Fund’s investments in Puerto Rico municipal securities.
These challenges and uncertainties have been exacerbated by Hurricane Maria and the resulting natural disaster in Puerto Rico. In September 2017, Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, causing major damage across the Commonwealth, including damage to its water, power, and telecommunications infrastructure. The length of time needed to rebuild Puerto Rico’s infrastructure is unclear, but could amount to years, during which the Commonwealth is likely to be in an uncertain economic state. The full extent of the natural disaster’s impact on Puerto Rico’s economy and foreign investment in Puerto Rico is difficult to estimate.
Escrow-secured or pre-refunded bonds. These securities are created when an issuer uses the proceeds from a new bond issue to buy high grade, interest-bearing debt securities, generally direct obligations of the U.S. government, in order to redeem (or “pre-refund”), before maturity, an outstanding bond issue that is not immediately callable. These securities are then deposited in an irrevocable escrow account held by a trustee bank to secure all future payments of principal and interest on the pre-refunded bond until that bond’s call date. Pre-refunded bonds often receive an ‘AAA’ or equivalent rating. Because pre-refunded bonds still bear the same interest rate, and have a very high credit quality, their price may increase. However, as the original bond approaches its call date, the bond’s price will fall to its call price. The escrow account securities pledged to pay the principal and interest of the pre-refunded municipal bonds held by the fund nonetheless still subject the fund to interest rate risk and market risk. In addition, while a secondary market exists for pre-refunded municipal bonds, if the fund sells pre-refunded municipal bonds prior to maturity, the price received may be more or less than the original cost, depending on market conditions at the time of sale. The interest on pre-refunded bonds issued on or before December 31, 2017 is exempt from federal income tax; the interest on such bonds issued after December 31, 2017 is not exempt from federal income tax.
Tender option bonds. The fund may invest in tender option bonds (“TOBs”), which are created by depositing municipal securities in a trust and dividing the income stream of an underlying municipal bond in two parts, one, a variable rate security and the other, a TOB. The interest rate for the variable rate security is determined by an index or a periodic auction process, while the TOB holder receives the balance of the income from the underlying municipal bond less an auction fee. The market prices of TOBs may be highly sensitive to changes in market rates and may decrease significantly when market rates increase. TOBs are subject to restrictions on resale and are highly sensitive to changes in interest rates and the value of the underlying bond. Generally, coupon income on TOBs will decrease when interest rates increase, and will increase when interest rates decrease. Such securities can have the effect of providing a degree of investment leverage, since they may increase or decrease in value in response to changes in market interest rates at a rate that is a multiple of the actual rate at which fixed-rate securities increase or decrease in response to such changes. As a result, the market values of such securities will generally be more volatile than the market values of fixed-rate securities.
Tobacco Settlement Revenue Bonds. The fund may invest in tobacco settlement revenue bonds, which are secured by an issuing state’s proportionate share of periodic payments by tobacco companies made under the Master Settlement Agreement (“MSA”). The MSA is an agreement that was reached out of court in November 1998 between 46 states and six U.S. jurisdictions and tobacco manufacturers representing an overwhelming
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majority of U.S. market share in settlement of certain smoking-related litigation. The MSA provides for annual payments by the manufacturers to the states and jurisdictions in perpetuity in exchange for releasing all claims against the manufacturers and a pledge of no further litigation. The MSA established a base payment schedule and a formula for adjusting payments each year. Tobacco manufacturers pay into a master escrow trust based on their market share, and each state receives a fixed percentage of the payment as set forth in the MSA. Within some states, certain localities may in turn be allocated a specific portion of the state’s MSA payment pursuant to an arrangement with the state.
A number of state and local governments have securitized the future flow of payments under the MSA by selling bonds pursuant to indentures, some through distinct governmental entities created for such purpose. The bonds are backed by the future revenue flow that is used for principal and interest payments on the bonds. Annual payments on the bonds, and thus risk to the fund, are dependent on the receipt of future settlement payments by the state or its instrumentality. The actual amount of future settlement payments may vary based on, among other things, annual domestic cigarette shipments, inflation, the financial capability of participating tobacco companies, and certain offsets for disputed payments. Payments made by tobacco manufacturers could be reduced if cigarette shipments continue to decline below the base levels used in establishing manufacturers’ payment obligations under the MSA. Demand for cigarettes in the U.S. could continue to decline based on many factors, including, without limitation, anti-smoking campaigns, tax increases, price increases implemented to recoup the cost of payments by tobacco companies under the MSA, reduced ability to advertise, enforcement of laws prohibiting sales to minors, elimination of certain sales venues such as vending machines, the spread of local ordinances restricting smoking in public places, and increases in the use of other nicotine delivery devices (such as electronic cigarettes, smoking cessation products, and smokeless tobacco).
Because tobacco settlement bonds are backed by payments from the tobacco manufacturers, and generally not by the credit of the state or local government issuing the bonds, their creditworthiness depends on the ability of tobacco manufacturers to meet their obligations. The bankruptcy of an MSA-participating manufacturer could cause delays or reductions in bond payments, which would affect the fund’s net asset value. Under the MSA, a market share loss by MSA-participating tobacco manufacturers to non-MSA participating manufacturers would also cause a downward adjustment in the payment amounts under some circumstances.
The MSA and tobacco manufacturers have been and continue to be subject to various legal claims, including, among others, claims that the MSA violates federal antitrust law. In addition, the United States Department of Justice has alleged in a civil lawsuit that the major tobacco companies defrauded and misled the American public about the health risks associated with smoking cigarettes. An adverse outcome to this lawsuit or to any other litigation matters or regulatory actions relating to the MSA or affecting tobacco manufacturers could adversely affect the payment streams associated with the MSA or cause delays or reductions in bond payments by tobacco manufacturers.
In addition to the risks described above, tobacco settlement revenue bonds are subject to other risks described in this SAI, including the risks of asset-backed securities discussed under “Mortgage-backed and Asset-backed Securities.”
Stand-by commitments. When the fund purchases Tax-exempt Securities, it has the authority to acquire stand-by commitments from banks and broker-dealers with respect to those Tax-exempt Securities. A stand-by commitment is a right acquired by the fund to sell up to the principal amount of such Tax-exempt Securities back to the seller or a third party (typically an institution such as a bank or broker-dealer) at an agreed-upon price or yield within specified periods prior to their maturity dates. A stand-by commitment may be considered a security independent of the Tax-exempt security to which it relates. The amount payable by a bank or dealer during the time a stand-by commitment is exercisable, absent unusual circumstances, would be substantially the same as the market value of the underlying Tax-exempt security to a third party at any time. The fund expects that stand-by commitments generally will be available without the payment of direct or indirect consideration. The fund does not expect to assign any value to stand-by commitments when determining the
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fund’s net asset value. The fund will be subject to credit risk with respect to an institution providing a stand-by commitment and a decline in the credit quality of the institution could cause losses to the fund.
Yields. The yields on Tax-exempt Securities depend on a variety of factors, including general money market conditions, effective marginal tax rates, the financial condition of the issuer, general conditions of the Tax-exempt security market, the size of a particular offering, the maturity of the obligation and the rating of the issue. The ratings of nationally recognized securities rating agencies represent their opinions as to the credit quality of the Tax-exempt Securities which they undertake to rate. It should be emphasized, however, that ratings are general and are not absolute standards of quality. Consequently, Tax-exempt Securities with the same maturity, interest rate and rating may have different yields while Tax-exempt Securities of the same maturity and interest rate but with different ratings may have the same yield. Yield disparities may occur for reasons not directly related to the investment quality of particular issues or the general movement of interest rates and may be due to such factors as changes in the overall demand or supply of various types of Tax-exempt Securities or changes in the investment objectives of investors. Subsequent to purchase by the fund, an issue of Tax-exempt Securities or other investments may cease to be rated, or its rating may be reduced below the minimum rating required for purchase by the fund. Putnam Management will consider such an event in its determination of whether the fund should continue to hold an investment in its portfolio. Downgrades of Tax-exempt Securities held by a money market fund may require the fund to sell such securities, potentially at a loss.
“Moral obligation” bonds. The fund may invest in so-called “moral obligation” bonds, where repayment of the bond is backed by a moral (but not legally binding) commitment of an entity other than the issuer, such as a state legislature, to pay. Such a commitment may be in addition to the legal commitment of the issuer to repay the bond or may represent the only payment obligation with respect to the bond (where, for example, no amount has yet been specifically appropriated to pay the bond. See “-Municipal leases” below.)
Municipal leases. The fund may acquire participations in lease obligations or installment purchase contract obligations (collectively, “lease obligations”) of municipal authorities or entities. A lease obligation is an obligation in the form of a lease or installment purchase that is issued by a state or local government to acquire equipment and facilities. Income from such obligations generally is exempt from state and local tax in the state of issuance. Lease obligations may be secured or unsecured. Lease obligations do not constitute general obligations of the municipality for which the municipality’s taxing power is pledged.
Municipal leases may be subject to greater risks than general obligation or revenue bonds. Although lease obligations do not constitute general obligations of the municipality, a lease obligation ordinarily is backed by the municipality’s covenant to budget for, appropriate, and make the payments due under the lease obligation. However, certain of these lease obligations contain “non-appropriation” clauses, which provide that the municipality has no obligation to make lease or installment purchase payments in future years unless money is appropriated for such purpose on a yearly basis. In the case of a “non-appropriation” lease, the fund’s ability to recover under the lease in the event of non-appropriation or default will be limited solely to the repossession of the leased property, and in any event, foreclosure of that property might prove difficult. If a municipality does not fulfill its payment obligation, it may be difficult to sell the lease obligation and the proceeds of a sale may not cover the fund’s loss.
In addition to the “non-appropriation” risk, many municipal lease obligations have not yet developed the depth of marketability associated with municipal bonds. Moreover, such leases may be subject to the temporary abatement of payments in the event the issuer is prevented from maintaining occupancy of the leased premises or utilizing the leased equipment or facilities. Although the obligations may be secured by the leased equipment or facilities, the disposition of the property in the event of non-appropriation or foreclosure might prove difficult, time consuming and costly, and result in a delay in recovering, or the failure to recover fully, the fund’s original investment.
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Additional risks. Securities in which the fund may invest, including Tax-exempt Securities, are subject to the provisions of bankruptcy, insolvency and other laws affecting the rights and remedies of creditors, such as the federal Bankruptcy Code (including special provisions related to municipalities and other public entities), and laws, if any, that may be enacted by Congress or state legislatures extending the time for payment of principal or interest, or both, or imposing other constraints upon enforcement of such obligations. There is also the possibility that, as a result of litigation or other conditions, such as the recent bankruptcy-type proceedings by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico the power, ability or willingness of issuers to meet their obligations for the payment of interest and principal on their Tax-exempt Securities may be materially affected or their obligations may be found to be invalid or unenforceable. Such litigation or conditions may from time to time have the effect of introducing uncertainties in the market for municipal bonds or certain segments thereof, or of materially affecting the credit risk with respect to particular bonds. Adverse economic, business, legal or political developments might affect all or a substantial portion of the fund’s municipal bonds in the same manner.
From time to time, legislation may be introduced or litigation may arise that may restrict or eliminate the federal income tax exemption for interest on debt obligations issued by states and their political subdivisions. Federal tax laws limit the types and amounts of tax-exempt bonds issuable for certain purposes, especially industrial development bonds and private activity bonds. Such limits may affect the future supply and yields of these types of Tax-exempt Securities. Further proposals limiting the issuance of Tax-exempt Securities may well be introduced in the future. Shareholders should consult their tax advisors for the current law on tax-exempt bonds and securities.
Temporary Defensive Strategies
In response to adverse market, economic, political or other conditions, the fund may take temporary defensive positions that are inconsistent with its principal investment strategies. However, a fund may choose not to use these temporary defensive strategies for a variety of reasons, even in very volatile market conditions. In implementing temporary defensive strategies, the fund may invest primarily in, among other things, debt securities, preferred stocks, U.S. government and agency obligations, cash or money market instruments (including, to the extent permitted by law or applicable exemptive relief, money market funds), or any other securities Putnam Management considers consistent with such defensive strategies. When the fund takes temporary defensive positions, the fund may miss out on investment opportunities, and the fund may not achieve its investment objective. In addition, while temporary defensive strategies are mainly designed to limit losses, such strategies may not work as intended.
The fund may invest in or acquire warrants, which are instruments that give the fund the right (but not the obligation) to purchase certain securities from an issuer at a specific price (the “strike price”) until a stated expiration date. The purchase of warrants involves the risk that the effective price paid for the warrant added to the strike price of the underlying security may exceed the value of the security’s market price, such as when there is no movement in the level of the underlying security. Also, the strike price of warrants typically is much lower than the current market price of the underlying securities, yet they are subject to similar price fluctuations. As a result, warrants may be more volatile investments than the underlying securities and may offer greater potential for capital appreciation as well as capital loss. Warrants do not entitle a holder to dividends or voting rights with respect to the underlying securities and do not represent any rights in the assets of the issuing company. Also, the value of the warrant does not necessarily change with the value of the underlying securities and a warrant ceases to have value if it is not exercised prior to the expiration date. These factors can make warrants more speculative than other types of investments.
In addition to warrants on securities, the fund may purchase put warrants and call warrants whose values vary depending on the change in the value of one or more specified securities indices (“index warrants”). Index warrants are generally issued by banks or other financial institutions and give the holder the right, at any time during the term of the warrant, to receive upon exercise of the warrant a cash payment from the issuer based on
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the value of the underlying index at the time of exercise. In general, if the value of the underlying index rises above the exercise price of the index warrant, the holder of a call warrant will be entitled to receive a cash payment from the issuer upon exercise based on the difference between the value of the index and the exercise price of the warrant; if the value of the underlying index falls, the holder of a put warrant will be entitled to receive a cash payment from the issuer upon exercise based on the difference between the exercise price of the warrant and the value of the index. The holder of a warrant would not be entitled to any payments from the issuer at any time when, in the case of a call warrant, the exercise price is greater than the value of the underlying index, or, in the case of a put warrant, the exercise price is less than the value of the underlying index. If the fund were not to exercise an index warrant prior to its expiration, then the fund would lose the amount of the purchase price paid by it for the warrant.
The fund will normally use index warrants in a manner similar to its use of options on securities indices. The risks of the fund’s use of index warrants are generally similar to those relating to its use of index options. Unlike most index options, however, index warrants are issued in limited amounts and are not obligations of a regulated clearing agency, but are backed only by the credit of the bank or other institution which issues the warrant. Also, index warrants generally have longer terms than index options. Index warrants are not likely to be as liquid as certain index options backed by a recognized clearing agency. In addition, the terms of index warrants may limit the fund’s ability to exercise the warrants at such time, or in such quantities, as the fund would otherwise wish to do.
Zero-coupon and Payment-in-kind Bonds
The fund may invest without limit in so-called “zero-coupon” bonds and “payment-in-kind” bonds. Zero-coupon bonds are issued at a significant discount from their principal amount in lieu of paying interest periodically. Payment-in-kind bonds allow the issuer, at its option, to make current interest payments on the bonds either in cash or in additional bonds. Because zero-coupon and payment-in-kind bonds do not pay current interest in cash, their value is subject to greater fluctuation in response to changes in market interest rates than bonds that pay interest currently. Both zero-coupon and payment-in-kind bonds allow an issuer to avoid the need to generate cash to meet current interest payments. Accordingly, such bonds may involve greater credit risks than bonds paying interest currently in cash. The fund is required to accrue interest income on such investments and to distribute such amounts at least annually to shareholders even though such bonds do not pay current interest in cash. Thus, it may be necessary at times for the fund to liquidate investments, including when it is not advantageous to do so, in order to satisfy its distribution requirements under the Code. The market for zero-coupon and payment-in-kind bonds may be limited, making it difficult for the fund to value them or dispose of its holdings quickly at an acceptable price.
EXCHANGE TRADED FUND RISKS
The method by which Creation Units of shares are created and traded may raise certain issues under applicable securities laws. Because new Creation Units of shares are issued and sold by a fund on an ongoing basis, at any point a “distribution,” as such term is used in the 1933 Act, may occur. Broker-dealers and other persons are cautioned that some activities on their part may, depending on the circumstances, result in their being deemed participants in a distribution in a manner which could render them statutory underwriters and subject them to the prospectus delivery and liability provisions of the 1933 Act.
For example, a broker-dealer firm or its client may be deemed a statutory underwriter if it takes Creation Units after placing an order with Foreside Fund Services, LLC (“Foreside”), each fund’s distributor, breaks them down into constituent shares, and sells such shares directly to customers, or if it chooses to couple the creation of a supply of new shares with an active selling effort involving solicitation of secondary market demand for shares. A determination of whether one is an underwriter for purposes of the 1933 Act must take into account all the facts and circumstances pertaining to the activities of the broker-dealer or its client in the particular
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case, and the examples mentioned above should not be considered a complete description of all the activities that 12 could lead to a categorization as an underwriter.
Broker-dealer firms should also note that dealers who are not “underwriters,” but are effecting transactions in shares of a fund, whether or not participating in the distribution of shares, are generally required to deliver a prospectus. This is because the prospectus delivery exemption in Section 4(a)(3) of the 1933 Act is not available in respect of such transactions as a result of Section 24(d) of the 1940 Act. As a result, broker-dealer firms should note that dealers who are not underwriters but are participating in a distribution (as opposed to engaging in ordinary secondary market transactions) and thus dealing with the shares that are part of an overallotment within the meaning of Section 4(a)(3)(A) of the 1933 Act would be unable to take advantage of the prospectus delivery exemption provided by Section 4(a)(3) of the 1933 Act. Firms that incur a prospectus-delivery obligation with respect to shares of each fund are reminded that, under Rule 153 under the 1933 Act, a prospectus-delivery obligation under Section 5(b)(2) of the 1933 Act owed to an exchange member in connection with a sale on an exchange is satisfied by the fact that the prospectus is available from the exchange upon request. The prospectus delivery mechanism provided in Rule 153 is only available with respect to transactions on an exchange.
Listing and Trading
Shares of each fund have been approved for listing and trading on an exchange. Each fund’s shares trade on an exchange at prices that may differ to some degree from their NAV. The listing exchange may remove a fund’s shares from listing if (i) following the initial 12-month period beginning upon the commencement of trading of the fund, there are fewer than 50 beneficial owners of the fund’s shares; (ii) the listing exchange becomes aware that the fund is no longer eligible to operate in reliance on Rule 6c-11 under the 1940 Act; (iii) the fund no longer complies with certain listing exchange rules; or (iv) such other event shall occur or condition exists that, in the opinion of the listing exchange, makes further dealings on the exchange inadvisable. The listing exchange will remove a fund’s shares from listing and trading upon termination of the trust. There can be no assurance that the requirements of the listing exchange necessary to maintain the listing of the fund’s shares will continue to be met. As in the case of other publicly-traded securities, brokers’ commissions on transactions will be based on negotiated commission rates at customary levels. The existence of a liquid trading market for certain securities may depend on whether dealers will make a market in such securities. There can be no assurance that such a market will be made or maintained or that any such market will be or remain liquid. The price at which securities may be sold and the value of the fund’s shares will be adversely affected if trading markets for the fund’s portfolio securities are limited or absent, or if bid/ask spreads are wide.
The following discussion of U.S. federal income tax consequences is based on the Code, existing U.S. Treasury regulations, and other applicable authority, as of the date of this SAI. These authorities are subject to change by legislative or administrative action, possibly with retroactive effect. Additionally, the House of Representatives recently passed the Build Back Better Act, which would make significant changes to the Code if enacted into law, and this summary does not contain a description of such potential changes. The following discussion is only a summary of some of the important U.S. federal income tax considerations generally applicable to investments in the fund. There may be other tax considerations applicable to particular shareholders. Shareholders should consult their own tax advisors regarding their particular situation and the possible application of foreign, state and local tax laws.
Taxation of the fund. The fund intends to qualify each year as a regulated investment company under Subchapter M of the Code. In order to qualify for the special tax treatment accorded regulated investment companies and their shareholders, the fund must, among other things:
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(a) derive at least 90% of its gross income for each taxable year from (i) dividends, interest, payments with respect to certain 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 with respect to its business of investing in such stock, securities or currencies, and (ii) net income from interests in “qualified publicly traded partnerships” (as defined below);
(b) diversify its holdings so that, at the end of each quarter of the fund’s taxable year, (i) at least 50% of the market value of the fund’s total assets is represented by cash and cash items, U.S. government securities, securities of other regulated investment companies, and other securities limited in respect of any one issuer to a value not greater than 5% of the value of the fund’s total assets and not more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of such issuer, and (ii) not more than 25% of the value of the fund’s total assets is invested, including through corporations in which the fund owns a 20% or more voting stock interest, (x) in the securities (other than those of the U.S. government or other regulated investment companies) of any one issuer or of two or more issuers which the fund controls and which are engaged in the same, similar, or related trades or businesses, or (y) in the securities of one or more qualified publicly traded partnerships (as defined below); and
(c) distribute with respect to each taxable year at least 90% of the sum of its investment company taxable income (as that term is defined in the Code without regard to the deduction for dividends paid—generally, taxable ordinary income and the excess, if any, of net short-term capital gains over net long-term capital losses) and net tax-exempt interest income, for such year.
In general, for purposes of the 90% gross income requirement described in paragraph (a) above, income derived from a partnership will be treated as qualifying income only to the extent such income is attributable to items of income of the partnership which would be qualifying income if realized by the regulated investment company. However, 100% of the net income of a regulated investment company derived from an interest in a “qualified publicly traded partnership” (defined as a partnership (i) interests in which are traded on an established securities market or readily tradable on a secondary market or the substantial equivalent thereof, and (ii) that derives less than 90% of its income from the qualifying income described in paragraph (a)(i) above) will be treated as qualifying income. In general, such entities will be treated as partnerships for federal income tax purposes because they meet the passive income requirement under Code section 7704(c)(2). In addition, although in general the passive loss rules of the Code do not apply to regulated investment companies, such rules do apply to a regulated investment company with respect to items attributable to an interest in a qualified publicly traded partnership.
For purposes of the diversification test in paragraph (b) above, identification of the issuer (or, in some cases, issuers) of a particular fund investment will depend on the terms and conditions of that investment. In some cases, identification of the issuer (or issuers) is uncertain under current law, and an adverse determination or future guidance by the IRS with respect to issuer identification for a particular type of investment may adversely affect the fund’s ability to meet the diversification test in (b) above. Also, for the purposes of the diversification test in paragraph (b) above, the term “outstanding voting securities of such issuer” will include the equity securities of a qualified publicly traded partnership.
If the fund qualifies as a regulated investment company that is accorded special tax treatment, the fund will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax on income or gains distributed in a timely manner to its shareholders in the form of dividends (including Capital Gain Dividends, as defined below).
If the fund were to fail to meet the income, diversification or distribution test described above, the fund could in some cases cure such failure, including by paying a fund-level tax, paying interest, making additional distributions, or disposing of certain assets. If the fund were ineligible to or otherwise did not cure such failure for any year, or were otherwise to fail to qualify as a regulated investment company accorded special tax treatment in any taxable year, the fund would be subject to tax on its taxable income at corporate rates, and all distributions from earnings and profits, including any distributions of net tax-exempt income and net long-term
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capital gains, would be taxable to shareholders as ordinary income. Some portions of such distributions may be eligible for the dividends received deduction in the case of corporate shareholders, and may be eligible to be treated as “qualified dividend income” in the case of shareholders taxed as individuals, provided, in both cases, that the shareholder meets certain holding period and other requirements in respect of the fund’s shares (as described below). In addition, the fund could be required to recognize unrealized gains, pay substantial taxes and interest and make substantial distributions before requalifying as a regulated investment company that is accorded special tax treatment.
The fund intends to distribute at least annually to its shareholders all or substantially all of its investment company taxable income (computed without regard to the dividends-paid deduction) and its net tax-exempt income (if any). The fund may distribute its net capital gain (that is, the excess of net long-term capital gain over net short-term capital loss, in each case determined with reference to any loss carryforwards). Investment company taxable income (which is retained by the fund) will be subject to tax at regular corporate rates. The fund may also retain for investment its net capital gain. If the fund retains any net capital gain, it will be subject to tax at regular corporate rates on the amount retained, but may designate the retained amount as undistributed capital gains in a notice to its shareholders who will be (i) required to include in income for U.S. federal income tax purposes, as long-term capital gain, their shares of such undistributed amount, and (ii) entitled to credit their proportionate shares of the tax paid by the fund on such undistributed amount against their U.S. federal income tax liabilities, if any, and to claim refunds on a properly-filed U.S. tax return to the extent the credit exceeds such liabilities. If the fund makes this designation, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, the tax basis of shares owned by a shareholder of the fund will be increased by an amount equal to the difference between the amount of undistributed capital gains included in the shareholder’s gross income under clause (i) of the preceding sentence and the tax deemed paid by the shareholder under clause (ii) of the preceding sentence. The fund is not required to, and there can be no assurance the fund will, make this designation if it retains all or a portion of its net capital gain in a taxable year.
In determining its net capital gain, including in connection with determining the amount available to support a Capital Gain Dividend (as defined below), its taxable income and its earnings and profits, a regulated investment company generally may also elect to treat part or all of any post-October capital loss (defined as any net capital loss attributable to the portion, if any, of the taxable year after October 31 or, if there is no such loss, the net long-term capital loss or net short-term capital loss attributable to any such portion of the taxable year) or late-year ordinary loss (generally, the sum of its (i) net ordinary loss, if any, from the sale, exchange or other taxable disposition of property, attributable to the portion, if any, of the taxable year after October 31, and its (ii) other net ordinary loss, if any, attributable to the portion, if any, of the taxable year after December 31) as if incurred in the succeeding taxable year.
If the fund fails to distribute in a calendar year at least an amount equal to the sum of 98% of its ordinary income for such year and 98.2% of its capital gain net income for the one-year period ending October 31 of such year, plus any retained amount from the prior year, the fund will be subject to a nondeductible 4% excise tax on the undistributed amounts. For these purposes, ordinary gains and losses from the sale, exchange, or other taxable disposition of property that would otherwise be properly taken into account after October 31 are treated as arising on January 1 of the following calendar year. For purposes of the excise tax, the fund will be treated as having distributed any amount on which it has been subject to corporate income tax in the taxable year ending within the calendar year. A dividend paid to shareholders in January of a year generally is deemed to have been paid by the fund on December 31 of the preceding year, if the dividend was declared and payable to shareholders of record on a date in October, November or December of that preceding year. The fund intends generally to make distributions sufficient to avoid imposition of the 4% excise tax, although there can be no assurance that it will be able to do so.
The fund distributes its net investment income and capital gains to shareholders as dividends at least annually to the extent required to qualify as a regulated investment company under the Code and generally to avoid U.S. federal income or excise tax. Provided it is not treated as a “personal holding company” for U.S. federal income tax purposes, the fund is permitted to treat the portion of redemption proceeds paid to redeeming
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shareholders that represents the redeeming shareholders’ portion of the fund’s accumulated earnings and profits as a dividend on the fund’s tax return. This practice, which involves the use of tax equalization, will have the effect of reducing the amount of income and gains that the fund is required to distribute as dividends to shareholders in order for the fund to avoid U.S. federal income tax and excise tax. This practice may also reduce the amount of distributions required to be made to non-redeeming shareholders and the amount of any undistributed income will be reflected in the value of the shares of the fund; the total return on a shareholder’s investment will not be reduced as a result of this distribution policy.
Fund distributions. Distributions from the fund (other than exempt-interest dividends, as discussed below) generally are taxable to shareholders as ordinary income to the extent derived from the fund’s investment income and net short-term capital gains. Distributions are taxable whether shareholders receive them in cash or reinvest them in additional shares of the fund or other Putnam funds.
Taxes on distributions of capital gains are determined by how long the fund owned (or is deemed to have owned) the investments that generated them, rather than how long a shareholder has owned his or her shares. In general, the fund will recognize long-term capital gain or loss on investments 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. Tax rules can alter the fund’s holding period in investments and thereby affect the tax treatment of gain or loss on such investments. Distributions of net capital gain that are properly reported by the fund as capital gain dividends (“Capital Gain Dividends”) will be treated as long-term capital gains includible in net capital gain and taxed to individuals at reduced rates. The IRS and the Department of the Treasury have issued regulations that impose special rules in respect of Capital Gain Dividends received through partnership interests constituting “applicable partnership interests” under Section 1061 of the Code. Distributions from capital gains generally are made after applying any available capital loss carryforwards. Distributions of net short-term capital gain (as reduced by any net long-term capital loss for the taxable year) will be taxable to shareholders as ordinary income. Investors who purchase shares shortly before the record date of a distribution will pay the full price for the shares and then receive some portion of the price back as a taxable distribution.
The Code generally imposes a 3.8% Medicare contribution tax on the net investment income of certain individuals, trusts and estates to the extent their income exceeds certain threshold amounts. For these purposes, “net investment income” generally includes, among other things, (i) distributions paid by the fund of net investment income and capital gains (other than exempt-interest dividends) as described herein, and (ii) any net gain from the sale, redemption, exchange or other taxable disposition of fund shares. Shareholders are advised to consult their tax advisers regarding the possible implications of this additional tax on their investment in the fund.
Distributions of investment income reported by the fund as “qualified dividend income” received by an individual will be taxed at the reduced rates applicable to net capital gain. In order for some portion of the dividends received by a fund shareholder to be qualified dividend income, the fund must meet holding period and other requirements with respect to some portion of the dividend-paying stocks in its portfolio and the shareholder must meet holding period and other requirements with respect to the fund’s shares. In general, a dividend will not be treated as qualified dividend income (at either the fund or shareholder level) (1) if the dividend is received with respect to any share of stock held for fewer than 61 days during the 121-day period beginning on the date which is 60 days before the date on which such share becomes ex-dividend with respect to such dividend (or, in the case of certain preferred stock, 91 days during the 181-day period beginning 90 days before such date), (2) to the extent that the recipient is under an obligation (whether pursuant to a short sale or otherwise) to make related payments with respect to positions in substantially similar or related property, (3) if the recipient elects to have the dividend income treated as investment interest, or (4) if the dividend is received from a foreign corporation that is (a) not eligible for the benefits of a comprehensive income tax treaty with the United States (with the exception of dividends paid on stock of such a foreign corporation readily tradable on an established securities market in the United States) or (b) treated as a passive foreign investment company. Each fund, other than fixed-income and money market funds, generally expects to report eligible dividends as qualified dividend income.
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In general, distributions of investment income reported by the fund as derived from qualified dividend income will be treated as qualified dividend income by a shareholder taxed as an individual provided the shareholder meets the holding period and other requirements described above with respect to such fund’s shares. In any event, if the aggregate qualified dividends received by the fund during any taxable year are 95% or more of its gross income (excluding net long-term capital gain over net short-term capital loss), then 100% of the fund’s dividends (other than dividends properly reported as Capital Gain Dividends) will be eligible to be treated as qualified dividend income.
Individuals (and certain other non-corporate entities) are generally eligible for a 20% deduction with respect to taxable ordinary dividends from REITs and certain taxable income from publicly traded partnerships. Currently, regulated investment companies may pass through the 20% deduction to shareholders for REIT dividends, but not for income from publicly traded partnerships. Distributions by the fund to its shareholders that the fund properly reports as “section 199A dividends,” as defined and subject to certain conditions described below, are treated as qualified REIT dividends in the hands of non-corporate shareholders. Subject to future regulatory guidance to the contrary, distributions attributable to qualified publicly traded partnership income from a fund’s investments in MLPs will ostensibly not qualify for the deduction available to non-corporate taxpayers in respect of such amounts received directly from an MLP.
In general, fixed-income and money market funds receive interest, rather than dividends, from their portfolio securities. As a result, it is not currently expected that any significant portion of such funds’ distributions to shareholders will be derived from qualified dividend income. For information regarding qualified dividend income received from underlying funds, see “Funds of funds” below.
Certain distributions reported by a Fund as section 163(j) interest dividends may be treated as interest income by shareholders for purposes of the tax rules applicable to interest expense limitations under Code section 163(j). Such treatment by the shareholder is generally subject to holding period requirements and other potential limitations, although the holding period requirements are generally not applicable to dividends declared by money market funds and certain other funds that declare dividends daily and pay such dividends on a monthly or more frequent basis. The amount that a Fund is eligible to report as a Section 163(j) dividend for a tax year is generally limited to the excess of the Fund’s business interest income over the sum of the Fund’s (i) business interest expense and (ii) other deductions properly allocable to the Fund’s business interest income.
In general, dividends of net investment income received by corporate shareholders of the fund will qualify for the dividends-received deduction generally available to corporations only to the extent of the amount of eligible dividends received by the fund from domestic corporations for the taxable year. A dividend received by the fund will not be treated as a dividend eligible for the dividends-received deduction (1) if it has been received with respect to any share of stock that the fund has held for less than 46 days (91 days in the case of certain preferred stock) during the 91-day period beginning on the date which is 45 days before the date on which such share becomes ex-dividend with respect to such dividend (during the 181-day period beginning 90 days before such date in the case of certain preferred stock) or (2) to the extent that the fund is under an obligation (pursuant to a short sale or otherwise) to make related payments with respect to positions in substantially similar or related property. Moreover, the dividends received deduction may otherwise be disallowed or reduced (1) if the corporate shareholder fails to satisfy the foregoing requirements with respect to its shares of the fund or (2) by application of various provisions of the Code (for instance, the dividends-received deduction is reduced in the case of a dividend received on debt-financed portfolio stock (generally, stock acquired with borrowed funds)). For information regarding eligibility for the dividends-received deduction of dividend income derived from an underlying fund, see “Funds of funds” below.
Exempt-interest dividends. A fund will be qualified to pay exempt-interest dividends to its shareholders if, at the close of each quarter of the fund’s taxable year, at least 50% of the total value of the fund’s assets consists of obligations the interest on which is exempt from federal income tax under Section 103(a) of the Code. In some cases, the fund may also pass through to its shareholders the tax-exempt character of any exempt-interest
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dividends it receives from underlying funds in which it invests (see “Funds of funds,” below). Distributions that the fund reports as exempt-interest dividends are treated as interest excludable from shareholders’ gross income for federal income tax purposes but may be taxable for federal alternative minimum tax (“AMT”) purposes and for state and local purposes. If the fund intends to qualify to pay exempt-interest dividends, the fund may be limited in its ability to enter into taxable transactions involving forward commitments, repurchase agreements, financial futures and options contracts on financial futures, tax-exempt bond indices and other assets.
Part or all of the interest on indebtedness, if any, incurred or continued by a shareholder to purchase or carry shares of the fund paying exempt-interest dividends is not deductible. The portion of interest that is not deductible is equal to the total interest paid or accrued on the indebtedness, multiplied by the percentage of the fund’s total distributions (not including distributions from net long-term capital gains) paid to the shareholder that are exempt-interest dividends. Under rules used by the IRS to determine when borrowed funds are considered used for the purpose of purchasing or carrying particular assets, the purchase of shares may be considered to have been made with borrowed funds even though such funds are not directly traceable to the purchase of shares.
In general, exempt-interest dividends, if any, attributable to interest received on certain private activity obligations and certain industrial development bonds will not be tax-exempt to any shareholders who are “substantial users” of the facilities financed by such obligations or bonds or who are “related persons” of such substantial users.
A fund that is qualified to pay exempt-interest dividends will notify its shareholders in a written statement of the portion of distributions for the taxable year that constitutes exempt-interest dividends.
Exempt-interest dividends may be taxable for purposes of the federal AMT. For individual shareholders, exempt-interest dividends that are derived from interest on private activity bonds that are issued after August 7, 1986 (other than a “qualified 501(c)(3) bond,” as such term is defined in the Code) generally must be included in an individual’s tax base for purposes of calculating the shareholder’s liability for U.S. federal AMT. For taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017, corporations are no longer subject to the federal AMT.
Funds of funds. If the fund invests in shares of underlying funds, a portion of its distributable income and gains will consist of distributions from the underlying funds and gains and losses on the disposition of shares of the underlying funds. To the extent that an underlying fund realizes net losses on its investments for a given taxable year, the fund will not be able to recognize its share of those losses (so as to offset distributions of net income or capital gains from other underlying funds) until and only to the extent that it disposes of shares of the underlying fund in a transaction qualifying for sale or exchange treatment or those losses reduce distributions required to be made by the underlying fund. Moreover, even when the fund does make such a disposition, a portion of its loss may be recognized as a long-term capital loss, which will not be treated as favorably for U.S. federal income tax purposes as a short-term capital loss or an ordinary deduction. In particular, the fund will not be able to offset any capital losses from its dispositions of underlying fund shares against its ordinary income (including distributions of any net short-term capital gains realized by an underlying fund).
In addition, in certain circumstances, the “wash sale” rules under Section 1091 of the Code may apply to the fund’s sales of underlying fund shares that have generated losses. A wash sale occurs if shares of an underlying fund are sold by the fund at a loss and the fund acquires additional shares of that same underlying fund 30 days before or after the date of the sale. The wash-sale rules could defer losses in the fund’s hands on sales of underlying fund shares (to the extent such sales are wash sales) for extended (and, in certain cases, potentially indefinite) periods of time.
As a result of the foregoing rules, and certain other special rules, the amounts of net investment income and net capital gains that the fund will be required to distribute to shareholders may be greater than such amounts
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would have been had the fund invested directly in the securities held by the underlying funds, rather than investing in shares of the underlying funds. For similar reasons, the amount or timing of distributions from the fund qualifying for treatment as being of a particular character (e.g., as long-term capital gain, exempt interest, eligible for dividends-received deduction, etc.) will not necessarily be the same as it would have been had the fund invested directly in the securities held by the underlying funds.
If the fund receives dividends from an underlying fund that qualifies as a regulated investment company, and the underlying fund reports such dividends as “qualified dividend income,” then the fund may, in turn, report a portion of its distributions as “qualified dividend income” as well, provided the fund meets the holding period and other requirements with respect to shares of the underlying fund.
If the fund receives dividends from an underlying fund and the underlying fund reports such dividends as eligible for the dividends-received deduction, then the fund is permitted, in turn, to designate a portion of its distributions as eligible for the dividends-received deduction, provided the fund meets the holding period and other requirements with respect to shares of the underlying fund.
If the fund were to own 20% or more of the voting interests of an underlying fund, subject to a safe harbor in respect of certain fund of funds arrangements, the fund would be required to “look through” the underlying fund to its holdings and combine the appropriate percentage (as determined pursuant to the applicable Treasury Regulations) of the underlying fund’s assets with the fund’s assets for purposes of satisfying the 25% diversification test described above.
If, at the close of each quarter of the fund’s taxable year, at least 50% of its total assets consists of interests in other regulated investment companies (such fund, a “qualified fund of funds”), the fund will be permitted to distribute exempt-interest dividends and thereby pass through to its shareholders the tax-exempt character of any exempt-interest dividends it receives from underlying funds in which it invests, or interest on any tax-exempt obligations in which it directly invests, if any. For further information regarding exempt-interest dividends, see “Exempt-interest dividends,” above.
If the fund is a qualified fund of funds, the fund will be entitled to elect to pass through to its shareholders a credit or deduction for foreign taxes (if any) borne in respect of foreign securities income earned by the fund, or by any underlying funds and passed through to the fund. If the fund so elects, shareholders will include in gross income from foreign sources their pro rata shares of such taxes, if any, treated as paid by the fund. Even if the fund is eligible to make such an election for a given year, it may determine not to do so. If the fund elects to pass through to its shareholders foreign tax credits or deductions, tax-exempt shareholders and those who invest in the fund through tax-advantaged accounts such as IRAs will not benefit from any such tax credit or deduction. See “Foreign taxes” below for more information.
Derivatives, hedging and related transactions; certain exposure to commodities. In general, option premiums received by the 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 a call option written by the 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 the fund pursuant to the exercise of a put option written by it, the fund generally will subtract the premium received for purposes of computing its cost basis in the securities purchased. Gain or loss arising in respect of a termination of the fund’s obligation under an option other than through the exercise of the option 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 the fund expires unexercised, the fund generally will recognize short-term gain equal to the premium received.
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Certain covered call writing activities of the fund may trigger the U.S. federal income tax straddle rules contained primarily in Section 1092 of the Code. Very generally, where applicable, Section 1092 requires (i) that losses be deferred on positions deemed to be offsetting positions with respect to “substantially similar or related property,” to the extent of unrealized gain in the latter, and (ii) that the holding period of such a straddle position that has not already been held for the long-term holding period be terminated and begin anew once the position is no longer part of a straddle. Options on single stocks that are not “deep in the money” may constitute qualified covered calls, which generally are not subject to the straddle rules; the holding period on stock underlying qualified covered calls that are “in the money” although not “deep in the money” will be suspended during the period that such calls are outstanding. Thus, the straddle rules and the rules governing qualified covered calls could cause gains that would otherwise constitute long-term capital gains to be treated as short-term capital gains, and distributions that would otherwise constitute “qualified dividend income” or qualify for the dividends-received deduction to fail to satisfy the holding period requirements and therefore to be taxed as ordinary income or to fail to qualify for the dividends-received deduction, as the case may be.
In general, 40% of the gain or loss arising from the closing out of a futures contract traded on an exchange approved by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission is treated as short-term gain or loss, and 60% is treated as long-term gain or loss, although certain foreign currency gains and losses from such contracts may be treated as ordinary in character. Also, such contracts held by the 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.
The fund’s investment in swaps, if any, will generate ordinary income and losses for federal income tax purposes. The fund’s investments in futures and swaps may cause the fund to recognize income without receiving cash with which to make the distributions necessary to qualify and be eligible for treatment as a regulated investment company and avoid a fund-level tax. The fund may therefore need to liquidate other investments, including when it is not advantageous to do so, to meet its distribution requirement. The fund is not permitted to carry forward any net ordinary losses it realizes in a taxable year to offset ordinary income it realizes in subsequent taxable years.
In addition to the special rules described above in respect of options, futures transactions and swaps, the fund’s derivative transactions, including transactions in options, futures contracts, straddles, securities loan and other similar transactions, including for hedging purposes, will be subject to special tax rules (including constructive sale, mark-to-market, straddle, wash sale, and short sale rules), the effect of which may be to accelerate income to the fund, defer losses to the fund, cause adjustments in the holding periods of the fund’s securities, convert long-term capital gains into short-term capital gains, short-term capital losses into long-term capital losses, or capital gains into ordinary income. These rules could therefore affect the amount, timing and character of distributions to shareholders. The fund may make any applicable elections pertaining to such transactions consistent with the interests of the fund.
Because these and other tax rules applicable to these types of transactions 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 the 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.
A fund’s use of commodity-linked derivatives can be limited by the fund’s intention to qualify as a regulated investment company and can bear on its ability to so qualify. Income and gains from certain commodity-linked derivatives do not constitute qualifying income to a regulated investment company for purposes of the 90% gross income test described above. The tax treatment of certain other commodity-linked derivative instruments in which the fund might invest is not certain, in particular with respect to whether income or gains from such instruments constitute qualifying income to a regulated investment company. If the fund were to treat income or gain from a particular instrument as qualifying income and the income or gain were later determined not to
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constitute qualifying income and, together with any other nonqualifying income, caused the fund’s nonqualifying income to exceed 10% of its gross income in any taxable year, the fund would fail to qualify as a regulated investment company unless it is eligible to and does pay a tax at the fund level.
The tax rules are uncertain with respect to the treatment of income or gains arising in respect of commodity-linked exchange-traded notes (“ETNs”) and certain commodity-linked structured notes; also, the timing and character of income or gains arising from ETNs can be uncertain. An adverse determination or future guidance by the IRS (which determination or guidance could be retroactive) may affect the fund’s ability to qualify for treatment as a regulated investment company and to avoid a fund-level tax.
To the extent that, in order to achieve exposure to commodities, the fund invests in entities that are treated as pass-through vehicles for U.S. federal income tax purposes, including, for instance, certain ETFs (e.g., ETFs investing in gold bullion) and partnerships other than qualified publicly traded partnerships (as defined earlier), all or a portion of any income and gains from such entities could constitute non-qualifying income to the fund for purposes of the 90% gross income requirement described above. In such a case, the fund’s investments in such entities could be limited by its intention to qualify as a regulated investment company and could bear on its ability to so qualify. Certain commodities-related ETFs may qualify as qualified publicly traded partnerships. In such cases, the net income derived from such investments will constitute qualifying income for purposes of the 90% gross income requirement. If, however, such a vehicle were to fail to qualify as a qualified publicly traded partnership in a particular year, a portion of the gross income derived from it in such year could constitute non-qualifying income to the fund for purposes of the 90% gross income requirement and thus could adversely affect the fund’s ability to qualify as a regulated investment company for a particular year. In addition, the diversification requirement described above for regulated investment company qualification will limit the fund’s investments in one or more vehicles that are qualified publicly traded partnerships to 25% of the fund’s total assets as of the close of each quarter of the fund’s taxable year.
Certain of the fund’s investments in derivative instruments and foreign currency-denominated instruments, and any of the fund's transactions in foreign currencies and hedging activities, are likely to produce a difference between its book income and its taxable income. If such a difference arises, and the fund’s book income is less than its taxable income (or, for tax-exempt funds, the sum of its net tax-exempt and taxable income), the fund could be required to make distributions exceeding book income to qualify as a regulated investment company that is accorded special tax treatment and to eliminate fund-level income tax. In the alternative, if the fund’s book income exceeds the sum of its taxable income and tax-exempt income, the distribution (if any) of such excess will be treated as (i) a dividend to the extent of the fund’s remaining earnings and profits (including earnings and profits arising from tax-exempt income), (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.
Investments in REITs. The fund’s investment in REIT equity securities may result in the fund’s receipt of cash in excess of the REIT’s earnings. If the fund distributes such amounts, such distribution could constitute a return of capital to the fund shareholders for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Dividends received by the fund from a REIT generally will not constitute qualified dividend income and will not qualify for the corporate dividends-received deduction.
Distributions by the fund to its shareholders that the fund properly reports as “section 199A dividends,” as defined and subject to certain conditions described below, are treated as qualified REIT dividends in the hands of non-corporate shareholders. Non-corporate shareholders are permitted a federal income tax deduction equal to 20% of qualified REIT dividends received by them, subject to certain limitations. Very generally, a “section 199A dividend” is any dividend or portion thereof that is attributable to certain dividends received by a regulated investment company from REITs, to the extent such dividends are properly reported as such by the regulated investment company in a written notice to its shareholders. A section 199A dividend is treated as a qualified REIT dividend only if the shareholder receiving such dividend holds the dividend-paying regulated investment company shares for at least 46 days of the 91-day period beginning 45 days before the shares become ex-dividend, and is not under an obligation to make related payments with respect to a position in
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substantially similar or related property. A fund is permitted to report such part of its dividends as section 199A dividends as are eligible, but is not required to do so.
Mortgage-related securities. The fund may invest in REITs, including REITs that hold residual interests in real estate mortgage investment conduits (“REMICs”) (including by investing in residual interests in collateralized mortgage obligations (“CMOs”) with respect to which an election to be treated as a REMIC is in effect), REITs that are themselves taxable mortgage pools (“TMPs”) or REITs that invest in TMPs. Under a notice issued by the IRS in October 2006 and Treasury regulations that have not yet been issued, but apply retroactively, a portion of the fund’s income from a REIT that is attributable to the REIT’s residual interest in a REMIC or TMP (referred to in the Code as an “excess inclusion”) will be subject to U.S. federal income tax in all events. This notice also provides, and the regulations are expected to provide, that excess inclusion income of a regulated investment company, such as the 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 or TMP residual interest directly. As a result, a fund investing in such interests may not be a suitable investment for charitable remainder trusts, as noted below.
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 a qualified pension plan, an individual retirement account, a 401(k) plan, a Keogh plan or other tax-exempt entity) 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 non-U.S. shareholder, will not qualify for any reduction in U.S. federal withholding tax. A shareholder will be subject to U.S. federal income tax on such inclusions notwithstanding any exemption from such income tax otherwise available under the Code. Any investment in residual interests of CMO that has elected to be treated as a REMIC can create complex tax problems, especially if the fund has state or local governments or other tax-exempt organizations as shareholders.
Income of a fund that would be UBTI if earned directly by a tax-exempt entity generally will not constitute UBTI when distributed to a tax-exempt shareholder of the fund. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a tax-exempt shareholder will recognize UBTI by virtue of its investment in the fund if shares in the fund constitute debt-financed property in the hands of the tax-exempt shareholder within the meaning of Code Section 514(b). Furthermore, a tax-exempt shareholder may recognize UBTI if the fund recognizes excess inclusion income derived from direct or indirect investments in REMIC residual interests or TMPs if the amount of such income recognized by the fund exceeds the fund's investment company taxable income (after taking into account deductions for dividends paid by the fund).
Under legislation enacted in December 2006, a charitable remainder trust (“CRT”), as defined in Section 664 of the Code, that realizes UBTI for a taxable year must pay an excise tax annually of an amount equal to such UBTI. Under IRS guidance issued in October 2006, a CRT will not recognize UBTI solely as a result of investing in a fund that recognizes excess inclusion income. Rather, if at any time during any taxable year a CRT (or one of certain other tax-exempt shareholders, such as the United States, a state or political subdivision, or an agency or instrumentality thereof, and certain energy cooperatives) is a record holder of a share in a fund that recognizes excess inclusion income, then the fund will be subject to a tax on that portion of its excess inclusion income for the taxable year that is allocable to such shareholders at the highest federal corporate income tax rate. The extent to which this IRS guidance remains applicable in light of the December 2006 legislation is unclear. To the extent permitted under the 1940 Act, the fund may elect to specially allocate any such tax to the applicable CRT, or other shareholder, and thus reduce such shareholder’s distributions for the year by the amount of the tax that relates to such shareholder’s interest in the fund. CRTs and other tax-exempt investors are urged to consult their tax advisors concerning the consequences of investing in the fund.
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Return of capital distributions. If the fund makes a distribution in and with respect to any taxable year to a shareholder in excess of the fund’s current and accumulated earnings and profits, the excess distribution will be treated as a return of capital to the extent of such shareholder’s tax basis in its shares, and thereafter as capital gain. A return of capital is not taxable, but it reduces a shareholder’s tax basis in its shares, thus reducing any loss or increasing any gain on a subsequent taxable disposition by the shareholder of its shares.
Dividends and distributions on the fund’s shares generally are subject to federal income tax as described herein to the extent they do not exceed the fund’s realized income and gains, even though such dividends and distributions may economically represent a return of a particular shareholder’s investment. Such distributions are likely to occur in respect of shares purchased at a time when the fund’s net asset value reflects gains that are either unrealized, or realized but not distributed. Such realized income and gains may be required to be distributed even when the fund’s net asset value also reflects unrealized losses. Distributions are taxable to a shareholder even if they are paid from income or gains earned by the fund prior to the shareholder’s investment (and thus included in the price paid by the shareholder).
Securities issued or purchased at a discount. Some debt obligations with a fixed maturity date of more than one year from the date of issuance (and zero-coupon debt obligations with a fixed maturity date of more than one year from the date of issuance) that are acquired by the fund will be treated as debt obligations that are issued originally at a discount. Generally, the amount of the original issue discount (“OID”) is treated as interest income and is included in the fund’s income (and required to be distributed by the fund) over the term of the debt security, even though payment of that amount is not received until a later time, upon partial or full repayment or disposition of the debt security. In addition, payment-in-kind securities will give rise to income which is required to be distributed and is taxable even though the fund holding the security receives no interest payment in cash on the security during the year.
Some debt obligations with a fixed maturity date of more than one year from the date of issuance that are acquired by the fund in the secondary market may be treated as having “market discount.” Very generally, market discount is the excess of the stated redemption price of a debt obligation (or in the case of an obligation issued with OID, its “revised issue price”) over the purchase price of such obligation. Subject to the discussion below regarding Section 451 of the Code, (i) generally any gain recognized on the disposition of, and any partial payment of principal on, a debt security having market discount is treated as ordinary income to the extent the gain, or principal payment, does not exceed the “accrued market discount” on such debt security, (ii) alternatively, the fund may elect to accrue market discount currently, in which case the fund will be required to include the accrued market discount in the fund's income (as ordinary income) and thus distribute it over the term of the debt security, even though payment of that amount is not received until a later time, upon partial or full repayment or disposition of the debt security, and (iii) the rate at which the market discount accrues, and thus is included in the fund's income, will depend upon which of the permitted accrual methods the fund elects. Notwithstanding the foregoing, effective for taxable years beginning after 2017, Section 451 of the Code generally requires any accrual method taxpayer to take into account items of gross income no later than the time at which such items are taken into account as revenue in the taxpayer's financial statements. The IRS and Treasury Department have issued regulations providing that this rule does not apply to the accrual of market discount. If the rule were to apply to the accrual of market discount, the fund would be required to include in income any market discount as it takes the same into account on its financial statements.
Some debt obligations with a fixed maturity date of one year or less from the date of issuance that are acquired by the fund may be treated as having “acquisition discount” (very generally, the excess of the stated redemption price over the purchase price) or OID. The fund will be required to include the acquisition discount or OID in income over the term of the debt security, even though payment of that amount is not received until a later time, usually when the debt security matures. The fund may make one or more of the elections applicable to debt obligations having acquisition discount or OID, which could affect the character and timing of recognition of income.
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If the fund holds the foregoing kinds of obligations, or other obligations subject to special rules under the Code, it may be required to pay out as an income distribution each year an amount which is greater than the total amount of cash interest the fund actually received. Such distributions may be made from the cash assets of the fund or, if necessary, by disposition of portfolio securities including at a time when it may not be advantageous to do so. These dispositions may cause the fund to realize higher amounts of short-term capital gains (generally taxed to shareholders at ordinary income tax rates) and, in the event the fund realizes net capital gains from such transactions, its shareholders may receive a larger capital gain distribution than if the fund had not held such obligations.
Securities purchased at a premium. Very generally, where the fund purchases a bond at a price that exceeds the redemption price at maturity (i.e., a premium), the premium is amortizable over the remaining term of the bond. In the case of a taxable bond, if the fund makes an election applicable to all such bonds it purchases, which election is irrevocable without consent of the IRS, the fund reduces the current taxable income from the bond by the amortized premium and reduces its tax basis in the bond by the amount of such offset; upon the disposition or maturity of such bonds acquired on or after January 4, 2013, the fund is permitted to deduct any remaining premium allocable to a prior period. In the case of a tax-exempt bond, tax rules require the fund to reduce its tax basis by the amount of amortized premium.
Higher-Risk obligations. Investments in debt obligations that are at risk of or in default present special tax issues for the fund. Tax rules are not entirely clear about issues such as whether the fund should recognize market discount on a debt obligation and, if so, the amount of market discount the fund should recognize; when the fund may cease to accrue interest, OID or market discount, when and to what extent deductions may be taken for bad debts or worthless securities and how payments received on obligations in default should be allocated between principal and income. These and other related issues will be addressed by the fund when, as and if it invests in such obligations, in order to seek to ensure that it distributes sufficient income to preserve its status as a regulated investment company and does not become subject to U.S. federal income or excise tax.
Capital loss carryforward. Distributions from capital gains generally are made after applying any available capital loss carryforwards. Capital loss carryforwards are reduced to the extent they offset current-year net realized capital gains, whether the fund retains or distributes such gains. If a fund incurs or has incurred capital losses in excess of capital gains (“net capital losses”), those losses will be carried forward to one or more subsequent taxable years; any such carryforward losses will retain their character as short-term or long-term.
Foreign taxes. If more than 50% of the fund’s assets at taxable year end consists of the securities of foreign corporations, the fund may elect to permit shareholders to claim a credit or deduction on their income tax returns for their pro rata portion of qualified taxes paid by the fund to foreign countries in respect of foreign securities the fund has held for at least the minimum period specified in the Code. A qualified fund of funds also may elect to pass through to its shareholders foreign taxes it has paid or foreign taxes passed through to it by any underlying fund that itself elected to pass through such taxes to shareholders (see “Funds of funds” above). In such a case, shareholders will include in gross income from foreign sources their pro rata shares of such taxes. A shareholder’s ability to claim a foreign tax credit or deduction in respect of foreign taxes paid by the fund may be subject to certain limitations imposed by the Code, as a result of which a shareholder may not get a full credit or deduction for the amount of such taxes. In particular, shareholders must hold their fund shares (without protection from risk of loss) on the ex-dividend date and for at least 15 additional days during the 30-day period surrounding the ex-dividend date to be eligible to claim a foreign tax credit with respect to a given dividend. Shareholders who do not itemize on their U.S. federal income tax returns may claim a credit (but no deduction) for such foreign taxes. Even if the fund is eligible to make such an election for a given year, it may determine not to do so. However, even if the fund elects to pass through to its shareholders foreign tax credits or deductions, tax-exempt shareholders and those who invest in the fund through tax-advantaged accounts such as IRAs will not benefit from any such tax credit or deduction.
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Passive Foreign Investment Companies. Investments treated as equity for federal income tax purposes in certain “passive foreign investment companies” (“PFICs”, as defined below) could subject the fund to a U.S. federal income tax (including interest charges) on distributions received from the company or on the proceeds from the disposition of its investment in such a company. This tax cannot be eliminated by making distributions to fund shareholders; however, this tax can be avoided by making an election to mark such investments to market annually or to treat the passive foreign investment company as a “qualified electing fund.” The QEF and mark-to-market elections may have the effect of accelerating the recognition of income (without the receipt of cash) and increasing the amount required to be distributed by the fund to avoid taxation. Making either of these elections therefore may require the fund to liquidate other investments to meet its distribution requirement, which may also accelerate the recognition of gain and affect the fund’s total return. Dividends paid by PFICs will not be eligible to be treated as “qualified dividend income.” If the fund indirectly invests in PFICs by virtue of the fund’s investments in other funds, it may not make such PFIC elections; rather, the underlying funds directly investing in the PFICs would decide whether to make such elections.
Because it is not always possible to identify a foreign corporation as a PFIC, the fund may incur the tax and interest charges described above in some instances.
A PFIC is any foreign corporation: (i) 75 percent or more of the income of which for the taxable year is passive income, or (ii) the average percentage of the assets of which (generally by value, but by adjusted tax basis in certain cases) that produce or are held for the production of passive income is at least 50 percent. Generally, passive income for this purpose means dividends, interest (including income equivalent to interest), royalties, rents, annuities, the excess of gains over losses from certain property transactions and commodities transactions, and foreign currency gains. Passive income for this purpose does not include rents and royalties received by the foreign corporation from active business and certain income received from related persons.
Foreign currency-denominated transactions and related hedging transactions. The 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. Any such net gains could require a larger dividend toward the end of the calendar year. Any such net losses generally will reduce and potentially require the recharacterization of prior ordinary income distributions. Such ordinary income treatment may accelerate fund distributions to shareholders and increase the distributions taxed to shareholders as ordinary income. Any net ordinary losses so created cannot be carried forward by the fund to offset income or gains earned in subsequent taxable years.
Sale, exchange or redemption of shares. The sale, exchange or redemption of fund shares may give rise to a gain or loss. In general, any gain or loss realized upon a taxable disposition of shares will be treated as long-term capital gain or loss if the shares have been held for more than 12 months. Otherwise the gain or loss on the sale, exchange or redemption of fund shares will be treated as short-term capital gain or loss. However, if a shareholder sells shares at a loss within six months of purchase, any loss generally will be disallowed for federal income tax purposes to the extent of any exempt-interest dividends received on such shares. This loss disallowance, however, does not apply with respect to redemptions of fund shares held for six months or less with respect to a regular exempt-interest dividend paid by the fund if such fund declares substantially all of its net tax-exempt income as exempt-interest dividends on a daily basis, and pays such dividends at least on a monthly basis. In addition, any loss (not already disallowed as provided in the preceding sentences) realized upon a taxable disposition of shares held for six months or less will be treated as long-term, rather than short-term, to the extent of any Capital Gain Dividends received (or deemed received) by the shareholder with respect to the shares. All or a portion of any loss realized upon a taxable disposition of fund shares will be disallowed if other shares of the same fund are purchased within 30 days before or after the disposition. In such a case, the basis of the newly purchased shares will be adjusted to reflect the disallowed loss.
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Cost basis reporting. Upon the redemption or exchange of a shareholder’s shares in the fund, the fund, or, if such shareholder’s shares are then held through a financial intermediary, the financial intermediary, will be required to provide the shareholder and the IRS with cost basis and certain other related tax information about the fund shares the shareholder redeemed or exchanged. This cost basis reporting requirement is effective for shares purchased, including through dividend reinvestment, on or after January 1, 2012. Shareholders should consult their financial representatives for more information regarding available methods for cost basis reporting and how to select a particular method. Shareholders should consult their tax advisors to determine which available cost basis method is best for them.
Shares purchased through tax-qualified plans. Special tax rules apply to investments through employer-sponsored retirement plans and other tax-qualified plans or tax-advantaged arrangements. Shareholders should consult their tax advisors to determine the suitability of shares of the fund as an investment through such plans and arrangements and the precise effect of an investment on their particular tax situation.
Backup withholding. The fund generally is required to withhold and remit to the U.S. Treasury a percentage of the taxable dividends and other distributions paid to any individual shareholder who fails to furnish the fund with a correct taxpayer identification number (TIN), who has under-reported dividends or interest income, or who fails to certify to the fund that he or she is not subject to such withholding. The backup withholding rules may also apply to distributions that are properly reported as exempt-interest dividends. 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.
In order for a foreign investor to qualify for exemption from the backup withholding tax rates and for reduced withholding tax rates under income tax treaties, the foreign investor must comply with special certification and filing requirements. Foreign investors in a fund should consult their tax advisors in this regard.
Tax shelter reporting regulations. Under U.S. Treasury regulations, if a shareholder recognizes a loss on disposition of fund shares of $2 million or more for an individual shareholder or $10 million or more for a corporate shareholder, the shareholder must file with the IRS a disclosure statement on Form 8886. Direct shareholders of portfolio securities are in many cases excepted from this reporting requirement, but under current guidance, shareholders of a regulated investment company are not excepted. Future guidance may extend the current exception from this reporting requirement to shareholders of most or all regulated investment companies. 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 advisers to determine the applicability of these regulations in light of their individual circumstances.
Non-U.S. shareholders. Distributions by the fund to shareholders that are not “U.S. persons” within the meaning of the Code (“foreign shareholders”) properly reported by the fund as (1) Capital Gain Dividends, (2) interest-related dividends, (3) short-term capital gain dividends, each as defined below and subject to certain conditions described below, and (4) exempt-interest dividends generally are not subject to withholding of U.S. federal income tax.
In general, the Code defines (1) “short-term capital gain dividends” as distributions of net short-term capital gains in excess of net long-term capital losses and (2) “interest-related dividends” as distributions from U.S. source interest income of types similar to those not subject to U.S. federal income tax if earned directly by an individual foreign shareholder, in each case to the extent such distributions are properly reported as such by the fund in a written notice to shareholders. The exceptions to withholding for Capital Gain Dividends and short-term capital gain dividends do not apply to (A) distributions to an individual foreign shareholder who is present in the United States for a period or periods aggregating 183 days or more during the year of the distribution and (B) distributions attributable to gain that is treated as effectively connected with the conduct by the foreign shareholder of a trade or business within the United States under special rules regarding the disposition of U.S. real property interests as described below. The exception to withholding for interest-related dividends does not apply to distributions to a foreign shareholder (A) that has not provided a satisfactory
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statement that the beneficial owner is not a U.S. person, (B) to the extent that the dividend is attributable to certain interest on an obligation if the foreign shareholder is the issuer or is a 10% shareholder of the issuer, (C) that is within certain foreign countries that have inadequate information exchange with the United States, or (D) to the extent the dividend is attributable to interest paid by a person that is a related person of the foreign shareholder and the foreign shareholder is a controlled foreign corporation. If the fund invests in other regulated investment companies that pay Capital Gain Dividends, short-term capital gain dividends or interest-related dividends to the fund, such distributions retain their character as not subject to withholding if properly reported when paid by the fund to foreign shareholders. The fund is permitted to report such part of its dividends as interest-related and/or short-term capital gain dividends as are eligible, but is not required to do so. In the case of shares held through an intermediary, the intermediary may withhold even if the fund reports all or a portion of a payment as an interest-related or short-term capital gain dividend to shareholders.
The fact that a fund achieves its goals by investing in underlying funds generally does not adversely affect the fund’s ability to pass on to foreign shareholders the full benefit of the interest-related dividends and short-term capital gain dividends that it receives from its investments in underlying funds, except possibly to the extent that (1) interest-related dividends received by the fund are offset by deductions allocable to the fund’s qualified interest income or (2) short-term capital gain dividends received by the fund are offset by the fund’s net short- or long-term capital losses, in which case the amount of a distribution from the fund to a foreign shareholder that is properly reported as either an interest-related dividend or a short-term capital gain dividend, respectively, may be less than the amount that such shareholder would have received had they invested directly in the underlying funds.
Distributions by the fund to foreign shareholders other than Capital Gain Dividends, interest-related dividends, and short-term capital gain dividends and exempt-interest dividends (e.g., dividends attributable to dividend and foreign-source interest income or to short-term capital gains or U.S.-source interest income to which the exception from withholding described above does not apply) are generally subject to withholding of U.S. federal income tax at a rate of 30% (or lower applicable treaty rate).
Under U.S. federal tax law, a beneficial holder of shares who is a foreign shareholder is not, in general, subject to U.S. federal income tax on gains (and is not allowed a deduction for losses) realized on the sale of shares of the fund, unless (i) such gain is effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business carried on by such holder within the United States; (ii) in the case of an individual holder, the holder is present in the United States for a period or periods aggregating 183 days or more during the year of the sale and certain other conditions are met; or (iii) the special rules relating to gain attributable to the sale or exchange of “U.S. real property interests” (“USRPIs”) apply to the foreign shareholder’s sale of shares of the fund (as described below).
If a beneficial holder who is a foreign shareholder has a trade or business in the United States, and the dividends are effectively connected with the conduct by the beneficial holder of a trade or business in the United States, the dividend will be subject to U.S. federal net income taxation at regular income tax rates and, in the case of a foreign corporation, may also be subject to a branch profits tax. If a foreign shareholder is eligible for the benefits of a tax treaty, any effectively connected income or gain will generally be subject to U.S. federal income tax on a net basis only if it is also attributable to a permanent establishment maintained by the shareholder in the United States. More generally, foreign shareholders who are residents in a country with an income tax treaty with the United States may obtain different tax results than those described herein, and are urged to consult their tax advisors.
Special rules would apply if the fund were a qualified investment entity (“QIE”) because it is either a “U.S. real property holding corporation” (“USRPHC”) or would be a USRPHC but for the operation of certain exceptions to the definition of USRPIs described below. Very generally, a USRPHC is a domestic corporation that holds USRPIs the fair market value of which equals or exceeds 50% of the sum of the fair market values of the corporation’s USRPIs, interests in real property located outside the United States, and other trade or business assets. USRPIs generally are defined as any interest in U.S. real property and any interest (other than
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solely as a creditor) in a USRPHC or, very generally, an entity that has been a USRPHC in the last five years. A fund that holds, directly or indirectly, significant interests in REITs may be a USRPHC. Interests in domestically controlled QIEs, including regulated investment companies and REITs that are QIEs, not-greater-than-10% interests in publicly traded classes of stock in REITs and not-greater-than-5% interests in publicly traded classes of stock in regulated investment companies generally are not USRPIs, but these exceptions do not apply for purposes of determining whether a fund is a QIE.
If an interest in the fund were a USRPI, the fund would be required to withhold U.S. tax on the proceeds of a share redemption by a greater-than-5% foreign shareholder, in which case such foreign shareholder generally would also be required to file U.S. tax returns and pay any additional taxes due in connection with the redemption.
If the fund were a QIE under a special “look-through” rule, any distributions by the fund to a foreign shareholder (including, in certain cases, distributions made by the fund in redemption of its shares) attributable directly or indirectly to (i) distributions received by the fund from a lower-tier regulated investment company or REIT that the fund is required to treat as USRPI gain in its hands and (ii) gains realized on the disposition of USRPIs by the fund would retain their character as gains realized from USRPIs in the hands of the fund’s foreign shareholders and would be subject to U.S. tax withholding. In addition, such distributions could result in the foreign shareholder being required to file a U.S. tax return and pay tax on the distributions at regular U.S. federal income tax rates. The consequences to a foreign shareholder, including the rate of such withholding and character of such distributions (e.g., as ordinary income or USRPI gain), would vary depending upon the extent of the foreign shareholder’s current and past ownership of the fund.
Foreign shareholders of the fund also may be subject to “wash sale” rules to prevent the avoidance of the tax-filing and -payment obligations discussed above through the sale and repurchase of fund shares.
Foreign shareholders should consult their tax advisers and, if holding shares through intermediaries, their intermediaries, concerning the application of these rules to their investment in the fund.
Other reporting and withholding requirements. Sections 1471-1474 of the Code and the U.S. Treasury and IRS guidance issued thereunder (collectively, “FATCA”) generally require a fund to obtain information sufficient to identify the status of each of its shareholders under FATCA or under an applicable intergovernmental agreement (an “IGA”) between the United States and a foreign government. If a shareholder fails to provide the requested information or otherwise fails to comply with FATCA or an IGA, the fund may be required to withhold under FATCA at a rate of 30% with respect to that shareholder on ordinary dividends it pays. The IRS and the Department of Treasury have issued proposed regulations providing that these withholding rules will not be applicable to the gross proceeds of share redemptions or Capital Gain Dividends the fund pays. If a payment by the fund is subject to FATCA withholding, the fund is required to withhold even if such payment would otherwise be exempt from withholding under the rules applicable to foreign shareholders described above (e.g., short-term capital gain dividends and interest-related dividends).
Each prospective investor is urged to consult its tax advisor regarding the applicability of FATCA and any other reporting requirements with respect to the prospective investor’s own situation, including investments through an intermediary.
General Considerations. The U.S. federal income tax discussion set forth above is for general information only. Prospective investors should consult their tax advisers regarding the specific federal tax consequences of purchasing, holding, and disposing of shares of the fund, as well as the effects of state, local and foreign tax law and any proposed tax law changes.
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|Name, Address1, Year of Birth, Position(s) Held with Fund and Length of Service as a Trustee2||Principal Occupation(s) During Past 5 Years||Other Directorships Held by Trustee|
|Liaquat Ahamed (Born 1952), Trustee since 2021||Author; won Pulitzer Prize for Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World.||Chairman of the Sun Valley Writers Conference, a literary not-for-profit organization; and a Trustee of the Journal of Philosophy.|
|Katinka Domotorffy (Born 1975), Trustee since 2021||Voting member of the Investment Committees of the Anne Ray Foundation and Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, part of the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies.||Director of the Great Lakes Science Center and of College Now Greater Cleveland.|
Catharine Bond Hill (Born 1954), Trustee since 2021
Managing Director of Ithaka S+R, a not-for-profit service that helps the academic community navigate economic and technological change.
From 2006 to 2016, Dr. Hill served as the 10th president of Vassar College.
|Director of Yale-NUS College; and Trustee of Yale University.|
|Mona K. Sutphen (Born 1967), Trustee since 2021||Senior Adviser at The Vistria Group, a private investment firm focused on middle-market companies in the healthcare, education, and financial services industries. From 2014 to 2018, Partner at Marco Advisory Partners, a global consulting firm.||Director of Unitek Learning, a private nursing and medical services education provider in the United States; previous Director of Pattern Energy, a publicly traded renewable energy company; Board Member, International Rescue Committee; Co-Chair of the Board of Human Rights First; Trustee of Mount Holyoke College; and Member of the Advisory Board for the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.|
|Aaron Cooper (Born 1977), Trustee since 2020||Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Putnam Investments.||None.|
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1 The address of each Trustee is 100 Federal Street, Boston, MA 02110. As of the date of this SAI, each Trustee (except Mr. Cooper) oversees a total of 102 Putnam funds in the complex. Mr. Cooper oversees a total of 6 Putnam funds in the complex.
2 Each Trustee serves for an indefinite term, until his or her resignation, retirement during the year he or she reaches age 75, death or removal.
*Trustee who is an “interested person” (as defined in the 1940 Act) of the fund and Putnam Management. Mr. Cooper is deemed an “interested person” by virtue of his positions as an officer of the fund and Putnam Management. Mr. Cooper is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Putnam Investments, LLC and President and Principal Executive Officer of the Trust.
Below is a brief description of the experience, qualifications, attributes and skills that contributed to the conclusion that each Independent Trustee should serve on the Board.
Liaquat Ahamed -- Mr. Ahamed’s experience as Chief Executive Officer of a major investment management organization and as head of the investment division at the World Bank, as well as his experience as an author of economic literature.
Katinka Domotorffy -- Ms. Domotorffy’s experience as Chief Investment Officer and Global Head of Quantitative Investment Strategies at a major asset management organization.
Catharine Bond Hill -- Dr. Hill’s education and experience as an economist and as president and provost of colleges in the United States.
Mona K. Sutphen – Ms. Sutphen’s extensive experience advising corporate, philanthropic and institutional investors on the intersection of geopolitics, policy and markets, as well as her prior service as White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and as a US Foreign Service Officer, her work advising financial services companies on macro risks, and her service as director of public companies.
Each Independent Trustee’s current service as a member of the Board of Trustees of the other funds in the Putnam funds complex also demonstrated a high level of diligence and commitment to the interests of fund shareholders and an ability to work effectively and collegially with other members of the Board.
Below is a brief description of the experience, qualifications, attributes and skills that contributed to the conclusion that the Interested Trustee should serve on the Board.
Aaron Cooper -- Mr. Cooper’s education and extensive experience as a senior executive of one of the largest mutual fund organizations in the United States and his current role as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Putnam Investments.
In addition to Aaron Cooper, the Trust’s President, the other officers of the Trust are shown below. All of the officers of the Trust are employees of Putnam Management or its affiliates.
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|Name, Address1, Year of Birth, Position(s) Held with Fund||
Length of Service with the Trust2
|Principal Occupation(s) During Past 5 Years and Position(s) with Fund’s Investment Adviser and Distributor3|
Stephen J. Tate (Born 1974)
Vice President and Chief Legal Officer
General Counsel, Putnam Investments, Putnam Management and Putnam Retail Management
(2021 – Present).
Deputy General Counsel and related positions, Putnam Investments, Putnam Management and Putnam Retail Management (2004-2021).
James F. Clark3 (Born 1974)
Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer
Chief Compliance Officer, Putnam Investments and Putnam Management (2016 – Present).
Associate General Counsel, Putnam Investments, Putnam Management and Putnam Retail Management (2003-2015).
Peter Fariel (Born 1957)
|Since 2021||Deputy General Counsel, Putnam Investments and Putnam Management.|
Janet C. Smith (Born 1965)
Vice President, Principal Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer, and Assistant Treasurer
|Since 2021||Head of Fund Administration Services, Putnam Investments and Putnam Management.|
Susan G. Malloy (Born 1957)
Vice President and Assistant Treasurer
|Since 2021||Head of Accounting, Middle Office, and Control Services, Putnam Investments, and Putnam Management.|
|Mark C. Trenchard (Born 1962) Vice President||Since 2021||Director of Operational Compliance, Putnam Investments and Putnam Retail Management.|
Richard T. Kircher (Born 1962)
Vice President and BSA Compliance Officer
|Since 2021||Assistant Director, Operational Compliance, Putnam Investments and Putnam Retail Management (2015 – Present). Sr. Manager, Operational Compliance, Putnam Investments and Putnam Retail Management (2004-2015).|
Venice Monagan (Born 1977)
|Since 2021||Senior Counsel, Putnam Investments and Putnam Management.|
Caitlin Robinson (Born 1983)
|Since 2021||Senior Counsel, Putnam Investments and Putnam Management.|
Alan McCormack (Born 1964)
Vice President and Derivatives Risk Manager
Head of Quantitative Equities and Risk, Putnam Investments.
Martin Lemaire (Born 1984)
Vice President and Derivatives Risk Manager
Risk Manager, Putnam Investments
(2020 – Present). Risk Analyst, Putnam Investments
(2016 – 2020).
1The address of each Officer is 100 Federal Street, Boston, MA 02110.
2Each officer serves for an indefinite term, until his or her resignation, retirement, death or removal.
3Prior positions and/or officer appointments with the fund or the fund’s investment adviser and distributor have been omitted.
Except as stated above, the principal occupations of the officers and Trustees for the last five years have been with the employers as shown above, although in some cases they have held different positions with such employers.
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Board Leadership Structure and Standing Committees
Board Leadership Structure. Currently, four out of the five Trustees of the Trust are Independent Trustees, meaning that they are not considered “interested persons” of the Trust or Putnam Management. These Independent Trustees must vote separately to approve all financial arrangements and other agreements with Putnam Management and other affiliated parties. The role of independent trustees has been characterized as that of a “watchdog” charged with oversight to protect shareholders’ interests against overreaching and abuse by those who are in a position to control or influence a fund. The Independent Trustees meet regularly as a group in executive session (i.e., without representatives of Putnam Management or its affiliates present). An Independent Trustee currently serves as chair of the Board.
Standing Committee. The Board has one standing committees, the Audit Committee, and has delegated certain responsibilities to this Committee. The Committee is chaired by an Independent Trustee and comprised entirely of Independent Trustees.
Audit Committee. The Audit Committee’s responsibilities include: (i) approving the selection, retention, termination and compensation of the Trust’s Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm; (ii) reviewing the scope of the Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm’s audit activity; (iii) reviewing the audited financial statements; and (iv) reviewing with such Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm the adequacy and the effectiveness of the Trust’s internal controls. The Audit Committee is chaired by an Independent Trustee and composed entirely of Independent Trustees. The current members are Dr. Hill (Chair), Mr. Ahamed, and Mses. Domotorffy and Sutphen.
For details regarding the number of times the standing committee of the Board of Trustees met during a fund’s last fiscal year, see “Trustee responsibilities and fees” in Part I of this SAI.
Risk Oversight. While risk management is the primary responsibility of the fund’s investment manager, the Trustees receive reports regarding investment risks, compliance risks and other risks. The Board also meets periodically with the funds’ Chief Compliance Officer to receive compliance reports. In addition, the Board meets periodically with the portfolio managers of the funds to receive reports regarding the management of the funds. The Board recognizes that the reports it receives concerning risk management matters are, by their nature, typically summaries of the relevant information. Moreover, the Board recognizes that not all risks that may affect the fund can be identified in advance; that it may not be practical or cost effective to eliminate or to mitigate certain risks; that it may be necessary to bear certain risks (such as investment-related risks) in seeking to achieve the fund’s investment objectives; and that the processes, procedures and controls employed to address certain risks may be limited in their effectiveness. As a result of the foregoing and for other reasons, the Board’s risk management oversight is subject to substantial limitations.
Subject to certain exceptions specified therein, the Trust’s Amended and Restated Agreement and Declaration of Trust provides that the Trust and each fund will indemnify its Trustees and officers to the fullest extent permitted by law against liability and against all expenses reasonably incurred or paid by him or her in connection with any claim, action, suit or proceeding in which he or she becomes involved as a party or otherwise by virtue of his or her being or having been a trustee or officer of the Trust and against amounts paid or incurred by him or her in the settlement thereof. Each fund, at its expense, provides liability insurance for the benefit of its Trustees and officers.
For details of Trustees’ fees paid by the fund and information concerning retirement guidelines for the Trustees, see “Charges and expenses” in Part I of this SAI.
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Putnam Management and its Affiliates
Putnam Management is one of America’s oldest and largest money management firms. Putnam Management’s staff of experienced portfolio managers and research analysts selects securities and constantly supervises the fund’s portfolio. By pooling an investor’s money with that of other investors, a greater variety of securities can be purchased than would be the case individually; the resulting diversification helps reduce investment risk. Putnam Management has been managing mutual funds since 1937.
Putnam Management is a subsidiary of Putnam Investments. Great-West Lifeco Inc., a financial services holding company with operations in Canada, the United States and Europe and a member of the Power Financial Corporation group of companies, owns a majority interest in Putnam Investments. Power Financial Corporation, a diversified management and holding company with direct and indirect interests in the financial services sector in Canada, the United States and Europe, is a subsidiary of Power Corporation of Canada, a diversified international management and holding company with interests in companies in the financial services, communications and other business sectors. The Desmarais Family Residuary Trust, a trust established pursuant to the Last Will and Testament of the Honourable Paul G. Desmarais, directly and indirectly controls a majority of the voting shares of Power Corporation of Canada.
Trustees and officers of the fund who are also officers of Putnam Management or its affiliates or who are stockholders of Putnam Investments or its parent companies will benefit from the advisory fees, sales commissions, distribution fees and transfer agency fees paid or allowed by the fund.
The Management Contract
Under a Management Contract between the fund and Putnam Management, subject to such policies as the Trustees may determine, Putnam Management, at its expense, furnishes continuously an investment program for the fund and makes investment decisions on behalf of the fund. Subject to the control of the Trustees, Putnam Management also manages, supervises and conducts the other affairs and business of the fund, furnishes all necessary investment and management facilities, including salaries of personnel, required for it to execute its duties faithfully, furnishes office space and equipment, provides bookkeeping and clerical services (including determination of the fund’s net asset value, but excluding shareholder accounting services) and places all orders for the purchase and sale of the fund’s portfolio securities. Putnam Management may place fund portfolio transactions with broker-dealers that furnish Putnam Management, without cost to it, certain research services of value to Putnam Management and its affiliates in advising the fund and other clients. In so doing, Putnam Management may cause the fund to pay greater brokerage commissions than it might otherwise pay.
For details of Putnam Management’s compensation under the Management Contract, see “Charges and expenses” in Part I of this SAI.
The Management Contract provides that Putnam Management shall not be subject to any liability to the fund or to any shareholder of the fund for any act or omission in the course of or connected with rendering services to the fund in the absence of willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of its duties on the part of Putnam Management.
The Management Contract may be terminated without penalty by vote of the Trustees or the shareholders of the fund, or by Putnam Management, on not less than 60 days’ written notice. Subject to certain exceptions, it may be amended only by a vote of the shareholders of the fund. The Management Contract also terminates without payment of any penalty in the event of its assignment. The Management Contract provides that it will continue in effect only so long as such continuance is approved at least annually by vote of either the Trustees or the shareholders, and, in either case, by a majority of the Trustees who are not “interested persons” of
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Putnam Management or the fund. In each of the foregoing cases, the vote of the shareholders is the affirmative vote of a “majority of the outstanding voting securities” as defined in the 1940 Act.
Putnam Management has entered into a Master Sub-Accounting Services Agreement with State Street Bank and Trust Company (“State Street”), under which Putnam Management has delegated to State Street responsibility for providing certain administrative, pricing, and bookkeeping services for the fund. Putnam Management pays State Street a fee, monthly, based on a combination of fixed annual charges and charges based on the fund’s assets and the number and types of securities held by the fund, and reimburses State Street for certain out-of-pocket expenses.
If so disclosed in the fund’s prospectus, PIL, an affiliate of Putnam Management, has been retained as the sub-manager for a portion of the assets of the fund, as determined by Putnam Management from time to time, pursuant to a sub-management agreement between Putnam Management and PIL. Under the terms of the sub-management contract, PIL, at its own expense, furnishes continuously an investment program for that portion of each such fund that is allocated to PIL from time to time by Putnam Management and makes investment decisions on behalf of such portion of the fund, subject to the supervision of Putnam Management. Putnam Management may also, at its discretion, request PIL to provide assistance with purchasing and selling securities for the fund, including placement of orders with certain broker-dealers. PIL, at its expense, furnishes all necessary investment and management facilities, including salaries of personnel, required for it to execute its duties.
The sub-management contract provides that PIL shall not be subject to any liability to Putnam Management, the fund or any shareholder of the fund for any act or omission in the course of or connected with rendering services to the fund in the absence of willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of its obligations and duties on the part of PIL.
The sub-management contract may be terminated with respect to a fund without penalty by vote of the Trustees or the shareholders of the fund, or by PIL or Putnam Management, on not more than 60 days’ nor less than 30 days’ written notice. The sub-management contract also terminates without payment of any penalty in the event of its assignment. Subject to applicable law, it may be amended by a majority of the Trustees who are not “interested persons” of Putnam Management or the fund. The sub-management contract provides that it will continue in effect only so long as such continuance is approved at least annually by vote of either the Trustees or the shareholders, and, in either case, by a majority of the Trustees who are not “interested persons” of Putnam Management or the fund. In each of the foregoing cases, the vote of the shareholders is the affirmative vote of a “majority of the outstanding voting securities” as defined in the 1940 Act.
PanAgora Asset Management, Inc.
If so disclosed in the fund’s prospectus, PanAgora, an affiliate of Putnam Management, has been retained as the sub-adviser for a portion of the assets of the fund, as determined from time to time by Putnam Management, by Putnam Management pursuant to a sub-advisory agreement between Putnam Management and PanAgora.
PanAgora, a Delaware corporation organized in 1985 and incorporated in 1989, is located at One International Place, 24th Floor, Boston, Massachusetts 02110. The voting interests in PanAgora are owned by Power Financial Corporation (through a series of subsidiaries, including Great West Lifeco Inc. and Putnam Investments, LLC). In addition, certain PanAgora employees own non-voting interests in PanAgora. Assuming all employee stock and options are issued and exercised, up to 20% of the economic interest in PanAgora would be owned by PanAgora employees.
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Under certain terms of the sub-advisory agreement, PanAgora, at its own expense, furnishes continuously an investment program for that portion of each such fund that is allocated to PanAgora from time to time by Putnam Management, and makes investment decisions on behalf of such portion of the fund, subject to the supervision of the Board of Trustees and Putnam Management.
PanAgora, at its expense, furnishes all necessary investment and management facilities, including salaries of personnel, required for it to execute its duties. The sub-advisory agreement provides that PanAgora shall not be subject to any liability to Putnam Management, the fund or any shareholder of the fund for any act or omission in the course of or connected with rendering services to the fund in the absence of willful misfeasance, bad faith, gross negligence or reckless disregard of its obligations and duties on the part of PanAgora.
The sub-advisory agreement may be terminated with respect to a fund without penalty by vote of the Trustees or the shareholders of the fund, or by PanAgora or Putnam Management, on not more than 60 days’ nor less than 30 days’ written notice. The sub-advisory agreement also terminates without payment of any penalty in the event of its assignment. Subject to applicable law, it may be amended by a majority of the Trustees who are not “interested persons” of Putnam Management or the fund. The sub-advisory agreement provides that it will continue in effect only so long as such continuance is approved at least annually by vote of either the Trustees or the shareholders, and, in either case, by a majority of the Trustees who are not “interested persons” of Putnam Management or the fund. In each of the foregoing cases, the vote of the shareholders is the affirmative vote of a “majority of the outstanding voting securities” as defined in the 1940 Act.
Potential conflicts of interest in managing multiple accounts.
Like other investment professionals with multiple clients, the fund’s Portfolio Manager(s) may face certain potential conflicts of interest in connection with managing both the fund and the other accounts listed under “PORTFOLIO MANAGER(S)” “Other accounts managed” at the same time. The paragraphs below describe some of these potential conflicts, which Putnam Management believes are faced by investment professionals at most major financial firms. As described below, Putnam Management and the Trustees of the Putnam funds have adopted compliance policies and procedures that attempt to address certain of these potential conflicts.
The management of accounts with different advisory fee rates and/or fee structures, including accounts that pay advisory fees based on account performance (“performance fee accounts”), may raise potential conflicts of interest by creating an incentive to favor higher-fee accounts. These potential conflicts may include, among others:
• The most attractive investments could be allocated to higher-fee accounts or performance fee accounts.
• The trading of higher-fee accounts could be favored as to timing and/or execution price. For example, higher-fee accounts could be permitted to sell securities earlier than other accounts when a prompt sale is desirable or to buy securities at an earlier and more opportune time.
• The trading of other accounts could be used to benefit higher-fee accounts (front-running).
• The investment management team could focus their time and efforts primarily on higher-fee accounts due to a personal stake in compensation.
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Putnam Management attempts to address these potential conflicts of interest relating to higher-fee accounts through various compliance policies that are generally intended to place all accounts, regardless of fee structure, on the same footing for investment management purposes. For example, under Putnam Management’s policies:
• Performance fee accounts must be included in all standard trading and allocation procedures with all other accounts.
• All accounts must be allocated to a specific category of account and trade in parallel with allocations of similar accounts based on the procedures generally applicable to all accounts in those groups (e.g., based on relative risk budgets of accounts).
• All trading must be effected through Putnam’s trading desks and normal queues and procedures must be followed (i.e., no special treatment is permitted for performance fee accounts or higher-fee accounts based on account fee structure).
• Front running is strictly prohibited.
• Except as provided in Part I of this SAI, the fund’s Portfolio Manager(s) may not be guaranteed or specifically allocated any portion of a performance fee.
As part of these policies, Putnam Management has also implemented trade oversight and review procedures in order to monitor whether particular accounts (including higher-fee accounts or performance fee accounts) are being favored over time.
Potential conflicts of interest may also arise when the Portfolio Manager(s) have personal investments in other accounts that may create an incentive to favor those accounts. As a general matter and subject to limited exceptions, Putnam Management’s investment professionals do not have the opportunity to invest in client accounts, other than the Putnam funds. However, in the ordinary course of business, Putnam Management or related persons may from time to time establish “pilot” or “incubator” accounts for the purpose of testing proposed investment strategies and products before offering them to clients. These pilot accounts may be in the form of registered investment companies, private funds such as partnerships or separate accounts established by Putnam Management or an affiliate. Putnam Management or an affiliate supplies the funding for these accounts. Putnam employees, including the fund’s Portfolio Manager(s), may also invest in certain pilot accounts. Putnam Management, and to the extent applicable, the Portfolio Manager(s) will benefit from the favorable investment performance of pilot accounts. Pilot funds and accounts may, and frequently do, invest in the same securities as the client accounts. Putnam Management’s policy is to treat pilot accounts in the same manner as client accounts for purposes of trading allocation – neither favoring nor disfavoring them except as is legally required. For example, pilot accounts are normally included in Putnam Management’s daily block trades to the same extent as client accounts (except that pilot accounts do not participate in initial public offerings).
A potential conflict of interest may arise when the fund and other accounts purchase or sell the same securities. On occasions when the Portfolio Manager(s) consider the purchase or sale of a security to be in the best interests of the fund as well as other accounts, Putnam Management’s trading desk may, to the extent permitted by applicable laws and regulations and where practicable, aggregate the securities to be sold or purchased in order to obtain the best execution and lower brokerage commissions, if any. Aggregation of trades may create the potential for unfairness to the fund or another account if one account is favored over another in allocating the securities purchased or sold – for example, by allocating a disproportionate amount of a security that is likely to increase in value to a favored account. Putnam Management’s trade allocation policies generally provide that each day’s transactions in securities that are purchased or sold by multiple accounts are, insofar as possible, averaged as to price and allocated between such accounts (including the fund) in a manner which in Putnam Management’s opinion is equitable to each account and in accordance with the amount being purchased or sold by each account. However, accounts advised or sub-advised by PIL will only place trades at an execution-only commission rate, whereas other Putnam accounts may pay an additional amount for research and other products and services (a “bundled” or “full service” rate). Putnam Management may aggregate trades in PIL accounts with other Putnam accounts that pay a bundled rate as long as all participating accounts pay
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the same execution rate. To the extent that non-PIL accounts pay a bundled rate, the PIL and other Putnam Management accounts would not be paying the same total commission rate. Certain other exceptions exist for specialty, regional or sector accounts. Trade allocations are reviewed on a periodic basis as part of Putnam Management’s trade oversight procedures in an attempt to ensure fairness over time across accounts.
“Cross trades,” in which one Putnam account sells a particular security to another account (potentially saving transaction costs for both accounts), may also pose a potential conflict of interest. Cross trades may be seen to involve a potential conflict of interest if, for example, one account is permitted to sell a security to another account at a higher price than an independent third party would pay, or if such trades result in more attractive investments being allocated to higher-fee accounts. Putnam Management and the fund’s Trustees have adopted compliance procedures that provide that any transactions between the fund and another Putnam-advised account are to be made at an independent current market price, as required by law.
Another potential conflict of interest may arise based on the different goals and strategies of the fund and other accounts. For example, another account may have a shorter-term investment horizon or different goals, policies or restrictions than the fund. Depending on goals or other factors, the Portfolio Manager(s) may give advice and make decisions for another account that may differ from advice given, or the timing or nature of decisions made, with respect to the fund. In addition, investment decisions are the product of many factors in addition to basic suitability for the particular account involved. Thus, a particular security may be bought or sold for certain accounts even though it could have been bought or sold for other accounts at the same time. More rarely, a particular security may be bought for one or more accounts managed by the Portfolio Manager(s) when one or more other accounts are selling the security (including short sales). There may be circumstances when purchases or sales of portfolio securities for one or more accounts may have an adverse effect on other accounts. As noted above, Putnam Management has implemented trade oversight and review procedures to monitor whether any account is systematically favored over time.
Under federal securities laws, a short sale of a security by another client of Putnam Management or its affiliates (other than another registered investment company) within five business days prior to a public offering of the same securities (the timing of which is generally not known to Putnam in advance) may prohibit the fund from participating in the public offering, which could cause the fund to miss an otherwise favorable investment opportunity or to pay a higher price for the securities in the secondary markets.
The fund’s Portfolio Manager(s) may also face other potential conflicts of interest in managing the fund, and the description above is not a complete description of every conflict that could be deemed to exist in managing both the fund and other accounts. For information on restrictions imposed on personal securities transactions of the fund’s Portfolio Manager(s), please see “Personal Investments by Employees of Putnam Management and Putnam Retail Management and Officers and Trustees of the Fund.”
The portfolio managers’ management of other accounts may give rise to potential conflicts of interest in connection with their management of the fund’s investments, on the one hand, and the investments of the other accounts, on the other. The other accounts include retirement plans and separately managed accounts (“SMA’s”), as well as incubated accounts. The other accounts might have similar investment objectives as the fund, or hold, purchase or sell securities that are eligible to be held, purchased or sold by the fund. While the portfolio managers’ management of other accounts may give rise to the following potential conflicts of interest, PanAgora does not believe that the conflicts, if any, are material or, to the extent any such conflicts are material, PanAgora believes that it has designed policies and procedures to manage those conflicts in an appropriate way.
A potential conflict of interest may arise as a result of the portfolio managers’ day-to-day management of the fund. Because of their positions with the fund, the portfolio managers know the size, timing and possible market impact of the fund’s trades. It is theoretically possible that the portfolio managers could use this
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information to the advantage of other accounts they manage and to the possible detriment of the fund. However, PanAgora has adopted policies and procedures reasonably designed to allocate investment opportunities on a fair and equitable basis over time.
A potential conflict of interest may arise as a result of the portfolio managers’ management of the fund, and other accounts, which, in theory, may allow them to allocate investment opportunities in a way that favors other accounts over the fund. This conflict of interest may be exacerbated to the extent that PanAgora or the portfolio managers receive, or expect to receive, greater compensation from their management of the other accounts than the fund. Notwithstanding this theoretical conflict of interest, it is PanAgora’s policy to manage each account based on its investment objectives and related restrictions and, as discussed above, PanAgora has adopted policies and procedures reasonably designed to allocate investment opportunities on a fair and equitable basis over time and in a manner consistent with each account’s investment objectives and related restrictions. For example, while the portfolio managers may buy for other accounts securities that differ in identity or quantity from securities bought for the fund, such securities might not be suitable for the fund given its investment objective and related restrictions.
For information about other funds and accounts managed by the fund’s Portfolio Manager(s), please refer to “Who oversees and manages the fund(s)?” in the prospectus and “PORTFOLIO MANAGER(S)” “Other accounts managed” in Part I of the SAI.
Brokerage and research services.
Transactions on stock exchanges, commodities markets and futures markets and other agency transactions involve the payment by the fund of negotiated brokerage commissions. Such commissions may vary among different brokers. A particular broker may charge different commissions according to such factors as execution venue and exchange. Although the fund does not typically pay commissions for principal transactions in the over-the-counter markets, such as the markets for most fixed income securities and certain derivatives, an undisclosed amount of profit or “mark-up” is included in the price the fund pays. In underwritten offerings, the price paid by the fund includes a disclosed, fixed commission or discount retained by the underwriter or dealer. See “Charges and expenses” in Part I of this SAI for information concerning commissions paid by the fund.
It has for many years been a common practice in the investment advisory business for broker-dealers that execute portfolio transactions for the clients of advisers of investment companies and other institutional investors to provide those advisers with brokerage and research services, as defined in Section 28(e) of the Exchange Act. Consistent with this practice, Putnam Management receives brokerage and research services from broker-dealers with which Putnam Management places the fund’s portfolio transactions. The products and services that broker-dealers may provide to Putnam Management’s managers and analysts include, among others, trading systems and other brokerage services, economic and political analysis, fundamental and macro investment research, industry and company reviews, statistical information, market data, evaluations of investments, strategies, markets and trading venues, recommendations as to the purchase and sale of investments, performance measurement services and meetings with management of current or prospective portfolio companies or with industry experts. Some of these services are of value to Putnam Management and its affiliates in advising various of their clients (including the fund), although not all of these services are necessarily useful and of value in managing the fund. Research services provided by broker-dealers are supplemental to Putnam Management’s own research efforts and relieve Putnam Management of expenses it might otherwise have borne in generating such research. The management fee paid by the fund is not reduced because Putnam Management and its affiliates receive brokerage and research services even though Putnam Management might otherwise be required to purchase some of these services for cash. Putnam Management may also use portfolio transactions to generate “soft dollar” credits to pay for “mixed-use” services (i.e., products or services that may be used both for investment/brokerage- and non-investment/brokerage-related purposes), but in such instances Putnam Management uses its own resources to pay for that portion of the mixed-use product or service that in its good-faith judgment does not relate to investment or brokerage
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purposes. Putnam Management may also allocate trades to generate soft dollar credits for third-party investment research reports and related fundamental research.
Putnam Management places all orders for the purchase and sale of portfolio investments for the funds, and buys and sells investments for the funds, through a substantial number of brokers and dealers. In selecting broker-dealers to execute the funds’ portfolio transactions, Putnam Management uses its best efforts to obtain for each fund the most favorable price and execution reasonably available under the circumstances, except to the extent it may be permitted to pay higher brokerage commissions as described below. In seeking the most favorable price and execution and in considering the overall reasonableness of the brokerage commissions paid, Putnam Management, having in mind the fund’s best interests, considers all factors it deems relevant, including, in no particular order of importance, and by way of illustration, the price, size and type of the transaction, the nature of the market for the security or other investment, the amount of the commission, research and brokerage services provided by a broker-dealer, the timing of the transaction taking into account market prices and trends, the reputation, experience and financial stability of the broker-dealer involved, the benefit of any capital committed by a broker-dealer to facilitate the efficient execution of the transaction and the quality of service rendered by the broker-dealer in other transactions.
Putnam Management may cause the fund to pay a broker-dealer that provides “brokerage and research services” (as defined in the Exchange Act and as described above) to Putnam Management an amount of disclosed commission for effecting securities transactions on stock exchanges and other transactions for the fund on an agency basis in excess of the commission another broker-dealer would have charged for effecting that transaction. Putnam Management may also instruct an executing broker to “step out” a portion of the trades placed with a broker to other brokers that provide brokerage and research services to Putnam Management. Putnam Management’s authority to cause the fund to pay any such greater commissions or to instruct a broker to “step out” a portion of a trade is subject to the requirements of applicable law and such policies as the Trustees may adopt from time to time. It is the position of the staff of the SEC that Section 28(e) of the Exchange Act does not apply to the payment of such greater commissions in “principal” transactions. Accordingly, Putnam Management will use its best effort to obtain the most favorable price and execution available with respect to such transactions, as described above.
The Management Contract provides that commissions, fees, brokerage or similar payments received by Putnam Management or an affiliate in connection with the purchase and sale of portfolio investments of the fund, less any direct expenses approved by the Trustees, shall be recaptured by the fund through a reduction of the fee payable by the fund under the Management Contract. Putnam Management seeks to recapture for the fund soliciting dealer fees on the tender of the fund’s portfolio securities in tender or exchange offers. Any such fees which may be recaptured are likely to be minor in amount.
For those funds sub-advised by PIL and where PIL places trades on behalf of those funds, the rules of the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (the “FCA Rules”) apply with respect to the receipt of investment research. Under the FCA Rules, PIL may not obtain research using brokerage commissions paid by funds sub-advised by PIL. PIL will use only “hard dollars” (i.e., from its own resources) to acquire external research used by London-based personnel, including fixed income personnel, except with respect to Minor Non-Monetary Benefits.
Minor Non-Monetary Benefits include, among other categories:
|•||Research from independent research providers who are not engaged in execution services and are not part of a financial services group that offers execution or brokerage services;|
|•||Research on listed and unlisted small and medium-sized enterprises with a market capitalization below £200 million;|
|•||Research focusing on fixed income, currency, and commodity investment strategies; and|
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|•||Written research that is openly available to other firms or to the general public.|
PIL may use soft dollar commissions generated by trades of Putnam Management and other Putnam affiliates other than PIL to obtain research received by employees of PIL that qualify as a Minor Non-Monetary Benefit.
Foreside, located at Three Canal Plaza, Suite 100, Portland, ME 04101, is the principal underwriter of shares of the funds. Foreside is a registered broker-dealer and a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Foreside is not affiliated with Putnam Management or any other service provider for the funds.
See “Charges and expenses” in Part I of this SAI for information on payments received by Foreside.
Personal Investments by Employees of Putnam Management and Officers and Trustees of the Fund
Employees of Putnam Management, PIL, and officers and Trustees of the fund are subject to significant restrictions on engaging in personal securities transactions. These restrictions are set forth in the Codes of Ethics adopted by Putnam Management and PIL (the “Putnam Investments Code of Ethics”) and by the funds (the “Putnam ETFs Code of Ethics” and each of the Putnam Investments Code of Ethics and the Putnam ETFs Code of Ethics, a “Code of Ethics”). Each Code of Ethics, in accordance with Rule 17j-1 under the 1940 Act, contains provisions and requirements designed to identify and address certain conflicts of interest between personal investment activities and the interests of the fund.
The Putnam Investments Code of Ethics does not prohibit personnel from investing in securities that may be purchased or held by the fund. However, each Code of Ethics, consistent with standards recommended by the Investment Company Institute’s Advisory Group on Personal Investing and requirements established by Rule 17j-1 and rules adopted under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, among other things, prohibits personal securities investments without pre-clearance, imposes time periods during which personal transactions may not be made in certain securities by employees with access to investment information, and requires the timely submission of broker confirmations and quarterly reporting of personal securities transactions. Additional restrictions apply to portfolio managers, traders, research analysts and others involved in the investment advisory process.
The Putnam ETFs Code of Ethics incorporates and applies the restrictions of the Putnam Investments Code of Ethics to officers and Trustees of the fund who are affiliated with Putnam Investments. The Putnam ETFs Code of Ethics does not prohibit unaffiliated officers and Trustees from investing in securities that may be held by the fund; however, the Putnam ETFs Code of Ethics regulates the personal securities transactions of unaffiliated Trustees of the fund, including limiting the time periods during which they may personally buy and sell certain securities and requiring them to submit reports of personal securities transactions under certain circumstances.
The fund’s Trustees, in compliance with Rule 17j-1, approved each Code of Ethics and are required to approve any material changes to each Code of Ethics. The Trustees also provide continued oversight of personal investment policies and annually evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of each Code of Ethics.
Foreside relies on the principal underwriters exception under Rule 17j-1(c)(3), specifically where the Distributor is not affiliated with the Trust or the Adviser, and no officer, director, or general partner of the Distributor serves as an officer, director, or general partner of the Trust or the Adviser.
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State Street Bank and Trust Company, located at 2 Avenue de Lafayette, Boston, Massachusetts 02111, is the fund’s transfer agent. Putnam Management, and not the fund, bears the cost of these services under the terms of its management contract with the fund.
State Street Bank and Trust Company, located at 2 Avenue de Lafayette, Boston, Massachusetts 02111, is the fund’s custodian. State Street is responsible for safeguarding and controlling the fund’s cash and securities, handling the receipt and delivery of securities, collecting interest and dividends on the fund’s investments, serving as the fund’s foreign custody manager, providing reports on foreign securities depositaries, making payments covering the expenses of the fund and performing other administrative duties. State Street does not determine the investment policies of the fund or decide which securities the fund will buy or sell. State Street has a lien on the fund’s assets to secure charges and advances made by it. The fund may from time to time enter into brokerage arrangements that reduce or recapture fund expenses, including custody expenses. The fund also has an offset arrangement that may reduce the fund’s custody fee based on the amount of cash maintained by its custodian.
Counsel to the Fund
Dechert LLP serves as counsel to the Fund, and is located at Three Bryant Park, 1095 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036-6797.
Counsel to the Independent Trustees
Ropes & Gray LLP serves as counsel to the Independent Trustees, and is located at Prudential Tower, 800 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02199.
DETERMINATION OF NET ASSET VALUE
The fund determines the net asset value per share once each day the NYSE is open. Currently, the NYSE is closed Saturdays, Sundays and the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. The fund determines net asset value as of the close of regular trading on the NYSE, normally 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The net asset value per share equals the total value of its assets, less its liabilities, divided by the number of its outstanding shares.
Securities and other assets (“Securities”) for which market quotations are readily available, as defined by Rule 2a-5 under the 1940 Act, are valued at prices which, in the opinion of Putnam Management, most nearly represent the market values of such Securities. Currently, prices for these Securities are determined using the last reported sale price (or official closing price for Securities listed on certain markets) or, if no sales are reported (as in the case of some Securities traded over-the-counter), the last reported bid price, except that certain Securities are valued at the mean between the last reported bid and ask prices. All other Securities are valued by Putnam Management as “valuation designee” pursuant to Rule 2a-5 at their fair value following procedures approved by the Trustees.
Reliable market quotations are not considered to be readily available for, among other Securities, long-term corporate bonds and notes, certain preferred stocks, tax-exempt securities, and certain foreign securities. These investments are valued at fair value, generally on the basis of valuations furnished by pricing services, which determine valuations for normal, institutional-size trading units of such securities using methods based on
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market transactions for comparable securities and various relationships between securities that are generally recognized by institutional traders. Other Securities, such as various types of options, are valued at fair value on the basis of valuations furnished by broker-dealers or other market intermediaries.
Putnam Management values all other Securities at fair value using its internal resources. The valuation procedures applied in any specific instance are likely to vary from case to case. However, consideration is generally given to the financial position of the issuer and other fundamental analytical data relating to the investment and to the nature of the restrictions on disposition of the Securities (including any registration expenses that might be borne by the fund in connection with such disposition). In addition, specific factors are also generally considered, such as the cost of the investment, the market value of any unrestricted Securities of the same class, the size of the holding, the prices of any recent transactions or offers with respect to such Securities and any available analysts’ reports regarding the issuer. In the case of Securities that are restricted as to resale, Putnam Management determines fair value based on the inherent worth of the Security without regard to the restrictive feature, adjusted for any diminution in value resulting from the restrictive feature.
Generally, trading in certain Securities (such as foreign securities) is substantially completed each day at various times before the close of the NYSE. The closing prices for these Securities in markets or on exchanges outside the U.S. that close before the close of the NYSE may not fully reflect events that occur after such close but before the close of the NYSE. As a result, the fund has adopted fair value pricing procedures, which, among other things, require the fund to fair value foreign equity securities if there has been a movement in the U.S. market that exceeds a specified threshold. Although the threshold may be revised from time to time and the number of days on which fair value prices will be used will vary, it is possible that fair value prices will be used by the fund to a significant extent. In addition, Securities held by some of the funds may be traded in foreign markets that are open for business on days that the fund is not, and the trading of such Securities on those days may have an impact on the value of a shareholder’s investment at a time when the shareholder cannot buy and sell shares of the fund.
Currency exchange rates used in valuing Securities are normally determined as of 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
Occasionally, events affecting such exchange rates may occur between the time of the determination of exchange rates and the close of the NYSE, which, in the absence of fair valuation, would not be reflected in the computation of the fund’s net asset value. If events materially affecting the currency exchange rates occur during such period, then the exchange rates used in valuing affected Securities will be valued by Putnam Management at their fair value following procedures approved by the Trustees.
In addition, because of the amount of time required to collect and process trading information as to large numbers of securities issues, the values of certain Securities (such as convertible bonds, U.S. government securities and tax-exempt securities) are determined based on market quotations collected before the close of the NYSE. Occasionally, events affecting the value of such Securities may occur between the time of the determination of value and the close of the NYSE, which, in the absence of fair value prices, would not be reflected in the computation of the fund’s net asset value. If events materially affecting the value of such Securities occur during such period, then these Securities will be valued by Putnam Management at their fair value following procedures approved by the Trustees. It is expected that any such instance would be very rare.
The fair value of Securities is generally determined as the amount that the fund could reasonably expect to realize from an orderly disposition of such Securities over a reasonable period of time. By its nature, a fair value price is a good faith estimate of the value of a Security at a given point in time and does not reflect an actual market price.
The fund may also value its Securities at fair value under other circumstances pursuant to procedures approved by the Trustees.
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Government Money Market Funds
“Government money market funds” as defined by Rule 2a-7 under the 1940 Act generally value their portfolio securities at amortized cost according to Rule 2a-7 under the 1940 Act.
Since the net income of a money market fund is declared as a dividend each time it is determined, the net asset value per share of a government money market fund typically remains at $1.00 per share immediately after such determination and dividend declaration. Any increase in the value of a shareholder’s investment in a money market fund representing the reinvestment of dividend income is reflected by an increase in the number of shares of that fund in the shareholder’s account on the last business day of each month. It is expected that a money market fund’s net income will normally be positive each time it is determined. However, if because of realized losses on sales of portfolio investments, a sudden rise in interest rates, or for any other reason the net income of a fund determined at any time is a negative amount, a money market fund may offset such amount allocable to each then shareholder’s account from dividends accrued during the month with respect to such account. If, at the time of payment of a dividend, such negative amount exceeds a shareholder’s accrued dividends, a money market fund may reduce the number of outstanding shares by treating the shareholder as having contributed to the capital of the fund that number of full and fractional shares which represent the amount of the excess. Each shareholder is deemed to have agreed to such contribution in these circumstances by his or her investment in a money market fund.
The Trust is a statutory trust organized under Delaware law. Delaware law provides that, except to the extent otherwise provided in the Amended and Restated Agreement and Declaration of Trust, shareholders shall be entitled to the same limitations of personal liability extended to stockholders of private corporations for profit organized under the general corporation law of Delaware. The courts of some states, however, may decline to apply Delaware law on this point. The Amended and Restated Agreement and Declaration of Trust contains an express disclaimer of shareholder liability for the debts, liabilities, obligations, and expenses incurred by, contracted for, or otherwise existing with respect to, the Trust or the funds.
The Amended and Restated Agreement and Declaration of Trust provides that the Trust shall not have any claim against shareholders except for the payment of the purchase price of shares and requires that each agreement, obligation, or instrument entered into or executed by the Trust or the Trustees relating to the Trust or to a fund shall include a provision limiting the obligations created thereby to the Trust or to one or more funds and its or their assets. The Amended and Restated Agreement and Declaration of Trust further provides that shareholders of a fund shall not have a claim on or right to any assets belonging to any other fund.
DISCLOSURE OF PORTFOLIO INFORMATION
The Trustees of the Putnam funds have adopted policies with respect to the disclosure of the fund’s portfolio holdings by the fund, Putnam Management, or their affiliates. These policies provide that information about the fund’s portfolio generally may not be released to any party prior to (i) the day after the posting of such information on the Putnam Investments website, (ii) the filing of the information with the SEC in a required filing, or (iii) the dissemination of such information to all shareholders simultaneously. Certain limited exceptions pursuant to the fund’s policies are described below. In addition, these policies do not apply to the sharing of fund portfolio holdings information with Putnam Investment personnel involved in the management of other Putnam funds that invest in such fund. The Trustees will periodically receive reports from the fund’s Chief Compliance Officer regarding the operation of these policies and procedures, including any arrangements to make non-public disclosures of the fund’s portfolio information to third parties. Putnam Management and its affiliates are not permitted to receive compensation or other consideration in connection with disclosing information about the fund’s portfolio holdings to third parties.
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On each Business Day, before commencement of trading in shares on the listing exchange, each fund will disclose its complete portfolio holdings on its website.
The fund will also file its portfolio holdings with the SEC twice each year on Form N-CSR (with respect to each annual period and semi-annual period). In addition, the fund will file reports of portfolio holdings on Form N-PORT 60 days after each fiscal quarter (for the respective fiscal quarter), with the schedule of portfolio holdings filed on Form N-PORT for the third month of the first and third fiscal quarter made publicly available. Shareholders may obtain the Form N-CSR filings and the publicly available portions of Form N-PORT filings on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov. Form N-CSR filings are available upon filing and information reported on Form N-PORT filings for the third month of a fiscal quarter is available 60 days after the end of the fiscal quarter. You may call the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330 for information about the SEC’s website.
Putnam Management or its affiliates may include fund portfolio information that has already been made public through a Web posting or SEC filing in marketing literature and other communications to shareholders, advisors or other parties, provided that, in the case of information made public through the Web, the information is disclosed no earlier than the day after the date of posting to the website.
In order to address potential conflicts between the interest of fund shareholders, on the one hand, and those of Putnam Management or its affiliated persons or of the fund, on the other hand, the fund’s policies require that non-public disclosures of information regarding the fund’s portfolio may be made only if there is a legitimate business purpose consistent with fiduciary duties to all shareholders of the fund. In addition, the party receiving the non-public information must sign a non-disclosure agreement unless otherwise approved by the Chief Compliance Officer of the fund. Arrangements to make non-public disclosures of the fund’s portfolio information must be approved by the Chief Compliance Officer of the fund. The Chief Compliance Officer will report on an ongoing basis to a committee of the fund’s Board of Trustees consisting only of Trustees who are not “interested persons” of the fund or Putnam Management regarding any such arrangement that the fund may enter into with third parties other than service providers to the fund.
Daily portfolio composition files (“PCFs”) that identify a basket of specified securities that may overlap with the actual or expected portfolio holdings of a fund will be provided as frequently as daily to each fund’s service providers to facilitate the provision of services to each fund and to certain other entities in connection with the dissemination of information necessary for transactions in Creation Units. Each business day prior to the opening of the listing exchange, a PCF containing a list of the names and the required number of shares of each Deposit Security for each fund will be provided for dissemination through the facilities of the NSCC; through other fee-based services to NSCC members; subscribers to the fee-based services, including Authorized Participants; and to entities that publish and/or analyze such information in connection with the process of purchasing or redeeming Creation Units or trading fund shares in the secondary market. In addition to making PCFs available to the NSCC, each fund will disclose the PCF or portions thereof as frequently as daily on www.putnam.com.
The fund may also periodically provide non-public information about its portfolio holdings to rating and ranking organizations and other providers of industry data, such as Lipper Inc., Morningstar Inc., Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters, in connection with those firms’ research on and classification of the fund and in order to gather information about how the fund’s attributes (such as volatility, turnover, and expenses) compare with those of peer funds. The fund may also periodically provide non-public information about its portfolio holdings to consultants that provide portfolio analysis services or other investment research or trading analytics. Such recipients of portfolio holdings include Barclays, Factset, ITG, Trade Infomatics, ConsenSys, ENSO Financial Analytics, Bloomberg and Credit Suisse. Any such rating, ranking, or consulting or other firm would be required to keep the fund’s portfolio information confidential and would be prohibited from trading
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based on the information or otherwise using the information except as necessary in providing services to the fund. Such firms may receive portfolio holdings information only from certain funds and such information may be provided in greater or lesser detail depending on the nature of the services provided by the relevant firm.
In addition, Putnam Management offers model SMA portfolios to sponsoring broker-dealers that in turn offer those portfolios to their customers. The model SMA portfolios may follow investment programs that are similar or identical in material respects to those of specific Putnam funds or other client accounts and, as a result, there may be substantial overlap between the securities holdings and transactions of a model SMA portfolio and those of any similarly managed funds or accounts. When Putnam Management makes changes to a model SMA portfolio, it communicates those changes to sponsoring broker-dealers, and these communications include certain non-public portfolio holdings information and trading instructions. Putnam Management typically provides these changes to sponsoring broker-dealers at the same time that it instructs its trading desk to place trades to effect the same changes for any similarly managed funds or accounts. As a result, it is possible that a broker-dealer offering a model SMA portfolio to its clients, or the clients themselves, may be able to infer the portfolio holdings of any Putnam fund or client account that is managed similarly to the model SMA portfolio and may use this information for their own benefit, which could negatively impact the fund’s or client account’s ability to execute purchase and sale transactions or the price at which those transactions may be executed. To protect against these risks, Putnam Management’s agreements with broker-dealers sponsoring model SMA portfolios contain confidentiality provisions aimed at preventing the misuse of non-public portfolio holdings information. Furthermore, while Putnam Management typically provides sponsoring broker-dealers with trading instructions for model SMA portfolios on a real-time basis, Putnam Management only releases full model SMA portfolio holdings to current and prospective sponsoring broker-dealers in accordance with the portfolio holdings release schedule used for its funds.
INFORMATION SECURITY RISKS
Cyber security risk. With the increased use of interconnected technologies such as the Internet and the dependence on computer systems to perform necessary business functions, investment companies such as the fund and its service providers may be prone to operational, information security and related risks resulting from third-party cyber-attacks and/or other technological malfunctions. Cyber-attacks may include stealing or corrupting data maintained online or digitally, preventing legitimate users from accessing information or services on a website, releasing confidential information without authorization, and causing operational disruption. Successful cyber-attacks against, or security or technology breakdowns of, the fund or its adviser, custodian, transfer agent, or other affiliated or third-party service providers may adversely affect the fund and its shareholders. For example, cyber-attacks may interfere with the processing of shareholder transactions, impact the fund’s ability to calculate its net asset value, cause the release of private shareholder information or confidential fund information, impede trading, cause reputational damage, and subject the fund or others to regulatory fines, penalties or financial losses, reimbursement or other compensation costs, and additional compliance costs. Similar types of cyber security risks also are present for issuers of securities in which the fund invests, which could result in material adverse consequences for such issuers, and may cause the fund’s investment in such securities to lose value. The fund and Putnam Investments may have limited ability to prevent or mitigate cyber-attacks or security or technology breakdowns affecting the fund’s third-party service providers. While Putnam has established business continuity plans and systems designed to prevent or reduce the impact of cyber-attacks, such plans and systems are subject to inherent limitations.
PROXY VOTING GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES
The Trustees of the funds have delegated to Putnam Management the responsibility for the voting of proxies for the securities held in the funds’ portfolios. Putnam Management has established proxy voting guidelines and procedures, which will apply to the voting of proxies for the funds as well as for other investment advisory clients that have delegated proxy voting responsibility to Putnam Management. The proxy voting guidelines summarize Putnam Management’s positions on various issues of concern to investors, and provide direction to
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the proxy voting service used by Putnam Management as to how client portfolio securities should be voted on proposals dealing with particular issues. The proxy voting procedures explain the role of Putnam Management personnel and the proxy voting service in the proxy voting process, describe the procedures for referring matters involving investment considerations to the investment personnel of Putnam Management and describe the procedures for handling potential conflicts of interest. Putnam Management’s proxy voting guidelines and procedures are included in this SAI as Appendix A. Information regarding how the funds voted proxies relating to portfolio securities during the 12-month period ended June 30, 2021, if applicable, is available on the Putnam Individual Investor website, www.putnam.com/individual, and on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. If you have questions about finding forms on the SEC’s website, you may call the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. You may also obtain the Putnam Funds’ proxy voting guidelines and procedures by calling Putnam’s Shareholder Services at 1-800-225-1581.
The ratings of securities in which the fund may invest will be measured at the time of purchase and, to the extent a security is assigned a different rating by one or more of the various rating agencies, Putnam Management may use the highest rating assigned by any agency. Putnam Management will not necessarily sell an investment if its rating is reduced. Below are descriptions of ratings, as provided by the rating agencies, which represent opinions as to the quality of various debt instruments.
Moody’s Investors Service, Inc.
Global Long-Term Rating Scale (original maturity of 1 year or more)
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.
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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.
Global Short-Term Rating Scale (original maturity of 13 months or less)
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 – Issuers (or supporting institutions) rated Not Prime do not fall within any of the Prime rating categories.
US Municipal Short-Term Obligation Ratings
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.
US Municipal Demand Obligation Ratings
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 may lack the structural and/or legal protections necessary to ensure the timely payment of purchase price upon demand.
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Standard & Poor’s
Long-Term Issue Credit Ratings (original maturity of one year or more)
AAA – An obligation rated ‘AAA’ has the highest rating assigned by Standard & Poor’s. The obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitment 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 commitment 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 commitment 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 lead to a weakened capacity of the obligor to meet its financial commitment 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 lowest 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 exposures 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 commitment 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 commitment on the obligation. Adverse business, financial, or economic conditions will likely impair the obligor’s capacity or willingness to meet its financial commitment 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 commitment 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 commitment 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 Standard & Poor’s expects default to be a virtual certainty, regardless of the anticipated time to default.
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 to 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 Standard & Poor’s 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.
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NR – This indicates that no rating has been requested, or that there is insufficient information on which to base a rating, or that Standard & Poor’s does not rate a particular obligation as a matter of policy.
Note: 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.
Short-Term Issue Credit Ratings (original maturity of 365 days or less)
A-1 – A short-term obligation rated’A-1’ is rated in the highest category by Standard & Poor’s. The obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is strong. Within this category, certain obligations are designated with a plus sign (+). This indicates that the obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitment on these obligations is extremely strong.
A-2 – A short-term obligation rated ‘A-2’ is somewhat more susceptible to the adverse effects of changes in circumstances and economic conditions than obligations in higher rating categories. However, the obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is satisfactory.
A-3 – A short-term obligation rated ‘A-3’ exhibits adequate protection parameters. However, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to lead to a weakened capacity of the obligor to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.
B – A short-term obligation 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 which could lead to the obligor’s inadequate capacity to meet its financial commitments.
C – A short-term obligation rated ‘C’ is currently vulnerable to nonpayment and is dependent upon favorable business, financial, and economic conditions for the obligor to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.
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 due date, unless Standard & Poor’s 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. An obligation’s rating is lowered to ‘D’ if it is subject to a distressed exchange offer.
Municipal Short-Term Note Ratings (original maturity of 3 years or less)
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.
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Long-Term Rating Scales
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.
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 which 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 – Exceptionally high levels of credit risk. Default is imminent or inevitable, or the issuer is in standstill. 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.||Fitch Ratings otherwise believes a condition of ‘RD’ or ‘D’ to be imminent or inevitable, including through the formal announcement of a distressed debt exchange.|
RD – Restricted default. ‘RD’ ratings indicate an issuer that in Fitch Ratings’ opinion has experienced an uncured payment default on a bond, loan or other material financial obligation but which has not entered into bankruptcy filings, administration, receivership, liquidation or other formal winding-up procedure, and which has not otherwise ceased operating. This would include:
|a.||the selective payment default on a specific class or currency of debt;|
|b.||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;|
|c.||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; or|
|d.||execution of a distressed debt exchange on one or more material financial obligations.|
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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.
“Imminent” default typically refers to the occasion where a payment default has been intimated by the issuer, and is all but inevitable. This may, for example, be where an issuer has missed a scheduled payment, but (as is typical) has a grace period during which it may cure the payment default. Another alternative would be where an issuer has formally announced a distressed debt exchange, but the date of the exchange still lies several days or weeks in the immediate future.
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.
Note: 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 Issuer Default Rating (IDR) category, or to Long-Term IDR categories below ‘B’.
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 A: Proxy Voting Guidelines
March 26, 2021
Proxy Voting Procedures
Introduction and Summary
Many of Putnam’s investment management clients have delegated to Putnam the authority to vote proxies for shares in the client accounts Putnam manages. Putnam believes that the voting of proxies can be an important tool for institutional investors to promote best practices in corporate governance and votes all proxies in the best interests of its clients as investors. In Putnam’s view, strong corporate governance policies, most notably oversight by an independent board of qualified directors, best serve investors’ interests. Putnam will vote proxies and maintain records of voting of shares for which Putnam has proxy voting authority in accordance with its fiduciary obligations and applicable law.
Putnam’s voting policies are rooted in our views that (1) strong, independent corporate governance is important to long-term company financial performance, and (2) long-term investors’ active engagement with company management, including through the proxy voting process, strengthens issuer accountability and overall market discipline, potentially reducing risk and improving returns over time. Our voting program is offered as a part of our investment management services, at no incremental fee to Putnam, and, while there can be no guarantees, it is intended to offer potential investment benefits over a long-term horizon. Our voting policies are designed with investment considerations in mind, not as a means to pursue particular political, social, or other goals. As a result, we may not support certain proposals whose costs to the issuer (including implementation costs, practicability, and other factors), in Putnam’s view, outweigh their investment merits.
This memorandum sets forth Putnam’s policies for voting proxies. It covers all accounts for which Putnam has proxy voting authority. These accounts are primarily US and international institutional accounts and funds managed or sub-advised by The Putnam Advisory Company, LLC, Putnam Investments Limited and Putnam Fiduciary Trust Company, LLC. In addition, the policies include US mutual funds and other accounts sub-advised by Putnam Investment Management, LLC. In addition, this memorandum sets forth Putnam’s procedures for coordination of proxy voting with the Putnam Mutual Funds. The Trustees of the Putnam Mutual Funds have retained authority for voting proxies but refer many proxy issues to Putnam’s investment professionals for advice.
Putnam has a Proxy Committee composed of senior professionals in the Investment Division. The heads of the Investment Division appoint the members of the Proxy Committee. The Proxy Committee is responsible for setting general policy as to proxies. Specifically, the Committee:
|1.||Reviews these procedures and the Proxy Guidelines annually and approves any amendments considered to be advisable.|
|2.||Considers special proxy issues as they may from time to time arise.|
|3.||Must approve all vote overrides recommended by investment professionals.|
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Proxy Voting Administration
The Putnam Legal and Compliance Department administers Putnam’s proxy voting through a Proxy Manager. (The Proxy Manager as of the date of these procedures is Victoria Card). Under the supervision of senior members of the Legal and Compliance Department, the Proxy Manager has the following duties:
|1.||Annually prepares the Proxy Guidelines and distributes them to the Proxy Committee for review.|
|2.||Coordinates the Proxy Committee’s review of any new or unusual proxy issues and serves as Secretary thereto.|
|3.||Manages the process of referring issues to portfolio managers for voting instructions.|
|4.||Oversees the work of any third-party vendor hired to process proxy votes (as of the date of these procedures Putnam has engaged Glass Lewis & Co. (Glass Lewis) to process proxy votes) and the process of setting up the voting process with Glass Lewis and custodial banks for new clients.|
|5.||Coordinates responses to investment professionals’ questions on proxy issues and proxy policies, including forwarding specialized proxy research from Glass Lewis and other vendors and forwards information to investment professionals prepared by other areas at Putnam.|
|6.||Implements the exception process with respect to referred items on securities held solely in accounts managed by the Global Asset Allocation team described in more detail in the Proxy Referral section below.|
|7.||Maintains required records of proxy votes on behalf of the appropriate Putnam client accounts.|
|8.||Prepares and distributes reports required by Putnam clients.|
Proxy Voting Guidelines
Putnam maintains written voting guidelines (“Guidelines”) setting forth voting positions determined by the Proxy Committee on those issues believed most likely to arise day to day. The Guidelines may call for votes to be cast normally in favor of or opposed to a matter or may deem the matter an item to be referred to investment professionals on a case-by-case basis. A copy of the Guidelines is attached to this memorandum as Exhibit A.
In light of our views on the importance of issuer governance and investor engagement, which we believe are applicable across our various strategies and clients, regardless of a specific portfolio’s investment objective, Putnam will vote all proxies in accordance with the Guidelines, subject to two exceptions as follows:
|1.||If the portfolio managers of client accounts holding the stock of a company with a proxy vote believe that following the Guidelines in any specific case would not be in the clients’ best interests, they may request the Proxy Manager not to follow the guidelines in such case. The request must be in writing and include an explanation of the rationale for doing so. The Proxy Manager will review any such request with a senior member of the Legal and Compliance Department and with the Proxy Committee (or, in cases with limited time, with the Chair of the Proxy Committee acting on the Proxy Committee’s behalf) prior to implementing the request.|
|2.||Putnam may accept instructions to vote proxies under client specific guidelines subject to review and acceptance by the Investment Division and the Legal and Compliance Department.|
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|1.||Putnam may elect not to vote when the security is no longer held.|
|2.||Putnam will abstain on items that require case-by-case review when a vote recommendation from the appropriate investment professional(s) cannot be obtained due to restrictive voting deadlines or other prohibitive operational or administrative requirements.|
|3.||Putnam does not recall shares on loan to vote proxies.|
|4.||Putnam will make its reasonable best efforts to vote all proxies except when impeded by circumstances that are reasonably beyond its control and responsibility, such as custodial proxy voting services, in part or whole, not available or not established by client, or custodial error.|
Proxy Voting Referrals
Under the Guidelines, certain proxy matters will be referred to the Investment Division. The Putnam mutual funds maintain similar proxy procedures which require certain matters to be referred to the investment professionals. The Putnam Proxy Manager and Putnam Funds Proxy Coordinator will coordinate efforts so that in cases where both are referring matters, only one referral will be sent out. The Portfolio Manager receiving the referral request may delegate the vote decision to an appropriate Analyst from among a list of eligible analysts (such list to be approved by the Chief Investment Officer, Equities and Director of Equity Research). The Analyst will be required to make the affirmation and disclosures identified in (3) below. Normally specific referral items will be referred to the portfolio team leader (or another member of the portfolio team he or she designates) whose accounts hold the greatest number of shares of the issuer of the proxies through the Proxy Referral Administration Database. The referral request contains (1) a field that will be used by the portfolio team leader or member for recommending a vote on each referral item, and (2) a field for describing any contacts relating to the proxy referral item the portfolio team may have had with any Putnam employee outside Putnam’s Investment Division or with any person other than a proxy solicitor acting in the normal course of proxy solicitation, and (3) a field for portfolio managers to affirm that they are making vote recommendations in the best interest of client accounts, including Putnam mutual funds, and have disclosed to Compliance any potential conflicts of interest relevant to their vote recommendation.
Putnam may vote any referred items on securities held solely in accounts managed by the Global Asset Allocation (“GAA”) team (and not held by any other investment product team) in accordance with the recommendation of Putnam’s third-party proxy voting service provider. The Proxy Manager will first give the relevant portfolio manager(s) on the GAA team the opportunity to review the referred items and vote on them if they so choose. If the portfolio manager(s) on the GAA team do not decide to make any active voting decision on any of the referred items, the items will be voted in accordance with the service provider’s recommendation. If the security is also held by other investment teams at Putnam, the items will be referred to the largest holder who is not a member of the GAA team.
The portfolio team leader or members who have been requested to provide a recommendation on a proxy referral item will complete the referral request. Upon receiving each completed referral request from the Investment Division, the completed request will be reviewed by the Proxy Manager or the Putnam Funds Proxy Coordinator to be sure it has been completed correctly. If not, the Proxy Manager or Putnam Funds Proxy Coordinator will follow up with representatives of the Investment Division to be sure the referral request is completed correctly.
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Conflicts of Interest
A potential conflict of interest may arise when voting proxies of an issuer which has a significant business relationship with Putnam. For example, Putnam could manage a defined benefit or defined contribution pension plan for the issuer. Putnam’s policy is to vote proxies based solely on the investment merits of the proposal. In order to guard against conflicts, the following procedures have been adopted:
|1.||The Proxy Committee is composed solely of professionals in the Investment Division. Proxy administration is in the Legal and Compliance Department. Neither the Investment Division nor the Legal and Compliance Department report to Putnam’s marketing businesses.|
|2.||No Putnam employee outside the Investment Division may contact any portfolio manager about any proxy vote without first contacting the Proxy Manager or a senior lawyer in the Legal and Compliance Department. There is no prohibition on Putnam employees seeking to communicate investment related information to investment professionals except for Putnam’s restrictions on dissemination of material, non-public information. However, the Proxy Manager will coordinate the delivery of such information to investment professionals to avoid appearances of conflict.|
|3.||Investment professionals responding to referral requests must disclose any contacts with third parties other than normal contact with proxy solicitation firms and must affirm that they are making vote recommendations in the best interest of client accounts, including Putnam mutual funds, and have disclosed to Compliance any potential conflicts of interest relevant to their vote recommendation.|
|4.||The Proxy Manager will review the name of the issuer of each proxy that contains a referral item against various sources of Putnam business relationships maintained by the Legal and Compliance Department or Client Service for potential material business relationships (i.e., conflicts of interest). For referrals involving the Putnam mutual funds, the Proxy Manager will complete the Proxy Voting Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form (attached as Exhibit B and C) via the Proxy Referral Administration Database for review by the Mutual Funds’ proxy voting manager prior to vote execution. The Proxy Voting Manager will also complete the Proxy Voting Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form for referrals not involving Putnam mutual funds and will prepare a quarterly report for the Chief Compliance Officer identifying all completed Conflict of Interest Disclosure forms.|
|5.||Putnam’s Proxy Voting Guidelines may only be overridden with the written recommendation from a member of the Investment Division and concurrence of the Legal and Compliance Department and with the Proxy Committee (or, in cases with limited time, with the Chair of the Proxy Committee on the Proxy Committee’s behalf).|
The Legal and Compliance Department will retain copies of the following books and records:
|1.||A copy of Proxy Procedures and Guidelines as are from time to time in effect;|
|2.||A copy of each proxy statement received with respect to securities in client accounts;|
|3.||Records of each vote cast for each client;|
|4.||Internal documents generated in connection with a proxy referral to the Investment Division such as emails, memoranda etc.|
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|5.||Written reports to clients on proxy voting and of all client requests for information and Putnam’s response.|
All records will be maintained for seven years. A proxy vendor may on Putnam’s behalf maintain the records noted in 2 and 3 above if it commits to providing copies promptly upon request.
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Exhibit A to Proxy Procedures
Putnam Investments Proxy Voting Guidelines
The proxy voting guidelines below summarize Putnam’s positions on various issues of concern to investors and indicate how client portfolio securities will be voted on proposals dealing with a particular issue. The proxy voting service is instructed to vote all proxies relating to client portfolio securities in accordance with these guidelines, except as otherwise instructed by the Proxy Manager.
Putnam’s voting policies are rooted in our views that (1) strong, independent corporate governance is important to long-term company financial performance, and (2) long-term investors’ active engagement with company management, including through the proxy voting process, strengthens issuer accountability and overall market discipline, potentially reducing risk and improving returns over time. Our voting program is offered as a part of our investment management services, at no incremental fee to Putnam, and, while there can be no guarantees, it is intended to offer potential investment benefits over a long-term horizon. Our voting policies are designed with investment considerations in mind, not as a means to pursue particular political, social, or other goals. As a result, we may not support certain proposals whose costs to the issuer (including implementation costs, practicability, and other factors), in Putnam’s view, outweigh their investment merits.
These proxy voting policies are intended to be decision making guidelines. The guidelines are not exhaustive and do not include all potential voting issues. In addition, as contemplated by and subject to Putnam’s Proxy Voting Procedures, because proxy issues and the circumstances of individual companies are so varied, portfolio teams may recommend votes that may vary from the general policy choices set forth in the guidelines.
The following guidelines are grouped according to the types of proposals generally presented to shareholders. Part I deals with proposals which have been approved and recommended by a company’s board of directors. Part II deals with proposals submitted by shareholders for inclusion in proxy statements. Part III addresses unique considerations pertaining to non-US issuers.
I. Board-Approved Proposals
Proxies will be voted for board-approved proposals, except as follows:
A. Matters Relating to the Board of Directors
Uncontested Election of Directors
The board of directors has the important role of overseeing management and its performance on behalf of shareholders. Proxies will be voted for the election of the company’s nominees for directors (and/or subsidiary directors) and for board-approved proposals on other matters relating to the board of directors (provided that such nominees and other matters have been approved by an independent nominating committee), except as follows:
|Ø||Putnam will withhold votes for the entire board of directors if:|
|•||The board does not have a majority of independent directors,|
|•||The board does not have nominating, audit and compensation committees composed solely of independent directors,|
|•||The board has more than 19 members or fewer than five members, absent special circumstances.|
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Unless otherwise indicated, for the purposes of determining whether a board has a majority of independent directors and independent nominating, audit, and compensation committees, an independent director is a director who (1) meets all requirements to serve as an independent director of a company under the final NYSE Corporate Governance Rules (e.g., no material business relationships with the company and no present or recent employment relationship with the company (including employment of an immediate family member as an executive officer)), and (2) has not accepted directly or indirectly any consulting, advisory, or other compensatory fee (excluding immaterial fees for transactional services as defined by the NYSE Corporate Governance rules) from the company other than in his or her capacity as a member of the board of directors or any board committee. Putnam believes that the receipt of such compensation for services other than service as a director raises significant independence issues.
|Ø||Putnam will withhold votes for any nominee for director who has received compensation from the company for the provision of professional services (e.g., investment banking, consulting, legal or financial advisory fees).|
|Ø||Putnam will withhold votes for any nominee for director who attends less than 75% of board and committee meetings. Putnam may refrain from voting against/withholding on a case-by-case basis if a valid reason for the absence exists, such as illness, personal emergency, potential conflict of interest, etc.|
|Ø||Putnam will withhold votes from any incumbent nominee for director who served on a board that has not acted to implement a policy requested in a shareholder proposal that received the support of a majority of the votes actually cast on the matter at its previous two annual meetings, or|
|Ø||Putnam will withhold votes from any incumbent nominee for director who served on a board that adopted or renewed a shareholder rights plan (commonly referred to as a “poison pill”) without shareholder approval during the current or prior calendar year. Note: This is applicable to any type of poison pill in Japan, including advance-warning type pill, EGM pill, and Trust Defense Plans.|
|Ø||Numerous studies of gender diversity on boards have shown that diverse boards are associated, over the long term, with, among other things, higher financial returns and lower volatility. Putnam will withhold votes from the chair of the Nominating Committee if:|
|•||there are no women on the board, or|
|•||in the case of a board of ten members or more, there are fewer than two women on the board|
Putnam is concerned about over-committed directors. In some cases, directors may serve on too many boards to make a meaningful contribution. This may be particularly true for senior executives of public companies (or other directors with substantially full-time employment) who serve on more than a few outside boards.
|Ø||Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis for any nominee for director who serves on more than five (5) public company boards, except where Putnam would otherwise be withholding votes for the entire board of directors. For the purpose of this guideline, boards of affiliated registered investment companies and other similar entities such as UCITS will count as one board.|
|Ø||Putnam will withhold votes for any nominee for director of a public company (Company A) who is employed as a senior executive of another public company (Company B) if a director of Company B serves as a senior executive of Company A (commonly referred to as an “interlocking directorate”)|
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Board independence depends not only on its members’ individual relationships, but also the board’s overall attitude toward management. Independent boards are committed to good corporate governance practices and, by providing objective independent judgment, enhancing shareholder value. Putnam may withhold votes on a case-by-case basis from some or all directors that, through their lack of independence, have failed to observe good corporate governance practices or, through specific corporate action, have demonstrated a disregard for the interest of shareholders.
|Ø||Putnam will vote against proposals that provide that directors may be removed only for cause.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote against proposals authorizing a board to fill a director vacancy without shareholder approval.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis on subsidiary director nominees if Putnam will be voting against the nominees of the parent company’s board.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis for director nominees for (re)election when cumulative voting applies.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote against proposals to classify a board, absent special circumstances indicating that shareholder interests would be better served by this structure.|
Ratification of Auditors
|Ø||Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis on proposals to ratify the selection of independent auditors if there is evidence that the audit firm’s independence or the integrity of an audit is compromised. (Otherwise, Putnam will vote for.)|
Contested Elections of Directors
|Ø||Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis in contested elections of directors.|
B. Executive Compensation
Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis on board-approved proposals relating to executive compensation, except as follows:
|Ø||Putnam will vote for stock option and restricted stock plans that will result in an average annual dilution of 1.67% or less (based on the disclosed term of the plan and including all equity-based plans), except where Putnam would otherwise be withholding votes for the entire board of directors in which case Putnam will evaluate the plans on a case-by-case basis.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote against stock option and restricted stock plans that will result in an average annual dilution of greater than 1.67% (based on the disclosed term of the plan and including all equity plans).|
|Ø||Putnam will vote against any stock option or restricted stock plan where the company's actual grants of stock options and restricted stock under all equity-based compensation plans during the prior three (3) fiscal years have resulted in an average annual dilution of greater than 1.67%.|
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|•||Additionally, if the annualized dilution cannot be calculated, Putnam will vote for plans where the Total Potential Dilution is less than 5%. If the annualized dilution cannot be calculated and the Total Potential Dilution exceeds 5%, then Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis. Note: Such plans must first pass all of Putnam's other screens.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote proposals to issue equity grants to executives on a case-by-case basis.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote against stock option plans that permit replacing or repricing of underwater options (and against any proposal to authorize such replacement or repricing of underwater options).|
|Ø||Putnam will vote against stock option plans that permit issuance of options with an exercise price below the stock’s current market price.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote against stock option plans/ restricted stock plans with evergreen features providing for automatic share replenishment.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote for bonus plans under which payments are treated as performance-based
compensation that is deductible under Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, except as follows:|
Vote on a case-by-case basis if any of the following circumstances exist:
|•||the amount per employee under the plan is unlimited, or|
|•||the maximum award pool is undisclosed and the company receives a grade of "D" or "F" according to benchmarking performed by the independent proxy voting service, or|
|•||the incentive bonus plan’s performance criteria are undisclosed, or|
|•||the company fails (receives an F grade) to effectively link executive compensation to company performance according to benchmarking performed by the independent proxy voting service.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis on proposals to reprice options or option exchange programs that meet both of the following conditions:|
|•||Minimum vesting period of 5 years on the repriced options|
|•||The new option strike price will be greater than or equal to a 25% premium to the existing stock price|
Putnam will vote against proposals that do not meet both conditions
|Ø||Putnam will vote in favor of the annual presentation of advisory votes on executive compensation (Say-on-Pay).|
|Ø||Putnam will generally vote for advisory votes on executive compensation (Say-on-Pay). However, Putnam will vote against an advisory vote if the company fails (receives an F grade) to effectively link executive compensation to company performance according to bing performed by the independent proxy voting service.|
|•||Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis if the company receives an F grade by the independent proxy voting service and the recommendation by that service is favorable.|
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|•||Additionally, if there is no grade attributed to the company's executive pay, Putnam will generally vote for, unless the recommendation of the independent proxy voting service is against, in which case Putnam will review the proposal on a case-by-case basis.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis on severance agreements (e.g. golden and tin parachutes)|
|Ø||Putnam will withhold votes for members of a Board of Directors which has approved compensation arrangements Putnam’s investment personnel have determined are grossly unreasonable at the next election at which such director is up for re-election.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote for employee stock purchase plans that have the following features: (1) the shares purchased under the plan are acquired for no less than 85% of their market value, (2) the offering period under the plan is 27 months or less, and (3) dilution is 10% or less.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote for Non-qualified Employee Stock Purchase Plans with all the following features:|
1) Broad-based participation (i.e., all employees of the company with the exclusion of individuals with 5 percent or more of beneficial ownership of the company).
2) Limits on employee contribution, which may be a fixed dollar amount or expressed as a percent of base salary.
3) Company matching contribution up to 25 percent of employee's contribution, which is effectively a discount of 20 percent from market value.
4) No discount on the stock price on the date of purchase since there is a company matching contribution.
Putnam will vote against Non-qualified Employee Stock Purchase Plans when any of the plan
features do not meet the above criteria.
Putnam may vote against executive compensation proposals on a case-by-case basis where compensation is excessive by reasonable corporate standards, or where a company fails to provide transparent disclosure of executive compensation. In voting on proposals relating to executive compensation, Putnam will consider whether the proposal has been approved by an independent compensation committee of the board.
Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis on board-approved proposals involving changes to a company’s capitalization, except as follows:
|Ø||Putnam will vote for proposals relating to the authorization of additional common stock (except where such proposals relate to a specific transaction).|
|Ø||Putnam will vote for proposals to affect stock splits (excluding reverse stock splits.)|
|Ø||Putnam will vote for proposals authorizing share repurchase programs.|
|D.||Acquisitions, Mergers, Reorganizations and|
Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis on business transactions such as acquisitions, mergers, reorganizations involving business combinations, liquidations and sale of all or substantially all of a company’s assets.
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E. Anti-Takeover Measures
Putnam will vote against board-approved proposals to adopt anti-takeover measures such as supermajority voting provisions, issuance of blank check preferred stock, the creation of a separate class of stock with disparate voting rights, control share acquisition provisions, targeted share placements, and ability to make greenmail payments, except as follows:
|Ø||Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis on proposals to ratify or approve shareholder rights plans; and|
|Ø||Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis on proposals to adopt fair price provisions.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis on proposals to issue blank check preferred stock in the case of REITs (only).|
|Ø||Putnam will vote against proposals that would restrict shareholders’ ability to take action by written consent.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis on proposals to increase shares of an existing class of stock with disparate voting rights from another share class.|
F. Other Business Matters
Putnam will vote for board-approved proposals approving routine business matters such as changing the company’s name and procedural matters relating to the shareholder meeting, except as follows:
|Ø||Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis on proposals to amend a company’s charter or bylaws (except for charter amendments necessary or to effect stock splits, to change a company’s name, to authorize additional shares of common stock or other matters which are considered routine, technical in nature, are required pursuant to regulatory and/or listing rules, have little or no economic impact or will not negatively impact shareholder rights).|
|Ø||Additionally, Putnam believes the bundling of items, whether the items are|
related or unrelated, is generally not in shareholders’ best interest. We may vote against the entire bundled proposal if we would normally vote against any of the items if presented individually. In these cases, we will review the bundled proposal on a case-by-case basis.
|Ø||Putnam generally supports quorum requirements if the level is set high enough to ensure a broad range of shareholders is represented in person or by proxy but low enough so that the Company can transact necessary business. Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis on proposals seeking to change quorum requirements; however, Putnam will normally support proposals that seek to comply with market or exchange requirements.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis on proposals seeking to change a company’s state of incorporation.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote against authorization to transact other unidentified, substantive business at the meeting.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote against proposals where there is a lack of information to make an informed voting decision.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote as follows on proposals to adjourn shareholder meetings:|
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If Putnam is withholding support for the board of the company at the meeting, any proposal to adjourn should be referred for case-by-case analysis.
If Putnam is not withholding support for the board, Putnam will vote in favor of adjourning, unless the vote concerns an issue that is being referred back to Putnam for case-by-case review. Under such circumstances, the proposal to adjourn should also be referred to Putnam for case-by-case analysis.
|Ø||Putnam will vote against management proposals to adopt a specific state as the exclusive forum for certain disputes. Requiring shareholders to bring actions solely in one state may discourage the pursuit of derivative claims by increasing their difficulty and cost; and, Putnam will vote against the chair of the Nominating/Governance committee if a company amends the Company’s Bylaws to adopt a specific state as the exclusive forum for certain disputes without shareholder approval.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis on management proposals seeking to adopt a bylaw amendment allowing the company to shift legal fees and costs to unsuccessful plaintiffs in intra-corporate litigation (fee-shifting bylaw). Additionally, Putnam will vote against the Chair of the Nominating/Governance committee if a company adopts a fee-shifting bylaw amendment without shareholder approval.|
|Ø||Putnam will support management/shareholder proxy access proposals as long as the proposals align with the following principles for a shareholder (or up to 20 shareholders together as a group) to receive proxy access:|
1) The required minimum aggregate ownership of the Company’s outstanding common stock is no greater than 3%;
2) The required minimum holding period for the shareholder proponent(s) is no greater than two years; and
3) The shareholder(s) are permitted to nominate at least 20% of director candidates for election to the board.
Proposals requesting shares be held for 3 years will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Putnam will vote against proposals requesting shares be held for more than three years. Proposals that meet Putnam’s stated criteria and include other requirements relating to issues such as, but not limited to, shares on loan or compensation agreements with nominees, will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Additionally, shareholder proposals seeking an amendment to a company’s proxy access policy which include any one of the supported criteria under Putnam’s guidelines, for example, a 2-year holding period for shareholders, will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
|Ø||Putnam supports management / shareholder proposals giving shareholders the right to call a special meeting as long as the ownership requirement in such proposals is at least 15% of the company's outstanding common stock and not more than 25%.|
In general, Putnam will vote for management or shareholder proposals to reduce the ownership requirement below a company’s existing threshold, as long as the new threshold is at least 15% and not greater than 25% of the company’s outstanding common stock.
Putnam will vote against any proposal with an ownership requirement exceeding 25% of the company’s common stock or an ownership requirement that is less than 15% of the company's outstanding common stock.
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In cases where there are competing management and shareholder proposals giving shareholders the right to call a special meeting, Putnam will generally vote for the proposal which has the lower minimum shareholder ownership threshold, as long as that threshold is within Putnam’s recommended minimum/maximum thresholds. If only one of the competing proposals has a threshold that falls within Putnam’s threshold range, Putnam will normally support that proposal as long as it represents an improvement (reduction) from the previous requisite ownership level. Putnam will normally vote against both proposals if neither proposal has a requisite ownership level between 15% and 25% of the company’s outstanding common stock.
II. Shareholder Proposals
Shareholder proposals are non-binding votes that are often opposed by management. Some proposals relate to matters that are financially immaterial to the company’s business, while others may be impracticable or costly for a company to implement. At the same time, well-crafted shareholder proposals may serve the purpose of raising issues that are material to a company’s business for management’s consideration and response. Putnam seeks to weigh the costs of different types of proposals against their expected financial benefits. More specifically:
Putnam will vote in accordance with the recommendation of the company’s board of directors on all shareholder proposals, except as follows:
|Ø||Putnam will vote for shareholder proposals that are consistent with Putnam’s proxy voting guidelines for board-approved proposals.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote for shareholder proposals to declassify a board, absent special circumstances which would indicate that shareholder interests are better served by a classified board structure.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote for shareholder proposals to require shareholder approval of shareholder rights plans.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote for shareholder proposals asking that director nominees receive support from holders of a majority of votes cast or a majority of shares outstanding of the company in order to be (re) elected.|
|Ø||Putnam will review on a case-by-case basis, shareholder proposals requesting that the board adopt a policy whereby, in the event of a significant restatement of financial results or significant extraordinary write-off, the board will recoup, to the fullest extent practicable, for the benefit of the company, all performance-based bonuses or awards that were made to senior executives based on having met or exceeded specific performance targets to the extent that the specified performance targets were not met.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote for shareholder proposals urging the board to seek shareholder approval of any future supplemental executive retirement plan ("SERP"), or individual retirement arrangement, for senior executives that provides credit for additional years of service not actually worked, preferential benefit formulas not provided under the company's tax-qualified retirement plans, accelerated vesting of retirement benefits or retirement perquisites and fringe benefits that are not generally offered to other company employees. (Implementation of this policy shall not breach any existing employment agreement or vested benefit.)|
|Ø||Putnam will vote for shareholder proposals requiring companies to report on their executive retirement benefits. (Deferred compensation, split-dollar life insurance, SERPs and pension benefits)|
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|Ø||Putnam will vote for shareholder proposals requesting that a company establish a pay-for-superior-performance standard whereby the company discloses defined financial and/or stock price performance criteria (along with the detailed list of comparative peer group) to allow shareholders to sufficiently determine the pay and performance correlation established in the company’s performance-based equity program. In addition, no multi-year award should be paid out unless the company’s performance exceeds, during the current CEO’s tenure (three or more years), its peer median or mean performance on selected financial and stock price performance criteria.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote for shareholder proposals urging the board to disclose in a separate report to shareholders, the Company’s relationships with its executive compensation consultants or firms. Specifically, the report should identify the entity that retained each consultant (the company, the board or the compensation committee) and the types of services provided by the consultant in the past five years (non-compensation-related services to the company or to senior managements and a list of all public company clients where the Company’s executives serve as a director.)|
|Ø||Putnam will vote for shareholder proposals requiring companies to accelerate vesting of equity awards under management severance agreements only if both of the following conditions are met:|
|•||the company undergoes a change in control, and|
|•||the change in control results in the termination of employment for the person receiving the severance payment.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote for shareholder proposals requiring that the chairman’s position be filled by an independent director (separate chair/CEO). However, Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis on such proposals when the company’s board has a lead-independent director and Putnam is supporting the nominees for the board of directors.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote for shareholder proposals seeking the submission of golden coffins to a shareholder vote or the elimination of the practice altogether.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote for shareholder proposals seeking a policy that forbids any director who receives more than 25% withhold votes cast (based on for and withhold votes) from serving on any key board committee for two years and asking the board to find replacement directors for the committees if need be.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote for shareholder proposals urging the board to seek shareholder approval of severance agreements (e.g. golden and tin parachutes)|
Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis on approving such compensation arrangements.
|Ø||Putnam will vote in accordance with the recommendation of the company’s board of directors on shareholder proposals regarding corporate political spending, unless Putnam is voting against the directors, in which case the proposal would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.|
Environmental and Social
|Ø||Putnam believes that sustainable environmental practices and sustainable social policies are important components of long-term value creation. Companies should evaluate the potential risks to their business operations that are directly related to environmental and social factors (among others). In evaluating shareholder proposals relating to environmental and social initiatives, Putnam takes into account (1) the relevance and materiality of the proposal to the company’s business, (2) whether the|
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proposal is well crafted (e.g., whether it references science-based targets, or standard global protocols), and (3) the practicality or reasonableness of implementing the proposal.
Putnam may support well-crafted and well-targeted proposals that request additional reporting or disclosure on a company’s plans to mitigate risk to the company related to the following issues and/or their strategies related to these issues: Environmental issues, including but not limited to, climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy, and broader sustainability issues; and Social issues, including but not limited to, fair pay, employee diversity and development, safety, labor rights, supply chain management, privacy and data security.
Putnam will consider factors such as (i) the industry in which the company operates, (ii) the company's current level of disclosure, (iii) the company's level of oversight, (iv) the company’s management of risk arising out of these matters, (v) whether the company has suffered a material financial impact. Other factors may also be considered.
Putnam will consider the recommendation of its third-party proxy service provider and may consider other factors such as third-party evaluations of ESG performance.
Additionally, Putnam may vote on a case-by-case basis on proposals which ask a company to take action beyond reporting where our third-party proxy service provider has identified one or more reasons to warrant a vote FOR.
III. Voting Shares of Non-US Issuers
Many non-US jurisdictions impose material burdens on voting proxies. There are three primary types of limits as follows:
|(1)||Share blocking. Shares must be frozen for certain periods of time to vote via proxy.|
|(2)||Share re-registration. Shares must be re-registered out of the name of the local custodian or nominee into the name of the client for the meeting and, in many cases, then re-registered back. Shares are normally blocked in this period.|
|(3)||Powers of Attorney. Detailed documentation from a client must be given to the local sub-custodian. In many cases Putnam is not authorized to deliver this information or sign the relevant documents.|
Putnam’s policy is to weigh the benefits to clients from voting in these jurisdictions against the detriments of not doing so. For example, in a share blocking jurisdiction, it will normally not be in a client’s interest to freeze shares simply to participate in a non- contested routine meeting. More specifically, Putnam will normally not vote shares in non-US jurisdictions imposing burdensome proxy voting requirements except in significant votes (such as contested elections and major corporate transactions) where directed by portfolio managers.
Putnam recognizes that the laws governing non-US issuers will vary significantly from US law and from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Accordingly, it may not be possible or even advisable to apply these guidelines mechanically to non-US issuers. However, Putnam believes that shareholders of all companies are protected by the existence of a sound corporate governance and disclosure framework. Accordingly, Putnam will vote proxies of non-US issuers in accordance with the foregoing guidelines where applicable, except as follows:
|Ø||Putnam will vote for shareholder proposals calling for a majority of the directors to be independent of management.|
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|Ø||Putnam will vote for shareholder proposals that implement corporate governance standards similar to those established under U.S. federal law and the listing requirements of U.S. stock exchanges, and that do not otherwise violate the laws of the jurisdiction under which the company is incorporated.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis on proposals relating to (1) the issuance of common stock in excess of 20% of a company’s outstanding common stock where shareholders do not have preemptive rights, or (2) the issuance of common stock in excess of 100% of a company’s outstanding common stock where shareholders have preemptive rights.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote against authorization to repurchase shares or issue shares or convertible debt instruments with or without preemptive rights when such authorization can be used as a takeover defense without shareholder approval. Putnam will not apply this policy to a company with a shareholder who controls more than 50% of its voting rights.|
|Ø||Putnam will generally vote for proposals that include debt issuances, however substantive/non-routine proposals, and proposals that fall outside of normal market practice or reasonable standards, will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote for board-approved routine, market-practice proposals. These proposals are limited to (1) those issues that will have little or no economic impact, such as technical, editorial, or mandatory regulatory compliance items, (2) those issues that will not adversely affect and/or which clearly improve shareholder rights/values, and which do not violate Putnam’s proxy voting guidelines, or (3) those issues that do not seek to deviate from existing laws or regulations. Examples include but are not limited to, related party transactions (non-strategic), profit-and-loss transfer agreements (Germany), authority to increase paid-in capital (Taiwan). Should any unusual circumstances be identified concerning a normally routine issue, such proposals will be referred back to Putnam for internal review.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis on amendments to expand business lines.|
|Ø||Putnam will normally vote for management proposals concerning allocation of income and the distribution of dividends. However, Putnam portfolio teams will override this guideline when they conclude that the proposals are outside the market norms (i.e., those seen as consistently and unusually small or large compared to market practices).|
|Ø||Putnam will generally vote for proposals seeking to adjust the par value of common stock. However, non-routine, substantive proposals will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote against proposals that would authorize the company to reduce the notice period for calling special or extraordinary general meetings to less than 21-Days.|
|Ø||Putnam will generally vote for proposals relating to transfer of reserves/increase of reserves (i.e., France, Japan). However, Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis if the proposal falls outside of normal market practice.|
|Ø||Putnam will generally vote for proposals to increase the maximum variable pay ratio. However, Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis if we are voting against a company’s remuneration report or if the proposal seeks an increase in excess of 200%.|
|Ø||Putnam will review stock option plans on a case-by-case basis which allow for the options exercise price to be reduced by dividend payments (if the plan would normally pass Putnam’s Guidelines).|
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|Ø||Putnam will generally vote for requests to provide loan guarantees however, Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis if the total amount of guarantees is in excess of 100% of the company’s audited net assets.|
|Ø||Putnam will generally support remuneration report/policy proposals (i.e., advisory/binding) where a company’s executive compensation is linked directly with the performance of the business and executive. Putnam will generally support compensation proposals which incorporate a mix of reasonable salary and performance based short- and long-term incentives. Companies should demonstrate that their remuneration policies are designed and managed to incentivize and retain executives while growing the company’s long-term shareholder value.|
Generally, Putnam will vote against remuneration report/policy proposals (i.e., advisory/binding) in the following cases:
|•||Disconnect between pay and performance|
|•||No performance metrics disclosed;|
|•||No relative performance metrics utilized;|
|•||Single performance metric was used and it was an absolute measure;|
|•||Performance goals were lowered when management failed or was unlikely to meet original goals;|
|•||Long Term Incentive Plan is subject to retesting (e.g., Australia);|
|•||Service contracts longer than 12 months (e.g., United Kingdom);|
|•||Allows vesting below median for relative performance metrics;|
|•||Ex-gratia / non-contractual payments have been made (e.g., United Kingdom and Australia);|
|•||Contains provisions to automatically vest upon change-of-control; or|
|•||Other poor compensation practices or structures.|
|•||Pension provisions for new executives is not at the same level as the majority of the wider workforce; pension provisions for incumbent executives is not set to decrease over time (United Kingdom)|
|•||Proposed CEO salary increases are not justifiably appropriate in comparison to wider workforce or rationale for exception increases is not fully disclosed (United Kingdom)|
|Ø||Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis on bonus payments to executive directors or senior management; however, Putnam will vote against payments that include outsiders or independent statutory auditors.|
Matters Relating to Board of Directors
Uncontested Board Elections
Asia: China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand
|Ø||Putnam will vote against the entire board of directors if|
|•||fewer than one-third of the directors are independent directors, or|
|•||the board has not established audit, compensation and nominating committees each composed of a majority of independent directors, or|
|•||the chair of the audit, compensation or nominating committee is not an independent director.|
Commentary: Companies listed in China (or dual-listed in China and Hong Kong) often have a separate supervisory committee in addition to a standard board of directors containing audit, compensation, and nominating committees. The supervisory committee provides oversight of the financial affairs of the company and supervises members of the board and management, while the board of directors makes decisions related to
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the company's business and investment strategies. The supervisory committee normally comprises employee representatives and shareholder representatives. Shareholder representatives are elected by shareholders of the company while employee representatives are elected by the company's staff. Shareholder representatives may be independent or may be affiliated with the company or its substantial shareholders. Current laws and regulations neither provide a basis for evaluation of supervisor independence nor do they require a supervisor to be independent.
|Ø||Putnam will generally vote in favor of nominees to the Supervisory Committee|
|Ø||Putnam will vote against the entire board of directors if|
|•||fewer than a majority of the directors are independent, or|
|•||the board has not established an audit committee composed solely of independent directors, or|
|•||the board has not established nominating and compensation committees each composed of a majority of independent directors.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote against proposals requesting cumulative voting unless there are more candidates than number of seats available, in which case vote for.|
Ø Putnam will vote for proposals for the proportional allocation of cumulative votes if Putnam is supporting the entire slate of nominees. Putnam will vote against such proposals if Putnam is not supporting the entire slate.
Ø Putnam will abstain on individual director allocation proposals if Putnam is voting for the proportional allocation of cumulative votes. Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis on individual director allocation proposals if Putnam is voting against the proportional allocation of votes.
Ø Putnam will vote for proposals to cumulate votes of common and preferred shareholders if the nominees are known and Putnam is supporting the applicable nominees; Putnam will vote against such proposals if Putnam is not supporting the known nominees, or if the nominees are unknown.
|Ø||Putnam will generally vote against proposals seeking the recasting of votes for amended slate (as new candidates could be included in the amended slate without prior disclosure to shareholders).|
|Ø||Putnam will vote against proposals regarding instructions if meeting is held on second call if election of directors is part of the recasting as the slate can be amended without (prior) disclosure to shareholders.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote against proposals regarding the casting of minority votes to the candidate with largest number of votes.|
Canadian corporate governance requirements mirror corporate governance reforms that have been adopted by the NYSE and other U.S. national securities exchanges and stock markets. As a result, Putnam will vote on matters relating to the board of directors of Canadian issuers in accordance with the guidelines applicable to U.S. issuers.
|September 28, 2022||II-123|
Commentary: Like the UK’s Combined Code on Corporate Governance, the policies on corporate governance issued by Canadian securities regulators embody the “comply and explain” approach to corporate governance. Because Putnam believes that the board independence standards contained in the proxy voting guidelines are integral to the protection of investors in Canadian companies, these standards will be applied in a prescriptive manner.
Continental Europe (ex-Germany)
|Ø||Putnam will vote against the entire board of directors if|
|•||fewer than a majority of the directors are independent directors, or|
|•||the board has not established audit, nominating and compensation committees each composed of a majority of independent directors.|
Commentary: An “independent director” under the European Commission’s guidelines is one who is free of any business, family or other relationship, with the company, its controlling shareholder or the management of either, that creates a conflict of interest such as to impair his judgment. A “non-executive director” is one who is not engaged in the daily management of the company.
In France, Employee Representatives are employed by the company and represent rank and file employees. These representatives are elected by company employees. The law also provides for the appointment of employee shareholder representatives, if the employee shareholdings exceed 3% of the share capital. Employee shareholder representatives are elected by the company’s shareholders (via general meeting).
|Ø||For companies subject to “co-determination,” Putnam will vote for the election of nominees to the supervisory board, except:|
|Ø||Putnam will vote against the Supervisory Board if|
|o||the board has not established an audit committee comprising an Independent chair.|
|o||the audit committee chair serves as board chair.|
|o||the board contains more than two former management board members.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote against the election of a former member of the company’s managerial board to chair of the supervisory board.|
Commentary: German corporate governance is characterized by a two-tier board system - a managerial board composed of the company’s executive officers, and a supervisory board. The supervisory board appoints the members of the managerial board. Shareholders elect members of the supervisory board, except that in the case of companies with a large number of employees, company employees are allowed to elect some of the supervisory board members (one-half of supervisory board members are elected by company employees at companies with more than 2,000 employees; one-third of the supervisory board members are elected by company employees at companies with more than 500 employees but fewer than 2,000). This practice is known as co-determination.
|September 28, 2022||II-124|
Non-Controlled Banks: Director elections at Non-Controlled banks are overseen by the Supervisor of the Banks and nominees for election as "other" (non-external) directors and external directors (under Companies Law and Directive 301) are put forward by an external and independent committee. As such,
|Ø||Putnam’s guidelines regarding board Nominating Committees will not apply|
|Ø||Putnam will vote on a case-by-case on nominees when there are more nominees than seats available.|
Election of directors and statutory auditors:
|Ø||Putnam will apply the director guidelines to the majority shareholder supported list and vote accordingly (for or against) if multiple lists of director candidates are presented. Putnam will vote against the entire list of director nominees if the list is bundled as one proposal and if Putnam would otherwise be voting against any one director nominee.|
|Ø||Putnam will generally vote for the majority shareholder supported list of statutory auditor nominees.|
Note: Pursuant to Italian law, directors and statutory auditors are elected through a slate voting system whereby candidates are presented in lists submitted by shareholders representing a minimum percentage of share capital.
|Ø||Putnam will withhold votes from any director not identified in the proxy materials. (Example: Co-opted director nominees.)|
|Ø||For companies that have established a U.S.-style corporate structure, Putnam will withhold votes for the entire board of directors if:|
|•||the board does not have at least 50% outside directors,|
|•||the board has not established nominating and compensation committees composed of at least 50% outside directors, or|
|•||the board has not established an audit committee composed of at least 50% independent directors.|
|Ø||Putnam will withhold votes for the appointment of members of a company’s board of statutory auditors if at least 50% of the members of the board of statutory auditors is not independent.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote against any statutory auditor nominee who attends less than 75% of board and committee meeting without valid reasons for the absences (i.e., illness, personal emergency, etc.) (Note that Corporate Law requires disclosure of outsiders' attendance but not that of insiders, who are presumed to have no more important time commitments.)|
|September 28, 2022||II-125|
|Ø||Putnam will vote for management proposals to change to a one-tier / one committee (audit) board and the associated director nominees if the resulting board will be comprised of at least 50% independent directors and the audit committee will be comprised of at least 50% independent directors. Otherwise, Putnam will vote against the director nominees and associated article amendment.|
Election of Executive Director and Election of Supervisory Director - REIT
|•||REITs have a unique two-tier board structure with generally one or more executive directors and two or more supervisory directors. The number of supervisory directors must be greater than, not equal to, the number of executive directors. Shareholders are asked to vote on both types of directors. Putnam will vote as follows, provided each board of executive / supervisory directors meets legal requirements.|
|Ø||Putnam will generally vote for the election of Executive Director|
|Ø||Putnam will generally vote for the election of Supervisory Directors|
Definition of outside director and independent director:
|•||The Japanese Companies Act focuses on two director classifications: Insider or Outsider. An outside director is a director who is not a director, executive, executive director, or employee of the company or its parent company, subsidiaries or affiliates. Further, a director, executive, executive director or employee, who have executive responsibilities, of the company or subsidiaries can regain eligibility ten years after his or her resignation, provided certain other requirements are met. An outside director is designated as an “independent” director based on the Tokyo Stock Exchange listing rules. An outside director is “independent” if that person can make decisions completely independent from the managers of the company, its parent, subsidiaries, or affiliates and does not have a material relationship with the company (i.e., major client, trading partner, or other business relationship; familial relationship with current director or executive; etc.).|
The guidelines have incorporated these definitions in applying the board independence standards above.
Putnam will withhold votes for the entire board of directors if:
|•||the board is not comprised of at least 50% outside directors,|
|•||the board has not established a nominating committee composed of at least 50% outside directors, or|
|•||the board has not established an audit committee composed of at least three members and in which at least two-thirds of its members are outside directors.|
Commentary: For purposes of these guidelines, an “outside director” is a director who is independent from the management or controlling shareholders of the company and holds no interests that might impair performing his or her duties impartially from the company, management or controlling shareholder. In determining whether a director is an outside director, Putnam will also apply the standards included in Article 382 of the Korean Commercial Act, i.e., no employment relationship with the company for a period of two years before serving on the committee, no director or employment relationship with the company’s largest shareholder, etc.) and may consider other business relationships that would affect the independence of an outside director.
|September 28, 2022||II-126|
|Ø||Putnam will generally vote for proposals to amend the Executive Officer Retirement Allowance Policy unless the recipients of the grants include non-executives; the proposal would have a negative impact on shareholders, or the proposal appear to be outside of normal market practice, in which case Putnam will vote against.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote against the entire board of directors if:|
|•||in the case of a board with an independent director serving as chair, fewer than one-third of the directors are independent directors; or, in the case of a board not chaired by an independent director, less than a majority of the directors are independent directors,|
|•||the board has not established audit and nominating committees with at least a majority of the members being independent directors and all of the members being non-executive directors, or|
|•||the board has not established a compensation committee with at least a majority of the members being non-executive directors.|
Nordic Markets – Finland, Norway, Sweden
|Ø||Putnam will vote against the entire board of directors if:|
|•||The board does not have a majority of directors independent from the company and management. (Sweden, Finland, Norway)|
|•||The board does not have at least two directors independent from the company and its major shareholders holding > 10% of the Company’s share capital. (Sweden, Finland, Norway)|
|•||An executive director is a member of the board. (Norway)|
|•||The audit committee does not consist of a majority of directors independent from the company and management. (Sweden, Finland)|
|•||The audit committee does not have at least one director independent from the company and its major shareholders holding > 10% of the Company’s share capital. (Sweden, Finland)|
|•||The audit committee is not majority independent. (Norway)|
|•||The remuneration committee is not fully independent of the company, excluding the chair. (Sweden)|
|•||The remuneration committee is not majority independent of the company. (Finland)|
|•||The remuneration committee does not consist fully of non-executive directors. (Finland)|
|•||The remuneration committee is not fully independent of management (Norway)|
|•||The remuneration committee is not majority independent from the company and its major shareholders holding > 50% of the Company’s share capital. (Sweden, Finland, Norway)|
Board Nomination Committee:
|•||The nomination committee does not consist of a majority of directors independent from the company. (Finland)|
|•||An executive is a member of the nomination committee. (Finland)|
|September 28, 2022||II-127|
External Nomination Committee: Vote against the establishment of the nomination committee and its guidelines when:
|•||The external committee is not majority independent of the company and management. (Sweden)|
|•||The external committee does not have at least one director not affiliated to largest shareholder on the committee. (Sweden)|
|•||The external committee does not meet best practice based on Glass Lewis analysis. (Finland)|
|•||The external committee is not majority independent of the board and management. (Norway)|
|•||The external committee has more than one member of the board of the directors sitting on the committee. (Norway)|
|•||There is insufficient disclosure provided for new nominees (Norway)|
|•||An executive is a member of the committee. (Norway)|
|Ø||Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis for the election of nominees to the board of directors.|
Commentary: In Russia, director elections are handled through a cumulative voting process. Cumulative voting allows shareholders to cast all of their votes for a single nominee for the board of directors, or to allocate their votes among nominees in any other way. In contrast, in “regular” voting, shareholders may not give more than one vote per share to any single nominee. Cumulative voting can help to strengthen the ability of minority shareholders to elect a director.
|Ø||Putnam will vote against from the entire board of directors if|
|•||in the case of a board with an independent director serving as chair, fewer than one-third of the directors are independent directors; or, in the case of a board not chaired by an independent director, fewer than half of the directors are independent directors,|
|•||the board has not established audit and compensation committees, each with an independent director serving as chair, with at least a majority of the members being independent directors, and with all of the directors being non-executive directors, or|
|•||the board has not established a nominating committee, with an independent director serving as chair, and with at least a majority of the members being independent directors.|
United Kingdom, Ireland
Application of guidelines: Although the Combined Code has adopted the “comply and explain” approach to corporate governance, Putnam believes that the guidelines discussed above with respect to board independence standards are integral to the protection of investors in UK companies. As a result, these guidelines will be applied in a prescriptive manner.
Definition of independence: For the purposes of these guidelines, a non-executive director shall be considered independent if the director meets the independence standards in section A.3.1 of the Combined Code (i.e., no material business or employment relationships with the company, no remuneration from the company for non-board services, no close family ties with senior employees or directors of the company, etc.), except that Putnam does not view service on the board for more than nine years as affecting a director’s independence.
|September 28, 2022||II-128|
Smaller companies: A smaller company is one that is below the FTSE 350 throughout the year immediately prior to the reporting year.
Putnam will withhold votes for the entire board of directors if:
|•||the board, excluding the chairman, is not comprised of at least half independent non-executive directors|
|•||the board has not established a nomination committee composed of a majority of independent non-executive directors, or|
|•||the board has not established a Compensation committee composed of (1) at least three directors (in the case of smaller companies, as defined by the Combined Code, two directors) and (2) solely of independent non-executive directors. The company chairman (who is "affiliated" with a company only by virtue of serving as its chairman) may be a member of, but not chair, the Committee provided he or she was considered independent on appointment as chairman.|
|•||The board has not established an Audit Committee composed of, (1) at least three directors (in the case of smaller companies as defined by the Combined Code, two directors) and (2) solely of independent non-executive directors. The board chair may not serve on the audit committee of large or small companies.|
All other jurisdictions
|Ø||In the absence of jurisdiction specific guidelines, Putnam will vote as follows for boards/supervisory boards:|
|o||Putnam will vote against the entire board of directors if|
|Ø||fewer than a majority of the directors are independent directors, or|
|Ø||the board has not established audit, nominating and compensation committees each composed of a majority of independent directors.|
Additional Commentary regarding all Non-US jurisdictions:
Whether a director is considered “independent” or not will be determined by reference to local corporate law or listing standards.
Some jurisdictions may legally require or allow companies to have a certain number of employee representatives, employee shareholder representatives (e.g., France) and/or shareholder representatives on their board. Putnam generally does not consider these representatives independent. The presence of employee representatives or employee shareholder representatives on the board and key committees is generally legally mandated. In most markets, shareholders do not have the ability to vote on the election of employee representatives or employee shareholder representatives. In some markets, significant shareholders have a legal right to nominate shareholder representatives. Shareholders are required to approve the election of shareholder representatives to the board. Unlike employee representatives, there are no legal requirements regarding the presence of shareholder representatives on the board or its committees.
|•||Putnam will not include employee or employee shareholder representatives in the independence calculation of the board or key committees, nor in the calculation of the size of the board.|
|September 28, 2022||II-129|
|•||Putnam will include shareholder representatives in the independence calculation of the board and key committees, and in the calculation of the size of the board.|
Putnam will generally support shareholder or employee representatives if included in the agenda Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis when there are more candidates than seats. Additionally, Putnam will vote against such nominees when there is insufficient information disclosed.
Putnam Investments’ policies regarding the provision of professional services and transactional relationship with regard to directors will apply.
Shareholder nominated directors/self-nominated directors
|Ø||Putnam will vote against shareholder nominees if Putnam supports the board of directors.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote on a case-by case basis if Putnam will be voting against the current board.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis if the proposal regarding a self-nominated/shareholder nominated director nominee would add an additional seat to the board if the nominee is approved.|
Other Business Matters
A. Article Amendments
|Ø||The Japanese Companies Act gives companies the option to adopt a U.S.-Style corporate structure (i.e., a board of directors and audit, nominating, and compensation committees). Putnam will vote for proposals to amend a company’s articles of incorporation to adopt the U.S.-Style “Board with Committees” structure. However, the independence of the outside directors is critical to effective corporate governance under this new system. Putnam will, therefore, scrutinize the backgrounds of the outside director nominees at such companies, and will vote against the amendment where Putnam believes the board lacks the necessary level of independence from the company or a substantial shareholder.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis on granting the board the authority to repurchase shares at its discretion.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote against amendments to delete a requirement directing the company to reduce authorized capital by the number of treasury shares cancelled. If issued share capital decreases while authorized capital remains unchanged, then the company will have greater leeway to issue new shares (for example as a private placement or a takeover defense).|
|Ø||Putnam will vote against proposals to authorize appointment of special directors. Under the new Corporate Law, companies are allowed to appoint, from among their directors, "special directors" who will be authorized to make decisions regarding the purchase or sale of important assets and major borrowing or lending, on condition that the board has at least six directors, including at least one non-executive director. At least three special directors must participate in the decision-making process and decisions shall be made by a majority vote of the special directors. However, the law does not require any of the special directors to be non-executives, so in effect companies may use this mechanism to bypass outsiders.|
|Ø||Putnam will generally vote for proposals to create new class of shares or to conduct a share consolidation of outstanding shares to squeeze out minority shareholders.|
|September 28, 2022||II-130|
|Ø||Putnam will vote against proposals seeking to enable companies to establish specific rules governing the exercise of shareholder rights. (Note: Such as, shareholders' right to submit shareholder proposals or call special meetings.)|
B. Compensation Related Matters
|Ø||Putnam will vote against option plans which allow the grant of options to suppliers, customers, and other outsiders.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote against stock option grants to independent internal statutory auditors. The granting of stock options to internal auditors, at the discretion of the directors, can compromise the independence of the auditors and provide incentives to ignore accounting problems, which could affect the stock price over the long term.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote against the payment of retirement bonuses to directors and statutory auditors when one or more of the individuals to whom the grants are being proposed has not served in an executive capacity for the company. Putnam will also vote against payment of retirement bonuses to any directors or statutory auditors who have been designated by the company as independent. Retirement bonus proposals are all-or-nothing, meaning that split votes against individual payments cannot be made. If any one individual does not meet Putnam’s criteria, Putnam will vote against the entire bundled item.|
C. Other Business Matters
|Ø||Putnam votes for mergers by absorptions of wholly-owned subsidiaries by their parent companies. These deals do not require the issuance of shares, and do not result in any dilution or new obligations for shareholders of the parent company. These transactions are routine.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote for the acquisition if it is between parent and wholly-owned subsidiary.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote for the formation of a holding company, if routine. Holding companies are once again legal in Japan and a number of companies, large and small, have sought approval to adopt a holding company structure. Most of the proposals are intended to help clarify operational authority for the different business areas in which the company is engaged and promote effective allocation of corporate resources. As most of the reorganization proposals do not entail any share issuances or any change in shareholders’ ultimate ownership interest in the operating units, Putnam will treat most such proposals as routine.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote against proposals that authorize the board to vary the AGM record date.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote for proposals to abolish the retirement bonus system|
|Ø||Putnam will vote for board-approved director/officer indemnification proposals|
|Ø||Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis on private placements (Third-party share issuances). Where Putnam views the share issuance necessary to avoid bankruptcy or to put the company back on solid financial footing, Putnam will generally vote for. When a private placement allows a particular shareholder to obtain a controlling stake in the company at a discount to market prices, or where the private placement otherwise disadvantages ordinary shareholders, Putnam will vote against.|
|Ø||Putnam will generally vote against shareholder rights plans (poison pills). However, if all of the following criteria are met, Putnam will evaluate such poison pills on a case-by-case basis:|
|September 28, 2022||II-131|
1) The poison pill must have a duration of no more than three years.
2) The trigger threshold must be no less than 20 percent of issued capital.
3) The company must have no other types of takeover defenses in place.
4) The company must establish a committee to evaluate any takeover offers, and the members of that committee must all meet Putnam’s' definition of independence.
5) At least 20 percent, and no fewer than two, of the directors must meet Putnam’s definition of independence. These independent directors must also meet Putnam’s guidelines on board meeting attendance.
6) The directors must stand for reelection on an annual basis.
7) The company must release its proxy materials no less than three weeks before the meeting date.
|Ø||Putnam will vote against proposals to allow the board to decide on income allocation without shareholder vote.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote against proposals to limit the liability of External Audit Firms (“Accounting Auditors”)|
|Ø||Putnam will vote against proposals seeking a reduction in board size that eliminates all vacant seats.|
|Ø||Putnam may generally vote against proposals seeking an increase in authorized capital that leaves the company with as little as 25 percent of the authorized capital outstanding (general request). However, such proposals will be evaluated on a company specific basis, taking into consideration such factors as current authorization outstanding, existence (or lack thereof) of preemptive rights and rationale for the increase.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote for corporate split agreement and transfer of sales operations to newly created wholly-owned subsidiaries where the transaction is a purely internal one which does not affect shareholders' ownership interests in the various operations. All other proposals will be referred back to Putnam for case-by-case review. These reorganizations usually accompany the switch to a holding company structure, but may be used in other contexts.|
|Ø||Putnam will not apply the U.S. standard 15% discount cap for employee share purchase schemes at U.K. companies. As such, Putnam will generally vote for ‘Save-As-You-Earn’ schemes in the U.K which allow for no more than a 20% purchase discount, and which otherwise comply with U.K. law and Putnam standards.|
|Ø||Putnam will not apply the U.S. standard 15% discount cap for employee share purchase schemes at French companies. As such, Putnam will generally vote for employee share purchase schemes in France that allow for no greater than a 30% purchase discount, or 40% purchase discount if the vesting period is equal to or greater than ten years, and which otherwise comply with French law and Putnam standards.|
|Ø||Putnam will generally vote for the Remuneration Report (established based on SRD II), however Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis when Putnam is voting against both the ex-Post Remuneration Report (CEO) and ex-Ante Remuneration Policy (CEO, or proposal including CEO remuneration package) in the current year, and Putnam’s third party service provider(s) is recommending a vote against.|
|September 28, 2022||II-132|
|Ø||Putnam will generally vote for Advance Notice provisions for submitting director nominations not less than 30 days prior to the date of the annual meeting. For Advance Notice provisions where the minimum number of days to submit a shareholder nominee is less than 30 days prior to the meeting date, Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis. Putnam will also vote on a case-by-case basis if the company's policy expressly prohibits the commencement of a new notice period in the event the originally scheduled meeting is adjourned or postponed.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote against the issuance of shares without preemptive rights unless the company provides specific language and terms that 1) limit the aggregate issuance request that is for the General Issuance Mandate and the Share Re-issuance Mandate combined to 10 percent or less of the existing issued share capital; 2) limit the discount to 10 percent of the market price of shares; and 3) have no history of renewing the General Issuance Mandate several times within a period of one year.|
This policy supplements policies regarding share issuances as stated above under section
III. Voting Shares of Non-US Issuers.
|Ø||Putnam will vote against proposals to release the board of directors from the non-compete restrictions specified in Taiwanese Company Law. However, Putnam will vote for such proposals if the directors are engaged in activities with a wholly- owned subsidiary of the company.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote for proposals to refresh the 15% limit for Australian companies only if there is full disclosure regarding the anticipated or previous issuance(s) of shares, there is nothing controversial about the anticipated or previous issuance(s) of shares, and there is no history of abusing the discretion to issue securities. Otherwise vote on a case-by-case basis.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote for proposals renewing partial takeover provisions.|
|Ø||Putnam will vote on a case-by-case basis on proposals involving related party transactions. However, Putnam will vote against when such proposals do not provide information on the specific transaction(s) to be entered into with the board members or executives.|
|September 28, 2022||II-133|
Exhibit B to Proxy Procedures
PROXY VOTING CONFLICT
OF INTEREST DISCLOSURE FORM
|2.||Date of Meeting: ___________________________________________|
|3.||Referral Item(s): ____________________________________________|
|4.||Description of Putnam’s Business Relationship with Issuer of Proxy which may give rise to a conflict of interest:________________________________|
|5.||Describe procedures used to address any conflict of interest: Investment professional who was solicited to provide a recommendation was advised that the recommendation must be provided without regard to any client or other business relationship between Putnam and the company. In addition, Putnam has made arrangements that, unless authorized by Putnam's Legal and Compliance Department, contacts from outside parties, except for representatives of the issuing company, with respect to referral items will be handled by Putnam's Legal and Compliance Department to prevent any influence on the investment process. In the case of contact between Putnam investment professionals and representatives of issuing companies, any such contact will be documented and included in the proxy voting files.|
|6.||Describe any contacts from parties outside Putnam Management (other than routine communications from proxy solicitors) with respect to the referral item not otherwise reported in an investment professional’s recommendation:|
The undersigned officer of Putnam Investments certifies that, to the best of his or her knowledge, any recommendation of an investment professional provided under circumstances where a conflict of interest exists was made solely on the investment merits and without regard to any other consideration.
Name: Victoria R. Card
Title: Manager, Proxy Voting
|September 28, 2022||II-134|
Exhibit C to Proxy Procedures
PROXY VOTING CONFLICT
OF INTEREST DISCLOSURE FORM
|1.||Company name: _______________________|
|2.||Date of Meeting: _______________________|
|3.||Referral Item(s): ___________________________________|
|4.||Description of Putnam’s Business Relationship with Issuer of Proxy which may give rise to a conflict of interest: None___________________________|
|5.||Describe procedures used to address any conflict of interest: N/A_________|
|6.||Describe any contacts from parties outside Putnam Management (other than routine communications from proxy solicitors) with respect to the referral item not otherwise reported in an investment professional’s recommendation:|
The undersigned officer of Putnam Investments certifies that, to the best of his or her knowledge, any recommendation of an investment professional provided under circumstances where a conflict of interest exists was made solely on the investment merits and without regard to any other consideration.
Name: Victoria R. Card
Title: Manager, Proxy Voting
|September 28, 2022||II-135|