The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC has been granted accelerated approval to change its listing rules to permit the listing and trading of Commodity-Linked Securities, defined as securities that provide for payment at maturity of a cash amount based on the performance of one or more physical commodities or commodity futures, options or other commodity derivatives, commodity-related securities or a basket or index of the same. The reference asset to which the security is linked must have been reviewed and approved for the trading of commodity-related securities or options or other derivatives by the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and pricing information for the reference asset must be derived from a market which is an Intermarket Surveillance Group Member or affiliate with which NASDAQ has a comprehensive surveillance sharing agreement. In addition, the value of the reference asset must be calculated and disseminated on a 15 second basis during NASDAQ’s regular market session
As part of the same release, NASDAQ proposed several conforming rules changes concerning Linked Securities. Changes include increasing the maximum term for Linked Securities to 30 years; modifying rebalancing requirements for indexes underlying Equity Index-Linked Securities based on the equal-dollar or modified equal-dollar weighting method; establishing an exception to the requirement that 90% of the index’s numerical value and at least 80% of the total number of component securities underlying an Equity Reference Asset must meet then current NYSE Arca criteria for standardized options trading in the event that no underlying component security represents more than 10% of the dollar weight of such index and such index has a minimum of 20 component securities; clarifying the eligibility requirements of components underlying Equity Index-Linked Securities; modifying NASDAQ rules to clarify that the payment at maturity may or may not provide for a multiple of the direct or inverse performance of any underlying index, indexes, or Reference Asset subject to some limitations. Further, Index Linked Securities trading in $1,000 denominations or that are redeemable on a weekly basis are no longer subject to the minimum number of holder rule.