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CEF Weekly Update

Sumit Desai, CFA

It's been another busy week for closed-end funds. Following is a summary of recent CEF news over the past week.

Offerings and Buybacks
Oxford Lane Capital(OXLC) announced that its rights offering will result in the issuance of more than 4 million additional shares. The subscription price for the oversubscribed offering was $17 per share. Shareholders on record as of Feb. 4, 2014, will receive one nontransferable right for each share held.

MS Asia Pacific(APF) announced a cash tender offer for up to 20% of its outstanding shares at a price equal to 98.5% of the fund's net asset value as of the close of the regular trading day on April 2, 2014, unless the offer is extended. In connection with the tender offer, the fund has temporarily stopped any purchases of shares on the open market until about 10 business days after the termination of the tender offer.

A couple of Nuveen commodity funds, Nuveen Diversified Commodity(CFD) and Nuveen Long/Short Commodity Total Return(CTF) announced the renewal of past share-repurchase programs. Under terms of the program, the funds may repurchase up to 10% of its outstanding common shares.

Special Opportunities Fund(SPE) converted or redeemed all of its convertible preferred shares. A total of 744,720 preferred shares were converted to 2.7 million shares of the fund's common stock, while another 4,366 preferred shares were redeemed for a cash payment of $50 per share, or $218,300 total.

Investment Policy Changes
Several Western Asset Management funds announced an amended investment policy to include J.P. Morgan Corporate Emerging Market Bond Index Broad. Also, the fund now considers a country to be an emerging-markets country if it is represented in the J.P. Morgan Emerging Market Bond Index Global or the J.P. Morgan Corporate Emerging Market Bond Index Broad or categorized by the World Bank in its annual categorization as middle or low-income. For a full list of the funds affected by this change, click here.

BlackRock Floating Rate Income Trust(BGT) announced changes to its nonfundamental investment policies. Following the change, the fund will no longer be required to invest a specific percentage of its assets in non-U.S. securities or invest in securities across a minimum number of non-U.S. countries. Previously, the fund was expected to invest at least 30% of its managed assets in securities of non-U.S. issuers and in the securities of at least 10 countries.

Manager Changes
Several Eaton Vance municipal-bond funds saw manager changes following the departure of previous manager William Ahern Jr. Thomas Metzold and Cynthia Clemson will take over the funds managed by Ahern. For full details of the management change, click here.

John Hancock Tax Advantaged Global Shareholder Yield(HTY) announced it added John Tobin and Kera Van Valen as portfolio managers, effective March 1, 2014.

Effective March 5, 2014, Prudential's co-head of global leveraged finance team, Robert Cignarella, joined the firm's high-yield team as a portfolio manager. The CEFs affected by this include Prudential Global Short Duration High Yield(GHY) and Prudential Short Duration High Yield (ISD).

Click here for data and commentary on individual closed-end funds: http://news.morningstar.com/PDFs/cefw031114.pdf

Sumit Desai, CFA does not own shares in any of the securities mentioned above.