Fido, T. Rowe Join the Ranks of Guarantee Program Participants
Reported by Armie Margaret Lee
Add Fidelity and T. Rowe Price to the list of participants in the Treasury Department's guarantee program for money market funds. The two are among the fund firms,
which also include Vanguard (see The MFWire, October 7, 2008), that announced their participation Tuesday, a day before the deadline.
"Even though it is highly unlikely that the insurance will be needed for any of our funds, we expect the program to reassure our investors that their money market funds will continue to provide safety and liquidity for their cash investments," Fidelity officials said in an announcement posted on the
company Web site.
T. Rowe vice chairman Edward Bernard said the move provides an "additional layer of reassurance for our money fund shareholders during this difficult period."
Fidelity Investments and the Board of Trustees of Fidelity’s money market funds have determined that all of Fidelity’s retail and institutional money market mutual funds will participate in the U.S. Treasury Department Temporary Guarantee Program for Money Market Funds.
Fidelity and the Trustees believe that it is in the interests of our fund shareholders to participate in the program. Even though it is highly unlikely that the insurance will be needed for any of our funds, we expect the program to reassure our investors that their money market funds will continue to provide safety and liquidity for their cash investments.
Under the program, the U.S. Treasury will guarantee the share price of any publicly offered eligible money market mutual fund that applies for and pays a fee to participate in the program. The coverage would apply only to investments held in participating money market funds as of the close of business on September 19, 2008.
Our funds continue to invest in money market securities of high quality, and our customers continue to have full access to their investments any time they wish. Most importantly, we have been proactive in keeping our money market funds safe and in protecting the $1.00 net asset value (NAV), which has always been our #1 objective in managing these funds. That’s what our clients and customers expect from us, and what we continue to be dedicated to providing for them.
Below are some additional details of the Treasury Department program:
Under the program, coverage is provided to shareholders for amounts that they held in participating money market funds as of the close of business on September 19, 2008. A shareholder’s holdings in a participating money market fund as of September 19, 2008, represent the maximum amount of assets eligible for reimbursement under the program. Any increase in the number of shares held in an account after the close of business on September 19, 2008, will not be guaranteed. If the number of shares held in the account fluctuates over the period, investors will be covered for either the number of shares held as of the close of business on September 19, 2008, or the current amount, whichever is less.
The guarantee will be triggered only if a participating fund liquidates its assets as a result of its net asset value falling below $0.995, commonly referred to as "breaking the buck". The Treasury Department states that, in the event that a participating fund breaks the buck and liquidates, a guarantee payment should be made to investors through their fund within approximately 30 days, subject to possible extensions at the discretion of the Treasury.
The program is designed to address temporary dislocations in credit markets. It will exist for an initial three-month term, after which the Secretary of the Treasury will review the need and terms for extending the program.
Fees paid to the Treasury Department to participate in the program will depend upon each fund’s net asset value (NAV) per share as of September 19, 2008.
While the program protects the accounts of investors, each money market fund makes the decision to sign up for the program. Investors cannot sign up for the program individually.
Eligible funds include both taxable and tax–exempt money market funds. The Treasury and IRS issued guidance that confirmed that participation in the temporary guarantee program will not be treated as a federal guarantee that jeopardizes the tax-exempt treatment of payments by tax–exempt money market funds.
For more information on the program, investors may access news release and FAQ documents recently issued by the Treasury Department and available on the Treasury Department’s web site at www.ustreas.gov.
T. Rowe Price Press Release
BALTIMORE, Oct. 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. and the Boards of Directors of the T. Rowe Price money market funds have decided that its taxable and tax free money market funds will participate in the U.S. Treasury Department's temporary money market fund guarantee program.
"The significant disruptions in the credit markets have been unsettling for investors. We are taking this step to provide an additional layer of re-assurance for our money fund shareholders during this difficult period," noted Edward Bernard, Vice Chairman of T. Rowe Price Group Inc. and Chairman of the T. Rowe Price money market funds. "All of our money market funds have maintained a $1.00 NAV throughout their history and the recent turbulence in the credit markets, and are highly liquid and very well diversified."
The funds that will participate in the program are: T. Rowe Price Prime Reserve Fund, T. Rowe Price Summit Cash Reserves Fund, T. Rowe Price Prime Reserve Portfolio, T. Rowe Price U.S. Treasury Money Fund, T. Rowe Price Tax-Exempt Money Fund, T. Rowe Price Summit Municipal Money Market Fund, T. Rowe Price New York Tax Free Money Fund, T. Rowe Price Maryland Tax Free Money Fund, and T. Rowe Price California Tax Free Money Fund. As of August 31, 2008, T. Rowe Price managed a total of $16.1 billion in these money market portfolios.
Founded in 1937, Baltimore-based T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: TROW - News) is a global investment management organization with $387.7 billion in assets under management as of June 30, 2008. T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. is a registered investment adviser with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and a wholly owned subsidiary of T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. The organization provides a broad array of mutual funds, sub-advisory services, and separate account management for individual and institutional investors, retirement plans, and financial intermediaries. The company also offers sophisticated investment planning and guidance tools. T. Rowe Price's disciplined, risk- aware investment approach focuses on diversification, style consistency, and fundamental research. More information is available at http://www.troweprice.com.