WASHINGTON - Following a rash of derivative losses by bond mutual funds this year, the Securities and Exchange Commission is examining ways to beef up its oversight of these funds, Commissioner Richard Y. Roberts said.
The agency is seriously considering:
Asking bonds funds to include in their prospectuses a summary of the riskiness of the portfolio under various scenarios;
Requiring them to more fully describe the investment portfolio to shareholders;
Amending a "books and records" rule in order to require funds to download portfolio data directly into the SEC's computers upon request;
Seeking a legislative change to get greater access to a fund's portfolio manager and investment staff; and
Conducting inspections limited only to a fund's portfolio. At the same time, agency officials also are working in concert with mutual fund industry representatives to develop a quantitative risk measure for ranking funds.