InvestmentNews reported Friday that MacroMarkets LLC will be closing its oil funds. The MacroShares $100 Oil Up Trust (NYSE: UOY) and the MacroShares $100 Oil Down Trust (NYSE: DOY) will cease trading on June 25, with distribution payments made to shareholders on July 6, the article said.
The trusts hold Treasuries and assets shift between them proportionate to the movement of the price of oil—assets flow into UOY when the price rises, and into DOY when it falls.
These are not the first MacroShares oil products to be terminated. MacroShares closed down its initial Up and Down oil Macros in June 2008, after the skyrocketing price of oil shoved all the assets into the existing "Up" fund and left the existing "Down" fund with nothing.
UOY and DOY, which were launched as replacements of those original funds, are being closed for a different reason: a lack of enthusiasm among investors.
InvestmentNews noted a clause in the prospectus of the two MacroShares that allows for termination should the amount of assets on deposit in both or one of the trusts fall below $50 million. Combined assets in the two trusts currently amount to something in the area of $20 million. At that level, it appears that it was just not worth it for the funds to continue operating.
MacroMarkets kicked off an auction in late April for two more trusts: MacroShares Major Metro Housing Up (NYSE: UMM) and MacroShares Major Metro Housing Down (NYSE: DMM), the first products that will allow investors to track home prices. They do not appear to be trading on the secondary market yet.