Responding to an influx of applications for new exchange-traded funds, the Securities and Exchange Commission is reportedly working on a new rule that would speed up their approval process. Because the products are hybrids somewhere in between stocks and mutual funds, they currently have to apply for exemptive relief.

Andrew Donohue, the new director of the division of investment management, has said that the SEC is "actively" working on such a rule, as well as whether or not to approve actively managed ETFs.

The new rule would be similar to one that the SEC passed for money market mutual funds shortly after they were first created.

Currently, there are 344 ETFs with assets of more than $400 billion.

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