Self-Regulatory Organizations; American Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Permit the Listing and Trading of Quarterly Options Series, 41283-41287 [E6-11489]

Download as PDF 41283 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 139 / Thursday, July 20, 2006 / Notices Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Room 10102, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503 or by sending an e-mail to: David_Rostker@omb.eop.gov; and (ii) R. Corey Booth, Director/Chief Information Officer, Securities and Exchange Commission, C/O Shirley Martinson, 6432 General Green Way, Alexandria, Virginia 22312; or by sending an e-mail to: PRA_Mailbox@sec.gov. Comments must be submitted to OMB within 30 days of this notice. Dated: June 29, 2006 J. Lynn Taylor, Assistant Secretary. [FR Doc. E6–11498 Filed 7–19–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8010–01–P Dated: June 29, 2006. J. Lynn Taylor, Assistant Secretary. [FR Doc. E6–11499 Filed 7–19–06; 8:45 am] SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION Submission for OMB Review, Comment Request BILLING CODE 8010–01–P Upon Written Request, Copies Available From: Securities and Exchange Commission Office of Filings and Information Services, Washington, DC 20549. Extension: Rule 17a–8; SEC File No. 270–53; OMB Control No. 3235–0092. Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the Securities and Exchange Commission (‘‘Commission’’) has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget requests for extension of the previously approved collection of information discussed below. rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with NOTICES_1 Rule 17a–8—Financial Recordkeeping and Reporting of Currency and Foreign Transactions Rule 17a–8 (17 CFR 240.17a–8) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78a et seq.) (the ‘‘Act’’) requires brokers and dealers to make and keep certain reports and records concerning their currency and monetary instrument transactions. The requirements allow the Commission to ensure that brokers and dealers are in compliance with the Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act of 1970 (‘‘Bank Secrecy Act’’) and with the Department of the Treasury regulations under that Act. The reports and records required under this rule initially are required under Department of the Treasury regulations, and additional burden hours and costs are not imposed by this rule. VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:44 Jul 19, 2006 Jkt 208001 An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control number. Comments should be directed to (1) Desk Officer for the Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Room 10102, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC, 20503 or by sending an e-mail to: David_Rostker@omb.eop.gov; and (2) R. Corey Booth, Director/Chief Information Officer, Securities and Exchange Commission, C/O Shirley Martinson, 6432 General Green Way, Alexandria, Virginia 22312 or send an e-mail to: PRA_Mailbox@sec.gov. Comments must be submitted to OMB within 30 days of this notice. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34–54137; File No. SR–Amex– 2006–67] Self-Regulatory Organizations; American Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Permit the Listing and Trading of Quarterly Options Series July 12, 2006. Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (‘‘Act’’) 1 and Rule 19b–4 thereunder,2 notice is hereby given that on July 11, 2006, the American Stock Exchange LLC (‘‘Exchange’’ or ‘‘Amex’’) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (‘‘Commission’’) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been substantially prepared by the Exchange. The Exchange has designated this proposal as non-controversial under Section 19(b)(3)(A)(iii) of the Act 3 and Rule 19b–4(f)(6) thereunder,4 which renders the proposed rule change effective upon filing with the Commission. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons. PO 00000 1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1). CFR 240.19b–4. 3 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(iii). 4 17 CFR 240.19b–4(f)(6). 2 17 Frm 00087 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 I. Self-Regulatory Organization’s Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change The Exchange proposes to amend its rules to permit the listing and trading of quarterly options series.5 The text of the proposed rule change is set forth below. Proposed new language is in italics; language proposed to be deleted is in [brackets]. * * * * * Rule 900—Applicability, Definitions and References (a) No change. (b) Definitions—The following terms as used in the Rules in this Chapter shall, unless the context otherwise indicates, have the meanings herein specified: (1)–(44) No change. (45) Quarterly Options Series—The term ‘‘Quarterly Options Series’’ means a series in an options class that is approved for listing and trading on the Exchange in which the series is opened for trading on any business day and that expires at the close of business on the last business day of a calendar quarter: (c)–(d) No change. * * * Commentary .01 * * No change. * * * Rule 903—Series of Options Open for Trading (a) After a particular class of options (call option contracts or put option contracts relating to a specific underlying security or calculated index) has been approved for listing and trading on the Exchange, the Exchange shall from time to time open for trading series of options therein. Prior to the opening of trading in any series of options, the Exchange shall fix the expiration month, expiration year (if the options series has more than one year remaining to expiration), and exercise price of option contracts included in each such series. For Short Term Options Series, the Exchange will fix a specific expiration date and exercise price, as provided in paragraph (h). For Quarterly Options Series, the Exchange will fix a specific expiration date and exercise price, as provided in Commentary .09. (b)–(h) No change. 5 This proposal is substantially identical to a recently approved proposal by the International Securities Exchange (‘‘ISE’’) to list Quarterly Options Series on a pilot basis. See Securities Exchange Act Releases No. 53857 (May 24, 2006), 71 FR 31246 (June 1, 2006) (notice of filing); and 54113 (July 7, 2006) (approval order). E:\FR\FM\20JYN1.SGM 20JYN1 41284 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 139 / Thursday, July 20, 2006 / Notices options of the same class previously opened. .01–.08 No change. (d) The interval between strike prices .09 Quarterly Options Series Pilot on Quarterly Options Series shall be the Program: For a pilot period, the same as the interval for strike prices for Exchange may list and trade options series that expire at the close of business series in that same options class that expire in accordance with the normal on the last business day of a calendar monthly expiration cycle. quarter (‘‘Quarterly Options Series’’). * * * * * The Exchange may list Quarterly Options Series for up to five (5) Rule 900C—Applicability and currently listed options classes that are Definitions either Stock Index Options or options on (a) No change. exchange traded funds. In addition, the (b) Definitions—The following terms Exchange may also list Quarterly as used in the Rules in this Section Options Series on any options classes shall, unless the context otherwise that are selected by other securities indicates, have the meanings herein exchanges that employ a similar pilot specified: program under their respective rules. (1)–(25) No change. The pilot will commence the day the (26) Quarterly [Index Expiration] Exchange first initiates trading in a Quarterly Options Series, which shall be Options Series—The term ‘‘quarterly [index expiration] options series’’ means no later than August 10, 2006 and will [an option contract on a stock index expire on July 10, 2007. group that expires on the first business (a) The Exchange will list series that expire at the end of the next consecutive day of the month following the end of four (4) calendar quarters, as well as the a calendar quarter], for the purposes of fourth quarter of the next calendar year. this Section 14, a series in an index options class that is approved for listing For example, if the Exchange is trading and trading on the Exchange in which Quarterly Options Series in the month of May 2006, it will list series that expire the series is opened for trading on any business day and that expires at the at the end of the second, third and close of business on the last business fourth quarters of 2006, as well as the day of a calendar quarter. first and fourth quarters of 2007. (27) No change. Following the second quarter 2006 expiration, the Exchange will add series * * * * * that expire at the end of the second Rule 903C—Series of Stock Index quarter of 2007. Options (b) The Exchange will not list a Short (a) No change. Term Options Series on an options class (i)–(iii) No change. whose expiration coincides with that of (iv) [Quarterly Index Expiration a Quarterly Options Series on that same Option Series—The Exchange may list options class. options on the Major Market (‘‘XMI’’), (c) The strike price of each Quarterly Institutional (‘‘XII’’) and S&P MidCap Options Series will be fixed at a price per share, with at least two strike prices 400 (‘‘MID’’) stock indices that expire on the first business day of the month above and two strike prices below the value of the underlying security at about following the end of a calendar quarter. the time that a Quarterly Options Series For such options, the Exchange may list up to eight consecutive quarterly is opened for trading on the Exchange. expirations with an index multiplier no The Exchange shall list strike prices for greater than 500. All other contract a Quarterly Options Series that are terms for such options will conform to within $5 from the closing price of the the terms of the XMI, XII and MID underlying on the preceding day. options listed pursuant to the provisions Additional Quarterly Options Series of of Rule 903C(a)(i) and (ii) above.] the same class may be opened for Quarterly Options Series Pilot Program: trading on the Exchange when the For a pilot period, the Exchange may list Exchange deems it necessary to and trade options series that expire at maintain an orderly market, to meet the close of business on the last business customer demand or when the market day of a calendar quarter (‘‘Quarterly price of the underlying security moves Options Series’’). The Exchange may list substantially from the initial exercise Quarterly Options Series for up to five price or prices. To the extent that any additional strike prices are listed by the (5) currently listed options classes that are either Stock Index Options or Exchange, such additional strike prices shall be within $5 from the closing price options on exchange traded funds. In addition, the Exchange may also list of the underlying on the preceding day. Quarterly Options Series on any options The opening of new Quarterly Options classes that are selected by other Series shall not affect the series of rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with NOTICES_1 * * * Commentary VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:44 Jul 19, 2006 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00088 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 securities exchanges that employ a similar pilot program under their respective rules. The pilot will commence the day the Exchange first initiates trading in a Quarterly Options Series, which shall be no later than August 10, 2006 and will expire on July 10, 2007. 1. The Exchange will list series that expire at the end of the next consecutive four (4) calendar quarters, as well as the fourth quarter of the next calendar year. For example if the Exchange is trading Quarterly Options Series in the month of May 2006, it will list series that expire at the end of the second, third and fourth quarters of 2006, as well as the first and fourth quarters of 2007. Following the second quarter 2006 expiration, the Exchange will add series that expire at the end of the second quarter of 2007. 2. The Exchange will not list a Short Term Option Series on an options class whose expiration coincides with that of a Quarterly Options Series on that same options class. 3. Quarterly Options Series shall be P.M. settled. 4. The strike price of each Quarterly Options Series will be fixed at a price per share, with at least two strike prices above and two strike prices below the value of the underlying security at about the time that a Quarterly Options Series is opened for trading on the Exchange. The Exchange shall list strike prices for a Quarterly Options Series that are within $5 from the closing price of the underlying on the preceding day. The Exchange may open for trading additional Quarterly Options Series of the same class if the current index value of the underlying index moves substantially from the exercise price of those Quarterly Options Series that already have been opened for trading on the Exchange. The exercise price of each Quarterly Options Series opened for trading on the Exchange shall be reasonably related to the current index value of the underlying index to which such series relates at or about the time such series of options is first opened for trading on the Exchange. The term ‘‘reasonably related to the current index value of the underlying index’’ means that the exercise price is within thirty percent (30%) of the current index value. The Exchange may also open for trading additional Quarterly Options Series that are more than thirty percent (30%) away from the current index value, provided that demonstrated customer interest exists for such series, as expressed by institutional, corporate, or individual customers or their brokers. Market-makers trading for their own account shall not be considered when E:\FR\FM\20JYN1.SGM 20JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 139 / Thursday, July 20, 2006 / Notices determining customer interest under this provision. 5. The interval between strike prices on Quarterly Options Series shall be the same as the interval for strike prices for series in that same options class that expire in accordance with the normal monthly expiration cycle. (v) No change. (b)–(c) No change. rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with NOTICES_1 * * * Commentary .01–.04 No change. Rule 904C—Position Limits (a) No change. (b) Broad Stock Index Groups. No change. —Full Size Nasdaq 100 Index Options (NDX) through Eurotop 100 Index Options—No change. —Positions in Short Term Option Series and Quarterly Options Series shall be aggregated with positions in options contracts on the same index. —Russell 1000 Index Options, etc.—No change. (c) Stock Index Industry Groups. (i) Subject to the procedures specified in sub-paragraph (iii) of this paragraph (c), the Exchange shall establish a position limit with respect to options on ´ the Pauzee Tombstone Common Stock Index of 6,000 contracts and for each underlying stock index industry group at a level no greater than: —18,000 contracts if the Exchange determines, at the time of a review conducted pursuant to subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph (c), that any single stock in the group accounted, on average, for 30% or more of the numerical index value during the 30day period immediately preceding the review; or —24,000 contracts if the Exchange determines, at the time of a review conducted pursuant to subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph (c), that any single stock in the group accounted, on average, for 20% or more of the numerical index value or that any five stocks in the group together accounted, on average, for more than 50% of the numerical index value, but that no single stock in the group accounted, on average, for 30% or more of the numerical index value, during the 30-day period immediately preceding the review; or —31,500 contracts if the Exchange determines that the conditions specified above which would require the establishment of a lower limit have not occurred. —Positions in Short Terms Option Series and Quarterly Options Series shall be aggregated with positions in options contracts on the same index. VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:44 Jul 19, 2006 Jkt 208001 (ii)–(iii) No change. (d) No change. * * * * * II. Self-Regulatory Organization’s Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change In its filing with the Commission, the Exchange included statements concerning the purpose of, and basis for, the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements. A. Self-Regulatory Organization’s Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose The Exchange proposes to amend its rules to accommodate the listing of options series that would expire at the close of business on the last business day of a calendar quarter (‘‘Quarterly Options Series’’).6 Quarterly Options Series could be opened on any approved options class 7 on a business day (‘‘Quarterly Options Opening Date’’) and would expire at the close of business on the last business day of a calendar quarter (‘‘Quarterly Options Expiration Date’’). The Exchange would list series that expire at the end of the next four consecutive calendar quarters, as well as the fourth quarter of the next calendar year. For example, if the Exchange were trading Quarterly Options Series in the month of May 2006, it would list series that expire at the end of the second, third, and fourth quarters of 2006, as well as the first and fourth quarters of 2007. Following the second quarter 2006 expiration, the Exchange would add series that expire at the end of the second quarter of 2007. Quarterly Options Series listed on currently approved options classes would be P.M.-settled and, in all other 6 In 1993, the Exchange was granted SEC approval to list and trade broad-based index options that expire at the end of each quarter. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 31844 (February 9, 1993); 58 FR 8796 (February 17, 1993). The Exchange listed and traded these options on the Major Market Index (XMI), Institutional Index (XII) and S&P Midcap Index (MID). These quarterly-style options proved to be of limited use to investors and did not trade particularly well, largely because they were A.M.-settled options. 7 Quarterly Options Series may be opened in options on indexes or options on Exchange Traded Fund (‘‘ETFs’’) that satisfy the applicable listing criteria under Amex rules. PO 00000 Frm 00089 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 41285 respects, would settle in the same manner as do the monthly expiration series in the same options class. The proposed rule change would allow the Exchange to open up to five currently listed options classes that are either index options or options on ETFs. The strike price for each series would be fixed at a price per share, with at least two strike prices above and two strike prices below the approximate value of the underlying security at about the time that a Quarterly Options Series is opened for trading on the Exchange. The Exchange may list strike prices for a Quarterly Options Series that are within $5 from the closing price of the underlying security on the preceding trading day. The proposal would permit the Exchange to open for trading additional Quarterly Options Series of the same class when the Exchange deems it necessary to maintain an orderly market, to meet customer demand, or when the current market price of the underlying security moves substantially from the exercise prices of those Quarterly Options Series that already have been opened for trading on the Exchange. In addition, the exercise price of each Quarterly Options Series on an underlying index would be required to be reasonably related to the current index value of the index at or about the time such series of options were first opened for trading on the Exchange. The term ‘‘reasonably related to the current index value of the underlying index’’ means that the exercise price is within thirty percent of the current index value. The Exchange would also be permitted to open for trading additional Quarterly Options Series on an underlying index that are more than thirty percent away from the current index value, provided that demonstrated customer interest exists for such series, as expressed by institutional, corporate, or individual customers or their brokers. MarketMakers trading for their own account shall not be considered when determining customer interest under this provision. Because monthly options series expire on the third Friday of their expiration month, a Quarterly Options Series, which would expire on the last business day of the quarter, could never expire in the same week in which a monthly options series in the same class expires. The same, however, is not the case for Short Term Option Series. Quarterly Options Series and Short Term Option Series on the same options class could potentially expire concurrently under E:\FR\FM\20JYN1.SGM 20JYN1 rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with NOTICES_1 41286 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 139 / Thursday, July 20, 2006 / Notices the proposal.8 Therefore, to avoid any confusion in the marketplace, the proposal stipulates that the Exchange may not list a Short Term Option Series that expires at the end of the day on the same day as a Quarterly Options Series in the same class expires. In other words, the proposed rules would not permit the Exchange to list a P.M.settled Short Term Option Series on an ETF or an index that would expire on a Friday that is the last business day of a calendar quarter if a Quarterly Options Series on that ETF or index were scheduled to expire on that day. However, the proposed rules would permit the Exchange to list as A.M.settled Short Term Option Series and a P.M.-settled Quarterly Options Series in the same options class that both expire on the same day (i.e., on a Friday that is the last business day of the calendar quarter). The Exchange believes that the concurrent listing of an A.M.-settled Short Term Option Series and a P.M.settled Quarterly Options Series on the same underlying ETF or index that expire on the same day would not tend to cause the same confusion as would P.M.-settled short term and quarterly series in the same options class, and would provide investors with an additional hedging mechanism. Finally, the interval between strike prices on Quarterly Options Series would be the same as the interval for strike prices for series in the same options class that expires in accordance with the normal monthly expiration cycles. The Exchange believes that Quarterly Options Series would provide investors with a flexible and valuable tool to manage risk exposure, minimize capital outlays, and be more responsive to the timing of events affecting the securities that underlie option contracts. At the same time, the Exchange is cognizant of the need to be cautious in introducing a product that can increase the number of outstanding strike prices. For that reason, the Exchange intends to employ a limited pilot program (‘‘Pilot Program’’) for Quarterly Options Series. Under the terms of the Pilot Program, the Exchange could select up to five option classes on which Quarterly Options Series may be opened on any Quarterly Options Opening Date. The Exchange would also be allowed to list those Quarterly Options Series on any options class that is selected by another securities exchange with a similar Pilot Program under its rules. The Exchange believes that limiting the number of options classes in which Quarterly 8 The Exchange currently does not have any Short Term Option Series listed for trading. VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:44 Jul 19, 2006 Jkt 208001 Options Series may be opened would help to ensure that the addition of the new series through this Pilot Program will have only a negligible impact on the Exchange’s and the Option Price Reporting Authority’s (‘‘OPRA’’) quoting capacity. Also, limiting the term of the Pilot Program to a period of approximately one year will allow the Exchange and the Commission to determine whether the program should be extended, expanded, and/or made permanent. If the Exchange were to propose an extension or an expansion of the program, or were the Exchange to propose to make the Pilot Program permanent, the Exchange would submit, along with any filing proposing such amendments to the Pilot Program, a Pilot Program report (‘‘Report’’) that will provide an analysis of the Pilot Program covering the entire period during which the Pilot Program was in effect. The Report would include, at a minimum: (1) Data and written analysis on the open interest and trading volume in the classes for which Quarterly Option Series were opened; (2) an assessment of the appropriateness of the options classes selected for the Pilot Program; (3) an assessment of the impact of the Pilot Program on the capacity of the Amex, OPRA, and on market data vendors (to the extent data from market data vendors is available); (4) any capacity problems or other problems that arose during the operation of the Pilot Program and how the Amex addressed such problems; (5) any complaints that the Amex received during the operation of the Pilot Program and how the Amex addressed them; and (6) any additional information that would assist in assessing the operation of the Pilot Program. The Report must be submitted to the Commission at least sixty days prior to the expiration date of the Pilot Program. Alternatively, at the end of the Pilot Program, if the Exchange determines not to propose an extension or an expansion of the Pilot Program, or if the Commission determines not to extend or expand the Pilot Program, the Exchange would no longer list any additional Quarterly Options Series and would limit all existing open interest in Quarterly Options Series to closing transactions only. Finally, the Exchange represents that it has the necessary systems capacity to support new options series that will result from the introduction of Quarterly Options Series. PO 00000 Frm 00090 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 2. Statutory Basis The Exchange believes that the introduction of Quarterly Options Series will satisfy institutional demand for such options and provide additional flexibility and additional risk management tools to investors. For these reasons, the Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act 9 in general and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act 10 in particular in that it is designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest. B. Self-Regulatory Organization’s Statement on Burden on Competition The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. C. Self-Regulatory Organization’s Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants or Others No written comments were solicited or received with respect to the proposed rule change. III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action The Exchange has filed the proposed rule change pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act 11 and subparagraph (f)(6) of Rule 19b–4 thereunder.12 Because the foregoing proposed rule change (i) Does not significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (ii) does not impose any significant burden on competition; and (iii) does not become operative for 30 days from the date on which it was filed, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate, if consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest, the proposed rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act and Rule 19b–4(f)(6)(iii) thereunder.13 A proposed rule change filed under Rule 19b–4(f)(6) normally does not become operative for 30 days after the 9 15 U.S.C. 78f(b). U.S.C. 78f(b)(5). 11 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A). 12 17 CFR 240.19b–4(f)(6). 13 Rule 19b–4(f)(6)(iii) requires the Exchange to give written notice to the Commission of its intent to file the proposed rule change five business days prior to filing. The Commission has determined to waive the five-day pre-filing requirement for this proposal. 10 15 E:\FR\FM\20JYN1.SGM 20JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 139 / Thursday, July 20, 2006 / Notices date of filing. However, Rule 19b– 4(f)(6)(iii) permits the Commission to waive the operative delay if such action is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. The Exchange has asked the Commission to waive the operative delay to permit the Pilot Program extension to become effective prior to the 30th day after filing. The Commission believes that waiving the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. The Commission notes that the proposal is substantially identical to the ISE’s Quarterly Option Series Pilot Program, previously published for comment and approved by the Commission,14 and thus the Exchange’s proposal raises no new issues of regulatory concern. Moreover, waiving the operative delay will allow the Exchange to immediately compete with other exchanges that list and trade quarterly options under similar programs, and consequently will benefit the public. Therefore, the Commission has determined to waive the 30-day delay and allow the proposed rule change to become operative immediately.15 At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission may summarily abrogate such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. IV. Solicitation of Comments Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods: rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with NOTICES_1 Electronic Comments • Use the Commission’s Internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/ rules/sro.shtml); or • Send an e-mail to rulecomments@sec.gov. Please include File No. SR–Amex–2006–67 on the subject line. Paper Comments • Send paper comments in triplicate to Nancy M. Morris, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 14 See supra note 5. 15 For purposes only of waiving the operative delay of this proposal, the Commission notes that it has considered the proposed rule’s impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. 15 U.S.C. 78c(f). VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:44 Jul 19, 2006 Jkt 208001 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549–1090. All submissions should refer to File Number SR–Amex–2006–67. This file number should be included on the subject line if e-mail is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commissions Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/ rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for inspection and copying in the Commission’s Public Reference Room. Copies of such filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR–Amex–2006–67 and should be submitted on or before August 10, 2006. For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.16 J. Lynn Taylor, Assistant Secretary. [FR Doc. E6–11489 Filed 7–19–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8010–01–P SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34–54135; File No. SR–CBOE– 2005–65] Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Order Approving Proposed Rule Change and Amendment Nos. 1 and 2 Relating to the Processing of Complex Orders in the Hybrid Trading System July 12, 2006. I. Introduction On August 24, 2005, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated (‘‘CBOE’’ or ‘‘Exchange’’) filed with the PO 00000 16 17 CFR 200.30–3(a)(12). Frm 00091 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 41287 Securities and Exchange Commission (‘‘Commission’’), pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (‘‘Act’’) 1 and Rule 19b–4 thereunder,2 a proposed rule change to, among other things, establish an automated Request for Responses (‘‘RFR’’) auction process for eligible complex orders (a ‘‘COA’’ process) traded on the CBOE’s Hybrid Trading System (‘‘Hybrid System’’) and to revise certain CBOE rules governing complex orders. The proposed rule change, as amended by Amendment Nos. 1 and 2, was published for comment in the Federal Register on June 7, 2006.3 The Commission received no comments regarding the proposal, as amended. This order approves the proposal, as amended. II. Description of the Proposal A. COA Process for Complex Orders CBOE Rule 6.53C, ‘‘Complex Orders on the Hybrid System,’’ sets forth the procedures for trading complex orders on the CBOE’s Hybrid System. Among other things, CBOE Rule 6.53C addresses whether a complex order will be routed to a PAR workstation, for manual handling, or to the complex order book (‘‘COB’’), for automated handling, and, once in the COB, the manner in which a complex order will execute against orders or quotes in the EBook, orders resting in the COB, and orders submitted to trade against interest in the COB. The CBOE proposes to introduce the COA,4 a new functionality designed to give eligible complex orders an opportunity for price improvement before being booked in the COB or once on PAR. The CBOE believes that the COA process will facilitate more automated handling of complex orders. Under the COA process, when a COA is initiated for a COA-eligible order,5 the CBOE will send an RFR message to all members who have elected to receive RFR messages.6 Market Makers with an appointment in the relevant options class and members acting as agent for orders resting at the top of the COB in the relevant options series may submit 1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1). CFR 240.19b–4. 3 See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 53909 (May 31, 2006), 71 FR 33011 (‘‘Notice’’). 4 See CBOE Rule 6.53C(d). 5 The appropriate CBOE committee will determine, on a class-by-class basis, the complex orders that are eligible for a COA based on the order’s marketability (defined as a number of ticks away from the current market), size, and complex order type. See CBOE Rule 6.53C(d)(i)(2). 6 The RFR message will identify the component series, the size of the COA-eligible order and any contingencies, if applicable, but will not identify the side of the market. See CBOE Rule 6.53C(d)(ii). 2 17 E:\FR\FM\20JYN1.SGM 20JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 139 (Thursday, July 20, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Pages 41283-41287]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-11489]


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SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

[Release No. 34-54137; File No. SR-Amex-2006-67]


Self-Regulatory Organizations; American Stock Exchange LLC; 
Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To 
Permit the Listing and Trading of Quarterly Options Series

July 12, 2006.
    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 
(``Act'') \1\ and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,\2\ notice is hereby given that 
on July 11, 2006, the American Stock Exchange LLC (``Exchange'' or 
``Amex'') filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission 
(``Commission'') the proposed rule change as described in Items I and 
II below, which Items have been substantially prepared by the Exchange. 
The Exchange has designated this proposal as non-controversial under 
Section 19(b)(3)(A)(iii) of the Act \3\ and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) 
thereunder,\4\ which renders the proposed rule change effective upon 
filing with the Commission. The Commission is publishing this notice to 
solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).
    \2\ 17 CFR 240.19b-4.
    \3\ 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(iii).
    \4\ 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6).
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I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance 
of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange proposes to amend its rules to permit the listing and 
trading of quarterly options series.\5\ The text of the proposed rule 
change is set forth below. Proposed new language is in italics; 
language proposed to be deleted is in [brackets].
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ This proposal is substantially identical to a recently 
approved proposal by the International Securities Exchange (``ISE'') 
to list Quarterly Options Series on a pilot basis. See Securities 
Exchange Act Releases No. 53857 (May 24, 2006), 71 FR 31246 (June 1, 
2006) (notice of filing); and 54113 (July 7, 2006) (approval order).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *

Rule 900--Applicability, Definitions and References

    (a) No change.
    (b) Definitions--The following terms as used in the Rules in this 
Chapter shall, unless the context otherwise indicates, have the 
meanings herein specified:
    (1)-(44) No change.
    (45) Quarterly Options Series--The term ``Quarterly Options 
Series'' means a series in an options class that is approved for 
listing and trading on the Exchange in which the series is opened for 
trading on any business day and that expires at the close of business 
on the last business day of a calendar quarter:
    (c)-(d) No change.
* * * Commentary
    .01 No change.
* * * * *

Rule 903--Series of Options Open for Trading

    (a) After a particular class of options (call option contracts or 
put option contracts relating to a specific underlying security or 
calculated index) has been approved for listing and trading on the 
Exchange, the Exchange shall from time to time open for trading series 
of options therein. Prior to the opening of trading in any series of 
options, the Exchange shall fix the expiration month, expiration year 
(if the options series has more than one year remaining to expiration), 
and exercise price of option contracts included in each such series. 
For Short Term Options Series, the Exchange will fix a specific 
expiration date and exercise price, as provided in paragraph (h). For 
Quarterly Options Series, the Exchange will fix a specific expiration 
date and exercise price, as provided in Commentary .09.
    (b)-(h) No change.

[[Page 41284]]

* * * Commentary
    .01-.08 No change.
    .09 Quarterly Options Series Pilot Program: For a pilot period, the 
Exchange may list and trade options series that expire at the close of 
business on the last business day of a calendar quarter (``Quarterly 
Options Series''). The Exchange may list Quarterly Options Series for 
up to five (5) currently listed options classes that are either Stock 
Index Options or options on exchange traded funds. In addition, the 
Exchange may also list Quarterly Options Series on any options classes 
that are selected by other securities exchanges that employ a similar 
pilot program under their respective rules. The pilot will commence the 
day the Exchange first initiates trading in a Quarterly Options Series, 
which shall be no later than August 10, 2006 and will expire on July 
10, 2007.
    (a) The Exchange will list series that expire at the end of the 
next consecutive four (4) calendar quarters, as well as the fourth 
quarter of the next calendar year. For example, if the Exchange is 
trading Quarterly Options Series in the month of May 2006, it will list 
series that expire at the end of the second, third and fourth quarters 
of 2006, as well as the first and fourth quarters of 2007. Following 
the second quarter 2006 expiration, the Exchange will add series that 
expire at the end of the second quarter of 2007.
    (b) The Exchange will not list a Short Term Options Series on an 
options class whose expiration coincides with that of a Quarterly 
Options Series on that same options class.
    (c) The strike price of each Quarterly Options Series will be fixed 
at a price per share, with at least two strike prices above and two 
strike prices below the value of the underlying security at about the 
time that a Quarterly Options Series is opened for trading on the 
Exchange. The Exchange shall list strike prices for a Quarterly Options 
Series that are within $5 from the closing price of the underlying on 
the preceding day. Additional Quarterly Options Series of the same 
class may be opened for trading on the Exchange when the Exchange deems 
it necessary to maintain an orderly market, to meet customer demand or 
when the market price of the underlying security moves substantially 
from the initial exercise price or prices. To the extent that any 
additional strike prices are listed by the Exchange, such additional 
strike prices shall be within $5 from the closing price of the 
underlying on the preceding day. The opening of new Quarterly Options 
Series shall not affect the series of options of the same class 
previously opened.
    (d) The interval between strike prices on Quarterly Options Series 
shall be the same as the interval for strike prices for series in that 
same options class that expire in accordance with the normal monthly 
expiration cycle.
* * * * *

Rule 900C--Applicability and Definitions

    (a) No change.
    (b) Definitions--The following terms as used in the Rules in this 
Section shall, unless the context otherwise indicates, have the 
meanings herein specified:
    (1)-(25) No change.
    (26) Quarterly [Index Expiration] Options Series--The term 
``quarterly [index expiration] options series'' means [an option 
contract on a stock index group that expires on the first business day 
of the month following the end of a calendar quarter], for the purposes 
of this Section 14, a series in an index options class that is approved 
for listing and trading on the Exchange in which the series is opened 
for trading on any business day and that expires at the close of 
business on the last business day of a calendar quarter.
    (27) No change.
* * * * *

Rule 903C--Series of Stock Index Options

    (a) No change.
    (i)-(iii) No change.
    (iv) [Quarterly Index Expiration Option Series--The Exchange may 
list options on the Major Market (``XMI''), Institutional (``XII'') and 
S&P MidCap 400 (``MID'') stock indices that expire on the first 
business day of the month following the end of a calendar quarter. For 
such options, the Exchange may list up to eight consecutive quarterly 
expirations with an index multiplier no greater than 500. All other 
contract terms for such options will conform to the terms of the XMI, 
XII and MID options listed pursuant to the provisions of Rule 
903C(a)(i) and (ii) above.] Quarterly Options Series Pilot Program: For 
a pilot period, the Exchange may list and trade options series that 
expire at the close of business on the last business day of a calendar 
quarter (``Quarterly Options Series''). The Exchange may list Quarterly 
Options Series for up to five (5) currently listed options classes that 
are either Stock Index Options or options on exchange traded funds. In 
addition, the Exchange may also list Quarterly Options Series on any 
options classes that are selected by other securities exchanges that 
employ a similar pilot program under their respective rules. The pilot 
will commence the day the Exchange first initiates trading in a 
Quarterly Options Series, which shall be no later than August 10, 2006 
and will expire on July 10, 2007.
    1. The Exchange will list series that expire at the end of the next 
consecutive four (4) calendar quarters, as well as the fourth quarter 
of the next calendar year. For example if the Exchange is trading 
Quarterly Options Series in the month of May 2006, it will list series 
that expire at the end of the second, third and fourth quarters of 
2006, as well as the first and fourth quarters of 2007. Following the 
second quarter 2006 expiration, the Exchange will add series that 
expire at the end of the second quarter of 2007.
    2. The Exchange will not list a Short Term Option Series on an 
options class whose expiration coincides with that of a Quarterly 
Options Series on that same options class.
    3. Quarterly Options Series shall be P.M. settled.
    4. The strike price of each Quarterly Options Series will be fixed 
at a price per share, with at least two strike prices above and two 
strike prices below the value of the underlying security at about the 
time that a Quarterly Options Series is opened for trading on the 
Exchange. The Exchange shall list strike prices for a Quarterly Options 
Series that are within $5 from the closing price of the underlying on 
the preceding day. The Exchange may open for trading additional 
Quarterly Options Series of the same class if the current index value 
of the underlying index moves substantially from the exercise price of 
those Quarterly Options Series that already have been opened for 
trading on the Exchange. The exercise price of each Quarterly Options 
Series opened for trading on the Exchange shall be reasonably related 
to the current index value of the underlying index to which such series 
relates at or about the time such series of options is first opened for 
trading on the Exchange. The term ``reasonably related to the current 
index value of the underlying index'' means that the exercise price is 
within thirty percent (30%) of the current index value. The Exchange 
may also open for trading additional Quarterly Options Series that are 
more than thirty percent (30%) away from the current index value, 
provided that demonstrated customer interest exists for such series, as 
expressed by institutional, corporate, or individual customers or their 
brokers. Market-makers trading for their own account shall not be 
considered when

[[Page 41285]]

determining customer interest under this provision.
    5. The interval between strike prices on Quarterly Options Series 
shall be the same as the interval for strike prices for series in that 
same options class that expire in accordance with the normal monthly 
expiration cycle.
    (v) No change.
    (b)-(c) No change.
* * * Commentary
    .01-.04 No change.

Rule 904C--Position Limits

    (a) No change.
    (b) Broad Stock Index Groups. No change.

--Full Size Nasdaq 100 Index Options (NDX) through Eurotop 100 Index 
Options--No change.
--Positions in Short Term Option Series and Quarterly Options Series 
shall be aggregated with positions in options contracts on the same 
index.
--Russell 1000 Index Options, etc.--No change.

    (c) Stock Index Industry Groups.
    (i) Subject to the procedures specified in sub-paragraph (iii) of 
this paragraph (c), the Exchange shall establish a position limit with 
respect to options on the Pauze[eacute] Tombstone Common Stock Index of 
6,000 contracts and for each underlying stock index industry group at a 
level no greater than:

--18,000 contracts if the Exchange determines, at the time of a review 
conducted pursuant to subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph (c), that any 
single stock in the group accounted, on average, for 30% or more of the 
numerical index value during the 30-day period immediately preceding 
the review; or
--24,000 contracts if the Exchange determines, at the time of a review 
conducted pursuant to subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph (c), that any 
single stock in the group accounted, on average, for 20% or more of the 
numerical index value or that any five stocks in the group together 
accounted, on average, for more than 50% of the numerical index value, 
but that no single stock in the group accounted, on average, for 30% or 
more of the numerical index value, during the 30-day period immediately 
preceding the review; or
--31,500 contracts if the Exchange determines that the conditions 
specified above which would require the establishment of a lower limit 
have not occurred.
--Positions in Short Terms Option Series and Quarterly Options Series 
shall be aggregated with positions in options contracts on the same 
index.

    (ii)-(iii) No change.
    (d) No change.
* * * * *

II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and 
Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, the Exchange included statements 
concerning the purpose of, and basis for, the proposed rule change and 
discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The 
text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in 
Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in 
sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such 
statements.

A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and 
Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

1. Purpose
    The Exchange proposes to amend its rules to accommodate the listing 
of options series that would expire at the close of business on the 
last business day of a calendar quarter (``Quarterly Options 
Series'').\6\ Quarterly Options Series could be opened on any approved 
options class \7\ on a business day (``Quarterly Options Opening 
Date'') and would expire at the close of business on the last business 
day of a calendar quarter (``Quarterly Options Expiration Date''). The 
Exchange would list series that expire at the end of the next four 
consecutive calendar quarters, as well as the fourth quarter of the 
next calendar year. For example, if the Exchange were trading Quarterly 
Options Series in the month of May 2006, it would list series that 
expire at the end of the second, third, and fourth quarters of 2006, as 
well as the first and fourth quarters of 2007. Following the second 
quarter 2006 expiration, the Exchange would add series that expire at 
the end of the second quarter of 2007.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ In 1993, the Exchange was granted SEC approval to list and 
trade broad-based index options that expire at the end of each 
quarter. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 31844 (February 9, 
1993); 58 FR 8796 (February 17, 1993). The Exchange listed and 
traded these options on the Major Market Index (XMI), Institutional 
Index (XII) and S&P Midcap Index (MID). These quarterly-style 
options proved to be of limited use to investors and did not trade 
particularly well, largely because they were A.M.-settled options.
    \7\ Quarterly Options Series may be opened in options on indexes 
or options on Exchange Traded Fund (``ETFs'') that satisfy the 
applicable listing criteria under Amex rules.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Quarterly Options Series listed on currently approved options 
classes would be P.M.-settled and, in all other respects, would settle 
in the same manner as do the monthly expiration series in the same 
options class.
    The proposed rule change would allow the Exchange to open up to 
five currently listed options classes that are either index options or 
options on ETFs. The strike price for each series would be fixed at a 
price per share, with at least two strike prices above and two strike 
prices below the approximate value of the underlying security at about 
the time that a Quarterly Options Series is opened for trading on the 
Exchange. The Exchange may list strike prices for a Quarterly Options 
Series that are within $5 from the closing price of the underlying 
security on the preceding trading day. The proposal would permit the 
Exchange to open for trading additional Quarterly Options Series of the 
same class when the Exchange deems it necessary to maintain an orderly 
market, to meet customer demand, or when the current market price of 
the underlying security moves substantially from the exercise prices of 
those Quarterly Options Series that already have been opened for 
trading on the Exchange. In addition, the exercise price of each 
Quarterly Options Series on an underlying index would be required to be 
reasonably related to the current index value of the index at or about 
the time such series of options were first opened for trading on the 
Exchange. The term ``reasonably related to the current index value of 
the underlying index'' means that the exercise price is within thirty 
percent of the current index value. The Exchange would also be 
permitted to open for trading additional Quarterly Options Series on an 
underlying index that are more than thirty percent away from the 
current index value, provided that demonstrated customer interest 
exists for such series, as expressed by institutional, corporate, or 
individual customers or their brokers. Market-Makers trading for their 
own account shall not be considered when determining customer interest 
under this provision.
    Because monthly options series expire on the third Friday of their 
expiration month, a Quarterly Options Series, which would expire on the 
last business day of the quarter, could never expire in the same week 
in which a monthly options series in the same class expires. The same, 
however, is not the case for Short Term Option Series. Quarterly 
Options Series and Short Term Option Series on the same options class 
could potentially expire concurrently under

[[Page 41286]]

the proposal.\8\ Therefore, to avoid any confusion in the marketplace, 
the proposal stipulates that the Exchange may not list a Short Term 
Option Series that expires at the end of the day on the same day as a 
Quarterly Options Series in the same class expires. In other words, the 
proposed rules would not permit the Exchange to list a P.M.-settled 
Short Term Option Series on an ETF or an index that would expire on a 
Friday that is the last business day of a calendar quarter if a 
Quarterly Options Series on that ETF or index were scheduled to expire 
on that day.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ The Exchange currently does not have any Short Term Option 
Series listed for trading.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    However, the proposed rules would permit the Exchange to list as 
A.M.-settled Short Term Option Series and a P.M.-settled Quarterly 
Options Series in the same options class that both expire on the same 
day (i.e., on a Friday that is the last business day of the calendar 
quarter). The Exchange believes that the concurrent listing of an A.M.-
settled Short Term Option Series and a P.M.-settled Quarterly Options 
Series on the same underlying ETF or index that expire on the same day 
would not tend to cause the same confusion as would P.M.-settled short 
term and quarterly series in the same options class, and would provide 
investors with an additional hedging mechanism.
    Finally, the interval between strike prices on Quarterly Options 
Series would be the same as the interval for strike prices for series 
in the same options class that expires in accordance with the normal 
monthly expiration cycles.
    The Exchange believes that Quarterly Options Series would provide 
investors with a flexible and valuable tool to manage risk exposure, 
minimize capital outlays, and be more responsive to the timing of 
events affecting the securities that underlie option contracts. At the 
same time, the Exchange is cognizant of the need to be cautious in 
introducing a product that can increase the number of outstanding 
strike prices. For that reason, the Exchange intends to employ a 
limited pilot program (``Pilot Program'') for Quarterly Options Series. 
Under the terms of the Pilot Program, the Exchange could select up to 
five option classes on which Quarterly Options Series may be opened on 
any Quarterly Options Opening Date. The Exchange would also be allowed 
to list those Quarterly Options Series on any options class that is 
selected by another securities exchange with a similar Pilot Program 
under its rules. The Exchange believes that limiting the number of 
options classes in which Quarterly Options Series may be opened would 
help to ensure that the addition of the new series through this Pilot 
Program will have only a negligible impact on the Exchange's and the 
Option Price Reporting Authority's (``OPRA'') quoting capacity. Also, 
limiting the term of the Pilot Program to a period of approximately one 
year will allow the Exchange and the Commission to determine whether 
the program should be extended, expanded, and/or made permanent.
    If the Exchange were to propose an extension or an expansion of the 
program, or were the Exchange to propose to make the Pilot Program 
permanent, the Exchange would submit, along with any filing proposing 
such amendments to the Pilot Program, a Pilot Program report 
(``Report'') that will provide an analysis of the Pilot Program 
covering the entire period during which the Pilot Program was in 
effect. The Report would include, at a minimum: (1) Data and written 
analysis on the open interest and trading volume in the classes for 
which Quarterly Option Series were opened; (2) an assessment of the 
appropriateness of the options classes selected for the Pilot Program; 
(3) an assessment of the impact of the Pilot Program on the capacity of 
the Amex, OPRA, and on market data vendors (to the extent data from 
market data vendors is available); (4) any capacity problems or other 
problems that arose during the operation of the Pilot Program and how 
the Amex addressed such problems; (5) any complaints that the Amex 
received during the operation of the Pilot Program and how the Amex 
addressed them; and (6) any additional information that would assist in 
assessing the operation of the Pilot Program. The Report must be 
submitted to the Commission at least sixty days prior to the expiration 
date of the Pilot Program.
    Alternatively, at the end of the Pilot Program, if the Exchange 
determines not to propose an extension or an expansion of the Pilot 
Program, or if the Commission determines not to extend or expand the 
Pilot Program, the Exchange would no longer list any additional 
Quarterly Options Series and would limit all existing open interest in 
Quarterly Options Series to closing transactions only.
    Finally, the Exchange represents that it has the necessary systems 
capacity to support new options series that will result from the 
introduction of Quarterly Options Series.
2. Statutory Basis
    The Exchange believes that the introduction of Quarterly Options 
Series will satisfy institutional demand for such options and provide 
additional flexibility and additional risk management tools to 
investors. For these reasons, the Exchange believes that the proposed 
rule change is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act \9\ in general 
and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act \10\ in 
particular in that it is designed to promote just and equitable 
principles of trade, to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and 
practices, and, in general, to protect investors and the public 
interest.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ 15 U.S.C. 78f(b).
    \10\ 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will 
impose any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate 
in furtherance of the purposes of the Act.

C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed 
Rule Change Received From Members, Participants or Others

    No written comments were solicited or received with respect to the 
proposed rule change.

III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for 
Commission Action

    The Exchange has filed the proposed rule change pursuant to Section 
19(b)(3)(A) of the Act \11\ and subparagraph (f)(6) of Rule 19b-4 
thereunder.\12\ Because the foregoing proposed rule change (i) Does not 
significantly affect the protection of investors or the public 
interest; (ii) does not impose any significant burden on competition; 
and (iii) does not become operative for 30 days from the date on which 
it was filed, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate, if 
consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest, 
the proposed rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 
19(b)(3)(A) of the Act and Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) thereunder.\13\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A).
    \12\ 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6).
    \13\ Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) requires the Exchange to give written 
notice to the Commission of its intent to file the proposed rule 
change five business days prior to filing. The Commission has 
determined to waive the five-day pre-filing requirement for this 
proposal.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A proposed rule change filed under Rule 19b-4(f)(6) normally does 
not become operative for 30 days after the

[[Page 41287]]

date of filing. However, Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) permits the Commission 
to waive the operative delay if such action is consistent with the 
protection of investors and the public interest. The Exchange has asked 
the Commission to waive the operative delay to permit the Pilot Program 
extension to become effective prior to the 30th day after filing.
    The Commission believes that waiving the 30-day operative delay is 
consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. 
The Commission notes that the proposal is substantially identical to 
the ISE's Quarterly Option Series Pilot Program, previously published 
for comment and approved by the Commission,\14\ and thus the Exchange's 
proposal raises no new issues of regulatory concern. Moreover, waiving 
the operative delay will allow the Exchange to immediately compete with 
other exchanges that list and trade quarterly options under similar 
programs, and consequently will benefit the public. Therefore, the 
Commission has determined to waive the 30-day delay and allow the 
proposed rule change to become operative immediately.\15\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ See supra note 5.
    \15\ For purposes only of waiving the operative delay of this 
proposal, the Commission notes that it has considered the proposed 
rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. 15 
U.S.C. 78c(f).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule 
change, the Commission may summarily abrogate such rule change if it 
appears to the Commission that such action is necessary or appropriate 
in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or otherwise 
in furtherance of the purposes of the Act.

IV. Solicitation of Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and 
arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule 
change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of 
the following methods:

Electronic Comments

     Use the Commission's Internet comment form (http://
www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or
     Send an e-mail to rule-comments@sec.gov. Please include 
File No. SR-Amex-2006-67 on the subject line.

Paper Comments

     Send paper comments in triplicate to Nancy M. Morris, 
Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street, NE., 
Washington, DC 20549-1090.

All submissions should refer to File Number SR-Amex-2006-67. This file 
number should be included on the subject line if e-mail is used. To 
help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, 
please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on 
the Commissions Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). 
Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written 
statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with 
the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed 
rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those 
that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions 
of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for inspection and copying in the 
Commission's Public Reference Room. Copies of such filing also will be 
available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the 
Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change; the 
Commission does not edit personal identifying information from 
submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make 
available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-
Amex-2006-67 and should be submitted on or before August 10, 2006.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \16\ 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, 
pursuant to delegated authority.\16\
J. Lynn Taylor,
Assistant Secretary.
 [FR Doc. E6-11489 Filed 7-19-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8010-01-P