Self-Regulatory Organizations; American Stock Exchange LLC; Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change and Amendments No. 1 and 2 Thereto Relating to Interim Members, 47831-47833 [E6-13636]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 160 / Friday, August 18, 2006 / Notices relating to the Consent Decrees. Comments should be addressed to the Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, P.O. Box 7611, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC 20044–7611, and should refer to United States v. Midland Refining Company, Inc., et al., Civil Action No. 06–1200– JTM (D. Kan.), D.J. Ref. 90–11–3–1737/ 1. During the public comment period, the Consent Decrees may be examined on the following Department of Justice Web site: http://www.usdoj.gov/enrd/ open.html. Copies of the Consent Decree may also be obtained by mail from the Consent Decree Library, P.O. Box 7611, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC 20044–7611, or by faxing or emailing a request to Tonia Fleetwood (tonia.fleetwood@usdoj.gov), fax no. (202) 514–0097, phone confirmation number (202) 514–1547. In requesting a copy from the Consent Decree Library, please enclose a check in the amount of $6.75 for the Midland Consent Decree, in the amount of $8.50 for the Williams Consent Decree, or in the amount of $15.25 for both Consent Decrees (25 cents per page reproduction cost) payable to the United States Treasury. Robert E. Maher, Jr., Assistant Section Chief, Environmental Enforcement Section, Environment and Natural Resources Division. [FR Doc. 06–6992 Filed 8–17–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410–15–M NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. 50–498 and 50–499] jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES STP Nuclear Operating Company; Notice of Withdrawal of Application for Amendments to Facility Operating Licenses The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC/the Commission) has granted the request of STP Nuclear Operating Company (the licensee) to withdraw its August 2, 2004, application for the proposed amendments to Facility Operating License Nos. NPF–76 and NPF–80, for the South Texas Project (STP), Units 1 and 2, respectively, located in Matagorda County, Texas. The purpose of the licensee’s request for amendments was to allow implementation of a risk-informed process for determining the allowed outage times for STP’s Technical Specifications. The Commission had previously issued a Notice of Consideration of VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:10 Aug 17, 2006 Jkt 208001 Issuance of Amendments published in the Federal Register on August 31, 2004 (69 FR 53112). However, by letter dated July 27, 2006, the NRC informed the licensee that the NRC would consider the proposed application for amendments to be withdrawn unless the licensee notified the NRC, by August 9, 2006, that our understanding was incorrect. Thus, the August 2, 2004, application for amendments is considered to be withdrawn by the licensee. For further details with respect to this action, see the application for amendments dated August 2, 2004, and the NRC staff’s letter dated July 27, 2006. Documents may be examined, and/or copied for a fee, at the NRC’s Public Document Room (PDR), located at One White Flint North, Public File Area O1 F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland. Publicly available records will be accessible electronically from the Agencywide Documents Access and Management Systems (ADAMS) Public Electronic Reading Room on the internet at the NRC Web site, http://www.nrc.gov/ reading-rm.html. Persons who do not have access to ADAMS or who encounter problems in accessing the documents located in ADAMS should contact the NRC PDR Reference staff by telephone at 1–800–397–4209, or 301– 415–4737, or by e-mail to pdr@nrc.gov. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 10th day of August 2006. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Mohan C. Thadani, Senior Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch IV, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. [FR Doc. E6–13631 Filed 8–17–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION Regulatory Guide and Associated Review Plan; Withdrawal of Notice Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Regulatory Guide and Associated Standard Review Plan Notice of Issuance and Availability: Withdrawal. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is withdrawing the notice of the issuance and availability of a Regulatory Guide for public comment (i.e., Regulatory Guide 1.200, Revision 1 and its associated Standard Review Plan). The NRC is taking this action because of the omission of information. PO 00000 Frm 00060 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 47831 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary Drouin, Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001, telephone (301) 415– 6675, e-mail MXD@NRC.Gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On August 10, 2006 (71 FN 45864), the NRC published a notice in the Federal Register stating that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued for public comment a revision of a regulatory guide (and its associated Standard Review Plan), specifically Regulatory Guide 1.200, Revision 1, ‘‘An Approach for Determining the Technical Adequacy of Probabilistic Risk Assessment Results for Risk-Informed Activities,’’ which provides guidance to licensees in determining the technical adequacy of a probabilistic risk analysis used in risk-informed, integrated decision-making process, and to endorse standards and industry guidance. Certain pertinent information was inadvertently omitted from the notice; therefore, the NRC is withdrawing the notice. The NRC will issue a corrected notice with a revised date for the review and comment period. Dated at Rockville, MD, this 14th day of August 2006. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Farouk Eltawila, Director, Division of Risk Assessment and Special Projects, Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research. [FR Doc. E6–13635 Filed 8–17–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34–54314; File No. SR–Amex– 2006–27] Self-Regulatory Organizations; American Stock Exchange LLC; Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change and Amendments No. 1 and 2 Thereto Relating to Interim Members August 14, 2006. I. Introduction On March 23, 2006, the American Stock Exchange LLC (‘‘Amex’’ or ‘‘Exchange’’) filed with the 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 proposal to amend Amex Rule 353 to limit members and member organizations from allocating their seats 1 15 2 17 E:\FR\FM\18AUN1.SGM U.S.C. 78s(b)(1). CFR 240.19b–4. 18AUN1 47832 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 160 / Friday, August 18, 2006 / Notices to interim members on the Floor of the Exchange for a maximum of fifteen aggregate days that may be used consecutively or non-consecutively for a one-year period beginning on the date of approval as an interim member (‘‘approval date’’). On June 15, 2006, Amex filed Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change and on June 27, 2006, Amex filed Amendment No. 2 to the proposed rule change. The proposed rule change, as amended, was published for comment in the Federal Register on July 13, 2006. The Commission received no comments regarding the proposal.3 This order approves the proposed rule change, as amended. II. Description of the Proposal Currently, Amex Rule 353 permits unfettered temporary allocation of a membership to an interim member 4 on the Floor of the Exchange so long as the duration is no less than one day and no more than one year. The Exchange proposes to amend Amex Rule 353 to reduce the maximum number of days the member or member organization can allocate its membership to an interim member to fifteen days, which may be used by each interim member consecutively or non-consecutively for a one-year period beginning on the date of approval of such interim member by the Exchange. Upon approval of this proposed rule change by the Commission, (1) all interim members currently on seats will be able to use their fifteen day allocation for the duration of the year from the date on which they were approved for interim membership and (2) interim members that are subsequently approved will have a year beginning on their individual approval dates to use their fifteen day allocation. If an interim member has exhausted the fifteen day period, even if this occurs prior to end of the one-year period, the member or member organization may regain interim membership status by designating another interim member, or redesignating the same interim member, to the seat by filing documents required by the Membership Services Department and paying the maintenance fee in 3 The comment period expired on August 3, 2006. interim member is an individual, prequalified by the Exchange, who is designated by a member or member organization to temporarily use the membership for a specified period of time when the member is absent from the Trading Floor. Article IV, Section 3(e) of the Amex Constitution explicitly states that the designation of an interim member is ‘‘subject to and in accordance with such rules as may be adopted from time to time by the Board of Governors.’’ Amex Rule 353 sets forth the specific requirements, rights, and limitations of interim members. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES 4 An VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:35 Aug 17, 2006 Jkt 208001 accordance with Article VII, Section 1(g) of the Amex Constitution.5 In addition, the proposed rule change will (1) eliminate the $250 allocation fee in Article IV, Section 3(e) and Article VII, Section 1(g) of the Amex Constitution, which specify the fees associated with the Interim Member program, and all references thereto; (2) waive the $1,500 initiation fee associated with the transfer of a membership pursuant to a special transfer agreement 6 in Article IV, Section 1(f) and Article VII, Section 1(c) of the Amex Constitution for interim members who wish to lease a seat immediately following their allotted time as an interim member; (3) make clarifications in Amex Rule 353 and Article IV, Section 3(e) of the Amex Constitution that an interim member will become effective upon submission of the appropriate form to and approval by the Membership Services Department of the Exchange; and (4) make corresponding changes related to this proposed rule change to the Member Fee Schedule, which sets forth the fees that Amex charges its members. III. Discussion After careful consideration of the proposal, the Commission finds that the proposed rule change, as amended, is consistent with the requirements of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to a national securities exchange 7 and, in particular, the requirements of Section 6 of the Act.8 Specifically, the Commission finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,9 which requires, among other things, that the rules of a national securities exchange be designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to foster cooperation and coordination with persons engaged in regulating, clearing, settling, processing information with respect to, and facilitating transactions in securities, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system and, in 5 The maintenance fee is a $1500 charge that is paid by a member or member organization annually to the Exchange in order to maintain interim member status. This proposal does not affect the amount of the maintenance fee. 6 A special transfer agreement is an agreement between the owner of a regular or options principal membership and an individual who is authorized to use the membership for a specified period of time or until the occurrence of a specified event. 7 In approving this proposed rule change, the Commission has considered the proposed rule’s impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. 15 U.S.C. 78c(f). 8 15 U.S.C. 78f. 9 9 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5). PO 00000 Frm 00061 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 general, to protect investors and the public interest. Section 6(b)(5) of the Act 10 also requires that the rules of an exchange not be designed to permit unfair discrimination among customers, issuers, brokers, or dealers. In addition, the Commission believes that the proposal is consistent with Section 6(b)(4) of the Act,11 in that the proposed rule change provides for the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees, and other charges among the Exchange’s members and issuers and other persons using its facilities. The Exchange believes that allowing unlimited allocation of temporary membership days to interim members lessens the value of memberships by essentially permitting individuals who do not own or lease seats to operate as members.12 The Exchange believes that this circumvention of seat leasing and ownership increases the number of unleased seats and decreases the demand for a membership, thereby artificially lessening the value of the membership. However, the Exchange also believes that the Interim Member program has served a useful function on the Floor by providing members with protection in cases of illnesses or emergencies and coverage when vacation is taken. The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change adequately balances concerns over having adequate emergency coverage on the Floor and concerns over the devaluation of memberships. The Commission believes that is consistent with the Act for the Exchange to make the changes described above to limit the interim membership program to balance these concerns. While some members may incur additional expense as a result of the proposed restrictions to the Interim Member program, the proposed rule change should also provide some economic relief to these members. For example, the elimination of the $250 allocation fee, which the Exchange charges each time an interim member is designated to a seat, should permit members to more effectively use the fifteen days for emergencies, illnesses, and vacations on a non-consecutive basis. Further, waiving the $1,500 initiation fee, which is charged whenever a member enters into a special transfer agreement, for those who wish to lease a seat immediately following their allotted time as an 10 Id. 11 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(4). The Exchange represents that if the proposed rule change had been implemented at the start of 2005, approximately half of the 21 interim members would have exhausted their fifteen aggregate days by the beginning of November. 12 12 E:\FR\FM\18AUN1.SGM 18AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 160 / Friday, August 18, 2006 / Notices interim member, will provide relief to members who encounter serious emergencies, as well as offer a financial incentive for interim members to enter into special transfer agreements. IV. Conclusion It is therefore ordered, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act,13 that the proposed rule change (SR–Amex–2006– 27), as amended, is approved. For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.14 Nancy M. Morris, Secretary. [FR Doc. E6–13636 Filed 8–17–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8010–01–P SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34–54310; File No. SR–Amex– 2006–71] Self-Regulatory Organizations; American Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of Proposed Rule Change Relating to Floor Broker HandHeld Terminals August 11, 2006. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES 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 August 2, 2006, the American Stock Exchange LLC (‘‘Amex’’ or ‘‘Exchange’’) 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 Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons and is approving the proposal on an accelerated basis. I. Self-Regulatory Organization’s Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change The Exchange proposes to adopt Commentary .02 to Amex Rule 935— ANTE to clarify that floor brokers, when interacting with orders and quotes in the ANTE System, are required to use their handheld terminals. The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Exchange’s Web site at (http://www.amex.com), at the principal office of the Exchange, and at the Commission’s Public Reference 13 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2). CFR 200.30–3(a)(12). 1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1). 2 17 CFR 240.19b–4. 18:35 Aug 17, 2006 Rule 935—ANTE. Allocation of Executed Contracts (a)–(b) No Change. Commentary .01 No Change .02 Floor brokers when interacting with orders and quotes in the ANTE system are required to use their handheld terminals. * * * * * 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. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item III 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 the Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose The Exchange proposes to add new Commentary .02 to Amex Rule 935— ANTE to clarify that Exchange floor brokers are required to use their handheld terminals when interacting with orders and quotes in accessing the Exchange’s electronic options marketplace or ‘‘ANTE.’’ The market depth at the Exchange in ANTE and the trading crowd may differ, due to the differences inherent in an automatic execution system and an auction market. With the recent approval and near-term implementation of a remote market maker program (i.e., Remote Registered Options Traders (‘‘RROTs’’) and Supplemental Registered Options Traders (‘‘SROTs’’)),3 as well as the ‘‘hybrid’’ market structure for options at the Exchange, a floor broker may receive different execution sizes based on whether the order is routed electronically or walked into the trading crowd. As a result, the Exchange believes that in order to maintain a fair and orderly market, a floor broker who desires to access the ANTE system 3 See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 53652 (April 13, 2006), 71 FR 20422 (April 20, 2006) and 53635 (April 12, 2006), 71 FR 20144 (April 19, 2006). 14 17 VerDate Aug<31>2005 Room. The text of the proposed rule change is set forth below. Proposed new language is italicized. Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00062 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 47833 should be required to use his or her handheld terminal. In today’s options marketplace, orders are increasingly routed to and executed on the Amex and the other options exchanges electronically. At the Exchange, the ANTE system provides for the automatic matching and execution of market and marketable limit orders within eligible size limit parameters (i.e., the ‘‘auto-match size’’). The auto-match size is the maximum order size that can be automatically matched with orders on the book or the disseminated quote. Orders for less than the auto-match size are automatically matched at the disseminated price up to the disseminated size. The ANTE system then allocates the executed contracts among the participants to the trade, pursuant to the algorithm set forth in Amex Rule 935—ANTE. Floor brokers, in order to receive an ANTE allocation for transactions in ANTE, are required to use their handheld terminals so that the order trades against the ANTE Central Book. Floor brokers that execute orders in the trading crowd are accordingly outside the ANTE system. Therefore, the ANTE or electronic marketplace and the trading crowd may have different depth of market at any particular point in time. The Exchange believes that this is the nature of the ‘‘hybrid’’ market model that currently exists. As a result, a floor broker who desires to access the depth of market available in ANTE by interacting with orders and quotes, must submit his or her order through the handheld terminal. Working an order in the trading crowd does not access the depth of market that may exist in the ANTE system. In addition, the introduction of RROTs and SROTs further necessitates direct floor broker access to the ANTE market, since the specialist is unable to match a trade in the trading crowd with an RROT or SROT quote. Therefore, the Exchange proposes to adopt Commentary .02 to Amex Rule 935—ANTE to clarify that a floor broker accessing the electronic marketplace available through ANTE by interacting with orders and quotes must submit such order(s) via his or her handheld terminal. 2. Statutory Basis The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act,4 in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,5 in particular, in that it is designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to 4 15 5 15 E:\FR\FM\18AUN1.SGM U.S.C. 78f(b). U.S.C. 78f(b)(5). 18AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 160 (Friday, August 18, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Pages 47831-47833]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-13636]


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SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

[Release No. 34-54314; File No. SR-Amex-2006-27]


Self-Regulatory Organizations; American Stock Exchange LLC; Order 
Approving a Proposed Rule Change and Amendments No. 1 and 2 Thereto 
Relating to Interim Members

August 14, 2006.

I. Introduction

    On March 23, 2006, the American Stock Exchange LLC (``Amex'' or 
``Exchange'') filed with the 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 
proposal to amend Amex Rule 353 to limit members and member 
organizations from allocating their seats

[[Page 47832]]

to interim members on the Floor of the Exchange for a maximum of 
fifteen aggregate days that may be used consecutively or non-
consecutively for a one-year period beginning on the date of approval 
as an interim member (``approval date''). On June 15, 2006, Amex filed 
Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change and on June 27, 2006, Amex 
filed Amendment No. 2 to the proposed rule change. The proposed rule 
change, as amended, was published for comment in the Federal Register 
on July 13, 2006. The Commission received no comments regarding the 
proposal.\3\ This order approves the proposed rule change, as amended.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).
    \2\ 17 CFR 240.19b-4.
    \3\ The comment period expired on August 3, 2006.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

II. Description of the Proposal

    Currently, Amex Rule 353 permits unfettered temporary allocation of 
a membership to an interim member \4\ on the Floor of the Exchange so 
long as the duration is no less than one day and no more than one year. 
The Exchange proposes to amend Amex Rule 353 to reduce the maximum 
number of days the member or member organization can allocate its 
membership to an interim member to fifteen days, which may be used by 
each interim member consecutively or non-consecutively for a one-year 
period beginning on the date of approval of such interim member by the 
Exchange. Upon approval of this proposed rule change by the Commission, 
(1) all interim members currently on seats will be able to use their 
fifteen day allocation for the duration of the year from the date on 
which they were approved for interim membership and (2) interim members 
that are subsequently approved will have a year beginning on their 
individual approval dates to use their fifteen day allocation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ An interim member is an individual, pre-qualified by the 
Exchange, who is designated by a member or member organization to 
temporarily use the membership for a specified period of time when 
the member is absent from the Trading Floor. Article IV, Section 
3(e) of the Amex Constitution explicitly states that the designation 
of an interim member is ``subject to and in accordance with such 
rules as may be adopted from time to time by the Board of 
Governors.'' Amex Rule 353 sets forth the specific requirements, 
rights, and limitations of interim members.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    If an interim member has exhausted the fifteen day period, even if 
this occurs prior to end of the one-year period, the member or member 
organization may regain interim membership status by designating 
another interim member, or redesignating the same interim member, to 
the seat by filing documents required by the Membership Services 
Department and paying the maintenance fee in accordance with Article 
VII, Section 1(g) of the Amex Constitution.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ The maintenance fee is a $1500 charge that is paid by a 
member or member organization annually to the Exchange in order to 
maintain interim member status. This proposal does not affect the 
amount of the maintenance fee.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition, the proposed rule change will (1) eliminate the $250 
allocation fee in Article IV, Section 3(e) and Article VII, Section 
1(g) of the Amex Constitution, which specify the fees associated with 
the Interim Member program, and all references thereto; (2) waive the 
$1,500 initiation fee associated with the transfer of a membership 
pursuant to a special transfer agreement \6\ in Article IV, Section 
1(f) and Article VII, Section 1(c) of the Amex Constitution for interim 
members who wish to lease a seat immediately following their allotted 
time as an interim member; (3) make clarifications in Amex Rule 353 and 
Article IV, Section 3(e) of the Amex Constitution that an interim 
member will become effective upon submission of the appropriate form to 
and approval by the Membership Services Department of the Exchange; and 
(4) make corresponding changes related to this proposed rule change to 
the Member Fee Schedule, which sets forth the fees that Amex charges 
its members.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ A special transfer agreement is an agreement between the 
owner of a regular or options principal membership and an individual 
who is authorized to use the membership for a specified period of 
time or until the occurrence of a specified event.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

III. Discussion

    After careful consideration of the proposal, the Commission finds 
that the proposed rule change, as amended, is consistent with the 
requirements of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder 
applicable to a national securities exchange \7\ and, in particular, 
the requirements of Section 6 of the Act.\8\ Specifically, the 
Commission finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with 
Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,\9\ which requires, among other things, that 
the rules of a national securities exchange be designed to promote just 
and equitable principles of trade, to foster cooperation and 
coordination with persons engaged in regulating, clearing, settling, 
processing information with respect to, and facilitating transactions 
in securities, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a 
free and open market and a national market system and, in general, to 
protect investors and the public interest. Section 6(b)(5) of the Act 
\10\ also requires that the rules of an exchange not be designed to 
permit unfair discrimination among customers, issuers, brokers, or 
dealers. In addition, the Commission believes that the proposal is 
consistent with Section 6(b)(4) of the Act,\11\ in that the proposed 
rule change provides for the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, 
fees, and other charges among the Exchange's members and issuers and 
other persons using its facilities.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ In approving this proposed rule change, the Commission has 
considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, 
and capital formation. 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).
    \8\ 15 U.S.C. 78f.
    \9\ 9 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5).
    \10\ Id.
    \11\ 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(4).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Exchange believes that allowing unlimited allocation of 
temporary membership days to interim members lessens the value of 
memberships by essentially permitting individuals who do not own or 
lease seats to operate as members.\12\ The Exchange believes that this 
circumvention of seat leasing and ownership increases the number of 
unleased seats and decreases the demand for a membership, thereby 
artificially lessening the value of the membership. However, the 
Exchange also believes that the Interim Member program has served a 
useful function on the Floor by providing members with protection in 
cases of illnesses or emergencies and coverage when vacation is taken. 
The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change adequately balances 
concerns over having adequate emergency coverage on the Floor and 
concerns over the devaluation of memberships. The Commission believes 
that is consistent with the Act for the Exchange to make the changes 
described above to limit the interim membership program to balance 
these concerns.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \12\ 12 The Exchange represents that if the proposed rule change 
had been implemented at the start of 2005, approximately half of the 
21 interim members would have exhausted their fifteen aggregate days 
by the beginning of November.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    While some members may incur additional expense as a result of the 
proposed restrictions to the Interim Member program, the proposed rule 
change should also provide some economic relief to these members. For 
example, the elimination of the $250 allocation fee, which the Exchange 
charges each time an interim member is designated to a seat, should 
permit members to more effectively use the fifteen days for 
emergencies, illnesses, and vacations on a non-consecutive basis. 
Further, waiving the $1,500 initiation fee, which is charged whenever a 
member enters into a special transfer agreement, for those who wish to 
lease a seat immediately following their allotted time as an

[[Page 47833]]

interim member, will provide relief to members who encounter serious 
emergencies, as well as offer a financial incentive for interim members 
to enter into special transfer agreements.

IV. Conclusion

    It is therefore ordered, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the 
Act,\13\ that the proposed rule change (SR-Amex-2006-27), as amended, 
is approved.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2).
    \14\ 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, 
pursuant to delegated authority.\14\
Nancy M. Morris,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. E6-13636 Filed 8-17-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8010-01-P