Self-Regulatory Organizations; International Securities Exchange, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change and Amendment No. 1 Thereto Relating to a Pilot Program for Position and Exercise Limits for Options on the iShares® Russell 2000® Index Fund, 4753-4754 [E7-1581]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 21 / Thursday, February 1, 2007 / Notices may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. ISE has prepared summaries, set forth in Sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34–55175; File No. SR–ISE– 2007–07] Self-Regulatory Organizations; International Securities Exchange, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change and Amendment No. 1 Thereto Relating to a Pilot Program for Position and Exercise Limits for Options on the iShares Russell 2000 Index Fund January 25, 2007. 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 January 22, 2007, the International Securities Exchange, LLC (‘‘ISE’’ 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 ISE. On January 22, 2007, ISE submitted Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change. ISE has filed the proposal pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act 3 and Rule 19b–4(f)(6) thereunder,4 which renders the proposal effective upon filing with the Commission. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change, as amended, from interested persons. rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with NOTICES I. Self-Regulatory Organization’s Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change The Exchange proposes to amend Rule 412 to exempt options on the iShares Russell 2000 Index Fund (‘‘IWM’’) from the position and exercise limits provided for under the Rule 412 Pilot Program and to increase the standard position and exercise limits for IWM as part of a six-month pilot (‘‘Rule 412 IWM Pilot Program’’). The text of the proposed rule change is available at ISE, the Commission’s Public Reference Room, and http://www.iseoptions.com. II. Self-Regulatory Organization’s Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change In its filing with the Commission, ISE 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 1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1). CFR 240.19b–4. 3 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A). 4 17 CFR 240.19b–4(f)(6). 2 17 VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:47 Jan 31, 2007 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 Supplementary Material .01 to Rule 412 on a six-month pilot basis to exempt options on IWM from the Rule 412 Pilot Program. Under the Rule 412 Pilot Program, the position and exercise limits for IWM would be reduced on January 22, 2007 from 500,000 to 250,000 contracts. The Exchange now proposes to allow position and exercise limits for options on IWM to remain at 500,000 contracts on a pilot basis, from January 22, 2007 through July 22, 2007. In June 2005, as a result of a 2-for-1 stock split, the position limit for IWM options was temporarily increased from 250,000 contracts (covering 25,000,000 shares) to 500,000 contracts (covering 50,000,000 shares). At the time of the split, the furthest IWM option expiration date was January 2007. Therefore, the temporary increase of the IWM position limit will revert to the pre-split level (as provided for in connection with the Rule 412 Pilot Program) of 250,000 contracts after expiration in January 2007, or on January 22, 2007. The Exchange believes that a position limit of 250,000 contracts is too low and may be a deterrent to the successful trading of IWM options. Importantly, options on IWM are 1/10th the size of options on the Russell 2000 Index (‘‘RUT’’), which has a position limit of 50,000 contracts.5 Traders who trade IWM options to hedge positions in RUT options are likely to find a position limit of 250,000 contracts in IWM options too restrictive and insufficient to properly hedge. For example, if a trader held 50,000 RUT options and wanted to hedge that position with IWM options, the trader would, at a minimum, need 500,000 IWM options to properly hedge the position. Therefore, the Exchange believes that a position limit of 250,000 contracts is too low and may adversely affect market participants’ ability to provide liquidity in this product. Additionally, IWM options have grown to become one of the largest options contracts in terms of trading volume. For example, the volume in options on IWM set a new single-day 5 See Jkt 211001 PO 00000 ISE Rule 2004(a). Frm 00074 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 4753 record on June 8, 2006, when 760,803 contracts (120,229 calls and 640,574 puts) traded on that day. This record level volume beat the previous singleday high of 727,521 contracts on May 17, 2006. Further, over the previous six months, the average daily ISE trading volume of IWM options has been 87,121 contracts and a total of 11,064,353 contracts have traded on the Exchange. As a result, the Exchange proposes that options on IWM be subject to position and exercise limits of 500,000 contracts on a pilot basis to run from January 22, 2007 through July 22, 2007.6 The Exchange believes that increasing position and exercise limits for IWM options will lead to a more liquid and more competitive market environment for IWM options that will benefit customers interested in this product. The Exchange would require that each member or member organization that maintains a position on the same side of the market in excess of 10,000 contracts in the IWM option class, for its own account or for the account of a customer report certain information.7 This data would include, but would not be limited to, the option position, whether such position is hedged and if so, a description of the hedge, and if applicable, the collateral used to carry the position. Exchange market-makers would continue to be exempt from this reporting requirement as market-maker information can be accessed through the Exchange’s market surveillance systems. In addition, the general reporting requirement for customer accounts that maintain a position in excess of 200 contracts will remain at this level for IWM options.8 2. Statutory Basis The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,9 in that it is designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade, 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. 6 Pursuant to ISE Rule 414, the exercise limit established under Rule 414 for IWM options shall be equivalent to the position limit prescribed for IWM options in Supplementary Material .01 to Rule 412. The increased exercise limits would only be in effect during the pilot period, to run from January 22, 2007 through July 22, 2007. See Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change. 7 See ISE Rule 415(b). 8 See ISE Rule 415(a). 9 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5). E:\FR\FM\01FEN1.SGM 01FEN1 4754 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 21 / Thursday, February 1, 2007 / Notices 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 The Exchange has not solicited, and does not intend to solicit, comments on this proposed rule change. The Exchange has not received any unsolicited written comments from members or other interested parties. III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action Because the forgoing rule change does not: (1) Significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (2) impose any significant burden on competition; and (3) become operative for 30 days after the date of this filing, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate, it has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act 10 and Rule 19b– 4(f)(6) thereunder.11 A proposed rule change filed under 19b–4(f)(6) normally may not become operative prior to 30 days after the date of filing.12 However, Rule 19b– 4(f)(6)(iii) 13 permits the Commission to designate a shorter time if such action is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. The Exchange has requested that the Commission waive the 30-day operative delay. The Commission believes that waiving the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest because such waiver would permit position and exercise limits for options on IWM to remain at 500,000 option contracts for a six-month pilot period. For this reason, the Commission designates the proposed rule change to be effective and operative upon filing with the Commission.14 10 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A). CFR 240.19b–4(f)(6). 12 17 CFR 240.19b–4(f)(6)(iii). In addition, Rule 19b–4(f)(6)(iii) requires that a self-regulatory organization submit to the Commission written notice of its intent to file the proposed rule change, along with a brief description and text of the proposed rule change, at least five business days prior to the date of filing of the proposed rule change, or such shorter time as designated by the Commission. The Commission has decided to waive the five-day pre-filing notice requirement. 13 Id. 14 For the purposes only of waiving the 30-day operative delay, the Commission has considered the rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with NOTICES 11 17 VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:47 Jan 31, 2007 Jkt 211001 At any time within 60 days of the filing of such 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: submissions should refer to File Number SR–ISE–2007–07 and should be submitted on or before February 22, 2007. For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.15 Florence E. Harmon, Deputy Secretary. [FR Doc. E7–1581 Filed 1–31–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011–01–P SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34–55161; File No. SR–ISE– 2006–62] 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 Number SR–ISE–2007–07 on the subject line. Self-Regulatory Organizations; International Securities Exchange, LLC; Order Granting Approval to Proposed Rule Change as Modified by Amendment Nos. 1 and 2 Thereto, To Implement a Penny Pilot Program To Quote Certain Options in Pennies 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–ISE–2007–07. 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 Commission’s 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 the filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of ISE. 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 I. Introduction On October 11, 2006, the International Securities Exchange, LLC (‘‘ISE’’ 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 proposed rule change to permit certain option classes to be quoted in pennies on a pilot basis and to adopt certain quote mitigation strategies. The proposed rule change was published for comment in the Federal Register on October 20, 2006.3 The Commission received three comment letters on the proposed rule change.4 On November 6, 2006, the Exchange filed Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change.5 The Exchange filed Amendment No. 2 to the proposal on January 5, 2007.6 The Exchange proposed rule’s impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. See 15 U.S.C. 78c(f). PO 00000 Frm 00075 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 January 24, 2007. 15 17 CFR 200.30–3(a)(12). U.S.C. 78s(b)(1). 2 17 CFR 240.19b–4. 3 See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 54603 (October 16, 2006), 71 FR 62024. 4 See letters to Nancy M. Morris, Secretary, Commission, from Christopher Nagy, Chair, Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (‘‘SIFMA’’) Options Committee, dated December 20, 2006 (‘‘SIFMA Letter’’); from Patrick Sexton, Associate General Counsel, CBOE, dated November 13, 2006 (‘‘CBOE Letter’’); and from Peter J. Bottini, Executive Vice President, optionsXpress, Inc., dated October 31, 2006 (‘‘optionsXpress Letter’’). 5 Amendment No. 1 made a clarifying change to proposed rule text in ISE Rule 804(h). Amendment No. 1 is technical in nature, and the Commission is not publishing Amendment No. 1 for public comment. 6 Amendment No. 2 revised the Regulatory Information Circular ISE will distribute to its 1 15 E:\FR\FM\01FEN1.SGM 01FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 21 (Thursday, February 1, 2007)]
[Notices]
[Pages 4753-4754]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-1581]



[[Page 4753]]

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SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

[Release No. 34-55175; File No. SR-ISE-2007-07]


Self-Regulatory Organizations; International Securities Exchange, 
LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule 
Change and Amendment No. 1 Thereto Relating to a Pilot Program for 
Position and Exercise Limits for Options on the iShares[supreg] Russell 
2000[supreg] Index Fund

January 25, 2007.
    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 January 22, 2007, the International Securities Exchange, LLC 
(``ISE'' 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 
ISE. On January 22, 2007, ISE submitted Amendment No. 1 to the proposed 
rule change. ISE has filed the proposal pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) 
of the Act \3\ and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder,\4\ which renders the 
proposal effective upon filing with the Commission. The Commission is 
publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change, 
as amended, from interested persons.
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    \1\ 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).
    \2\ 17 CFR 240.19b-4.
    \3\ 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A).
    \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 Rule 412 to exempt options on the 
iShares[supreg] Russell 2000[supreg] Index Fund (``IWM'') from the 
position and exercise limits provided for under the Rule 412 Pilot 
Program and to increase the standard position and exercise limits for 
IWM as part of a six-month pilot (``Rule 412 IWM Pilot Program''). The 
text of the proposed rule change is available at ISE, the Commission's 
Public Reference Room, and http://www.iseoptions.com.

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

    In its filing with the Commission, ISE 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. ISE 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 Supplementary Material .01 to Rule 
412 on a six-month pilot basis to exempt options on IWM from the Rule 
412 Pilot Program. Under the Rule 412 Pilot Program, the position and 
exercise limits for IWM would be reduced on January 22, 2007 from 
500,000 to 250,000 contracts. The Exchange now proposes to allow 
position and exercise limits for options on IWM to remain at 500,000 
contracts on a pilot basis, from January 22, 2007 through July 22, 
2007.
    In June 2005, as a result of a 2-for-1 stock split, the position 
limit for IWM options was temporarily increased from 250,000 contracts 
(covering 25,000,000 shares) to 500,000 contracts (covering 50,000,000 
shares). At the time of the split, the furthest IWM option expiration 
date was January 2007. Therefore, the temporary increase of the IWM 
position limit will revert to the pre-split level (as provided for in 
connection with the Rule 412 Pilot Program) of 250,000 contracts after 
expiration in January 2007, or on January 22, 2007.
    The Exchange believes that a position limit of 250,000 contracts is 
too low and may be a deterrent to the successful trading of IWM 
options. Importantly, options on IWM are 1/10th the size of options on 
the Russell 2000[supreg] Index (``RUT''), which has a position limit of 
50,000 contracts.\5\ Traders who trade IWM options to hedge positions 
in RUT options are likely to find a position limit of 250,000 contracts 
in IWM options too restrictive and insufficient to properly hedge. For 
example, if a trader held 50,000 RUT options and wanted to hedge that 
position with IWM options, the trader would, at a minimum, need 500,000 
IWM options to properly hedge the position. Therefore, the Exchange 
believes that a position limit of 250,000 contracts is too low and may 
adversely affect market participants' ability to provide liquidity in 
this product.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ See ISE Rule 2004(a).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Additionally, IWM options have grown to become one of the largest 
options contracts in terms of trading volume. For example, the volume 
in options on IWM set a new single-day record on June 8, 2006, when 
760,803 contracts (120,229 calls and 640,574 puts) traded on that day. 
This record level volume beat the previous single-day high of 727,521 
contracts on May 17, 2006. Further, over the previous six months, the 
average daily ISE trading volume of IWM options has been 87,121 
contracts and a total of 11,064,353 contracts have traded on the 
Exchange.
    As a result, the Exchange proposes that options on IWM be subject 
to position and exercise limits of 500,000 contracts on a pilot basis 
to run from January 22, 2007 through July 22, 2007.\6\ The Exchange 
believes that increasing position and exercise limits for IWM options 
will lead to a more liquid and more competitive market environment for 
IWM options that will benefit customers interested in this product.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ Pursuant to ISE Rule 414, the exercise limit established 
under Rule 414 for IWM options shall be equivalent to the position 
limit prescribed for IWM options in Supplementary Material .01 to 
Rule 412. The increased exercise limits would only be in effect 
during the pilot period, to run from January 22, 2007 through July 
22, 2007. See Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change.
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    The Exchange would require that each member or member organization 
that maintains a position on the same side of the market in excess of 
10,000 contracts in the IWM option class, for its own account or for 
the account of a customer report certain information.\7\ This data 
would include, but would not be limited to, the option position, 
whether such position is hedged and if so, a description of the hedge, 
and if applicable, the collateral used to carry the position. Exchange 
market-makers would continue to be exempt from this reporting 
requirement as market-maker information can be accessed through the 
Exchange's market surveillance systems. In addition, the general 
reporting requirement for customer accounts that maintain a position in 
excess of 200 contracts will remain at this level for IWM options.\8\
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    \7\ See ISE Rule 415(b).
    \8\ See ISE Rule 415(a).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. Statutory Basis
    The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent 
with and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,\9\ in 
that it is designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade, 
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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

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[[Page 4754]]

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

    The Exchange has not solicited, and does not intend to solicit, 
comments on this proposed rule change. The Exchange has not received 
any unsolicited written comments from members or other interested 
parties.

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

    Because the forgoing rule change does not: (1) Significantly affect 
the protection of investors or the public interest; (2) impose any 
significant burden on competition; and (3) become operative for 30 days 
after the date of this filing, or such shorter time as the Commission 
may designate, it has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) 
of the Act \10\ and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.\11\
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    \10\ 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A).
    \11\ 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A proposed rule change filed under 19b-4(f)(6) normally may not 
become operative prior to 30 days after the date of filing.\12\ 
However, Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) \13\ permits the Commission to designate 
a shorter time if such action is consistent with the protection of 
investors and the public interest. The Exchange has requested that the 
Commission waive the 30-day operative delay. The Commission believes 
that waiving the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the 
protection of investors and the public interest because such waiver 
would permit position and exercise limits for options on IWM to remain 
at 500,000 option contracts for a six-month pilot period. For this 
reason, the Commission designates the proposed rule change to be 
effective and operative upon filing with the Commission.\14\
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    \12\ 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii). In addition, Rule 19b-
4(f)(6)(iii) requires that a self-regulatory organization submit to 
the Commission written notice of its intent to file the proposed 
rule change, along with a brief description and text of the proposed 
rule change, at least five business days prior to the date of filing 
of the proposed rule change, or such shorter time as designated by 
the Commission. The Commission has decided to waive the five-day 
pre-filing notice requirement.
    \13\ Id.
    \14\ For the purposes only of waiving the 30-day operative 
delay, the Commission has considered the proposed rule's impact on 
efficiency, competition, and capital formation. See 15 U.S.C. 
78c(f).
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    At any time within 60 days of the filing of such 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 Number SR-ISE-2007-07 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-ISE-2007-07. 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 Commission's 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 the 
filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the 
principal office of ISE. 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-ISE-2007-07 and should be submitted on or before February 22, 2007.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, 
pursuant to delegated authority.\15\
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    \15\ 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).
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Florence E. Harmon,
Deputy Secretary.
[FR Doc. E7-1581 Filed 1-31-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8011-01-P