Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Options Clearing Corporation; Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, To Modify the Options Clearing Corporation's Margin Methodology by Incorporating Variations in Implied Volatility, 135-138 [2015-32991]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 1 / Monday, January 4, 2016 / Notices available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR– NASDAQ–2015–157 and should be submitted on or before January 25, 2016. By the Commission. Jill M. Peterson, Assistant Secretary. For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.12 Jill M. Peterson, Assistant Secretary. BILLING CODE 8011–01–P [FR Doc. 2015–32989 Filed 12–31–15; 8:45 am] SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION In the Matter of Zhong Wen International Holding Co., Ltd.; Order of Suspension of Trading tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES December 29, 2015. It appears to the Securities and Exchange Commission (‘‘Commission’’) that there is a lack of current and accurate information concerning the securities of Zhong Wen International Holding Co., Ltd. (‘‘ZWIH 1’’) (CIK No. 1494502), a void Delaware corporation whose principal place of business is listed as Qingzhou, Shandong, China because it is delinquent in its periodic filings with the Commission, having not filed any periodic reports since it filed a Form 10–Q for the period ended September 30, 2012. On February 19, 2015, the Commission’s Division of Corporation Finance sent a delinquency letter to ZWIH at the address shown in its then-most recent filing in the Commission’s EDGAR system requesting compliance with its periodic filing requirements. To date, ZWIH has failed to cure its delinquencies. As of December 15, 2015, the common stock of ZWIH was quoted on OTC Link operated by OTC Markets Group, Inc. (formerly ‘‘Pink Sheets’’) had three market makers and was eligible for the ‘‘piggyback’’ exception of Exchange Act Rule 15c2–11(f)(3). The Commission is of the opinion that the public interest and the protection of investors require a suspension of trading in the securities of the above-listed company. Therefore, it is ordered, pursuant to Section 12(k) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, that trading in the securities of the abovelisted company is suspended for the period from 9:30 a.m. EST on December 29, 2015, through 11:59 p.m. EST on January 12, 2016. CFR 200.30–3(a)(12). short form of the issuer’s name is also its ticker symbol. 1 The VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:43 Dec 31, 2015 Jkt 238001 SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34–76781; File No. SR–OCC– 2015–016] BILLING CODE 8011–01–P 12 17 [FR Doc. 2015–33028 Filed 12–31–15; 8:45 am] Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Options Clearing Corporation; Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, To Modify the Options Clearing Corporation’s Margin Methodology by Incorporating Variations in Implied Volatility December 28, 2015. On October 5, 2015, The Options Clearing Corporation (‘‘OCC’’) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (‘‘Commission’’) the proposed rule change SR–OCC–2015– 016 pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (‘‘Exchange Act’’) 1 and Rule 19b–4 thereunder.2 The proposed rule change was published for comment in the Federal Register on October 19, 2015.3 The Commission did not receive any comments on the proposed rule change. On November 19, 2015, OCC filed Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change.4 On November 20, 2015, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2)(A)(ii)(I) of the Exchange Act,5 the Commission extended the time period within which to approve, disapprove, or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove the proposed rule change to January 17, 2016.6 This order approves the proposed rule change. 1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1). CFR 240.19b–4. OCC also filed this proposal as an advance notice pursuant to Section 802(e)(1) of the Payment, Clearing, and Settlement Supervision Act of 2010 and Rule 19b–4(n)(1) under the Exchange Act. 15 U.S.C. 5465(e)(1) and 17 CFR 240.19b–4(n)(1). See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 76421 (November 10, 2015), 80 FR 71900 (November 17, 2015) (SR–OCC–2015–804). The Commission did not receive any comments on the advance notice. 3 Securities Exchange Act Release No. 76128 (October 13, 2015), 80 FR 63264 (October 19, 2015) (SR–OCC–2015–016) (‘‘Notice’’). 4 In Amendment No. 1, OCC makes technical corrections to Exhibit 5. Amendment No. 1 is not subject to notice and comment because it is a technical amendment that does not materially alter the substance of the proposed rule change or raise any novel regulatory issues. 5 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2)(A)(ii)(I). 6 See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 76496 (November 20, 2015), 80 FR 74179 (November 27, 2015). 2 17 PO 00000 Frm 00075 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 135 Description As proposed by OCC,7 it is modifying its margin methodology by more broadly incorporating variations in implied volatility within OCC’s System for Theoretical Analysis and Numerical Simulations (‘‘STANS’’).8 As explained below, OCC believes that expanding the use of variations in implied volatility within STANS for substantially all 9 option contracts available to be cleared by OCC that have a residual tenor 10 of less than three years (‘‘Shorter Tenor Options’’) will enhance OCC’s ability to ensure that option prices and the margin coverage related to such positions more appropriately reflect possible future market value fluctuations and better protect OCC in the event it must liquidate the portfolio of a suspended clearing member. Implied Volatility in STANS Generally According to OCC, STANS is OCC’s proprietary risk management system that calculates clearing members’ margin requirements. According to OCC, the STANS methodology uses Monte Carlo simulations to forecast price movement and correlations in determining a clearing member’s margin requirement. According to OCC, under STANS, the daily margin calculation for each clearing member account is constructed to ensure OCC maintains sufficient financial resources to liquidate a defaulting member’s positions, without loss, within the liquidation horizon of two business days. As described by OCC, the STANS margin requirement for an account is composed of two primary components: A base component and a stress test component. According to OCC, the base component is obtained from a risk measure of the expected margin shortfall for an account that results under Monte Carlo price movement simulations. For the exposures that are observed regarding the account, the base 7 See Notice, supra note 3, 80 FR at 63264–67. proposal did not propose any changes concerning futures. According to OCC, OCC uses a different system to calculate initial margin requirements for segregated futures accounts: Standard Portfolio Analysis of Risk Margin Calculation System. 9 According to OCC, it proposes to exclude: (i) Binary options, (ii) options on energy futures, and (iii) options on U.S. Treasury securities. OCC excluded them because: (i) They are new products that were introduced as OCC was completing this proposal and (ii) OCC did not believe that there was substantive risk if they were excluded at this time because they only represent a de minimis open interest. According to OCC, it plans to modify its margin methodology to accommodate these new products. 10 According to OCC, the ‘‘tenor’’ of an option is the amount of time remaining to its expiration. 8 This E:\FR\FM\04JAN1.SGM 04JAN1 136 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 1 / Monday, January 4, 2016 / Notices component is established as the estimated average of potential losses higher than the 99% VaR 11 threshold. In addition, OCC augments the base component using the stress test component. According to OCC, the stress test component is obtained by considering increases in the expected margin shortfall for an account that would occur due to: (i) Market movements that are especially large and/or in which certain risk factors would exhibit perfect or zero correlations rather than correlations otherwise estimated using historical data or (ii) extreme and adverse idiosyncratic movements for individual risk factors to which the account is particularly exposed. According to OCC, including variations in implied volatility within STANS is intended to ensure that the anticipated cost of liquidating each Shorter Tenor Option position in an account recognizes the possibility that implied volatility could change during the two business day liquidation time horizon in STANS and lead to corresponding changes in the market prices of the options. According to OCC, generally speaking, the implied volatility of an option is a measure of the expected future volatility of the value of the option’s annualized standard deviation of the price of the underlying security, index, or future at exercise, which is reflected in the current option premium in the market. Using the Black-Scholes options pricing model, the implied volatility is the standard deviation of the underlying asset price necessary to arrive at the market price of an option of a given strike, time to maturity, underlying asset price and given the current risk-free rate. In effect, the implied volatility is responsible for that portion of the premium that cannot be explained by the then-current intrinsic value 12 of the option, discounted to reflect its time value. According to OCC, it currently incorporates variations in implied volatility as risk factors for certain options with residual tenors of at least three years (‘‘Longer Tenor Options’’). tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Implied Volatility for Shorter Tenor Options OCC is proposing certain modifications to STANS to more 11 The term ‘‘value at risk’’ or ‘‘VaR’’ refers to a statistical technique that, generally speaking, is used in risk management to measure the potential risk of loss for a given set of assets over a particular time horizon. 12 According to OCC, generally speaking, the intrinsic value is the difference between the price of the underlying and the exercise price of the option. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:43 Dec 31, 2015 Jkt 238001 broadly incorporate variations in implied volatility for Shorter Tenor Options. Consistent with its approach for Longer Tenor Options, OCC will model a volatility surface 13 for Shorter Tenor Options by incorporating into the econometric models underlying STANS certain risk factors regarding a time series of proportional changes in implied volatilities for a range of tenors and absolute deltas. Shorter Tenor Option volatility points will be defined by three different tenors and three different absolute deltas, which produce nine ‘‘pivot points.’’ In calculating the implied volatility values for each pivot point, OCC will use the same type of series-level pricing data set to create the nine pivot points that it uses to create the pivot points used for Longer Tenor Options, so that the nine pivot points will be the result of a consolidation of the entire series-level dataset into a smaller and more manageable set of pivot points before modeling the volatility surface. According to OCC, it considered incorporating more than nine pivot points but concluded that would not be appropriate for Shorter Tenor Options because: (i) Back-testing results, from January 2008 to May 2013, revealed that using more pivot points did not produce more meaningful information (i.e. more pivot points produced a comparable number of under-margined instances) and (ii) given the large volume of Shorter Tenor Options, using more pivot points could increase computation time and, therefore, would impair OCC from making timely calculations. Under OCC’s model for Shorter Tenor Options, the volatility surfaces will be defined using tenors of one month, three months, and one year with absolute deltas, in each case, of 0.25, 0.5, and 0.75,14 thus resulting in the nine implied volatility pivot points. OCC believes that it is appropriate to focus on pivot points representing at- and near-the-money options because prices for those options are more sensitive to 13 According to OCC, the term ‘‘volatility surface’’ refers to a three-dimensional graphed surface that represents the implied volatility for possible tenors of the option and the implied volatility of the option over those tenors for the possible levels of ‘‘moneyness’’ of the option. According to OCC, the term ‘‘moneyness’’ refers to the relationship between the current market price of the underlying interest and the exercise price. 14 According to OCC, given that premiums of deep-in-the-money options (those with absolute deltas closer to 1.0) and deep-out-of-the-money options (those with absolute deltas closer to 0) are insensitive to changes in implied volatility, in each case notwithstanding increases or decreases in implied volatility over the two business day liquidation time horizon, those higher and lower absolute deltas have not been selected as pivot points. PO 00000 Frm 00076 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 variations in implied volatility over the liquidation time horizon of two business days. According to OCC, four factors explain 99% variance of implied volatility movements: (i) A parallel shift of the entire surface; (ii) a slope or skewness with respect to delta; (iii) a slope with respect to time to maturity; and (iv) a convexity with respect to the time to maturity. According to OCC, the nine correlated pivot points, arranged by delta and tenor, give OCC the flexibility to capture these factors. According to OCC, it first will use its econometric models to jointly simulate changes to implied volatility at the nine pivot points and changes to underlying prices.15 For each Shorter Tenor Option in the account of a clearing member, changes in its implied volatility then will be simulated according to the corresponding pivot point and the price of the option will be computed to determine the amount of profit or loss in the account under the particular STANS price simulation. Additionally, as OCC does today, it will continue to use simulated closing prices for the assets underlying options in the account of a clearing member that are scheduled to expire within the liquidation time horizon of two business days to compute the options’ intrinsic value and use those values to help calculate the profit or loss in the account.16 Effects of the Proposed Change and Implementation OCC believes that the proposed change will enhance OCC’s ability to ensure that STANS appropriately takes into account normal market conditions that OCC may encounter in the event that, pursuant to OCC Rule 1102, it suspends a defaulted clearing member and liquidates its accounts.17 Accordingly, OCC believes that the change will promote OCC’s ability to ensure that margin assets are sufficient to liquidate the accounts of a defaulted clearing member without incurring a loss. OCC estimates that this change generally will increase margin requirements overall, but will decrease 15 According to OCC, STANS relies on 10,000 price simulation scenarios that are based generally on a historical data period of 500 business days, which is updated monthly to keep model results from becoming stale. 16 For such Shorter Tenor Options that are scheduled to expire on the open of the market rather than the close, OCC will use the relevant opening price for the underlying assets. 17 According to OCC, under authority in OCC Rules 1104 and 1106, OCC has authority to promptly liquidate margin assets and options positions of a suspended clearing member in the most orderly manner practicable, which might include, but would not be limited to, a private auction. E:\FR\FM\04JAN1.SGM 04JAN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 1 / Monday, January 4, 2016 / Notices margin requirements for certain accounts with certain positions. Specifically, OCC expects this change to increase aggregate margins by about 9% ($1.5 billion). OCC also estimates the change will most significantly affect customer accounts and least significantly affect firm accounts, with the effect on market maker accounts falling in between. According to OCC, it expects customer accounts to experience the largest margin increases because positions considered under STANS for customer accounts typically consist of more short than long options positions, and therefore reflect a greater magnitude of directional risk than other account types. According to OCC, positions considered under STANS for customer accounts typically consist of more short than long options positions to facilitate clearing members’ compliance with Commission requirements for the protection of certain customer property under Exchange Act Rule 15c3–3(b).18 Therefore, OCC segregates the long option positions in the customer accounts of each clearing member and does not assign the long option positions any value when determining the margin for the customer account, resulting in higher margin.19 OCC expects margin requirements to decrease for accounts with underlying exposure and implied volatility exposure in the same direction, such as concentrated call positions, due to the negative correlation typically observed between these two factors. According to OCC, over the back-testing period, about 28% of the observations for accounts on the days studied had lower margins under the proposed methodology and the average reduction was about 2.7%. Parallel results will be made available to the membership in the weeks ahead of implementation. To help clearing members prepare for the proposed change, OCC has provided clearing members with an information memorandum explaining the proposal, including the planned timeline for its implementation, and discussed with certain other clearinghouses the likely effects of the change on OCC’s crossmargin agreements with them. OCC also published an information memorandum tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 18 17 CFR 240.15c3–3(b). 19 See OCC Rule 601(d)(1). According to OCC, pursuant to OCC Rule 611, however, a clearing member, subject to certain conditions, may instruct OCC to release segregated long option positions from segregation. Long positions may be released, for example, if they are part of a spread position. Once released from segregation, OCC receives a lien on each unsegregated long securities option carried in a customers’ account and therefore OCC permits the unsegregated long to offset corresponding short option positions in the account. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:43 Dec 31, 2015 Jkt 238001 to notify clearing members of the submission of this filing to the Commission. Subject to all necessary regulatory approvals regarding the proposed change, OCC intends to begin making parallel margin calculations with and without the changes in the margin methodology. The commencement of the calculations will be announced by an information memorandum, and OCC will provide the calculations to clearing members each business day. OCC also will provide at least thirty days prior notice to clearing members before implementing the change. OCC believes that clearing members will have sufficient time and data to plan for the potential increases in their respective margin requirements. II. Discussion and Commission Findings Section 19(b)(2)(C) of the Exchange Act 20 directs the Commission to approve a proposed rule change of a self-regulatory organization if it finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements of the Exchange Act and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to such organization. The Commission finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Exchange Act 21 and Rule 17Ad–22(b)(2) under the Exchange Act.22 Rule 17Ad–22(b)(2) under the Exchange Act 23 requires OCC to establish, implement, maintain and enforce written policies and procedures reasonably designed to use margin requirements to limit its credit exposures to participants under normal market conditions and use risk-based models and parameters to set margin requirements, among other things. Through this proposal, OCC is modifying its margin methodology, which is designed to use margin requirements to limit its credit exposures to clearing members holding Shorter Tenor Options under normal market conditions. Specifically, OCC is modifying its risk-based model, STANS, to set margin requirements in a way that includes changes in implied volatility for Shorter Tenor Options. With this change in place, STANS is now designed to recognize a range of possible changes in implied volatility during the two business day liquidation time horizon that could lead to corresponding changes in the market prices of Shorter Tenor Options. Therefore, OCC’s change is consistent with Rule 17Ad–22(b)(2) under the Exchange Act.24 By limiting its credit exposure in this way that is consistent with Rule 17Ad– 22(b)(2) under the Exchange Act,25 OCC is less likely to be subject to disruptions in its operations as a result of a participant default, thereby promoting the prompt and accurate clearance and settlement of securities transactions, consistent with Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Exchange Act.26 Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Exchange Act requires OCC to have rules designed to, among other things, promote the prompt and accurate clearance and settlement of securities transactions, and to assure the safeguarding of securities and funds which are in the custody or control of OCC or for which it is responsible.27 This change is also consistent with assuring the safeguarding of securities and funds which are in the custody or control of OCC. According to OCC, it has custody and control of margin deposits it requires members to post to limit credit exposure to members under normal market conditions. According to OCC, in the event of a member default, that member’s margin deposits are the first pool of resources OCC would use to cover losses associated with the default. With this change in place, STANS is now designed to recognize a range of possible changes in implied volatility during the two business day liquidation time horizon that could lead to corresponding changes in the market prices of Shorter Tenor Options. This change is designed to enable OCC to more accurately calculate the amount of margin a member must post, and, therefore, make it less likely, in the event of a member default, that OCC will need to access mutualized clearing fund deposits to cover losses associated with such member’s default, which is consistent with assuring the safeguarding of securities and funds which are in the custody or control of OCC or for which OCC is responsible. Therefore, this change is consistent with Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Exchange Act.28 III. Conclusion On the basis of the foregoing, the Commission finds that the proposal is consistent with the requirements of the Exchange Act and in particular with the requirements of Section 17A of the 24 Id. 20 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2)(C). 21 15 U.S.C. 78q–1(b)(3)(F). 22 17 CFR 240.17Ad–22(b)(2). 23 Id. PO 00000 Frm 00077 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 137 25 Id. 26 15 U.S.C. 78q–1(b)(3)(F). 27 Id. 28 Id. E:\FR\FM\04JAN1.SGM 04JAN1 138 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 1 / Monday, January 4, 2016 / Notices Exchange Act 29 and the rules and regulations thereunder.30 It is therefore ordered, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Exchange Act,31 that the proposed rule change (SR– OCC–2015–016), as modified by Amendment No. 1, be, and it hereby is, approved as of the date of this order or the date of a notice by the Commission authorizing OCC to implement OCC’s advance notice proposal that is consistent with this proposed rule change (SR–OCC–2015–804), whichever is later. For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.32 Jill M. Peterson, Assistant Secretary. [FR Doc. 2015–32991 Filed 12–31–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011–01–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration Agency Information Collection Activities: Requests for Comments; Clearance of Renewed Approval of Information Collection: Suspected Unapproved Parts Notification Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT ACTION: Notice and request for comments. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, FAA invites public comments about our intention to request the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval to renew an information collection. The information collected on the FAA Form 8120–11 is reported voluntarily by manufacturers, repair stations, aircraft owner/operators, air carriers, and the general public who wish to report suspected unapproved parts to the FAA for review. The report information is collected and correlated by the FAA, Aviation Safety Hotline Program Office, and used to determine if an unapproved part investigation is warranted. SUMMARY: Written comments should be submitted by February 3, 2016. ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on the proposed information collection to tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES DATES: 29 15 U.S.C. 78q–1. 30 In approving this proposed rule change, the Commission has considered the proposed rule’s impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. See 15 U.S.C. 78c(f). 31 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2). 32 17 CFR 200.30–3(a)(12). VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:43 Dec 31, 2015 Jkt 238001 the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget. Comments should be addressed to the attention of the Desk Officer, Department of Transportation/FAA, and sent via electronic mail to oira_ submission@omb.eop.gov, or faxed to (202) 395–6974, or mailed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Docket Library, Room 10102, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503. Public Comments Invited: You are asked to comment on any aspect of this information collection, including (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for FAA’s performance; (b) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (c) ways for FAA to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collection; and (d) ways that the burden could be minimized without reducing the quality of the collected information. The agency will summarize and/or include your comments in the request for OMB’s clearance of this information collection. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ronda Thompson at (202) 267–1416, or by email at: Ronda.Thompson@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: OMB Control Number: 2120–0552. Title: Suspected Unapproved Parts Notification. Form Numbers: FAA Form 8120–11. Type of Review: Renewal of an information collection. Background: The Federal Register Notice with a 60-day comment period soliciting comments on the following collection of information was published on October 22, 2015 (80 FR 64054). The information collected on the FAA Form 8120–11 is reported voluntarily by manufacturers, repair stations, aircraft owner/operators, air carriers, and the general public who wish to report suspected unapproved parts to the FAA for review. The report information is collected and correlated by the FAA, Aviation Safety Hotline Program Office, and used to determine if an unapproved part investigation is warranted. When unapproved parts are confirmed that are likely to exist on other products or aircraft of the same or similar design or are being used in other facilities, the information is used as a basis for an aviation industry alert or notification. Alerts are used to inform industry of situations essential to the prevention of accidents, if the information had not been collected. The consequence to the aviation community would be the inability to determine whether or not unapproved parts are being offered for sale or use for installation on typecertificated products. PO 00000 Frm 00078 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Respondents: Approximately 150 manufactures, repair stations, aircraft owners/operators, and air carriers. Frequency: Information is collected on occasion. Estimated Average Burden per Response: 30 minutes. Estimated Total Annual Burden: 75 hours. Issued in Washington, DC, on December 23, 2015. Ronda Thompson, FAA Information Collection Clearance Officer, Performance, Policy & Records Management Branch, ASP–110. [FR Doc. 2015–33059 Filed 12–31–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration Fifteenth Meeting: RTCA Special Committee (209) ATCRBS/Mode S Transponder MOPS (Joint With EUROCAE WG–49, EUROCAE WG–51 Subgroup 1, and RTCA SC–186 Working Group 3) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice of Fifteenth RTCA Special Committee 209 Meeting. AGENCY: The FAA is issuing this notice to advise the public of the Fifteenth RTCA Special Committee 209 meeting. DATES: The meeting will be held February 1–5, 2016 from 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at RTCA, Inc., 1150 18th Street NW., Suite 910, Washington, DC, 20036, Tel: (202) 330–0654. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The RTCA Secretariat, 1150 18th Street NW., Suite 910, Washington, DC 20036, or by telephone at (202) 833–9339, fax at (202) 833–9434, or Web site at http:// www.rtca.org or Harold Moses, Program Director, RTCA, Inc., khofmann@ rtca.org, (202) 330–0654. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to section 10(a) (2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92– 463, 5 U.S.C., App.), notice is hereby given for a meeting of RTCA Special Committee 209. The agenda will include the following: SUMMARY: Monday–Friday, February 1–5, 2016 1. Host and Co-Chairs Welcome, Introductions, and Remarks 2. Review and Approval of the Agenda 3. Discussion of current issues proposed to be addressed in this revision of DO 181/ED 73 and DO 260/ED 102 E:\FR\FM\04JAN1.SGM 04JAN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 1 (Monday, January 4, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 135-138]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-32991]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

[Release No. 34-76781; File No. SR-OCC-2015-016]


Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Options Clearing Corporation; 
Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, 
To Modify the Options Clearing Corporation's Margin Methodology by 
Incorporating Variations in Implied Volatility

December 28, 2015.
    On October 5, 2015, The Options Clearing Corporation (``OCC'') 
filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (``Commission'') the 
proposed rule change SR-OCC-2015-016 pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of 
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (``Exchange Act'') \1\ and Rule 
19b-4 thereunder.\2\ The proposed rule change was published for comment 
in the Federal Register on October 19, 2015.\3\ The Commission did not 
receive any comments on the proposed rule change. On November 19, 2015, 
OCC filed Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change.\4\ On November 
20, 2015, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2)(A)(ii)(I) of the Exchange 
Act,\5\ the Commission extended the time period within which to 
approve, disapprove, or institute proceedings to determine whether to 
disapprove the proposed rule change to January 17, 2016.\6\ This order 
approves the proposed rule change.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).
    \2\ 17 CFR 240.19b-4. OCC also filed this proposal as an advance 
notice pursuant to Section 802(e)(1) of the Payment, Clearing, and 
Settlement Supervision Act of 2010 and Rule 19b-4(n)(1) under the 
Exchange Act. 15 U.S.C. 5465(e)(1) and 17 CFR 240.19b-4(n)(1). See 
Securities Exchange Act Release No. 76421 (November 10, 2015), 80 FR 
71900 (November 17, 2015) (SR-OCC-2015-804). The Commission did not 
receive any comments on the advance notice.
    \3\ Securities Exchange Act Release No. 76128 (October 13, 
2015), 80 FR 63264 (October 19, 2015) (SR-OCC-2015-016) 
(``Notice'').
    \4\ In Amendment No. 1, OCC makes technical corrections to 
Exhibit 5. Amendment No. 1 is not subject to notice and comment 
because it is a technical amendment that does not materially alter 
the substance of the proposed rule change or raise any novel 
regulatory issues.
    \5\ 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2)(A)(ii)(I).
    \6\ See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 76496 (November 20, 
2015), 80 FR 74179 (November 27, 2015).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Description

    As proposed by OCC,\7\ it is modifying its margin methodology by 
more broadly incorporating variations in implied volatility within 
OCC's System for Theoretical Analysis and Numerical Simulations 
(``STANS'').\8\ As explained below, OCC believes that expanding the use 
of variations in implied volatility within STANS for substantially all 
\9\ option contracts available to be cleared by OCC that have a 
residual tenor \10\ of less than three years (``Shorter Tenor 
Options'') will enhance OCC's ability to ensure that option prices and 
the margin coverage related to such positions more appropriately 
reflect possible future market value fluctuations and better protect 
OCC in the event it must liquidate the portfolio of a suspended 
clearing member.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ See Notice, supra note 3, 80 FR at 63264-67.
    \8\ This proposal did not propose any changes concerning 
futures. According to OCC, OCC uses a different system to calculate 
initial margin requirements for segregated futures accounts: 
Standard Portfolio Analysis of Risk Margin Calculation System.
    \9\ According to OCC, it proposes to exclude: (i) Binary 
options, (ii) options on energy futures, and (iii) options on U.S. 
Treasury securities. OCC excluded them because: (i) They are new 
products that were introduced as OCC was completing this proposal 
and (ii) OCC did not believe that there was substantive risk if they 
were excluded at this time because they only represent a de minimis 
open interest. According to OCC, it plans to modify its margin 
methodology to accommodate these new products.
    \10\ According to OCC, the ``tenor'' of an option is the amount 
of time remaining to its expiration.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Implied Volatility in STANS Generally

    According to OCC, STANS is OCC's proprietary risk management system 
that calculates clearing members' margin requirements. According to 
OCC, the STANS methodology uses Monte Carlo simulations to forecast 
price movement and correlations in determining a clearing member's 
margin requirement. According to OCC, under STANS, the daily margin 
calculation for each clearing member account is constructed to ensure 
OCC maintains sufficient financial resources to liquidate a defaulting 
member's positions, without loss, within the liquidation horizon of two 
business days.
    As described by OCC, the STANS margin requirement for an account is 
composed of two primary components: A base component and a stress test 
component. According to OCC, the base component is obtained from a risk 
measure of the expected margin shortfall for an account that results 
under Monte Carlo price movement simulations. For the exposures that 
are observed regarding the account, the base

[[Page 136]]

component is established as the estimated average of potential losses 
higher than the 99% VaR \11\ threshold. In addition, OCC augments the 
base component using the stress test component. According to OCC, the 
stress test component is obtained by considering increases in the 
expected margin shortfall for an account that would occur due to: (i) 
Market movements that are especially large and/or in which certain risk 
factors would exhibit perfect or zero correlations rather than 
correlations otherwise estimated using historical data or (ii) extreme 
and adverse idiosyncratic movements for individual risk factors to 
which the account is particularly exposed.
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    \11\ The term ``value at risk'' or ``VaR'' refers to a 
statistical technique that, generally speaking, is used in risk 
management to measure the potential risk of loss for a given set of 
assets over a particular time horizon.
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    According to OCC, including variations in implied volatility within 
STANS is intended to ensure that the anticipated cost of liquidating 
each Shorter Tenor Option position in an account recognizes the 
possibility that implied volatility could change during the two 
business day liquidation time horizon in STANS and lead to 
corresponding changes in the market prices of the options. According to 
OCC, generally speaking, the implied volatility of an option is a 
measure of the expected future volatility of the value of the option's 
annualized standard deviation of the price of the underlying security, 
index, or future at exercise, which is reflected in the current option 
premium in the market. Using the Black-Scholes options pricing model, 
the implied volatility is the standard deviation of the underlying 
asset price necessary to arrive at the market price of an option of a 
given strike, time to maturity, underlying asset price and given the 
current risk-free rate. In effect, the implied volatility is 
responsible for that portion of the premium that cannot be explained by 
the then-current intrinsic value \12\ of the option, discounted to 
reflect its time value. According to OCC, it currently incorporates 
variations in implied volatility as risk factors for certain options 
with residual tenors of at least three years (``Longer Tenor 
Options'').
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    \12\ According to OCC, generally speaking, the intrinsic value 
is the difference between the price of the underlying and the 
exercise price of the option.
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Implied Volatility for Shorter Tenor Options

    OCC is proposing certain modifications to STANS to more broadly 
incorporate variations in implied volatility for Shorter Tenor Options. 
Consistent with its approach for Longer Tenor Options, OCC will model a 
volatility surface \13\ for Shorter Tenor Options by incorporating into 
the econometric models underlying STANS certain risk factors regarding 
a time series of proportional changes in implied volatilities for a 
range of tenors and absolute deltas. Shorter Tenor Option volatility 
points will be defined by three different tenors and three different 
absolute deltas, which produce nine ``pivot points.'' In calculating 
the implied volatility values for each pivot point, OCC will use the 
same type of series-level pricing data set to create the nine pivot 
points that it uses to create the pivot points used for Longer Tenor 
Options, so that the nine pivot points will be the result of a 
consolidation of the entire series-level dataset into a smaller and 
more manageable set of pivot points before modeling the volatility 
surface.
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    \13\ According to OCC, the term ``volatility surface'' refers to 
a three-dimensional graphed surface that represents the implied 
volatility for possible tenors of the option and the implied 
volatility of the option over those tenors for the possible levels 
of ``moneyness'' of the option. According to OCC, the term 
``moneyness'' refers to the relationship between the current market 
price of the underlying interest and the exercise price.
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    According to OCC, it considered incorporating more than nine pivot 
points but concluded that would not be appropriate for Shorter Tenor 
Options because: (i) Back-testing results, from January 2008 to May 
2013, revealed that using more pivot points did not produce more 
meaningful information (i.e. more pivot points produced a comparable 
number of under-margined instances) and (ii) given the large volume of 
Shorter Tenor Options, using more pivot points could increase 
computation time and, therefore, would impair OCC from making timely 
calculations.
    Under OCC's model for Shorter Tenor Options, the volatility 
surfaces will be defined using tenors of one month, three months, and 
one year with absolute deltas, in each case, of 0.25, 0.5, and 
0.75,\14\ thus resulting in the nine implied volatility pivot points. 
OCC believes that it is appropriate to focus on pivot points 
representing at- and near-the-money options because prices for those 
options are more sensitive to variations in implied volatility over the 
liquidation time horizon of two business days. According to OCC, four 
factors explain 99% variance of implied volatility movements: (i) A 
parallel shift of the entire surface; (ii) a slope or skewness with 
respect to delta; (iii) a slope with respect to time to maturity; and 
(iv) a convexity with respect to the time to maturity. According to 
OCC, the nine correlated pivot points, arranged by delta and tenor, 
give OCC the flexibility to capture these factors.
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    \14\ According to OCC, given that premiums of deep-in-the-money 
options (those with absolute deltas closer to 1.0) and deep-out-of-
the-money options (those with absolute deltas closer to 0) are 
insensitive to changes in implied volatility, in each case 
notwithstanding increases or decreases in implied volatility over 
the two business day liquidation time horizon, those higher and 
lower absolute deltas have not been selected as pivot points.
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    According to OCC, it first will use its econometric models to 
jointly simulate changes to implied volatility at the nine pivot points 
and changes to underlying prices.\15\ For each Shorter Tenor Option in 
the account of a clearing member, changes in its implied volatility 
then will be simulated according to the corresponding pivot point and 
the price of the option will be computed to determine the amount of 
profit or loss in the account under the particular STANS price 
simulation. Additionally, as OCC does today, it will continue to use 
simulated closing prices for the assets underlying options in the 
account of a clearing member that are scheduled to expire within the 
liquidation time horizon of two business days to compute the options' 
intrinsic value and use those values to help calculate the profit or 
loss in the account.\16\
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    \15\ According to OCC, STANS relies on 10,000 price simulation 
scenarios that are based generally on a historical data period of 
500 business days, which is updated monthly to keep model results 
from becoming stale.
    \16\ For such Shorter Tenor Options that are scheduled to expire 
on the open of the market rather than the close, OCC will use the 
relevant opening price for the underlying assets.
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Effects of the Proposed Change and Implementation

    OCC believes that the proposed change will enhance OCC's ability to 
ensure that STANS appropriately takes into account normal market 
conditions that OCC may encounter in the event that, pursuant to OCC 
Rule 1102, it suspends a defaulted clearing member and liquidates its 
accounts.\17\ Accordingly, OCC believes that the change will promote 
OCC's ability to ensure that margin assets are sufficient to liquidate 
the accounts of a defaulted clearing member without incurring a loss.
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    \17\ According to OCC, under authority in OCC Rules 1104 and 
1106, OCC has authority to promptly liquidate margin assets and 
options positions of a suspended clearing member in the most orderly 
manner practicable, which might include, but would not be limited 
to, a private auction.
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    OCC estimates that this change generally will increase margin 
requirements overall, but will decrease

[[Page 137]]

margin requirements for certain accounts with certain positions. 
Specifically, OCC expects this change to increase aggregate margins by 
about 9% ($1.5 billion). OCC also estimates the change will most 
significantly affect customer accounts and least significantly affect 
firm accounts, with the effect on market maker accounts falling in 
between.
    According to OCC, it expects customer accounts to experience the 
largest margin increases because positions considered under STANS for 
customer accounts typically consist of more short than long options 
positions, and therefore reflect a greater magnitude of directional 
risk than other account types. According to OCC, positions considered 
under STANS for customer accounts typically consist of more short than 
long options positions to facilitate clearing members' compliance with 
Commission requirements for the protection of certain customer property 
under Exchange Act Rule 15c3-3(b).\18\ Therefore, OCC segregates the 
long option positions in the customer accounts of each clearing member 
and does not assign the long option positions any value when 
determining the margin for the customer account, resulting in higher 
margin.\19\
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    \18\ 17 CFR 240.15c3-3(b).
    \19\ See OCC Rule 601(d)(1). According to OCC, pursuant to OCC 
Rule 611, however, a clearing member, subject to certain conditions, 
may instruct OCC to release segregated long option positions from 
segregation. Long positions may be released, for example, if they 
are part of a spread position. Once released from segregation, OCC 
receives a lien on each unsegregated long securities option carried 
in a customers' account and therefore OCC permits the unsegregated 
long to offset corresponding short option positions in the account.
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    OCC expects margin requirements to decrease for accounts with 
underlying exposure and implied volatility exposure in the same 
direction, such as concentrated call positions, due to the negative 
correlation typically observed between these two factors. According to 
OCC, over the back-testing period, about 28% of the observations for 
accounts on the days studied had lower margins under the proposed 
methodology and the average reduction was about 2.7%. Parallel results 
will be made available to the membership in the weeks ahead of 
implementation.
    To help clearing members prepare for the proposed change, OCC has 
provided clearing members with an information memorandum explaining the 
proposal, including the planned timeline for its implementation, and 
discussed with certain other clearinghouses the likely effects of the 
change on OCC's cross-margin agreements with them. OCC also published 
an information memorandum to notify clearing members of the submission 
of this filing to the Commission. Subject to all necessary regulatory 
approvals regarding the proposed change, OCC intends to begin making 
parallel margin calculations with and without the changes in the margin 
methodology. The commencement of the calculations will be announced by 
an information memorandum, and OCC will provide the calculations to 
clearing members each business day. OCC also will provide at least 
thirty days prior notice to clearing members before implementing the 
change. OCC believes that clearing members will have sufficient time 
and data to plan for the potential increases in their respective margin 
requirements.

II. Discussion and Commission Findings

    Section 19(b)(2)(C) of the Exchange Act \20\ directs the Commission 
to approve a proposed rule change of a self-regulatory organization if 
it finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with the 
requirements of the Exchange Act and the rules and regulations 
thereunder applicable to such organization.
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    \20\ 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2)(C).
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    The Commission finds that the proposed rule change is consistent 
with Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Exchange Act \21\ and Rule 17Ad-
22(b)(2) under the Exchange Act.\22\ Rule 17Ad-22(b)(2) under the 
Exchange Act \23\ requires OCC to establish, implement, maintain and 
enforce written policies and procedures reasonably designed to use 
margin requirements to limit its credit exposures to participants under 
normal market conditions and use risk-based models and parameters to 
set margin requirements, among other things. Through this proposal, OCC 
is modifying its margin methodology, which is designed to use margin 
requirements to limit its credit exposures to clearing members holding 
Shorter Tenor Options under normal market conditions. Specifically, OCC 
is modifying its risk-based model, STANS, to set margin requirements in 
a way that includes changes in implied volatility for Shorter Tenor 
Options. With this change in place, STANS is now designed to recognize 
a range of possible changes in implied volatility during the two 
business day liquidation time horizon that could lead to corresponding 
changes in the market prices of Shorter Tenor Options. Therefore, OCC's 
change is consistent with Rule 17Ad-22(b)(2) under the Exchange 
Act.\24\
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    \21\ 15 U.S.C. 78q-1(b)(3)(F).
    \22\ 17 CFR 240.17Ad-22(b)(2).
    \23\ Id.
    \24\ Id.
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    By limiting its credit exposure in this way that is consistent with 
Rule 17Ad-22(b)(2) under the Exchange Act,\25\ OCC is less likely to be 
subject to disruptions in its operations as a result of a participant 
default, thereby promoting the prompt and accurate clearance and 
settlement of securities transactions, consistent with Section 
17A(b)(3)(F) of the Exchange Act.\26\ Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the 
Exchange Act requires OCC to have rules designed to, among other 
things, promote the prompt and accurate clearance and settlement of 
securities transactions, and to assure the safeguarding of securities 
and funds which are in the custody or control of OCC or for which it is 
responsible.\27\ This change is also consistent with assuring the 
safeguarding of securities and funds which are in the custody or 
control of OCC. According to OCC, it has custody and control of margin 
deposits it requires members to post to limit credit exposure to 
members under normal market conditions. According to OCC, in the event 
of a member default, that member's margin deposits are the first pool 
of resources OCC would use to cover losses associated with the default. 
With this change in place, STANS is now designed to recognize a range 
of possible changes in implied volatility during the two business day 
liquidation time horizon that could lead to corresponding changes in 
the market prices of Shorter Tenor Options. This change is designed to 
enable OCC to more accurately calculate the amount of margin a member 
must post, and, therefore, make it less likely, in the event of a 
member default, that OCC will need to access mutualized clearing fund 
deposits to cover losses associated with such member's default, which 
is consistent with assuring the safeguarding of securities and funds 
which are in the custody or control of OCC or for which OCC is 
responsible. Therefore, this change is consistent with Section 
17A(b)(3)(F) of the Exchange Act.\28\
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    \25\ Id.
    \26\ 15 U.S.C. 78q-1(b)(3)(F).
    \27\ Id.
    \28\ Id.
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III. Conclusion

    On the basis of the foregoing, the Commission finds that the 
proposal is consistent with the requirements of the Exchange Act and in 
particular with the requirements of Section 17A of the

[[Page 138]]

Exchange Act \29\ and the rules and regulations thereunder.\30\
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    \29\ 15 U.S.C. 78q-1.
    \30\ In approving this proposed rule change, 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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    It is therefore ordered, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the 
Exchange Act,\31\ that the proposed rule change (SR-OCC-2015-016), as 
modified by Amendment No. 1, be, and it hereby is, approved as of the 
date of this order or the date of a notice by the Commission 
authorizing OCC to implement OCC's advance notice proposal that is 
consistent with this proposed rule change (SR-OCC-2015-804), whichever 
is later.
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    \31\ 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2).

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, 
pursuant to delegated authority.\32\
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    \32\ 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).
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Jill M. Peterson,
Assistant Secretary.
 [FR Doc. 2015-32991 Filed 12-31-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 8011-01-P