Self-Regulatory Organizations; the Options Clearing Corporation; Order Approving Proposed Rule Change Related to the Introduction of a New Liquidation Cost Model in the Options Clearing Corporation's Margin Methodology, 29267-29270 [2019-13113]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 120 / Friday, June 21, 2019 / Notices C. Self-Regulatory Organization’s Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others No written comments were solicited or received with respect to the proposed rule change. III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action The foregoing rule change is effective upon filing pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) 24 of the Act and subparagraph (f)(2) of Rule 19b–4 25 thereunder, because it establishes a due, fee, or other charge imposed by the Exchange. At any time within 60 days of the filing of such proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend 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. If the Commission takes such action, the Commission shall institute proceedings under Section 19(b)(2)(B) 26 of the Act to determine whether the proposed rule change should be approved or disapproved. 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: jspears on DSK30JT082PROD with NOTICES Electronic Comments • Use the Commission’s internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/ rules/sro.shtml); or • Send an email to rule-comments@ sec.gov. Please include File Number SR– NYSENAT–2019–14 on the subject line. Paper Comments • Send paper comments in triplicate to Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549–1090. All submissions should refer to File Number SR–NYSENAT–2019–14. This file number should be included on the subject line if email 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 website (http://www.sec.gov/ 24 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A). CFR 240.19b–4(f)(2). 26 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2)(B). 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 website viewing and printing in the Commission’s Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549 on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of the filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal offices of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change. Persons submitting comments are cautioned that we do not redact or edit personal identifying information from comment submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR–NYSENAT–2019–14, and should be submitted on or before July 12, 2019. For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.27 Vanessa A. Countryman, Acting Secretary. [FR Doc. 2019–13115 Filed 6–20–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011–01–P SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION Self-Regulatory Organizations; the Options Clearing Corporation; Order Approving Proposed Rule Change Related to the Introduction of a New Liquidation Cost Model in the Options Clearing Corporation’s Margin Methodology June 17, 2019. I. Introduction On April 18, 2019, the Options Clearing Corporation (‘‘OCC’’) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (‘‘Commission’’) the proposed rule change SR–OCC–2019– 004 (‘‘Proposed Rule Change’’) pursuant to Section 19(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (‘‘Exchange 25 17 VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:30 Jun 20, 2019 27 17 Jkt 247001 Act’’) 1 and Rule 19b–4 2 thereunder to propose changes to OCC’s margin methodology to introduce a new model to estimate the liquidation cost for all options and futures, as well as the securities in margin collateral.3 The Proposed Rule Change was published for public comment in the Federal Register on May 6, 2019,4 and the Commission received no comments regarding the Proposed Rule Change. This order approves the Proposed Rule Change. II. Background The System for Theoretical Analysis and Numerical Simulations (‘‘STANS’’) is OCC’s methodology for calculating margin requirements. OCC uses the STANS methodology to measure the exposure of portfolios of options and futures cleared by OCC and of cash instruments that are part of margin collateral. STANS margin requirements are intended to cover potential losses due to price movements over a two-day risk horizon; however, the current STANS margin requirements do not cover the potential additional liquidation costs OCC may incur in closing out a defaulted Clearing Member’s portfolio.5 Closing out positions in a defaulted Clearing Member’s portfolio could entail selling longs at the bid price and covering shorts at the ask price. Additionally, even well-hedged portfolios consisting of offsetting longs and shorts would require some cost to liquidate in the event of a default. The process of modeling liquidation costs is, therefore, relevant to ensuring that OCC holds 1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1). CFR 240.19b–4. 3 See Notice of Filing infra note 4, at 84 FR 19815. 4 Securities Exchange Act Release No. 85755 (Apr. 30, 2019), 84 FR 19815 (May 6, 2019) (SR– OCC–2019–004) (‘‘Notice of Filing’’). OCC also filed a related advance notice (SR–OCC–2019–802) (‘‘Advance Notice’’) with the Commission pursuant to Section 806(e)(1) of Title VIII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, entitled the Payment, Clearing, and Settlement Supervision Act of 2010 and Rule 19b–4(n)(1)(i) under the Exchange Act. 12 U.S.C. 5465(e)(1). 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1) and 17 CFR 240.19b–4, respectively. The Advance Notice was published in the Federal Register on May 21, 2019. Securities Exchange Act Release No. 85863 (May 15, 2019), 84 FR 23090 (May 21, 2019) (SR–OCC–2019–802). 5 OCC previously introduced a liquidation cost model into STANS for risk managing only longdated options on the Standard & Poor’s (‘‘S&P’’) 500 index (‘‘SPX’’) that have a tenor of three-years or more. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 70719 (October 18, 2013), 78 FR 63548 (October 24, 2013) (SR–OCC–2013–16). Under the proposal described in the Proposed Rule Change, OCC would replace the existing liquidation model for longdated SPX options with the proposed model. Longdated SPX options, however, constituted less than 0.5 percent of open interest in SPX options open interest at the time of filing. See Notice of Filing, 84 FR at 19816, note 7. 2 17 [Release No. 34–86119; File No. SR–OCC– 2019–004] PO 00000 CFR 200.30–3(a)(12). Frm 00111 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 29267 E:\FR\FM\21JNN1.SGM 21JNN1 29268 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 120 / Friday, June 21, 2019 / Notices sufficient financial resources to closeout the portfolio of a defaulted Clearing Member. OCC is proposing to introduce a new model to its margin methodology to estimate the liquidation cost for all options and futures, as well as cash instruments that are part of margin collateral. According to OCC, the purpose of this proposal is to collect additional financial resources to guard against potential shortfalls in margin requirements that may arise due to the costs of liquidating the portfolio of a defaulted Clearing Member.6 The liquidation cost charge would be an add-on to all accounts incurring a STANS margin charge. At a high level, the proposed model would estimate the cost to liquidate a portfolio based on the mid-points of the bid-ask spreads for the financial instruments within the portfolio, and would scale up such liquidation costs for large or concentrated positions that would likely be more expensive to close out. OCC’s proposed liquidation cost model would calculate liquidation costs based on risk measures, gross contract volumes, and market bid-ask spreads. As described in the Proposed Rule Change, the liquidation cost model would include the following components: (1) Calculation of liquidation costs for each sub-portfolio (as described below), which would then be aggregated at the portfolio level; (2) calculation of concentration charges that would be applied to scale-up the liquidation costs as appropriate; and (3) establishment of the liquidation cost as a floor on a Clearing Member’s margin requirement.7 A. Liquidation Costs The proposed model would calculate two risk-based liquidation costs for a portfolio: (1) The Vega 8 liquidation cost (‘‘Vega LC’’), and (2) the Delta 9 liquidation cost (‘‘Delta LC’’). Options products would incur both a Vega LC and a Delta LC, while Delta-one products,10 such as futures contracts, Treasury securities, and equity securities, would incur only a Delta LC. 6 See Notice of Filing, 84 FR at 19816. also proposes a conforming change to its Margin Policy, which would reference OCC’s model documentation. 8 The Vega of an option represents the sensitivity of the option price to the volatility of the underlying security. 9 The Delta of an option represents the sensitivity of the option price to the price of the underlying security. 10 A ‘‘Delta-one product’’ refers to a product for which a change in the value of the underlying asset results in a change of the same, or nearly the same, proportion in the value of the product. jspears on DSK30JT082PROD with NOTICES 7 OCC VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:30 Jun 20, 2019 Jkt 247001 The process of calculating the Vega LC and the Delta LC for each portfolio would require a series of steps, beginning with the decomposition of each portfolio into a set of sub-portfolios based on the asset underlying each instrument in the portfolio. Each subportfolio would represent a class of instruments. As proposed, the model would include 14 potential classes of underlying assets based on the liquidity of the assets within each class.11 a. Vega Liquidation Cost To calculate the Vega LC of a subportfolio, OCC would group contracts within a sub-portfolio into ‘‘buckets’’ based on each contract’s combination of tenor and Delta.12 OCC would then net the long and the short positions down to a single net Vega within each bucket. Next, OCC would estimate the average volatility spread (i.e., the estimated bidask spread on implied volatility) of the contracts in each bucket.13 The Vega LC of each bucket would be the net Vega multiplied by the average volatility spread of the bucket. The Vega LC of a sub-portfolio would be the aggregated Vega LCs of the buckets within that subportfolio. Similarly, the Vega LC of the full portfolio would be the aggregated Vega LCs of the sub-portfolios within that portfolio.14 Under the proposed model, the Vega LC calculation process could result in a portfolio-level Vega LC of zero because the process permits offsets between contracts. To prevent such a result, OCC 11 For example, equity securities would be divided based on membership in commonly used market indices (e.g., the S&P 100) or other market liquidity measures, into liquidity classes (which could include, but would not be limited to, High Liquid Equities, Medium Liquid Equities, and Low Liquid Equities). 12 For example, those options contracts with a tenor of 1 month and a Delta between 0.25 and 0.75 could be grouped in one bucket within a subportfolio, while option contracts with a tenor of 3 month and a Delta between 0.25 and 0.75 would be grouped in another bucket. The proposed model would provide for 25 buckets (based on combinations of tenor and Delta) for each subportfolio. 13 Rather than recalibrate the volatility spread of each bucket as current market conditions change, the estimated volatility spread of each bucket within a sub-portfolio would be calibrated based on data from historical periods of market stress. 14 The process for aggregating Vega LCs, of both sub-portfolios and portfolios, under the proposed model, is based on the correlations of either the bucket or the sub-portfolio being aggregated. To simplify the portfolio-level aggregation, the proposed model would use a single correlation value across all sub-portfolios in a given portfolio rather than a correlation matrix. To account for potential errors that could arise out of such a simplification, the proposed model would require the calculation of three portfolio-level Vega LCs based on the three different correlation values (i.e., minimum, maximum, and average). The portfolio Vega LC would be the highest of the three Vega LCs calculated in this manner. PO 00000 Frm 00112 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 proposes including a minimum Vega LC based on the number of contracts in each sub-portfolio. The minimum Vega LC of a sub-portfolio would be the total number of option contracts in the subportfolio multiplied by a fixed dollar amount.15 b. Delta Liquidation Cost Similar to the Vega LC process, the model would calculate Delta LC for each sub-portfolio, which would then be aggregated at the portfolio level. OCC would first identify and net down the Delta of the positions within each subportfolio. For each sub-portfolio, OCC would estimate a bid-ask price spread (as a percentage). Such a percentage would represent the cost of liquidating one dollar unit of the underlying security during a period of market stress. The sub-portfolio Delta LC would be the net dollar Delta of the subportfolio multiplied by the bid-ask price spread percentage.16 The portfolio-level Delta LC would be the simple sum of the sub-portfolio Delta LCs. B. Concentration Charges The proposed model would also address the potential risks involved in closing out large or concentrated positions in a portfolio. The size of an open position is typically measured against the relevant instrument’s average daily trading volume (‘‘ADV’’). Closing out a position in excess of the ADV would be expected to increase the cost of liquidation. To account for such considerations, the proposed model incorporates a Vega concentration factor and a Delta concentration factor. The concentration factors would be used to scale the Vega LCs and the Delta LCs of each sub-portfolio and to take into account the additional risk posed by large or concentrated positions. The concentration factor could increase, but would not decrease the Vega LCs and the Delta LCs. C. Margin Floor As noted above, the liquidation cost charge (i.e., sum of the portfolio-level Vega LC and Delta LC) would be applied as an add-on to the STANS margin requirement for each account. Because STANS margin requirements are 15 Specifically, the minimum cost rate would initially be set as two dollars per contract, unless the position is long and the net asset value per contract is less than $2.00. (For a typical option with a contract size of 100, this would occur if the option was priced below $0.02.) 16 As described in the Notice of Filing, the process for determining the Delta LC of a subportfolio of U.S. dollar Treasury bonds would be different. Specifically, it would be based on the sum of Delta LCs across six tenor buckets. See Notice of Filing, 84 FR at 19818. E:\FR\FM\21JNN1.SGM 21JNN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 120 / Friday, June 21, 2019 / Notices intended to cover potential losses due to price movements over a two-day risk horizon, the STANS requirement for well-hedged portfolios may be positive, which could result in a margin credit instead of a charge. To account for the risk of potentially liquidating a portfolio at current (instead of two-day ahead) prices, OCC proposes to design the model such that it would not permit a margin credit to offset a portfolio’s liquidation cost. Under the proposal, therefore, the final margin requirement for a portfolio could not be lower than its liquidation cost charge. jspears on DSK30JT082PROD with NOTICES III. Discussion and Commission Findings Section 19(b)(2)(C) of the Exchange Act directs the Commission to approve a proposed rule change of a selfregulatory organization if it finds that such proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements of the Exchange Act and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to such organization.17 After carefully considering the Proposed Rule Change, the Commission finds the proposal is consistent with the requirements of the Exchange Act and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to OCC. More specifically, the Commission finds that the proposal is consistent with Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Exchange Act 18 and Rule 17Ad– 22(e)(6)(i) thereunder.19 A. Consistency With Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Exchange Act Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Exchange Act requires that the rules of a clearing agency be designed to, among other things, assure the safeguarding of securities and funds which are in the custody or control of the clearing agency or for which it is responsible.20 Based on its review of the record, the Commission believes that the proposed changes are designed to assure the safeguarding of securities and funds which are in OCC’s custody or control for the reasons set forth below. OCC manages its credit exposure to Clearing Members, in part, through the collection of collateral based on OCC’s margin methodology. As noted above, OCC’s current margin methodology is not designed to account for liquidation costs that OCC could incur in the process of closing out a defaulted Clearing Member’s portfolio. OCC proposes to adopt a model designed to 17 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2)(C). 18 15 U.S.C. 78q–1(b)(3)(F). 19 17 CFR 240.17Ad–22(e)(6)(i). 20 15 U.S.C. 78q–1(b)(3)(F). VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:30 Jun 20, 2019 Jkt 247001 estimate the margin necessary to cover liquidation costs that OCC could incur when closing out a defaulted Clearing Member’s portfolio. The Commission believes that adopting a model designed to identify and measure a risk not addressed elsewhere in OCC’s margin methodology—namely, the cost to liquidate a defaulted Clearing Member’s portfolio during periods of market stress—would improve OCC’s margin methodology by generating margin requirements designed to more fully cover OCC’s credit exposure to each of its Clearing Members. Moreover, the Commission believes that the inclusion of concentration charges in the proposed liquidation cost model would enhance the measurement of risk described above. The cost of liquidating a defaulted Clearing Member’s portfolio is, in part, a function of market prices and market depth present at the time of the Clearing Member’s default. The process of liquidating on a compressed timeframe a large or concentrated position during such a period could negatively affect such market prices for OCC. In recognition of such costs, OCC proposes to use concentration factors to scale up both the Vega LCs and Delta LCs based on the size of a defaulted Clearing Member’s positions relative to the average daily volume of the financial instruments in the defaulted Clearing Member’s portfolio. Including concentration charges in OCC’s proposed liquidation cost model would further facilitate the generation of requirements designed to more fully cover OCC’s credit exposure to each of its Clearing Members. The Commission also believes that the use of the proposed liquidation cost model to create a margin floor would improve the management of OCC’s credit exposures through the collection of margin. OCC’s margin methodology may produce a credit for well-hedged portfolios because it is focused on the potential losses resulting from price movements over a two-day risk horizon. OCC could, however, incur costs in the process of closing out a defaulted Clearing Member’s portfolio at current prices, rather than prices two days into the future. OCC’s proposal acknowledges this potential gap by requiring that a Clearing Member post, at a minimum, margin to cover the liquidation cost of its portfolio. As discussed above, OCC proposes to identify and manage the potential cost of liquidating a defaulted Clearing Member’s portfolio. OCC’s estimation of such potential costs would be calibrated based on historical periods of market stress. OCC proposes to collect PO 00000 Frm 00113 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 29269 resources designed to cover such costs in the form of margin. Collecting additional margin to support OCC’s ability to close out a default Clearing Member’s portfolio during a period of market stress could reduce the potentiality that OCC would mutualize a loss arising out of the close-out process. While unavoidable under certain circumstances, reducing the potentiality of loss mutualization during periods of market stress could reduce the potential knock-on effects to nondefaulting Clearing Members, their customers and the broader options market arising out of a Clearing Member default. The Commission believes, therefore, that adoption of a liquidation cost model calibrated based on periods of market stress would be consistent with assuring the safeguarding of securities and funds which are in OCC’s custody or control or for which it is responsible consistent with the requirements of Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Exchange Act.21 B. Consistency With Rule 17Ad– 22(e)(6)(i) Under the Exchange Act Rule 17Ad–22(e)(6)(i) under the Exchange Act requires, in part, that a covered clearing agency establish, implement, maintain, and enforce written policies and procedures reasonably designed to cover, if the covered clearing agency provides central counterparty services, its credit exposures to its participants by establishing a risk-based margin system that, at a minimum, considers, and produces margin levels commensurate with, the risks and particular attributes of each relevant product, portfolio, and market.22 As described above, the liquidation cost that OCC could incur in the process of closing out a Clearing Member’s portfolio is, in part, a function of the spread between the bid and the ask prices of financial instruments within the portfolio. The STANS methodology attempts to address potential losses resulting from changes in price over a two-day period. As described above, however, STANS is not designed to account for liquidation costs. OCC’s proposed model would be designed to account for particular attributes of the products in a defaulted Clearing Member’s portfolio, including the bidask spreads and average daily volume of such products.23 Further, the proposal 21 15 U.S.C. 78q–1(b)(3)(F). CFR 240.17Ad–22(e)(6)(i). 23 As noted above, OCC proposes to incorporate the proposed model into its margin methodology documentation and to reference the margin add-on in its Margin Policy. 22 17 E:\FR\FM\21JNN1.SGM 21JNN1 29270 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 120 / Friday, June 21, 2019 / Notices would acknowledge the purpose of the proposed liquidation cost model as distinct from the STANS methodology by using the proposed liquidation cost model as a floor on a Clearing Member’s margin requirements. OCC’s proposal would be tailored to the particular attributes of products in a Clearing Member’s portfolio. As described above, OCC would use the proposed model to calculate two riskbased liquidation costs for each portfolio: (1) The Vega LC and (2) the Delta LC. The Commission believes, therefore, that the adoption of the proposed liquidation cost model designed to produce margin levels commensurate with the risks of liquidating a Clearing Member’s portfolio is consistent with Exchange Act Rule 17Ad–22(e)(6)(i).24 IV. Conclusion On the basis of the foregoing, the Commission finds that the Proposed Rule Change is consistent with the requirements of the Exchange Act, and in particular, the requirements of Section 17A of the Exchange Act 25 and the rules and regulations thereunder. It is therefore ordered, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Exchange Act,26 that the Proposed Rule Change (SR– OCC–2019–004) be, and hereby is, approved. For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.27 Vanessa A. Countryman, Acting Secretary. [FR Doc. 2019–13113 Filed 6–20–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011–01–P SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [SEC File No. 270–339, OMB Control No. 3235–0382] Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request Upon Written Request Copies Available From: Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of FOIA Services, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549–2736 Extension: Schedule 14D–9F jspears on DSK30JT082PROD with NOTICES Notice is hereby given that, pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 24 17 CFR 240.17Ad–22(e)(6)(i). 25 In approving this Proposed Rule Change, the Commission has considered the proposed rules’ impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. See 15 U.S.C. 78c(f). 26 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2). 27 17 CFR 200.30–3(a)(12). VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:30 Jun 20, 2019 Jkt 247001 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the Securities and Exchange Commission (‘‘Commission’’) has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget this request for extension of the previously approved collection of information discussed below. Schedule 14D–9F (17 CFR 240.14d– 103) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78 et seq.) is used by any foreign private issuer incorporated or organized under the laws of Canada or by any director or officer of such issuer, where the issuer is the subject of a cash tender or exchange offer for a class of securities filed on Schedule 14D–1F. The information required to be filed with the Commission is intended to permit verification of compliance with the securities law requirements and assures the public availability of such information. The information provided is mandatory and all information is made available to the public upon request. We estimate that Schedule 14D–9F takes approximately 2 hours per response to prepare and is filed by approximately 6 respondents annually for a total reporting burden of 12 hours (2 hours per response × 6 responses). An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control number. The public may view the background documentation for this information collection at the following website, www.reginfo.gov. Comments should be directed to: (i) Desk Officer for the Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Room 10102, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503, or by sending an email to: Lindsay.M.Abate@omb.eop.gov; and (ii) Charles Riddle, Acting Director/Chief Information Officer, Securities and Exchange Commission, c/o Candace Kenner, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549 or send an email to: PRA_ Mailbox@sec.gov. Comments must be submitted to OMB within 30 days of this notice. Dated: June 18, 2019. Eduardo A. Aleman, Deputy Secretary. [FR Doc. 2019–13279 Filed 6–20–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011–01–P PO 00000 SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34–86120; File No. SR–BX– 2019–019] Self-Regulatory Organizations; Nasdaq BX, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Exchange’s Credits at Equity 7, Section 118(a) June 17, 2019. 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 June 4, 2019, Nasdaq BX, Inc. (‘‘BX’’ or ‘‘Exchange’’) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (‘‘SEC’’ or ‘‘Commission’’) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III, below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons. I. Self-Regulatory Organization’s Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change The Exchange proposes to amend the Exchange’s credits at Equity 7, Section 118(a), as described further below. The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Exchange’s website at http://nasdaqbx.cchwallstreet.com/, at the principal office of the Exchange, and at the Commission’s Public Reference Room. II. Self-Regulatory Organization’s Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change In its filing with the Commission, the Exchange included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements. A. Self-Regulatory Organization’s Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose The Exchange operates on the ‘‘takermaker’’ model, whereby it pays credits to members that take liquidity and 1 15 2 17 Frm 00114 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\21JNN1.SGM U.S.C. 78s(b)(1). CFR 240.19b–4. 21JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 120 (Friday, June 21, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 29267-29270]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-13113]


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SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

[Release No. 34-86119; File No. SR-OCC-2019-004]


Self-Regulatory Organizations; the Options Clearing Corporation; 
Order Approving Proposed Rule Change Related to the Introduction of a 
New Liquidation Cost Model in the Options Clearing Corporation's Margin 
Methodology

June 17, 2019.

I. Introduction

    On April 18, 2019, the Options Clearing Corporation (``OCC'') filed 
with the Securities and Exchange Commission (``Commission'') the 
proposed rule change SR-OCC-2019-004 (``Proposed Rule Change'') 
pursuant to Section 19(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 
(``Exchange Act'') \1\ and Rule 19b-4 \2\ thereunder to propose changes 
to OCC's margin methodology to introduce a new model to estimate the 
liquidation cost for all options and futures, as well as the securities 
in margin collateral.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).
    \2\ 17 CFR 240.19b-4.
    \3\ See Notice of Filing infra note 4, at 84 FR 19815.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Proposed Rule Change was published for public comment in the 
Federal Register on May 6, 2019,\4\ and the Commission received no 
comments regarding the Proposed Rule Change. This order approves the 
Proposed Rule Change.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ Securities Exchange Act Release No. 85755 (Apr. 30, 2019), 
84 FR 19815 (May 6, 2019) (SR-OCC-2019-004) (``Notice of Filing''). 
OCC also filed a related advance notice (SR-OCC-2019-802) (``Advance 
Notice'') with the Commission pursuant to Section 806(e)(1) of Title 
VIII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection 
Act, entitled the Payment, Clearing, and Settlement Supervision Act 
of 2010 and Rule 19b-4(n)(1)(i) under the Exchange Act. 12 U.S.C. 
5465(e)(1). 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1) and 17 CFR 240.19b-4, respectively. 
The Advance Notice was published in the Federal Register on May 21, 
2019. Securities Exchange Act Release No. 85863 (May 15, 2019), 84 
FR 23090 (May 21, 2019) (SR-OCC-2019-802).
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II. Background

    The System for Theoretical Analysis and Numerical Simulations 
(``STANS'') is OCC's methodology for calculating margin requirements. 
OCC uses the STANS methodology to measure the exposure of portfolios of 
options and futures cleared by OCC and of cash instruments that are 
part of margin collateral. STANS margin requirements are intended to 
cover potential losses due to price movements over a two-day risk 
horizon; however, the current STANS margin requirements do not cover 
the potential additional liquidation costs OCC may incur in closing out 
a defaulted Clearing Member's portfolio.\5\ Closing out positions in a 
defaulted Clearing Member's portfolio could entail selling longs at the 
bid price and covering shorts at the ask price. Additionally, even 
well-hedged portfolios consisting of offsetting longs and shorts would 
require some cost to liquidate in the event of a default. The process 
of modeling liquidation costs is, therefore, relevant to ensuring that 
OCC holds

[[Page 29268]]

sufficient financial resources to close-out the portfolio of a 
defaulted Clearing Member.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ OCC previously introduced a liquidation cost model into 
STANS for risk managing only long-dated options on the Standard & 
Poor's (``S&P'') 500 index (``SPX'') that have a tenor of three-
years or more. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 70719 
(October 18, 2013), 78 FR 63548 (October 24, 2013) (SR-OCC-2013-16). 
Under the proposal described in the Proposed Rule Change, OCC would 
replace the existing liquidation model for long-dated SPX options 
with the proposed model. Long-dated SPX options, however, 
constituted less than 0.5 percent of open interest in SPX options 
open interest at the time of filing. See Notice of Filing, 84 FR at 
19816, note 7.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    OCC is proposing to introduce a new model to its margin methodology 
to estimate the liquidation cost for all options and futures, as well 
as cash instruments that are part of margin collateral. According to 
OCC, the purpose of this proposal is to collect additional financial 
resources to guard against potential shortfalls in margin requirements 
that may arise due to the costs of liquidating the portfolio of a 
defaulted Clearing Member.\6\ The liquidation cost charge would be an 
add-on to all accounts incurring a STANS margin charge. At a high 
level, the proposed model would estimate the cost to liquidate a 
portfolio based on the mid-points of the bid-ask spreads for the 
financial instruments within the portfolio, and would scale up such 
liquidation costs for large or concentrated positions that would likely 
be more expensive to close out.
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    \6\ See Notice of Filing, 84 FR at 19816.
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    OCC's proposed liquidation cost model would calculate liquidation 
costs based on risk measures, gross contract volumes, and market bid-
ask spreads. As described in the Proposed Rule Change, the liquidation 
cost model would include the following components: (1) Calculation of 
liquidation costs for each sub-portfolio (as described below), which 
would then be aggregated at the portfolio level; (2) calculation of 
concentration charges that would be applied to scale-up the liquidation 
costs as appropriate; and (3) establishment of the liquidation cost as 
a floor on a Clearing Member's margin requirement.\7\
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    \7\ OCC also proposes a conforming change to its Margin Policy, 
which would reference OCC's model documentation.
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A. Liquidation Costs

    The proposed model would calculate two risk-based liquidation costs 
for a portfolio: (1) The Vega \8\ liquidation cost (``Vega LC''), and 
(2) the Delta \9\ liquidation cost (``Delta LC''). Options products 
would incur both a Vega LC and a Delta LC, while Delta-one 
products,\10\ such as futures contracts, Treasury securities, and 
equity securities, would incur only a Delta LC.
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    \8\ The Vega of an option represents the sensitivity of the 
option price to the volatility of the underlying security.
    \9\ The Delta of an option represents the sensitivity of the 
option price to the price of the underlying security.
    \10\ A ``Delta-one product'' refers to a product for which a 
change in the value of the underlying asset results in a change of 
the same, or nearly the same, proportion in the value of the 
product.
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    The process of calculating the Vega LC and the Delta LC for each 
portfolio would require a series of steps, beginning with the 
decomposition of each portfolio into a set of sub-portfolios based on 
the asset underlying each instrument in the portfolio. Each sub-
portfolio would represent a class of instruments. As proposed, the 
model would include 14 potential classes of underlying assets based on 
the liquidity of the assets within each class.\11\
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    \11\ For example, equity securities would be divided based on 
membership in commonly used market indices (e.g., the S&P 100) or 
other market liquidity measures, into liquidity classes (which could 
include, but would not be limited to, High Liquid Equities, Medium 
Liquid Equities, and Low Liquid Equities).
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a. Vega Liquidation Cost
    To calculate the Vega LC of a sub-portfolio, OCC would group 
contracts within a sub-portfolio into ``buckets'' based on each 
contract's combination of tenor and Delta.\12\ OCC would then net the 
long and the short positions down to a single net Vega within each 
bucket. Next, OCC would estimate the average volatility spread (i.e., 
the estimated bid-ask spread on implied volatility) of the contracts in 
each bucket.\13\ The Vega LC of each bucket would be the net Vega 
multiplied by the average volatility spread of the bucket. The Vega LC 
of a sub-portfolio would be the aggregated Vega LCs of the buckets 
within that sub-portfolio. Similarly, the Vega LC of the full portfolio 
would be the aggregated Vega LCs of the sub-portfolios within that 
portfolio.\14\
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    \12\ For example, those options contracts with a tenor of 1 
month and a Delta between 0.25 and 0.75 could be grouped in one 
bucket within a sub-portfolio, while option contracts with a tenor 
of 3 month and a Delta between 0.25 and 0.75 would be grouped in 
another bucket. The proposed model would provide for 25 buckets 
(based on combinations of tenor and Delta) for each sub-portfolio.
    \13\ Rather than recalibrate the volatility spread of each 
bucket as current market conditions change, the estimated volatility 
spread of each bucket within a sub-portfolio would be calibrated 
based on data from historical periods of market stress.
    \14\ The process for aggregating Vega LCs, of both sub-
portfolios and portfolios, under the proposed model, is based on the 
correlations of either the bucket or the sub-portfolio being 
aggregated. To simplify the portfolio-level aggregation, the 
proposed model would use a single correlation value across all sub-
portfolios in a given portfolio rather than a correlation matrix. To 
account for potential errors that could arise out of such a 
simplification, the proposed model would require the calculation of 
three portfolio-level Vega LCs based on the three different 
correlation values (i.e., minimum, maximum, and average). The 
portfolio Vega LC would be the highest of the three Vega LCs 
calculated in this manner.
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    Under the proposed model, the Vega LC calculation process could 
result in a portfolio-level Vega LC of zero because the process permits 
offsets between contracts. To prevent such a result, OCC proposes 
including a minimum Vega LC based on the number of contracts in each 
sub-portfolio. The minimum Vega LC of a sub-portfolio would be the 
total number of option contracts in the sub-portfolio multiplied by a 
fixed dollar amount.\15\
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    \15\ Specifically, the minimum cost rate would initially be set 
as two dollars per contract, unless the position is long and the net 
asset value per contract is less than $2.00. (For a typical option 
with a contract size of 100, this would occur if the option was 
priced below $0.02.)
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b. Delta Liquidation Cost
    Similar to the Vega LC process, the model would calculate Delta LC 
for each sub-portfolio, which would then be aggregated at the portfolio 
level. OCC would first identify and net down the Delta of the positions 
within each sub-portfolio. For each sub-portfolio, OCC would estimate a 
bid-ask price spread (as a percentage). Such a percentage would 
represent the cost of liquidating one dollar unit of the underlying 
security during a period of market stress. The sub-portfolio Delta LC 
would be the net dollar Delta of the sub-portfolio multiplied by the 
bid-ask price spread percentage.\16\ The portfolio-level Delta LC would 
be the simple sum of the sub-portfolio Delta LCs.
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    \16\ As described in the Notice of Filing, the process for 
determining the Delta LC of a sub-portfolio of U.S. dollar Treasury 
bonds would be different. Specifically, it would be based on the sum 
of Delta LCs across six tenor buckets. See Notice of Filing, 84 FR 
at 19818.
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B. Concentration Charges

    The proposed model would also address the potential risks involved 
in closing out large or concentrated positions in a portfolio. The size 
of an open position is typically measured against the relevant 
instrument's average daily trading volume (``ADV''). Closing out a 
position in excess of the ADV would be expected to increase the cost of 
liquidation. To account for such considerations, the proposed model 
incorporates a Vega concentration factor and a Delta concentration 
factor. The concentration factors would be used to scale the Vega LCs 
and the Delta LCs of each sub-portfolio and to take into account the 
additional risk posed by large or concentrated positions. The 
concentration factor could increase, but would not decrease the Vega 
LCs and the Delta LCs.

C. Margin Floor

    As noted above, the liquidation cost charge (i.e., sum of the 
portfolio-level Vega LC and Delta LC) would be applied as an add-on to 
the STANS margin requirement for each account. Because STANS margin 
requirements are

[[Page 29269]]

intended to cover potential losses due to price movements over a two-
day risk horizon, the STANS requirement for well-hedged portfolios may 
be positive, which could result in a margin credit instead of a charge.
    To account for the risk of potentially liquidating a portfolio at 
current (instead of two-day ahead) prices, OCC proposes to design the 
model such that it would not permit a margin credit to offset a 
portfolio's liquidation cost. Under the proposal, therefore, the final 
margin requirement for a portfolio could not be lower than its 
liquidation cost charge.

III. Discussion and Commission Findings

    Section 19(b)(2)(C) of the Exchange Act directs the Commission to 
approve a proposed rule change of a self-regulatory organization if it 
finds that such proposed rule change is consistent with the 
requirements of the Exchange Act and the rules and regulations 
thereunder applicable to such organization.\17\ After carefully 
considering the Proposed Rule Change, the Commission finds the proposal 
is consistent with the requirements of the Exchange Act and the rules 
and regulations thereunder applicable to OCC. More specifically, the 
Commission finds that the proposal is consistent with Section 
17A(b)(3)(F) of the Exchange Act \18\ and Rule 17Ad-22(e)(6)(i) 
thereunder.\19\
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    \17\ 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2)(C).
    \18\ 15 U.S.C. 78q-1(b)(3)(F).
    \19\ 17 CFR 240.17Ad-22(e)(6)(i).
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A. Consistency With Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Exchange Act

    Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Exchange Act requires that the rules of 
a clearing agency be designed to, among other things, assure the 
safeguarding of securities and funds which are in the custody or 
control of the clearing agency or for which it is responsible.\20\ 
Based on its review of the record, the Commission believes that the 
proposed changes are designed to assure the safeguarding of securities 
and funds which are in OCC's custody or control for the reasons set 
forth below.
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    \20\ 15 U.S.C. 78q-1(b)(3)(F).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    OCC manages its credit exposure to Clearing Members, in part, 
through the collection of collateral based on OCC's margin methodology. 
As noted above, OCC's current margin methodology is not designed to 
account for liquidation costs that OCC could incur in the process of 
closing out a defaulted Clearing Member's portfolio. OCC proposes to 
adopt a model designed to estimate the margin necessary to cover 
liquidation costs that OCC could incur when closing out a defaulted 
Clearing Member's portfolio. The Commission believes that adopting a 
model designed to identify and measure a risk not addressed elsewhere 
in OCC's margin methodology--namely, the cost to liquidate a defaulted 
Clearing Member's portfolio during periods of market stress--would 
improve OCC's margin methodology by generating margin requirements 
designed to more fully cover OCC's credit exposure to each of its 
Clearing Members.
    Moreover, the Commission believes that the inclusion of 
concentration charges in the proposed liquidation cost model would 
enhance the measurement of risk described above. The cost of 
liquidating a defaulted Clearing Member's portfolio is, in part, a 
function of market prices and market depth present at the time of the 
Clearing Member's default. The process of liquidating on a compressed 
timeframe a large or concentrated position during such a period could 
negatively affect such market prices for OCC. In recognition of such 
costs, OCC proposes to use concentration factors to scale up both the 
Vega LCs and Delta LCs based on the size of a defaulted Clearing 
Member's positions relative to the average daily volume of the 
financial instruments in the defaulted Clearing Member's portfolio. 
Including concentration charges in OCC's proposed liquidation cost 
model would further facilitate the generation of requirements designed 
to more fully cover OCC's credit exposure to each of its Clearing 
Members.
    The Commission also believes that the use of the proposed 
liquidation cost model to create a margin floor would improve the 
management of OCC's credit exposures through the collection of margin. 
OCC's margin methodology may produce a credit for well-hedged 
portfolios because it is focused on the potential losses resulting from 
price movements over a two-day risk horizon. OCC could, however, incur 
costs in the process of closing out a defaulted Clearing Member's 
portfolio at current prices, rather than prices two days into the 
future. OCC's proposal acknowledges this potential gap by requiring 
that a Clearing Member post, at a minimum, margin to cover the 
liquidation cost of its portfolio.
    As discussed above, OCC proposes to identify and manage the 
potential cost of liquidating a defaulted Clearing Member's portfolio. 
OCC's estimation of such potential costs would be calibrated based on 
historical periods of market stress. OCC proposes to collect resources 
designed to cover such costs in the form of margin. Collecting 
additional margin to support OCC's ability to close out a default 
Clearing Member's portfolio during a period of market stress could 
reduce the potentiality that OCC would mutualize a loss arising out of 
the close-out process. While unavoidable under certain circumstances, 
reducing the potentiality of loss mutualization during periods of 
market stress could reduce the potential knock-on effects to non-
defaulting Clearing Members, their customers and the broader options 
market arising out of a Clearing Member default. The Commission 
believes, therefore, that adoption of a liquidation cost model 
calibrated based on periods of market stress would be consistent with 
assuring the safeguarding of securities and funds which are in OCC's 
custody or control or for which it is responsible consistent with the 
requirements of Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Exchange Act.\21\
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    \21\ 15 U.S.C. 78q-1(b)(3)(F).
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B. Consistency With Rule 17Ad-22(e)(6)(i) Under the Exchange Act

    Rule 17Ad-22(e)(6)(i) under the Exchange Act requires, in part, 
that a covered clearing agency establish, implement, maintain, and 
enforce written policies and procedures reasonably designed to cover, 
if the covered clearing agency provides central counterparty services, 
its credit exposures to its participants by establishing a risk-based 
margin system that, at a minimum, considers, and produces margin levels 
commensurate with, the risks and particular attributes of each relevant 
product, portfolio, and market.\22\
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    \22\ 17 CFR 240.17Ad-22(e)(6)(i).
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    As described above, the liquidation cost that OCC could incur in 
the process of closing out a Clearing Member's portfolio is, in part, a 
function of the spread between the bid and the ask prices of financial 
instruments within the portfolio. The STANS methodology attempts to 
address potential losses resulting from changes in price over a two-day 
period. As described above, however, STANS is not designed to account 
for liquidation costs. OCC's proposed model would be designed to 
account for particular attributes of the products in a defaulted 
Clearing Member's portfolio, including the bid-ask spreads and average 
daily volume of such products.\23\ Further, the proposal

[[Page 29270]]

would acknowledge the purpose of the proposed liquidation cost model as 
distinct from the STANS methodology by using the proposed liquidation 
cost model as a floor on a Clearing Member's margin requirements.
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    \23\ As noted above, OCC proposes to incorporate the proposed 
model into its margin methodology documentation and to reference the 
margin add-on in its Margin Policy.
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    OCC's proposal would be tailored to the particular attributes of 
products in a Clearing Member's portfolio. As described above, OCC 
would use the proposed model to calculate two risk-based liquidation 
costs for each portfolio: (1) The Vega LC and (2) the Delta LC. The 
Commission believes, therefore, that the adoption of the proposed 
liquidation cost model designed to produce margin levels commensurate 
with the risks of liquidating a Clearing Member's portfolio is 
consistent with Exchange Act Rule 17Ad-22(e)(6)(i).\24\
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    \24\ 17 CFR 240.17Ad-22(e)(6)(i).
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IV. Conclusion

    On the basis of the foregoing, the Commission finds that the 
Proposed Rule Change is consistent with the requirements of the 
Exchange Act, and in particular, the requirements of Section 17A of the 
Exchange Act \25\ and the rules and regulations thereunder.
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    \25\ In approving this Proposed Rule Change, the Commission has 
considered the proposed rules' 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,\26\ that the Proposed Rule Change (SR-OCC-2019-004) be, 
and hereby is, approved.
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    \26\ 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2).

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, 
pursuant to delegated authority.\27\
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    \27\ 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).
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Vanessa A. Countryman,
Acting Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2019-13113 Filed 6-20-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8011-01-P