On May 27, 1999, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc. (“CBOE” or “Exchange”) submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”), pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”), and Rule 19b-4 thereunder, a proposed rule change relating to the exchange's Firm Quote Rule. The proposed rule change was published for comment in the Federal Register on July 6, 1999. No comments were received on the proposal. On September 23, 1999, CBOE submitted Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change. On January 11, 2000, CBOE submitted Amendment No. 2. In this Start Printed Page 16677notice and order, the Commission is seeking comment from interested persons on Amendment Nos. 1 and 2 and is approving the proposed rule change and is approving Amendment Nos. 1 and 2 on an accelerated basis.
II. Description of the Proposal
The proposal would amend CBOE Rule 8.51 to specify to what extent multiple orders entered by the same beneficial owner and represented at a trading station at approximately the same time will be entitled to firm quote protection. Specifically, the proposal would amend CBOE Rule 8.51 to deny firm quote protection to those orders or portions of orders for the same class of options (whether for the same or different series) that are entered by the same beneficial owner and are represented at the trading station at approximately the same time and cumulatively exceed the firm quote requirement for that particular class of options. Under the proposed new paragraph (a)(3) of CBOE Rule 8.51, only the first of these three orders would be entitled to firm quote protection. The crowd would be required to trade the other two ten lot orders at the displayed market or to change the market pursuant to the terms of the “trade or fade” policy set forth in paragraph (b) of the Rule.
The Exchange also proposes to amend paragraph (b) of CBOE Rule 8.51 and Interpretation .06 to make them consistent with the change in the categories of orders proposed to be subject to the firm quote guarantee.
The Commission finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to a national securities exchange. In particular, the Commission finds that the proposed rule change meets the requirements of Section (6)(b)(5) of the Act  which states that, among other things, the rules of an exchange must be designed to facilitate securities transactions and to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market.
The Commission believes that providing for limits on the extension of the firm quote protection in cases where multiple orders for the same class of options are submitted at approximately the same time will prevent market makers from being subjected to undue risk arising from an inability to refresh their quotes in a timely manner. The proposal should also prevent orders from being broken up by series solely to qualify for firm quote protection. This, in turn, should ensure that all customer orders are treated consistently with respect to firm quote protection.
The Commission finds good cause for approving proposed Amendment Nos. 1 and 2 prior to the 30th day after the date of publication of notice of filing in the Federal Register. Amendment No. 1 made several changes to the portion of the proposed rule change that would have extended firm quote treatment to broker-dealer and firm orders. Amendment No. 2 then deleted that same portion of the proposed rule change, leaving only sections of the proposal which were published in the Federal Register for notice and comment. The Commission did not receive any comments on the proposed rule change. Accordingly, the Commission finds good cause pursuant to Section 6(b)(5) of the Act for accelerating approval of Amendment Nos. 1 and 2.
IV. Solicitation of Comments
Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning Amendment Nos. 1 and 2, including whether the amendments are consistent with the Act. Persons making written submissions should file six copies thereof with the Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 450 Fifth Street, NW., Washington, DC 20549-0609. Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for inspection and copying at the Commission's Public Reference Room. Copies of such filing will also be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All submissions should refer to File No. SR-CBOE-99-21 and should be submitted by April 19, 2000.
It Is Therefore Ordered, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act, that the proposed rule change (SR-CBOE-99-21), as amended, is approved.
For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.Start Signature
Margaret H. McFarland,
4. See Letter to Heather Traeger, Attorney, Division of Market Regulation, SEC, from Timothy Thompson, Director—Regulatory Affairs, CBOE, dated September 22, 1999 (“Amendment No. 1”). In Amendment No. 1, CBOE proposes to eliminate the discretion of the appropriate Floor Procedure Committee to determine whether or not to apply the firm quote requirement to firm or broker-dealer orders by establishing that: (1) the extension of the firm quote requirement will apply to all equity and narrow-based index options and (2) only non-broker-dealer customer orders are entitled to firm quote treatment in all other products. The amendment also clarifies the proposed rule's requirement that the trading crowd change its quotes if members of the crowd are unwilling to trade at the displayed quote with an order that is not entitled to firm quote treatment.Back to Citation
5. See Letter to Heather Traeger, Attorney, Division of Market Regulation, SEC, from Timothy Thompson, Director—Regulatory Affairs, CBOE, dated January 5, 2000 (“Amendment No. 2”). In Amendment No. 2, CBOE proposes to delete that portion of the proposed rule change that would have extended firm quote treatment to broker-dealer and firm orders.Back to Citation
6. For example, assume the firm quote requirement in option ABC is ten contracts and that a broker-dealer simultaneously sends orders to a floor broker in a crowd to buy ten at-the-money call options in each of three different series for that class ABC. The floor broker will likely represent each of these three orders one after another.Back to Citation
7. Under the “trade or fade” policy, CBOE trading crowds and specialists or crowds on other exchanges have the option to trade a broker-dealer order at the displayed quote or to change the displayed bid (offer) to reflect that the previously displayed bid (offer) is no longer available. CBOE Rule 8.51(b).Back to Citation
9. In approving this rule, the Commission has considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).Back to Citation
[FR Doc. 00-7687 Filed 3-28-00; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8010-01-M