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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Depository Trust Company; Notice of Filing and Order Granting Accelerated, Temporary Approval of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Admission of Non-U.S. Entities as Direct Depository Participants

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Start Preamble May 30, 2000.

Pursuant to section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”),[1] notice is hereby given that on May 18, 2000, The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared primarily by DTC. The Commission is publishing this notice and order to solicit comments from interested persons and to grant accelerated, temporary approval of the proposed rule change through May 31, 2001.

I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

The purpose of the proposed rule change is to extend the Commission's temporary approval of DTC's admission criteria for entities that are organized in a country other than the United States (“non-U.S. entities”).

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

In its filing with the Commission, DTC 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. DTC has prepared summaries, set forth in sections (A), (B), and (C) below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.[2]

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(A) Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

The purpose of the proposed rule change is to extend the Commission's temporary approval of DTC's admission criteria for non-U.S. entities as direct DTC participants. On May 9, 1997, the Commission originally granted temporary approval through May 31, 1998.[3] The admission criteria are designed to permit well-qualified, non-U.S. entities to obtain direct access to DTC's services without requiring the non-U.S. entities to obtain financial guarantees from another DTC participant. According to DTC, DTC established the program for admission of non-U.S. entities in response to requests it received from certain participants. These participants requested that DTC consider changes in its admissions policy that would allow non-U.S. affiliates of U.S. participants to become direct participants without having to obtain financial guarantees from their U.S. affiliates that are DTC participants. The Commission has subsequently extended its original temporary approval through May 31, 2000.[4]

In November 1999, DTC admitted one non-U.S. entity as a direct participant under the standards for admission of non-U.S. entities. DTC has received several inquiries from other non-U.S. entities and expects to admit several non-U.S. entities under its standards for the admission of non-U.S. entities. DTC is seeking an extension of the temporary approval so it can complete the admission of these non-U.S. entities and gain further experience with the admission standards for non-U.S. entities and with the unique risks posed by the activities of non-U.S. entities as direct DTC participants.

DTC believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements of section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Act and the rules and regulations promulgated because the admission criteria takes into account the unique risks to DTC raised by the admission of non-U.S. entities while not unfairly discriminating against non-U.S. entities seeking admission as participants.

(B) Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

While DTC acknowledges that the proposed additional admissions criteria applicable to non-U.S. entities may impose some additional burden, for the reasons stated above, DTC believes that any such burden necessary and appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act.

(C) Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants or Others

DTC has not sought or received comments on the proposed rule change.

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

Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Act requires that the rules of a clearing agency be designed to assure the safeguarding of securities and funds which are in the custody or control of the clearing agency or for which it is responsible.[5] The Commission finds that the rule change is consistent with this obligation because DTC's admission criteria for non-U.S. entities has been designed in a manner that takes into account jurisdiction differences in regulatory structure and in business operations of non-U.S. entities with respect to DTC's risk control and management. Furthermore, DTC admission criteria should bind non-U.S. entities to DTC's rules and procedures in a manner similar to domestic participants and should lesson or eliminate the negative effects that jurisdictional issues could have on DTC's exercise of its rights against non-U.S. entities. Therefore, the Commission finds that the admissions criteria will assist DTC in assuring the safeguarding of securities and funds which are in its custody, control, or for which it is responsible.

DTC has requested that the Commission find good cause for approving the proposed rule change prior to the thirtieth day after publication of the notice of the filing. The Commission finds good cause for approving the proposed rule change prior to the thirtieth day after publication of the notice of the filing because accelerated approval will permit DTC to continue to use and study the effectiveness of its admission criteria for non-U.S. entities without interruption when the current temporary approval of these criteria expires on May 31, 2000.

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. 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 in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 450 Fifth Street, NW., Washington, DC 20549. Copies of such filing will also be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the DTC. All submissions should refer to file number SR-DTC-00-07 and should be submitted by June 28, 2000.

It is therefore ordered, pursuant to section 19(b)(2) of the Act, that the proposed rule change (File No. SR-DTC-00-07) be, and hereby is, temporarily approved on an accelerated basis through May 31, 2001.

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For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[6]

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

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Footnotes

2.  The Commission has modified the text of the summaries prepared by DTC.

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3.  For a complete discussion of the admission criteria, refer to Securities Exchange Act Release No. 38600 (May 9, 1997), 62 FR 27086 [File No. SR-DTC-96-13].

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4.  See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 40064 (June 3, 1998), 63 FR 31818 [File No. SR-DTC-98-11] and 41466 (May 28, 1999), 64 FR 30077 [File No. SR-DTC-99-12].

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5.  15 U.S.C. 78q-1(b)(3)(F).

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[FR Doc. 00-14254 Filed 6-6-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-M