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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change by the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, Inc. Codifying a Provision Implementing a Closing Rotation on the Last Day of Each Calendar Quarter

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Start Preamble May 30, 2000.

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 March 16, 2000, the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, Inc. (“Phlx” 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 Phlx proposes to amend Phlx Rule 1047 to codify a provision implementing a closing rotation on the last trading day of each calendar quarter. Specifically, Phlx Rule 1047, Commentary .01(e) would provide that on the last day of each calendar quarter, a closing rotation for some equity options series may be commenced at 4:02 p.m. or after the closing price of the stock in its primary market is established, whichever is later. Orders will not be accepted at or after 4:02 p.m. The trading floor will be given prior notice regarding which options series will be subject to a closing rotation. The text of the proposed rule is available at the Exchange and at the Commission.

II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, 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

Currently, under Phlx Rule 1047, Commentary .01, two Floor Officials, with the concurrence of a Market Regulation Officer, may direct that a trading rotation be employed to aid in producing a fair and orderly market and shall specify for each trading rotation, the options contracts to be included and the sequence of such options contracts in the rotation. According to the Phlx, this provision is commonly relied upon to permit quarterly rotations.

The Phlx is proposing to amend its Rule 1047 to expressly provide for closing rotations on the last trading day of each calendar quarter, for certain equity options traded on the Phlx. The Exchange will provide prior notice to the trading floor of which options series will be subject to a closing rotation. As with other rotations, the procedures governing quarterly closing rotations will require that two Floor Officials and a Market Regulation Officer may direct that the rotation take place. They will specify the particular equity options contracts to be included and the sequence of such options contracts in the rotation.

The Exchange believes that on the last day of the calendar quarter there is increased order flow in exchange-traded options and in the underlying securities, particularly at the end of the trading day. For instance, many large money managers adjust their positions at the end of the calendar quarter for tax reasons. As a result of this activity in both the underlying and the options market, the last sale print for many stocks is often delayed. Therefore, the Exchange believes that it is important to provide the opportunity for a closing rotation at the end of each calendar quarter to account for late prints and increased order flow. These rotations will allow the Exchange members to Start Printed Page 36493adjust options prices in line with the closing prices of the underlying securities.

In addition, quarterly rotations allow the execution at the end of the day of orders at a single price more efficiently. The closing rotation will also give investors and other interested parties more accurate closing prices for Phlx options on these high volume days. The Exchange believes that a specific rule governing quarterly closing rotation acts as notification to the investing public that a quarterly rotation may take place. However, the Exchange believes that the procedure described above also allows flexibility for those equity options series which do not experience increased activity, and, thus, will not be subject to a closing rotation.

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange represents that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act [3] in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) [4] in particular, in that it is designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade and provide for a fair and orderly market by codifying specific provisions which allow the Exchange to conduct quarterly rotations in order to account for late prints and high amounts of order flow.

B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

The Phlx represents that it does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the Act.

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

The Exchange has neither solicited nor received written comments on the proposed rule change.

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

The proposed rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act [5] and Rule 19b-4(f)(1) [6] thereunder because it constitutes a stated policy, practice, or interpretation with respect to the meaning, administration, or enforcement of an existing rule. Phlx Rule 1047 currently provides the authority to floor officials to direct trading rotations in specific option classes, thus the Exchange believes the proposal satisfies the requirements of Rule 19b-4(f)(1). This proposed rule change serves as clarification to note that there may be closing rotations in certain equity options on the last day of the calendar quarter.

At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission may summarily abrogate the proposed rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors or otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act.

IV. Solicitation of Comments

Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. 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 coping in the Commission's Public Reference Room. Copies of such filing will also be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Phlx.

All submissions should refer to File No. SR-Phlx-00-27 and should be submitted by June 29, 2000.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[7]

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

[FR Doc. 00-14403 Filed 6-07-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-M