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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change by the Cincinnati Stock Exchange, Inc., Amending Its Rules To Mandate Decimal Pricing Testing

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Start Preamble July 13, 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 July 10, 2000, the Cincinnati Stock Exchange, Inc. (“CSE” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items, I, II, and III below, which Items have been prepared by the CSE. The CSE has designated this proposal as one concerned solely with the administration of the CSE under Section 19(b)(3)(A)(iii) of the Act,[3] which renders the proposal effective upon filing with the Commission. 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 CSE proposes to amend its rules by adopting new CSE Rule 4.6 to mandate that member firms test computer systems in order to ensure preparedness for the industry's conversion to decimal pricing.

The text of the proposed rule change is available upon request from the CSE or the Commission.

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 regarding 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.Start Printed Page 44844

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

1. Purpose

As the securities industry prepares for the conversion to decimal pricing, it will be necessary for various constituents of the securities industry to test their computer systems in order to avoid widespread problems. The CSE, in cooperation with the Commission and other self-regulatory organizations, has been working toward a successful transition to decimal pricing. The purpose of the proposed rule change is to require CSE member firms to participate in tests of computer systems designed to prepare for the industry's conversion to decimal pricing.

The proposed rule change would create new CSE Rule 4.6 to require CSE members to participate in the testing of computer systems in a manner and frequency to be prescribed by the Exchange. It is the CSE's understanding that other self-regulatory organizations, including the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc., the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange, and the Chicago Board Options Exchange are also proposing rule changes to require testing by their members in connection with the industry's conversion to decimal pricing.

The Securities Industry Association has undertaken to coordinate industry-wide computer testing to ensure that the securities industry is adequately prepared to convert to decimal pricing. Industry constituents to participate in the testing will include, among others, national securities exchanges, registered clearing corporations, data processors, and broker-dealers. Several industry-wide tests have been planned, the first of which took place in April 2000.

The CSE will employ its new rule 4.6 to require that its members participate in these tests. New CSE Rule 4.6 further provides that any firm having an electronic interface with the Exchange would be required to conduct point-to-point testing with the Exchange. Point-to-point testing refers to tests conducted between two entities, in this case a member having an electronic interface and the Exchange.[4]

Under the proposal, the Exchange would require member firms to participate in industry-wide testing to the extent such firms can be accommodated by the testing schedule. The Exchange would exercise its authority under new CSE Rule 4.6 to the extent it deems that the participation of particular members in the testing is important, and to the extent those members would otherwise not voluntarily choose to participate.

The proposed rule change would also allow the CSE to require members to file reports with the CSE concerning the required tests in the manner and frequency determined by the Exchange. A member subject to new CSE Rule 4.6. who failed to participate in the mandatory tests or who failed to file any required reports, would be subject to disciplinary action pursuant to Chapter VIII of the Exchange's rules.[5]

The proposed new CSE Rule 4.6 would expire automatically upon the completion of decimal pricing implementation.

2. Statutory Basis

The CSE believes proposed new CSE Rule 4.6, whose purpose is to ensure the participation of Exchange members in important testing prior to the securities industry's conversion to decimal pricing, is consistent with section 6(b) of the Act [6] in general and further the objectives of section 6(b)(5) [7] in particular in that it is designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade and to protect investors and the public interest.

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

The CSE does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition not necessary or 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

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

Because the foregoing rule change is concerned solely with the administration of the Exchange, it has become effective pursuant to section 19(b)(3)(A)(iii) of the Act [8] and subparagraph (f)(3) of Rule 19b-4 thereunder.[9] At any time within 60 days of the filing of such proposed rule change, the Commission may summarily abrogate 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.

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. 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-CSE-00-04 and should be submitted by August 11, 2000.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[10]

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(iii).

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4.  A member that has its electronic interface with the Exchange through a service provider may be exempted from this requirement if such service provider conducts successful tests with the Exchange on behalf of the firms its serves, and if the member conducts successful point-to-point testing with the service provider by a time to be designated by the Exchange.

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5.  See CSE Rules, Chapter VIII, “Discipline.”

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8.  15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(iii).

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[FR Doc. 00-18234 Filed 7-18-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-M