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Self-Regulatory Organizations; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change by the International Securities Exchange LLC Relating to Decimal Pricing

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Start Preamble August 28, 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 August 3, 2000, the International Securities Exchange LLC (“ISE” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission” or “SEC”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II and III below, which Items have been prepared by the ISE. The Exchange filed the proposal pursuant to section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act, [3] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder, [4] which renders the proposal effective upon filing with the Commission. [5] 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 ISE proposes to amend its rules to provide for the implementation of decimal pricing. The ISE believes the proposed rule change conforms to the uniform industry approach to implementing decimal pricing contained in the joint submission to the Commission by the ISE and other interested parties dated July 24, 2000, entitled “Decimals Implementation Plan for the Equities and Options Markets” (“Decimals Plan”). The text of the Proposed rule change is below. Proposed new language is in italics. Deletions are in brackets.

Rule 710. Minimum Pricing Variations [Fractional Changes]

(a)-(c) No change.

(d) Conversion to Decimal Pricing Increments. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Rule, the Exchange will convert to decimal pricing increments for all options traded on the Exchange by April 9, 2001, or by such other date as the President of the Exchange shall determine consistent with any order issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or plan filed by the Exchange with the SEC. The President shall determine the schedule for this conversion, and shall designate those options that will trade in decimal increments during the conversion process. Decimal pricing increments shall be as follows:

(1) if the options contract is trading at less than $3,000 per option, $.05; and

(2) if the options contract is trading at $3.00 per option or higher, $.10;

provided that the President shall have the ability to designate certain options as trading at an increment of $.01 as part of a pilot program conducted in conformity with a plan filed with the SEC.

* * * * *

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 ISE included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for its proposal and discussed any comments it received regarding the proposal. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The ISE has prepared summaries, set forth in Sections A, B and C below, of the most significant aspect of such statements.

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

1. Purpose

The Commission has ordered the securities exchanges and other interested parties to implement decimal Start Printed Page 53793pricing in their markets.[6] Pursuant to that Order, the Commission has required the exchanges to submit proposed rule changes implementing a uniform decimals phase-in schedule. The purpose of the proposed rule change is to implement the decimalization phase-in schedule that the exchanges and other interested parties have adopted in the Decimals Plan.

2. Statutory Basis

The ISE believes that the proposal is consistent with the provisions of section 6(b)(5) of the Act [7] which requires that an exchange have rules that are designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to foster cooperation and coordination with persons engaged in regulating, clearing, settling, processing information with respect to, and facilitating transactions in securities, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism for a free and open market and a national market system, and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest.

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

The ISE does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition that is 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

Written comments were neither solicited nor received.

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

Because the foregoing proposed rule change does not:

(i) Significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest;

(ii) Impose any significant burden on competition; and

(iii) Become operative for 30 days from the date on which it was filed, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate, it has become effective pursuant to section 19(b)(3) of the Act [8] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.[9] At any time within 60 days of the filing of the 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.

The ISE has requested that the Commission accelerate the operative date. The Commission believes that it is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest and therefore finds good cause to designate the proposal to become immediately operative upon filing.[10] Acceleration of the operative date will ensure that the ISE is able to operate in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Decimals Plan. For these reasons, the Commission finds good cause to designate that the proposal become operative immediately upon filing.[11]

IV. Solicitation of Comments

Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposal 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 ISE. All submissions should refer to file number SR-ISE-00-07 and should be submitted by September 26, 2000.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[12]

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble


5.  ISE provided written notice to the Commission on July 26, 2000 of its intent to file this proposal. See Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii). 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).

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6.  Securities Exchange Act Release No. 42914 (June 8, 2000), 65 FR 38010 (June 19, 2000).

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10.  The Decimals Plan contemplates that the options exchanges may wish to consider a pilot program for one-cent minimum price variations for quoting in a limited number of options (“Penny Pilot”) at some point in the implementation process. The Commission expects that, before implementing a Penny Pilot, the options exchanges will carefully coordinate on such issues as the selection and number of options to be included in the pilot to ensure the continued orderly operation of the markets and clearing organizations. In particular, the Commission expects that the options exchanges will consult with the Commission regarding the impact on market-wide capacity. Before implementing a Penny Pilot, each options exchange should also submit appropriate rule filings to the Commission under Section 19(b) of the Exchange Act.

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11.  For purposes only of accelerating the operative date of this proposal, the Commission has considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).

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[FR Doc. 00-22592 Filed 9-1-00; 8:45 am]