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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change by The Cincinnati Stock Exchange, Incorporated To Add CSE Rule 11.9(u) and Interpretation .01 Under the Rule to the Minor Rule Violation Program

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Start Preamble October 20, 2000.

Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”),[1] and Rule 19b-4 there under,[2] notice is hereby given that on October 13, 2000, The Cincinnati Stock Start Printed Page 64464Exchange, Incorporated (“CSE” 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 CSE proposes to amend Exchange Rule 8.15, Imposition of Fines for Minor Violation(s) of Rules, to include CSE Rule 11.9(u) and Interpretation .01 thereunder, requiring CSE members to display certain market orders (“Market Order Display Rule”). The text of the proposed rule change is below. Additions are in italics.

Rule 8.15 Imposition of Fines for Minor Violation(s) of Rules.

No Change.

Interpretations and Policies

.01 List of Exchange Rule Violations and Fines Applicable thereto Pursuant to Rule 8.15

(a)-(g) No Change.

(h) Rule 11.9(u) and Interpretation .01 related to the requirement to immediately execute market orders at an improved price or expose the market order on the Exchange for a minimum of fifteen seconds in an attempt to improve the price.

Recommended Fine Amount

$1,000 first violation of the 2% quarterly threshold

$2,500 second violation

Third violation Business Conduct Committee Hearing

* * * * *

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 self-regulatory organization 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 self-regulatory organization 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

The CSE proposed to amend Exchange Rule 8.15, Imposition of Fines for Minor Violation(s) of Rules, which provides for an alternative disciplinary regimen involving violations of Exchange rules that the Exchange determines are minor in nature. In lieu of commencing a disciplinary proceeding pursuant to Rules 8.1 through 8.14, the Minor Rule Violation Program (“Program”) permits the Exchange to impose a fine, not to exceed $2,500, on any member, member organization, or registered or non-registered employee of a member or member organization (“Member”) that the Exchange determines has violated a rule included in the Program. Adding a particular rule violation to the Program in no way circumscribes the Exchange's ability to address violations of those rules through more formal disciplinary rules. The Program simply provides the Exchange with greater flexibility in addressing rule violations that warrant a stronger regulatory response after the issuance of cautionary letters and yet, given the nature of the violations, do not rise to the level of requiring formal disciplinary proceedings.

The Exchange proposes to add the failure to properly expose on the Exchange or immediately price improve certain customer market orders, as provided in Interpretation .01 to Exchange Rule 11.9(u), to the list of Exchange rule violations and fines included in the Program. [3] The Exchange believes that market order exposure violations often are inadvertent and, in most cases, are best addressed in a summary fashion. However, because Interpretation .01 is predicated on the Exchange's commitment to promote customer price improvement opportunities, violations of this Interpretation require sanctions more rigorous than a series of cautionary letters prior to formal proceedings.

Under the proposal, Exchange regulatory staff will review a sampling of Exchange members' market orders, based on appropriate market conditions, to determine if a threshold of market order exposure violations has been exceeded. Violations of Interpretation .01 to Exchange Rule 11.9(u) that exceed 2% of all eligible market orders of any Member for any calendar quarter will result in a $1,000 fine for that quarter. The second quarterly violation within a rolling 12-month period will result in a $2,500 fine. A third quarterly violation within a rolling 12-month period will result in a BSE Business Conduct Committee hearing with a staff recommendation of a $10,000 fine.

The Exchange notes that the minor rule violation fine schedule is merely a recommended schedule, and that fines of more or less than the recommended amount can be imposed (up to a $2,500 maximum) in appropriate situations. Also, the Exchange reserves the right to proceed with formal disciplinary action when, in the Exchange's opinion, circumstances warrant a more severe level of sanction or remedial action.

2. Statutory Basis

The CSE believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act [4] in general and furthers the objectives of Sections 6(b)(5),[5] 6(b)(6), [6] 6(b)(7),[7] and 6(d)(1) [8] in particular. The proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b)(5) [9] in that it is designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade and to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system, and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest. Specifically, the proposed rule change will augment the Exchange's ability to police its market and will increase the Exchange's flexibility in responding to minor violations of Exchange rules.

The Exchange also believes the proposal is consistent with the Section 6(b)(6) [10] requirement that the rules of an exchange provide appropriate discipline for violations of Commission and Exchange rules. The Exchange believes the proposed rule change will provide a procedure to appropriately discipline those Members whose violations are minor in nature. In addition, because Rule 8.15 provides procedural safeguards to the person fined and permits a person disciplined to request a full hearing on the matter, the CSE believes the proposal provides a fair procedure for the disciplining of Members consistent with Sections 6(b)(7) [11] and 6(d)(1) [12] of the Act.

Start Printed Page 64465

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

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

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

No comments were solicited or received in connection with the proposed rule change.

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

Within 35 days of the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register or within such longer period (i) as the Commission may designate up to 90 days of such date if it finds such longer period to be appropriate and publishes its reasons for so finding or (ii) as to which the Exchange consents, the Commission will:

A. By order approve such proposed rule change, or

B. Institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be disapproved.

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, N.W., Washington, D.C. 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 CSE. All submissions should refer to file No. SR-CSE-00-08 and should be submitted by November 12, 2000.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[13]

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  For further discussion of the CSE's Market Order Display Rule, see CSE Regulatory Circular to Exchange Members 97-07 (June 17, 1997).

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[FR Doc. 00-27649 Filed 10-26-00; 8:45 am]

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