On March 13, 2001, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc. (“CBOE” or the “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”), pursuant to section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”), and Rule 19b-4 thereunder, a proposed rule change adopting formal procedures for members to submit proposals to list option classes on the Exchange. The Federal Register published the proposed rule change for comment on April 17, 2001. The Commission received no comments on the proposal. The Exchange filed Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change on May 25, 2001. This order approves the proposed rule change and grants accelerated approval to Amendment No. 1. The Commission also is soliciting comment on Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change.
II. Description of Proposal
The proposed rule change would adopt formal procedures for members to submit proposals to list option classes on the Exchange, and would codify the factors considered by the Exchange in listing option classes. The proposed Start Printed Page 35303rule would permit a member to submit a written request that the Exchange list a particular option class, specifying the reasons why the member believes the Exchange should list the option class. The Stock Selection Committee would be required to make a decision regarding the request within 35 days of its receipt and to provide the member that submitted the request with a written response setting forth the rationale for the decision within ten days of making the decision.
The Commission finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to a national securities exchange. Specifically, the Commission believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the section 6(b)(5)  requirements that the rules of an exchange be designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanisms of a free and open market and a national market system, and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest.
The Commission believes that the proposed rule change will remove impediments to and perfect the mechanisms of a free and open market by providing formal procedures for members to request the listing of options on the Exchange. The proposal would require the Exchange to respond in writing within 45 days to requests by members to list options. The Commission believes that the proposed procedures and time frames set forth in the proposed rule change are reasonable and adequately balance the Exchange's need to thoroughly examine proposed listings before making its determination with its members' need for a prompt and specific response to its listing recommendation.
In addition, the proposed rule change codifies the factors to be considered by the Exchange in determining whether to list a recommended option. The Commission believes that the proposed factors represent legitimate issues that the Exchange may consider when making a listing decision. The Commission notes that if the Exchange denies or places conditions or limitations upon a proposed listing, it must include its reasons in the letter notifying the member of its decision. The Commission believes that this requirement should help to ensure that the Exchange relies only upon the factors codified in its rules when making a listing decision.
The Commission finds good cause for accelerating approval of Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change prior to the thirtieth day after publication in the Federal Register. The Commission notes that Amendment No. 1 provides useful clarification to the proposed rules. Accordingly, the Commission finds that good cause exists, consistent with sections 6(b)(5)  and 19(b) of the Act, to accelerate approval of Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change.
IV. Solicitation of Comments
Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views and arguments concerning Amendment No. 1, including whether the amendment 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 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 CBOE. All submissions should refer to the File No. SR-CBOE-2001-10 and should be submitted by July 24, 2001.
It is therefore ordered, pursuant to section 19(b)(2) of the Act, that the proposed rule change (SR-CBOE-2001-10), as amended, is approved.Start Signature
For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.
Margaret H. McFarland,
4. See letter from Angelo Evangelou, Legal Division, CBOE, to Sonia Patton, Attorney, Division of Market Regulation, Commission, dated May 24, 2001 (“Amendment No. 1”). Amendment No. 1 revises Interpretation and Policy .07 to CBOE Rule 5.3 to clarify that when the Exchange relies upon other bona fide business considerations in denying or placing conditions or limitations upon a member listing proposal, the Exchange must provide the member with a written response specifying that the Exchange has relied upon other bona fide business considerations, in addition to maintaining a record of the bona fide business considerations supporting its decision.Back to Citation
5. As part of a settlement of an enforcement action by the Commission, four of the options exchanges, including the CBOE, are required to adopt rules to codify listing procedures to be carried out when a member or member organization requests the exchange to list options not currently trading on the exchange. See Order Instituting Public Administrative Proceedings Pursuant to section 19(h)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Making Findings and Imposing Remedial Sanctions (“Settlement Order”). Securities Exchange Act Release No. 43268 (September 11, 2000).Back to Citation
6. In approving the proposal, the Commission has considered its impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).Back to Citation
[FR Doc. 01-16675 Filed 7-2-01; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8010-01-M