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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change by the Pacific Exchange, Inc. Relating to a One-Year Extension of the AOR Pilot Program

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Start Preamble August 13, 2001.

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 8, 2001, the Pacific Exchange, Inc. (“PCX” 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 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 Exchange is proposing to extend its Automated Opening Rotations (“AOR”) pilot program for one year. The text of the proposed rule change follows. Deleted text is bracketed. New text is italicized.

¶5073 Trading Rotations

Rule 6.64(a)-(g)—No change.

Commentary

.01—No Change

.02 Pilot Program. The Automated Opening Rotation System is subject to a [one year] pilot program, which is set to expire on [September 28, 2001] September 30, 2002. Start Printed Page 43601

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 on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. PCX 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

On September 30, 1999, the Commission approved a one-year pilot program for the operation of the Exchange's AOR System.[3] On August 21, 2000, the Commission granted a one-year extension to the pilot program.[4] The extension program is currently set to expire on September 28, 2001.[5] AOR provides a procedure to facilitate the execution of options orders at the opening by providing an electronic means of establishing a single price opening. In its order approving the pilot program, the Commission stated that it expects the Exchange to study the issues related to the Commission's concerns during the pilot period and to report back to the Commission at least sixty days prior to seeking permanent approval of AOR.

The Exchange is requesting an additional extension of the pilot program until the Commission grants permanent approval or one year, whichever occurs first. The added time permits the Exchange an opportunity to continue reviewing and evaluating the program in order to properly address the Commission's concerns before seeking permanent approval. The Exchange believes that this program is operating successfully and without any problems, and on that basis, the Exchange believes that a one-year extension of the program is warranted. At this time, the Exchange is not seeking to modify the pilot program.

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b) [6] of the Act, in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5),[7] in particular, in that it is designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade.

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

The Exchange 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

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 foregoing rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act [8] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) [9] thereunder because the proposal: (1) Does not significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (2) does not impose any significant burden on competition; and (3) does not become operative prior to 30 days after the date of filing or such shorter time as the Commission may designate if consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest; provided that the Exchange has given the Commission written notice of its intent to file the proposed rule change at least five business days prior to the filing date of the proposed rule change. 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 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 PCX. All submissions should refer to File No. SR-PCX-2001-31 and should be submitted by September 10, 2001.

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.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 41970 (September 30, 1999), 64 FR 54713 (October 7, 1999).

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4.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 43187 (August 21, 2000), 64 FR 52464 (August 29, 2000).

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[FR Doc. 01-20858 Filed 8-17-01; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-M