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Self-Regulatory Organizations; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change by the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, Inc. Relating to Automatic Price Improvement for Equities Trading in Decimals

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Start Preamble November 19, 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 November 5, 2001, the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, Inc. (“Phlx” 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 Exchange filed this proposal under Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act,[3] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) [4] thereunder, 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.

Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

The Exchange proposes to extend through January 14, 2002 its Philadelphia Stock Exchange Automated Communication and Execution System (“PACE”)[5] price improvement pilot program (“pilot program”). The pilot program, which is found in Supplementary Material .07 to Phlx Rule 229, consists of an automated price improvement feature based on decimal quoting, including a percentage of the spread between the bid and the offer. The current pilot program, established in SR-Phlx-2001-12, has been in effect since January 29, 2001.[6] The only substantive change the Phlx proposes at this time is to extend the pilot program through January 14, 2001. The text of the proposed rule change is available at the Phlx and at 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 on 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.

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

1. Purpose

The Phlx proposes to extend, through January 14, 2002, the Phlx's pilot program that incorporates automatic price improvement for equities quoting in decimals based on certain decimal parameters, including a percentage of the spread between the bid and offer. The Phlx proposes no substantive changes to the pilot program other than extending its date of operation through January 14, 2002.

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6 of the Act [7] in general, and in particular, with Section 6(b)(5),[8] in that it is designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade, remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market Start Printed Page 59294and protect investors and the public interest by extending automatic price improvement more widely to equities trading in decimals.

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

The Exchange 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 written comments were either solicited or 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)(A) of the Act [9] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.[10] 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 Exchange has requested that the Commission accelerate the operative date. The Commission finds good cause to designate the proposal to be both effective and operative upon filing because such designation is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. Waiver of the 30-day operative delay will allow the pilot program to continue uninterrupted through January 14, 2002. For these reasons, the Commission finds good cause to designate that the proposal is both effective and operative upon filing with the Commission.[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 Exchange. All submissions should refer to file number SR-Phlx-2001-101, and should be submitted by December 18, 2001.

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


4.  17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6). The Phlx requested that the Commission waive the 5-day pre-filing notice requirement, and the 30-day operative delay.

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5.  PACE is the Exchange's automated order delivery, routing, execution and reporting system for equities.

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6.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 43901 (January 30, 2001), 66 FR 8988 (February 5, 2001).

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8.  15 U.S.c. 78f(b)(5).

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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. 01-29402 Filed 11-26-01; 8:45 am]