Pursuant to section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”)  and Rule 19b-4 thereunder, notice is hereby given that on December 26, 2001, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated (“CBOE” 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. CBOE filed the proposal pursuant to section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act  and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) 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.
I. Self Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change
CBOE hereby proposes to extend, for an additional six-month period, the pilot program that permits the appropriate Floor Procedure Committee (“FPC”) to allocate orders on the Exchange's Retail Automatic Execution System (“RAES”) under the allocation system known as the 100 Spoke RAES Wheel. CBOE has designated this proposal as non-controversial and requests that the Commission waive the 30-day pre-operative waiting period set forth in Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) under the Start Printed Page 1381Act  to allow the proposal to be effective and operative immediately upon filing with 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, CBOE 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. CBOE 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
On May 25, 2000, the Commission approved, on a nine-month pilot basis, the Exchange's proposal to amend CBOE Rule 6.8, which governs the operation of RAES, to provide the appropriate FPC with another choice for apportioning RAES trades among participating market makers, the 100 Spoke RAES Wheel. The pilot program has been extended twice and will expire on December 28, 2001. CBOE now proposes to extend the pilot program for an additional six-month period ending June 28, 2002.
CBOE states that it believes that the 100 Spoke RAES Wheel pilot program is used as anticipated. CBOE represents that use of the 100 Spoke RAES Wheel has expanded since its implementation; it is currently used in approximately three-fourths of the equity options trading stations. CBOE has represented that an extension of the pilot program is necessary to further study the pilot program. CBOE believes that an extension of the pilot program will continue to provide the appropriate FPC with flexibility in determining the appropriate allocation system for a given class of options on RAES. CBOE also believes that the continuation of the pilot program will continue to reward those market makers who are most active in providing liquidity to agency business in the assigned option class.
2. Statutory Basis
CBOE believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements of section 6(b)(5) of the Act. Section 6(b)(5) requires, among other things, that the rules of an exchange be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices; to promote just and equitable principles of trade; to facilitate transactions in securities; 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.
B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition
CBOE does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose a burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of purposes of the Act.
C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others
No written comments were solicited or received with respect to the proposed rule change.
III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action
CBOE has asserted that, 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  and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder. 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.
A proposed rule change filed under Rule 19b-4(f)(6) normally would not become operative prior to 30 days after the date of the filing. However, Rule 19b-4(f)(6) permits the Commission to designate a shorter time if such action is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. CBOE has requested that the Commission waive the 30-day pre-operative waiting period, which would allow the Exchange to continue the pilot program without interruption. CBOE contends that, with the continuation of the pilot program, market makers will continue to have greater incentive to compete effectively for orders in the crowd, which benefits investors and promotes the public interest. In addition, CBOE argues that, given the widespread use of the 100 Spoke RAES Wheel in equity options trading stations, requiring the Exchange to discontinue use of the 100 Spoke RAES Wheel as of December 29, 2001, would cause disruption to those trading stations and, thus, be disruptive to investors and the public interest. In light of these considerations, the Commission, consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest, has determined to designate the proposed rule change as operative immediately.
In addition, Rule 19b-4(f)(6) requires the self-regulatory organization submitting the proposed rule change to give the Commission written notice of its intent to file the proposed rule change, along with a brief description and text of the proposed rule change, at least five business days prior to the date of filing, or such shorter time as designated by the Commission. CBOE has requested that the Commission waive the five-day pre-filing requirement. Consistent with CBOE's request, the Commission has determined to waive the pre-filing requirement.
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, 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 Start Printed Page 1382communications 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 No. SR-CBOE-2001-68 and should be submitted by January 31, 2002.Start Signature
For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.
Margaret H. McFarland,
6. RAES is the Exchange's automatic execution system for public customer market or marketable limit orders of less than a certain size.Back to Citation
7. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 42824 (May 25, 2000), 65 FR 37442 (June 14, 2000). In those classes where the 100 Spoke RAES Wheel is employed, the percentage of RAES contracts assigned to a participating market maker is essentially identical to the percentage of non-RAES in-person agency contracts traded by that market maker in that class.Back to Citation
8. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 44020 (February 28, 2001), 66 FR 13985 (March 8, 2001) (six-month extension to August 28, 2001; Securities Exchange Act Release No. 44749 (August 28, 2001), 66 FR 46487 (September 5, 2001) (four-month extension to December 28, 2001).Back to Citation
13. 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. See 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).Back to Citation
[FR Doc. 02-596 Filed 1-9-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8010-01-M