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Self-Regulatory Organizations; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change by the American Stock Exchange LLC Relating to Suspension of Transaction Charges for Certain Exchange-Traded Funds and Trust Issued Receipts

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Start Preamble April 17, 2002.

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 April 15, 2002, the American Stock Exchange LLC (“Amex” 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 proposes to suspend Exchange transaction charges for customer orders in the following Amex-listed Exchange-Traded Funds and Trust Issued Receipts: MidCap SPDRsTM, Select Sector SPDRs® (9 series), and HOLDRsTM (17 series).

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 Amex has prepared summaries, set forth in Sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements. Start Printed Page 20559

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

1. Purpose

The Exchange is proposing to suspend transaction charges for customer orders for the following Amex-listed securities: (1) MidCap SPDRs TM (Symbol: MDY); (2) all series of Select Sector SPDRs, including Basic Industries (XLB), Consumer Services (XLV), Consumer Staples (XLP), Cyclical/Transportation (XLY), Energy (XLE), Financial (XLF), Industrial (XLI), Technology (XLK), and Utilities (XLU); and (3) all series of HOLDRs, including: Biotech (BBH), Broadband (BDH), B2B Internet (BHH), Europe 2001 (EKH), Internet (HHH), Internet Architecture (IAH), Internet Infrastructure (IIH), Market 2000+ (MKH), Oil Service (OIH), Pharmaceutical (PPH), Regional Bank (RKH), Retail (RTH), Semiconductor (SMH), Software (SWH), Telecom (TTH), Utilities (UTH), and Wireless (WMH).

Off-floor orders (i.e., customer and broker-dealer orders) in these securities currently are charged $.006 per share ($.60 per 100 shares), capped at $100 per trade (16,667 shares). Orders entered electronically into the Amex Order File from off the floor (“System Orders”) for up to 5,099 shares are currently not assessed a transaction charge, while System Orders over 5,099 shares are subject to a $.006 per share transaction charge, capped at $100 per trade. The Exchange proposes to suspend transaction charges applicable to customer orders. The Exchange will continue to impose, and is not suspending, existing transaction charges applicable to entities other than customers, including Exchange specialists, registered traders, and member organizations.

The Exchange believes a suspension of fees for these securities for customer orders is appropriate to enhance the competitiveness of executions in these securities on the Amex. The Exchange will reassess the fee suspension as appropriate, and will file any modification to the fee suspension with the Commission pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act.[3]

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act,[4] in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(4) of the Act,[5] in particular, because it is intended to assure the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees, and other charges among its members and issuers and other persons using its facilities.

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.[6]

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

The proposed rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(ii) of the Act [7] and subparagraph (f)(2) of Rule 19b-4 thereunder [8] because it establishes or changes a due, fee, or other charge imposed by the Exchange. 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 the 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 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 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 Amex. All submissions should refer to File No. SR-Amex-2002-32 and should be submitted by May 16, 2002.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[9]

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble


6.  At the request of Amex, the Commission revised this sentence. Telephone call between Michael Cavalier, Associate General Counsel, Amex, and Jennifer Lewis, Attorney, Division of Market Regulation, Commission, on April 17, 2002.

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7.  15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(ii).

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[FR Doc. 02-10151 Filed 4-24-02; 8:45 am]