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Notice

Self Regulatory Organizations; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change by the International Securities Exchange LLC Amending Its Obvious Error Rule

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble April 24, 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 November 19, 2001, the International Securities Exchange LLC (“ISE” 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 amend the definition of the term “obvious error” contained in ISE Rule 720 for options with a theoretical price of less than $3.00. With respect to such options, an obvious error will be deemed to have occurred when the execution price of a transaction is higher or lower than the theoretical price for the series by an amount of $0.25 or more. Proposed new language is italicized; proposed deletions are in brackets.

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Rule 720. Obvious Errors

The Exchange shall either bust a transaction or adjust the execution price of a transaction that results from an Obvious Error as provided in this Rule.

(a) Definition of Obvious Error. For purposes of this Rule only, an Obvious Error will be deemed to have occurred when:

(1) if the Theoretical Price of the option is less than $3.00, the execution price of a transaction is higher or lower than the Theoretical Price for the series by an amount of 25 cents or more; or

(2) if the Theoretical Price of the option is $3.00 or higher:

(i) during regular market conditions (including rotations), the execution price of a transaction is higher or lower than the Theoretical Price for the series by an amount equal to at least two (2) times the maximum bid/ask spread allowed for the option, so long as such amount is 50 cents or more; or

(ii)[(2)] during fast market conditions (i.e., the Exchange has declared a fast market status for the option in question), the execution price of a transaction is higher or lower than the Theoretical Price for the series by an amount equal to at least three (3) times the maximum bid/ask spread allowed for the option, so long as such amount is 50 cents or more.

* * * * *

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 Start Printed Page 21789Exchange 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

ISE Rule 720 gives the Exchange authority to bust or adjust trades that result from an obvious error. The rule contains objective standards regarding the definition of an “obvious error,” the circumstances under which a trade should be adjusted or busted, and the price to which a trade should be adjusted if adjustment is appropriate. The Rule currently defines an obvious error based upon the market conditions and the difference between the execution price and the “theoretical price” of the options series. To be an obvious error, the difference in execution and theoretical price must be the greater of $0.50 or two times the allowable spread in regular market conditions (three times the allowable spread in “fast market” conditions).

The current rule does not directly consider the price at which the particular options series is trading in determining whether there has been an obvious error (although the allowable spread does increase as an option's price increases). The ISE represents that in administering the Rule, it has found that (1) the price of an option is a significant factor in determining when there is an obvious error; and (2) a pricing error in an options series trading at less than $3.00 can often be significant even if it does not meet the current $0.50 minimum requirement. The Exchange thus proposes that the standard for determining the existence of an obvious error for options series trading at less than $3.00 be whether the difference between the execution price and the theoretical price is at least $0.25.

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act [3] in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) [4] in particular, in that it is designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism for 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

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 did not solicit or receive written comments on the proposed rule change.

III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

Within 35 days of the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register or within such longer period (i) as the Commission may designate up to 90 days of such date if it finds such longer period to be appropriate and publishes its reasons for so finding or (ii) as to which the Exchange consents, the Commission will:

(A) by order approve such proposed rule change, or

(B) institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be disapproved.

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 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 Exchange. All submissions should refer to File No. SR-ISE-2001-34 and should be submitted by May 22, 2002.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[5]

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

[FR Doc. 02-10713 Filed 4-30-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P