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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board Relating to Rule G-14, on Reports of Sales or Purchases

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble July 10, 2002.

Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“the Act”) [1] and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,[2] notice is hereby given that on July 3, 2002 the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (“Board” or “MSRB”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission” or “SEC”) a proposed rule change (File No. SR-MSRB-2002-07) as described in Items I, II, and III below, which Items have been prepared by the MSRB. 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 MSRB has filed with the Commission a proposed rule change with regard to Rule G-14, on reports of sales or purchases, to increase transparency in the municipal securities market. The proposed rule change would not change the wording of Rule G-14.

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 MSRB 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 texts of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The MSRB 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 MSRB has a long-standing policy to increase price transparency in the municipal securities market, with the ultimate goal of disseminating comprehensive and contemporaneous pricing data. Since 1995, the MSRB has expanded the scope of the public transparency reports in several steps. Each step has provided industry participants and the public successively more information about the market.[3]

In May, 2001, the MSRB announced its plan to begin reporting trades in “real time” on a schedule coordinated with the industry's timetable for migration to an environment of next-day settlement of securities transactions.[4] To attain real-time reporting, the MSRB intends in the future to file an amendment to Rule G-14 to require dealers to report their trades within 15 minutes of the time they are effected. The planned implementation date for real-time reporting is now set for mid-2004.

Prior to the implementation of real-time transaction reporting, the MSRB intends to continue to increase transparency in the market using the currently available data. As its next step, the MSRB is now proposing to disseminate the Daily Comprehensive Report with a one-week delay. The proposed Report would contain details of all municipal securities transactions that were effected during the trading day one week earlier. Data about each trade on the proposed Report would be the same as that on the current Daily Comprehensive Transaction Report. For each trade, the proposed Report, like the current report, would show the trade date, the CUSIP number of the issue traded, a short issue description, the par value traded, the time of trade reported by the dealer, the price of the transaction, and the dealer-reported yield of the transaction, if any. Each transaction would be categorized as a sale by a dealer to a customer, a purchase from a customer, or an inter-dealer trade.

The current Daily Comprehensive Report began operation on November 1, 2001.[5] The proposed Report, with a one-week delay, would replace the current report that has a two-week delay.

Description of Service

Like the current two-week delayed report, the new Report will be available daily to subscribers. Subscribers to the current two-week delayed report would continue to access the proposed Report via the Internet and download copies from the MSRB's computer using a password-protected FTP account. The MSRB expects that the proposed Report would be available within two weeks of approval by the Commission.

The MSRB will continue the established annual fee for the Service of $2,000. The fee is structured approximately to defray the MSRB's costs for production of daily data sets, operation of telecommunications lines, and subscription maintenance. Subscription fees that have been paid for the two-week delayed report will be applied toward the one-week delayed report.

To enable the MSRB to compile a comprehensive trades database for enforcement purposes, dealers report a small amount of data after trade date, Start Printed Page 47013and a few trades may be added, deleted or amended as late as a few weeks after trade date.[6] To ensure that subscribers to the report have access to those trades, the MSRB will make available each day an “updated” report containing all trades effected one month previously. This will enable subscribers to see the effect of changes reported by dealers after the one-week report was disseminated.

2. Basis

The MSRB has adopted the proposed rule change pursuant to Section 15B(b)(2)(I) of the Act, which authorizes the MSRB to adopt rules that provide for the operation and administration of the Board.

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

The MSRB does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition in that it applies equally to all dealers in municipal securities.

C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

Written comments on the proposed rule change were neither solicited nor received.

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 self-regulatory organization 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. 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 submissions, 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 the filing will also be available for inspection and copying at the MSRB's principal offices. All submissions should refer to File No. SR-MSRB-2002-07 and should be submitted by August 7, 2002.

For the Commission by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[7]

Start Signature

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  The MSRB's report summarizing prices for issues that are frequently traded on the inter-dealer market began operation in 1995; in 1998, dealer-customer prices were added in a second summary report; in January 2000, a report with details of trades in frequently traded issues was added; in October 2000, a monthly comprehensive report, covering all transactions effected during the previous month, began operation; and in November 2001, a daily comprehensive report was begun, with trades effected two weeks earlier.

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4.  See “Real-Time Reporting of Municipal Securities Transactions,” MSRB Reports, Vol. 21, No. 2 (July 2001) at 31-36.

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5.  See Release No. 34-44894 (October 2, 2001), 66 FR 51485 (October 9, 2001).

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6.  See Release No. 34-43060 (July 20, 2000), 65 FR 46188-46189 (July 27, 2000) at note 7. Approximately one percent of the trades in the database have data submitted between one week and one month after trade date.

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[FR Doc. 02-17972 Filed 7-16-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P