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 August 29, 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 Exchange 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
The Amex proposes to extend until September 30, 2002, the suspension of Amex transaction charges for the Lehman 1-3 year Treasury Bond Fund; iShares Lehman 7-10 year Treasury Bond Fund; Lehman 20+ year Treasury Bond Fund; and iShares GS $ InvesTop Corporate Bond Fund for specialist, Registered Trader and broker-dealer orders. The text of the proposed rule change is available at the Amex 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 its proposal and discussed any comments it received regarding the proposal. 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.
A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change
The Amex has suspended transaction charges for transactions in the iShares Lehman 1-3 year Treasury Bond Fund (Symbol: SHY); iShares Lehman 7-10 year Treasury Bond Fund (Symbol: IEF); iShares Lehman 20+ year Treasury Bond Fund (Symbol: TLT); and iShares GS $ InvesTop Corporate Bond Fund (Symbol: LQD)(“Funds”) (collectively, “Securities”) for (1) customer orders and (2) until August 31, 2002, specialist, Registered Trader and broker-dealer orders. With this proposed rule change, the Amex is extending until September 30, 2002, the suspension of transaction charges for specialist, Registered Trader, and broker-dealer orders. No other changes are proposed with this filing, and this filing has no bearing on the suspension of transaction charges as they pertain to customer orders.
The Exchange believes a suspension of fees for the Securities is appropriate to enhance the competitiveness of executions in the 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 1934 Act.
2. Statutory Basis
The Exchange believes that the proposal is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act  in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(4)  in Start Printed Page 58661particular in that it is intended to assure the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees, and other charges among the Amex's 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.
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
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.
The Amex has requested that the Commission waive the 5-day pre-filing notice requirement and the 30-day operative delay. The Commission believes waiving the 5-day pre-filing notice requirement and the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. Waiver of the notice requirement and acceleration of the operative date will permit the Amex to suspend these fees immediately. For these reasons, the Commission designates the proposal to be effective and operative upon filing with the Commission.
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 Amex. All submissions should refer to file number SR-Amex-2002-71 and should be submitted by October 8, 2002.Start Signature
For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.
Margaret H. McFarland,
5. The Exchange asked the Commission to waive the 5-day pre-filing notice requirement and the 30-day operative delay. See Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii). 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).Back to Citation
6. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 46384 (August 20, 2002), 67 FR 55048 (August 27, 2002)(SR-Amex-2002-64).Back to Citation
7. In its proposed rule change, the Amex states that certain charges that were suspended by SR-Amex-2002-64 are currently in place, the Amex confirmed that the suspension of charges that was established in SR-Amex-2002-64 remains in effect, and that the only purpose of the instant filing is to extend the suspension of transaction charges for specialist, Registered Trader, and broker-dealer orders in the Securities until September 30, 2002. See footnote 6, supra. The Amex clarified that this statement inaccurately implies that certain charges exist, when in actuality, these charges were suspended in SR-Amex-2002-64, and that this proposed rule change simply extends until September 30, 2002 the suspension of transaction charges for specialist, Registered Trader, and broker-dealer orders in the Securities. Telephone conversation between Michael Cavalier, Associate General Counsel, Amex, and Joseph P. Morra, Special Counsel, Commission, September 10, 2002.Back to Citation
12. 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).Back to Citation
[FR Doc. 02-23537 Filed 9-16-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8010-01-P