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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change by the Chicago Stock Exchange, Incorporated Relating To Execution of Limit Orders Following Exempted ITS Trade-Through

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Start Preamble September 26, 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 September 20, 2002, the Chicago Stock Exchange, Incorporated (“CHX” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II and III below, which Items have been substantively 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 amend certain provisions of CHX Article XX, Rule 37, which governs, among other things, execution of limit orders in a CHX specialist's book following a trade-through in the primary market. Specifically, the CHX seeks to render voluntary a CHX specialist's obligation to fill limit orders in the specialist's book following a primary market trade-through, if such trade-through constitutes an Exempted Trade-Through (as defined below). The text of the proposed rule change is available at the Commission and at the CHX.[3]

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 CHX included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change 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 CHX 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

On August 28, 2002, the Commission issued an order granting a de minimis exemption (the “Exemption”) for transactions in certain exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”) from the trade-through provisions of the Intermarket Trading System (“ITS”) Plan.[4] The Exemption was proposed by Commission staff to permit rapid execution of orders in ETFs at prices that may trade through the quotations of other markets, including the NBBO price. Because Exempted Trade-Throughs will, by definition, be exempt from ITS restrictions, a market participant that reports execution of an Exempted Trade-Through will not be required to satisfy an administrative request from any ITS participant for satisfaction Start Printed Page 61941following the Exempted Trade-Through.[5]

Article XX, Rules 37(a)(3) and 37(b)(6) of the CHX Rules, which govern execution of limit orders in a CHX specialist's book, provides for execution of such orders at the limit price when certain conditions occur in the primary market. Specifically, these provisions obligate a CHX specialist to fill limit orders in his book if there is a trade-through of the limit price in the primary market. These rule provisions were enacted as a means of attracting order flow to the CHX, by guaranteeing that a limit order resident in a CHX specialist's book would receive a fill if the primary market traded through the limit price. The CHX specialist is willing to provide this “trade-through protection” to its customer limit orders because the CHX specialist can seek relief via ITS in the event of a trade-through.

Now that the Exemption has become effective, however, certain primary market trade-throughs in ETFs that will trigger a CHX specialist's obligation to provide trade-through protection will now constitute Exempted Trade-Throughs, and will leave the CHX specialist without recourse to seek satisfaction from the primary market. While the CHX believes that certain CHX specialists may still wish to provide trade-through protection to their limit orders for business and marketing reasons, the CHX believes that trade-through protection should no longer be mandated in the case of Exempted Trade-Throughs. The attached rule would permit, but would not require, a CHX specialist firm to fill limit orders in his book when an Exempted Trade-Through occurs in the primary market.

2. Statutory Basis

The CHX believes the proposal is consistent with the requirements of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder that are applicable to a national securities exchange, and, in particular, with the requirements of Section 6(b).[6] The CHX believes the proposal is consistent with Section 6(b)(5) of the Act [7] in that it is designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to remove impediments, and to 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 of Burden on Competition

The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any inappropriate burden on competition.

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

No written comments were either solicited or 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 other 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 the 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 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 CHX. All submissions should refer to File No. SR-CHX-2002-31 and should be submitted by October 23, 2002.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[8]

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  In this submission, the CHX seeks permanent approval of a rule currently in effect on a 30-day pilot basis. See SR-CHX-2002-29.

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4.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 46428, 67 FR 56607 (September 4, 2002). At present, the exemption extends to transactions in three designated ETFs—the Nasdaq-100 Index (“QQQ”), the Dow Jones Industrial Average (“DIAMONDs”) and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index (“SPDRs”)—when the transactions are “executed at a price that is no more than three cents lower than the highest bid displayed in CQS and no more than three cents higher than the lowest offer displayed in CQS” (each, an “Exempted Trade-Through”). The exemption was effective as of September 4, 2002.

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5.  Under current ITS rules and practice, if an ITS participant trades through the quotation of another ITS participant, thereby violating the ITS trade-through prohibition, the non-violating participant is entitled to send an administrative message noting the trade-through and the violating participant is required to respond with a commitment to trade at the price and size quoted by the non-violating participant.

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[FR Doc. 02-25007 Filed 10-1-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P