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Self-Regulatory Organizations; Emerging Markets Clearing Corporation; Order Granting Approval of a Proposed Rule Change Expanding the Types of Instruments Eligible for Processing

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Start Preamble October 23, 2002.

I. Introduction

On January 10, 2002, the Emerging Markets Clearing Corporation (”EMCC”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) a proposed rule change (File No. SR-EMCC-2001-01) pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”).[1] Notice of the proposed rule change was published in the Federal Register on August 9, 2002.[2] No comment letters were received. For the reasons discussed below, the Commission is granting approval of the proposed rule change.

II. Description

The purpose of the proposed rule change is to expand the types of instruments eligible for processing by EMCC to include emerging market corporate debt that meets certain criteria. EMCC will accomplish this by adding a new definition, “eligible corporate debt,” to Rule 1. “Eligible corporate debt” will be defined as those instruments which:

1. Are issued by or on behalf of an issuer domiciled in an emerging markets jurisdiction;

2. The minimum amount of the debt issue outstanding or to be issued at the time of determination is $200,000,000, and the issuer has cumulatively issued at least $750,000,000 (or equivalent currency) of debt securities; and

3. EMCC does or would include the sovereign debt of the jurisdiction where the issuer is domiciled in the list of EMCC eligible instruments.

As with all instruments that are EMCC eligible, such instruments will also have to meet the existing criteria set forth in Rule 3 in that they will have to be eligible for settlement at a “qualified securities depository”[3] and must be U.S. dollar denominated. Accordingly, Section 1 of Rule 3 will be amended to include a reference to “eligible corporate debt.”

EMCC believes that the inclusion of dollar denominated emerging market corporate debt meeting the foregoing criteria will be beneficial to its members because it will help eliminate counterparty risk in these instruments when EMCC becomes the central counterparty. EMCC also believes that its current clearing fund formula will allow it to collect appropriate amounts of collateral to cover the risks posed by this class of securities.

III. Discussion

Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Act requires that the rules of a clearing agency be designed to promote the prompt and accurate clearance and settlement of securities transactions and to assure the safeguarding of securities and funds which are in the custody or control of the clearing agency or for which it is responsible.[4] By expanding the types of instruments available for processing by EMCC, the proposed rule change will allow more of EMCC's members' trades to be processed through the facilities of EMCC which should promote the prompt and accurate clearance and settlement of such securities transactions. Furthermore, the Commission finds that EMCC's current risk management procedures, including its clearing fund formula, have been designed and are operated in such a manner that EMCC will be able to provide clearance and settlement services for eligible corporate debt in a manner that will provide for the safeguarding of securities and funds in its possession or control or for which it is responsible.

IV. Conclusion

On the basis of the foregoing, the Commission finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements of the Act and in particular with the requirements of section 17A of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable.

It is therefore ordered, pursuant to section 19(b)(2) of the Act, that the proposed rule change (File No. SR-EMCC-2002-01) be and hereby is approved.

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


2.  Securities Exchange Act Release No. 46311 (August 5, 2002), 67 FR 51906.

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3.  A qualified securities depository is defined by EMCC Rules to be a securities depository which has entered into an agreement with EMCC pursuant to which it will effect book-entry transfers of EMCC Eligible Instruments to and by EMCC.

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4.  15 U.S.C. 78q-1(b)(3)(F).

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[FR Doc. 02-27488 Filed 10-28-02; 8:45 am]