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Self-Regulatory Organizations; Order Granting Approval of Proposed Rule Change by the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc., Relating Its AutoQuote Triggered Ebook Execution System

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Start Preamble December 23, 2002.

On August 21, 2002, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc. (“CBOE” or “Exchange”), filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission” or “SEC”), pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”),[1] and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,[2] a proposed rule change relating to its AutoQuote Triggered Ebook Execution (“Trigger”) system. Notice of the proposed rule Start Printed Page 79671change was published for comment in the Federal Register on September 30, 2002.[3] No comments were received on the proposed rule change.

The Commission originally approved the rule governing the Trigger system in 2001.[4] Trigger allows orders resting in the limit order book to be automatically executed, at their limit prices, in the limited situation where the bid or offer for a series of options generated by the Exchange's AutoQuote system (or any Exchange approved proprietary quote generation system used in lieu of the Exchange's AutoQuote system) crosses or locks the Exchange's best bid or offer for that series as established by a booked order. Such orders are executed against market makers participating in the Exchange's Retail Automated Execution System (“RAES”).[5]

In general, where Trigger has been activated, when the quote generated by Autoquote either touches or crosses an order in the book, the booked order is automatically executed up to the maximum number of contracts permitted to be entered into RAES. The applicable RAES contract limit is set by the appropriate Floor Procedure Committee (“FPC”), but may not be more than 100 contracts.[6] When the number of contracts in the book is greater than the applicable RAES contract limit, the trading crowd will manually execute the remainder. In the limited circumstance where contracts remain in the book after a Trigger execution and a disseminated quote remains locked or crossed, orders in RAES for options of that series are “kicked-out” of RAES, and immediately and automatically routed to the Public Automated Routing (“PAR”) terminal (absent contrary instructions of the firm) for manual execution. Because these orders remain RAES eligible, they will be entitled to receive firm quote treatment when represented in the crowd.[7]

After the Trigger rules were approved, CBOE proposed, and the Commission approved, rule changes to permit the implementation of an options quotation with size system with an automatic decrementation feature (“Dynamic Quotes with Size”).[8] Where this new system has been implemented, it has permitted the Exchange to raise the maximum eligible size for RAES orders from 100 contracts to the size disseminated by the Dynamic Quotes with Size system. The Exchange represents that in some cases, the RAES-eligible order size has been raised up to 250 contracts. The Exchange further asserts that, because the Trigger rules are tied to the RAES eligible order size, the size of booked orders that Trigger removes is now much larger than was contemplated when Trigger was first implemented in 2001.

Therefore, the Exchange proposes to amend the Trigger rule to provide that the Trigger system will automatically remove orders in the Exchange's limit order book up to the “Trigger Volume” amount. This amount could be lower than, but could not exceed, the RAES-eligible size for the particular series of options. The appropriate Floor Procedure Committee (“FPC”) would be responsible for setting the Trigger Volume for a particular series of options.

The Commission finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to a national securities exchange.[9] In particular, the Commission believes that the proposal is consistent with Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,[10] which requires, among other things, that the rules of an exchange be designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market, and to protect investors and the public interest.

The Commission believes that allowing the Trigger Volume to be set at a size up to, but not more than, the RAES-eligible order size for the particular series of options will not adversely affect the execution price of the booked orders because whether removed by Trigger or executed manually in the trading crowd, these orders may only be executed at their limit prices. The Commission points out that the proposed rule change does not alter CBOE members' duty to comply with the Commission's rule relating to the firmness of quotations.[11]

Additionally, the Commission approves the amended Trigger rule to provide that the appropriate FPC shall be responsible for setting the Trigger Volume for a particular series of options. Currently, the Trigger rule provides only that the appropriate FPC has the authority to determine those classes of options that are eligible for Trigger. The Commission believes that it is appropriate to set forth in the rule that the appropriate FPC also has the authority to set the maximum number of contracts eligible for Trigger, not to exceed the maximum size of RAES-eligible orders.

It is therefore ordered, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act,[12] that the proposed rule change (File No. SR-CBOE-2002-46) be, and it hereby is, approved.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[13]

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 46519 (September 20, 2002), 67 FR 61358 (September 30, 2002).

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4.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 44462 (June 21, 2001), 66 FR 34495 (June 28, 2001). See also Securities Exchange Act Release No. 45992 (May 29, 2002), 67 FR 38530 (June 4, 2002) (approving SR-CBOE-2002-12).

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5.  CBOE Rule 6.8(d).

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6.  CBOE Rule 6.8(c)(v).

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7.  CBOE Rule 6.8(d)(v); see Securities Exchange Act Release No. 44462 (June 21, 2002), 66 FR 34495 (June 28, 2002) (approving implementation of Trigger system).

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8.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 45676 (March 29, 2002), 67 FR 16478 (April 5, 2002) (approval); Securities Exchange Act Release No. 45490 (March 1, 2002), 67 FR 10778 (March 8, 2002) (proposal).

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9.  In approving this proposal, the Commission has considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. 15 U.S.C. 78(c)(f).

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[FR Doc. 02-32923 Filed 12-27-02; 8:45 am]

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