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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change by the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, Inc. Relating to Off-Floor Trader Fees

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Start Preamble January 3, 2003.

Pursuant to section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act” or “Exchange Act”),[1] and rule 19b-4 thereunder,[2] notice is hereby given that on December 18, 2002, the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, Inc. (“Phlx” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in items I, II, and III below, which items have been 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 its schedule of dues, fees and charges to require: (1) Future off-floor traders to pay an initial registration fee of $100, an increase from $50; and (2) current and future off-floor traders registered as of April 1 of each year to pay an annual fee of $350, an increase from $250. An off-floor trader is a person who is compensated directly or indirectly by a member or participant organization for which the Exchange is the Designated Examination Authority (“DEA”) for the solicitation or handling of business in securities, including trading securities for the account of the member or participant organization, and who is not otherwise required to register with the Exchange.[3] The proposed increase in the initial registration fee is to become effective January 2, 2003, with the increased annual fee to be implemented April 1, 2003.[4] The text of the proposed rule change is available at the principal Start Printed Page 1498offices of the Phlx 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 the basis for, the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in item IV below. The Exchange 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 purpose of the proposed rule change is to increase initial and annual off-floor trader fees to generate additional revenue to help off-set the Exchange's costs associated with conducting off-floor trader examinations, including administrative costs, such as cost incurred in conducting background checks on the individuals to whom the fees apply, processing of forms, fingerprint charges, and requests for disciplinary history from the Central Registration Depository.

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with section 6(b) of the Act,[5] in general, and furthers the objectives of section 6(b)(4) of the Act,[6] in particular, in that it provides for the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees and other charges among its members.

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

The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will result in any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act.

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

Written comments were neither solicited nor received.

III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

The foregoing rule change has become effective pursuant to section 19(b)(3)(A)(ii) of the Act [7] and rule 19b-4(f)(2) thereunder,[8] as establishing or changing a due, fee, or other charge. At any time within 60 days of the filing of such 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.[9]

IV. Solicitation of Comments

Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change 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 Phlx. All submissions should refer to File No. SR-Phlx-2002-84 and should be submitted by January 31, 2003.

For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[10]

Start Signature

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  Off-floor traders are required to file the Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer form (“form U-4”) with the Exchange. See Phlx rule 604(e)(i).

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4.  The Exchange has not designated the Off-Floor Trader Registration Fee as eligible for the monthly credit. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 44292 (May 11, 2001), 66 FR 27715 (May 18, 2001) (SR-Phlx-2001-49). The monthly credit allows Exchange members to receive a monthly credit of up to $1,000 to be applied against certain fees, dues, charges and other such amounts.

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7.  15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(ii).

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9.  See section 19(b)(3)(C) of the Act, 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(C).

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[FR Doc. 03-456 Filed 1-9-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P