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Self-Regulatory Organizations; International Securities Exchange, Inc.; Order Approving Proposed Rule Change Relating to Quotation Size and Notice of Filing and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of an Amendment to the Proposal

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Start Preamble January 21, 2003.

On October 11, 2002, the International Securities Exchange, Inc. (“ISE”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”), 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 that would require ISE quotations to be firm for their published sizes for all orders entered by ISE members, regardless of whether such orders are for the accounts of customers or broker-dealers. The proposal would allow ISE to eliminate its current distinction between the sizes of quotations for all orders, except for trades involving the interaction of ISE market maker quotations. On November 1, 2002, the Exchange's rule proposal was published for comment in the Federal Register.[3] No comments letters were received on the proposal. On November 21, 2002, the ISE submitted a letter to withdraw proposed paragraph (c) of ISE rule 805, which would have limited market makers from sending more than one order every fifteen seconds in an option on the same underlying security.[4] This order approves the proposed rule change, as amended by the ISE letter, publishes notice of the ISE letter, and grants accelerated approval to ISE's withdrawal of proposed ISE rule 805(c).

The proposal would require that all ISE quotations be firm for all incoming orders for their full disseminated size, except for matching quotations of ISE market makers. Specifically, each ISE Primary Market Maker and Competitive Market Maker would enter a quotation with a single size, available in full for all incoming orders, whether from customers, broker-dealers, ISE market makers or market makers on other exchanges, except for ISE market maker quotations. In the case of ISE market maker quotations, the ISE proposes to establish by rule that ISE market makers must be firm for at least one contract for quotations of other ISE market makers. To implement this proposal, the ISE would require a limited exemption from rule 11Ac1-1 (the “Quote rule”) [5] to permit the Exchange to establish by rule a quotation size for which a responsible broker or dealer is obligated to trade with matching ISE market maker quotations, provided that such responsible broker or dealer is firm to all other customer and broker-dealer orders for the amount of its quotation size communicated to the ISE.[6]

Finally, the ISE proposes two technical changes to update its rules. First, the Exchange proposes to delete language from ISE rule 804 regarding the “enhanced size pilot” that expired on October 31, 2002. Second, the Exchange proposes to delete language from ISE rule 805 regarding limited exemptive authority that expired a year after the Exchange commenced trading.

Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views and arguments concerning the ISE Letter, including whether it is consistent with the Act. Persons making written submissions should file six copies Start Printed Page 4261thereof 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 ISE. All submissions should refer to the ISE letter of File No. SR-ISE-2002-24 and should be submitted by February 18, 2003.

After careful review, 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 [7] and, in particular, the requirements of section 6 of the Act.[8] Specifically, the Commission finds that the proposal to require ISE market makers to be firm for up to their disseminated amount to all orders, other than matching ISE market maker quotations, is consistent with section 6(b)(5) of the Act,[9] in that by ensuring that a larger number of orders may be executed at a better price, the proposed rule change has been designed to remove impediments to and to perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system, while also protecting investors and the public interest.

The original rule proposal, including the proposal to add ISE rule 805(c), which the ISE subsequently withdrew by letter, was noticed for public comment on November 1, 2002. No comments were received on any aspect of the proposal. Because the ISE letter merely withdraws one provision of the proposal, which was previously published for comment, and because by withdrawing the one provision to add ISE rule 805(c), no other aspect of the proposal is affected, the Commission believes that approving this change to the proposal on an accelerated basis is appropriate. Accordingly, pursuant to section 19(b)(2) of the Act,[10] the Commission finds good cause to approve the change to the proposal set forth in the ISE Letter prior to the thirtieth day after notice of the ISE letter is published in the Federal Register.

It is therefore ordered, pursuant to section 19(b)(2) of the Act,[11] that the proposed rule change (File No. SR-ISE-2002-24) is hereby approved, as amended by the ISE letter, which is hereby approved on an accelerated basis.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[12]

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble


3.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 46723 (October 25, 2002), 67 FR 66693.

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4.  See letter from Michael Simon, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, ISE, to Nancy Sanow, Assistant Director, Division of Market Regulation (“Division”), Commission, dated November 20, 2002 (“ISE letter”).

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6.  In connection with this proposal, the ISE submitted a separate letter requesting an exemption from certain requirements of the Quote rule. See letter from Michael Simon, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, ISE, to Annette Nazareth, Director, Division, Commission, dated October 10, 2002. Concurrent with approval of this proposal, the Commission granted ISE's request for a limited exemption from the Quote rule. Specifically, the Commission determined to grant responsible brokers or dealers on the ISE an exemption from their obligations under rule 11Ac1-1(c)(1) to communicate to the ISE their quotation sizes applicable to the quotations of ISE market makers, provided that: (1) Such responsible brokers or dealers promptly communicate to the ISE the quotation sizes for which they are obligated to execute at their published quotation any order, other than a quotation by an ISE market maker; (ii) such responsible brokers or dealers comply with their obligations under paragraph (c)(2) of rule 11Ac1-1 by trading with quotations by other ISE market makers, in an amount up to the size established by the ISE; and (iii) the ISE and its responsible broker or dealers do not rely on paragraphs (d)1) and (2) of the Quote rule. See letter from Robert Colby, Deputy Director, Division, Commission, to Michael Simon, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, ISE, dated January 21, 2003.

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7.  The Commission has considered the proposed rules' impact on efficiency, competition and capital formation. 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).

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[FR Doc. 03-1882 Filed 1-27-03; 8:45 am]