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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change by the American Stock Exchange LLC Relating to Conforming Amendments to the Amex Company Guide

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Start Preamble February 6, 2003.

Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”),[1] and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,[2] notice is hereby given that on February 3, 2003, the American Stock Exchange LLC (“Amex” 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.

I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

The Amex proposes to amend Section 102(a) of the Amex Company Guide to correct a reference contained therein and conform to recently approved amendments to Section 101 of the Amex Company Guide. Below is the text of the proposed rule change. Proposed new language is in italics; proposed deletions are in brackets.

* * * * *

American Stock Exchange Company Guide

Section 102

(a) Distribution—Minimum public distribution* of 500,000, together with a minimum of 800 public shareholders or minimum public distribution of 1,000,000 shares together with a minimum of 400 public shareholders, except for applicants seeking to qualify for listing pursuant to Section 101([d] e).

The Exchange may also consider the listing of a company's securities if the company has a minimum of 500,000 shares publicly held, a minimum of 400 public shareholders and daily trading volume in the issue has been approximately 2,000 shares or more for the six months preceding the date of application. In evaluating the suitability of an issue for listing under this trading provision, the Exchange will review the nature and frequency of such activity and such other factors as it may determine to be relevant in ascertaining whether such issue is suitable for auction market trading. A security which trades infrequently will not be considered for listing under this paragraph even though average daily volume amounts to 2,000 shares per day or more.

In addition, the Exchange may also consider the listing of the securities of a bank which has a minimum of 500,000 shares publicly held and a minimum of 400 public shareholders.

Except for banks, companies whose securities are concentrated in a limited geographical area, or whose securities are largely held in block by institutional investors, are normally not considered eligible for listing unless the public distribution appreciably exceeds 500,000 shares.

*The terms “public distribution” and “public shareholders” as used in the Company Guide include both shareholders of record and beneficial holders, but are exclusive of the holdings of officers, directors, controlling shareholders and other concentrated (i.e., 10% or greater), affiliated or family holdings.

(b)-(c)—No change.

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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 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 Exchange proposes to amend Section 102(a) of the Amex Company Guide to change a reference therein from Section 101(d) to Section 101(e). The Exchange seeks to correct the reference in order to conform to a re-designation of the paragraph references in Section 101 pursuant to recently approved amendments to Section 101 [3] of the Amex Company Guide. The existing reference to Section 101(d) of the Amex Company Guide is meant to refer to the Alternative Listing Standards, which are now referenced in Section 101(e).

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act [4] in general and furthers the objectives of Section Start Printed Page 71606(b)(5)[5] in particular in that it is designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to foster cooperation and coordination with persons engaged in facilitating transactions in securities, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system, to protect investors and the public interest and is not designed to permit unfair discrimination between customers, issuers, brokers, or dealers.

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

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

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

The Exchange has neither solicited nor received comments on the proposed rule change.

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) of the Act [6] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) [7] thereunder because the proposal: (i) Does not significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (ii) does not impose any significant burden on competition; and (iii) does not become operative prior to 30 days after the date of filing or such shorter time as the Commission may designate if consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest; provided that the Exchange has given the Commission notice of its intent to file the proposed rule change, along with a brief description and text of the proposed rule change, at least five business days prior to the date of filing of the proposed rule change, or such short time as designated by the Commission. 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.

The Amex has requested that the Commission waive the 30-day operative delay and the five-day pre-filing notice requirement. The Commission believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest and therefore finds good cause to waive the five-day pre-filing notice requirement and to designate the proposal as immediately operative upon filing. The Commission notes that the proposed rule change corrects a grammatical error and does not involve a substantive change. In addition, prompt implementation of the proposed rule change should avoid any confusion as to the Exchange's listing requirements. For these reasons, the Commission finds good cause to waive the five-day pre-filing notice requirement and to designate that the proposal become operative immediately upon filing.[8]

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 at the Commission's Public Reference Room. Copies of such filing will also be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All submissions should refer to File No. SR-Amex-2003-05 and should be submitted by March 5, 2003.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[9]

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 47119 (January 3, 2003), 68 FR 1494 (January 10, 2003) (approving File No. SR-Amex-2002-97)

Back to Citation

8.  For purposes only of accelerating the operative date of this proposal, the Commission has considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).

Back to Citation

[FR Doc. 03-3488 Filed 2-11-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P