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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; the Depository Trust Company; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change Concerning Requests for Withdrawal of Certificates by Issuers

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble February 13, 2003.

Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”),[1] notice is hereby given that on February 3, 2003, The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) and on February 11, 2003, amended the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III below, which items have been prepared primarily by the DTC. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested parties.

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

The purpose of the proposed rule change is to clarify that DTC will only honor requests for withdrawal of certificates submitted by its participants and not by the issuer of the securities.

II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

In its filing with the Commission, DTC 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 DTC has prepared summaries, set forth in sections (A), (B), and (C) below, of the most significant aspects of these statements.[2]

(A) Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

Recently a number of issuers of securities have requested that DTC exit from the depository all securities of their issues (“Issuer Withdrawal Request” or “Issuer Withdrawal Requests”). The issuers have also advised DTC that they will refuse to reregister any securities into the name of DTC or its nominee, Cede & Co. These issuers have no legal or beneficial interest in the securities they are requesting to be exited from DTC. The securities at issue generally became eligible for DTC services at the request, or for the convenience, of DTC's participants who wish to utilize DTC's book-entry transfer system. The subject securities are held by DTC for the benefit of its participants.

DTC's current rules and procedures permit participants to submit withdrawal requests if they wish to withdraw their securities from DTC. However, DTC's current rules and procedures do not provide for DTC to comply with an Issuer Withdrawal Request without participants' instructions. Through the proposed rule filing, DTC is seeking to clarify the procedures that it will follow upon receiving an Issuer Withdrawal Request. Upon receipt of an Issuer Withdrawal Request, DTC will, among other things:

  • Issue an “Important Notice” notifying participants of the receipt of the Issuer Withdrawal Request and reminding participants that they can utilize DTC withdrawal procedures if they wish to withdraw their securities from DTC.
  • Notify the transfer agent for the issuer that failure to reregister certificates pursuant to DTC's instructions is a violation of the transfer agent's obligations under, among other things, DTC's rule and procedures, such as DTC's Operational Arrangements.
  • Process in the ordinary course of business withdrawal requests submitted by participants and refuse to effectuate withdrawals based upon the Issuer Withdrawal Request.

Since this is a clarification of DTC's rules and procedures, DTC will Start Printed Page 8536continue to not honor Issuer Withdrawal Requests regardless of any purported approval of the Issuer Withdrawal Request by the shareholders or board of directors of the issuer.[3]

DTC believes that the proposed rule filing is consistent with Section 17A of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder because it will promote the prompt and accurate clearance and settlement of securities transactions

(B) Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

DTC does not believe that the proposed rule change will have an impact on or impose a burden on competition.

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

DTC has discussed the substance of this proposed rule change with various DTC participants and industry groups and has received favorable reaction.

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

Within thirty-five days of the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register or within such longer period (i) as the Commission may designate up to ninety days of such date if it finds such longer period to be appropriate and publishes its reasons for so finding or (ii) as to which the self-regulatory organization consents, the Commission will:

(A) By order approve such proposed rule change or

(B) Institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be disapproved.

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. Comments may also be submitted electronically at the following e-mail address: rule-comments@sec.gov. All comment letters should refer to File No. SR-DTC-2003-03. This file number should be included on the subject line if e-mail is used. 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 Section, 450 Fifth Street, NW., Washington, DC 20549 Copies of such filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the DTC. All submissions should refer to File No. SR-DTC-2003-03 and should be submitted by March 14, 2003.

Start Signature

For the Commission by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[4]

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

2.  The Commission has modified the text of the summaries prepared by the DTC.

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3.  The proposed rule filing is not applicable to securities that may not legally be held at DTC (e.g., securities restricted pursuant to Rule 144 or Rule 145 under the Securities Act of 1933).

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[FR Doc. 03-4200 Filed 2-20-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P