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Self-Regulatory Organizations; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change by the Chicago Stock Exchange, Incorporated to Reinstate and Extend a Pilot Rule Interpretation Relating to Trading of Nasdaq/NM Securities in Subpenny Increments

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Start Preamble February 14, 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 January 30, 2003, the Chicago Stock Exchange, Incorporated (“CHX” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II and III below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Exchange filed the proposal pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act,[3] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) [4] thereunder, which renders the proposal effective upon filing with the Commission. 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 extend through May 31, 2003, the pilot rule interpretation relating to the trading of Nasdaq/NM securities in subpenny increments. The CHX does not propose to make any substantive or typographical changes to the pilot; the only change is to extend the pilot's expiration date through May 31, 2003. The text of the proposal is available at the Commission and at the CHX.

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 CHX included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for its proposal and discussed any comments it received regarding the proposal. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The CHX 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

On April 6, 2001, the Commission approved, on a pilot basis through July 9, 2001, a pilot rule interpretation (CHX Article XXX, Rule 2, Interpretation and Policy .06 “Trading in Nasdaq/NM Securities in Subpenny Increments”) [5] that requires a CHX specialist (including a market maker who holds customer limit orders) to better the price of a customer limit order in his book which is priced at the national best bid or offer by at least one penny if the specialist determines to trade with an incoming market or marketable limit order. The pilot has been extended five times and is set to expire on January 31, 2003.[6] The CHX now proposes to extend the pilot through May 31, 2003. The CHX proposes no other changes to the pilot, other than extending it through May 31, 2003.

2. Statutory Basis

The CHX believes the proposal is consistent with the requirements of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder that are applicable to a national securities exchange, and, in particular, with the requirements of Section 6(b).[7] In particular, the CHX believes the proposal is consistent with Start Printed Page 8956Section 6(b)(5) of the Act [8] in that it is designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to remove impediments to, and to perfect the mechanism of, a free and open market and a national market system, and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest.

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

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

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

No written comments were either solicited or received.

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

Because the foregoing proposed rule change does not:

(i) Significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest;

(ii) impose any significant burden on competition; and

(iii) become operative for 30 days from the date on which it was filed, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate,

it has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act [9] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.[10] At any time within 60 days of the filing of the 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 Exchange has requested that the Commission waive both the 5-day notice and the 30-day operative delay. The Commission believes waiving the 5-day notice and 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. Acceleration of the operative date will allow the pilot to continue uninterrupted through May 31, 2003, and allow the Commission to further study the trading of Nasdaq/NM securities in subpenny increments. For these reasons, the Commission designates the proposal to be effective and operative upon filing with the Commission.[11]

IV. Solicitation of Comments

Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposal 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 CHX. All submissions should refer to file number SR-CHX-2003-02 and should be submitted by March 19, 2003.

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


4.  17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6). The Commission waived the 5-day pre-filing notice requirement.

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5.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 44164 (April 6, 2001), 66 FR 19263 (April 13, 2001) (SR-CHX-2001-07).

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6.  See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 44535 (July 10, 2001), 66 FR 37251 (July 17, 2001) (extending the pilot through November 5, 2001); 45062 (November 15, 2001), 66 FR 58758 (November 23, 2001) (extending the pilot through January 14, 2002); 45386 (February 1, 2002), 67 FR 6062 (February 8, 2002) (extending the pilot through April 15, 2002); 45755 (April 15, 2002), 67 FR 19607 (April 22, 2002) (extending the pilot through September 30, 2002); and 46587 (October 2, 2002), 67 FR 63180 (October 10, 2002) (extending the pilot through January 31, 2003).

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11.  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).

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[FR Doc. 03-4505 Filed 2-25-03; 8:45 am]