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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change by the American Stock Exchange LLC to Extend the Suspension of Transaction Charges for Certain iShares Funds

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Start Preamble August 8, 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 August 1, 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 extend until August 31, 2003 the suspension of Exchange transaction charges for specialist, Registered Trader, and broker-dealer orders for the iShares Lehman 1-3 year Treasury Bond Fund and the iShares Lehman 7-10 year Treasury Bond Fund. Proposed new language is italicized; proposed deletions are in [brackets].

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Amex Equity Fee Schedule

I. Transaction Charges
No change.
II. Regulatory Fee
No Change.
Notes:
1. and 2. No change.
3. Customer transaction charges for the following Portfolio Depositary Receipts, Index Fund Shares, and Trust Issued Receipts have been suspended:
DIA—DIAMONDS®BHH—B2B Internet HOLDRsTM.
QQQ—Nasdaq-100® Index Tracking StockBBH—Biotech HOLDRs.
SPY—SPDRs®BDH—Broadband HOLDRs.
IVV—iShares S&P 500EKH—Europe 2001 HOLDRs.
MDY—MidCap SPDRsIAH—Internet Architecture HOLDRs.
XLY—Select Sector SPDR-ConsumerHHH—Internet HOLDRs
DiscretionaryIIH—Internet Infrastructure HOLDRs.
XLP—Select Sector SPDR-Consumer StaplesMKH—Market 2000+ HOLDRs.
XLE—Select Sector SPDR-EnergyOIH—Oil Service HOLDRs.
XLF—Select Sector SPDR-FinancialPPH—Pharmaceutical HOLDRs.
XLV—Select Sector SPDR-Health CareRKH—Regional Bank HOLDRs.
XLI—Select Sector SPDR-IndustrialRTH—Retail HOLDRs.
XLB—Select Sector SPDR-MaterialsSMH—Semiconductor HOLDRs.
XLK—Select Sector SPDR-TechnologySWH—Software HOLDRs
XLU—Select Sector SPDR-UtilitiesTTH—Telecom HOLDRs.
UTH—Utilities HOLDRs.
WMH—Wireless HOLDRs.
SHY—iShares Lehman 1-3 Year Treasury Bond Fund.
IEF—iShares Lehman 7-10 Year Treasury Bond Fund.
TLT—iShares Lehman 20+ Year Treasury Bond Fund.
LQD—iShares GS $ InvesTop Corporate Bond Fund.
Customer transaction charges for the iShares S&P 100 Index Fund are $.0015 per share ($.15 per 100 shares), capped at $100 per trade.
Until [July 31] August 31, 2003, transaction charges also have been suspended in SHY and IEF for specialist, Registered Trader and broker dealer orders.
* * * * *

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 Amex 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 is extending until August 31, 2003 the suspension of transaction charges in iShares Lehman 1-3 year Treasury Bond Fund (Symbol: SHY) and iShares Lehman 7-10 year Start Printed Page 48970Treasury Bond Fund (Symbol: IEF) for specialist, Registered Trader and broker-dealer orders. The Exchange previously filed a suspension of such charges until November 30, 2002,[3] December 31, 2002,[4] January 31, 2003,[5] February 28, 2003,[6] March 31, 2003,[7] April 30, 2003,[8] May 31, 2003,[9] June 30, 2003,[10] and July 31, 2003.[11]

The Exchange believes that a suspension of fees for the SHY and IEF is appropriate to enhance the competitiveness of executions in these securities on the Amex. The Exchange will reassess the fee suspension as appropriate, and will file any modification to the fee suspension with the Commission pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the 1934 Act.[12]

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act [13] in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(4)[14] in particular, in that it provides for the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees and other charges among its members and other persons using its facilities.

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 and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) [15] 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 shorter 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 five-day pre-filing notice and the 30-day operative delay. The Commission believes that waiving the five-day pre-filing notice and the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. The Commission notes that fee suspensions for the exchange-trade funds that are the subject of this filing have been previously filed with the Commission.[16] Further, extension of the fee suspension for specialist, Registered Trader, and broker-dealer orders will permit the fee suspensions to continue uninterrupted. For these reasons, the Commission designates the proposal to be effective and operative upon filing with the Commission.[17]

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-2003-73 and should be submitted by September 5, 2003.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[18]

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 46765 (November 1, 2002), 67 FR 68893 (November 13, 2002) (SR-Amex-2002-91).

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4.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 46996 (December 13, 2002), 67 FR 78264 (December 23, 2002) (SR-Amex-2002-98).

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5.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 47141 (January 8, 2003), 68 FR 2090 (January 15, 2003) (SR-Amex-2002-115).

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6.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 47361 (February 13, 2003), 68 FR 8534 (February 21, 2003) (SR-Amex-2003-04).

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7.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 47455 (March 6, 2003), 68 FR 12111 (March 13, 2003) (SR-Amex-2003-15).

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8.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 47668 (April 11, 2003), 68 FR 19241 (April 18, 2003) (SR-Amex-2003-22).

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9.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 47858 (May 14, 2003), 68 FR 27872 (May 21, 2003) (SR-Amex-2003-40).

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10.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 47974 (June 4, 2003), 68 FR 35030 (June 11, 2003) (SR-Amex-2003-57).

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11.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 48240 (July 28, 2003), 68 FR 45866 (August 4, 2003) (SR-Amex-2003-67).

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16.  See supra notes 3-10.

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17.  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. 03-20905 Filed 8-14-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P