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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 a Suspension of Transaction Charges for Certain Exchange Traded Funds

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Start Preamble Start Printed Page 52244 August 26, 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 22, 2003, the American Stock Exchange LLC (“Amex” 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) thereunder,[4] which renders the proposal effective upon filing with the Commission.[5] 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 Amex proposes to extend until September 30, 2003, the suspension of Amex transaction charges for the iShares Lehman 1-3 year Treasury Bond Fund and iShares Lehman 7-10 year Treasury Bond Fund for specialist, Registered Trader and broker-dealer orders. The text of the proposed rule change is available at the Amex and at the Commission.

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 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 Amex 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 Amex is extending until September 30, 2003, the suspension of transaction charges in iShares Lehman 1-3 year Treasury Bond Fund (Symbol: SHY) and iShares Lehman 7-10 year Treasury Bond Fund (Symbol: IEF), for specialist, Registered Trader and broker-dealer orders. The Exchange initially filed a suspension in such charges until November 30, 2002 in SR-Amex-2002-91. The fee suspension has subsequently been extended, most recently until August 30, 2003, in SR-Amex-2003-73. No other changes are proposed with this filing.

The Exchange believes a suspension of fees for the two iShares Funds 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 Act.

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that the proposal is consistent with section 6(b) of the Act [6] in general, and furthers the objectives of section 6(b)(4) [7] in particular in that it is intended to assure the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees, and other charges among the Amex's members and issuers and other persons using its facilities.

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

The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change will not impose a 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 solicited or received with respect to the proposed rule change.

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 [8] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.[9] 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 Amex has requested that the Commission waive the 30-day operative delay. The Commission believes waiving the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. Acceleration of the operative date will permit the Amex to suspend these fees immediately. For these reasons, the Commission designates the proposal to be effective and operative upon filing with the Commission.[10]

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 Start Printed Page 52245Commission 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 Amex. All submissions should refer to file number SR-Amex-2003-76 and should be submitted by September 23, 2003.

For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[11]

Start Signature

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

5.  The Exchange provided the Commission with notice of its intention to file this proposed rule change on August 20, 2003. The Commission reviewed the pre-filing notice and advised the Amex to file the proposed rule change. August 20, 2003 conversation between Michael Cavalier, Associate General Counsel (“AGC”), Amex, and Joseph P. Morra, Special Counsel, Division of Market Regulation (“Division”), Commission. On August 26, 2003, the Amex asked the Commission to waive the 30-day operative delay. August 26, 2003 telephone conversation between Michael Cavalier, AGC, Amex, and Joseph P. Morra, Special Counsel, Division, Commission. See Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii). 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).

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10.  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. 03-22233 Filed 8-29-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P