On February 14, 2001, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc. (“CBOE” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”), pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”), and Rule 19b-4 thereunder, a proposed rule change to adopt an obvious error trading rule, CBOE Rule 6.25. On August 15, 2003, the Exchange submitted Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change. On September 12, 2003, the Exchange submitted Amendment No. 2 to the proposed rule change. On September 26, 2003, the Exchange submitted Amendment No. 3 to the proposed rule change. On September 29, 2003, the proposed rule change, as amended, was granted partial accelerated approval on a pilot basis and published for comment in the Federal Register on October 6, 2003. The Commission did not receive any comments on the proposed rule change. On November 17, 2003, the CBOE filed Amendment No. 4 to the proposed rule change. This order approves the proposed rule change, as amended; grants accelerated approval to Amendment No. 4; and solicits comments from interested persons on Amendment No. 4.
II. Discussion and Commission Findings
The Commission has reviewed carefully the proposed rule change and finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to a national securities exchange. In particular, the Commission finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b)(5)  of the Act, which requires that the rules of an exchange be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism for a free and open market and a national market system, and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest.
The Commission considers that in most circumstances trades that are executed between parties should be honored. On rare occasions, the price of the executed trade indicates an “obvious error” may exist, suggesting that it is unrealistic to expect that the parties to the trade had come to a meeting of the minds regarding the terms of the transaction. In the Commission's view, the determination of whether such an “obvious error” has occurred should be based on specific and objective criteria and subject to specific and objective procedures. The Commission believes that the CBOE's Start Printed Page 67499proposed obvious error rule establishes specific and objective criteria for determining when a trade is an “obvious error.” The Commission also believes that the proposal establishes specific and objective procedures governing the adjustment or nullification of such trade. In addition, the Commission notes that several provisions of the CBOE obvious error rule proposal are substantially similar to proposed rule changes submitted by the Pacific Exchange, Inc. to adopt an obvious error rule and by the Exchange to adopt a trade nullification rule for CBOEdirect, both of which the Commission has approved. Finally, the Commission notes that CBOE represented that, with the adoption of CBOE Rule 6.25, the Exchange withdraws the effectiveness of CBOE Regulatory Circular RG 00-169.
The Commission finds good cause, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act, for approving Amendment No. 4 to the proposed rule change prior to the thirtieth day after the date of publication of notice thereof in the Federal Register. Amendment No. 4 strengthens the proposal by clarifying the circumstances under which the CBOE obvious error rule will apply; by describing the meaning of certain provisions contained in CBOE Rule 6.25; and by withdrawing a provision of another CBOE rule that is superceded by CBOE Rule 6.25. Therefore, the Commission believes that granting accelerated approval of Amendment No. 4 is appropriate and consistent with Section 6(b)(5)  of the Act.
III. Solicitation of Comments
Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning Amendment No. 4, including whether Amendment No. 4 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 proposal that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposal 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-CBOE-2001-04 and should be submitted by December 23, 2003.
For the reasons discussed above, the Commission finds that the proposal, as amended, is consistent with the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder.
It is therefore ordered, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act, that the proposed rule change (SR-CBOE-2001-04), as amended, be, and hereby is, approved, and that Amendment No. 4 to the proposed rule change be, and hereby is, approved on an accelerated basis.Start Signature
For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.16
Margaret H. McFarland,
3. See Letter from Steve Youhn, Senior Attorney, CBOE, to Nancy Sanow, Assistant Director, Division of Market Regulation (“Division”), Commission, dated August 14, 2003 (“Amendment No. 1”). Amendment No. 1 replaced the original proposed rule change in its entirety.Back to Citation
4. See Letter from Steve Youhn, Senior Attorney, CBOE, to Nancy Sanow, Assistant Director, Division, Commission, dated September 11, 2003 (“Amendment No. 2”). In Amendment No. 2, the CBOE replaced proposed subparagraph (a)(5) of CBOE Rule 6.25, relating to erroneous quotes in the underlying market, with language substantially similar to CBOE Rule 43.5(b)(4).Back to Citation
5. See Letter from Steve Youhn, Senior Attorney, CBOE, to Nancy Sanow, Assistant Director, Division, Commission, dated September 26, 2003 (“Amendment No. 3”). In Amendment No. 3, the CBOE requested accelerated effectiveness of paragraphs (a)(3), (b), (c), (d), and (e) of proposed CBOE Rule 6.25. The CBOE also requested that paragraphs (a)(3), (b), (c), (d), and (e) of proposed CBOE Rule 6.25 operate as a pilot program until December 1, 2003.Back to Citation
6. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 48556 (September 29, 2003), 68 FR 57716 (“Notice and Partial Approval Order”). In the Notice and Partial Approval Order, the Commission granted accelerated approval to paragraphs (a)(3), (b), (c), (d), and (e) of proposed CBOE Rule 6.25 on a pilot basis.Back to Citation
7. See Letter from Steve Youhn, Senior Attorney, CBOE, to Nancy Sanow, Assistant Director, Division, Commission, dated November 14, 2003 (“Amendment No. 4”). In Amendment No. 4, the Exchange: (1) Amended paragraphs (a)(1)(i) and (c) of proposed CBOE Rule 6.25 to include a reference to the Hybrid Opening System (“HOSS”); (2) defined the term “average trade” in proposed CBOE Rule 6.25(a)(4) based on the definition currently used in CBOE Rule 43.5; (3) requested permanent approval of paragraphs (a)(3), (b), (c), (d), and (e) of CBOE Rule 6.25; (4) deleted CBOE Rule 6.8(d)(iii); (5) amended CBOE Rule 6.20, Interpretation .05 to clarify that trades subject to adjustment or nullification pursuant to CBOE Rule 6.25 shall be subject to the procedures set forth in CBOE Rule 6.25; and (6) made technical corrections to the proposed rule text.Back to Citation
8. For a description of the proposed rule change, see Notice and Partial Approval Order, supra, n. 6.Back to Citation
10. In approving this proposed rule change, the Commission notes that it has considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).Back to Citation
11. See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 48538 (September 23, 2003), 68 FR 56858 (October 2, 2003) (File No. SR-PCX-2002-01); and 47628 (April 3, 2003), 68 FR 17697 (April 10, 2003) (File No. SR-CBOE-00-55).Back to Citation
12. See Amendment No. 1, supra note 3; see also Notice and Partial Approval Order, supra note 6.Back to Citation
[FR Doc. 03-29939 Filed 12-1-03; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8010-01-P