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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change by the American Stock Exchange LLC Relating to Fees for Amex Specialist and Registered Trader Transactions in ETFs

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Start Preamble November 24, 2003.

Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”),[1] and Rule 19b-4[2] thereunder, notice is hereby given that on November 13, 2003, the American Stock Exchange LLC (“Exchange” or “Amex”) 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 Amex. 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

Amex proposes to modify transaction fees for specialist and registered trader transactions in portfolio depository receipts, index fund shares, and trust issued receipts (collectively referred to as “ETFs”). The text of the proposed rule change is available at 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, 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. 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 Exchange is proposing to reduce transaction fees charged specialists and traders for ETFs. Under the proposed fee changes, specialist per share transaction Start Printed Page 67708fees for ETFs where Amex does not pay unreimbursed fees to a third party would be reduced from $0.0063 per share ($0.63 per hundred shares) to $0.0055 per share ($0.55 per hundred shares). Registered trader per share ETF transaction fees would be reduced from $0.0073 per share ($0.73 per hundred shares) to $0.0060 per share ($0.60 per hundred shares).

With respect to ETF fees where Amex pays unreimbursed fees to a third party, specialist per share ETF transaction fees would be reduced from $0.0070 per share ($0.70 per hundred shares) to $0.0059 per share ($0.59 per hundred shares). Registered trader per share ETF transaction fees would be reduced from $0.0076 per share ($0.76 per hundred shares) to $0.0062 per share ($0.62 per hundred shares).

Specialist per trade transaction fees would remain capped at $300 per trade and registered trader per trade maximum transaction fees would be reduced from $350 to $300. In addition, specialist ETF transaction charges would be capped at $700,000 per month per unit. The Exchange intends to implement the proposed fee changes as of December 1, 2003.

2. Basis

The Exchange believes the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act,[3] in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,[4] in particular, in that it is designed to provide for the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees, and other charges among its members, issuers, and other persons using its facilities.

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

Amex does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act.

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

The foregoing proposed rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(ii) of the Act [5] and subparagraph (f)(2) of Rule 19b-4 [6] thereunder, because it establishes or changes a due, fee, or other charge.

At any time within 60 days of November 13, 2003, 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.[7]

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 in the Commission's Public Reference Room. Copies of such filing will also be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of Amex. All submissions should refer to File No. SR-Amex-2003-95 and should be submitted by December 24, 2003.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[8]

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

[FR Doc. 03-30057 Filed 12-2-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P