Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”), notice is hereby given that on August 11, 2003, the Fixed Income Clearing Corporation (“FICC”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change described in Items I, II, and III below, which items have been prepared primarily by FICC. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested parties.
I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change
FICC is seeking to add adjustable-rate mortgage pass-through securities (“ARMS”) to the GCF Repo service.
II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change
In its filing with the Commission, FICC 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. FICC has prepared summaries, set forth in sections (A), (B), and (C) below, of the most significant aspects of these statements.
(A) Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change
The Government Securities Division (“GSD”) of FICC currently accepts Fannie Mae (“FNMA”), Freddie Mac (“FHLMC”), and Ginnie Mae (“GNMA”) fixed-rate mortgage pass-through securities (“FRMs”) as repurchase agreement collateral in its GCF Repo service. The GSD is proposing to add ARMS  to the GCF Repo service and to amend the GSD Rules to include the appropriate schedules of margin factors, offset classes, and disallowances as they pertain to ARMS.
The GSD believes that ARMS make a logical addition to the categories of securities currently processed in the GCF Repo service for several reasons. ARMS are generally less risky to FICC and investors than FRMs due to their rate reset feature and faster prepayment rates. Both of these factors contribute to shorter effective duration and price fluctuations, resulting in lower margin factors as compared to FRMs. In addition, the correlation factors between ARMS and Treasuries are generally higher than those between FRMs and Treasuries because adjustable rates reflect more of the current rate conditions than fixed rates. Thus, the disallowance factors of ARMS versus Treasuries are smaller than those of FRMs versus Treasuries.
FICC believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements of Section 17A of the Act  and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to FICC because it will promote the prompt and accurate clearance and settlement of securities transactions by enabling the GSD to provide the benefits of its netting, risk management, and settlement services to an expanded pool of securities for its GCF Repo service.
(B) Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition
FICC does not believe that the proposed rule change will have any impact or impose any burden on competition.
(C) Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants or Others
Written comments relating to the proposed rule change have not yet been solicited or received. FICC will notify the Commission of any written comments received by FICC.
III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action
Within thirty-five days of the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register or within such longer period (i) as the Commission may designate up to ninety days of such date if it finds such longer period to be appropriate and publishes its reasons for so finding or (ii) as to which the self-regulatory organization consents, the Commission will:
(A) by order approve such proposed rule change or
(B) institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be disapproved.
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. Comments may also be submitted electronically at the following e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org. All comment letters should refer to File No. SR-FICC-2003-08. This file number should be included on the subject line if e-mail is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, comments should be sent in hardcopy or by e-mail but not by both methods. 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 Section, 450 Fifth Street NW., Washington, DC 20549. Copies of such filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of FICC and on FICC's website at http://www.ficc.com.
All submissions should refer to File No. SR-FICC-2003-08 and should be submitted by February 18, 2004.Start Signature
For the Commission by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.
Margaret H. McFarland,
2. The Commission has modified the text of the summaries prepared by FICC.Back to Citation
3. The GSD's GCF Repo service enables dealer members to freely and actively trade GCF Repos throughout the day without requiring intraday, trade-for-trade settlement on a delivery-versus-payment basis.Back to Citation
4. ARMS are mortgage loans in which the contract rates are reset periodically at a predetermined spread (or margin) over a specified reference index (such as the one-year Constance Maturity Treasury or 6 month LIBOR).Back to Citation
5. The GSD is also proposing to make technical corrections to the relevant schedules to remove references to “GSCC” or to replace them with references to the Government Securities Division as appropriate.Back to Citation
[FR Doc. 04-1758 Filed 1-27-04; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8010-01-P