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Self-Regulatory Organizations; Order Granting Approval of Proposed Rule Change by the International Securities Exchange, Inc. To Increase the Number of Authorized Shares of Class B Common Stock, Series B-2 From 130 to 160

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Start Preamble February 5, 2004.

On December 11, 2003, the International Securities Exchange, Inc. (“Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) a proposed rule change pursuant to section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”) [1] and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,[2] to increase the number of authorized shares of Class B Common Stock, Series B-2 from 130 to 160. This increase would result in the creation of 30 additional Competitive Market Maker (“CMM”) Memberships. The proposed rule change was published for comment in the Federal Register on December 30, 2003.[3] The Commission received no comments on the proposal. This order approves the proposed rule change.

After careful review, the Commission 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.[4] Specifically, the Commission believes that the proposal is consistent with section 6(b)(5) of the Act which requires, among other things, that the Exchange's rule be designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system, and in general, to protect investors and the public interest.

The Commission believes that the sale of 30 additional CMM Memberships may increase the depth and liquidity of the Exchange's market. It may also provide more broker-dealers with an opportunity to participate on the Exchange. The Exchange also represented that it has carefully evaluated its systems capacity and believes that it has more than sufficient capacity to handle the increased number of CMM Members without any adverse effects. Furthermore, the Exchange noted that it would require a purchaser of one of these new Memberships that is not already a CMM to meet all Exchange requirements currently applicable to CMM Members.

It is therefore ordered, pursuant to section 19(b)(2) of the Act,[5] that the proposed rule change (SR-ISE-2003-38) is approved.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.6

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble


3.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 48959 (December 18, 2003), 68 FR 75296.

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4.  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).

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[FR Doc. 04-3026 Filed 2-11-04; 8:45 am]