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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc.; Order Granting Approval of Proposed Rule Change Relating to Misrepresentations and Omissions in Communications to the Exchange and the Options Clearing Corporation

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble February 13, 2004.

On November 12, 2003, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc. (“CBOE” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”), pursuant to section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”) [1] and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,[2] a proposed rule change to amend CBOE Rule 4.6 (False Statements) and adopt new CBOE Rule 4.22 to distinguish willfully made or material misrepresentations or omissions from other misrepresentations or omissions. In addition, the Exchange proposed to amend CBOE Rule 17.50 to add Rule 4.22 to its Minor Rule Violation Plan and provide a summary fine schedule for violations of Rule 4.22.

The proposed rule change was published for comment in the Federal Register on January 13, 2004.[3] The Commission received no comments on the proposal.

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] In particular, the Commission believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with section 6(b)(6)[5] of the Act because it should enable the Exchange to appropriately discipline its members and persons associated with members for violations of the Act, the rules and regulations thereunder, and the rules of the Exchange. In addition, the Commission believes that the proposal is consistent with Rule 19d-1(c)(2) under the Act,[6] which governs minor rule violation plans

In addition, the Commission believes that he proposed rule change is consistent with section 6(b)(5) of the Act, which requires, among other things, that the Exchange's rules be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, and, in general to protect investors and the public interest. The Commission believes that the rule change should increase the Exchange's ability to prevent members from engaging in dishonest conduct with respect to their communications with the Exchange or the Options Clearing Corporation.

In approving this proposed rule change, the Commission in no way minimizes the importance of compliance with the rules that the Exchange is adding to its minor rule violation plan rules and all other rules subject to the imposition of fines under that plan. The Commission believes that the violation of any self-regulatory organization's rules, as well as Commission rules, is a serious matter. However, in an effort to provide the Exchange with greater flexibility in addressing certain violations, the Exchange's minor rule violation plan provides a reasonable means to address rule violations that do not rise to the level of requiring formal disciplinary proceedings. The Commission expects that the CBOE will continue to conduct surveillance with due diligence, and make a determination based on its findings whether fines of more or less than the recommended amount are appropriate for violations of rules under the Exchange's minor rule violation plan, on a case by case basis, or if a violation requires formal disciplinary action.

It is therefore ordered, pursuant to section 19(b)(2) of the Act,[7] that the proposed rule change (SR-CBOE-2003-54) be, and it hereby is, approved.

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

3.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 49028 (January 6, 2004), 69 FR 2028.

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4.  In approving this proposed rule change, 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. 04-4062 Filed 2-24-04; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P