Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”), and Rule 19b-4 thereunder, notice is hereby given that on October 1, 2004, the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (“NASD”), filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission” or “SEC”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by NASD. The NASD has filed the proposal as a “non-controversial” rule change pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(iii) of the Act, and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder, which renders the proposal effective upon filing with the Commission. 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
NASD is proposing to amend Rule 6250 to continue to disseminate transaction information for certain TRACE-eligible securities during Stage One of the implementation of SR-NASD-2004-094, notwithstanding that the securities do not meet the frequency standards for such dissemination set forth in Rule 6250(b)(1)(C)(ii). Below is the text of the proposed rule change. Proposed new language is in italics.
6250. Dissemination of Transaction Information
(a) through (c) No change.
(d) Dissemination of Transaction Information for Certain Non-Investment Grade TRACE-Eligible Securities
Until such time as the effective date of (1) Rule 6250(a), (2) the portion of proposed Rule 6250(b)(1)(C)(i) not effective as of October 1, 2004, and (3) Rule 6250(b)(2) (being the effective date of “Stage Two”), information for transactions in Non-Investment Grade TRACE-eligible securities that were subject to dissemination under the Rule 6200 Series prior to October 1, 2004, but that do not meet the frequency standards set forth in Rule 6250(b)(1)(C)(ii), will continue to be disseminated immediately upon receipt of the transaction report. Following the effective date of Stage Two, dissemination of such securities will be subject to all provisions of the Rule 6200 Series then in effect, at which time this paragraph (d) of Rule 6250 shall automatically expire by its own terms.
II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change
In its filing with the Commission, NASD 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. NASD has prepared summaries, set forth in Sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements. Start Printed Page 62313
A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change
The proposed rule change would continue the dissemination of transactions in a very small number (i.e., fewer that 15) of Non-Investment Grade TRACE-eligible securities that are currently subject to dissemination, but that would not be disseminated during the first stage of implementation (although eligible for delayed dissemination) of the recently approved amendments to the Rule 6200 Series that became effective on October 1, 2004 (SR-NASD-2004-094). The proposed rule change would, during the first stage of the two-stage implementation of the dissemination changes taking effect on October 1, 2004, allow NASD to continue to provide transaction information on such TRACE-eligible securities, rather than reduce transparency during such implementation. NASD asserts that this action is in furtherance of the general principles of transparency and the increase in transparency of all TRACE-eligible securities, as discussed by the Bond Transaction Reporting Committee, an advisory committee to the Board of Governors of NASD.
As discussed below, NASD is filing the proposed rule change for immediate effectiveness, and the implementation date will be October 1, 2004.
2. Statutory Basis
NASD believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the provisions of Section 15A(b)(6) of the Act, which requires, among other things, that NASD rules must be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest. NASD believes that the proposed rule change will promote transparency in the debt securities markets for the benefit of customers and other market participants in furtherance of the public interest and for the protection of investors.
B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition
NASD does not believe that the proposed rule change will result in any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act, as amended.
C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants or Others
Written comments were neither solicited nor received.
III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action
Because the proposed rule change: (i) Does not significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (ii) does not impose any significant burden on competition; and (iii) does not become operative for 30 days (or such shorter time as the Commission may designate if consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest) from the date on which it was filed, the proposed rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act  and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.
A proposed rule change filed under Rule 19b-4(f)(6) normally does not become operative prior to 30 days after the date of the filing. However, Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) permits the Commission to designate a shorter time if such action is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. NASD has asked the Commission to waive the 30-day operative delay. The Commission hereby grants this request. The Commission believes that waiving the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest because such waiver will enable NASD to continue to provide transaction information on certain TRACE-eligible securities that have previously been subject to dissemination, but that would not be disseminated during the first stage of implementation of recently approved amendments to the Rule 6200 Series that became effective on October 1, 2004 (SR-NASD-2004-094). NASD has also requested that the Commission waive the pre-filing notice requirement of at least five business days (or such shorter time as designated by the Commission). The Commission hereby grants NASD's request to waive the pre-filing requirement.
At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, 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.
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. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:
- Use the Commission's Internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or
- Send an e-mail to email@example.com. Please include File Number SR-NASD-2004-148 on the subject line.
- Send paper comments in triplicate to Jonathan G. Katz, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 450 Fifth Street, NW., Washington, DC 20549-0609. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NASD-2004-148. 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, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). 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 also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of NASD. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NASD-2004-148 and Start Printed Page 62314should be submitted on or before November 15, 2004.
For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.15
Jill M. Peterson,
5. The NASD asked the Commission to waive the 30-day operative delay. See Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii). 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).Back to Citation
7. Id.Back to Citation
11. See supra, note 6.Back to Citation
13. For purposes only of accelerating the operative date of this proposal, the Commission has considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).Back to Citation
[FR Doc. E4-2820 Filed 10-22-04; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8010-01-P