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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Boston Stock Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change and Amendment No. 1 Thereto Relating to Limitations on End-of-Day Trade-Through Liability on the Boston Options Exchange

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Start Preamble January 31, 2005.

Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”),[1] and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,[2] notice is hereby given that on January 28, 2005, the Boston Stock Exchange, Inc. (“BSE” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by the BSE. On January 31, 2005, the Exchange filed Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change.[3] The Exchange has filed the proposal as a “non-controversial” rule change pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act,[4] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder,[5] which renders the proposal effective upon filing with the Commission.[6] The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change, as amended, from interested persons.

I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

The Exchange proposes to extend a pilot program relating to certain limitations on trade-through liability. The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's Web site (http://www.bostonstock.com), at the Exchange's Office of the Secretary, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

In its filing with the Commission, the BSE 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. The Exchange 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 purpose of the filing is to conform Boston Options Exchange (“BOX”) rules to Joint Amendment No. 14 to the Plan for the Purpose of Creating and Operating an Intermarket Option Linkage (“Linkage Plan”) to extend the linkage pilot program limiting trade-through liability at the end of the options trading day. Pursuant to the pilot as currently in effect, a BOX Options Participant's [7] trade-through liability is limited to 25 contracts per Satisfaction Order [8] for the period between five minutes prior to the close of trading in the underlying security and the close of trading in the options class. The Linkage Plan participants proposed this limitation on liability as a one-year pilot in Joint Amendment No. 4 to the Linkage Plan. The Commission temporarily approved the pilot on January 31, 2003,[9] followed by approval on June 18, 2003.[10] The Commission then granted two extensions of the pilot, first until June 30, 2004 [11] and then until January 31, 2005.[12]

The Exchange is proposing to extend the pilot in BOX's Rules for an additional year, until January 31, 2006. In addition, the Exchange proposes to increase the limit on trade-through liability at the end of the day from 25 contracts to 50 contracts per Satisfaction Order. This increase in the limit on liability would be effective on February 1, 2005, when the current pilot expires. The period during which this limit will apply will remain the same, from five minutes prior to the close of trading in the underlying security until the close of trading in the options class. Start Printed Page 6476

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that the proposal is consistent with the requirements of Section 6(b) of the Act,[13] in general, and Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,[14] in particular, in that it is designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest.

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

The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition 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

The Exchange has neither solicited nor received comments on the proposed rule change.

III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

Because the foregoing rule change: (1) Does not significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (2) does not impose any significant burden on competition; and (3) does not become operative for 30 days from the date on which it was filed, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate if consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest, the proposed rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act [15] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.[16]

A proposed rule change filed under Rule 19b-4(f)(6) [17] normally does not become operative prior to 30 days after the date of 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. The Exchange has requested that the Commission waive the five-day pre-filing requirement and the 30-day operative delay, as specified in Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii), and designate the proposed rule change immediately operative.

The Commission believes that waiving the five-day pre-filing provision and the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest.[18] By waiving the pre-filing requirement and accelerating the operative date, the Pilot Program can continue without interruption. The Commission believes that allowing the pilot to continue will allow Participants to either gather sufficient information to justify the need for the pilot program or determine that the exemption from trade-through liability is no longer necessary. Increasing the maximum number of contracts to be satisfied with respect to Satisfaction Orders in the last seven minutes of trading in options to 50 contracts will enhance customer order protection.

At any time within 60 days of the filing of such 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.[19]

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:

Electronic Comments

Paper Comments

  • 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-BSE-2005-08. 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, 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 the filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the BSE. 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 SR-BSE-2005-08 and should be submitted on or before February 28, 2005.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[20]

Jill M. Peterson,

Assistant Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  See Partial Amendment dated January 31, 2005 (“Amendment No. 1”). In Amendment No. 1, the Exchange corrected an error in Item 8 of Form 19b-4.

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6.  The BSE 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).

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7.  See Section 1(40) of Chapter I of the BOX Rules.

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8.  See Section 2(16)(c) of the Linkage Plan.

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9.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 47298 (January 31, 2003), 68 FR 6524 (February 7, 2003).

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10.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 48055 (June 18, 2003), 68 FR 37869 (June 25, 2003),

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11.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 49146 (January 29, 2004), 69 FR 5618 (February 5, 2004).

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12.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 49863 (June 15, 2004), 69 FR 35081 (June 23, 2004). This extension increased the maximum liability from 10 to 25 contracts.

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18.  For purposes 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).

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19.  For purposes of calculating the 60-day period within which the Commission may summarily abrogate the proposed rule change under Section 19(b)(3)(C) of the Act, the Commission considers the period to commence on January 31, 2005, the date the Exchange filed Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change. See 15 U.S.C. 78s(c)(3)(C).

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[FR Doc. E5-475 Filed 2-4-05; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P