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 March 31, 2005, the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, Inc. (“Phlx” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Phlx submitted Amendments No. 1 and No. 2 to the proposal on April 27, 2005, and May 4, 2005, respectively. The proposed rule change has been filed by the Phlx as establishing or changing a due, fee, or other charge, pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(ii) of the Act  and Rule 19b-4(f)(2)  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
The Phlx proposes to amend its schedule of fees to amend its fee cap on equity option transaction and comparison charges on dividend spread transactions  for a security with a declared dividend or distribution of less than $0.25. For these transactions, the Registered Options Trader (“ROT”) and specialist equity option transaction and comparison fees will be capped at $1,000 per dividend spread transaction effected pursuant to a dividend spread strategy executed on the same trading day in the same options class. The fee cap will be implemented after any applicable rebates are applied to ROT and specialist equity option transaction and comparison charges. The proposed fee cap would be effective for trades settling on or after April 1, 2005. The proposed fee cap will be in effect as a pilot program that will expire on September 1, 2005.
The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Phlx's Web site (http://www.phlx.com), at the Phlx's Office of the Secretary, and at the Commission.
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 Phlx 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 Phlx 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
The Exchange imposes a fee cap of $1,750 on ROT and specialist equity option transaction and comparison charges on dividend spread transactions and merger spread transactions. The purpose of capping at $1,000 the ROT and specialist transaction and comparison charges for dividend spread transactions for a security with a declared dividend or distribution of less than $0.25 is to attract additional liquidity to the Exchange. In addition, the fee cap should provide an opportunity for specialists and ROTs to engage in additional dividend opportunities in lower dividend distributions at a reduced rate, whereas the $1,750 current fee cap may not be economically beneficial because as the dividend distribution amount declines, the opportunity for a profitable strategy also declines. Thus, a lower cap should provide additional dividend strategy opportunities and additional business to the Exchange.
2. Statutory Basis
The Exchange believes that its proposal to amend its schedule of fees is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act, in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(4) of the Act, in particular, in that it is an equitable allocation of reasonable fees among Exchange members.
B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition
The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any inappropriate burden on competition.
C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received from Members, Participants, or Others
No written comments were either solicited or received.
III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action
The foregoing proposed rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(ii) of the Act  and Rule 19b-4(f)(2)  thereunder, because it changes a fee imposed by the Exchange. 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, Start Printed Page 24852or 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include File Number SR-Phlx-2005-22 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-Phlx-2005-22. 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 Phlx. 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-Phlx-2005-22 and should be submitted on or before June 1, 2005.Start Signature
For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.
Margaret H. McFarland,
3. Amendment No. 1 made clarifying and minor technical changes to the text of the proposal.Back to Citation
4. Amendment No. 2 included the expiration date of the pilot program regarding the Exchange's fee caps for dividend and merger spread transactions as part of the text of its fee schedule. See also Securities Exchange Act Release No. 51596 (April 21, 2005), 70 FR 22381 (April 29, 2005) (SR-Phlx-2005-19).Back to Citation
7. For purposes of this proposal, a “dividend spread” transaction is any trade done within a defined time frame pursuant to a strategy in which a dividend arbitrage can be achieved between any two deep-in-the-money options.Back to Citation
8. The Exchange provides a rebate for certain contracts executed in connection with transactions occurring as part of a dividend spread strategy. Specifically, for those options contracts executed pursuant to a dividend spread strategy, the Exchange rebates $0.08 per contract side for ROT executions and $0.07 per side for specialist executions on the business day before the underlying stock's ex-date. The ex-date is the date on or after which a security is traded without a previously declared dividend or distribution. After the ex-date, a stock is said to trade ex-dividend. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 48983 (December 23, 2003), 68 FR 75703 (December 31, 2003) (SR-Phlx-2003-80).Back to Citation
9. For purposes of this proposal, the Exchange defines a “merger spread” transaction as a transaction executed pursuant to a merger spread strategy involving the simultaneous purchase and sale of options of the same class and expiration date, but different strike prices, followed by the exercise of the resulting long options position, each executed prior to the date on which shareholders of record are required to elect their respective form of consideration, i.e., cash or stock. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 51596 (April 21, 2005) (SR-Phlx-2005-19).Back to Citation
10. Similar to the Exchange's current rebate process, members who wish to benefit from the proposed fee cap will be required to submit to the Exchange a written rebate request with supporting documentation.Back to Citation
15. See 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(C). For purposes of calculation the 60-day abrogation period, the Commission considers the period to commence on May 4, 2005, the date the Phlx filed Amendment No. 2.Back to Citation
[FR Doc. E5-2306 Filed 5-10-05; 8:45 am]
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