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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Philadelphia Stock Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Extension of a Pilot Program Concerning Option Position Limits

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Start Preamble August 15, 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 August 12, 2005, the Philadelphia Stock Start Printed Page 49005Exchange, Inc. (“Phlx” 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 Phlx. The Exchange has filed the proposal as a “non-controversial” rule change pursuant to section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act [3] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder,[4] which renders it 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 extend, for a six-month period, a pilot program applicable to Exchange Rule 1001, Position Limits, which increases the standard position and exercise limits for equity option contracts and options on the Nasdaq-100 Index Tracking Stock [5] (“QQQQ”) (“Pilot Program”). The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Phlx's Web site (http://www.phlx.com), at the Phlx's principal office, 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 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 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 proposed rule change is to extend the Pilot Program, which is scheduled to expire September 2, 2005,[6] for an additional six-month period, through March 3, 2006. Position limits impose a ceiling on the number of option contracts in each class on the same side of the market relating to the same underlying security that can be held or written by an investor or group of investors acting in concert. Exchange Rule 1002 (not proposed to be amended herein) establishes corresponding exercise limits. Exercise limits prohibit an investor or group of investors acting in concert from exercising more than a specified number of puts or calls in a particular class within five consecutive business days.

Exchange Rule 1001 subjects equity options to one of five different position limits depending on the trading volume and outstanding shares of the underlying security. Exchange Rule 1002 establishes exercise limits for the corresponding options at the same levels as the corresponding security's position limits.[7]

Standard Position and Exercise Limit

The Pilot Program increases the standard position and exercise limits for equity options traded on the Exchange and for options overlying QQQQ to the following levels:[8]

Current equity option contract limitPilot Program equity option contract limit
13,500 contracts25,000 contracts.
22,500 contracts50,000 contracts.
31,500 contracts75,000 contracts.
60,000 contracts200,000 contracts.
75,000 contracts250,000 contracts.
Current QQQQ Option Contract LimitPilot Program QQQQ Option Contract Limit
300,000 contracts900,000 contracts.

To date, the Exchange believes that there have been no adverse effects on the market as a result of these increases in the limits for equity option contracts and options overlying QQQQ.

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that its proposal is consistent with section 6(b) of the Act [9] in general, and furthers the objective of section 6(b)(5) of the Act [10] in particular, in that it is designed to perfect the mechanisms of a free and open market and the national market system, protect investors and the public interest and promote just and equitable principles of trade, by extending the pilot for an additional six months.

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

Because the forgoing rule change does not: (1) Significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (2) impose any significant burden on competition; and (3) become operative for 30 days after the date of this filing, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate, it has become effective pursuant to section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act [11] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.[12]

A proposed rule change filed under 19b-4(f)(6) normally may not become operative prior to 30 days after the date Start Printed Page 49006of filing.[13] However, Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) [14] 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 notice requirement and the 30-day pre-operative delay. The Commission is exercising its authority to waive the five-day pre-filing requirement and believes that waiver of the 30-day pre-operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and in the public interest. Waiving the five-day pre-filing requirement and 30-day pre-operative delay will allow the Pilot Program to continue uninterrupted.[15]

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 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:

Electronic Comments

Paper Comments

  • Send paper comments in triplicate to Jonathan G. Katz, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, Station Place, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549-9303.

All submissions should refer to File No. SR-Phlx-2005-51. 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, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549. Copies of such filing will also 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 No. SR-Phlx-2005-51 and should be submitted on or before September 12, 2005.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[16]

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

4.  CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6).

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5.  The Nasdaq-100®, Nasdaq-100 Index®, Nasdaq®, The Nasdaq Stock Market®, Nasdaq-100 Shares SM, Nasdaq-100 Trust SM, Nasdaq-100 Index Tracking Stock SM, and QQQ SM are trademarks or service marks of The Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc. (“Nasdaq”) and have been licensed for use for certain purposes by the Phlx pursuant to a License Agreement (“License”) with Nasdaq. The Nasdaq-100 Index® (“Index”) is determined, composed, and calculated by Nasdaq without regard to the Licensee, the Nasdaq-100 Trust SM, or the beneficial owners of Nasdaq-100 Shares SM. Nasdaq has complete control and sole discretion in determining, comprising, or calculating the Index or in modifying in any way its method for determining, comprising, or calculating the Index in the future.

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6.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 51322 (March 4, 2005), 70 FR 12260 (March 11, 2005) (notice of filing and immediate effectiveness of File No. SR-Phlx-2005-17).

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7.  Exchange Rule 1002 states, in relevant part, “ * * * no member or member organization shall exercise, for any account in which such member or member organization has an interest or for the account of any partner, officer, director or employee thereof or for the account of any customer, a long position in any option contract of a class of options dealt in on the Exchange (or, respecting an option not dealt in on the Exchange, another exchange if the member or member organization is not a member of that exchange) if as a result thereof such member or member organization, or partner, officer, director or employee thereof or customer, acting alone or in concert with others, directly or indirectly, has or will have exercised within any five (5) consecutive business days aggregate long positions in that class (put or call) as set forth as the position limit in Rule 1001, in the case of options on a stock or on an Exchange-Traded Fund Share * * *.”

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8.  Except when the Pilot Program is in effect.

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13.  17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).

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15.  For the purposes only of waiving 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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[FR Doc. E5-4549 Filed 8-19-05; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P