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 December 27, 2005, the International Securities Exchange, Inc. (“ISE” 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 ISE. 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 ISE proposes to amend its rules governing the hours of trading in equity options and narrow-based index Start Printed Page 2280options. The Exchange proposes that these changes be implemented on February 1, 2006. The text of the proposed rule change is available on the ISE's Web site (http://www.iseoptions.com), at the ISE'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 Exchange 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
The purpose of this rule change is to amend ISE Rule 700 governing the hours of trading in equity options and narrow-based index options. Specifically, the ISE proposes to amend its rule to change the close of the normal trading hours in options on individual stocks and narrow-based indexes from 4:02 p.m. to 4 p.m. (New York time). After the change, the time of the close of trading in these ISE options will correspond to the normal time set for the close of trading on the primary exchanges listing the stocks underlying the ISE options. The primary exchanges generally close at 4 p.m. (New York time).
The Exchange notes that in 1997 the closing time for options on individual stocks and narrow-based index was changed from 4:10 p.m. to 4:02 p.m. (New York time). The rationale to continue trading options for some limited period of time after the close of trading on the primary markets for the underlying securities was that the extended period allowed options traders to respond to late reports of closing prices over the consolidated tape. If the price of a late reported trade on an underlying security was substantially different from the previous reported price, the extended trading session would give options traders the opportunity to bring options quotes in line with the closing price of the underlying security.
However, because of improvements in the processing and reporting of transactions, the ISE believes that there often are no longer significant delays in the reporting of closing prices, and, therefore, a two minute session is no longer needed to trade options after the underlying securities close trading. Additionally, the Exchange believes that pricing aberrations can occur if an option is traded when the underlying stock is no longer trading, since there is a close relationship in the price of the underlying stock and the overlying option. As a result, the ISE believes that it is difficult for the market to price options accurately when the underlying security is not trading.
As noted above, the Exchange also proposes to change the closing time for options on narrow-based indexes, as defined in ISE Rule 2001, because these indexes are subject to the same pricing problems as options on individual stocks. According to the ISE, a significant news announcement on one component of a narrow-based index could have a significant effect on that index. However, the Exchange is not at this time proposing to change the closing time of 4:15 p.m. for options on a broad-based index, as defined in ISE Rule 2001, because the ISE believes that it is unlikely that a significant news announcement by the issuer on one component stock of a broad-based index is likely to have a significant effect on the price of that broad-based index. Accordingly, the Exchange is also proposing to codify a 4:15 p.m. closing time for options on a broad-based index.
The Exchange notes that if it were to unilaterally modify its closing time, the existence of dissimilar closing times applicable to the different options exchanges would likely lead to confusion for options investors and broker-dealers. It is the ISE's understanding that all of the options exchanges have determined to change their respective rules to adjust the closing time in options on individual stocks and narrow-based indexes from 4:02 p.m. to 4 p.m. (New York time). The ISE further understands that the options exchanges collectively have determined that they would implement this new closing time on February 1, 2006.
2. Statutory Basis
The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act  in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act  in particular, because it is designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to remove and perfect the mechanisms of a free and open market and a national market system and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest.
B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition
The ISE does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition that is 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
No written comments were solicited or received with respect to the proposed rule change.
III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action
Within 35 days of the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register or within such longer period (i) as the Commission may designate up to 90 days of such date if it finds such longer period to be appropriate and publishes its reasons for so finding or (ii) as to which the Exchange consents, the Commission will:
(A) By order approve such proposed rule change, or
(B) Institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be disapproved.
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 at (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or
- Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include File Number SR-ISE-2005-58 on the subject line.
- Send paper comments in triplicate to Nancy M. Morris, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549-9303.
All submissions should refer to File Number SR-ISE-2005-58. This file Start Printed Page 2281number 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 Section. Copies of such filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the ISE. 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-ISE-2005-58 and should be submitted on or before January 30, 2006.Start Signature
For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.
Nancy M. Morris,
[FR Doc. E6-255 Filed 1-12-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8010-01-P