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 February 15, 2006, 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. The Exchange has filed the proposal as a “non-controversial” rule change pursuant to section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act  and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder, 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 BSE proposes to amend the rules of the Boston Options Exchange (“BOX”), an options trading facility of the BSE, to extend its current pilot program to increase the standard position and exercise limits for equity option contracts and options on the Nasdaq-100 Index Tracking Stock (“QQQQ”) (“Pilot Program”). The text of the proposed rule change is available on the BSE's Web site (http://www.bostonstock.com), at the BSE'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 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
The Pilot Program provides for an increase to the standard position and exercise limits for equity option contracts and for options on QQQQs for a six-month period. Specifically, the Pilot Program increased the applicable position and exercise limits for equity options and options on the QQQQ to the following levels:
|Current equity option contract limit 6||Pilot program equity option contract limit|
|Current QQQQ option contract limit||Pilot Program QQQQ option contract limit|
The Exchange believes that extending the Pilot Program for six months is warranted due to positive feedback from members and for the reasons cited in the original rule filing that proposed the adoption of the Pilot Program. In addition, BOX has not encountered any problems or difficulties relating to the Pilot Program since its inception. For these reasons, the BSE requests that the Commission extend the Pilot Program for an additional period of approximately six months, through and including September 1, 2006.
2. Statutory Basis
The Exchange believes that its proposal is consistent with section 6(b) of the Act, in general, and furthers the objective of section 6(b)(5) of the Act, in particular, in that it is designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade and 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.
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 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 Start Printed Page 10574Commission may designate, it 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 19b-4(f)(6) normally may 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 provided the Commission with written notice of its intent to file this proposed rule change at least five business days prior to the date of filing the proposed rule change. In addition, the Exchange has requested that the Commission waive the 30-day pre-operative delay. The Commission believes that waiving the 30-day pre-operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and in the public interest because it will allow the Pilot Program to continue uninterrupted.
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:
- 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 No. SR-BSE-2006-07 on the subject line.
- Send paper comments in triplicate to Nancy M. Morris, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, Station Place, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.
All submissions should refer to File No. SR-BSE-2006-07. 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 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 No. SR-BSE-2006-07 and should be submitted on or before March 22, 2006.Start Signature
For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.
Nancy M. Morris,
5. The Pilot Program, which commenced on March 3, 2005, is set to expire on March 3, 2006. See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 51317 (March 3, 2005), 70 FR 12254 (March 11, 2005) (notice of filing and immediate effectiveness of File No. SR-BSE-2005-10) (“Pilot Program Notice”). See also Securities Exchange Act Release No. 52264 (August 15, 2005), 70 FR 48992 (August 22, 2005) (notice of filing and immediate effectiveness of File No. SR-BSE-2005-37, which extended the Pilot Program).Back to Citation
6. Except when the Pilot Program is in effect.Back to Citation
7. See Pilot Program Notice, supra note 5.Back to Citation
13. Id.Back to Citation
14. For the purposes only of waiving the pre-operative delay, 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. E6-2817 Filed 2-28-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8010-01-P