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 June 13, 2006, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated (“Exchange” or “CBOE”) 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 Exchange. CBOE has designated this proposal as non-controversial under Section 19(b)(3)(A)(iii) of the Act  and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder, which renders the proposed rule change 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 Exchange proposes to amend CBOE Rules 5.5(d) and 24.9(a)(2) to extend until July 12, 2007, its pilot program for listing and trading Short Term Options Series (“Pilot Program”). The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's Web site (http://www.cboe.com), at the Exchange'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 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 the proposed rule change is to extend the Pilot Program for an additional year, through July 12, 2007. The Pilot Program allows CBOE to list and trade Short Term Option Series, which expire one week after the date on which a series is opened. Under the Pilot Program, CBOE may select up to five approved option classes on which Short Term Option Series could be opened. A series could be opened on any Friday that is a business day and would expire on the next Friday that is a business day. If a Friday were not a Start Printed Page 35719business day, the series could be opened (or would expire) on the first business day immediately prior to that Friday.
For each class selected for the Pilot Program, the Exchange usually would open five Short Term Option Series in that class for each expiration date. The strike price of each Short Term Option Series is fixed at a price per share, with at least two strike prices above and two strike prices below the value of the underlying security or calculated index value at about the time that the Short Term Option Series is opened. CBOE will not open a Short Term Option Series in the same week that the corresponding monthly option series is expiring, because the monthly option series in its last week before expiration is functionally equivalent to the Short Term Option Series. The interval between strike prices on a Short Term Option Series is the same as the interval between strike prices on the corresponding monthly option series. Finally, CBOE aggregates a Short Term Option Series with its corresponding monthly series for purposes of the Exchange's rules on position limits.
The Exchange has selected the following four option classes to participate in the Pilot Program: S&P 500 Index options (SPX), S&P 100 Index American-style options (OEX), Mini-S&P 500 Index options (XSP), and S&P 100 Index European-style options (XEO). CBOE believes the Pilot Program has been successful and well received by its members and the investing public. Thus, CBOE proposes to extend the Pilot Program through July 12, 2007.
In support of the proposed rule change, and as required by the Pilot Program Approval Order, the Exchange submitted a Pilot Program report (the “Report”) to the Commission as Exhibit 3 to its filing. Among other things, the Report contains data and analysis regarding the four option classes included in the Pilot Program. The Report is available for examination at the places specified in Item IV below.
The Exchange believes there is sufficient investor interest and demand to extend the Pilot Program another year. The Exchange believes that the Pilot Program has provided investors with additional means of managing their risk exposures and carrying out their investment objectives. Furthermore, the Exchange has not experienced any capacity-related problems with respect to Short Term Option Series.
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 in that it is designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system, and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest. The Exchange believes that extension of the Pilot Program will result in a continuing benefit to investors, by allowing them additional means to manage their risk exposures and carry out their investment objectives, and will allow the Exchange to further study investor interest in Short Term Option Series.
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 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
The Exchange has filed the proposed rule change pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act  and subparagraph (f)(6) of Rule 19b-4 thereunder. Because the foregoing proposed rule change (i) Does not significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (ii) does not impose any significant burden on competition; and (iii) 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 and Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) thereunder. As required under Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii), the Exchange provided the Commission with written notice of its intent to file the proposed rule change at least five business before doing so.
A proposed rule change filed under Rule 19b-4(f)(6) normally does not become operative for 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 asked the Commission to waive the operative delay to permit the Pilot Program extension to become effective prior to the 30th day after filing.
The Commission believes that waiving the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest because it will allow the benefits of the Pilot Program to continue without interruption. Therefore, the Commission designates that the proposal will become operative on July 12, 2006.
At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission may summarily abrogate the rule change if it appears to the Start Printed Page 35720Commission 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.
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 No. SR-CBOE-2006-48 on the subject line.
- Send paper comments in triplicate to Nancy M. Morris, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.
All submissions should refer to File Number SR-CBOE-2006-48. 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 such filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. 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-CBOE-2006-48 and should be submitted on or before July 12, 2006.Start Signature
For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.
Nancy M. Morris,
5. The Commission approved the Pilot Program on July 12, 2005. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 52011 (July 12, 2005), 70 FR 41451 (July 19, 2005) (SR-CBOE-2004-63) (“Pilot Program Approval Order”). Under Rules 5.5 and 24.9, the Pilot Program is scheduled to expire on July 12, 2006.Back to Citation
6. A Short Term Option Series could be opened in any option class that satisfied the applicable listing criteria under CBOE rules (i.e., stock options, options on exchange-traded funds as defined under Interpretation and Policy .06 to CBOE rule 5.3, or options on indexes). The Exchange could also list and trade Short Term Option Series on any option class that is selected by another exchange that employs a similar pilot program, though to date the Exchange is not aware of any other exchanges listing Short Term Option Series.Back to Citation
7. Short Term Option Series are settled in the same manner as the monthly expiration series in the same class. Thus, if the monthly option contract for a particular class were A.M.-settled, as most index options are, the Short Term Option Series for that class also would be A.M.-settled; if the monthly option contract for a particular class were P.M.-settled, as most non-index options are, the Short Term Option Series for that class also would be P.M.-settled. The Exchange notes that certain monthly expiration index options—specifically, American- and European-style options on the S&P 100 Index (OEX and XEO, respectively)—are P.M.-settled. Therefore, Short Term Option Series in these series would also be P.M.-settled. Similarly, Short Term Option Series for a particular class are physically settled or cash-settled in the same manner as the monthly option contract in that class.Back to Citation
12. Telephone conversation between Jennifer Lamie, Managing Senior Attorney, CBOE, and Nathan Saunders, Special Counsel, Division of Market Regulation, Commission, June 13, 2006.Back to Citation
13. For purposes only of waiving the 30-day operative delay, the Commission has considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. See 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).Back to Citation
14. As set forth in the Commission's original release providing notice of the Pilot Program, if the Exchange were to propose an extension, an expansion, or permanent approval of the Pilot Program, the Exchange would submit, along with any filing proposing such amendments to the program, a report that would provide an analysis of the Pilot Program covering the entire period during which the Pilot Program was in effect. The report would include, at a minimum: (1) Data and written analysis on the open interest and trading volume in the classes for which Short Term Option Series were opened; (2) an assessment of the appropriateness of the option classes selected for the Pilot Program; (3) an assessment of the impact of the Pilot Program on the capacity of CBOE, OPRA, and market data vendors (to the extent data from market data vendors is available); (4) any capacity problems or other problems that arose during the operation of the Pilot Program and how CBOE addressed such problems; (5) any complaints that CBOE received during the operation of the Pilot Program and how CBOE addressed them; and (6) any additional information that would assist in assessing the operation of the Pilot Program. The report must be submitted to the Commission at least sixty (60) days prior to the expiration date of the Pilot Program. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 51172 (February 9, 2005), 70 FR 7979, 7980 (February 16, 2005) (SR-CBOE-2004-63).Back to Citation
[FR Doc. E6-9692 Filed 6-20-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8010-01-P