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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Extension of a Pilot Program That Increases the Standard Position and Exercise Limits for Certain Options Traded on the Exchange

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Start Preamble August 18, 2006.

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 9, 2006, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated (“CBOE” 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 CBOE. The Exchange has filed the proposal as a “non-controversial” rule change pursuant to Section Start Printed Page 5095319(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 CBOE proposes to extend an existing pilot program that increases the standard position and exercise limits for certain options traded on the Exchange (“Pilot Program”). The text of the proposed rule change is available on the CBOE's Web site (http://www.cboe.com), at the CBOE'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 CBOE 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 Pilot Program, as previously approved by the Commission, 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.[5] Specifically, the Pilot Program increased the applicable position and exercise limits for equity options and options on the QQQQ in accordance with the following levels:

Current equity option contract limit 6Pilot 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.
* Except when the Pilot Program is in effect.
Current QQQQ option contract limitPilot program QQQQ option contract limit
300,000 contracts900,000 contracts.

The purpose of the proposed rule change is to extend the Pilot Program for an additional six-month period, through March 1, 2007. The Exchange believes that extending the Pilot Program for six months is warranted due to the positive feedback from members and for the reasons cited in the original rule filing that proposed the adoption of the Pilot Program.[6] Also, the Exchange has not encountered any problems or difficulties relating to the Pilot Program since its inception. For these reasons, the Exchange requests that the Commission extend the Pilot Program for the aforementioned additional period.

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements provided under Section 6(b)(5) [7] of the Act that the rules of an exchange be designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest.

B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

The CBOE 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

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 [8] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.[9]

A proposed rule change filed under 19b-4(f)(6) normally may not become operative prior to 30 days after the date of filing.[10] However, Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) [11] 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.[12]

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 Nancy M. Morris, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, Station Place, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.
Start Printed Page 50954

All submissions should refer to File No. SR-CBOE-2006-69. 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 will also be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the CBOE. 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-CBOE-2006-69 and should be submitted on or before September 18, 2006.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[13]

Nancy M. Morris,

Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

5.  The Pilot Program was approved by the Commission on February 23, 2005. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 51244 (February 23, 2005), 70 FR 10010 (March 1, 2005) (order approving SR-CBOE-2003-30, as amended) (“Pilot Program Order”). The Pilot Program has been extended twice and is due to expire on September 1, 2006. See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 52262 (August 15, 2005), 70 FR 48995 (August 22, 2005) (notice of filing and immediate effectiveness of SR-CBOE-2005-61); and 53348 (February 22, 2006), 71 FR 10574 (March 1, 2006) (notice of filing and immediate effectiveness of SR-CBOE-2006-11).

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6.  See Pilot Program Order, supra note 5.

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10.  17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).

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12.  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).

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[FR Doc. E6-14195 Filed 8-25-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P