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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of Proposed Rule Change to Trade the iShares® S&P Europe 350 Index Fund Pursuant to Unlisted Trading Privileges

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble December 22, 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 October 18, 2006, NYSE Arca, Inc. (“NYSE Arca” 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 substantially prepared by the Exchange. The Commission is publishing this notice and order to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons and to approve the proposed rule change on an accelerated basis.

I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

The Exchange, through its wholly-owned subsidiary NYSE Arca Equities, Inc. (“NYSE Arca Equities”), proposes to trade shares (“Shares”) of the iShares S&P Europe 350 Index Fund (“Fund”) (Symbol: IEV) pursuant to unlisted trading privileges (“UTP”) based on NYSE Arca Equities Rule 5.2(j)(3).

The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's Web site (http://www.nysearca.com), at the principal office of the Exchange, 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 III 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 Exchange is proposing to trade the Shares pursuant to UTP. The Fund seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the Standard & Poor's Europe 350 Index (“Index”). The Index measures the performance of the stocks of leading companies in the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The market capitalization of constituent companies is adjusted to reflect only those stocks Start Printed Page 174that are available to foreign investors. The stocks in the Index are chosen for market size, liquidity, industry group representation, and geographic diversity. The Fund uses a representative sampling strategy to try to track the Index.

The Commission previously approved the original listing and trading of the Fund on the American Stock Exchange, LLC (“Amex”).[3] The Fund was subsequently listed on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”).[4] The Exchange deems Shares of the Fund to be equity securities, thus rendering trading in the Shares subject to the Exchange's existing rules governing the trading of equity securities. The trading hours for the Shares on the Exchange would be the same as those set forth in NYSE Arca Equities Rule 7.34, except that the Shares would not trade during the Opening Session (4 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time) unless the Indicative Optimized Portfolio Value (“IOPV”) is calculated and disseminated during that time.

Quotations for and last sale information regarding the Shares are disseminated through the Consolidated Quotation System. NYSE disseminates, every 15 seconds during regular NYSE trading hours of 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. (Eastern Time), the value of the underlying Index and this information is widely disseminated by quotation vendors. NYSE also disseminates, every 15 seconds during regular NYSE trading hours, an IOPV for the Fund calculated by a securities information provider and this information is widely disseminated by market data vendors. The net asset value (“NAV”) of the Fund, however, is calculated only once a day. Therefore, the IOPV may not reflect the value of all securities included in the Index and thus may not reflect the precise composition of the current portfolio of securities held by the Fund at a particular moment. The IOPV is intended to closely approximate the value per share of the portfolio of securities for the Fund and provide for a close proxy of the NAV at a greater frequency for investors.

The Fund includes companies trading in markets with trading hours overlapping regular NYSE trading hours. For this Fund, the IOPV calculator updates the IOPV during the overlap period every 15 seconds to reflect price changes of the Index components in the principal foreign market and converts such prices into U.S. dollars based on the current currency exchange rate. When the foreign market or markets are closed but NYSE is open for trading, the IOPV is updated every 15 seconds of the Index components to reflect changes in currency exchange rates.

The Commission has granted the Fund an exemption from certain prospectus delivery requirements under Section 24(d) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (“1940 Act”).[5] Any product description used in reliance on the Section 24(d) exemptive order will comply with all representations made and all conditions contained in the Fund's application for orders under the 1940 Act.[6]

In connection with the trading of the Shares, the Exchange would inform ETP Holders in an Information Circular of the special characteristics and risks associated with trading the Shares, including how Fund Shares are created and redeemed, the prospectus or product description delivery requirements applicable to the Shares, applicable Exchange rules, how information about the value of the underlying Index is disseminated, and trading information.

In addition, before an ETP Holder recommends a transaction in the Shares, the ETP Holder must determine the Fund is suitable for the customer, as required by NYSE Arca Equities Rule 9.2(a)-(b).

The Exchange intends to utilize its existing surveillance procedures applicable to derivative products to monitor trading in the Shares. The Exchange represents that these procedures are adequate to monitor Exchange trading of the Shares.

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act [7] in general and Section 6(b)(5) of the Act [8] in particular in that it is designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to foster cooperation and coordination with persons engaged in facilitating transactions in securities, and to remove impediments and perfect the mechanisms of a free and open market and to protect investors and the public interest. In addition, the Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with Rule 12f-5 under the Act [9] because it deems the Shares to be equity securities, thus rendering trading in the Shares subject to the Exchange's existing rules governing the trading of equity securities.

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

The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change would 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

Written comments on the proposed rule change were neither solicited nor received.

III. 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, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NYSEArca-2006-33. 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 Start Printed Page 175available 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-NYSEArca-2006-33 and should be submitted on or before January 23, 2007.

IV. Commission's Findings and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of the Proposed Rule Change

After careful review, the Commission finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to a national securities exchange.[10] In particular, the Commission finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,[11] which requires that an exchange have rules designed, among other things, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, 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 Commission believes that this proposal should benefit investors by increasing competition among markets that trade the Shares.

In addition, the Commission finds that the proposal is consistent with Section 12(f) of the Act,[12] which permits an exchange to trade, pursuant to UTP, a security that is listed and registered on another exchange.[13] The Commission notes that it previously approved the listing and trading of the Shares on Amex and subsequently on NYSE.[14] The Commission also finds that the proposal is consistent with Rule 12f-5 under the Act,[15] which provides that an exchange shall not extend UTP to a security unless the exchange has in effect a rule or rules providing for transactions in the class or type of security to which the exchange extends UTP. The Exchange has represented that it meets this requirement because it deems the Shares to be equity securities, thus rendering trading in the Shares subject to the Exchange's existing rules governing the trading of equity securities.

The Commission further believes that the proposal is consistent with Section 11A(a)(1)(C)(iii) of the Act,[16] which sets forth Congress' finding that it is in the public interest and appropriate for the protection of investors and the maintenance of fair and orderly markets to assure the availability to brokers, dealers, and investors of information with respect to quotations for and transactions in securities. Quotations for and last sale information regarding the Shares are disseminated through the Consolidated Quotation System. Furthermore, the IOPV calculator updates the IOPV for the Fund every 15 seconds to reflect price changes of the Index components in the principal foreign markets, and converts such prices into U.S. dollars based on the current currency exchange rate. When the foreign market or markets are closed but NYSE is open for trading, the IOPV will be updated every 15 seconds to reflect changes in currency exchange rates. Furthermore, NYSE Arca Equities Rule 7.34 describes the circumstances where the Exchange would halt trading when the IOPV or the value of the underlying Index is not calculated or widely available.

The Commission notes that, if the Shares should be delisted by the listing exchange, the Exchange would no longer have authority to trade the Shares pursuant to this order.

In support of this proposal, the Exchange has made the following representations:

1. The Exchange's surveillance procedures are adequate to monitor the trading of the Shares.

2. In connection with the trading of the Shares, the Exchange would inform ETP Holders in an Information Circular of the special characteristics and risks associated with trading the Shares.

3. The Information Circular would inform participants of the prospectus or product delivery requirements applicable to the Shares.

This approval order is conditioned on the Exchange's adherence to these representations.

The Commission finds good cause for approving this proposal before the thirtieth day after the publication of notice thereof in the Federal Register. As noted previously, the Commission previously found that the listing and trading of the Shares on Amex and subsequently on NYSE is consistent with the Act. The Commission presently is not aware of any regulatory issue that should cause it to revisit that earlier finding or preclude the trading of the Shares on the Exchange pursuant to UTP. Therefore, accelerating approval of this proposal should benefit investors by creating, without undue delay, additional competition in the market for the Shares.

V. Conclusion

It is therefore ordered, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act,[17] that the proposed rule change (SR-NYSEArca-2006-33) is approved on an accelerated basis.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[18]

Jill M. Peterson,

Assistant Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 42786 (May 15, 2000), 65 FR 33586 (May 24, 2000) (SR-Amex-99-49).

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4.   See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 52761 (November 10, 2005), 70 FR 70010 (November 18, 2005) (SR-NYSE-2005-76).

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6.  See In the Matter of iShares, Inc., et al., Investment Company Act Release No. 25623 (June 25, 2002).

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10.  In approving this rule change, the Commission notes that it has considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. See 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).

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13.  Section 12(a) of the Act, 15 U.S.C. 78l(a), generally prohibits a broker-dealer from trading a security on a national securities exchange unless the security is registered on that exchange pursuant to Section 12 of the Act. Section 12(f) of the Act excludes from this restriction trading in any security to which an exchange “extends UTP.” When an exchange extends UTP to a security, it allows its members to trade the security as if it were listed and registered on the exchange even though it is not so listed and registered.

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14.  See supra notes 3 and 4.

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16.  15 U.S.C. 78k-1(a)(1)(C)(iii).

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[FR Doc. E6-22445 Filed 12-29-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8011-01-P