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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; American Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Extension of the Pilot Period Applicable to the Listing and Trading of Options on the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index

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Start Preamble January 3, 2007.

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 January 3, 2007, the American Stock Exchange LLC (“Amex” 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 Exchange. The Amex has filed the proposed rule change, pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(iii) of the Act [3] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder,[4] which renders the proposal effective upon filing with the Commission.[5] 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 extend the pilot period applicable to the listing and trading of options on the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index Fund (“Fund Start Printed Page 1349Options”). The Amex is not proposing any changes to the rule text.

II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

In its filing with the Commission, Amex 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 Amex 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

On May 17, 2006, the Commission approved the Amex proposal [6] to list and trade the Fund Options for a sixty-day pilot period that expired July 2, 2006 (the “Pilot”).[7] On June 30, 2006 the Commission approved a 90-day extension to the Pilot that was due to expire October 1, 2006 [8] and on September 29, 2006 the Commission approved a 90-day extension to the Pilot that expired on January 2, 2007.[9] The Fund Options will continue to meet substantially all of the listing and maintenance standards in Commentary .06 to Amex Rule 915 and Commentary .07 to Amex Rule 916. For the requirements that are not satisfied, the Exchange continues to represent that sufficient mechanisms exist that would provide the Exchange with adequate surveillance and regulatory information with respect to the Fund Options. Continuation of the Pilot would permit the Exchange to continue to work with the Bolsa Mexicana de Valores (“Bolsa”) to develop a surveillance sharing agreement.

Accordingly, the Exchange proposes to extend the Pilot for an additional 180-days, until June 30, 2007.

2. Statutory Basis

The proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act [10] in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,[11] in particular, in that it is designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to foster cooperation and coordination with persons engaged in regulating, clearing, settling, processing information with respect to, and facilitating transactions in securities, 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; and is not designed to permit unfair discrimination between customers, issuers, brokers, or dealers, or to regulate by virtue of any authority conferred by the Act matters not related to the purpose of the Act or the administration of the Exchange.

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

The proposed rule change does not 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 foregoing rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act [12] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) [13] thereunder because the 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 of the filing, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate if consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(iii) of the Act [14] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.[15]

Amex has requested that the Commission waive both the five-day pre-filing requirement and the 30-day delayed operative delay.[16] The Commission is exercising its authority to waive the five-day pre-filing notice requirement and believes that the waiver of the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. Waiver of the five-day pre-filing and 30-day operative periods will extend the Pilot, which expired on January 2, 2007, and allow the Amex to continue in its efforts to obtain a surveillance agreement with Bolsa. The Commission notes that another self-regulatory organization recently adopted a substantially similar rule change that was effective upon filing.[17] Accordingly, the Commission designates the proposal to be effective and operative upon filing with the Commission.[18]

At any time within sixty (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 purposes of the Act.[19]

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

All submissions should refer to File Number SR-Amex-2007-01. This file number should be included on the subject line if e-mail is used. To help the Start Printed Page 1350Commission 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, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549. Copies of such filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Amex. 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-Amex-2007-01 and should be submitted on or before February 1, 2007.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[20]

Florence E. Harmon,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(iii).

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5.  The Exchange requested the Commission to waive the five-day pre-filing notice requirement and the 30-day operative delay, as specified in Rule 19b(f)(6)(iii). 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).

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6.  See SR-Amex-2006-43.

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7.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 53824 (May 17, 2006), 71 FR 30003 (May 24, 2006).

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8.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 54081 (June 30, 2006), 70 FR 131 (July 10, 2006).

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9.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 54553 (September 29, 2006), 71 FR 59561 (October 10, 2006). The Commission notes that the Amex inadvertently stated in its filing that the Pilot was to expire on December 31, 2006. Rather, the Pilot was to expire on January 2, 2007. Telephone conference between Jeffrey Burns, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Amex and Geoffrey Pemble, Special Counsel, Commission, on January 3, 2007.

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14.  15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(iii).

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16.  17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).

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17.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 54876 (December 5, 2006), 71 FR 74968 (December 13, 2006) (order approving File No. SR-CBOE 2006-103).

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18.  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. 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).

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19.  See Section 19(b)(3)(C) of the Act, 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(C).

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[FR Doc. E7-233 Filed 1-10-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8011-01-P