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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Options Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Approval of Fund Shares Deposited as Margin

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble March 21, 2007.

Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”),[1] notice is hereby given that on August 31, 2006, The Options Clearing Corporation (“OCC”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III below, which items have been prepared primarily by OCC. 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 proposed rule change would eliminate the requirement that the Membership/Risk Committee approve classes of fund shares (e.g., ETFs) for deposit as margin.

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

In its filing with the Commission, OCC 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. OCC has prepared summaries, set forth in sections (A), (B), and (C) below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.[2]

(A) Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

The proposed rule change would delete Interpretation and Policy .11 to Rule 604, Forms of Margin, which requires that OCC's Membership/Risk Committee approve classes of fund shares for deposit as margin. Committee approval was deemed to be a prudent safeguard when OCC began accepting fund shares for deposit in 1996 because fund shares had only been trading since 1993, and OCC was not as familiar with them as it is today. In 1997, OCC began clearing options on fund shares. Since then, fund shares have become a widely used investment tool, and OCC has developed a broad understanding of the fund share marketplace. In light of these developments, OCC believes that fund shares should be accepted as margin under the same conditions that apply to the deposit of other equity securities without the need for Committee approval.

The proposed change is consistent with Section 17A of the Act because it eliminates an unwarranted approval process for the acceptance of fund shares as a form of margin asset while employing the same safeguards that apply to the deposit of other equity securities as margin in order to assure the safeguarding of securities which are in OCC's custody or control. The proposed rule change is not inconsistent with the existing rules of OCC, including any other rules proposed to be amended.

(B) Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

OCC does not believe that the proposed rule change would impose any burden on competition.

(C) Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

Written comments were not and are not intended to be solicited with respect to the proposed rule change, and none have been received.

III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

Within 35 days of the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register or within such longer period (i) as the Commission may designate up to 90 days of such date if it finds such longer period to be appropriate and publishes its reasons for so finding or (ii) as to which the self-regulatory organization consents, the Commission will:

(A) By order approve the proposed rule change or

(B) Institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be disapproved.

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-OCC-2006-15. 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 Start Printed Page 14845amendments, 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 OCC and on OCC's Web site at http://www.optionsclearing.com. 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-OCC-2006-15 and should be submitted on or before April 19, 2007.

Start Signature

For the Commission by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[3]

Florence E. Harmon,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

2.  The Commission has modified parts of these statements.

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[FR Doc. E7-5753 Filed 3-28-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P