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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Philadelphia Stock Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to Priority of Synthetic Option Orders in Open Outcry

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Start Preamble July 16, 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 June 26, 2007, the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, Inc. (“Phlx” 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 Phlx. The Exchange filed the proposed rule change pursuant to section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act [3] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder,[4] which renders the proposal 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 Phlx proposes to adopt, on a permanent basis, Exchange Rule 1033(e), which is currently subject to a pilot program (the “pilot”) scheduled to expire June 30, 2007. Exchange Rule 1033(e) affords priority to synthetic option orders (as defined below) traded in open outcry over bids and offers in the trading crowd but not over bids (offers) of public customers on the limit order book and not over crowd participants who are willing to participate in the synthetic option order at the net debit or credit price. The rule applies to orders for 100 contracts or more. The Exchange proposes to adopt the rule on a permanent basis. The text of the proposed rule change is set forth below. Brackets indicate deletions; italics indicate new text.

Bids and Offers—Premium

Rule 1033.(a)-(d) No change.

(e) Synthetic Option Orders. When a member holding a synthetic option order, as defined in Rule 1066, and bidding or offering on the basis of a total credit or debit for the order has determined that the order may not be executed by a combination of transactions at or within the bids and offers established in the marketplace, then the order may be executed as a synthetic option order at the total credit or debit with one other member, provided that, the member executes the option leg at a better price than the established bid or offer for that option contract, in accordance with Rule 1014. [Subject to a pilot expiring June 30, 2007, s] S ynthetic option orders in open outcry, in which the option component is for a size of 100 contracts or more, have priority over bids (offers) of crowd participants who are bidding (offering) only for the option component of the synthetic option order, but not over bids (offers) of public customers on the limit order book, and not over crowd participants that are willing to participate in the synthetic option order at the net debit or credit price.

(f)-(i) No change.

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 Phlx 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 Phlx 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 purpose of the proposed rule change is to adopt, on a permanent basis, Exchange Rule 1033(e), which facilitates the execution of option orders that are represented in the crowd together with a stock component, known under the Exchange's rules as synthetic option orders,[5] which by virtue of the stock component may be difficult to execute without a limited exception to current Exchange priority rules. The pilot was originally adopted in July 2005,[6] extended for an additional six-month period through June 30, 2006,[7] and subsequently extended for one year, which is scheduled to expire June 30, 2007.[8]

Currently, Exchange Rule 1033(e) provides that, if an Exchange member who is holding a synthetic option order and is bidding or offering on a net debit or credit basis determines that such synthetic option order cannot be executed at the net debit or credit against the established bids and offers in the crowd, the member bidding for or offering the synthetic option on a net debit or credit basis may execute the synthetic option order with one other crowd participant, provided that the option portion of the synthetic option order is executed at a price that is better Start Printed Page 39876than the established bid or offer for the option. Thus, if the desired net debit or credit amount cannot be achieved by way of executing against the established bids and offers in the crowd, the member may elect to trade at the desired net debit or credit amount with one other member, provided that there is price improvement for the option component of the synthetic option order.

Exchange Rule 1033(e) affords synthetic option orders priority over bids (offers) of the trading crowd but not over bids (offers) of public customers on the limit order book and not over crowd participants who are willing to participate in the synthetic option order at the net debit or credit price. The effect of the rule is that a crowd participant bidding or offering for the synthetic option order has priority over other crowd participants that are bidding or offering only for the option component of the order. The rule applies only to synthetic option orders of 100 contracts or more.

In addition, the rule provides that members bidding and offering for synthetic option orders of 100 contracts or more do not have priority over bids (offers) of public customers on the limit order book.[9] Therefore, if members of the trading crowd wish to trade a synthetic option order that is marketable against public customer orders on the limit order book, public customers would have priority. Multiple public customer orders at the same price are accorded priority based on time.

The Exchange believes that Exchange Rule 1033(e), which provides a limited exception to the Exchange's priority rules only with respect to controlled accounts [10] competing at the same price, should enable Floor Brokers representing synthetic option orders to provide best executions to customers placing such orders and should enable the Exchange to provide liquid markets and compete for order flow in such orders.

As stated above, the rule applies only to synthetic option orders in which the option component is for a size of 100 contracts or more that are represented in the trading crowd in open outcry.

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that its proposal is consistent with section 6(b) of the Act [11] in general and furthers the objectives of section 6(b)(5) of the Act [12] in particular in that it is designed 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, by adopting a limited exception to the Exchange's priority rules concerning synthetic option orders.

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 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 either solicited or received.

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

Because the foregoing proposed rule change does not: (i) Significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (ii) impose any significant burden on competition; and (iii) 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, it has become effective pursuant to section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act [13] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.[14] 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 purposes of the Act.[15]

The Exchange requests that the Commission waive the 30-day operative period under Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) [16] in order to ensure the continuity of the rule. The Commission believes that it is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest to waive the 30-day operative delay.[17] The Commission believes that the waiver of the 30-day operative delay will allow the Exchange to continue, without interruption, the existing operation of its rule.

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-Phlx-2007-46. 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, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549, on official business days between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Copies of the filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Phlx. All Start Printed Page 39877comments 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-Phlx-2007-46 and should be submitted on or before August 10, 2007.

Start Signature

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

Florence E. Harmon,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

5.  Exchange Rule 1066(g) currently defines a synthetic option order as an order to buy or sell a stated number of option contracts and buy or sell the underlying stock or Exchange-Traded Fund Share in an amount that would offset (on a one-for-one basis) the option position. For example:

(1) Buy-write: An example of a buy-write is an order to sell one call and buy 100 shares of the underlying stock or Exchange-Traded Fund Share.

(2) Synthetic put: An example of a synthetic put is an order to buy one call and sell 100 shares of the underlying stock or Exchange-Traded Fund Share.

(3) Synthetic call: An example of a synthetic call is an order to buy (or sell) one put and buy (or sell) 100 shares of the underlying stock or Exchange-Traded Fund Share.

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6.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 52140 (July 27, 2005), 70 FR 45481 (August 5, 2005) (SR-Phlx-2005-31).

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7.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 53004 (December 22, 2005), 70 FR 77234 (December 29, 2005) (SR-Phlx-2005-78).

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8.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 54017 (June 19, 2006), 71 FR 36596 (June 27, 2006) (SR-Phlx-2006-38).

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9.  See Exchange Rule 1080, Commentary .02.

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10.  A controlled account includes any account controlled by or under common control with a broker-dealer. Customer accounts are all other accounts. Orders of controlled accounts are required to yield priority to customer orders when competing at the same price. Orders of controlled accounts generally are not required to yield priority to other controlled account orders. See Exchange Rule 1014(g)(i)(A).

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15.  As required by Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) under the Act, the Exchange provided the Commission with written notice of its intent to file the proposed rule change, along with a brief description of the text of the proposed rule change, at least five business days prior to the date of the filing of the proposed rule change.

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16.  17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).

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17.  For purposes only of waiving the 30-day operative delay of this proposal, 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. E7-14024 Filed 7-19-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P