Pursuant to section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act” or “Exchange Act”)  and Rule 19b-4 thereunder, notice is hereby given that on July 2, 2007, the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (“NASD”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III below, which Items have been substantially prepared by NASD. NASD has designated the proposed rule change as constituting a “non-controversial” rule change pursuant to section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act  and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder, 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
NASD proposes to extend through July 31, 2008 the portfolio margin pilot program set forth in Rule 2520(g). The portfolio margin pilot program permits members to margin certain products according to a prescribed portfolio margin methodology and is set to expire on July 31, 2007. There is no change to the rule text with this proposed rule change. The text of the proposed rule change is available at NASD, the Commission's Public Reference Room, and http://www.nasd.com.
II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change
In its filing with the Commission, NASD 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 Start Printed Page 41376places specified in Item IV below. NASD 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
On February 12, 2007, NASD filed SR-NASD-2007-013 for immediate effectiveness to establish a portfolio margin pilot program that permits member firms to elect to margin certain products according to a prescribed portfolio margin methodology. The portfolio margin pilot program is substantially similar to margin rule amendments by the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) and the Chicago Board Options Exchange (“CBOE”), which were approved by the Commission. Consistent with the amended NYSE and CBOE portfolio margin programs, NASD's pilot, as proposed in SR-NASD-2007-013, started on April 2, 2007 and ends on July 31, 2007.
NASD proposes to extend the operation of the pilot for an additional one-year period to July 31, 2008. NASD believes that extending the pilot for twelve months is warranted in that time is needed to assess the operation and utility of the program, especially in light of the fact that the rules establishing the pilot, effective April 2, 2007, made equities, equity options, narrow-based index options, unlisted derivatives and security futures eligible for portfolio margining. An extension will enable NASD to determine whether the program better aligns margin requirements with the actual risk of hedged products, thereby potentially alleviating excess margin calls and potentially reducing the risk of forced liquidations of positions in customer accounts. For these reasons, NASD requests that the Commission extend the pilot program until July 31, 2008.
NASD has filed the proposed rule change for immediate effectiveness.
2. Statutory Basis
NASD believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the provisions of section 15A(b)(6) of the Act, which requires, among other things, that NASD rules be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest. NASD believes that a one-year extension will enable NASD to evaluate the operation and utility of the portfolio margin pilot program to determine whether the program better aligns the margin requirements with actual risk.
B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition
NASD does not believe that the proposed rule change will result in 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 were neither solicited nor received.
III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action
Because the foregoing 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 prior to 30 days after the date of filing, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate, it has become effective pursuant to section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act  and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.
At any time within 60 days of the filing of such 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.
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:
- Use the Commission's Internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or
- Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include File Number SR-NASD-2007-045 on the subject line.
- 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-NASD-2007-045. 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 such filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of NASD. 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-NASD-2007-045 and should be submitted on or before August 17, 2007.Start Signature
For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.
Florence E. Harmon,
5. See Exchange Act Release No. 55471 (March 14, 2007), 72 FR 13149 (March 20, 2007) (Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of SR-NASD-2007-013).Back to Citation
6. See Exchange Act Release No. 54918 (December 12, 2006), 71 FR 75790 (December 18, 2006) (SR-NYSE-2006-13, relating to further amendments to the NYSE's portfolio margin pilot program); Exchange Act Release No. 54125 (July 11, 2006), 71 FR 40766 (July 18, 2006) (SR-NYSE-2005-93, relating to amendments to the NYSE's portfolio margin pilot program); Exchange Act Release No. 52031 (July 14, 2005) 70 FR 42130 (July 21, 2005) (SR-NYSE-2002-19, relating to the NYSE's original portfolio margin pilot). See also Exchange Act Release No. 54919 (December 12, 2006), 71 FR 75781 (December 18, 2006) (SR-CBOE-2006-014, relating to amendments to the CBOE's portfolio margin pilot); Exchange Act Release No. 52032 (July 14, 2005) 70 FR 42118 (July 21, 2005) (SR-CBOE-2002-03, relating to the CBOE's original portfolio margin pilot).Back to Citation
7. The operative date of the proposed rule change will be August 1, 2007.Back to Citation
[FR Doc. E7-14504 Filed 7-26-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8010-01-P