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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Boston Stock Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Extend the Penny Pilot Program

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Start Preamble July 26, 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 July 24, 2007, the Boston Stock Exchange, Inc. (“BSE” 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 BSE. The Exchange filed the proposal as a “non-controversial” proposed rule change pursuant to section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act [3] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder,[4] which rendered 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 Exchange proposes to extend the Boston Options Exchange (“BOX”) pilot program that permits BOX to quote certain classes in penny increments (“Penny Pilot Program”) through September 27, 2007. The text of the proposed rule change is available at BSE, the Commission's Public Reference Room, and http://www.bostonstock.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, the Exchange included statements concerning the purpose of, and basis for, the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the Start Printed Page 42451proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV 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 purpose of the proposed rule change is to extend the Penny Pilot Program under the Rules of the BOX for approximately an additional two months, extending the program through September 27, 2007. The Penny Pilot Program permits BOX to quote certain designated classes in penny increments.[5] The proposed extension will amend Section 33, (“Penny Pilot Program”) of Chapter V (“Doing business on BOX”) of the BOX Rules.

Currently, all six options exchanges, including BOX, participate in the Penny Pilot Program which includes the following thirteen options: Ishares Russell 2000 (IWM); NASDAQ-100 Index Tracking Stock (QQQQ); SemiConductor Holders Trust (SMH); General Electric Company (GE); Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD), Microsoft Corporation (MSFT); Intel Corporation (INTC); Caterpillar, Inc. (CAT); Whole Foods Market, Inc. (WFMI); Texas Instruments, Inc. (TXN); Flextronics International Ltd. (FLEX); Sun Microsystems, Inc. (SUNW); and Agilent Technologies, Inc. (A).

The minimum price variation for all classes included in the Penny Pilot Program, except for the QQQQs, will continue to be $0.01 for all quotations in option series that are quoted at less than $3 per contract and $0.05 for all quotations in option series that are quoted at $3 per contract or greater. The QQQQs will continue to be quoted in $0.01 increments for all options series.

BOX will deliver a report to the Commission during the first month after the expiration of the pilot, which will be composed of data from approximately the last five months of trading, from May 1, 2007 through September 27, 2007. The report will analyze the impact of penny pricing on market quality and options system capacity.

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that its proposed rule change is consistent with section 6(b) of the Act [6] in general, and furthers the objectives of section 6(b)(5) of the Act,[7] in particular, in that it is designed 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.

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 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 either solicited or received by the Exchange.

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

The proposed rule change has become effective pursuant to section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act [8] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder,[9] because the foregoing proposed rule 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.

A proposed rule change filed under Rule 19b-4(f)(6) normally may not become operative prior to 30-days after the date of filing.[10] However, Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) permits the Commission to designate a shorter time if such action is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest.[11] The Exchange has requested that the Commission waive the 5-day pre-filing requirement and the 30-day operative delay. The Commission believes that waiving the 5-day pre-filing requirement and the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest because such waiver will ensure continuity of the Exchange's rules and will allow the Penny Pilot Program to remain in effect without interruption. For these reasons, the Commission designates the proposal to be operative upon filing with the Commission.[12]

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.[13]

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-BSE-2007-38. 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 Start Printed Page 42452communications 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 BSE. 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-BSE-2007-38 and should be submitted on or before August 23, 2007.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[14]

Florence E. Harmon,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

5.  Under BOX's Rules, the Penny Pilot Program is currently set to expire on July 26, 2007. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 55155 (January 23, 2007), 72 FR 4741 (February 1, 2007) (SR-BSE-2006-49); see also Securities Exchange Act Release No. 54789 (November 20, 2006), 71 FR 68654 (November 27, 2006) (SR-BSE-2006-49) (respectively, the “Original Penny Pilot Program Approval Order” and “Notice”).

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10.  17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii). In addition, Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) requires the self-regulatory organization to give the Commission notice of its intent to file the proposed rule change, along with a brief description and text of the proposed rule change, at least five business days prior to the date of filing of the proposed rule change, or such shorter time as designated by the Commission.

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11.  17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).

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12.  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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13.  See 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(C).

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[FR Doc. E7-14915 Filed 8-1-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P