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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Sections 703.22 and 802.01D of the Exchange's Listed Company Manual Regarding the Listing and Trading of Index-Linked Securities

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble August 16, 2007.

Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) [1] of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”),[2] and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,[3] notice is hereby given that on August 3, 2007, New York Stock Exchange LLC (“NYSE” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule changes as described in Items I and II below, which items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule changes from interested persons.

I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

The Exchange proposes to amend Section 703.22 of its Listed Company Manual (“Manual”) to permit the listing of securities that do not meet the one million unit initial distribution requirement but are redeemable on at least a weekly basis at the option of the holders. The filing also amends Section 802.01D of the Manual to apply the continued listing standards under the heading “Specialized Securities” to securities listed under Section 703.22.

The text of the proposed rule change is available at the Exchange, the Commission's Public Reference Room, and http://www.nyse.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 proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item III below. The NYSE 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 Exchange proposes to amend Section 703.22 of the Manual to permit the listing of securities that do not meet the one million unit initial distribution requirement but are redeemable on at least a weekly basis at the option of the holders. Section 703.22 is the Exchange's generic listing standards for equity index-linked securities (“Equity Index-Linked Securities”), commodity-linked securities (“Commodity-Linked Securities”), and currency-linked securities (“Currency-Linked Securities” and, together with Equity Index-Linked Securities and Commodity-Linked Securities, “Index-Linked Securities”).

Section 703.22 of the Manual currently exempts a new listing of Index-Linked Securities from the otherwise applicable requirement that the issue have 400 holders upon listing, but only if the issue provides for the redemption of securities at the option of the holders on at least a weekly basis. The Exchange believes that, where there is such a weekly redemption right, the same justification exists for an exemption from the requirement to have one million units issued at the time of listing as applies to the 400 holder requirement. The Exchange believes that a weekly redemption right will ensure a strong correlation between the market price of the Index-Linked Securities and the performance of the underlying index, as holders will be unlikely to sell their securities for less than their redemption value if they have a weekly right to be redeemed for their full value. In addition, in the case of those Index-Linked Securities with a weekly redemption feature that are currently listed, as well as all of those that are currently proposed to be listed, the issuer has the ability to issue new Index-Linked Securities from time to time at the indicative value at the time of such sale. This provides a ready supply of new Index-Linked Securities, thereby lessening the possibility that the market price of such securities will be affected by a scarcity of available Index-Linked Securities for sale. The Exchange believes that it also assists in maintaining a strong correlation between the market price and the indicative value, as investors will be unlikely to pay more than the indicative value in the open market if they can Start Printed Page 47108acquire Index-Linked Securities from the issuer at that price.

The Exchange states that the ability to list Index-Linked Securities with these characteristics without any minimum number of holders is important to the successful listing of such securities. Issuers issuing these types of Index-Linked Securities generally do not intend to do so by way of an underwritten offering. Rather, the distribution arrangement is analogous to that of an exchange traded fund issuance, in that the issue is launched without any significant distribution event and the float increases over time as investors purchase additional securities from the issuer at the then indicative value. Investors will generally seek to purchase the securities at a point when the underlying index is at a level that they perceive as providing an attractive growth opportunity. In the context of such a distribution arrangement, it is difficult for an issuer to guarantee its ability to sell a specific number of units on the listing date. However, the Exchange believes that this difficulty in ensuring the sale of one million units on the listing date is not indicative of a likely long-term lack of liquidity in the securities or, for the reasons set forth in the prior paragraph, of a difficulty in establishing a pricing equilibrium in the securities or a successful two-sided market.

The Exchange also proposes to amend Section 802.01D of the Manual to apply the continued listing standards under the heading “Specialized Securities” to securities listed under Section 703.22. These continued listing standards require that the securities be delisted when:

  • The number of publicly-held securities is less than 100,000.
  • The number of holders is less than 100.
  • The aggregate market value of securities outstanding is less than $1,000,000.
  • For specialized securities that are debt, the issuer is not able to meet its obligations on such debt.

The Exchange proposes to exempt from the 100 holders requirement Index-Linked Securities that are redeemable at the option of the holder on at least a weekly basis. The Exchange believes this exemption is appropriate because the securities in question are not subject to any minimum holder requirement at the time of initial listing.

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act,[4] in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,[5] in particular in that it is designed 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.

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

Written comments were neither solicited nor received.

III. 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-NYSE-2007-74. 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 the Exchange. 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-NYSE-2007-74 and should be submitted by September 12, 2007.

IV. Commission's Findings and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of the Proposed Rule Change

After careful consideration, the Commission finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to a national securities exchange [6] and, in particular, the requirements of Section 6 of the Act.[7] Specifically, the Commission finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,[8] which requires, among other things, that the rules of a national securities exchange be designed 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.

The Commission believes that this proposal should benefit investors by providing an exception to the minimum public distribution requirements for Index-Linked Securities with a weekly redemption right. The Commission believes that the market price of Index-Linked Securities with a weekly redemption right should exhibit a strong Start Printed Page 47109correlation to the performance of the relevant underlying index, since holders of such securities will be unlikely to sell them for less than their redemption value if they have a weekly right to be redeemed for their full value. The Commission believes that this exception is reasonable and should allow for the listing and trading of certain Index-Linked Securities that would otherwise not be able to be listed and traded on the Exchange.

The Commission further finds that the Exchange's proposal to amend Section 802.01D of the Manual to apply the continued listing standards under the heading “Specialized Securities” to securities listed under Section 703.22 will clarify the applicable continued listing criteria for Index-Linked Securities. Moreover, the Commission believes that the proposed exemption for Index-Linked Securities that are redeemable at the option of the holder on at least a weekly basis from an ongoing distribution requirement is consistent with the rationale underlying the exemption from the initial listing standards in Section 703.22 of the Manual.

The Commission finds good cause for approving the proposed rule change prior to the 30th day after the date of publication of the notice of filing thereof in the Federal Register. The Commission does not believe that NYSE's proposal raises any novel regulatory issues and, therefore, that good cause exists for approving the filing on an expedited basis. Therefore, accelerating approval of this proposal should benefit investors by creating, without undue delay, additional competition in the market for such securities.

Therefore, the Commission finds good cause, consistent with Section 19(b)(2) of the Act,[9] to approve the proposed rule change on an accelerated basis.

V. Conclusion

It is therefore ordered, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act,[10] that the proposed rule change (SR-NYSE-2007-74) be, and it hereby is, approved on an accelerated basis.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[11]

Florence E. Harmon,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

6.  In approving this proposed rule change, 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. E7-16555 Filed 8-21-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P