Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”)  and Rule 19b-4 thereunder, notice is hereby given that on January 8, 2008, the International Securities Exchange, LLC (“Exchange” or “ISE”) 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 Exchange. The Exchange has designated this proposal as non-controversial under Section 19(b)(3)(A)(iii) of the Act  and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder, which renders the proposed rule change 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 is proposing to extend an existing pilot program that increases the position and exercise limits for options on the iShares® Russell 2000® Index Fund (“IWM”) traded on the Exchange (“IWM Pilot Program”). The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's Web site (http://www.ise.com), at the Exchange's principal office, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.
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 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
The IWM Pilot Program provides for increased position and exercise limits for IWM options traded on the Exchange. Specifically, the IWM Pilot Program increases the position and exercise limits for IWM options from 250,000 contracts to 500,000 contracts.
The purpose of the proposed rule change is to extend the IWM Pilot Program until March 1, 2008. The Exchange is not proposing any other changes to the IWM Pilot Program. The Exchange believes that extending the IWM Pilot Program is warranted due to the positive feedback received from market participants and for the reasons cited in the original rule filing that proposed the adoption of the IWM Pilot Program. Further, the Exchange represents that it has not encountered any problems or difficulties relating to the IWM Pilot Program since its inception.
The Exchange believes that maintaining the increased position and exercise limits for IWM options will lead to a more liquid and more competitive market environment for IWM options that will benefit customers interested in trading this product. As a result, the Exchange requests that the Commission extend the pilot through March 1, 2008.Start Printed Page 3786
2. Statutory Basis
The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act  in that it is designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanisms 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
The Exchange has not solicited, and does not intend to solicit, comments on this proposed rule change. The Exchange has not received any unsolicited written comments from members or other interested parties.
III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action
The Exchange has designated the proposed rule change as one that: (1) Does not significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (2) does not impose any significant burden on competition; and (3) does not become operative for 30 days from the date of filing, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate if consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. Therefore, the foregoing rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act  and subparagraph (f)(6) of Rule 19b-4 thereunder. The Exchange has asked the Commission to waive the operative delay to permit the Pilot Program extension to become effective prior to the 30th day after filing.
The Commission believes that waiving the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest because it will allow the benefits of the IWM Pilot Program to continue without interruption. Therefore, the Commission designates the proposal operative upon filing.
At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission may summarily abrogate the 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 email@example.com. Please include File No. SR-ISE-2008-03 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-ISE-2008-03. 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-ISE-2008-03 and should be submitted on or before February 12, 2008.Start Signature
For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.
Florence E. Harmon,
5. The proposal that established the IWM Pilot Program was designated by the Commission to be effective and operative upon filing. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 55175 (January 25, 2007), 72 FR 4753 (February 1, 2007) (SR-ISE-2007-07). The IWM Pilot Program was extended by the Commission and is due to expire on January 18, 2008. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 56020 (July 6, 2007), 72 FR 38109 (July 12, 2007) (SR-ISE-2007-56).Back to Citation
6. Pursuant to ISE Rule 414, the exercise limit established under Rule 414 for IWM options shall be equivalent to the position limit prescribed for IWM options in Supplementary Material .01 to Rule 412. The increased exercise limits would only be in effect during the pilot period, to run from January 22, 2007 through March 1, 2008.Back to Citation
9. 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6). In addition, Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) requires a self-regulatory organization to provide the Commission with written 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. The Exchange has fulfilled this requirement.Back to Citation
10. 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. See 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).Back to Citation
[FR Doc. E8-967 Filed 1-18-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8011-01-P