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 March 18, 2008, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (“MSRB” or “Board”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III below, which Items have been substantially prepared by the MSRB. 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 MSRB is filing with the Commission a proposed rule change consisting of amendments to Rule G-11 and Rule G-12 that (a) delete Rule G-12(i); (b) consolidate the remaining syndicate practice provisions of Rule G-12 into Rule G-11; (c) delete the syndicate-related sections of Rule G-12; and (d) make minor technical corrections to Rule G-11. The text of the proposed rule change is available on the MSRB's Web site (http://www.msrb.org), at the MSRB'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 MSRB 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 MSRB 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
Rule G-11, on new issue syndicate practices, sets forth basic requirements for dealers serving as senior managers or members of underwriting syndicates. Rule G-12, on uniform practice, includes additional settlement-related provisions in connection with syndicate operations. The Board has determined to consolidate the syndicate practice provisions into Rule G-11 by deleting the syndicate-related sections of Rule G-12 and inserting them into Rule G-11, as well as to make minor technical corrections to Rule G-11. This consolidation will put the Board's syndicate practice requirements into a single rule and thereby reduce the possibility of rule violations due to inadvertent failures to note the additional syndicate practice provisions that are currently embedded in Rule G-12 among other un-related provisions.
In addition, the Board has also determined to delete Rule G-12(i), on good faith deposits, in order to clarify and modernize its rules to bring them into line with the realities of current market practice without compromising investor protection. A good faith deposit was in the past generally delivered to a municipal bond issuer by a firm competing for the underwriting business of the issuer. If the syndicate was not successful in purchasing the issue, Rule G-12(i) required the syndicate manager to return the deposit to the members of the syndicate within two business days following the return of the deposit from the issuer. Under current market practice, generally such deposits are not advanced either because they are not required by issuers or are treated as an expense of the syndicate for which syndicate managers give an accounting to syndicate members pursuant to MSRB rules.
2. Statutory Basis
The MSRB believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with section 15B(b)(2)(C) of the Act, which provides that the MSRB's rules shall:
Be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, 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 municipal securities, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market in municipal securities, and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest.
The Board believes that the proposed rule change will facilitate transactions in municipal securities and protect investors and the public interest by creating a consolidated rule that seeks to avoid inadvertent rule violations and clarifies and modernizes its rules to bring them into line with the realities of current market practice without compromising investor protection.
B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition
The MSRB 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 since it would apply equally to all brokers, dealers and municipal securities dealers.
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
Within 35 days of the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register or within such longer period (i) as the Commission may designate up to 90 days of such date if it finds such longer period to be appropriate and publishes its reasons for so finding or (ii) as to which the self-regulatory organization consents, the Commission will:
A. By order approve such proposed rule change, or
B. Institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be disapproved.
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-MSRB-2008-03 on the subject line. Start Printed Page 21167
- 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-MSRB-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 MSRB. 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-MSRB-2008-03 and should be submitted on or before May 9, 2008.Start Signature
For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.
Nancy M. Morris,
[FR Doc. E8-8348 Filed 4-17-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8010-01-P