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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; International Securities Exchange, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Extend the Quarterly Options Series Pilot Program

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Start Preamble June 25, 2008.

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 June 23, 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 [3] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder,[4] 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, until July 10, 2009, its quarterly options series pilot program. The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's Web site (http://www.ise.com), at the principal office of the Exchange, 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, Start Printed Page 38015the 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

1. Purpose

The Exchange is proposing to extend, until July 10, 2009, an ISE pilot program (the “Quarterly Options Series Pilot Program”) to list and trade options series that expire at the close of business on the last business day of a calendar quarter (“Quarterly Options Series”).[5] The current Quarterly Options Series Pilot Program is set to expire on July 10, 2008. Under the Quarterly Options Series Pilot Program, the Exchange is allowed to open up to five (5) currently listed options classes that are either index options or options on exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The Exchange is also allowed to list Quarterly Options Series on any options class that is selected by other securities exchanges that employ a similar pilot program under their respective rules. The Exchange has selected the following five options classes to participate in the Quarterly Options Series Pilot Program: the Standard & Poor's Depositary Receipts® (SPY), Nasdaq-100® Shares (QQQQ), Diamonds® Trust Series 1 (DIA), iShares Russell 2000® Index Fund (IWM), and Select Sector SPDR®—Energy (XLE). The ISE believes the Quarterly Options Series Pilot Program has been successful and well received by its members and the investing public. Thus, the ISE proposes to extend the Pilot Program until July 10, 2009.

In support of this proposed rule change, and as required by the Quarterly Options Series Pilot Program Approval Order, the Exchange has submitted to the Commission a report (the “Quarterly Options Series Pilot Program Report”), detailing the Exchange's experience with the Quarterly Options Series Pilot Program. Specifically, the Quarterly Options Series Pilot Program Report contains data and written analysis regarding the five options classes included in the Quarterly Options Pilot Program for the period from April 1, 2007 through March 31, 2008. The Exchange believes there is sufficient investor interest and demand to extend the Quarterly Options Series Pilot Program for another year. The Exchange further believes that the Quarterly Options Series Pilot Program has provided investors with a flexible and valuable tool to manage risk exposure, minimize capital outlays, and the ability to more closely tailor their investment strategies and decisions to the movement of the underlying security. The Exchange notes that it has not detected any material proliferation of illiquid options series resulting from the introduction of the Quarterly Options Series Pilot Program.

Finally, the Exchange represents that it has the necessary systems capacity to support new options series that result from the continued listing and trading of Quarterly Options Series.

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder. Specifically, the Exchange believes the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,[6] which requires that the rules of a national securities exchange be designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism for a free and open market and a national market system, and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest. The Exchange believes that extension of the Quarterly Options Pilot Program will result in a continuing benefit to investors, by allowing them to more closely tailor their investment decisions, and will allow the Exchange to further study investor interest in quarterly options.

B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change does not 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 [7] and subparagraph (f)(6) of Rule 19b-4 thereunder.[8]

The Exchange has asked the Commission to waive the operative delay to permit the proposed rule change to become operative prior to the 30th day after filing. The Commission has determined that waiving the 30-day operative delay of the Exchange's proposal is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest and will promote competition because such waiver will allow ISE to continue the existing Quarterly Options Series Pilot Program without interruption.[9] 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. Start Printed Page 38016Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

Electronic Comments

Paper Comments

  • Send paper comments in triplicate to Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

All submissions should refer to File Number SR-ISE-2008-49. 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 No. SR-ISE-2008-49 and should be submitted on or before July 23, 2008.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.[10]

Florence E. Harmon,

Acting Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(iii).

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5.  See Exchange Act Release No. 54113 (July 7, 2006); 71 FR 39694 (July 13, 2006) (SR-ISE 2006-24) (the “Quarterly Options Series Pilot Program Approval Order”). See also Exchange Act Release No. 57425 (March 4, 2008); 73 FR 12783 (March 10, 2008) (SR-ISE 2008-19) (amending the Quarterly Options Series Pilot Program to permit the listing of additional series and to implement a delisting policy for outlying series with no open interest).

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8.  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.

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9.  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).

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[FR Doc. E8-14926 Filed 7-1-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P