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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 June 19, 2008, the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, Inc. (“Exchange” or “Phlx”) 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 proposes to amend its Rules 1012 (Series of Options Open for Trading) and 1101A (Terms of Option Contracts), in order to extend for a period of one year an Exchange pilot program (the “Pilot Program”) to permit the listing and trading of options series that may be opened for trading on any business day and expire at the close of business on the last business day of a calendar quarter (“Quarterly Options” or “Quarterly Options Series”). The Pilot Program currently continues through July 10, 2008. The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's Web site (http://www.phlx.com/regulatory/reg_rulefilings.aspx.), 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, 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. Start Printed Page 38285
A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change
The purpose of the proposed rule change is to extend the Pilot Program for a period of one year so that the Exchange may continue to list and trade Quarterly Options within the parameters specified in its Rules 1012 and 1101A. In February 2007, the Commission approved the Pilot Program allowing the listing and trading of Quarterly Options on the Exchange, and thereafter extended the Pilot Program through July 10, 2008. The Exchange is proposing to extend the Pilot Program for one year through July 10, 2009. The Exchange is not proposing any changes to the Pilot Program.
In the Commission Order approving the Pilot Program, the Commission indicated that if the Exchange seeks extension, expansion, or permanent approval of the Pilot Program, it must submit a Pilot Program Report (the “Report”) that must include, at a minimum: (1) Data and written analysis on the open interest and trading volume in the classes for which Quarterly Option Series were opened; (2) an assessment of the appropriateness of the options classes selected for the Phlx Pilot; (3) an assessment of the impact of the Pilot Program on the capacity of Phlx, Options Price Reporting Authority (“OPRA”), and on market data vendors (to the extent data from market data vendors is available); (4) any capacity problems or other problems that arose during the operation of the Pilot Program and how Phlx addressed such problems; (5) any complaints that the Phlx received during the operation of the Pilot Program and how the Phlx addressed them; and (6) any additional information that would assist in assessing the operation of the Pilot Program. In connection with the Pilot Program expansion, the Commission further requested that the Report include analysis of: (1) The impact of the additional series on the Exchange's market and quote capacity, and (2) the implementation and effects of the delisting policy, including the number of series eligible for delisting during the period covered by the report, the number of series actually delisted during that period (pursuant to the delisting policy or otherwise), and documentation of any customer requests to maintain Quarterly Options Series strikes that were otherwise eligible for delisting. The Exchange has submitted, under separate cover, a Report in connection with this filing, which Report seeks confidential treatment under the Freedom of Information Act.
The Report reviews the Exchange's experience with the Pilot Program and clearly supports the Exchange's belief that extension of the Pilot Program is proper. Among other things, the Exchange believes that the Report shows the strength and efficacy of the Pilot Program on the Exchange as reflected by the strong volume of Quarterly Options traded on Phlx since the Pilot Program's inception in February 2007. The Exchange further believes that the Report establishes that the Pilot Program has not created, and in the future should not create, capacity problems for the Exchange or the OPRA system. Moreover, the Exchange represents that it has the necessary systems capacity to support new options series that will result from the introduction of Quarterly Options Series.
The Exchange believes that extending the Pilot Program would continue to provide investors with a flexible and valuable tool to manage risk exposure, minimize capital outlays, and be more responsive to the timing of events affecting the securities that underlie option contracts.
2. Statutory Basis
The Exchange believes that its proposal is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act, in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5), specifically, in that it is designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and the national market system, and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest. The Exchange believes that the proposal would achieve this by allowing continued listing of Quarterly Options, thereby stimulating customer interest in such options and creating greater trading opportunities and flexibility and providing customers with the ability to more closely tailor their investment strategies.
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 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 solicited or received with respect to the proposed rule change.
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 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 Phlx to continue the existing Pilot 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 Start Printed Page 38286the 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-Phlx-2008-44 on the subject line.
- 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-Phlx-2008-44. 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-Phlx-2008-44 and should be submitted on or before July 24, 2008.Start Signature
For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.15
Florence E. Harmon,
5. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 56030 (July 9, 2007), 72 FR 38645 (July 13, 2007) (SR-Phlx-2007-42).Back to Citation
6. See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 55301 (February 15, 2007), 72 FR 8238 (February 23, 2007) (SR-Phlx-2007-08) (establishing the Pilot Program) and 56030 (July 9, 2007), 72 FR 38645 (July 13, 2007) (SR-Phlx-2007-42) (extending the Pilot Program).Back to Citation
7. The Pilot Program was expanded and amended when the Exchange filed a proposed rule change, pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(iii) of the Act and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder, to list additional series and implement a delisting policy for outlying series with no open interest. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 57583 (March 31, 2008), 73 FR 18589 (April 4, 2008) (SR-Phlx-2008-23).Back to Citation
8. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 55301, supra note 6.Back to Citation
9. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 57583, supra note 7.Back to Citation
13. 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
14. 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. E8-15099 Filed 7-2-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8010-01-P