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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; International Securities Exchange, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to an Extension of the Penny Pilot Program

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Start Preamble March 26, 2009.

Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”),[1] and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,[2] notice is hereby given that on March 24, 2009, the International Securities Exchange, LLC (the “Exchange” or the “ISE”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by the self-regulatory organization. The Exchange filed the proposal as a “non-controversial” proposed rule change pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(iii) of the Act [3] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.[4] 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 ISE is proposing to extend, until July 3, 2009, a pilot program to quote and to trade certain options in pennies. The text of the proposed rule change is available at 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 self-regulatory organization 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 self regulatory organization 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

On January 24, 2007, the Commission approved ISE's rule filing, SR-ISE-2006-62, which permits 13 option classes to quote in penny increments in connection with the implementation of an industry wide, six month pilot program (the “Penny Pilot Program”).[5] Under the Penny Pilot Program, the minimum price variation for all 13 option classes, except for the Nasdaq-100 Index Tracking Stock (“QQQQ”), is $0.01 for all quotations in option series that are quoted at less than $3 per contract and $0.05 for all quotations in options series that are quoted at $3 per contract or greater. The QQQQs are quoted in $0.01 increments for all options series.

Subsequent ISE rule filings initiated a two-phase expansion of the Penny Pilot Program. SR-ISE-2007-74 initiated Phase I of the expansion and added 22 option classes to the Penny Pilot Program that are among the most actively traded, multiply-listed option classes based on national average daily volume, and together with the original 13 option classes, represent approximately 35% of the total industry volume.[6]

SR-ISE-2008-27 implemented Phase II of the expansion, which added an additional 28 option classes to the Penny Pilot Program.[7] The total number of option classes in the Penny Pilot Program currently stands at 63. A Regulatory Information Circular, attached as Exhibit 5 to this proposed rule change, identifies all 63 underlying securities. Phase II of the Penny Pilot Program is set to expire on March 27, 2009. ISE now proposes to extend the current Penny Pilot Program until July 3, 2009.

ISE believes extending the Penny Pilot Program as proposed by this rule filing will allow the Exchange and the Commission additional time to continue its analysis of the impact of quoting and trading option classes in penny increments and the impact of the Penny Start Printed Page 15019Pilot Program on liquidity, market structure and quote traffic.

As proposed in the Initial Filing, ISE represents that options trading in penny increments will not be eligible for split pricing, as permitted under ISE Rule 716. In the Initial Filing, the Exchange also made references to quote mitigation strategies that are currently in place and proposed to apply them to the Penny Pilot Program. The Exchange proposes to continue applying those quote mitigation strategies during the extension of the Penny Pilot Program, as contemplated by this rule filing. Specifically, as proposed in Rule 804, ISE will continue to utilize a holdback timer that delays quotation updates for up to, but not longer than, one second. The Exchange's monitoring and delisting policies, as proposed in the Initial Filing, shall also continue to apply.

Finally, ISE intends to submit an additional report to the Commission analyzing the Penny Pilot Program for the following time period: February 1, 2009-April 30, 2009. The Exchange anticipates its report will analyze the impact of penny pricing on market quality and options system capacity. The Exchange will submit the report within one month following the end of the period being analyzed.

2. Statutory Basis

The basis under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) for this proposed rule change is found in Section 6(b)(5), in that the proposed rule change is designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade, 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. In particular, the proposed rule change will allow the Exchange to continue the Penny Pilot Program uninterrupted.

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

The proposed rule change does not impose any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Exchange 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 written comments from members or other interested parties.

III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

Because the foregoing rule does not (i) significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (ii) impose any significant burden on competition; and (iii) become operative for 30 days from the date on which it was filed, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate if consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest, the proposed rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act [8] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.[9]

The Exchange has requested that the Commission waive the 30-day operative delay so that the proposed rule change may become operative upon filing with the Commission pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act [10] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) [11] thereunder. The Commission believes that waiving the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest because such waiver will allow the Penny Pilot Program to continue without interruption through July 3, 2009.[12] Accordingly, the Commission designates the proposed rule change operative upon filing with the Commission.

At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission may summarily abrogate such 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 Exchange 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:

Electronic Comments

Paper Comments

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

All submissions should refer to File Number SR-ISE-2009-14. 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-2009-14 and should be submitted on or before April 23, 2009.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.[13]

Florence E. Harmon,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(iii).

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5.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 55161 (January 24, 2007), 72 FR 4754 (February 1, 2007) (the “Initial Filing”). The Penny Pilot Program was subsequently extended for an additional two month period, until September 27, 2007. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 56151 (July 26, 2007), 72 FR 42452 (August 2, 2007).

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6.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 56564 (September 27, 2007), 72 FR 56412 (October 3, 2007).

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7.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 57508 (March 17, 2008), 73 FR 15243 (March 21, 2008).

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9.  17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6). In addition, Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) requires the Exchange to give the Commission written notice of the Exchange's 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 satisfied the pre-filing requirement.

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12.  For the 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. 78(c)(f).

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[FR Doc. E9-7352 Filed 4-1-09; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P