Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1)  of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”)  and Rule 19b-4 thereunder, notice is hereby given that, on November 9, 2009, the International Start Printed Page 60010Securities Exchange, LLC (“Exchange” or “ISE”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Exchange has filed the proposal as a “non-controversial” proposed rule change pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(iii) of the Act  and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder. 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 certain of its rules to allow the Exchange to list options on the KBW Bank Index (“BKX”) at $1 strike price intervals. 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 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 those 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 parts of such statements.
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 amend ISE Rule 2009, Terms of Index Option Contracts, to allow the Exchange to list options on the KBW Bank Index (“BKX”) at $1 strike price interval below $200.
Strike price intervals for options on indexes are established in ISE Rule 2009(c)(1) at three levels: (a) At no less than $5 generally, (b) at no less than $2.50 for options on indexes that are specifically listed in the rule, and (c) at no less than $1 for Mini-Nasdaq-100 Index (MNX), which are based on 1/10th the value of the Nasdaq 100 Index (NDX). Thus, BKX options can be listed at $2.50 strike price intervals, as long as the strike price is below $200.
The Exchange now proposes that the minimum strike price interval for BKX options to be $1 or greater, as long as the strike price is below $200. The Exchange believes that $1 strike price intervals in BKX options series will provide investors with greater flexibility by allowing them to establish positions that are better tailored to meet their investment objectives.
For initial series, the Exchange would list at least two strike prices above and two strike prices below the current value of BKX at or about the time a series is opened for trading on the Exchange. As part of this initial listing, the Exchange would list strike prices that are within 5 points from the closing value of BKX on the preceding day. As for additional series, the Exchange would be permitted to add series when the Exchange deems it necessary to maintain an orderly market, to meet customer demand or when the underlying BKX moves substantially from the initial exercise price or prices. To the extent that any additional strike prices are listed by the Exchange, such additional strike prices shall be within thirty percent (30%) above or below the closing value of BKX. The Exchange would also be permitted to open additional strike prices that are more than 30% above or below the current BKX value provided that demonstrated customer interest exists for such series, as expressed by institutional, corporate or individual customers or their brokers. Market-Makers trading for their own account would not be considered when determining customer interest. In addition to the initial listed series, the Exchange may list up to sixty (60) additional series per expiration month for each series in BKX options. In all cases, however, $1 strike price intervals may be listed on BKX options only where the strike price is less than $200. In addition, the Exchange notes that, consistent with ISE Rule 2009(c), it shall not list LEAPS on BKX options at intervals less than $2.50.
The Exchange is also proposing to set forth a delisting policy with respect to BKX options. Specifically, the Exchange would regularly review series that are outside a range of five (5) strikes above and five (5) strikes below the current value of the BKX and may delist series with no open interest in both the put and the call series having a: (i) strike higher than the highest strike price with open interest in the put and/or call series for a given expiration month; and (ii) strike lower than the lowest strike price with open interest in the put and/or call series for a given expiration month.
Notwithstanding the proposed delisting policy, customer requests to add strikes and/or maintain strikes in BKX options in series eligible for delisting shall be granted.
Further, in connection with the proposed delisting policy, if the Exchange identifies series for delisting, the Exchange shall notify other options exchanges with similar delisting policies regarding eligible series for listing, and shall work with such other exchanges to develop a uniform list of series to be delisted, so as to ensure uniform series delisting of multiply listed BKX options.
It is expected that the proposed delisting policy for BKX options will be adopted by other options exchanges that list and trade BKX options.
ISE has analyzed its capacity and represents that it believes the Exchange and the Options Price Reporting Authority have the necessary systems capacity to handle the additional traffic associated with the listing and trading of $1 strikes or greater for BKX options.
2. Statutory Basis
The basis under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) for this proposed rule change is the requirement under Section 6(b)(5) of the Exchange Act  that an exchange have rules that are designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade, and 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. In particular, the proposed rule change will allow the Exchange to list options on BKX options at $1 strike intervals for the benefit of investors and as a competitive response to the listing of BKX options at $1 strike price intervals by another exchange.
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 Act.Start Printed Page 60011
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
Because the foregoing proposed rule change: (i) Does not significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (ii) does not impose any significant burden on competition; and (iii) by its terms, does not 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, it has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act  and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.
The Exchange has requested that the Commission waive the 30-day operative delay to permit the Exchange to compete effectively with other exchanges that have implemented similar rules permitting $1.00 strike price intervals for options on the KBW Bank Index. The Commission believes such waiver is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. 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 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 Number SR-ISE-2009-95 on the subject line.
- 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-2009-95. 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 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-2009-95 and should be submitted on or before December 10, 2009.Start Signature
For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.
Florence E. Harmon,
6. Rule 2009 also discusses, among other things, that the strike prices of options pursuant to the Quarterly Options Series Program (“Quarterly Options Series”) will be fixed at a price per share, with at least two, but not more than five, strike prices above and at least two, but not more than five, strike prices below the value of the underlying security at the time that a Quarterly Options Series is opened for trading on the Exchange. For strike price intervals for non-index options, see ISE Rule 504.Back to Citation
7. See ISE Rule 2009(c)(1)(lxxxii).Back to Citation
10. 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6). In addition, Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) requires the self-regulatory organization to submit to the Commission 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 satisfied this requirement.Back to Citation
11. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 60840 (October 20, 2009), 74 FR 55593 (October 28, 2009) (SR-Phlx-2009-77).Back to Citation
12. For purposes only of waiving the 30-day operative delay of this proposal, 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. E9-27748 Filed 11-18-09; 8:45 am]
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