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 July 27, 2010, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) 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 substantially been prepared by FINRA. 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
FINRA is proposing to amend FINRA Rule 5190 (Notification Requirements for Offering Participants) relating to the notice requirements applicable to distributions of “actively traded” securities, as defined under SEC Regulation M.
The text of the proposed rule change is available on FINRA's Web site at http://www.finra.org, at the principal office of FINRA 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, FINRA 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. FINRA 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
FINRA Rule 5190 imposes certain notice requirements on members participating in distributions of listed and unlisted securities and is designed to ensure that FINRA receives pertinent distribution-related information from its members in a timely fashion to facilitate its Regulation M compliance program.
Rule 5190(d) sets forth the notice requirements applicable to distributions of securities that are considered “actively traded” and thus are not subject to a restricted period under Rule 101 of Regulation M. In connection with such distributions, pursuant to Rule 5190(d)(1), members are required to provide written notice to FINRA of the member's determination that no restricted period applies and the basis for such determination. Members must provide such notice at least one business day prior to the pricing of the distribution, unless later notification is necessary under specific circumstances. Rule 5190(d)(2) requires that upon pricing a distribution of an “actively traded” security, members provide written notice to FINRA, along with pricing-related information such as the offering price, the last sale before the distribution and the pricing basis. Notice of pricing must be provided no later than the close of business the next business day following the pricing of the distribution, unless later notification is necessary under specific circumstances.
FINRA is proposing to amend Rule 5190(d) to require that notice under subparagraphs (1) and (2) be provided at the same time; specifically, no later than the close of business the next business day following the pricing of the distribution. While the timing of notice under subparagraph (1) would change, the information required would not change. Thus, pursuant to the proposed rule change, members will be required to provide a single notice after pricing of the distribution and will be required to provide all of the same information that they provide today.
FINRA has determined that it will be sufficient for members to provide notice Start Printed Page 49543of their determination that no restricted period applies following the pricing of the distribution. The proposed rule change will not impact FINRA's Regulation M surveillance program.
Additionally, a significant number of distributions of “actively traded” securities evolve quickly after the market close and are priced overnight before the next trading session. Thus, members frequently do not have sufficient advance knowledge of their participation in the distribution to provide notice to FINRA at least one business day prior to pricing and in such instances are unable to comply with the express terms of Rule 5190(d)(1). FINRA then must make a determination whether later notification was necessary under the circumstances, in accordance with the rule. The proposed rule change will clarify members' notice obligations in the context of such distributions.
The proposed rule change will be effective on the date of Commission approval.
2. Statutory Basis
FINRA believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the provisions of Section 15A(b)(6) of the Act, which requires, among other things, that FINRA rules must be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest. FINRA believes that the proposed rule change will streamline FINRA's Regulation M-related notice requirements and, combined with FINRA's existing Regulation M compliance program, will protect investors.
B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition
FINRA does not believe that the proposed rule change will result in 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
Written comments were neither solicited nor received.
III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action
Within 45 days of the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register or within such longer period up to 90 days (i) as the Commission may designate 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 or disapprove the 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-FINRA-2010-037 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-FINRA-2010-037. 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 Web site viewing and printing 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 FINRA. 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-FINRA-2010-037 and should be submitted on or before September 3, 2010.Start Signature
For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.
Florence E. Harmon,
3. The exclusion for “actively traded” securities removes from Rule 101 of Regulation M securities with an “ADTV” value, as defined in Rule 100 of Regulation M, of at least $1 million where the issuer's common equity securities have a public float value of at least $150 million.Back to Citation
4. See e-mail from Lisa Horrigan, Asssociate General Counsel, FINRA, to Elizabeth Sandoe, Branch Chief and Brad Gude, Special Counsel, Division of Trading and Markets, Commission, dated August 6, 2010 (“FINRA Email”).Back to Citation
6. See FINRA E-mail, supra note 4.Back to Citation
[FR Doc. 2010-19966 Filed 8-12-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8010-01-P