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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to Establishing Strike Price Intervals for Options on Trust Issued Receipts, Including Holding Company Depositary Receipts

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Start Preamble August 13, 2010.

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 August 9, 2010, NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc. (the “Exchange”) 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 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

NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc. (the “Exchange”) proposes to amend Chapter IV, Section 6 (Series of Options Contracts Open for Trading) of the Rules of the Boston Options Exchange Group, LLC (“BOX”) to establish strike price intervals for options on Trust Issued Receipts (“TIRs”), including Holding Company Depositary Receipts (“HOLDRs”). The text of the proposed rule change is available from the principal office of the Exchange, on the Commission's Web site at http://www.sec.gov, at the Commission's Public Reference Room and also on the Exchange's Internet Web site at http://nasdaqomxbx.cchwallstreet.com/​NASDAQOMXBX/​Filings/​.

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

The purpose of this filing is to amend Chapter IV, Section 6, Supplementary Material .01 of the BOX Rules to allow BOX to list options on Trust Issued Receipts (“TIRs”), including Holding Company Depository Receipts (“HOLDRs”), in $1 or greater strike price intervals, where the strike price is $200 or less, and $5 or greater where the strike price is greater than $200.[3]

Currently, the strike price intervals for options on TIRs are as follows: (1) $2.50 or greater where the strike price is $ 25.00 or less; (2) $5.00 or greater where the strike price is greater than $25.00; and (3) $10.00 or greater where the strike price is greater than $200.[4]

BOX is seeking to permit $1 strikes for options on TIRs where the strike price is less than $200 because TIRs have characteristics similar to exchange traded funds (“ETFs”). Specifically, TIRs are exchange-listed securities representing beneficial ownership of the specific deposited securities represented by the receipts. They are negotiable Start Printed Page 51307receipts issued by a trust representing securities of issuers that have been deposited and held on behalf of the holders of the TIRs. TIRs, which trade in round-lots of 100, and multiples thereof, may be issued after their initial offering through a deposit with the trustee of the required number of shares of common stock of the underlying issuers. This characteristic of TIRs is similar to that of ETFs, which also may be created on any business day upon receipt of the requisite securities or other investment assets comprising a creation unit. The trust only issues receipts upon the deposit of the shares of the underlying securities that are represented by a round-lot of 100 receipts. Likewise, the trust will cancel, and an investor may obtain, hold, trade or surrender TIRs in a round-lot and round-lot multiples of 100 receipts.

Strike prices for ETF options are permitted in $1 or greater intervals where the strike price is $200 or less and $5 or greater where the strike is greater than $200. Accordingly, BOX believes that the rationale for permitting $1 strikes for ETF options equally applies to permitting $1 strikes for options on TIRs. BOX has analyzed its capacity and believes the Exchange and the Options Price Reporting Authority (“OPRA”) have the necessary systems capacity to handle the additional traffic associated with the listing and trading of $1 strikes where the strike price is less than $200 for options on TIRs.

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that the proposal is consistent with the requirements of Section 6(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”),[5] in general, and Section 6(b)(5) of the Exchange Act,[6] in particular, in that it is designed to foster cooperation and coordination with persons engaged in regulating, clearing, settling, processing information with respect to, and facilitating transactions in, securities, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism for a free and open market and national market system and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest. In particular, BOX believes that the marketplace and investors expect options on TIRs to trade in a similar manner to ETF options. BOX further believes that investors will be better served if $1 strike price intervals are available for options on TIRs where the strike price is less than $200.

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

The Exchange has neither solicited nor received comments on the proposed rule change.

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

Because the foregoing proposed rule change does not significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest, does not impose any significant burden on competition, and, 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, it has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act[7] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.[8]

The Exchange has requested that the Commission waive the 30-day operative delay. The Commission believes that waiver of the operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest because the proposal is substantially similar to a rule of another exchange that has been approved by the Commission.[9] Therefore, the Commission designates the proposal operative upon filing.[10]

At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend 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:

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-BX-2010-056. 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 the 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-BX-2010-056 and should be submitted on or before September 9, 2010.

Start Signature
Start Printed Page 51308

For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.11

Florence E. Harmon,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  HOLDRs are a type of TIR and the current proposal would permit $1 strikes for options on HOLDRS where the strike price is less than $200.

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4.  See Chapter IV, Section 6(d) of the BOX Rules.

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8.  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 the five-day pre-filing requirement.

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9.  See Securities Exchange Release No. 34-62141 (May 20, 2010), 75 FR 29787 (May 27, 2010) (SR-CBOE-2010-036).

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10.  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. 2010-20554 Filed 8-18-10; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P