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 September 8, 2010, NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc. (the “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by the self-regulatory organization. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule from interested persons.
I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change
The Exchange proposes to amend Chapter IV, Section 3 (Criteria for Underlying Securities) of the Rules of the Boston Options Exchange Group, LLC (“BOX”) to permit options on Start Printed Page 57824Futures-Linked Securities to be based on products linked to CBOE Volatility Index Futures (“VIX Futures”). The text of the proposed rule change is available from the principal office of the Exchange, 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 the Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change
Chapter IV, Section 3(k) of the BOX Rules designates the listing and trading of options on equity index-linked securities (“Equity Index-Linked Securities”, “Commodity-Linked Securities”, “Currency-Linked Securities”, “Fixed Income Index-Linked Securities”, “Futures-Linked Securities” and “Multifactor Index-Linked Securities”, collectively known as “Index-Linked Securities”) that are principally traded on a national securities exchange and are defined as an “NMS Stock” (as defined in Rule 600 of Regulation NMS under the Securities and [sic] Exchange Act of 1934). BOX proposes to amend the definition of Futures-Linked Securities for the trading of options on Index-Linked Securities to include products linked to CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) Futures.
Specifically, the Exchange proposes to add the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) Futures to the definition of a Futures Reference Asset in Chapter IV, Section 3(k)(i)(5) of the BOX Rules.
Index-Linked Securities are designed for investors who desire to participate in a specific market segment by providing exposure to one or more identifiable underlying securities, commodities, currencies, derivative instruments or market indexes of the foregoing (“Underlying Index” or “Underlying Indexes”). Index-Linked Securities are the non-convertible debt of an issuer that have a term of at least one (1) year but not greater than thirty (30) years. Despite the fact that Index-Linked Securities are linked to an underlying index, each trades as a single, exchange-listed security. Accordingly, rules pertaining to the listing and trading of standard equity options apply to Index-Linked Securities.
Currently, the Exchange will consider listing and trading options on Index-Linked Securities provided the Index-Linked Securities meet the criteria for underlying securities set forth in Chapter IV, Section 3(a)-(b) of the BOX Rules.
Index-Linked Securities must meet the criteria and guidelines for underlying securities set forth in Chapter IV, Section 3(b) of the BOX Rules; or the Index-Linked Securities must be redeemable at the option of the holder at least on a weekly basis through the issuer at a price related to the applicable underlying Reference Asset. In addition, the issuing company is obligated to issue or repurchase the securities in aggregation units for cash or cash equivalents satisfactory to the issuer of Index-Linked Securities which underlie the option as described in the Index-Linked Securities prospectus.
Options on Index-Linked Securities will continue to be subject to all BOX rules governing the trading of equity options. The current continuing or maintenance listing standards for options traded on BOX will continue to apply.
The information in this filing relating to the VIX was taken from the Web site of the Chicago Board Options Exchange (the “CBOE”).
The VIX was originally developed by the CBOE in 1993 and was calculated using S&P 100® Index options. The current methodology for the VIX was introduced by the CBOE in September 2003 and it is now an index that uses the quotes of certain S&P 500® Index (“SPX”) option series to derive a measure of the volatility of the U.S. equity market. The VIX measures market expectations of near term volatility conveyed by the prices of options on the SPX. It provides investors with up-to-the-minute market estimates of expected stock market volatility over the next 30 calendar days by extracting implied volatilities from real-time index option bid/ask quotes.
Information regarding VIX Futures can be found on the Web site of the CBOE Futures Exchange (the “CFE”). The CFE began listing and trading VIX Futures since March 26, 2004 under the ticker symbol VX. VIX Futures trade between the hours of 8:30 a.m.-3:15 p.m. Central Time (Chicago Time).
2. Statutory Basis
The Exchange believes that the proposal is consistent with the requirements of Section 6(b) of the Act, in general, and Section 6(b)(5) of the Act, 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 a national market system and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest. In particular, Exchange believes that the proposed rules applicable to trading pursuant to generic listing and trading criteria, together with the Exchange's surveillance procedures applicable to trading in the securities covered by the proposed rules, serve to foster investor protection.
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: (1) Does not significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (2) does not impose any significant burden on competition; and (3) by its terms does not become operative for 30 days after the date of this filing, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate if consistent Start Printed Page 57825with 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  and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.
A proposed rule change filed under Rule 19b-4(f)(6) normally does not become operative for 30 days after the date of filing. However, Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) permits the Commission to designate a shorter time if such action is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. The Exchange requests that the Commission waive the 30-day operative delay so that the Exchange can list and trade options on Futures-Linked Securities linked to CBOE VIX Futures immediately. The Commission believes that waiving the 30-day operative delay to permit the Exchange to list and trade options on Futures-Linked Securities linked to CBOE VIX Futures without delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. The Commission notes the proposal is substantively identical to proposals that were recently approved by the Commission, and does not raise any new regulatory issues. For these reasons, the Commission designates the proposed rule change as operative upon filing.
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:
- 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-BX-2010-063 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-BX-2010-063. 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 website (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 website 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-2010-063 and should be submitted on or before October 13, 2010.Start Signature
For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.
Florence E. Harmon,
3. For the purposes of Chapter IV, Section 3(k) of the BOX Rules, Equity Reference Assets, Commodity Reference Assets, Currency Reference Assets, Fixed Income Reference Assets, Futures Reference Assets together with Multifactor Reference Assets, collectively will be referred to as “Reference Assets”, as defined in Chapter IV, Section 3(k)(ii) of the BOX Rules.Back to Citation
7. 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
8. For purposes only of waiving the 30-day operative delay, the Commission has also considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. See 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).Back to Citation
9. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 60857 (Oct. 21, 2009), 74 FR 55611 (Oct. 28, 2009) (SR-CBOE-2009-074); See also Securities Exchange Act Release No. 60822 (Oct. 14, 2009), 74 FR 54114 (Oct. 21, 2009) (SR-NYSEArca-2009-77); and Securities Exchange Act Release No. 60823 (Oct. 14, 2009), 74 FR 54112 (Oct. 21, 2009) (SR-NYSEAmex-2009-59).Back to Citation
10. The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Commission's Web site at http://www.sec.gov.Back to Citation
[FR Doc. 2010-23603 Filed 9-21-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8010-01-P