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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Increase the Position and Exercise Limits for Options on the Standard & Poor's Depository Receipts

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Start Preamble July 20, 2011.

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 July 8, 2011, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated (“CBOE” or “Exchange”) 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 Exchange. 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

CBOE proposes to amend its rules to increase the position and exercise limits for options on the Standard and Poor's Depositary Receipts Trust (“SPY”) from 300,000 contracts to 900,000 contracts. The text of the rule proposal is available on the Exchange's Web site (http://www.cboe.org/​legal), at the Exchange's Office of the Secretary 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

1. Purpose

The purpose of the proposed rule change is to amend CBOE Rule 4.11, Interpretation and Policy .07 to increase the position and exercise limits for SPY options from 300,000 contracts to 900,000 contracts.[5] This filing is based on separate filings previously submitted by NASDAQ OMX PHLX, Inc. (“PHLX”), which the Commission recently approved,[6] and by International Securities Exchange, LLC (“ISE”).[7]

The Exchange began trading SPY options on January 10, 2005 on the CBOE Hybrid Trading System. That year, the position limit for these options was increased from 75,000 contracts to the current limit of 300,000 contracts on the same side of the market.[8] Currently, SPY options have a position limit of 300,000 contracts on the same side on the market.

Under the Exchange's proposal, the options reporting requirement for SPY options would continue unabated. Thus, the Exchange would still require that each Trading Permit Holder (“TPH”) or TPH organization that maintains a position in SPY options on the same side of the market, for its own account or for the account of a customer, report certain information to the Exchange. This information would include, but would not be limited to, the option position, whether such position is hedged and, if so, a description of the hedge, and the collateral used to carry the position, if applicable. Exchange market-makers (including Designated Primary Market-Makers) would continue to be exempt from this reporting requirement, as market-maker information can be accessed through the Exchange's market surveillance systems. In addition, the general reporting requirement for customer accounts that maintain an aggregate position of 200 or more option contracts would remain at this level for SPY options.[9]

As the anniversary of listed options trading approaches its fortieth year, the Exchange believes that the existing surveillance procedures and reporting requirements at CBOE, other options exchanges, and at the several clearing firms are capable of properly identifying unusual and/or illegal trading activity. In addition, routine oversight inspections of the Exchange's regulatory programs by the Commission have not uncovered any material inconsistencies or shortcomings in the manner in which the Exchange's market surveillance is conducted. These procedures utilize daily monitoring of market movements via automated surveillance techniques to identify unusual activity in both options and underlying stocks.[10]

Furthermore, large stock holdings must be disclosed to the Commission by way of Schedules 13D or 13G.[11] Options positions are part of any reportable positions and, thus, cannot be legally hidden. Moreover, the Exchange's requirement that TPHs file reports with the Exchange for any customer who held aggregate large long or short positions of any single class for the previous day will continue to serve as Start Printed Page 44634an important part of the Exchange's surveillance efforts.

The Exchange believes that the current financial requirements imposed by the Exchange and by the Commission adequately address concerns that a TPH or its customer may try to maintain an inordinately large un-hedged position in an option, particularly on SPY. Current margin and risk-based haircut methodologies serve to limit the size of positions maintained by any one account by increasing the margin and/or capital that a TPH must maintain for a large position held by itself or by its customer.[12] In addition, the Commission's net capital rule, Rule 15c3-1 [13] under the Act,[14] imposes a capital charge on TPHs to the extent of any margin deficiency resulting from the higher margin requirement.

The Exchange believes that the proposed increase in position and exercise limits on SPY options is required for competitive purposes as well as for purposes of consistency and uniformity among the competing options exchanges. This supports the Exchange's current proposal to increase the position and exercise limits applicable to SPY options.

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder, including the requirements of Section 6(b) of the Act.[15] In particular, the Exchange believes the proposed rule change is consistent with the Section 6(b)(5) [16] requirements that the rules of an exchange be designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts, to foster cooperation and coordination with persons engaged in facilitating transactions in securities, to remove impediments to and to perfect the mechanism for a free and open market and a national market system, and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest. Specifically, the proposed rule change will benefit large market makers (which generally have the greatest potential and actual ability to provide liquidity and depth in the product), as well as retail traders, investors, and public customers, by providing them with a more effective trading and hedging vehicle. In addition, the Exchange believes that the structure of SPY options and the considerable liquidity of the market for SPY options diminish the opportunity to manipulate this product and disrupt the underlying market that a lower position limit may protect against.

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

CBOE 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

No written comments were solicited or received with respect to the proposed rule change.

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

Because the proposed rule change does not (i) Significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (ii) impose any significant burden on competition; and (iii) become operative prior to 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, provided that the self-regulatory organization has given the Commission written notice of its intent to file 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 proposed rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act [17] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) (iii) thereunder.[18]

A proposed rule change filed under Rule 19b-4(f)(6) [19] normally does not become operative prior to 30 days after the date of the filing. However, pursuant to Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii),[20] the Commission may designate a shorter time if such action is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. The Exchange has requested that the Commission waive the 30-day operative delay so that the proposal may become operative immediately upon filing. The Commission believes that waiving the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest, because it will enable the Exchange to immediately compete with other exchanges that have already adopted the higher position and exercise limit for options on the SPY. Therefore, the Commission designates the proposal operative upon filing.[21]

At any time within 60 days of the filing of such 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-CBOE-2011-065. 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 Start Printed Page 44635those 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 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-CBOE-2011-065 and should be submitted on or before August 16, 2011.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.[22]

Elizabeth M. Murphy,

Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(iii).

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5.  By virtue of CBOE Rule 4.12, Interpretation and Policy .02, which is not being amended by this filing, the exercise limit for SPY options would be similarly increased.

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6.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 64695 (June 17, 2011) 76 FR 36942 (June 23, 2011) (SR-PHLX-2011-58) (approval order to increase position and exercise limits for SPY options).

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7.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 64760 (June 28, 2011) (SR-ISE-2011-34) (proposed rule change to increase position and exercise limits for SPY options).

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8.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 51041 (January 14, 2005), 70 FR 3408 (January 24, 2005) (SR-CBOE-2005-06).

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9.  For reporting requirements, see CBOE Rule 4.13.

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10.  These procedures have been effective for the surveillance of SPY options trading and will continue to be employed.

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12.  See CBOE Rule 12.3 for a description of margin requirements.

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19.  17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6). In addition, Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) requires that a self-regulatory organization 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 filing of the proposed rule change, or such shorter time as designated by the Commission. The Commission notes that the Exchange has satisfied this requirement.

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20.  17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).

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21.  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. 2011-18797 Filed 7-25-11; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8011-01-P