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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Related to Trades for Less Than $1

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Start Preamble December 2, 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 November 29, 2011, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated (“Exchange” or “CBOE”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II and III below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Exchange has designated the proposal as a “non-controversial” proposed rule change pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) 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

The Exchange is proposing to extend its program that allows transactions to take place at a price that is below $1 per option contract through June 29, 2012. The text of the proposed rule change 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.

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 Exchange 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, Proposed Rule Change

1. Purpose

An “accommodation” or “cabinet” trade refers to trades in listed options on the Exchange that are worthless or not actively traded. Cabinet trading is generally conducted in accordance with the Exchange Rules, except as provided in Exchange Rule 6.54, Accommodation Liquidations (Cabinet Trades), which sets forth specific procedures for engaging in cabinet trades. Rule 6.54 currently provides for cabinet transactions to occur via open outcry at a cabinet price of $1 per option contract in any options series open for trading in the Exchange, except that the Rule is not applicable to trading in option classes participating in the Penny Pilot Program. Under the procedures, bids and offers (whether opening or closing a position) at a price of $1 per option contract may be represented in the trading crowd by a Floor Broker or by a Market-Maker or provided in response to a request by a PAR Official/OBO, a Floor Broker or a Market-Maker, but must yield priority to all resting orders in the PAR Official/OBO cabinet book (which resting cabinet book orders may be closing only). So long as both the buyer and the seller yield to orders resting in the cabinet book, opening cabinet bids can trade with opening cabinet offers at $1 per option contract.

The Exchange has temporarily amended the procedures through December 30, 2011 to allow transactions to take place in open outcry at a price of at least $0 but less than $1 per option contract.[5] These lower priced transactions are traded pursuant to the same procedures applicable to $1 cabinet trades, except that (i) Bids and offers for opening transactions are only permitted to accommodate closing transactions in order to limit use of the procedure to liquidations of existing positions, and (ii) the procedures are also available for trading in option Start Printed Page 76789classes participating in the Penny Pilot Program.[6] The Exchange believes that allowing a price of at least $0 but less than $1 better accommodates the closing of options positions in series that are worthless or not actively traded, particularly due to market conditions which may result in a significant number of series being out-of-the-money. For example, a market participant might have a long position in a call series with a strike price of $100 and the underlying stock might now be trading at $30. In such an instance, there might not otherwise be a market for that person to close-out the position even at the $1 cabinet price (e.g., the series might be quoted no bid).[7]

The purpose of the instant rule change is to extend the operation of these temporary procedures through June 29, 2012, so that the procedures can continue without interruption while CBOE considers whether to seek permanent approval of the temporary procedures.

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act [8] and the rules and regulations thereunder and, in particular, the requirements of Section 6(b) of the Act.[9] Specifically, the Exchange believes the proposed rule change is consistent with the Section 6(b)(5) [10] requirements that the rules of an exchange be designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts, 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. The Exchange believes that allowing for liquidations at a price less than $1 per option contract better facilitates the closing of options positions that are worthless or not actively trading.

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 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

The Exchange neither solicited nor received comments on the proposal.

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

Because the foregoing rule does not (i) significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (ii) impose any significant burden on competition; and (iii) 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, 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 [11] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.[12] 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.

All submissions should refer to File Number SR-CBOE-2011-113. This file number should be included on the subject line if email 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 CBOE. 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-CBOE-2011-113 and should be submitted on or before December 29, 2011.

Start Signature
Start Printed Page 76790

For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.[13]

Kevin M. O'Neill,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

5.  See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 59188 (December 30, 2008), 74 FR 480 (January 6, 2009) (SR-CBOE-2008-133) (adopting the amended procedures on a temporary basis through January 30, 2009), 59331 (January 30, 2009), 74 FR 6333 (February 6, 2009) (extending the amended procedures on a temporary basis through May 29, 2009), 60020 (June 1, 2009), 74 FR 27220 (June 8, 2009) (SR-CBOE-2009-034) (extending the amended procedures on a temporary basis through June 1, 2010), 62192 (May 28, 2010), 75 FR 31828 (June 4, 2010) (SR-CBOE-2010-052) (extending the amended procedures on a temporary basis through June 1, 2011) and 64403 (May 4, 2011), 76 FR 27110 (May 10, 2011) (SR-CBOE-2011-048) (extending the amended procedures on a temporary basis through December 30, 2011).

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6.  Currently the $1 cabinet trading procedures are limited to options classes traded in $0.05 or $0.10 standard increment. The $1 cabinet trading procedures are not available in Penny Pilot Program classes because in those classes an option series can trade in a standard increment as low as $0.01 per share (or $1.00 per option contract with a 100 share multiplier). Because the temporary procedures allow trading below $0.01 per share (or $1.00 per option contract with a 100 share multiplier), the procedures are available for all classes, including those classes participating in the Penny Pilot Program.

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7.  As with other accommodation liquidations under Rule 6.54, transactions that occur for less than $1 are not be [sic] disseminated to the public on the consolidated tape. In addition, as with other accommodation liquidations under Rule 6.54, the transactions are exempt from the Consolidated Options Audit Trail (“COATS”) requirements of Exchange Rule 6.24, Required Order Information. However, the Exchange maintains quotation, order and transaction information for the transactions in the same format as the COATS data is maintained. In this regard, all transactions for less than $1 must be reported to the Exchange following the close of each business day. The rule also provides that transactions for less than $1 will be reported for clearing utilizing forms, formats and procedures established by the Exchange from time to time. In this regard, the Exchange initially intends to have clearing firms directly report the transactions to The Options Clearing Corporation (“OCC”) using OCC's position adjustment/transfer procedures. This manner of reporting transactions for clearing is similar to the procedure that CBOE currently employs for on-floor position transfer packages executed pursuant to Exchange Rule 6.49A, Transfer of Positions.

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[FR Doc. 2011-31480 Filed 12-7-11; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8011-01-P