December 15, 2011.
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 December 2, 2011, International Securities Exchange, LLC (the “Exchange” or “ISE”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III 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
The ISE proposes to amend its rules relating to a pilot program to quote and to trade certain options in pennies (“Penny Pilot Program”). The text of the proposed rule change is as follows, with deletions in [brackets] and additions are underlined:
Rule 710. Minimum Trading Increments
(a) The Board may establish minimum trading increments for options traded on the Exchange. Such changes by the Board will be designated as a stated policy, practice, or interpretation with respect to the administration of this Rule 710 within the meaning of subparagraph (3)(A) of Section 19(b) of the Exchange Act and will be filed with the SEC as a rule change for effectiveness upon filing. Until such time as the Board makes a change in the increments, the following principles shall apply:
(1) If the options contract is trading at less than $3.00 per option, $.05; and
(2) If the options contract is trading at $3.00 per option or higher, $.10.
(b) Minimum trading increments for dealings in options contracts other than those specified in paragraph (a) may be fixed by the Exchange from time to time for options contracts of a particular series.
(c) Notwithstanding the above, the Exchange may trade in the minimum variation of the primary market in the underlying security.
Supplementary Material to Rule 710
.01 Notwithstanding any other provision of this Rule 710, the Exchange will operate Start Printed Page 79724a pilot program , scheduled to expire on June 30, 2012, to permit options classes to be quoted and traded in increments as low as $.01. The Exchange will specify which options trade in such pilot, and in what increments, in Regulatory Information Circulars filed with the Commission pursuant to Rule 19b-4 under the Exchange Act and distributed to Members.
The Exchange may replace [, on a semi-annual basis,] any penny pilot issues that have been delisted with the next most actively traded multiply listed options classes that are not yet included in the penny pilot, based on trading activity in the previous six months. The replacement issues may be added to the penny pilot on the second trading day following January 1, 2012 [2011 and July 1, 2011].
.02 No Change.
* * * * *
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 these 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 the Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change
Under the Penny Pilot Program, the minimum price variation for all participating options classes, except for the Nasdaq-100 Index Tracking Stock (“QQQQ”), the SPDR S&P 500 Exchange Traded Fund (“SPY”) and the iShares Russell 2000 Index Fund (“IWM”), is $0.01 for all quotations in options series that are quoted at less than $3 per contract and $0.05 for all quotations in options series that are quoted at $3 per contract or greater. QQQQ, SPY and IWM are quoted in $0.01 increments for all options series. The Penny Pilot Program is currently scheduled to expire on December 31, 2011.
The Exchange proposes to extend the time period of the Penny Pilot Program through June 30, 2012, and to provide revised dates for adding replacement issues to the Penny Pilot program. The Exchange proposes that any Penny Pilot Program issues that have been delisted may be replaced on the second trading day following January 1, 2012. The replacement issues will be selected based on trading activity for the six month period beginning June 1, 2011, and ending November 30, 2011. This filing does not propose any substantive changes to the Penny Pilot Program: All classes currently participating will remain the same and all minimum increments will remain unchanged. The Exchange believes the benefits to public customers and other market participants who will be able to express their true prices to buy and sell options have been demonstrated to outweigh the increase in quote traffic.
The Exchange agrees to submit reports to the Commission that will analyze the impact of the Penny Pilot Program on market quality and options systems capacity. These reports will include, but are not limited to: (1) Data and analysis on the number of quotations generated for options included in the report; (2) an assessment of the quotation spreads for the options included in the report; (3) an assessment of the impact of the Penny Pilot Program on the capacity of the ISE's automated systems; (4) data reflecting the size and depth of markets; and (5) any capacity problems or other problems that arose related to the operation of the Penny Pilot Program and how the Exchange addressed them.
2. Statutory Basis
The basis under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) for this proposed rule change is found in Section 6(b)(5), in that the proposed rule change is designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade, remove impediments to and perfect the mechanisms of a free and open market and a national market system and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest. In particular, the proposed rule change, which extends the Penny Pilot Program for an additional six months, will enable public customers and other market participants to express their true prices to buy and sell options for the benefit of all market participants.
B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition
The proposed rule change does not 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 has not solicited, and does not intend to solicit, comments on this proposed rule change. The Exchange has not received any written comments from members or other interested parties.
III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action
Because the foregoing 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 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 
and Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) thereunder.
The Exchange provided 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 the proposed rule change as required by Rule 19b-4(f)(6).
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:
- 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 No. SR-ISE-2011-83. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Start Printed Page 79725Commission 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 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-ISE-2011-83 and should be submitted on or before January 12, 2012.
For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.
Kevin M. O'Neill,
[FR Doc. 2011-32748 Filed 12-21-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8011-01-P