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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; BOX Options Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Clarify How the Exchange Will Treat a Market Maker's Quoting Obligations When the Underlying Equity Security Enters a Limit State or Straddle State

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Start Preamble Start Printed Page 16749 March 11, 2013.

Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”),[1] and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,[2] notice is hereby given that on March 8, 2013, BOX Options Exchange LLC (“BOX” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, 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

The Exchange proposes to amend Rule 7080 to clarify how the Exchange will treat a Market Maker's quoting obligations when the underlying equity security enters a Limit State or Straddle State. 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://boxexchange.com.

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

1. Purpose

Previously, the Commission approved a National Market System Plan to Address Extraordinary Market Volatility across the equities markets (as amended, the “Plan”). The purpose of this proposed rule change is to implement joint industry principles across the options exchanges to address the implementation of the Plan. In particular, this proposed rule change will address how the Exchange will treat Market Maker quoting obligations for the options classes to which it is appointed when the underlying equity security enters a Limit State or Straddle State, as those terms are defined within the Plan.

Specifically, the Exchange proposes to amend IM-7080-1 (Trading Conditions During Limit State or Straddle State) to provide that if the underlying security has entered a Limit State or Straddle State, the time in these States shall not count for purposes of calculating whether a Market Maker is fulfilling his obligations for continuous quotes under BOX Rule 8050(e).

The Limit Up-Limit Down Plan is designed to prevent executions from occurring outside of dynamic price bands disseminated to the public by the single plan processor as defined in the Limit Up-Limit Down Plan. Under the Plan, a Limit State will be declared if the national best offer equals the lower price band and does not cross the national best bid, or the national best bid equals the upper price band and does not cross the national best offer. A Straddle State is when the national best bid (offer) is below (above) the lower (upper) price band and the security is not in a Limit State, and trading in that security deviates from normal trading characteristics such that declaring a trading pause would support the Plan's goal to address extraordinary market volatility. Accordingly, when the underlying security is in a Limit State or Straddle State, there will not be a reliable price for the security to serve as a benchmark for the price of the related option.

Under BOX Rule 8050(e), the Exchange requires Market Makers to enter continuous bids and offers for the options series to which it is registered for at least 60% of the time that the classes in which the Market Maker is registered are open for trading. While, in theory, the liquidity provided by requiring Market Makers to continue to quote during a Limit or Straddle State could help to stabilize a volatile market, without a reliable benchmark for pricing an option, Market Makers would likely respond to the uncertainty by entering very wide quotes, which would not provide any additional stability and could potentially lead to additional uncertainty. As such, the Exchange is proposing to specify that an underlying security's Limit State or Straddle State time shall not count for purposes of calculating whether a Market Maker is fulfilling its obligations for continuous quotes under Rule 8050(e). This means that when a Limit State or Straddle State occurs, the total time that the underlying security is in the one of these States shall not be considered as part of the trading day for purposes of calculating the requirement that a Market Maker must post valid quotes at least 60% of the time the classes are open for trading. The Exchange believes that this relief will help to maintain a fair and efficient marketplace for the execution of options.

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that its proposal is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act in particular, in that it is designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system, and, in general to protect investors and the public interest. Specifically, the Exchange believes that the proposal is designed to help maintain fair and orderly markets by imposing certain modified conditions during times of uncertainty regarding the price of the underlying security due to extraordinary market volatility in such underlying security.

The Exchange believes that excluding an underlying security's Limit State or Straddle State time for purposes of calculating whether a Market Maker is fulfilling his obligations for continuous quotes will help to prevent executions that might occur at prices that have not been reliably formed. Further, the proposed changes will allow Market Makers to enter orders only where the Market Maker is confident in the price of the option, rather than on a continuous basis in all series in which the Market Maker is registered, which the Exchange believes will help to minimize uncertainty during a volatile market. The Exchange also believes that these changes will help to incentivize participants registered with BOX as Market Makers to continue to act as Market Makers, rather than potentially causing Market Makers to deregister. Start Printed Page 16750The Exchange also believes that this change will help to protect all investors from executions at prices that are not based on a reliable benchmark for the price of an option during times of significant volatility, and thus, believes the proposal to be consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest.

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. To the contrary, the Exchange believes that other options exchanges are proposing to modify a market maker's quoting obligations when the underlying security is subject to a Limit State or Straddle State in connection with the Limit Up-Limit Down Plan consistent with the Exchange's handling proposed by this filing.

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

Within 45 days of the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register or within such longer period (i) as the Commission may designate up to 90 days of such date if it finds such longer period to be appropriate and publishes its reasons for so finding or (ii) as to which the self-regulatory organization consents, the Commission will:

(A) By order approve or disapprove such proposed rule change, or

(B) institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be disapproved.

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 No. SR-BOX-2013-13. 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 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 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-BOX-2013-13 and should be submitted on or before April 2, 2013.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.3

Kevin M. O'Neill,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

[FR Doc. 2013-06088 Filed 3-15-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8011-01-P