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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; International Securities Exchange, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to Rule 703A

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Start Preamble April 7, 2014.

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 April 4, 2014, the International Securities Exchange, LLC (“Exchange” or “ISE”) 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 Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

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I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

The ISE proposes to extend a pilot program under Rule 703A(d) that suspends Rule 720 regarding obvious errors during Limit and Straddle States in securities that underlie options traded on the ISE. The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's Web site (http://www.ise.com), at the principal office of the Exchange, 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 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 Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

1. Purpose

On April 5, 2013,[3] the Commission approved a proposed rule change designed to address certain issues related to the Plan to Address Extraordinary Market Volatility Pursuant to Rule 608 of Regulation NMS under the Act (the “Limit Up-Limit Down Plan” or the “Plan”).[4] The rules adopted in that filing established a one year pilot program to exclude transactions executed during a Limit State [5] or Straddle State [6] from the obvious error provisions of Rule 720. The purpose of this filing is to extend the effectiveness of this pilot program to coincide with the proposed extension of the Limit Up-Limit Down Plan to February 20, 2015.[7]

The Exchange believes the benefits to market participants from this provision should continue on a pilot basis. The Exchange continues to believe that adding certainty to the execution of orders in Limit or Straddle States will encourage market participants to continue to provide liquidity to the Exchange, and, thus, promote a fair and orderly market during these periods. Barring this provision, the obvious error provisions of Rule 720 would likely apply in many instances during Limit and Straddle States. The Exchange believes that continuing the pilot will protect against any unanticipated consequences in the options markets during a Limit or Straddle State. Thus, the Exchange believes that the protections of current rule should continue while the industry gains further experience operating the Plan.

Pursuant to a letter filed in connection with the order approving the establishment of the pilot,[8] the Exchange committed to submit monthly data regarding the program. In addition, the Exchange agreed to submit an overall analysis of the pilot in conjunction with the data submitted under the Plan and any other data as requested by the Commission. The Exchange now notes that each month, the Exchange shall provide to the Commission, and the public, a dataset containing the data for each Straddle and Limit State in optionable stocks that had at least one trade on the Exchange.[9] For each trade on the Exchange, the Exchange will provide (a) the stock symbol, option symbol, time at the start of the Straddle or Limit State, an indicator for whether it is a Straddle or Limit State, and (b) for the trades on the Exchange, the executed volume, time-weighted quoted bid-ask spread, time-weighted average quoted depth at the bid, time-weighted average quoted depth at the offer, high execution price, low execution price, number of trades for which a request for review for error was received during Straddle and Limit States, an indicator variable for whether those options outlined above have a price change exceeding 30% during the underlying stock's Limit or Straddle State compared to the last available option price as reported by OPRA before the start of the Limit or Straddle State (1 if observe 30% and 0 otherwise), and another indicator variable for whether the option price within five minutes of the underlying stock leaving the Limit or Straddle State (or halt if applicable) is 30% away from the price before the start of the Limit or Straddle State.

In addition, the Exchange will provide to the Commission, no later than September 30, 2014, assessments relating to the impact of the operation of the obvious error rules during Limit and Straddle States including: (1) an evaluation of the statistical and economic impact of Limit and Straddle States on liquidity and market quality in the options markets, and (2) an assessment of whether the lack of obvious error rules in effect during the Straddle and Limit States are problematic. This data will be submitted under separate cover. Confidential treatment under the Freedom of Information Act is requested regarding the analysis.

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that its proposal is consistent with the requirements of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder that are applicable to a national securities exchange, and, in particular, with the requirements of Section 6(b) of the Act.[10] In particular, the proposal is consistent with Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,[11] because it 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. Additionally, the Exchange believes the proposed rule change is consistent with the Section 6(b)(5) [12] requirement that the rules of an exchange not be designed to permit unfair discrimination between customers, issuers, brokers, or dealers.

In particular, the Exchange further believes that it is necessary and appropriate in the interest of promoting fair and orderly markets to exclude transactions executed during a Limit or Straddle State from certain aspects of Rule 720. The Exchange believes the application of the current rule will be impracticable given the lack of a reliable national best bid or offer in the options market during Limit and Straddle Start Printed Page 20271States, and that the resulting actions (i.e., nullified trades or adjusted prices) may not be appropriate given market conditions. Extension of this pilot would ensure that limit orders that are filled during a Limit or Straddle State would have certainty of execution in a manner that promotes just and equitable principles of trade, removes impediments to, and perfects the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system. Thus, the Exchange believes that the protections of the pilot should continue while the industry gains further experience operating the Plan.

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 that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. Specifically, the Exchange believes that, by extending the expiration of the pilot, the proposed rule change will allow for further analysis of the pilot and a determination of how the pilot shall be structured in the future. In doing so, the proposed rule change will also serve to promote regulatory clarity and consistency, thereby reducing burdens on the marketplace and facilitating investor protection. The Exchange further notes that other options exchanges have filed to extend their own obvious error pilots to coincide with the proposed extension of the Limit Up-Limit Down Plan.[13]

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 unsolicited written comments from members or other interested parties.

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 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, the proposed rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act [14] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) thereunder.[15]

The Exchange has asked the Commission to waive the 30-day operative delay so that the proposal may become operative immediately upon filing. The Exchange stated that waiver of this requirement will allow the Exchange to extend the pilot program prior to its expiration on April 8, 2014. The Exchange also stated that the proposal will allow for the least amount of market disruption as the pilot will continue as it currently does, maintaining the status quo. For these reasons, the Commission believes that the proposed rule change presents no novel issues and that waiver of the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. Therefore, the Commission designates the proposed rule change to be operative upon filing.[16]

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. If the Commission takes such action, the Commission shall institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule should be approved or 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 Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

All submissions should refer to File Number SR-ISE-2014-22. 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 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-ISE-2014-22 and should be submitted on or before May 2, 2014.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.17

Kevin M. O'Neill,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 69329 (April 5, 2013), 78 FR 21657 (April 11, 2014) (SR-ISE-2013-22) (Approval Order); 69110 (March 11, 2013) 78 FR 16726 (March 18, 2013) (SR-ISE-2013-22) (Notice of Filing).

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4.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 67091 (May 31, 2012), 77 FR 33498 (June 6, 2012) (the “Limit Up-Limit Down Release”).

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5.  The term “Limit State” means the condition when the national best bid or national best offer for an underlying security equals an applicable price band, as determined by the primary listing exchange for the underlying security. See ISE Rule 703A.

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6.  The term “Straddle State” means the condition when the national best bid or national best offer for an underlying security is non-executable, as determined by the primary listing exchange for the underlying security, but the security is not in a Limit State. See ISE Rule 703A.

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7.  See Exchange Act Release No. 71649 (March 5, 2014), 79 FR 13696 (March 11, 2014) (Seventh Amendment to the Limit-Up Limit-Down Plan).

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8.  See letter from Michael Simon, General Counsel, International Securities Exchange, LLC, dated April 4, 2013.

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9.  The Exchange also notes that it will be supplying the Commission this data retroactively from April 2013-March 2014 as soon as practicable. The Exchange will also provide the Commission with this data on a monthly basis from March 2014 through the end of the pilot.

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13.  See CBOE-2014-033.

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15.  17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii). As required under Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii), the Exchange provided the Commission with written notice of its intent to file the proposed rule change, along with a brief description and the 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.

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16.  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).

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[FR Doc. 2014-08120 Filed 4-10-14; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8011-01-P