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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; ICE Clear Europe Limited; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to Clearance of New Natural Gas Futures Contracts

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Start Preamble March 25, 2015.

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 18, 2015, ICE Clear Europe Limited (“ICE Clear Europe”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change described in Items I, II and III below, which Items have been prepared primarily by ICE Clear Europe. 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 principal purpose of the proposed rule change is to modify the ICE Clear Europe Delivery Procedures with respect to the settlement of certain European natural gas futures contracts that are currently traded or will be traded on the ICE Endex market and cleared by ICE Clear Europe.

II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

In its filing with the Commission, ICE Clear Europe included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. ICE Clear Europe 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

The purpose of the rule amendments is to modify the ICE Clear Europe Delivery Procedures in connection with the launch by the ICE Endex market of certain new natural gas futures contracts that will be cleared by ICE Clear Europe, namely the ICE Endex TTF Natural Gas Daily Futures Contracts, ICE Endex Gaspool Natural Gas Daily Futures Contracts, ICE Endex NCG Natural Gas Daily Futures Contracts and ICE Endex ZTP Natural Gas Daily Futures Contracts (the “New Futures Contracts”). These contracts are daily versions of existing monthly natural gas futures contracts traded on ICE Endex and cleared by ICE Clear Europe. ICE Clear Europe also proposes to make clarifying and conforming amendments for certain existing natural gas contracts that are covered by the Delivery Procedures. ICE Clear Europe does not otherwise propose to amend its clearing rules or procedures in connection with the New Futures Contracts.

The amendments adopt new subparts of Parts E, F, G and H of the Delivery Procedures, applicable to the ICE Endex TTF Natural Gas Daily Futures Contracts, ICE Endex Gaspool Natural Gas Daily Futures Contracts, ICE Endex NCG Natural Gas Daily Futures Contracts and ICE Endex ZTP Natural Gas Daily Futures Contracts, respectively. The amendments add references, as appropriate, to the New Futures Contracts in the applicable Parts of the Delivery Procedures. The amendments provide, among other matters, specifications for delivery of natural gas under a New Futures Contract, including relevant definitions and a detailed delivery timetable for the contracts. The amendments also address invoicing and payment for delivery. The amendments provide for calculation by ICE Clear Europe of buyer's and seller's security to cover delivery obligations and related liabilities, costs or charges, as well as procedures to address failed deliveries. The revised procedures also set out various documentation requirements for the relevant parties. In addition, changes are made to paragraph 5.1 of the Delivery Procedures to include the New Futures Contracts in the list of contracts for which parties may nominate transferors and transferees to make and take delivery.

Other changes are made throughout the Delivery Procedures to conform the names of certain contracts to those used in the relevant exchange rules, including for the ICE Endex Gaspool Natural Gas Futures Contract, ICE Endex NCG Natural Gas Futures Contract and ICE Endex ZTP Natural Gas Futures Contract. (Related changes and clarifications to defined terms have also been made.) Throughout relevant Parts of the Delivery Procedures, references to the “HIT report” have been replaced with the “MPFE report” (which is the current form of futures expiry report indicating positions that have gone to expiry). Certain drafting clarifications to the term “Invoice Period” have been made in the Delivery Procedures.

Changes have also made to the settlement timetable for existing ICE Futures UK Natural Gas Daily Futures in paragraph 5.2 of Part D and the delivery documentation requirements table in paragraph 8.1 of Part D (including as to the timetable and documentation for nominations of transferors and transferees). Parallel and conforming changes have been made in Parts E through H for other existing natural gas contracts. The existing Schedule of Forms and Reports appended to the Delivery Procedures has been removed as obsolete and unnecessary.

2. Statutory Basis

ICE Clear Europe believes that the changes described herein are consistent with the requirements of Section 17A of the Act [3] and the regulations thereunder applicable to it, including the standards under Rule 17Ad-22,[4] and are consistent with the prompt and accurate clearance of and settlement of securities transactions and, to the extent applicable, derivative agreements, contracts and transactions, the safeguarding of securities and funds in the custody or control of ICE Clear Europe or for which it is responsible and the protection of investors and the public interest, within the meaning of Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Act.[5] The New Futures Contracts have similar Start Printed Page 17125characteristics to other ICE Endex natural gas contracts currently cleared by ICE Clear Europe, and ICE Clear Europe believes that its existing financial resources, risk management, systems and operational arrangements are sufficient to support clearing of such products (and address physical delivery under such contracts). The other changes set forth in the proposed amendments are generally intended to conform and clarify various provisions of the Delivery Procedures for natural gas contracts, and are also consistent with the prompt and accurate clearance and settlement of derivative agreements, contracts and transactions.

Specifically, ICE Clear Europe believes that it will be able to manage the risks associated with acceptance of the New Futures Contracts for clearing and physical delivery in such contracts. The New Futures Contracts present a similar risk profile to other ICE Endex contracts currently cleared by ICE Clear Europe, and ICE Clear Europe believes that its existing risk management and margin framework is sufficient for purposes of risk management of the New Futures Contracts and related deliveries.

Similarly, ICE Clear Europe has established appropriate standards for determining the eligibility of contracts submitted to it for clearing, and ICE Clear Europe believes that its existing systems are appropriately scalable to handle the New Futures Contracts, which are generally similar from an operational perspective to the other ICE Endex power contracts currently cleared by ICE Clear Europe.

For the reasons noted above, ICE Clear Europe believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements of Section 17A of the Act and regulations thereunder applicable to it.

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

ICE Clear Europe does not believe the proposed rule change would have any impact, or impose any burden, on competition not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the Act. ICE Clear Europe is adopting the amendments to the Delivery Procedures principally in connection with the listing of new contracts for trading on the ICE Endex market. ICE Clear Europe believes that such contracts will provide additional opportunities for interested market participants to engage in trading activity relating to the relevant underlying gas markets. ICE Clear Europe does not believe the adoption of related Delivery Procedures amendments would adversely affect access to clearing for clearing members or their customers, or otherwise adversely affect competition in clearing services.

C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants or Others

Written comments relating to the proposed rule change have not been solicited or received. ICE Clear Europe will notify the Commission of any written comments received by ICE Clear Europe.

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

The foregoing rule change has become effective upon filing pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) [6] of the Act and Rule 19b-4(f)(4)(ii) [7] thereunder because it effects a change in an existing service of a registered clearing agency that primarily affects the clearing operations of the clearing agency with respect to products that are not securities, including futures that are not security futures, swaps that are not security-based swaps or mixed swaps, and forwards that are not security forwards, and does not significantly affect any securities clearing operations of the clearing agency or any rights or obligations of the clearing agency with respect to securities clearing or persons using such securities-clearing service. 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:

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-ICEEU-2015-008. 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 filings will also be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of ICE Clear Europe and on ICE Clear Europe's Web site at https://www.theice.com/​notices/​Notices.shtml?​regulatoryFilings.

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-ICEEU-2015-008 and should be submitted on or before April 21, 2015.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.8

Brent J. Fields,

Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

[FR Doc. 2015-07248 Filed 3-30-15; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8011-01-P