July 9, 2015.
Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”),
and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,
notice is hereby given that on July 6, 2015, the International Securities Exchange, LLC (the “Exchange” or the “ISE”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by the self-regulatory organization. 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 the Substance of the Proposed Rule Change
The ISE proposes to amend its rules to extend the pilot program that eliminated position and exercise limits for physically-settled options on the SPDR S&P ETF Trust (“SPY”) (“SPY Pilot Program”). 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
The Exchange proposes to amend Supplementary Material .01 to Rule 412 and Supplementary Material .01 to Rule 414 to extend the duration of the SPY Pilot Program through July 12, 2016. This filing does not propose any substantive changes to the SPY Pilot Program. In proposing to extend the SPY Pilot Program, the Exchange reaffirms its consideration of several factors that supported the original proposal of the SPY Pilot Program, including (1) the liquidity of the option and the underlying security, (2) the market capitalization of the underlying security and the related index, (3) the reporting of large positions and requirements surrounding margin, and (4) financial requirements imposed by ISE and the Commission.
With this proposed extension to the SPY Pilot Program, the Exchange has submitted a report to the Commission reflecting the trading of standardized SPY options without position limits from January through May 2015. The report was prepared in the manner specified in the filing extending the SPY Pilot Program to the current pilot end date of July 12, 2015. The Exchange notes that it is unaware of any problems created by the SPY Pilot Program and does not foresee any as a result of the proposed extension. The proposed extension will allow the Exchange and the Commission to further evaluate the SPY Pilot Program and the effect it has on the market.
The Exchange represents that, should the Exchange propose to extend the pilot program, adopt on a permanent basis the pilot program or terminate the pilot program, it will submit a new pilot report at least thirty (30) days before the end of the extended SPY Pilot Program, which will cover the extended pilot period. The Pilot Report will detail the size and different types of strategies employed with respect to positions established as a result of the elimination of position limits in SPY. In addition, the Pilot Report will note whether any problems resulted due to the no limit approach and any other information that may be useful in evaluating the effectiveness of the SPY Pilot Program. The Pilot Report will compare the impact of the SPY Pilot Program, if any, Start Printed Page 41544on the volumes of SPY options and the volatility in the price of the underlying SPY shares, particularly at expiration. In preparing the report the Exchange will utilize various data elements such as volume and open interest. In addition the Exchange will make available to Commission staff data elements relating to the effectiveness of the SPY Pilot Program.
Conditional on the findings in the Pilot Report, the Exchange will file with the Commission a proposal to extend the pilot program, adopt the pilot program on a permanent basis or terminate the pilot. If the SPY Pilot Program is not extended or adopted on a permanent basis by the expiration of the extended pilot, the position limits for SPY would revert to limits that were in effect prior to the commencement of the SPY Pilot Program.
2. Statutory Basis
The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change 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.
In particular, the proposal is consistent with Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,
because it is designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to 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.
The Exchange believes that extending the SPY Pilot Program promotes just and equitable principles of trade by permitting market participants, including market makers, institutional investors and retail investors, to establish greater positions when pursuing their investment goals and needs. The Exchange also believes that economically equivalent products should be treated in an equivalent manner so as to avoid regulatory arbitrage, especially with respect to position limits. Treating SPY and SPX options differently by virtue of imposing different position limits is inconsistent with the notion of promoting just and equitable principles of trade and removing impediments to perfect the mechanisms of a free and open market. At the same time, the Exchange believes that the elimination of position limits for SPY options would not increase market volatility or facilitate the ability to manipulate the market.
B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition
The Exchange believes the proposal is consistent with Section 6(b)(8) of the Act 
in that it does not impose any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. The proposed rule change is not designed to address any aspect of competition, whether between the Exchange and its competitors, or among market participants. Instead the proposed rule change is designed to allow the SPY Pilot Program to continue as all other self-regulatory organizations currently participating in the SPY Pilot Program are expected to extend it for an additional year.
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 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) thereunder.
A proposed rule change filed pursuant to Rule 19b-4(f)(6) under the Act 
normally does not become operative for 30 days after the date of its filing. However, Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) 
permits the Commission to designate a shorter time if such action is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. The Exchange has asked the Commission to waive the 30-day operative delay. The Exchange believes that waiver of the operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest because it will allow the SPY Pilot Program to continue uninterrupted. The Commission believes that waiving the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. Therefore, the Commission hereby waives the operative delay and designates the proposed rule change operative upon filing.
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:
- Send paper comments in triplicate to Brent J. Fields, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.
All submissions should refer to File Number SR-ISE-2015-22. 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 Start Printed Page 41545Commission 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 Number SR-ISE-2015-22, and should be submitted on or before August 5, 2015.
For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.
Brent J. Fields,
[FR Doc. 2015-17299 Filed 7-14-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8011-01-P