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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 1014 of the Options Rules Relating to Market Maker Quotations

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Start Preamble February 24, 2017.

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 February 14, 2017, NASDAQ PHLX LLC (“Phlx” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “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 Exchange proposes to amend Rule 1014 of the Options Rules relating to Market Maker Quotations.

The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's Web site at http://nasdaqphlx.cchwallstreet.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 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 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

Phlx is proposing to amend Rule 1014(c)(i)(A)(1) of the Options Rules relating to Market Maker Quotations to amend the quote spread parameters for in-the-money series where the market for the underlying security is wider than the differentials set forth in the Rule. Currently, Rule 1014(c)(i)(A)(1)(a) provides the following bid/ask differentials for options on equities and index options: No more than $.25 between the bid and the offer for each option contract for which the prevailing bid is less than $2; no more than $.40 where the prevailing bid is $2 or more but less than $5; no more than $.50 where the prevailing bid is $5 or more but less than $10; no more than $.80 where the prevailing bid is $10 or more but less than $20; and no more than $1 where the prevailing bid is $20 or more, provided that, in the case of equity options, the bid/ask differentials stated above shall not apply to in-the-money series where the market for the underlying security is wider than the differentials set forth above. For such series, the bid/ask differentials may be as wide as the quotation for the Start Printed Page 12384underlying security on the primary market, or its decimal equivalent rounded up to the nearest minimum increment. The Exchange may establish differences other than the above for one or more series or classes of options.

Phlx proposes to change this provision so that, in the case of in-the-money series of equity options where the market for the underlying security is wider than the differentials set forth above, the bid/ask differential may be as wide as the spread between the national best bid and offer (“NBBO”) in the underlying security.

Phlx is proposing this change so that Rule 1014(c)(i)(A)(1)(a) will be consistent with Rule 803(b)(4)(i) of the International Securities Exchange, LLC (“ISE”) in this regard.[3] Pursuant to the acquisition of the indirect parent company of ISE by Nasdaq, Inc.,[4] Nasdaq is migrating ISE platforms to Nasdaq platforms, and proposing consistent rules where appropriate. In addition to making the Phlx and ISE rules consistent with one another in this regard, Phlx believes that measuring the permissible width of a market maker's quote against the NBBO more accurately reflects the current trading environment where multiple trading venues contribute to the prevailing market price of a security underlying an options series traded on Phlx.[5]

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that its proposal is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act,[6] in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,[7] 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. The proposed change adopts a bid/ask differential for market makers for in-the-money series, where the market for the underlying security is wider than the differentials set forth in the Rule, that is consistent with ISE Rule 803(b)(4)(i). Phlx also believes that the proposal is consistent with the Act because measuring the permissible width of a market maker's quote against the NBBO more accurately reflects the current trading environment where multiple trading venues contribute to the prevailing market price of a security underlying an options series traded on Phlx.

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. The proposed change will adopt the same requirement as ISE Rule 803(b)(4)(i), and will apply the same standard to all Market Makers for in-the-money series where the market for the underlying security is wider than the differentials set forth in the Rule.

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

No written comments were either solicited or received.

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)(iii) of the Act [8] and subparagraph (f)(6) of Rule 19b-4 thereunder.[9]

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: (i) Necessary or appropriate in the public interest; (ii) for the protection of investors; or (iii) 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-Phlx-2017-16. 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-Phlx-2017-16, and should be submitted on or before March 23, 2017.

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Start Printed Page 12385

For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.[10]

Robert W. Errett,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  ISE Rule 803(b)(4)(i) rule provides that (i) the bid/offer differentials stated in subparagraph (b)(4) of this Rule shall not apply to in-the-money options series where the underlying securities market is wider than the differentials set forth above. For these series, the bid/ask differential may be as wide as the spread between the national best bid and offer in the underlying security.

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4.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 78119 (June 21, 2016), 81 FR 41611 (June 27, 2016) (SR-ISE-2016-11).

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5.  For example, if the primary market for ABC has a quote of $65 (bid)-$73 (offer), Phlx market makers currently may quote in-the-money option series on that security with a bid/offer differential of $8, even if other exchanges that trade ABC may collectively have a higher bid of $66 and a lower offer of $72. Under the proposed rule, Phlx market makers would be required to quote in-the-money option series on ABC with a bid/offer differential of no more than $6.

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8.  15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(iii).

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9.  17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6). In addition, Rule 19b-4(f)(6) requires a self-regulatory organization to give the Commission written notice of its intent to file 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. The Exchange has satisfied this requirement.

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[FR Doc. 2017-04036 Filed 3-1-17; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8011-01-P