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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; ICE Clear Credit LLC; Notice of Proposed Rule Change, Security-Based Swap Submission, or Advance Notice Relating to the Clearance of Additional Credit Default Swap Contracts

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble June 27, 2017.

Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”) [1] and Rule 19b-4,[2] notice is hereby given that on June 13, 2017, ICE Clear Credit LLC (“ICC”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission the proposed rule change, security-based swap submission, or advance notice as described in Items I, II and III below, which Items have been prepared primarily by ICC. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

I. Clearing Agency's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

The principal purpose of the proposed rule change is to revise the ICC Rulebook (the “Rules”) to provide for the clearance of additional Standard Emerging Market Sovereign CDS contracts (collectively, “EM Contracts”).

II. Clearing Agency's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

In its filing with the Commission, ICC 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. ICC has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of these statements.

A. Clearing Agency's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

The purpose of the proposed rule change is to adopt rules that will provide the basis for ICC to clear additional credit default swap contracts. ICC believes the addition of these contracts will benefit the market for credit default swaps by providing market participants the benefits of clearing, including reduction in counterparty risk and safeguarding of margin assets pursuant to clearing house rules. Clearing of the additional EM Contracts will not require any changes to ICC's Risk Management Framework or other policies and procedures constituting rules within the meaning of the Act.

ICC proposes amending Subchapter 26D of its Rules to provide for the clearance of additional EM Contracts, specifically the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Kazakhstan. These additional EM Contracts have terms consistent with the other EM Contracts approved for clearing at ICC and governed by Subchapter 26D of the Rules. Minor revisions to Subchapter 26D (Standard Emerging Market Sovereign (“SES”) Single Name) are made to provide for clearing the additional EM Contracts. Specifically, in Rule 26D-102 (Definitions), “Eligible SES Reference Entities” is modified to include the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Kazakhstan in the list of specific Eligible SES Reference Entities to be cleared by ICC.

Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Act [3] requires, among other things, that the rules of a clearing agency be designed to promote the prompt and accurate clearance and settlement of securities transactions and, to the extent applicable, derivative agreements, contracts, and transactions and to comply with the provisions of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder. The additional EM Start Printed Page 30932Contracts are similar to the EM Contracts currently cleared by ICC, and will be cleared pursuant to ICC's existing clearing arrangements and related financial safeguards, protections and risk management procedures. Clearing of the additional EM Contracts will allow market participants an increased ability to manage risk and ensure the safeguarding of margin assets pursuant to clearing house rules. ICC believes that acceptance of the new EM Contracts, on the terms and conditions set out in the Rules, is consistent with the prompt and accurate clearance of and settlement of securities transactions and derivative agreements, contracts and transactions cleared by ICC, the safeguarding of securities and funds in the custody or control of ICC, and the protection of investors and the public interest, within the meaning of Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Act.[4]

Clearing of the additional EM Contracts will also satisfy the requirements of Rule 17Ad-22.[5] In particular, in terms of financial resources, ICC will apply its existing initial margin methodology to the additional contracts. ICC believes that this model will provide sufficient initial margin requirements to cover its credit exposure to its clearing members from clearing such contracts, consistent with the requirements of Rule 17Ad-22(b)(2).[6] In addition, ICC believes its Guaranty Fund, under its existing methodology, will, together with the required initial margin, provide sufficient financial resources to support the clearing of the additional contracts consistent with the requirements of Rule 17Ad-22(b)(3).[7] ICC also believes that its existing operational and managerial resources will be sufficient for clearing of the additional contracts, consistent with the requirements of Rule 17Ad-22(d)(4),[8] as the new contracts are substantially the same from an operational perspective as existing contracts. Similarly, ICC will use its existing settlement procedures and account structures for the new contracts, consistent with the requirements of Rule 17Ad-22(d)(5), (12) and (15) [9] as to the finality and accuracy of its daily settlement process and avoidance of the risk to ICC of settlement failures. ICC determined to accept the additional EM Contracts for clearing in accordance with its governance process, which included review of the contracts and related risk management considerations by the ICC Risk Committee and approval by its Board. These governance arrangements are consistent with the requirements of Rule 17Ad-22(d)(8).[10] Finally, ICC will apply its existing default management policies and procedures for the additional EM Contracts. ICC believes that these procedures allow for it to take timely action to contain losses and liquidity pressures and to continue meeting its obligations in the event of clearing member insolvencies or defaults in respect of the additional single names, in accordance with Rule 17Ad-22(d)(11).[11]

B. Clearing Agency's Statement on Burden on Competition

The additional EM Contracts will be available to all ICC participants for clearing. The clearing of these additional EM Contracts by ICC does not preclude the offering of the additional EM Contracts for clearing by other market participants. Accordingly, ICC does not believe that clearance of the additional EM Contracts will impose any burden on competition not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act.

C. Clearing Agency'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. ICC will notify the Commission of any written comments received by ICC.

III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule 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 up to 90 days (i) as the Commission may designate 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 Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

All submissions should refer to File Number SR-ICC-2017-008. 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 Credit and on ICE Clear Credit's Web site at https://www.theice.com/​clear-credit/​regulation.

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-ICC-2017-008 and should be submitted on or before July 24, 2017.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.[12]

Robert W. Errett,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

[FR Doc. 2017-13899 Filed 6-30-17; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8011-01-P