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Self-Regulatory Organizations; BOX Options Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 7260 by Extending the Penny Pilot Program Through June 30, 2018

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Start Preamble December 19, 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 December 13, 2017, BOX Options Exchange LLC (the “Exchange”) 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 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 7260 by extending the Penny Pilot Program through June 30, 2018. The text of the proposed rule change is available from the principal office of the Exchange, at the Commission's Public Reference Room and also on the Exchange's internet website at

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

The Exchange proposes to extend the effective time period of the Penny Pilot Program that is currently scheduled to expire on December 31, 2017, until June 30, 2018.[3] The Penny Pilot Program permits certain classes to be quoted in penny increments. The minimum price variation for all classes included in the Penny Pilot Program, except for PowerShares QQQ Trust (“QQQQ”)®, SPDR S&P 500 Exchange Traded Funds (“SPY”), and iShares Russell 2000 Index Funds (“IWM”), will continue to be $0.01 for all quotations in options series that are quoted at less than $3 per contract and $0.05 for all quotations in options series that are quoted at $3 per contract or greater. QQQQ, SPY, and IWM will continue to be quoted in $0.01 increments for all options series.

The Exchange may replace, on a semi-annual basis, any Pilot Program classes that have been delisted on the second trading day following January 1, 2018. The Exchange notes that the replacement classes will be selected based on trading activity for the six month period beginning June 1, 2017 and ending November 30, 2017 for the January 2018 replacements. The Exchange will employ the same parameters to prospective replacement classes as approved and applicable under the Pilot Program, including excluding high-priced underlying securities. The Exchange will distribute a Regulatory Circular notifying Participants which replacement classes shall be included in the Penny Pilot Program.

BOX is specifically authorized to act jointly with the other options exchanges participating in the Pilot Program in identifying any replacement class.

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that the proposal is consistent with the Start Printed Page 61088requirements of Section 6(b) of the Act,[4] in general, and Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,[5] in particular, in that it is designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to foster cooperation and coordination with persons engaged in facilitating transactions in securities, and to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system, and, in general protect investors and the public interest.

In particular, the proposed rule change, which extends the Penny Pilot until June 30, 2018 and changes the dates for replacing Penny Pilot issues that were delisted to the second trading day following January 1, 2018, will enable public customers and other market participants to express their true prices to buy and sell options for the benefit of all market participants. This is consistent with the Act.

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. To the contrary, this proposal is pro-competitive because it allows Penny Pilot issues to continue trading on the Exchange. Moreover, the Exchange believes that the proposed rule change will allow for further analysis of the Pilot and a determination of how the Pilot should be structured in the future; and will serve to promote regulatory clarity and consistency, thereby reducing burdens on the marketplace and facilitating investor protection. The Pilot is an industry wide initiative supported by all other option exchanges. The Exchange believes that extending the Pilot will allow for continued competition between market participants on the Exchange trading similar products as their counterparts on other exchanges, while at the same time allowing the Exchange to continue to compete for order flow with other exchanges in option issues trading as part of the Pilot.

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

The Exchange has neither solicited nor received comments on the proposed rule change.

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

The Exchange has filed the proposed rule change pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(iii) of the Act [6] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.[7] 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 prior to 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 and Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) thereunder.

A proposed rule change filed under Rule 19b-4(f)(6) [8] normally does not become operative prior to 30 days after the date of the filing.[9] However, pursuant to Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii),[10] the Commission may 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 so that the proposal may become operative immediately upon filing. The Commission believes that waiving the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest because doing so will allow the Pilot Program to continue without interruption in a manner that is consistent with the Commission's prior approval of the extension and expansion of the Pilot Program and will allow the Exchange and the Commission additional time to analyze the impact of the Pilot Program.[11] Accordingly, the Commission designates the proposed rule change as operative upon filing with the Commission.[12]

At any time within 60 days of the filing of such 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 under Section 19(b)(2)(B) [13] of the Act to determine whether the proposed rule change 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-BOX-2017-37. 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 website (​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 website viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., located at 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549. Copies of such filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal Start Printed Page 61089office of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change. Persons submitting comments are cautioned that we do not redact or edit personal identifying information from comment submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-BOX-2017-37 and should be submitted on or before January 16, 2018.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.[14]

Eduardo A. Aleman,

Assistant Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble


3.  The Penny Pilot Program has been in effect on the Exchange since its inception in May 2012. See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 66871 (April 27, 2012), 77 FR 26323 (May 3, 2012) (File No. 10-206, In the Matter of the Application of BOX Options Exchange LLC for Registration as a National Securities Exchange Findings, Opinion, and Order of the Commission), 67328 (June 29, 2012), 77 FR 40123 (July 6, 2012) (SR-BOX-2012-007), 68425 (December 13, 2012), 77 FR 75234 (December 19, 2013) (SR-BOX-2012-021), 69789 (June 18, 2013), 78 FR 37854 (June 24, 2013) (SR-BOX-2013-31), 71056 (December 12, 2013), 78 FR 76691 (December 18, 2013) (SR-BOX-2013-56), 72348 (June 9, 2014), 79 FR 33976 (June 13, 2014) (SR-BOX-2014-17), 73822 (December 11, 2014), 79 FR 75606 (December 18, 2014) (SR-BOX-2014-29), 75295 (June 25, 2015), 80 FR 37690 (July 1, 2015) (SR-BOX-2015-23), 78172 (June 28, 2016), 81 FR 43325 (July 1, 2016) (SR-BOX-2016-24), 79429 (November 30, 2016), 81 FR 87991 (December 6, 2016) (SR-BOX-2016-55) and 80828 (May 31, 2017), 82 FR 26175 (June 6, 2017) (SR-BOX-2017-18). The extension of the effective date and the revision of the date to replace issues that have been delisted are the only changes to the Penny Pilot Program being proposed at this time.

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6.  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)(iii) requires the Exchange to give the Commission written notice of the Exchange's 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. The Exchange has satisfied this pre-filing requirement.

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10.  17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).

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11.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 61061 (November 24, 2009), 74 FR 62857 (December 1, 2009) (SR-NYSEArca-2009-44).

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12.  For purposes only of waiving the operative delay for this proposal, the Commission has 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. 2017-27693 Filed 12-22-17; 8:45 am]