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Self-Regulatory Organizations; Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Temporarily Extend Certain Filing Requirements

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Start Preamble April 2, 2020.

Pursuant to the provisions of 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 30, 2020, Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC (“MIAX Options” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) a proposed rule change as described in Items I and II 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 is filing a proposal to temporarily extend the filing requirements for certain written reports, currently due April 1, 2020 pursuant to Exchange Rule 1308, Supervision of Accounts, to June 1, 2020.

The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's website at​rule-filings/​ at MIAX Options' principal office, 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 Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

1. Purpose

Given current market conditions, the Exchange proposes to provide its members temporary relief from filing certain supervision-related reports pursuant to Exchange Rule 1308 (Supervision of Accounts).[3]

In December 2019, COVID-19 began to spread and disrupt company operations and supply chains and impact consumers and investors, resulting in a dramatic slowdown in production and spending.[4] By March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic.[5] To slow the spread of the disease, federal and state officials implemented social-distancing measures, placed significant limitations on large gatherings, limited travel, and closed non-essential businesses. These measures have affected the U.S. markets.[6] In the United States, Level 1 market wide circuit breaker halts were triggered on March 9, March 12, March 16, and March 18, 2020. While markets have seen significant declines, governments around the world are undertaking efforts to stabilize the economy and assist affected companies and their employees.[7]

Amidst this market uncertainty, the Exchange is seeking to address potential challenges that members may face in timely meeting their obligations to submit to the Exchange annual supervision-related reports under Exchange Rule 1308(g) and (h) (“Supervision Reporting Requirements”), especially in light of unforeseen and uncertain demands on resources required to respond to COVID-19. Exchange Rule 1308(g) requires each Exchange member that conducts a non-member customer business to submit to the Exchange a written report on the member's supervision and compliance effort during the preceding year and on the adequacy of the member's ongoing compliance processes and procedures. Each member that conducts a public customer options business is also required to specifically include its options compliance program in the report.[8] The Exchange Rule 1308(g) report is due on April 1 of each year. Exchange Rule 1308(h) requires that each member submit, by April 1 of each year, a copy of the Rule 1308(g) report to one or more control persons or, if the member has no control person, to the audit committee of its board of directors or its equivalent committee or group.[9]

Accordingly, the Exchange proposes to provide temporary relief for members from the Supervision Reporting Requirements by extending the April 1, 2020 filing deadlines described above to June 1, 2020. The Exchange believes that this temporary relief will permit members to focus on running their businesses and the immediate health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, including its impact on their employees, customers, and communities.Start Printed Page 19789

2. Statutory Basis

MIAX believes that its proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act [10] in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act [11] 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. As a result of uncertainty related to the ongoing spread of the COVID-19 virus, the U.S. exchanges are experiencing unprecedented market volatility. The proposed rule change would allow the Exchange to provide temporary relief for members from the Supervision Reporting Requirements, which currently requires members to provide written reports to the Exchange by April 1, 2020, and extend that deadline to June 1, 2020. The Exchange believes that this temporary relief is necessary and appropriate in the public interest, and consistent with the protection of investors, given the unforeseen and uncertain challenges, including business continuity implementation and market volatility, posed by COVID-19 to members that must comply with the Supervision Reporting Requirements.

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 rule change is not designed to address any competitive issues but rather to provide temporary relief for all members that are required to comply with the Supervision Reporting Requirements.

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

Written comments were neither solicited nor 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) of the Act [12] and subparagraph (f)(6) of Rule 19b-4 thereunder.[13]

A proposed rule change filed pursuant to Rule 19b-4(f)(6) under the Act [14] normally does not become operative for 30 days after the date of its filing. However, Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) [15] 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 requested that the Commission waive the 30-day operative delay so that the proposed rule change may become operative upon filing. The Commission notes that the proposed rule change would allow the Exchange, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, to provide temporary relief for members by extending the deadline for written reports pursuant to the Supervision Reporting Requirements from April 1, 2020 to June 1, 2020. The Commission believes that waiver of the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. Accordingly, the Commission hereby waives the operative delay and designates the proposed rule change operative upon filing.[16]

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-MIAX-2020-06. 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, 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. 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-MIAX-2020-06 and should be submitted on or before April 29, 2020.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.17

J. Matthew DeLesDernier,

Assistant Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble


3.  The Exchange notes that MIAX Rule 1308 is incorporated by reference into the rulebooks of MIAX PEARL, LLC (“PEARL”) and MIAX Emerald, LLC (“Emerald”). As such, the amendments to MIAX Rule 1308 proposed herein will also impact PEARL and Emerald Rules 1308.

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4.  See, e.g., Chairman Jay Clayton, Proposed Amendments to Modernize and Enhance Financial Disclosures; Other Ongoing Disclosure Modernization Initiatives; Impact of the Coronavirus; Environmental and Climate-Related Disclosure (Jan. 30, 2020), available at​news/​publicstatement/​clayton-mda-2020-01-30. (“Yesterday, I asked the staff to monitor and, to the extent necessary or appropriate, provide guidance and other assistance to issuers and other market participants regarding disclosures related to the current and potential effects of the coronavirus. We recognize that such effects may be difficult to assess or predict with meaningful precision both generally and as an industry- or issuer-specific basis. This is an uncertain issue where actual effects will depend on many factors beyond the control and knowledge of issuers.”).

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5.  See WHO Director-General's Opening Remarks at the Media Briefing on COVID-19 (March 11, 2020), available at​dg/​speeches/​detail/​who-director-general-s-opening-remarksat-the-media-briefing-on-covid-19-11-march-2020.

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6.  “Analysts showed that we saw the fastest `correction' in history (down 10% from a high), occurring in a matter of days. In the last week of February, the Dow fell 12.36% with notional trading of $3.6 trillion.” See Phil Mackintosh, Putting the Recent Volatility in Perspective, available at​articles/​putting-the-recent-volatility-in-perspective2020-03-05.

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7.  See, e.g., the list of actions undertaken by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System at​covid-19.htm. See also Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Public Law 116-127.

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8.  The report shall include, but not be limited to, the information set out in Exchange Rule 1308(g)(1)-(6).

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9.  See Exchange Rule 1308(h) for the meaning of the term “control person” and requirements in the case of a control person that is an organization.

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13.  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 Commission has waived this requirement.

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15.  17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).

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16.  For purposes only of waiving the 30-day operative delay, the Commission also 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. 2020-07333 Filed 4-7-20; 8:45 am]