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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
BEFORE THE
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

(Release No. 34-49689; File No. 4-429)

May 12, 2004

Joint Industry Plan; Notice of Filing of Amendment No. 10 to the Plan of the Purpose of Creating and Operating an Intermarket Options Linkage Regarding the Handling of Principal Acting as Agent Orders

Pursuant to Section 11A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Act")1 and Rule 11Aa3-2 thereunder2, notice is hereby given that on February 18, 2004, March 1, 2004, March 23, 2004, April 20, 2004, April 23, 2004, and April 27, 2004, the International Securities Exchange, Inc. ("ISE"), American Stock Exchange LLC ("Amex"), Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc. ("CBOE"), Pacific Exchange, Inc. ("PCX"), Philadelphia Stock Exchange, Inc. ("Phlx"), and Boston Stock Exchange, Inc. ("BSE") (collectively the "Participants") respectively submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC" or "Commission") Amendment No. 10 to the Plan for the Purpose of Creating and Operating an Intermarket Options Linkage (the "Linkage Plan").3 The amendment proposes to modify the manner in which a member of a Participant may send Principal Acting as Agent Orders ("P/A Orders") that are larger than the Firm Customer Quote Size ("FCQS"). The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments from interested persons on the proposed Linkage Plan amendment.

I. Description and Purpose of the Amendment

A P/A Order is an order for the principal account of a market maker that is authorized to represent customer orders, reflecting the terms of a related unexecuted customer order for which the market maker is acting as agent.4 The FCQS is the minimum size for which a Participant must provide an execution in its automatic execution system for a P/A Order, if the Participant's auto-ex system is available.

Currently, the Linkage Plan provides a market maker with two ways to handle P/A Orders that are larger than the FCQS. First, the market maker may send a P/A Order larger than the FCQS representing the entire customer order for manual processing at the receiving Participant. Second, the market maker may send an initial P/A Order for up to the FCQS. If the market maker then seeks to send another P/A Order, it must send an order for the lesser of the entire remaining size of the underlying customer order or 100 contracts.

The proposed Amendment addresses the handling of P/A orders if the market maker chooses the second alternative, the sending of multiple P/A Orders. As currently drafted, the Linkage Plan does not recognize the possibility that a Participant's disseminated quotation may be for less than either the remaining size of the customer order or 100 contracts. Thus, the proposed Amendment specifies that a market maker sending a second P/A Order may limit such order to the lesser of: the remaining size of the customer order; 100 contracts; or the size of the receiving Participant's disseminated quotation.

In addition, the Participants believe that there is a practical issue if multiple exchanges are displaying the same bid or offer. In that case, the Linkage Plan is unclear as to whether a market maker must send the entire order to one Participant or can send orders to multiple Participants, as long as they are for the size of the entire order, or 100 contracts, in the aggregate. The Amendment proposes to clarify the Linkage Plan to specify that a market maker may send P/A Orders to multiple exchanges, as long as all such orders, in the aggregate, are for the lesser of the entire remaining size of the customer order or 100 contracts. However, a market maker may limit the size of any single additional order to the size of the receiving market's disseminated quotation.

Finally, the proposed Amendment modifies the provisions of the Linkage Plan relating to the time period within which a receiving Participant must inform the sending Participant of the amount of the order executed and the amount, if any, that was canceled, and the time period for which a sending Participant must wait while the receiving Participant continues to disseminate the same price at the national best bid or offer before sending a second P/A Order. Currently, the applicable time period for each such circumstance is 15 seconds. The proposed Amendment would permit the Options Linkage Authority to determine different applicable time periods for both circumstances, subject to approval by the Commission.

II. Implementation of the Plan Amendment

The Participants intend to make the proposed amendment to the Linkage Plan reflected in this filing effective when the Commission approves the amendment.

III. Solicitation of Comments

Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed amendment to the Linkage Plan 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 Jonathan G. Katz, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 450 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20549-0609.

All submissions should refer to Joint Amendment No. 10 to File Number 4-429. This file number should be included on the subject line if e-mail 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 inspection and copying in the Commission's Public Reference Section, 450 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20549. Copies of such filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal offices of the Amex, BSE, CBOE, ISE, PCX and Phlx. 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 Joint Amendment No. 10 to File Number 4-429 and should be submitted on or before.

For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.5

J. Lynn Taylor
Assistant Secretary


Endnotes


http://www.sec.gov/rules/other/34-49689.htm


Modified: 05/13/2004