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Options 4A Options Index Rules
Section 1. Application of Index Rules

The Sections in this Options 4A are applicable only to index options (options on indices of securities as defined below). The Options Rules are also applicable to the options provided for in this Options 4A, unless such Sections are specifically replaced or are supplemented by Sections in this Options 4A. Where the Sections in this Options 4A indicate that particular indices or requirements with respect to particular indices will be "Specified," BX Options shall file a proposed rule change with the Commission to specify such indices or requirements.

Adopted October 23, 2019 (SR-BX-2019-039).

Section 2. Definitions

(a) The term "aggregate exercise price" means the exercise price of the options contract times the index multiplier.

(b) The term "American-style index option" means an option on an industry or market index that can be exercised on any business day prior to expiration.

(c) The term "A.M.-settled index option" means an index options contract for which the current index value at expiration shall be determined as provided in Section 12(a)(4) of this Options 4A.

(d) The term "call" means an options contract under which the holder of the option has the right, in accordance with the terms of the option, to purchase from the Clearing Corporation the current index value times the index multiplier.

(e) The term "current index value" with respect to a particular index options contract means the level of the underlying index reported by the reporting authority for the index, or any multiple or fraction of such reported level specified by BX Options. The current index value with respect to a reduced-value long term options contract is one-tenth of the current index value of the related index option. The "closing index value" shall be the last index value reported on a business day.

(f) The term "exercise price" means the specified price per unit at which the current index value may be purchased or sold upon the exercise of the option.

(g) Unless separately defined elsewhere in these Rules, the term "expiration date" means (i) in the case of such an option expiring prior to February 1, 2015, the Saturday immediately following the third Friday of the expiration month of such option contract; and (ii) in the case of such an option expiring on or after February 1, 2015, the third Friday of the expiration month of such option contract, or if such Friday is a day on which the Exchange on which such option is listed is not open for business, the preceding day on which such Exchange is open for business. Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the case of certain options expiring on or after February 1, 2015 that the Clearing Corporation has designated as grandfathered, the term "expiration date" shall mean the Saturday immediately following the third Friday of the expiration month.

(h) The term "European-style index option" means an option on an industry or market index that can be exercised only on the business day of expiration, or, in the case of an option contract expiring on a day that is not a business day, on the last business day prior to the day it expires.

(i) The term "index multiplier" means the amount specified in the contract by which the current index value is to be multiplied to arrive at the value required to be delivered to the holder of a call or by the holder of a put upon valid exercise of the contract.

(j) The term "industry index" and "narrow-based index" mean an index designed to be representative of a particular industry or a group of related industries.

(k) The term "market index" and "broad-based index" mean an index designed to be representative of a stock market as a whole or of a range of companies in unrelated industries.

(l) The term "put" means an options contract under which the holder of the option has the right, in accordance with the terms and provisions of the option, to sell to the Clearing Corporation the current index value times the index multiplier.

(m) The term "Quarterly Option Series" means a series in an options class that is approved for listing and trading on the Exchange in which the series is opened for trading on any business day and expires at the close of business on the last business day of a calendar quarter.

(n) The term "reporting authority" with respect to a particular index means the institution or reporting service designated by BX as the official source for (1) calculating the level of the index from the reported prices of the underlying securities that are the basis of the index and (2) reporting such level. The reporting authority for each index approved for options trading on BX Options shall be specified in Options 4A at Supplementary Material to Section 2.

(o) The term "Short Term Option Series" means a series in an option class that is approved for listing and trading on the Exchange in which the series is opened for trading on any Thursday or Friday that is a business day and that expires on the Friday of the next business week. If a Thursday or Friday is not a business day, the series may be opened (or shall expire) on the first business day immediately prior to that Thursday or Friday, respectively.

(p) The term "underlying security" or "underlying securities" with respect to an index options contract means any of the securities that are the basis for the calculation of the index.

Options 4A, Supplementary Material to Section 2

01. Index Reporting Authority. BX currently does not list index options and will update this section at such time as index options are listed .

Adopted October 23, 2019 (SR-BX-2019-039).

Section 3. Designation of a Broad-Based Index

(a) The component securities of an index underlying a broad-based index option contract need not meet the requirements of Options 4, Section 3 (Criteria for Underlying Securities). Except as set forth in subparagraph (b) below, the listing of a class of index options on a broad-based index requires the filing of a proposed rule change to be approved by the SEC under Section 19(b) of the Exchange Act.

(b) BX Options may trade options on a broad-based index pursuant to Rule 19b-4(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, if each of the following conditions is satisfied:

(1) The index is broad-based, as defined in Section 2(k) of Options 4A of this Rule;

(2) Options on the index are designated as A.M.-settled;

(3) The index is capitalization-weighted, modified capitalization weighted, price-weighted, or equal dollar-weighted;

(4) The index consists of 50 or more component securities;

(5) Component securities that account for at least ninety-five percent (95%) of the weight of the index have a market capitalization of at least $75 million, except that component securities that account for at least sixty-five percent (65%) of the weight of the index have a market capitalization of at least $100 million;

(6) Component securities that account for at least eighty percent (80%) of the weight of the index satisfy the requirements of Options 4, Section 3 applicable to individual underlying securities;

(7) Each component security that accounts for at least one percent (1%) of the weight of the index has an average daily trading volume of at least 90,000 shares during the last six month period;

(8) No single component security accounts for more than ten percent (10%) of the weight of the index, and the five highest weighted component securities in the index do not, in the aggregate, account for more than thirty-three percent (33%) of the weight of the index;

(9) Each component security must be an "NMS stock" as defined in Rule 600 of Regulation NMS under the Exchange Act;

(10) Non-U.S. component securities (stocks or ADRs) that are not subject to comprehensive surveillance agreements do not, in the aggregate, represent more than twenty percent (20%) of the weight of the index;

(11) The current index value is widely disseminated at least once every fifteen (15) seconds by OPRA, CTA/CQ, or one or more major market data vendors during the time options on the index are traded on BX Options;

(12) BX Options reasonably believes it has adequate system capacity to support the trading of options on the index, based on a calculation of BX Options' current Independent System Capacity Advisor ("ISCA") allocation and the number of new messages per second expected to be generated by options on such index;

(13) An equal dollar-weighted index is rebalanced at least once every calendar quarter;

(14) If an index is maintained by a broker-dealer, the index is calculated by a third-party who is not a broker-dealer, and the broker-dealer has erected an informational barrier around its personnel who have access to information concerning changes in, and adjustments to, the index;

(15) BX Options has written surveillance procedures in place with respect to surveillance of trading of options on the index.

(c) The following maintenance listing standards shall apply to each class of index options originally listed pursuant to paragraph (b) above:

(1) The requirements set forth in subparagraphs (b)(1) - (b)(3) and (b)(9) - (b)(15) must continue to be satisfied. The requirements set forth in subparagraphs (b)(5) - (b)(8) must be satisfied only as of the first day of January and July in each year;

(2) The total number of component securities in the index may not increase or decrease by more than ten percent (10%) from the number of component securities in the index at the time of its initial listing. In the event a class of index options listed on BX Options fails to satisfy the maintenance listing standards set forth herein, BX Options shall not open for trading any additional series of options of that class unless the continued listing of that class of index options has been approved by the SEC under Section 19(b) (2) of the Exchange Act.

Adopted October 23, 2019 (SR-BX-2019-039).

Section 4. Designation of Narrow-Based and Micro-Narrow-Based Index Options

(a) The component securities of an index underlying a narrow-based index option contract need not meet the requirements of Options 4, Section 3 (Criteria for Underlying Securities). Except as set forth in subparagraph (b) below, the listing of a class of index options on a narrow-based index requires the filing of a proposed rule change to be approved by the SEC under Section 19(b) of the Exchange Act.

(b) Narrow-Based Index. BX Options may trade options on a narrow-based index pursuant to Rule 19b-4(e) of the Exchange Act, if each of the following conditions is satisfied:

(1) The options are designated as A.M.-settled index options;

(2) The index is capitalization-weighted, price-weighted, equal dollar-weighted, or modified capitalization-weighted, and consists of ten or more component securities;

(3) Each component security has a market capitalization of at least $75 million, except that for each of the lowest weighted component securities in the index that in the aggregate account for no more than 10% of the weight of the index, the market capitalization is at least $50 million;

(4) Trading volume of each component security has been at least one million shares for each of the last six months, except that for each of the lowest weighted component securities in the index that in the aggregate account for no more than 10% of the weight of the index, trading volume has been at least 500,000 shares for each of the last six months;

(5) In a capitalization-weighted index or a modified capitalization-weighted index, the lesser of the five highest weighted component securities in the index or the highest weighted component securities in the index that in the aggregate represent at least 30% of the total number of component securities in the index each have had an average monthly trading volume of at least 2,000,000 shares over the past six months;

(6) No single component security represents more than 30% of the weight of the index, and the five highest weighted component securities in the index do not in the aggregate account for more than 50% (65% for an index consisting of fewer than 25 component securities) of the weight of the index;

(7) Component securities that account for at least 90% of the weight of the index and at least 80% of the total number of component securities in the index satisfy the requirements of Options 4, Section 3 applicable to individual underlying securities;

(8) Each component security must be an "NMS stock" as defined in Rule 600 of Regulation NMS of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

(9) Non-U.S. component securities (stocks or ADRs) that are not subject to comprehensive surveillance agreements do not in the aggregate represent more than 20% of the weight of the index;

(10) The current underlying index value will be reported at least once every fifteen seconds during the time the index options are traded on the Exchange;

(11) An equal dollar-weighted index will be rebalanced at least once every calendar quarter; and

(12) If an underlying index is maintained by a broker-dealer, the index is calculated by a third party who is not a broker-dealer, and the broker-dealer has erected a "Chinese Wall" around its personnel who have access to information concerning changes in and adjustments to the index.

(c) Maintenance Criteria. The following maintenance listing standards shall apply to each class of index options originally listed pursuant to subsection (b) above:

(1) The requirements stated in subsections (b)(1), (3), (6), (7), (8), (9), (10), (11) and (12) must continue to be satisfied, provided that the requirements stated in subparagraph (b)(6) must be satisfied only as of the first day of January and July in each year;

(2) The total number of component securities in the index may not increase or decrease by more than 33 1/3% from the number of component securities in the index at the time of its initial listing, and in no event may be less than nine component securities;

(3) Trading volume of each component security in the index must be at least 500,000 shares for each of the last six months, except that for each of the lowest weighted component securities in the index that in the aggregate account for no more than 10% of the weight of the index, trading volume must be at least 400,000 shares for each of the last six months;

(4) In a capitalization-weighted index or a modified capitalization-weighted index, the lesser of the five highest weighted component securities in the index or the highest weighted component securities in the index that in the aggregate represent at least 30% of the total number of stocks in the index each have had an average monthly trading volume of at least 1,000,000 shares over the past six months.

In the event a class of index options listed on BX Options fails to satisfy the maintenance listing standards set forth herein, BX Options shall not open for trading any additional series of options of that class unless such failure is determined by BX Options not to be significant and the Commission concurs in that determination, or unless the continued listing of that class of index options has been approved by the Commission under Section 19(b)(2) of the Exchange Act.

(d) Notwithstanding paragraph (a) above, BX Options may trade options on a Micro Narrow-Based Index pursuant to Rule 19b-4(e) of the Exchange Act, if each of the following conditions is satisfied:

(1) The Index is a security index:

(i) that has 9 or fewer component securities; or

(ii) in which a component security comprises more than 30 percent of the index's weighting; or

(iii) in which the 5 highest weighted component securities in the aggregate comprise more than 60 percent of the index's weighting; or

(iv) in which the lowest weighted component securities comprising, in the aggregate, 25 percent of the index's weighting have an aggregate dollar value of average daily trading volume of less than $50,000,000 (or in the case of an index with 15 or more component securities, $30,000,000) except that if there are two or more securities with equal weighting that could be included in the calculation of the lowest weighted component securities comprising, in the aggregate, 25 percent of the index's weighting, such securities shall be ranked from lowest to highest dollar value of average daily trading volume and shall be included in the calculation based on their ranking starting with the lowest ranked security;

(2) The index is capitalization-weighted, modified capitalization-weighted, price-weighted, share weighted, equal-dollar weighted, approximate equal-dollar weighted, or modified equal-dollar weighted;

(i) For the purposes of this paragraph (d), an approximate equal-dollar weighted index is composed of one or more securities in which each component security will be weighted equally based on its market price on the index's selection date and the index must be reconstituted and rebalanced if the notional value of the largest component is at least twice the notional volume of the smallest component for fifty percent or more of the trading days in the three months prior to December 31 of each year. For purposes of this provision the "notional value" is the market price of the component times the number of shares of the underlying component in the index. Reconstitution and rebalancing are also mandatory if the number of components in the index is greater than five at the time of rebalancing. BX Options reserves the right to rebalance quarterly at its discretion.

(ii) For the purposes of this paragraph (d), a modified equal-dollar weighted index is an index in which each underlying component represents a pre-determined weighting percentage of the entire index. Each component is assigned a weight that takes into account the relative market capitalization of the securities comprising the index. A modified equal-dollar weighted index will be balanced quarterly.

(iii) For the purposes of this paragraph (d), a share-weighted index is calculated by multiplying the price of the component security by an adjustment factor. Adjustment factors are chosen to reflect the investment objective deemed appropriate by the designer of the index and will be published by the Exchange as part of the contract specifications. The value of the index is calculated by adding the weight of each component security and dividing the total by an index divisor, calculated to yield a benchmark index level as of a particular date. A share-weighted index is not adjusted to reflect changes in the number of outstanding shares of its components. A share-weighted Micro Narrow-Based Index will not be rebalanced. If a share-weighted Micro Narrow-Based Index fails to meet the maintenance listing standards under Subsection (e) of this Rule, BX Options will restrict trading in existing option series to closing transactions and will not issue additional series for that index.

(iv) BX Options may rebalance any Micro Narrow-Based Index on an interim basis if warranted as a result of extraordinary changes in the relative values of the component securities. To the extent investors with open positions must rely upon the continuity of the options contract on the index, outstanding contracts are unaffected by rebalancings.

(3) Each component security in the index has a minimum market capitalization of at least $75 million, except that each of the lowest weighted securities in the index that in the aggregate account for no more than 10% of the weight of the index may have a minimum market capitalization of only $50 million;

(4) The average daily trading volume in each of the preceding six months for each component security in the index is at least 45,500 shares, except that each of the lowest weighted component securities in the index that in the aggregate account for no more than 10% of the weight of the index may have an average daily trading volume of only 22,750 shares for each of the last six months;

(5) In a capitalization-weighted index, the lesser of: (1) the five highest weighted component securities in the index each have had an average daily trading volume of at least 90,000 shares over the past six months; or (2) the highest weighted component securities in the index that in the aggregate represent at least 30% of the total number of component securities in the index each have had an average daily trading volume of at least 90,000 shares over the past six months;

(6) Subject to subparagraphs (4) and (5) above, the component securities that account for at least 90% of the total index weight and at least 80% of the total number of component securities in the index must meet the requirements applicable to individual underlying securities;

(7)   

(i) Each component security in the index is a "reported security" as defined in Rule 600 of Regulation NMS under the Exchange Act; and

(ii) Foreign securities or ADRs that are not subject to comprehensive surveillance sharing agreements do not represent more than 20% of the weight of the index;

(8) The current underlying index value will be reported at least once every fifteen seconds during the time the index options are traded on BX Options;

(9) An equal dollar-weighted index will be rebalanced at least once every quarter;

(10) If the underlying index is maintained by a broker-dealer, the index is calculated by a third party who is not a broker-dealer, and the broker-dealer has in place an information barrier around its personnel who have access to information concerning changes in and adjustments to the index;

(11) Each component security in the index is registered pursuant to Section 12 of the Exchange Act; and

(12) Cash settled index options are designated as A.M.-settled options.

(e) The following maintenance listing standards shall apply to each class of index options originally listed pursuant to paragraph (d) above:

(1) The index meets the criteria of paragraph (d)(1) of this Rule;

(2) Subject to subparagraphs (9) and (10) below, the component securities that account for at least 90% of the total index weight and at least 80% of the total number of component securities in the index must meet the requirements of Options 4, Section 3.

(3) Each component security in the index has a market capitalization of at least $75 million, except that each of the lowest weighted component securities that in the aggregate account for no more than 10% of the weight of the index may have a market capitalization of only $50 million;

(4) Each component security must be an "NMS stock" as defined in Rule 600 of Regulation NMS under the Exchange Act; and

(5) Foreign securities or ADRs thereon that are not subject to comprehensive surveillance sharing agreements do not represent more than 20% of the weight of the index;

(6) The current underlying index value will be reported at least once every fifteen seconds during the time the index options are traded on BX Options;

(7) If the underlying index is maintained by a broker-dealer, the index is calculated by a third party who is not a broker-dealer, and the broker-dealer has in place an information barrier around its personnel who have access to information concerning changes in and adjustments to the index;

(8) The total number of component securities in the index may not increase or decrease by more than 33 1/3% from the number of component securities in the index at the time of its initial listing;

(9) Trading volume of each component security in the index must be at least 500,000 shares for each of the last six months, except that for each of the lowest weighted component securities in the index that in the aggregate account for no more than 10% of the weight of the index, trading volume must be at least 400,000 shares for each of the last six months;

(10) In a capitalization-weighted index and a modified capitalization-weighted index, the lesser of the five highest weighted component securities in the index or the highest weighted component securities in the index that in the aggregate represent at least 30% of the total number of stocks in the index each have had an average monthly trading volume of at least 1,000,000 shares over the past six months;

(11) Each component security in the index is registered pursuant to Section 12 of the Exchange Act;

(12) In an approximate equal-dollar weighted index, the index must be reconstituted and rebalanced if the notional value of the largest component is at least twice the notional volume of the smallest component for fifty percent or more of the trading days in the three months prior to December 31 of each year. For purposes of this provision the "notional value" is the market price of the component times the number of shares of the underlying component in the index. Reconstitution and rebalancing are also mandatory if the number of components in the index is greater than five at the time of rebalancing. BX Options reserves the right to rebalance quarterly at its discretion;

(13) In a modified equal-dollar weighted index BX Options will rebalance the index quarterly;

(14) In a share-weighted index, if a share-weighted Micro Narrow-Based Index fails to meet the maintenance listing standards under paragraph (e) of this Rule BX Options will not re-balance the index, will restrict trading in existing option series to closing transactions, and will not issue additional series for that index; and

(15) In the event a class of index options listed on BX Options fails to satisfy the maintenance listing standards set forth herein, BX Options shall not open for trading any additional series of options of that class unless such failure is determined by BX Options not to be significant and the Commission concurs in that determination, or unless the continued listing of that class of index options has been approved by the Commission under Section 19(b)(2) of the Exchange Act.

Adopted October 23, 2019 (SR-BX-2019-039).

Section 5. Dissemination of Information

(a) BX Options shall disseminate, or shall assure that the current index value is disseminated, after the close of business and from time-to-time on days on which transactions in index options are made on BX OPTIONS.

(b) BX Options shall maintain, or shall assure that the current index value is maintained in files available to the public, information identifying the stocks whose prices are the basis for calculation of the index and the method used to determine the current index value.

Adopted October 23, 2019 (SR-BX-2019-039).

Section 6. Position Limits for Broad-Based Index Options

(a) Options Participants shall comply with the following applicable rules:

(1) of the Chicago Board Options Exchange with respect to position limits for broad-based index options or with the applicable rules of BX Options for broad-based index options traded on BX Options but not traded on the Chicago Board Options Exchange;

(2) of Nasdaq PHLX LLC ("PHLX") with respect to position limits for PHLX proprietary products;

(b) Index options contracts shall not be aggregated with options contracts on any stocks whose prices are the basis for calculation of the index.

(c) Positions in reduced-value index options shall be aggregated with positions in full-value indices. For such purposes, ten reduced-value contracts shall equal one contract.

Adopted October 23, 2019 (SR-BX-2019-039).

Section 7. Position Limits for Industry and Micro-Narrow Based Index Options

(a) Options Participants shall comply with the applicable following rules:

(1) of the Chicago Board Options Exchange with respect to position limits for Industry and Micro-Narrow Based Index Options traded on BX Options and also on the Chicago Board Options Exchange or with the applicable rules of BX Options for industry index options traded on BX Options but not traded on the Chicago Board Options Exchange;

(2) of Nasdaq PHLX LLC ("PHLX") with respect to position limits for PHLX proprietary products;

(b) Index options contracts shall not be aggregated with options contracts on any stocks whose prices are the basis for calculation of the index.

(c) Positions in reduced-value index options shall be aggregated with positions in full-value index options. For such purposes, ten (10) reduced-value options shall equal one (1) full-value contract.

Adopted October 23, 2019 (SR-BX-2019-039).

Section 8. Reserved

 

Adopted October 23, 2019 (SR-BX-2019-039).

Section 9. Exemptions from Position Limits

An Options Participant may rely upon any available exemptions from applicable position limits granted from time to time by another Options Exchange for any options contract traded on BX Options provided that such Options Participant (1) provides BX Regulation with a copy of any written exemption issued by another Options Exchange or a written, description of any exemption issued by another Options Exchange other than in writing containing sufficient detail for BX Regulation to verify the validity of that exemption with the issuing Exchange, and (2) fulfills all conditions precedent for such exemption and complies at all times with the requirements of such exemptions with respect to its trading on BX Options.

Adopted October 23, 2019 (SR-BX-2019-039).

Section 10. Exercise Limits

(a) In determining compliance with Options 9, Section 15 (Exercise Limits), exercise limits for index options contracts shall be equivalent to the position limits prescribed for options contracts with the nearest expiration date in Section 6 or Section 7 of Options 4A.

(b) For a market-maker granted an exemption to position limits pursuant to Options 9, Section 14 (Exemptions from Position Limits), the number of contracts that can be exercised over a five business day period shall equal the market-maker's exempted position.

(c) In determining compliance with exercise limits applicable to stock index options, options contracts on a stock index group shall not be aggregated with options contracts on an underlying stock or stocks included in such group, options contracts on one stock index group shall not be aggregated with options contracts on any other stock index group.

(d) With respect to index options contracts for which an exemption has been granted in accordance with the provisions of Section 14 of Options 9, the exercise limit shall be equal to the amount of the exemption.

Adopted October 23, 2019 (SR-BX-2019-039).

Section 11. Trading Sessions

(a) Days and Hours of Business. Except as otherwise provided in this Rule or under unusual conditions as may be determined by BX Regulation, transactions in index options may be effected on BX Options between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. Eastern time. With respect to options on foreign indexes, BX Regulation shall determine the days and hours of business.

(b) To begin trading at 9:30 am, an opening shall be held in each class of index options as provided in Options 3, Section 8 (Opening Process).

(c) Instituting Halts and Suspensions. Trading on BX Options in any index option shall be halted or suspended whenever trading in underlying securities whose weighted value represents more than twenty percent (20%), in the case of a broad based index, and ten percent (10%) for all other indices, of the index value is halted or suspended. BX Regulation also may halt trading in an index option when, in his or her judgment, such action is appropriate in the interests of a fair and orderly market and to protect investors. Among the facts that may be considered are the following:

(1) whether all trading has been halted or suspended in the market that is the primary market for a plurality of the underlying stocks;

(2) whether the current calculation of the index derived from the current market prices of the stocks is not available;

(3) the extent to which the opening has been completed or other factors regarding the status of the opening; and

(4) other unusual conditions or circumstances detrimental to the maintenance of a fair and orderly market are present, including, but not limited to, the activation of price limits on futures exchanges.

(d) Resumption of Trading Following a Halt or Suspension. Trading in options of a class or series that has been the subject of a halt or suspension by BX Regulation may resume if BX Regulation determines that the interests of a fair and orderly market are served by a resumption of trading. Among the factors to be considered in making this determination are whether the conditions that led to the halt or suspension are no longer present, and the extent to which trading is occurring in stocks underlying the index. At the end of a halt, trading in each class of index options shall resume as provided in Options 3, Section 9 of these Rules (Trading Halts).

(e) Circuit Breakers. Options 3, Section 6 of these Rules (Unusual Market Conditions) applies to index options trading with respect to the initiation of a market-wide trading halt commonly known as a "circuit breaker."

(f) Special Provisions for Foreign Indices. When the hours of trading of the underlying primary securities market for an index option do not overlap or coincide with those of BX Options, all of the provisions as described in paragraphs (c), (d) and (e) above shall not apply except for (c)(4).

(g) Pricing When Primary Market Does Not Open. When the primary market for a security underlying the current index value of an index option does not open for trading on a given day, which is an expiration day, for the purposes of calculating the settlement price at expiration, the last reported sale price of the security from the previous trading day shall be used. This procedure shall not be used if the current index value at expiration is fixed in accordance with the Rules and By-Laws of the Clearing Corporation.

Adopted October 23, 2019 (SR-BX-2019-039); amended September 1, 2020 (SR-BX-2020-016), operative September 14, 2020.

Section 12. Terms of Index Options Contracts

(a) General.

(1) Meaning of Premium Bids and Offers. Bids and offers shall be expressed in terms of dollars and cents per unit of the index.

(2) Exercise Prices. BX Options shall determine fixed-point intervals of exercise prices for call and put options.

(3) Expiration Months. Index options contracts may expire at three (3)-month intervals or in consecutive months. BX Options may list up to six (6) expiration months at any one time, but will not list index options that expire more than twelve (12) months out.

(4) A.M.-Settled Index Options. The last day of trading for A.M.-settled index options shall be the business day prior to the business day of expiration, or, in the case of an option contract expiring on a day that is not a business day, the second business day preceding the expiration date. The current index value at the expiration of an A.M.-settled index option shall be determined, for all purposes under these Rules and the Rules of the Clearing Corporation, on the business day of expiration, or, in the case of an option contract expiring on a day that is not a business day, on the last business day before its expiration date, by reference to the reported level of such index as derived from first reported sale (opening) prices of the underlying securities on such day, except that:

(i) In the event that the primary market for an underlying security does not open for trading on that day, the price of that security shall be determined, for the purposes of calculating the current index value at expiration, as set forth in Section 11(g) of this Options 4A, unless the current index value at expiration is fixed in accordance with the Rules and By-Laws of the Clearing Corporation; and

(ii) In the event that the primary market for an underlying security is open for trading on that day, but that particular security does not open for trading on that day, the price of that security, for the purposes of calculating the current index value at expiration, shall be the last reported sale price of the security. The following A.M.-settled index options are approved for trading on BX Options:

(b) Long-Term Index Options Series.

(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a)(3), above, BX Options may list long-term index options series that expire from nine (9) to sixty (60) months from the date of issuance.

(i) Index long term options series may be based on either the full or reduced value of the underlying index. There may be up to ten (10) expiration months, none further out than sixty (60) months. Strike price interval, bid/ask differential and continuity Rules shall not apply to such options series until the time to expiration is less than nine (9) months.

(ii) When a new Index long term options series is listed, such series will be opened for trading either when there is buying or selling interest, or forty (40) minutes prior to the close, whichever occurs first. No quotations will be posted for such options series until they are opened for trading.

(2) Reduced-Value Long Term Options Series.

(i) Reduced-value long term options series may be approved for trading on Specified (as provided in Section 1 of Options 4A) indices.

(ii) Expiration Months. Reduced-value long term options series may expire at six-month intervals. When a new expiration month is listed, series may be near or bracketing the current index value. Additional series may be added when the value of the underlying index increases or decreases by ten (10) to fifteen (15) percent.

(c) Procedures for Adding and Deleting Strike Prices. The procedures for adding and deleting strike prices for index options are provided in Options 4, Section 5 of these Rules (Series of Options Contracts Open for Trading), as amended by the following:

(1) The interval between strike prices will be no less than $5.00.

(2) New series of index options contracts may be added up to the fourth business day prior to the business day of expiration, or, in the case of an index option contract expiring on a day that is not a business day, up to the fifth business day prior to expiration.

(3) When new series of index options with a new expiration date are opened for trading, or when additional series of index options in an existing expiration date are opened for trading as the current value of the underlying index to which such series relate moves substantially from the exercise prices of series already opened, the exercise prices of such new or additional series shall be reasonably related to the current value of the underlying index at the time such series are first opened for trading. In the case of all classes of index options, the term "reasonably related to the current value of the underlying index" shall have the meaning set forth in paragraph (c)(4) below.

(4) Notwithstanding any other provision of this paragraph (c), BX Options may open for trading additional series of the same class of index options as the current index value of the underlying index moves substantially from the exercise price of those index options that already have been opened for trading on BX Options. The exercise price of each series of index options opened for trading on BX Options shall be reasonably related to the current index value of the underlying index to which such series relates at or about the time such series of options is first opened for trading on BX Options. The term "reasonably related to the current index value of the underlying index" means that the exercise price is within thirty percent (30%) of the current index value. BX Options may also open for trading additional series of index options that are more than thirty percent (30%) away from the current index value, provided that demonstrated customer interest exists for such series, as expressed by institutional, corporate, or individual customers or their brokers. Market-makers trading for their own account shall not be considered when determining customer interest under this provision.

(d) Index Level. The reported level of the underlying index that is calculated by the reporting authority for purposes of determining the current index value at the expiration of an A.M.-settled index option may differ from the level of the index that is separately calculated and reported by the reporting authority and that reflects trading activity subsequent to the opening of trading in any of the underlying securities.

(e) Index Values for Settlement. The Rules of the Clearing Corporation specify that, unless the BX Options Rules provide otherwise, the current index value used to settle the exercise of an index options contract shall be the closing index for the day on which the index options contract is exercised in accordance with the Rules of the Clearing Corporation or, if such day is not a business day, for the most recent business day.

(f) Index Level at Expiration. With respect to any securities index on which options are traded on BX Options, the source of the prices of component securities used to calculate the current index level at expiration is determined by the reporting authority for that index.

(g)

(1) Quarterly Options Series Program. The Exchange may list and trade options series that expire at the close of business on the last business day of a calendar quarter ("Quarterly Options Series"). The Exchange may list Quarterly Options Series for up to five (5) currently listed options classes that are either index options or options on exchange traded funds ("ETF"). In addition, the Exchange may also list Quarterly Options Series on any options classes that are selected by other securities exchanges that employ a similar program under their respective rules. The Exchange may list series that expire at the end of the next consecutive four (4) calendar quarters, as well as the fourth quarter of the next calendar year.

(i) The Exchange will not list a Short Term Option Series on an options class the expiration of which coincides with that of a Quarterly Options Series on that same options class.

(ii) Quarterly Options Series shall be P.M. settled.

(iii) The strike price of each Quarterly Options Series will be fixed at a price per share, with at least two, but not more than five, strike prices above and two, but not more than five, strike prices below the value of the underlying security at about the time that a Quarterly Options Series is opened for trading on the Exchange. The Exchange may open for trading additional Quarterly Options Series of the same class if the Exchange deems it necessary to maintain an orderly market, to meet customer demand or when the current index value of the underlying index moves substantially from the exercise price of those Quarterly Options Series that already have been opened for trading on the Exchange. The exercise price of each Quarterly Options Series opened for trading on the Exchange shall be reasonably related to the current index value of the underlying index to which such series relates at or about the time such series of options is first opened for trading on the Exchange. The term "reasonably related to the current index value of the underlying index" means that the exercise price is within thirty percent (30%) of the current index value. The Exchange may also open for trading additional Quarterly Options Series that are more than thirty percent (30%) away from the current index value, provided that demonstrated customer interest exists for such series, as expressed by institutional, corporate, or individual customers or their brokers. Market-makers trading for their own account shall not be considered when determining customer interest under this provision. The Exchange may open additional strike prices of a Quarterly Options Series that are above the value of the underlying index provided that the total number of strike prices above the value of the underlying index is no greater than five. The Exchange may open additional strike prices of a Quarterly Options Series that are below the value of the underlying index provided that the total number of strike prices below the value of the underlying index is no greater than five. The opening of any new Quarterly Options Series shall not affect the series of options of the same class previously opened.

(iv) The interval between strike prices on Quarterly Options Series shall be the same as the interval for strike prices for series in that same options class that expire in accordance with the normal monthly expiration cycle.

Except as otherwise provided, all Exchange rules applicable to stock index options will also be applicable to quarterly expiring index options listed pursuant to this section.

(h)

(1) Short Term Option Series Program. After an index option class has been approved for listing and trading on the Exchange, the Exchange may open for trading on any Thursday or Friday that is a business day ("Short Term Option Opening Date") series of options on that class that expire on the Friday of the following business week that is a business day ("Short Term Option Expiration Date"). If the Exchange is not open for business on the respective Thursday or Friday, the Short Term Option Opening Date will be the first business day immediately prior to that respective Thursday or Friday. Similarly, if the Exchange is not open for business on the Friday of the following business week, the Short Term Option Expiration Date will be the first business day immediately prior to that Friday. Regarding Short Term Option Series:

(i) The Exchange may select up to thirty (30) currently listed option classes on which Short Term Option Series may be opened on any Short Term Option Opening Date. In addition to the thirty-option class restriction, the Exchange also may list Short Term Option Series on any option classes that are selected by other securities exchanges that employ a similar program under their respective rules. For each index option class eligible for participation in the Short Term Option Series Program, the Exchange may open up to twenty (20) Short Term Option Series on index options for each expiration date in that class. The Exchange may also open Short Term Option Series that are opened by other securities exchanges in option classes selected by such exchanges under their respective short term option rules.

(ii) No Short Term Option Series on an index option class may expire in the same week during which any monthly option series on the same index class expire or, in the case of Quarterly Options Series, on an expiration that coincides with an expiration of Quarterly Option Series on the same index class.

(iii) The strike price of each Short Term Option Series will be fixed at a price per share, with approximately the same number of strike prices being opened above and below the calculated value of the underlying index at about the time that the Short Term Option Series are initially opened for trading on the Exchange (e.g., if seven (7) series are initially opened, there will be at least three (3) strike prices above and three (3) strike prices below the value of the underlying security or calculated index value). Any strike prices listed by the Exchange shall be within thirty percent (30%) above or below the current value of the underlying index.

(iv) If the Exchange has opened less than twenty (20) Short Term Option Series for a Short Term Option Expiration Date, additional series may be opened for trading on the Exchange when the Exchange deems it necessary to maintain an orderly market, to meet customer demand or when the current value of the underlying index moves substantially from the exercise price or prices of the series already opened. Any additional strike prices listed by the Exchange shall be within thirty percent (30%) above or below the current value of the underlying index. The Exchange may also open additional strike prices of Short Term Option Series that are more than 30% above or below the current value of the underlying index provided that demonstrated customer interest exists for such series, as expressed by institutional, corporate or individual customers or their brokers. Market-Makers trading for their own account shall not be considered when determining customer interest under this provision. The opening of the new Short Term Option Series shall not affect the series of options of the same class previously opened.

(v) The interval between strike prices on Short Term Option Series shall be the same as the strike prices for series in that same index option class that expire in accordance with the normal monthly expiration cycle.

Adopted October 23, 2019 (SR-BX-2019-039); amended January 29, 2020 (SR-BX-2020-001).

Section 13. Debit Put Spread Cash Account Transactions

Debit put spread positions in European-style, broad-based index options traded on BX Options (hereinafter "debit put spreads") may be maintained in a cash account as defined by Federal Reserve Board Regulation T Section 220.8 by a Public Customer, provided that the following procedures and criteria are met:

(a) The customer has received BX Regulation approval to maintain debit put spreads in a cash account carried by an Options Participant. A customer so approved is hereinafter referred to as a "spread exemption customer."

(b) The spread exemption customer has provided all information required on BX Options approved forms and has kept such information current.

(c) The customer holds a net long position in each of the stocks of a portfolio that has been previously established or in securities readily convertible, and additionally in the case of convertible bonds economically convertible, into common stocks which would comprise a portfolio. The debit put spread position must be carried in an account with a member of a self-regulatory organization participating in the Intermarket Surveillance Group.

(d) The stock portfolio or its equivalent is composed of net long positions in common stocks in at least four industry groups and contains at least twenty (20) stocks, none of which accounts for more than fifteen percent (15%) of the value of the portfolio (hereinafter "qualified portfolio"). To remain qualified, a portfolio must at all times meet these standards notwithstanding trading activity in the stocks.

(e) The exemption applies to European-style broad-based index options dealt in on BX Options to the extent the underlying value of such options position does not exceed the unhedged value of the qualified portfolio. The unhedged value would be determined as follows: (1) the values of the net long or short positions of all qualifying products in the portfolio are totaled; (2) for positions in excess of the standard limit, the underlying market value (A) of any economically equivalent opposite side of the market calls and puts in broad-based index options, and (B) of any opposite side of the market positions in stock index futures, options on stock index futures, and any economically equivalent opposite side of the market positions, assuming no other hedges for these contracts exist, is subtracted from the qualified portfolio; and (3) the market value of the resulting unhedged portfolio is equated to the appropriate number of exempt contracts as follows—the unhedged qualified portfolio is divided by the correspondent closing index value and the quotient is then divided by the index multiplier or 100.

(f) A debit put spread in BX Options-traded broad-based index options with European-style exercises is defined as a long put position coupled with a short put position overlying the same broad-based index and having an equivalent underlying aggregate index value, where the short put(s) expires with the long put(s), and the strike price of the long put(s) exceeds the strike price of the short put(s). A debit put spread will be permitted in the cash account as long as it is continuously associated with a qualified portfolio of securities with a current market value at least equal to the underlying aggregate index value of the long side of the debit put spread.

(g) The qualified portfolio must be maintained with either an Options Participant, another broker-dealer, a bank, or securities depository.

(h) The spread exemption customer shall agree promptly to provide BX Regulation any information requested concerning the dollar value and composition of the customer's stock portfolio, and the current debit put spread positions.

(1) The spread exemption customer shall agree to and any Options Participant carrying an account for the customer shall:

(i) comply with all BX Options Rules and regulations;

(ii) liquidate any debit put spreads prior to or contemporaneously with a decrease in the market value of the qualified portfolio, which debit put spreads would thereby be rendered excessive; and

(iii) promptly notify BX Regulation of any change in the qualified portfolio or the debit put spread position which causes the debit put spreads maintained in the cash account to be rendered excessive.

(i) If any Options Participant carrying a cash account for a spread exemption customer with a debit put spread position dealt in on BX Options has a reason to believe that as a result of an opening options transaction the customer would violate this spread exemption, and such opening transaction occurs, then the Options Participant has violated this Rule.

(j) Violation of any of these provisions, absent reasonable justification or excuse, shall result in withdrawal of the spread exemption and may form the basis for subsequent denial of an application for a spread exemption hereunder.

Adopted October 23, 2019 (SR-BX-2019-039).

Section 14. Disclaimers

(a) Applicability of Disclaimers. The disclaimers in paragraph (b) below shall apply to the reporting authorities identified in Supplementary Material .01 to Options 4A, Section 2.

(b) Disclaimer. No reporting authority, and no affiliate of a reporting authority (each such reporting authority, its affiliates, and any other entity identified in this Rule are referred to collectively as a "Reporting Authority"), makes any warranty, express or implied, as to the results to be obtained by any person or entity from the use of an index it publishes, any opening, intra-day or closing value therefore, or any data included therein or relating thereto, in connection with the trading of any options contract based thereon or for any other purpose. The Reporting Authority shall obtain information for inclusion in, or for use in the calculation of, such index from sources it believes to be reliable, but the Reporting Authority does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of such index, any opening, intra-day or closing value therefore, or any date included therein or related thereto. The Reporting Authority hereby disclaims all warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose or use with respect to such index, any opening, intra-day, or closing value therefore, any data included therein or relating thereto, or any options contract based thereon. The Reporting Authority shall have no liability for any damages, claims, losses (including any indirect or consequential losses), expenses, or delays, whether direct or indirect, foreseen or unforeseen, suffered by any person arising out of any circumstance or occurrence relating to the person's use of such index, any opening, intra-day or closing value therefore, any data included therein or relating thereto, or any options contract based thereon, or arising out of any errors or delays in calculating or disseminating such index.

Adopted October 23, 2019 (SR-BX-2019-039).

Section 15. Exercise of American-style Index Options

No Options Participant may prepare, time stamp or submit an exercise instruction for an American-style index options series if the Options Participant knows or has reason to know that the exercise instruction calls for the exercise of more contracts than the then "net long position" of the account for which the exercise instruction is to be tendered. For purposes of this Rule: (i) the term "net long position" shall mean the net position of the account in such option at the opening of business of the day of such exercise instruction, plus the total number of such options purchased that day in opening purchase transactions up to the time of exercise, less the total number of such options sold that day in closing sale transactions up to the time of exercise; (ii) the "account" shall be the individual account of the particular customer, market-maker or "non-customer" (as that term is defined in the By-Laws of the Clearing Corporation) who wishes to exercise; and (iii) every transaction in an options series effected by a market-maker in a market-maker's account shall be deemed to be a closing transaction in respect of the market-maker's then positions in such options series. No Options Participant may adjust the designation of an "opening transaction" in any such option to a "closing transaction" except to remedy mistakes or errors made in good faith.

Adopted October 23, 2019 (SR-BX-2019-039).

Section 16. Reserved

 

Adopted October 23, 2019 (SR-BX-2019-039).

Section 17. Reserved

 

Adopted January 29, 2020 (SR-BX-2020-001).

Section 18. Reserved

 

Adopted January 29, 2020 (SR-BX-2020-001).

Section 19. Reserved

 

Adopted January 29, 2020 (SR-BX-2020-001).

Section 20. Reserved

 

Adopted January 29, 2020 (SR-BX-2020-001).

Section 21. Reserved

 

Adopted January 29, 2020 (SR-BX-2020-001).

 
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