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Options 1 General Provisions
Section 1. Definitions

(a) With respect to these BX Options Rules, the following terms shall have the meanings specified in this Rule. A term defined elsewhere in the Rules of the Exchange shall have the same meaning with respect to this Rule, unless otherwise defined below.

(1) The term "Away Best Bid or Offer" or "ABBO" means the displayed National Best Bid or Offer not including the Exchange's Best Bid or Offer.

(2) The term "account number" means a number assigned to a Participant. Participants may have more than one account number.

(3) The term "aggregate exercise price" means the exercise price of an options contract multiplied by the number of units of the underlying security covered by the options contract.

(4) The term "American-style option" means an options contract that, subject to the provisions of Options 6B, Section 1 of these BX Options Rules (relating to the cutoff time for exercise instructions) and to the Rules of the Clearing Corporation, may be exercised at any time from its commencement time until its expiration.

(5) The term "associated person" or "person associated with a Participant" mean any partner, officer, director, or branch manager of an Options Participant (or any person occupying a similar status or performing similar functions), any person directly or indirectly controlling, controlled by, or under common control with a Participant or any employee of a Participant.

(6) The term "badge" means an account number, which may contain letters and/or numbers, assigned to BX Market Makers. A BX Market Maker account may be associated with multiple badges.

(7) The term "bid" means a limit order to buy one or more options contracts.

(8) The term "BX Options" means the BX Options Market, an options trading facility of the Exchange under Section 3(a)(2) of the Exchange Act.

(9) The term "BX Options Book" means the electronic book of orders maintained by the BX Options Trading System.

(10) The term "BX Options Market Maker" or "Options Market Maker" mean an Options Participant registered with the Exchange for the purpose of making markets in options contracts traded on the Exchange and that is vested with the rights and responsibilities specified in Options 2 of these Rules.

(11) The terms "BX Options Order Entry Firm" or "Order Entry Firm" or "OEF" mean those Options Participants representing as agent Customer Orders on BX Options and those non-Market Maker Participants conducting proprietary trading.

(12) The term "BX Options Rules" or "Rules of BX Options" mean the Rules of the BX Options Market.

(13) The term "BX Options Transaction" means a transaction involving an options contract that is effected on or through BX Options or its facilities or systems.

(14) 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 number of shares of the underlying security covered by the options contract.

(15) The term "class" means, when applied to options, all option contracts of the same type and style covering the same underlying interest; provided, however, that OTC options and listed options that would otherwise constitute a single class of options shall constitute separate classes. When applied to futures, the term "class" means all futures covering the same underlying interest.

(16) The term "Clearing Corporation" means The Options Clearing Corporation.

(17) The term "Clearing Participant" means a Participant that is self-clearing or a Participant that clears BX Options Transactions for other Participants of BX Options.

(18) The term "closing index value" in respect of a particular index means the current index value calculated at the close of business on the day of exercise, or, if the day of exercise is not a trading day, on the last trading day before exercise (P.M.-settled), unless the settlement value of the index is based on the opening price of each component issue on the primary market (A.M.- settled).

(19) The term "closing purchase transaction" means a BX Options Transaction that reduces or eliminates a short position in an options contract.

(20) The term "closing writing transaction" means a BX Options Transaction that reduces or eliminates a long position in an options contract.

(21) The term "covered short position" means (i) an options position where the obligation of the writer of a call option is secured by a "specific deposit" or an "escrow deposit" meeting the conditions of Rules 610(f) or 610(g), respectively, of the Rules of the Clearing Corporation, or the writer holds in the same account as the short position, on a share-for-share basis, a long position either in the underlying security or in an options contract of the same class of options where the exercise price of the options contract in such long position is equal to or less than the exercise price of the options contract in such short position; and (ii) an options position where the writer of a put option holds in the same account as the short position, on a share-for-share basis, a long position in an options contract of the same class of options where the exercise price of the options contract in such long position is equal to or greater than the exercise price of the options contract in such short position.

(22) The term "Customer" means a Public Customer or a broker-dealer.

(23) The term "Customer Order" means an agency order for the account of a Public Customer, as defined herein or a broker-dealer.

(24) The term "discretion" means the authority of a broker or dealer to determine for a Customer the type of option, the class or series of options, the number of contracts, or whether options are to be bought or sold.

(25) The term "European-style option" means an options contract that, subject to the provisions of Options 6B, Section 1 of these Rules (relating to the cutoff time for exercise instructions) and to the Rules of the Clearing Corporation, can be exercised only on the business day of expiration, or, in the case of option contracts expiring on a day that is not a business day, the last business day prior to its expiration date.

(26) The term "exercise price" means the specified price per unit at which the underlying security may be purchased or sold upon the exercise of an options contract.

(27) The term "foreign currency" means the standard unit of the official medium of exchange of a sovereign government or the Euro including the United States Government (e.g., the British pound, the Swiss franc, the Canadian dollar, the Australian dollar, the Japanese yen, the Mexican peso, the Brazilian real, the Chinese yuan, the Danish krone, the New Zealand dollar, the Norwegian krone, the Russian ruble, the South African rand, the South Korean won, or the Swedish krona.

(28) The term "in-the-money" means the following: for call options, all strike prices at or below the offer in the underlying security on the primary listing market; for put options, all strike prices at or above the bid in the underlying security on the primary listing market. This definition shall only apply for purposes of Market Maker quoting obligations in Options 2, Section 5.

(29) The term "index option" means an options contract that is an option on a broad-based, narrow-based or micro narrow-based index of equity securities prices.

(30) The term "individual equity option" means an options contract which is an option on an equity security.

(31) The term "long position" means a person's interest as the holder of one or more options contracts.

(32) The term "mnemonic" means an acronym comprised of letters and/or numbers assigned to Participants. A Participant account may be associated with multiple mnemonics.

(33) The term "NBBO" means the national best bid or offer as calculated by BX Options based on market information received by BX Options from OPRA.

(34) The term "offer" means a limit order to sell one or more options contracts.

(35) The term "opening purchase transaction" means a BX Options Transaction that creates or increases a long position in an options contract.

(36) The term "opening writing transaction" means a BX Options Transaction that creates or increases a short position in an options contract.

(37) The term "options contract" means a put or a call issued, or subject to issuance by the Clearing Corporation pursuant to the Rules of the Clearing Corporation.

(38) The term "options market close" or "market close" mean the time specified by BX Options for the cessation of trading in contracts on BX Options for options on that market day.

(39) The term "options market open" or "market open" mean the time specified by BX Options for the commencement of trading in contracts on BX Options for options on that market day.

(40) The term "Options Participant" or "Participant" mean a firm, or organization that is registered with the Exchange pursuant to Options 2A of these Rules for purposes of participating in options trading on BX Options as a "BX Options Order Entry Firm" or "BX Options Market Maker."

(41) The term "Options Principal" means a person engaged in the management and supervision of the Options Participant's business pertaining to options contracts that has responsibility for the overall oversight of the Options Participant's options related activities on the Exchange.

(42) The term "Options Participation Agreement" means the agreement to be executed by Options Participants to qualify to participate on BX Options.

(43) The term "OPRA" means the Options Price Reporting Authority.

(44) The term "order" means a firm commitment to buy or sell options contracts as defined in Section 7 of Options 3.

(45) The term "out-of-the-money" means the following: for call options, all strike prices above the offer in the underlying security on the primary listing market; for put options, all strike prices below the bid in the underlying security on the primary listing market. This definition shall only apply for purposes of Market Maker quoting obligations in Options 2, Section 5. This definition shall only apply for purposes of Market Maker quoting obligations in Options 2, Section 5.

(46) The term "outstanding" means an options contract which has been issued by the Clearing Corporation and has neither been the subject of a closing writing transaction nor has reached its expiration date.

(47) The term "pre-opening" means the period prior to the market open on BX Options, beginning at a time specified by BX Options, during which Participants may log on to the Trading System and submit, amend and withdraw orders, but no trading can occur.

(48) The term "Professional" means any person or entity that (i) is not a broker or dealer in securities, and (ii) places more than 390 orders in listed options per day on average during a calendar month for its own beneficial account(s). A Participant or a Public Customer may, without limitation, be a Professional. All Professional orders shall be appropriately marked by Participants.

(i) Calculation of Professional Orders. With respect to computing the number of orders in listed options per day on average during a calendar month for its own beneficial account(s), the following shall apply:

(a) Each order is counted toward the number of orders, regardless of the options exchange to which the order was routed in determining Professional orders.

(b) A cancel and replace order which replaces a prior order shall be counted as a second order, or multiple new orders in the case of "single-strike algorithms" which track the NBBO. A cancel message is not an order.

(c) An order that converts into multiple subordinate orders to achieve an execution strategy shall be counted as one order per side and series, even if the order is routed away. An order that cancels and replaces the resulting subordinate order and results in multiple sides/series shall be counted as a new order per side and series. An order that cancels and replaces the subordinate order on the same side and series will count as one order. For purposes of counting Public Customer orders, if one Public Customer order on the same side and series is subsequently broken-up by a broker into multiple orders for purposes of execution or routed away, this order will count as one order.

(49) The term "Public Customer" means a person that is not a broker or dealer in securities.

(50) The term "Public Customer Order" means an order for the account of a Public Customer.

(51) 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 and the Rules of the OCC, to sell to the Clearing Corporation the number of units of the underlying security covered by the options contract, at a price per unit equal to the exercise price, upon the timely exercise of such option.

(52) 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.

(53) The term "quote" or "quotation" mean a bid or offer entered by a Market Maker as a firm order that updates the Market Maker's previous bid or offer, if any.

(54) The term "Responsible Person" means a United States-based officer, director or management-level employee of an Options Participant, who is registered with the Exchange as an Options Principal, responsible for the direct supervision and control of associated persons of that Options Participant.

(55) The term "Rules of the Clearing Corporation" or "Rules of the OCC" mean the Certificate of Incorporation, the By-Laws and the Rules of the Clearing Corporation, and all written interpretations thereof, as may be in effect from time to time.

(56) The term "series," when used in respect of options, means all option contracts of the same class and having otherwise identical terms including exercise price (or, in the case of delayed start option contracts that do not yet have a set exercise price, the same exercise price setting formula and exercise price setting date), expiration date, unit of trading and, in the case of futures options or commodity options, series marker if any; and when used in respect of futures, means all futures of the same class having identical terms, including the same maturity date and series marker, if any.

(57) The term "short position" means a person's interest as the writer of one or more options contracts.

(58) 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 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday that is a business day and that expires on the Monday, Wednesday or Friday of the next business week, or, in the case of a series that is listed on a Friday and expires on a Monday, is listed one business week and one business day prior to that expiration. If a Tuesday, Wednesday, 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 Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, respectively. For a series listed pursuant to this Rule for Monday expiration, if a Monday is not a business day, the series shall expire on the first business day immediately following that Monday.

(59) The term "System" or "Trading System" mean the automated system for order execution and trade reporting owned and operated by BX as the BX Options market. The BX Options market comprises:

(A) an order execution service that enables Participants to automatically execute transactions in option series; and provides Participants with sufficient monitoring and updating capability to participate in an automated execution environment;

(B) a trade reporting service that submits "locked-in" trades for clearing to a registered clearing agency for clearance and settlement; transmits last-sale reports of transactions automatically to the Options Price Reporting Authority for dissemination to the public and industry; and provides participants with monitoring and risk management capabilities to facilitate participation in a "locked-in" trading environment; and

(C) the data feeds described in Options 3, Section 23.

(60) The term "type of option" means the classification of an options contract as either a put or a call.

(61) The term "uncovered" means a short position in an options contract that is not covered.

(62) The term "underlying security" when used in respect of any contract other than a cash-settled contract means the security or other asset which the Corporation is obligated to sell or purchase upon exercise or maturity of the contract. When used in respect of a cash-settled contract, the term means the index or other underlying interest on which the exercise settlement amount or final settlement price is based.

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

Section 2. Applicability

(a) These are the BX Rules applicable to the trading of options contracts issued by The Options Clearing Corporation through BX Options, BX's options trading facility, the terms and conditions of such contracts, the exercise and settlement thereof, the handling of orders, and the conduct of accounts and other matters relating to options trading on BX Options.

(b) Except to the extent that specific BX Options Rules govern or unless the context otherwise requires, the provisions of the BX General Equity and Options Rules shall be applicable to Options Participants and to the trading of option contracts on BX Options and, for purposes of their application with respect to Options Participants and options trading, shall be interpreted in light of the nature of options trading and the BX Options market, and the fact that options on BX Options shall be traded electronically through the Trading System. To the extent that the provisions of the BX Options Rules are inconsistent with any other provisions of the BX Rules, the BX Options Rules shall control.

(c) For the purposes of cross-referencing, interpreting and applying BX Rules to the BX Options Rules: a reference to "members" of BX shall be functionally equivalent to "Participants" in BX Options, whether BX Options Market Makers, Order Entry Firms or both.

(d) For marketing and other purposes, the BX Options Market may be referred to as the "BX Options Market" or "BX Options."

(e) These Rules generally require Options Participants conducting business with the public to comply with applicable requirements of the United States federal securities laws and regulations promulgated thereunder by the Securities and Exchange Commission. To the extent that certain aspects of the federal securities laws and regulations promulgated thereunder do not apply to non-U.S. firms conducting business with non-U.S. customers, these Rules shall be interpreted accordingly, so long as such interpretation is consistent with the maintenance of a fair and orderly options market. In such case, however, such non-U.S. Options Participants must comply with all reasonably comparable laws and regulations of their home countries or of the home countries of their customers, as applicable.

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

Section 3. Regulation of BX and its Members

(a) BX and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA") are parties to the Regulatory Services Agreement dated as of August 29, 2008, as amended ("Regulatory Contract"). Pursuant thereto, FINRA has agreed to perform certain functions described in these Rules on behalf of BX. BX Options Rules that refer to BX Regulation, BX Regulation staff, BX Options staff, and BX Options departments should be understood as also referring to FINRA staff and FINRA departments acting on behalf of BX pursuant to the Regulatory Contract.

(b) Notwithstanding the fact that BX has entered into the Regulatory Contract with FINRA Regulation to perform some of BX's functions, BX shall retain ultimate legal responsibility for, and control of, such functions.

(c) In addition, BX has incorporated by reference certain FINRA, Chicago Board Options Exchange ("CBOE"), and New York Stock Exchange ("NYSE") rules. BX members shall comply with these rules and interpretations as if such rules and interpretations were part of BX's rules.

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

 
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