The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has requested comments on its initial decision, in response to a petition by the Options Clearing Corporation (OCC), to exempt, pursuant to section 4(c) of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA), the trading and clearing of options and security futures products based on iShares COMEX Gold Trust Shares and iShares Silver Trust Shares (collectively, the Shares) from certain provisions of the CEA. The new derivative products are proposed to be traded on national securities exchanges (in the case of options) and designated contract markets that are registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission as limited purpose national securities associations (in the case of security futures) and cleared in each case by OCC. Because the primary assets underlying the Shares are gold and silver, respectively, the proposed options and futures on the Shares are “novel instruments” that could implicate overlapping areas of regulatory authority between the CFTC and SEC.

The comment period for the proposed exemption closes November 19.