It's Your Deal: Resources for Municipal Securities Issuers

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EMMA: Your Partner in Making Full and Fair Disclosure

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When it comes to municipal market disclosure, it is better to be inclusive than selective. Municipal bond issuers support the integrity of the market by disclosing to investors material information about their bond issues fairly, equitably and in the public domain.

Selective disclosure – an often unintentional sharing of material, nonpublic information to a select group of investors – creates an information imbalance, regardless of whether a recipient trades on the basis of the information or not. Municipal officials talking with a few constituents after a townhall meeting may inadvertently make selective disclosure by casually mentioning additional information about bond projects not raised during the public meeting. Investor roadshows, conferences and one-on-one investor calls or meetings, while not inherently problematic, can become so if the information shared is material to bondholders and not made public.

The MSRB makes it possible for bond issuers to provide timely and complete disclosure of material information to bondholders through its Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website. Making a voluntary disclosure on EMMA is a simple step to ensure that information is promptly available to the public at large. Read more about the MSRB’s resources to help issuers carefully manage their response to instances of selective disclosure.

Financing the Nation's Infrastructure

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In September, the MSRB published a primer and resource for policymakers that underscores the role of municipal securities in financing infrastructure. Municipal Securities: Financing the Nation’s Infrastructure provides a basic understanding of municipal securities, how the municipal market provides access to capital for over 50,000 state and local governments that own and maintain the majority of public works, and the role of the federal government and public-private partnerships in investing in public infrastructure.

Bloomberg BVAL® Now Available on EMMA®

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Many municipal issuers and their municipal advisors use market indicators as part of the bond pricing process to provide a benchmark when establishing offering yields on new bond issues. The MSRB this month added Bloomberg’s BVAL Municipal AAA Curve to the group of municipal market yield curves and indices on its EMMA website

Bloomberg’s BVAL Municipal AAA Curve gives users another tool to help monitor the level and direction of municipal bond interest rates and compare relative yields of specific municipal securities.

Bloomberg’s BVAL Municipal AAA Curve is available on EMMA’s Tools and Resources page, as are a daily yield curve from the Associated Press (AP) and historical index data for five different indices from Standard & Poor’s (S&P). Access yield curves and indices on EMMA.

Read about understanding yield curves and indices in the MSRB Education Center.

Check the Qualifications of Your Municipal Advisor

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If you choose to work with a municipal advisor to issue municipal bonds or advise on municipal financial products, you should verify that the firm is properly registered with the MSRB and that individuals providing municipal advisory services have passed the MSRB’s Series 50 exam, or Municipal Advisor Representative Qualification Examination.


Find a list of registered municipal advisor firms with Series 50-qualified municipal advisor representatives on the MSRB’s website.

Request for Comment on Primary Offerings

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The MSRB is now accepting comments on its review of rules for municipal securities dealers on the primary offering of securities, and it values input from bond issuers. The request for comment asks, among other things, whether dealers should be required to provide more information to bond issuers regarding the designation and allocation of securities in a primary offering. Comments are due November 13, 2017 and can be submitted directly from a link in the request for comment.

It's Your Deal is a quarterly resource guide published by the MSRB to provide objective and useful information to state and local governments that issue municipal bonds. As part of its mission to protect municipal bond issuers, the MSRB regulates municipal advisors and municipal securities dealers, operates the Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website, and offers free educational resources in the MSRB Education Center.

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