Initial offering prices, yields now posted on US muni site

WASHINGTON Mon May 6, 2013 10:03pm IST

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WASHINGTON May 6 (Reuters) - Investors in the U.S. municipal bond market will now be able to find more free information about new bond sales, with the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board announcing on Monday it is adding the initial offering dollar prices and yields for bonds.

The board, a self-regulatory organization, said those in the $3.7 trillion municipal bond market will also be able to look up the time of formal award and of first execution for new issues on its site, which is known as EMMA for Electronic Municipal Market Access.

The board said the new addition will allow those in the primary market to compare new debt against trade data.

For the last five years, the board, which writes the rules that the Securities and Exchange Commission enforces, has worked to make more information about the market available. Most of its work has focused on continuing disclosure and trading data for debt already sold.

Still, it now offers official statements and preliminary documents on EMMA and posts the credit ratings of debt. Meanwile, the board is working toward making indices and other benchmarks used for pricing debt available publicly.

Last summer, the Government Accountability Office said that retail investors have a disadvantage in the market, often paying higher prices because they do not have access to all the information that would allow them to assess the true value of a bond.

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