MSRB Adds New Disclosure Options on EMMA for Municipal Securities Issuers

Date: May 23, 2011

Contact: Jennifer A. Galloway, Chief Communications Officer
             (703) 797-6600


Alexandria, VA – The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) announced today that municipal securities issuers can, for the first time, make pre-sale documents associated with new bond issues available directly to the public by submitting them to the MSRB’s Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA) system. Issuers and obligated persons can also voluntarily provide investors with information about the timing and accounting standard used to prepare annual financials. The changes will allow issuers to provide key documents to investors at the early stages of a bond offering and additional continuing disclosure information about existing bonds.

Bond pre-sale documents, including preliminary official statements, describe a proposed new issue of municipal securities before the interest rate and offering price are set. These documents may be used by issuers to gauge interest in a planned issue and are often used by potential investors in making investment-related decisions. In addition to preliminary official statements, issuers may submit related documents, such as a notice of sale, to assist potential investors and underwriters in making investment decisions about the proposed new issue. To facilitate locating these documents, the MSRB has added a pre-sale section to the EMMA website and permits EMMA users to search for preliminary official statements.

“We hope issuers will take advantage of this significant increase in their disclosure capabilities,” said MSRB Executive Director Lynnette Kelly Hotchkiss. “EMMA can be used by issuers as a powerful tool to communicate key information about themselves to investors and other market participants.”

Also beginning today, issuers and obligated persons can voluntarily provide information about the timing—either 120 days or 150 days after the end of the applicable fiscal year—and accounting standard—for example, GAAP-GASB or GAAP-FASB—used to prepare annual financials. This information helps investors know when they can expect an issuer’s annual financial statements to appear on EMMA, and how these statements were prepared. Issuers and obligated persons may also provide a link to a website with additional financial or operating information. These changes will appear under EMMA’s continuing disclosure tab, and augment recent enhancements that provide investors with a clearer picture of an issuer's continuing disclosures.

Finally, beginning today issuers can voluntarily submit official statements, advance refunding documents and 529 plan disclosure documents to EMMA. This will help ensure EMMA documents are accessible, accurate and up-to-date. These voluntary submissions by issuers do not relieve dealers of any of their submission obligations under MSRB rules. MSRB Notice 2011-27 provides additional information.

The MSRB protects investors, state and local governments and other municipal entities, and the public interest by promoting a fair and efficient municipal securities market. The MSRB fulfills this mission by regulating the municipal securities firms, banks and municipal advisors that engage in municipal securities and advisory activities. To further protect market participants, the MSRB provides market transparency through its Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website, the official repository for information on all municipal bonds. The MSRB also serves as an objective resource on the municipal market, conducts extensive education and outreach to market stakeholders, and provides market leadership on key issues. The MSRB is a self-regulatory organization governed by a 21-member board of directors that has a majority of public members, in addition to representatives of regulated entities. The MSRB is overseen by the Securities and Exchange Commission and Congress.