Municipal Securities Credit Ratings From Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor's Available on EMMA Website

Date: November 21, 2011

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


Alexandria, VA – The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) today began providing investors and others with free public access to current municipal credit ratings on its EMMA® website. The ratings, from Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s, are displayed on EMMA for all individual municipal securities that have ratings assigned by the two agencies.

The display of current ratings on EMMA is consistent with the MSRB’s goal of supporting individual investors’ free access to municipal bond information.

“The addition of credit ratings to EMMA contributes another key element to a single site that empowers individual investors to make informed decisions,” said MSRB Executive Director Lynnette Kelly Hotchkiss. “We applaud the participation of Fitch Ratings and S&P, and their support of the MSRB’s goal to provide municipal market transparency.”

Fitch Ratings and S&P are among the rating agencies registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission as Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations.

Effective today, EMMA will display long-term credit ratings for individual securities, along with any short-term rating, underlying or unenhanced rating, credit enhancement features or other information that may be provided. EMMA also provides links to additional information from credit rating agencies, including definitions, prior ratings research reports and more. Watch a video about ratings on EMMA.

The EMMA website is a centralized online database operated by the MSRB that provides free public access to official disclosure documents and trade data associated with municipal bonds issued in the United States. In addition to current credit rating information, the EMMA website also makes available real-time trade data and primary market and continuing disclosure documents for approximately 1.5 million outstanding municipal bonds, as well as current interest rate information, liquidity documents and other information for most variable rate municipal securities. 

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.