MSRB NOTICE 2011-21 (April 11, 2011)

SEC APPROVES AMENDMENTS TO SHORT SYSTEM SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE

On April 6, 2011 the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) approved the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board’s (“MSRB”) proposed rule change consisting of amendments to the MSRB’s Short-term Obligation Rate Transparency (“SHORT”) subscription service.[1]  The effective date of the amendments will be consistent with the May 16, 2011 effective date of changes to MSRB Rule G-34(c), on variable rate security market information, to add additional information as well as documents to the information currently collected by the SHORT System.[2]  A new version of the SHORT System Subscriber Manual is available on the MSRB web site reflecting the additional information that will be included in the SHORT subscription service and, prior to the effective date, MSRB will post a subsequent version of this manual reflecting the documents that will be included in the SHORT subscription service.

The MSRB SHORT System is a facility of the MSRB for the collection and dissemination of information about securities bearing interest at short-term rates.  Rule G-34(c) currently requires certain dealers to report to the SHORT System interest rates and descriptive information about Auction Rate Securities (“ARS”) and Variable Rate Demand Obligations (“VRDOs”).  All reported information is disseminated from the SHORT System to subscribers pursuant to the MSRB SHORT subscription service[3] and is posted to the MSRB’s Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA) web portal pursuant to the EMMA short-term obligation rate transparency service. 

On August 20, 2010, the SEC approved changes to Rule G-34(c) that become effective May 16, 2011 to increase the information dealers are required to report to the SHORT System.  These changes will add to the SHORT System documents that define auction procedures and interest rate setting mechanisms for ARS and liquidity facilities for VRDOs, information about orders submitted for an ARS auction, and additional information about VRDOs.  To provide subscribers with access to these additional items of information and documents, the amended SHORT subscription service will include the additional information and documents as well as an ARS “bid to cover” ratio that will be computed by the SHORT System.         

Questions about this notice may be directed to Justin R. Pica, Director, Uniform Practice Policy, at 703-797-6716.

April 11, 2011

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TEXT OF THE RULE CHANGE [4]

 

MUNICIPAL SECURITIES RULEMAKING BOARD
SHORT-TERM OBLIGATION RATE TRANSPARENCY SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE

            The Short-term Obligation Rate Transparency (“SHORT”) System is a facility of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (“MSRB”) for the collection and dissemination of information and documents about securities bearing interest at short-term rates, which include Auction Rate Securities (“ARS”) and Variable Rate Demand Obligations (“VRDOs”).  The SHORT subscription service, which is available for an annual fee of $10,000, makes available to subscribers a data streams of all information and documents collected by the SHORT System.  Information and documents submitted to the SHORT System also are is posted to the MSRB’s Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA) web portal pursuant to the EMMA short-term obligation rate transparency service.  Such information and documents will be made available to subscribers simultaneously with the availability of such information and documents to the EMMA web portal.  Submitters of information and documents to the SHORT System may provide or modify such items for a particular submission in one or more sessions and any such items provided or modified will be made available to subscribers simultaneously with the availability of such items to the EMMA web portal.

            Data elements with respect to the SHORT subscription service to be provided through the data stream shall be set forth in the SHORT System Subscriber Manual posted on the MSRB web site.  Each submission of information to the SHORT System will result in an XML data packet to be included in the subscription feed containing, to the extent applicable for each submission, some of the following data elements:

Data Element

Definition

Sequence Number

An incremental system generated number assigned to each reported transaction.

Transaction

Type

Dealer-supplied transaction type to indicate that a submission is a new report, modification or cancellation.

Publication Date and

Time

Date and time a submission was published.

Dealer Names

The identity of the ARS Program Dealer(s) or VRDO Remarketing Agent.

Control Number

Unique identifier used to tie transactions together in the case of a modification or cancellation.

CUSIP9

CUSIP Number for the security.

Instrument Type

Indication of whether the security is an ARS or a VRDO.

Interest Rate Reset Date and Time

ARS - Date and time that the ARS auction occurred.

VRDOs - Date and time that the VRDO interest rate was determined.

Interest Rate Period

Number of calendar days that the interest rate is applicable.

Interest Rate Posting Date and Time

ARS (only) – Date and time that the ARS auction results were communicated to ARS Program Dealers. 

Effective Date of Interest Rate

VRDOs (only) - Effective date that the interest rate reset is applicable.

Interest Rate

Interest rate, in percent.

Minimum Denomination

Minimum allowable transaction size, in par amount.

Rate Type

ARS - Indication of whether the interest rate submitted represents a maximum rate (M), all hold rate (H), or an interest rate set by the auction process (A).

VRDOs - Indication of whether the interest rate submitted represents a maximum rate, a rate that was set by a formula, or a rate that was set by the VRDO Remarketing Agent.

Par Amount Auctioned

ARS (only) - Par amount auctioned not including hold orders effective at any interest rate.  The par amount auctioned is commonly referred to in results of an auction communicated to Program Dealers by Auction Agents as the “accepted sells” or the “executed sells.”

Minimum Rate

ARS - Minimum interest rate, in percent, applicable at the time of the auction or if such minimum interest rate is not able to be calculated, an indication that such rate is not calculable.

VRDOs - Minimum interest rate, in percent, applicable at the time of the interest rate reset or if such minimum interest rate is not able to be calculated, an indication that such rate is not calculable.

Maximum Rate

ARS - Maximum interest rate, in percent, applicable at the time of the auction or if such maximum interest rate is not able to be calculated, an indication that such rate is not calculable.

VRDOs - Maximum interest rate, in percent, applicable at the time of the interest rate reset or if such maximum interest rate is not able to be calculated, an indication that such rate is not calculable.

Par Amount Remarketed

VRDOs (only) - Par amount of the VRDO held by a party other than the VRDO Remarketing Agent.  (This data element is reserved for future use.)

Notification Period

VRDOs (only) - Number of calendar days that may lapse between a holder of a VRDO tendering a position in the security and a liquidity provider purchasing the tendered security in the event that the Remarketing Agent is unable to remarket the tendered security.

Liquidity Facility Type

VRDOs (only) - For each liquidity facility applicable to a VRDO, an indication of whether it is a standby bond purchase agreement, or letter of credit, or a “self liquidity” program whereby liquidity is provided by the issuer, conduit borrower or affiliate.

Liquidity Facility Expiration Date

VRDOs (only) - The expiration date of each liquidity facility applicable to a VRDO.

Identity of Liquidity Provider

VRDOs (only) - For each liquidity facility applicable to the VRDO, the identity of the liquidity provider.  This value reflects information available to the VRDO Remarketing Agent as of the date and time of the interest rate reset.

Aggregate Par Amount – Bank Bond

VRDOs (only) - Par amount of the VRDO, if any, held by liquidity providers (as a “Bank Bond”).  This value reflects information available to the VRDO Remarketing Agent as of the date and time of the interest rate reset. 

Aggregate Par Amount – Investors and Remarketing Agent

VRDOs (only) - Par amount of the VRDO, if any, held by parties other than a liquidity provider, which represents the aggregate par amounts held by the VRDO Remarketing Agent and by investors.  This value reflects information available to the VRDO Remarketing Agent as of the date and time of the interest rate reset.

Identity of Tender Agent

VRDOs (only) - For each tender agent applicable to the VRDO, the identity of the tender agent.  This value reflects information available to the VRDO Remarketing Agent as of the date and time of the interest rate reset.

Order Type

ARS (only) - Indication of whether an order is an order to buy, sell or hold at rate.

Order Interest Rate

ARS (only) - For orders to buy or hold at rate, the interest rate associated with such orders. 

Order Entity

ARS (only) - Indication of whether an order placed or that was filled is for an investor, program dealer for its own account or issuer/conduit borrower of the ARS.

Order Par Amount

ARS (only) - The aggregate par amount submitted to the auction for each order type, interest rate for buy and hold at rate orders, and order entity. 

Filled Par Amount

ARS (only) - The aggregate par amount filled as a result of the auction for each order type, interest rate for buy and hold at rate orders and order entity. 

Bid to Cover Ratio

ARS (only) - Ratio of the aggregate par amount of securities bid for the aggregate par amount of securities offered in an auction.

            Each document submission to the SHORT System will result in an XML data packet to be included in the subscription feed.  Each submission event packet will include data organized in a hierarchical data relationship generally consisting of (to the extent applicable for a particular submission event) XML containers for submission data, security data and document data.  These containers will contain some, all or none of the following types of data elements, as appropriate for each submission event being disseminated:

Submission Data:       submission ID; transaction ID; submission transaction date/time

Security Data:            CUSIP number, ARS/VRDO instrument type identifier

Document Data:         document ID; document type; document posting date; document status indicator

            The SHORT System Subscriber Manual provides a complete, up-to-date listing of all data elements made available through the SHORT subscription service, including any additions, deletions or modifications to disseminated data elements, detailed definitions of each data element, specific data format information, and information about technical data elements to support transmission and data-integrity processes between the SHORT System and subscribers.

            Subscriptions will be provided through computer-to-computer data streams utilizing XML files for data and files in a designated electronic format (consisting of PDF files) for documents.  Appropriate schemas and other technical specifications for accessing the web services through which the data stream will be provided are set forth in the SHORT System Subscriber Manual posted on the MSRB web site.

            The MSRB makes the SHORT subscription service available on an equal and non-discriminatory basis.  Subscribers shall be subject to all of the terms of the subscription agreement to be entered into between the MSRB and each subscriber, including proprietary rights of third parties in information provided by such third parties that is made available through the subscription.  The MSRB is not responsible for the content of the information or documents submitted by submitters that is distributed to subscribers of the SHORT subscription service.


[1] See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 34-64201 April 6, 2011 (File No. SR-MSRB-2011-04).

[3] The SHORT subscription service became effective September 30, 2010.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 34-62993, September 24, 2010 (File No. SR-MSRB-2010-06).

[4] Underlining indicates additions, strikethrough indicates deletions.