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Callable Securities: Pricing to Call

Callable securities: pricing to call. Your letter, dated January 25, 1979 has been referred to me for response. In your letter, you raise a question regarding pricing of callable securities under rules G-12 and G-15. Specifically, you inquire as to how the dollar price should be calculated for transactions in a particular issue of [Name of bond deleted] bonds. The terms of the issue provide in pertinent part that the securities are subject to redemption prior to maturity on or after October 1, 1984, at declining premiums, from the proceeds of prepayments of mortgage loans (the "1984 call feature").

As you know, Board rules G-12 and G-15 require that

... where a transaction is effected on a yield basis, the dollar price shall be calculated to the lowest of price to premium call, price to par option, or price to maturity...

As an interpretive matter, the Board has adopted the position that the calculation of dollar price to a premium call or par option date should be to that date at which the issuer may exercise an option to call the whole of a particular issue or, in the case of serial bonds, a particular maturity, and not to the date of a call in part.

With respect to your question, the Board is of the view that the dollar price for transactions involving the securities in question should not be calculated to the 1984 call feature. The Board bases its conclusion on (1) the fact that it is extremely unlikely as a practical matter that the call would be exercised as to all or even a significant part of the issue (that is, it is much more likely to operate in practice as an "in part" call) and (2) the exercise of the 1984 call feature would depend on events which are not subject to the control of the issuer. I note that the Board cited this as the reason for not utilizing "catastrophe call" features for purposes of price calculation. MSRB interpretation of March 9, 1979.