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Published Quotations

The Board has received complaints regarding published quotations, such as those appearing in The Blue List. The complaints, which have been referred to the appropriate enforcement agency, state that municipal securities offerings published by dealers often do not reflect prices and amounts of securities that currently are being offered by the quoting dealer.

Board rule G-13, on quotations, prohibits the dissemination of a quotation relating to municipal securities unless the quotation represents a bona fide bid for, or offer of, municipal securities. The term quotation is defined to mean any bid for, or offer of, municipal securities. A quotation is deemed to be bona fide if the dealer on whose behalf the quotation is made is prepared to purchase or sell the municipal securities at the price stated and in the amount specified at the time the quotation is made.

Under rule G-13, the price stated in a quotation for municipal securities must be based on the best judgment of the dealer making the quotation as to the fair market value of such securities at the time the quotation is made. The Board has stated that the price must have a reasonable relationship to the fair market value of the securities, and may take into account relevant factors such as the dealer's current inventory position, overall and in respect to a particular security, and the dealer's anticipation of the direction of the market price for the securities.

Rule G-13 also prohibits a dealer from entering a quotation on behalf of another dealer if the dealer entering the quotation has any reason to believe that the quotation does not represent a bona fide bid for, or offer of, municipal securities. In addition, participants in a joint account are prohibited from entering quotations relating to municipal securities which are the subject of the joint account, if such quotations indicate more than one market for the same securities. Rule G-13 does not prohibit giving "nominal" bids or offers or giving indications of price solely for informational purposes as long as an indication of the price given is clearly shown to be for such purposes.

A dealer that publishes a quote in a daily or other listing must stand ready to purchase or sell the securities at the stated price and amount until the securities are sold or the dealer subsequently changes its price. If either of these events occur, the dealer must withdraw or update its published quotation in the next publication. Stale or invalid quotations violate rule G-13. Rule G-13 does permit a dealer to publish a quotation for a security it does not own if the dealer is prepared to sell the security at the price stated in the quotation. If the dealer knows that the security is not available in the market or is not prepared to sell the security at the stated price, the quotation would violate rule G-13.