In October of last year, we discussed how the bond rating information available on EMMA was still work-in-progress.
One of the shortfalls of EMMA --the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board's web portal-- was that of the top rating agencies, only Standard & Poor's and Fitch had agreed to post their ratings.
Moody's absence from EMMA was particularly noticeable in the healthcare sector, where the agency is responsible for close to 40% of all municipal bond ratings.
Bowing to pressure from state and local government CFO's, Moody's will make its ratings available on EMMA later this year.
Having ratings from all three major rating agencies readily available will be helpful to the investing public.
Most small investors do not subscribe to rating reports, and many do not know where to find ratings elsewhere.
Timely disclosure of a borrower's ability to repay is also believed to help improve liquidity in the municipal bond markets.
In addition, changes in ratings are required continuing disclosure per SEC Rule 15c2-12, so while municipal borrowers are still responsible for making sure that rating changes are disclosed as material events, having ratings provided directly by all three major rating agencies goes a long way to help meet disclosure requirements.
Now will EMMA also show rating outlooks?
This material is intended for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. For legal issues, readers should consult legal counsel. To discuss this article or municipal advisory services, email or call 888-699-4830. HFA Partners, LLC is an Independent Registered Municipal Advisor registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) under the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010.
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