March, 2012:

In our continued effort to educate the investing public about various aspects of the securities markets, we are providing the below information. Because this information is being provided for educational purposes only, it should not be relied upon as providing legal or investment advice. Moreover, it is not intended to be complete in all material respects. If you have any questions concerning the information set forth below, you should contact a qualified professional.

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) recently released a new edition of its Fact Book, an annual sourcebook that analyzes trading data, continuing disclosure submissions and other statistics for the $3.7 trillion municipal bond market. The 2011 Fact Book includes analysis on the 50 million trades that occurred in the municipal market over the last five years and provides key statistics unavailable elsewhere.

“The Fact Book supports the MSRB’s ongoing effort to educate the general public and municipal market participants about trading and disclosure activity related to municipal related to municipal securities,” said MSRB Executive Director Lynnette Kelly. “The data we publish- and disseminate in real-time to the market-has brought a new level of transparency to this important capital market.”

The 2011 Fact Book covers topics ranging from trade distribution trends, most actively traded securities, daily average number of trades, and municipal market disclosures, among others. Just a few highlights include:

  • Total par amount of municipal securities traded in 2011 decreased 12.6 percent to $3.28 trillion from the $3.75 trillion traded in 2010
  • Trading activity of taxable securities decreased significantly last year following the expiration of Build America Bonds in 2010, totaling $291 billion and 752,677 trades compared to $504 billion and 1.15 million trades in 2010.
  • Trades of $100,000 or less accounted for 8.3% of the par volume traded and 82.5% of all trades in 2011, while trades of more than $1 million accounted for 76.6% of par volume traded and 3.6% of trades—compared to 7.4% of par and 81.5% of trades in 2010 for trades of $100,000 or less, and 78.5% of par and 4.1% of trades for transactions of more than $1 million
  • A revenue bond from the industrial development board of the Parish of East Baton Rouge was the most active security in 2011 in term of par amount traded with $19.5 billion
  • A revenue bond from New York Liberty Development Corporation was the most active in terms of number of trades with 8,371 trades
  • The number of continuing disclosure documents increased to 133,400 in 2011, up 3.2% from the 129,213 documents received in 2010

The MSRB’s market information transparency programs promote transparency and access to real-time, municipal market bond information. The MSRB makes this information available free of charge on its Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website. Daily and historical summaries of trade data based on security type, size, sector, maturity, source of repayment and coupon type are housed in EMMA’s Market Statistics section. The MSRB recently enhanced EMMA’s market statistics with additional graphical representations when viewing information related to overall municipal market trading activity, the amount traded by customers and dealers, and the volume of trades for any given date range.

Electronic copies of the Fact Book can be found on the Publications page of the MSRB’s website.