The par amount traded of tax-exempt securities increased 2 percent to $640.1 billion in the first quarter of 2014 from $627.7 billion traded in the first quarter of 2013.
Trading of taxable securities decreased 10.7 percent to $57.8 billion in the first quarter of this year, compared to the $64.7 billion during the first quarter of 2013.
The number of trades in the municipal market during the first quarter of 2014 decreased less than 1 percent, to 2.39 million trades, from the number of trades in the first quarter of 2013.
A $3.5 billion Commonwealth of Puerto Rico general obligation bond issued in March was the most heavily traded municipal bond in the first quarter of 2014 both in terms of par value and number of trades. The Puerto Rico bond traded 2,363 times during the quarter, at a value of $7.7 billion.
The number of variable rate demand obligations (VRDO) rate resets declined to 152,714 in the first quarter of 2014, the lowest number of rate resets in a quarter since the MSRB began collecting VRDO reset information in April 2009.
Trading of fixed rate securities accounted for approximately 57 percent of the total par traded and 94 percent of the overall number of trades in the first quarter of 2014. Variable rate securities accounted for 31 percent and 2 percent of trading activity by par and number of trades in the first quarter, respectively.
The MSRB’s quarterly statistical summaries include aggregate market information for different types of municipal issues and trades, and the number of interest rate resets for variable rate demand obligations and auction rate securities. The data also include statistics pertaining to continuing disclosure documents received through the MSRB’s EMMA website. Daily and historical summaries of trade data based on security type, size, sector, maturity, source of repayment and coupon type are displayed in EMMA’s Market Statistics section.
The EMMA website is a centralized online database operated by the MSRB that provides free public access to official disclosure documents and trade data associated with municipal bonds. In addition to current credit rating information, the EMMA website also makes available real-time trade data and primary market and continuing disclosure documents for over one million outstanding municipal bonds, as well as current interest rate information, liquidity documents and other information for most variable rate municipal securities.
The MSRB protects investors, state and local governments and other municipal entities, and the public interest by promoting a fair and efficient municipal securities market. The MSRB fulfills this mission by regulating the municipal securities firms, banks and municipal advisors that engage in municipal securities and advisory activities. To further protect market participants, the MSRB provides market transparency through its Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website, the official repository for information on all municipal bonds. The MSRB also serves as an objective resource on the municipal market, conducts extensive education and outreach to market stakeholders, and provides market leadership on key issues. The MSRB is a Congressionally-chartered, self-regulatory organization governed by a 21-member board of directors that has a majority of public members, in addition to representatives of regulated entities. The MSRB is subject to oversight by the Securities and Exchange Commission.