The Securities and Exchange Commission has proposed rule amendments intended to improve investor protection and enhance transparency in the municipal securities market.
Rule 15c2-12 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 requires brokers, dealers, and municipal securities dealers that are acting as underwriters in primary offerings of municipal securities subject to the Rule, to reasonably determine, among other things, that the issuer or obligated person has agreed to provide to the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) timely notice of certain events.
Amendments proposed on March 1 by the SEC would add two new event notices:
Incurrence of a financial obligation of the issuer or obligated person, if material, or agreement to covenants, events of default, remedies, priority rights, or other similar terms of a financial obligation of the issuer or obligated person, any of which affect security holders, if material; and
Default, event of acceleration, termination event, modification of terms, or other similar events under the terms of the financial obligation of the issuer or obligated person, any of which reflect financial difficulties.
These proposed amendments “would provide timely access to important information regarding certain financial obligations incurred by issuers and obligated persons that could impact such entities’ liquidity and overall creditworthiness, a statement by the SEC says.
The public comment period will remain open for 60 days following publication of the proposing release in the Federal Register.