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Jan 10, 2014

Analysis:Shrinking U.S. municipal fund outflows could signal end of exodus

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A record-setting flood of money from the U.S. municipal bond market may be near an end as the sector’s high yields beckon investors bearing cash from year-end redemptions.

In a hint that the relentless sell-off that sucked $62.6 billion out of municipal bond funds in 2013 is winding down, data from Lipper on Thursday showed net outflows slowed to just $18.99 million in the week ended January 8.

Jan 10, 2014

Shrinking U.S. municipal fund outflows could signal end of exodus

WASHINGTON, Jan 10 (Reuters) – A record-setting flood of
money from the U.S. municipal bond market may be near an end as
the sector’s high yields beckon investors bearing cash from
year-end redemptions.

In a hint that the relentless sell-off that sucked $62.6
billion out of municipal bond funds in 2013 is winding down,
data from Lipper on Thursday showed net outflows slowed to just
$18.99 million in the week ended Jan. 8.

Jan 10, 2014

U.S. municipal adviser rule unveiled; raises transaction worries

WASHINGTON, Jan 9 (Reuters) – The board overseeing the U.S.
municipal bond market on Thursday proposed a strict code of
conduct for financial advisers to cities and states, including a
ban on their role in principal transactions – a change that has
raised concerns in the securities industry.

The Dodd-Frank Act, approved after the 2008 financial
crisis, requires the advisers who consult with municipalities
about selling bonds and buying derivatives to register with the
Securities and Exchange Commission and comply with similar rules
for municipal brokers and dealers.

Dec 20, 2013

Budget deal gives U.S. capital region what it wants: certainty

WASHINGTON, Dec 20 (Reuters) – The recent budget compromise
passed by the U.S. Congress is delivering what the country’s
capital region has wanted for more than a year: certainty.

Federal austerity measures that included automatic spending
cuts beginning in March and a partial shutdown of the government
this fall left Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia wondering
what Congressionally induced economic obstacle would pop up
next.

Dec 15, 2013

Little respite seen for U.S. municipal bonds in 2014

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The withering U.S. municipal bond market will shrink even more well into 2014, with interest rate and credit risks keeping both investors and borrowers away.

Barring an unforeseen turnaround in the final weeks of 2013, municipal bonds will post their first negative annual performance since the financial crisis, with investors fleeing municipal funds at a record pace and the market’s overall size, now less than $3.7 trillion, contracting for a third straight year.

Dec 15, 2013

Analysis: Little respite seen for U.S. municipal bonds in 2014

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The withering U.S. municipal bond market will shrink even more well into 2014, with interest rate and credit risks keeping both investors and borrowers away.

Barring an unforeseen turnaround in the final weeks of 2013, municipal bonds will post their first negative annual performance since the financial crisis, with investors fleeing municipal funds at a record pace and the market’s overall size, now less than $3.7 trillion, contracting for a third straight year.

Nov 13, 2013

US Airways, American deal seen as positive for airport debt

By Michael Connor and Lisa Lambert

(Reuters) – The deal American Airlines and U.S. Airways Group struck to sell gate slots at half a dozen airports in exchange for government clearance for a merger could lift a cloud that has hung over a popular corner of the municipal bond market since late summer.

The two carriers agreed on Tuesday to sell gate slots at Reagan National, LaGuardia and five other U.S. airports in order to allay anti-trust concerns raised by the U.S. Department of Justice, which had sued to block the two from combining to form the world’s largest airline.

Nov 5, 2013

U.S. SEC levies first municipal bond issuer fine

WASHINGTON, Nov 5 (Reuters) – Federal securities regulators
on Tuesday fined a municipal debt issuer for the first time
ever, charging the seller of bonds used to finance an ice rink
that ultimately fell into default with misleading investors
about the project’s viability.

In the strongest signal yet that it is serious about
clamping down on misbehavior by municipal bond issuers, the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission extracted a $20,000 penalty
from a special facilities district in the city of Wenatchee,
Washington, about 140 miles east of Seattle.

Nov 3, 2013

Republican Ayotte seeks ‘time out’ on Obamacare as anxieties grow

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte wants to press “pause” on rolling out the U.S. healthcare reform law as anxiety grows about troubles with the federal website for buying insurance and possibly low numbers of people signing up for coverage.

“I’m calling on the president now to say, ‘Let’s have a time-out on this.’ Mr. President, you call a time-out on this,” said Ayotte in an appearance on CNN on Sunday. “Convene a group of bipartisan leaders to address healthcare concerns in this country because this is not working.”

Oct 24, 2013

U.S. SEC eyes mutual funds with Puerto Rico debt exposure

Oct 24 (Reuters) – Examiners at the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission have started reaching out to mutual funds
with exposure to Puerto Rican debt, a spokesman for the agency
said on Thursday.

“Our examiners are reaching out to firms per usual to get a
sense of their exposure and how they’re managing it,” SEC
spokesman John Nester told Reuters.