Baker Tilly provides dissemination agent services to assist clients with complying with post issuance responsibilities. There are several important developments pertaining to post issuance considerations:
Creating an Issuer Homepage on EMMA:
Issuers across the country that have sold bonds on the open market know the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board’s (MSRB) Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA) website. Since 2009, the EMMA website has been available to provide better market transparency. Over the years, the MSRB has worked to improve the website for ease of use and navigation.
An issuer’s post issuance responsibilities are set forth in the continuing disclosure undertaking that is applicable each specific bond issue. Therefore, the necessary filings to meet these compliance requirements are filed and connected by bond issue. On the EMMA website, an issuer may also voluntarily create its own homepage.
There are several advantages to creating an issuer homepage within the system. The primary benefit is that all the issuer’s information within the EMMA system becomes linked on the homepage. Such information includes trade activity on any of the issuer’s outstanding bonds, pre-sale documents, official statements, financial disclosures and event-based notices. The homepage may be customized by the issuer or its dissemination agent. The customization allows the issuer to control contact information, links to the issuer’s own website as well as local points of contact. The issuer is also able to confirm that the correct bonds are linked to the issuer’s page. Additional benefits include more effective communication with investors and enhanced transparency for market participants, local officials and regulators.
Issuers who issued bonds after February 27, 2019 and entered into continuing disclosure obligations, must not only comply with the traditional filing requirements, but also have triggered new reporting requirements. Keep in mind that if an issuer executes a financial obligation which is material to the outstanding bonds and not marketed with an official statement, then the new financial obligation must be filed on EMMA for the outstanding bonds within a 10 business-day period. This includes filing bank loans, certain leases and state or federal loans. Material terms of the borrowing must also be disclosed. Therefore, it may be necessary to discuss and determine not only whether the financial obligation should be filed, but also about what supporting documentation is needed.
To assist with timely filings of the financial obligations, it is important to connect with your dissemination agent and disclosure/bond counsel as soon as you know that you are moving forward with executing the financial obligation.
If you would like assistance setting up your EMMA homepage or have questions about continuing disclosure, please contact us.