U.S. SEC approves more muni disclosure for bond ballot campaigns

April 1 Mon Apr 1, 2013 1:17pm EDT

April 1 (Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has approved rules that increase disclosure requirements for dealers in the municipal bond market who contribute to ballot measure campaigns for taxpayer-financed projects, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board said on Monday.

The $3.7 trillion market already has strict "pay-to-play" rules governing donations by dealers to political campaigns for public office, as well as some disclosure requirements for contributions to ballot campaigns.

Under the new rules, which take effect on July 1, dealers will have to report contributions of goods or services to bond campaigns and when they were made. Dealers will also have to disclose if they were chosen to underwrite the bonds that were the subject of the campaign.

"Requiring more disclosure about dealers' bond ballot contributions will shine light on potential connections between dealers' financial contributions and the awarding of bond business," said MSRB Executive Director Lynnette Kelly in a statement.

The MSRB, a self-regulatory organization, writes the rules for the municipal bond market that the SEC enforces.

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