SIFMA terminates Auction Rate Securities Indices

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) has announced that it will wind down the publication of its suite of SIFMA Auction Rate Securities Indices. To do so in an orderly fashion with proper notice to the market, each time the number of issues included in an index decreases to ten, SIFMA will post a notice on its website announcing that index will cease to be published in four weeks. The first index to be terminated is the SIFMA Auction Rate Preferred One Month Index, which will be published for the last time on April 8, 2009.

It is critical that any SIFMA branded index be valid and reliable, which means there must be sufficient data points in the index so it can represent the state of the market,” said Leslie Norwood, managing director and associate general counsel at SIFMA. “Due to the decrease in the amount of auction rate securities issues outstanding and the outlook for future issuance, we recognize that there may not be enough data points to calculate these indices.

SIFMA began publishing eight auction rate securities indices in 2006 to make available a series of market accepted indices for auction rate securities for both debt and preferred securities. The indices served as a market resource while the auction rate securities market was robust. Given that the market has been inactive for the past year, with no new issuance and a decline in the number of outstanding auction rate securities, the indices no longer serve that purpose.

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