NEW YORK — The Associated Press and Municipal Bond Information Services, LLC (MBIS), a national consortium of municipal inter-dealer brokers, announce the creation of the AP Municipal Bond Index, a breakthrough service built on market data aggregated from the MBIS member firms.
The AP Municipal Bond Index will be the only benchmark based on observable, intraday pretrade and trade data and will be launched in the second half of 2016, with beta versions now available to limited market participants.
Andrew Kalotay & Associates has been engaged to build the index calculation engine.
"Providing information and insight has always been part of the AP's mission," said AP Vice President of Business Development Fernando Ferre. "And the index we have built does just that: providing an objective, understandable snapshot of an important market to many consumer-level investors. Moreover, the AP newsroom gains another data point our journalists can use to cover the municipal bond market."
"As regulators have noted, the currently available muni-bond benchmarks are based on subjectively based survey-driven methodologies, rather than independently aggregated market data and a rules-based system," said Ron Valinoti, MBIS chief. "The AP Municipal Bond Index will bring much needed transparency to the muni market."
Evan Bergstrom, MBIS' product manager, added, "The underlying market data used to build our benchmark yield curve can be used by financial institutions to gain real insight into the municipal bond market activity and market direction."
Not only will the index support the professional muni-bond industry and address regulatory concerns, it will create a common touchstone for ordinary investors by providing intraday, objective "snapshots" of the market that haven’t historically been available to the public.
"The creation of the AP Municipal Bond Index and related data adds an important service to the AP's growing suite of products catering to the consumer and professional investment communities," said Bruce Glover, AP director of business development, data and finance. "The combination of MBIS' market expertise with AP reporting has resulted in a widely beneficial service, increasing awareness and understanding of the municipal bond markets."
For further information, contact Brendon Paradis at MBIS: email@example.com or Bruce Glover at AP: bglover@AP.org.