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MSRB to offer free access to SP, Fitch credit ratings

Nov 20, 2011 Philip Burgess

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, an investor advocacy group, announced this week that it will begin offering free access to credit ratings established by Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings on its EMMA website beginning November 21. Officials point out that the initiative matches the group's efforts to provide consumers and small business owners with access to their personal credit information and freely allocate data. "The MSRB appreciates the leadership of Fitch Ratings and S&P for their participation in this important project, which is consistent with the MSRB's goal of supporting individual investors' free access to information," said MSRB executive director Lynnette Kelly Hotchkiss. "Displaying current ratings for municipal securities on EMMA will put additional information in the hands of investors to help them review the features and merits of individual bonds," Hotchkiss added. As enterprises ratchet up their consumer credit risk management polices in light of mounting economic uncertainty, access to credit ratings, business credit bureau reports and other data is seen as critical for the investment decision-making process.