Washington, DC — NASD today announced that its Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine (TRACE) began the dissemination of 120 triple-B-rated corporate bonds. This comes on the heels of a significant increase in the dissemination of corporate bond transaction data reported to the public that increased the number of bonds from 500 to 4,650 on March 3, 2003.
“This increase in dissemination of corporate bonds information continues the industry’s efforts to put more information in the hands of investors and traders,” said Douglas H. Shulman, NASD’s President of Regulatory Services and Operations. “In a very short period of time, TRACE has provided a level of information that has brought unprecedented transparency to the market, and NASD will continue to work with the SEC and the industry to sustain this trend.”
NASD began public dissemination of data through TRACE on July 1, 2002 as part of its program to increase transparency in the corporate bond market. Currently, NASD is reporting on bonds that are responsible for approximately 75 percent of investment grade market volume.
Originally 90 “triple-B” bonds were to be included for dissemination, however, to better represent a broad spectrum of “triple-B” rated bonds that number was increased to 120. Unlike previous bonds included into TRACE, dissemination of transaction information will continue for these bonds regardless of any change in rating, including any downgrade to high yield. A list of the 120 new bonds and additional TRACE information can be found at: www.nasd.com/mkt_sys/trace_info.asp.
Launched on July 1, 2002, TRACE enables investors – for the first time – to receive accurate information on the actual sale price of U.S. corporate bonds. As with the disclosure of the actual selling price of equities, this capability affords a new level of protection to bond investors who now have access to independent bond transaction data that can be used to confirm that they are paying a fair market price for the bonds they purchase. Because TRACE makes public and accessible information that has heretofore been impossible to access, it increases market fairness and integrity.
NASD is the leading private-sector provider of financial regulatory services, dedicated to bringing integrity to the markets and confidence to investors through effective and efficient regulation and complementary compliance and technology-based services. NASD touches virtually every aspect of the securities business - from registering and educating all industry participants, to examining securities firms, enforcing both NASD rules and the federal securities laws, and administering the largest dispute resolution forum for investors and member firms. For more information, please visit our Web Site at www.nasd.com.