Marking its ten-year anniversary, MuniNet Guide, in partnership with the National Federation of Municipal Analysts (NFMA), recently introduced a new affiliate web site, the Municipal Bond Research Gateway. The site is designed to provide convenient access to municipal bond issuer web sites, disclosure resources, and other public finance materials on the web.
Likening the site to a niche research library, MuniNet publisher Richard Ciccarone – a municipal bond investment specialist by background – says that the Gateway is much more than a search engine. For starters, he explains, our database of web sites was created by hand, with “real people” – not robots – entering sites and keywords, including acronyms, into the database.
“Site maintenance is a high priority for us; we conduct link audits throughout the year, and are adding sites to the database on an ongoing basis.”
Want a listing of all airports in Ohio? While users can search by keyword or geographic location to find a link to a specific issuer, the Gateway allows users to filter the database all issues in a specific state or category – or both. Users can also browse through listings in a specific credit sector or category, from higher education institutions to state municipal bond conduit agencies.
Each sector or category includes specific issuers, as well as links to related organizations or agencies, and other resources, from today’s newswire items to original MuniNet articles.
The home page also features a comprehensive listing of disclosure resources – a “one-stop shop” for sites that carry official statements, regulatory materials, as well as trading, underwriting and financial news.
Founded in 1983, the NFMA is a national non-profit professional organization comprised of six local constituent societies located in Boston, California, Chicago, Minnesota, New York, and the South. Its members include municipal credit analysts, portfolio managers, investment bankers, financial advisors, and other professionals affiliated with bond rating agencies and bond insurance companies.
With an emphasis on municipal bonds, public finance and local economic trends, MuniNetGuide.com was launched in September 2000 to complement its hard-copy newsletter and Site Directory, which debuted in 1997. MuniNet Guide highlights new and especially useful web sites with relevance to state and local government. Its “Top Picks” awards recognize outstanding web sites in categories such as Public Policy & Administration/Think Tanks, Cities, Counties, and Housing Authorities, to name a few.
As co-founder and past national chairman of the NFMA, Ciccarone saw the opportunity for this joint project as a natural alliance. “We hope that in providing quick, better access to government web sites, we are taking a step forward in support of enhancing the disclosure process.”