The California Treasurer’s Office (CTO) has been a leader in investor relations for municipal bondholders. Not surprisingly, its web site stands out among its peers for providing outstanding disclosure and other financial information.
In many ways, the site’s Public Finance Division section resembles an investor relations page reminiscent of those found for corporate offerings, complete with the state’s most recent official statement, which is similar to a corporate security prospectus.
From current treasury and bond-related news to links to financial reports, a searchable database of California municipal bonds, and a “Bond Finance Update” (showing the status of voter-approved debt offerings as well as current ratings), the CTO home page provides content that is both informative and dynamic.
In addition to the standard investor relations fare, the Treasurer’s Office also launched a page specifically designed for Californians who might be interested in investing in the state’s schools, roads, housing and other infrastructure.
The “The use of technology is an efficient and expedient method of communicating,” says State Treasurer Bill Lockyer. “Consumers are becoming accustomed to purchasing many services and products online. As a result, we are reaching out to bond investors in the same way.”
Investors can visit this site to view current offerings, and then follow instructions depending upon whether or not they have a brokerage account with a participating dealer. The site includes instructions on how to open an account for those investors who are not currently working with a broker.
The site provides access to the preliminary official statement for each offering, along with a list of projects to be financed by the bonds, information on the state’s credit ratings for that type of bond, frequently asked questions, and other pertinent details as applicable.
In the four months since its launch, the BuyCaliforniaBonds.com web site has already received nearly 40,000 hits, surpassing the number of visitors to other investor relations pages. And through the site, nearly 1,000 interested parties have registered to receive information on upcoming bond sales, according to Alice Scott, Director of Public Affairs for the CTO.
The Upcoming Bond Sales Calendar and the Current Offerings page (which provides links to Preliminary Official Statements for bond sales that are currently being marketed) are the two most frequently visited pages of the Treasurer’s Office web site relating to municipal bonds.