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Moody's Launches Issuer Comment Report in 2016
 
Beginning January, 2016, Moody's will be launching a new research publication, the Issuer Comment Report. This report, to be published annually for most Moody's rated issuers with general obligation or related debt, expands the firm's research coverage of cities, counties, and school districts, and provides updated credit research on those issuers' outstanding rated debt. The report will fill a gap in the market for up-to-date credit information, particularly related to rated issuers for which there may not be annually published research. The report includes an issuer's Moody's rating, and updated economic, demographic, and financial information drawn from the Moody's methodology and databases.
 
While details are still forthcoming, here's what we do know.
  • The Comment is intended to provide updated credit information for issuers with no current or recently-published Moody's research. Many of these are small and infrequent debt issuers, but have ratings that Moody's reviews annually. Larger and frequent issuers would not likely have an Issuer Comment Report published.
  • Issuers will be contacted approximately a month in advance of the expected publication date of their report alerting them to the fact that they will be receiving a draft report for review and comment to check for factual accuracy and any inadvertent inclusion of non-public information. The timing of the reports across the US local government sector will be staggered throughout the year.
  • The Issuer Comment Report will include updated data, as well as a narrative customized to the issuer.
  • The Comment will be published even if there is analyst contact with an issuer as a part of regular surveillance. However, if Moody's takes a rating action or changes an outlook as a result of a review of the most recent financial, economic or demographic information, or if an issuer sells new debt, Moody's will issue a longer, more in-depth Credit Opinion, not an Issuer Comment Report.
Moody's will send each issuer a draft of the Issuer Comment Report in advance of publication to be reviewed for factual accuracy and any inadvertent inclusion of non-public information. If you have any questions about the Issuer Comment Report or wish to discuss the matter upon notice from Moody's, please contact your Ehlers Municipal Advisor.

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