For the 11th consecutive year, the nation's commercial and savings banks experienced positive growth of their municipal bond portfolios in 2007 - increasing assets by 5.2% to $144.0 billion on a cost basis and by 4.3% to $144.9 billion on a fair-value basis over 2006 figures, according to new data from Highline Financial LLC.

Peter Delahunt, national institutional sales manager at Raymond James & Associates, said that the growth of tender-option bond programs at some banks up until August of last year could have contributed to the growth in holdings.

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