The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board has published an introductory guide to its Electronic Municipal Market Access, or EMMA, website for state and local issuers of municipal bonds.

The guide "walks state and local governments through using the site to better evaluate their municipal financing options, communicate with investors and comply with disclosure rules," that MSRB said in a release issued Monday.

The board added the guide to its State and Local Government Toolkit, which also explains the components of gross spread so that issuers can learn more about the costs associated with issuing munis, and describes how muni issuers can analyze secondary market trading for their bonds.

"The MSRB is committed to its mission of protecting state and local governments and we hope that the new resources in the toolkit will provide valuable information to these entities," the board's executive director, Lynnette Kelly, said in the release.

The MSRB said EMMA, a centralized database that provides free access to information for users, contains more than 800,000 official disclosure documents and data on more than 70 million trades associated with munis issued in the U.S.

Besides primary and secondary market disclosure documents, EMMA, also makes available near-real-time trade prices, current credit ratings for more than one million outstanding munis, as well as current interest rate information, liquidity documents and other information for most variable rate securities, the board said.

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