WASHINGTON - Securities and Exchange Commission officials this week sent bond lawyers a clarification meant to curb confusion in the market that stated issuers may have to file material event notices if their bonds are downgraded as a result of rating changes to bond insurers.

The clarification, which was informally sent to the National Association of Bond Lawyers late Wednesday, followed a statement SEC officials sent the group Jan. 18 that said issuers did not need to file material event notices notifying investors of Fitch Ratingse_SSRq downgrade of Ambac Assurance Corp. to double-A from triple-A.

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