CHICAGO - Wisconsin hopes in the coming months to place nearly $200 million of its nearly $1 billion of auction-rate securities that failed to attract buyers last week when the state sought to convert its ARS to fixed- and floating-rate index bonds, the state's capital finance director said yesterday.

Given the flood of auction-rate restructurings hitting the market, Frank Hoadley said he was generally pleased "that we have taken the uncertainty on all but about $200 million out." The state is exploring several options that include a private placement and discussions with buyers on the deal about purchasing additional pieces of debt. A competitive sale is also under consideration.

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