DALLAS -- After years of cut-throat competition from bond firms anxious to be its financial adviser, the Missouri Board of Fund Commissioners last month got the ultimate low bid: a fee of zero.

The board, which is the only agency to sell the state's triple triple-A general obligation bonds, promptly accepted. It hired St. Louis-based A.G. Edwards & Sons as adviser for a planned July competitive sale of refunding and new-money water pollution control bonds that exceed $300 million.

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