WASHINGTON -- The Securities and Exchange Commission has approved an amendment to the MSRB's Rule A-13 that bars dealers from passing on to issuers the underwriting assessment fees they must pay to the hoard.

The amendment, which was filed by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board on Aug. 15, clarifies that the fees "are to be paid by dealers, and not issuers."

The SEC announced its approval of the amendment yesterday. The order approving the rule change will be published in the Federal Register this week and will become effective 30 days after the day it is published, the commission said.

Under the MSRB's Rule A-13, dealers are assessed fees based on their underwriting of new bond issues to help fund some of the board's operations.

The current fee is three cents per $1,000 par value for bond offerings that are two years or more in maturity. For issues in which the longest maturity is more than nine months but less than two years, the fee is one cent per $1,000 par value.

Lynn Stevens Hume

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