ALTANTA -- Citing the recent drop in interest rates, the Florida Housing Finance Agency has decided not to sell a $185 million mortgage bond issue as a publicly offered deal, opting instead last week to issue the debt as a private placement with the Federal National Mortgage Association.

The widely watched sale is the agency's first since it adopted rules curbing campaign activity by municipal market participants. In June, it used those rules to name four three-member syndicates of senior bankers to manage negotiated tax-exempt deals it anticipated selling later this year. Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp. was chosen to lead-manage the first deal, heading a syndicate to which Kidder, Peadbody & Co. and Tampa-based H.G. Nix Inc. were also named.

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