WASHINGTON -- Standard & Poor's Corp. is preparing the first issue of CreditWeek Municipal, a publication designed to provide in-depth, weekly coverage of municipal bonds and bond issuers rated by the agency.
Vladimir Stadnyk, the managing director who has spearheaded the project, said Standard & Poor's decided to launch the publication because officials there perceived a need for greater analytical coverage of both the primary and secondary markets in municipal bonds.
The maiden issue is due out Oct. 28 and "will have an election flavor," Mr. Stadnyk said, including a review of November ballot issues from across the country.
Mr. Stadnyk said the first issue also will include articles on the new Medicaid financing rules and the rating agency's new criteria for evaluating revolving funds.
Regular features will include in-depth coverage of innovations, both in the marketplace generally and for specific municipal issuers.
According to Mr. Stadnyk, subsequent issues will be regional in nature. The Nov. 4 issue, for example, will focus on the western states and will include a guest piece written by Kathleen Brown, California's treasurer.
Mr. Stadnyk said the new publication will allow Standard & Poor's to provide broader coverage of the municipal market than possible in the ratings agency's CreditWeek, which in addition to covering major municipal issuers also features corporate debt issues.
"You'll see items that we can't cover in the regular CreditWeek because of space constraints," Mr. Stadnyk said. "This will free up space to do smaller muni deals, say a $10 million issue, for example."
Mr. Stadnyk said that as a result of the new weekly publication, readers of CreditWeek will now find only extracts of special reports on municipal issuers and will need to turn to CreditWeek Municipal for the reports themselves. But he said CreditWeek will continue to cover major municipal issuers.
"What will not be covered in CreditWeek is the secondary market," he said.
And how long is Standard & Poor's willing to wait for the new publication to show success? "I'm going to go out on a limb here," Mr. Stadnyk said. "Once we launch this on Oct. 28, it'll be here to stay."
Through the end of the year, CreditWeek Municipal will be offered at a charter subscription rate of $1,495 for 14 months.