Monoline Municipal Bond Insurance Projected to Increase

Both market strategists and financial publications are reporting thatthe proportion of new issues backed by monoline municipal bond insurance is expected to rise in the coming years.   MBIA and Assured Guaranty have re-engaged their municipal bond insurance business after the City of Detroit filed for bankruptcy protection.   The reason for the renewed interest in bond insurance, MBIA argues, is the protection the insurance offers against losses of principle and interest payments.  Before the financial crisis, bond insurers backed nearly 60% of new issues.  In the first half of this year insurers wrapped a total of $175.5 billion in new bond issues, representing a 3.2% rate of market penetration for guarantors.  As the proportion of municipal bonds issued with insurance has fallen to below 5%, investors have been forced to pay more attention to the underlying credit fundamentals pf issuers.  We at SNW Asset Management would argue it is always in the best interest of the investor to understand the underlying credit quality of each bond in their portfolio.   As we learned during the financial crisis when several bond insurance companies failed, one cannot rely on bond insurance only to protect against potential principle and interest loss.  Our credit process is robust and thorough and we will continue to search out credits with the best risk reward profile.