Frequently Asked Questions

Investor Relations Frequently Asked Questions

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The information provided on this website does not constitute an offer or solicitation to sell or buy securities and does not constitute a recommendation for the purchase or sale of any security.  This site is not intended to replace any information or consultation provided by a professional financial advisor or tax advisor. See TERMS OF USE FOR THIS WEBSITE.

1. What types of bonds does the City of St. Louis
issue?
Please go to Debt Summary for a brief description of the types of bonds issued by or on behalf of the City of St. Louis.

2. How do I buy City of St. Louis bonds?
Please go to How To Buy St. Louis Bonds for information on purchasing bonds in the primary and secondary markets.

3. How are City of St. Louis bonds issued?
The City’s fixed-rate bonds are generally issued in $5,000 denominations as fully registered in book-entry bonds, without physical certificates or coupons. Bond transactions are recorded in electronic computerized book-entry form by the Depository Trust Company ("DTC"), a New York limited purpose trust company and member of the Federal Reserve System.  DTC is a registered clearing agency under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and holds securities for participants.

Purchase of book-entry bonds under the DTC system must be made by or through Direct Participants (securities brokers, dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations, and certain other organizations) who will receive a credit for the bonds on DTC’s computerized records. The Direct Participants or indirect participants (securities brokers, dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations, and certain other organizations purchasing securities from Direct Participants or other indirect participants) are in turn responsible for keeping accurate records of their individual clients' holdings and issuing written transaction confirmations and periodic account statements to the individual clients. Under this system, individual bondholders do not receive physical certificates representing their ownership of the bonds, but should receive account statements of their holdings from their securities broker.

4. What is a final official statement?
An official statement ("OS") is the document prepared by The City of St. Louis for use by the underwriting syndicate in the initial offering of its bonds for sale to the public. The OS contains the relevant information about the City and the bonds being issued and includes important information that a potential investor should consider before purchasing the bonds. The OS provides the terms of the bonds, such as maturity and interest rates, an explanation of the security and pledge of revenues supporting the bonds, as well as the other investment considerations you should take into account before buying the bonds.

Because the OS speaks only as of its date, the information will not be current as of the date of any secondary market purchase.

5. What is a preliminary official statement?
A preliminary version of an official statement is made available prior to the sale date. The issuer replaces the preliminary official statement ("POS") with a final official statement ("OS") on the sale date. Not all final official statements are preceded by preliminary official statements.

6. What is the pricing date?
The pricing date is the date on which the underwriting syndicate establishes the final coupon rate, yield and price for each maturity of an issue. During the Retail Order Period and on the pricing date, an investor can place an order to purchase the bonds as part of the primary market offering.

7. What is the sale date?
The sale date is the date on which the City of St. Louis and the underwriting syndicate agree in writing on the interest rate, yield and price for each maturity of an issue of bonds.

8. What is the Depository Trust Company ("DC")?
The Depository Trust Company ("DTC") is a New York limited purpose trust company and member of the Federal Reserve System. DTC is a registered clearing agency under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  DTC holds securities for participants.

 

Purchase of book-entry bonds under the DTC system must be made by or through Direct Participants (securities brokers, dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations, and certain other organizations) who will receive a credit for the bonds on DTC’s computerized records. The Direct Participants or indirect participants (securities brokers, dealers, banks, trust companies, clearing corporations, and certain other organizations purchasing securities from Direct Participants or other indirect participants) are in turn responsible for keeping accurate records of their individual clients' holdings and issuing written transaction confirmations and periodic account statements to the individual clients. Under this system, individual bondholders do not receive physical certificates representing their ownership of the bonds, but should receive account statements of their holdings from their securities broker.

9. How can I obtain a preliminary official statement, final official statement or other disclosure information for a particular bond issue?
Preliminary and final official statements for current bond offerings:
For electronic copies, go to Upcoming Offerings to find links to preliminary and final official statements, as applicable, for current bond offerings.

For printed copies, contact your broker, investment advisor, or one of the participating brokerage firms. Go to Upcoming Offerings and look under the subheading "Participating Managers" to view the attachment setting forth the participating brokerage firms for each current bond offering. You also may contact our Investor Relations Team to request printed copies.

Final official statements for bonds that have already been issued:
For electronic copies, go to Credit Specific Information and then click on the specific credit you are interested in (e.g. General Obligation, Airport Revenue Bonds, Leasehold Revenue Bonds, etc.) to find links to the related official statements.

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board ("MSRB") gathers official documents and trade data relating to municipal securities, and makes them available to the public for free on its Electronic Municipal Market Access ("EMMA") web site, www.emma.msrb.org. EMMA makes available to the public free copies of official statements received since 1990 by the MR from underwriters of municipal securities. EMMA also provides free access to price data for municipal securities trades reported to the MR since January 31, 2005. The MSRB is responsible for its own web site and information.

Continuing Disclosure Information for bonds that have already been issued:
You also may use the MSRB's EMMA web site to access continuing disclosure information (see above).

10. What is continuing disclosure information?
Continuing disclosure information consists of certain disclosure updates that the City of St. Louis provides on an ongoing basis after the bonds are sold in the primary market. In addition, continuing disclosure information, in the form of material events notices, can also notify investors of certain important events, such as principal and interest payment delinquencies, credit rating changes, modifications to bondholders' rights, etc.

Continuing disclosure information can be accessed at the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board's Electronic Municipal Market Access ("EMMA") website www.emma.msrb.org. The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board is responsible for its own website and the information provided there.

11. What is the first interest payment date?
The first interest payment date is the date on which the issuer first pays interest on the bonds. The first interest paid will be prorated according to the number of days from the dated date of the bonds.

12. What is the first principal payment date or first maturity date?
The first principal payment or the first maturity date is the date on which the issuer first begins to pay or amortize principal on the debt it has incurred.

13. What is a compound interest bond?
A compound interest bond is a zero-coupon bond (i.e., no current interest is paid.) Instead, interest accrues on principal and on previously accrued interest until maturity, when all principal and accrued interest is paid.

14. What is the senior book-running manager and what are its responsibilities?
The senior book running manager is the leader of the underwriting team in a negotiated sale of bonds in a primary market offering. The senior book running manager along with the co-managers determine the preliminary pricing of the bonds. The team submits orders to the senior book running manager. Once the pricing is completed, the senior book running manager then allocates the bonds to the other members of the underwriting team.

15. What is a co-manager?
A co-manager assists in marketing and selling the debt issue, provides marketing and sales assistance to the senior manager and shares the underwriting risk.

16. What is a credit rating?
A credit rating is a measure of the credit quality and safety of a bond as assessed by a nationally recognized rating agency, based on the issuer's financial condition. More specifically, it is an evaluation indicating the likelihood that a debt issuer will be able to meet scheduled interest and principal repayments.

17. What is a credit rating agency?
A credit rating agency is a company that evaluates credit risk and provides credit ratings. The City of St. Louis' bonds are generally rated by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, Moody's Investors Service, Inc., and/or Fitch Ratings.

18. What are the current ratings on the St. Louis ' bonds?
The credit ratings for General Obligation Bonds (unenhanced) of the City of St. Louis are as follows:

Fitch Ratings           Moody's Investor Service           Standard & Poor's Rating Service
        AA-                                   Aa3                                                         A+
(as of May 2010)             (as of May 2010)                              (as of September 2010)

For credit ratings for other, non-General Obligation City Bonds, please contact the rating agencies directly or your broker. Please note that not all City bonds are rated by all three credit rating agencies.

19. Must I hold a bond until it matures?
No. While holding the bond until final maturity provides you, the investor, with the amount you anticipated receiving, you may sell it to another person or entity through the broker-dealer. Should you decide to do this, the sale will be based on the market price for the bond at that time, and you may not receive the entire principal amount that you paid for the bond should interest rates have risen during the period that you owned it. You may wish to discuss the sale of the bond with your brokerage firm or investment advisor.

20. What is a brokerage account?
A brokerage account is an account with a broker-dealer that allows individuals to purchase stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other investments.

21. I own City of St. Louis bonds and I have questions. Who should I contact?
You may contact the City of St. Louis' Investor Relations Team or the trustee or the registrar and paying agent for your bonds. The trustee or the registrar and paying agent is as set forth below for the City's bonds:

General Obligation Bonds, Leasehold Revenue Bonds (except Convention Center Bonds), and Airport Revenue Bonds
Brian P. Krippner, CCTS
Vice President/Regional Lead
UMB Bank, N.A.
Corporate Trust & Escrow Services
2 S. Broadway, Suite 600
St. Louis, MO  63102
(314) 612-8480
brian.krippner@umb.com

Water Revenue Bonds and Convention Center Leasehold Revenue Bonds
Laura Stabley
The Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company, NA
St. Louis Municipal & Housing
911 Washington Ave, Suite 300
St. Louis, MO 63101
(314) 613-8252
laura.stabley@bnymellon.com

22. What is the difference between buying a bond in the primary market and buying a bond in the secondary market?
The primary market refers to the purchase of bonds when they are first issued. The secondary market refers to the purchase and sale of bonds after they have been issued. There is no exchange (like the New York Stock Exchange) for municipal bonds. Purchases and sales are made "over the counter" by municipal broker-dealers.

If you have additional questions, please contact our Investor Relations Team.
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