WASHINGTON The Securities and Exchange Commission's recent enforcement action against 13 dealer firms represents a broad effort to correct behavior that was probably due to mistakes by individual traders dealing with an unusual bond issuance, attorneys and market participants said on Tuesday.
The SEC fined the dealers from $54,000 to $130,000 after identifying 66 instances in which they improperly sold Puerto Rico bonds in denominations below a $100,000 minimum set forth in the official statement of the financially distressed island's $3.5 billion general obligation offering earlier this year. The minimum amount, which is to remain in place until the bonds receive an investment grade rating, is designed to protect retail investors.
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