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Eight Firms Fined Over Municipal Bond Sales

From Bloomberg News

UBS, Merrill Lynch & Co. and six other firms were ordered Tuesday to pay $610,000 in fines and restitution after securities regulators found investors received below-market prices for their municipal bonds.

The NASD, formerly the National Assn. of Securities Dealers, said the firms purchased bonds from customers that were later resold by other dealers at “markedly higher prices,” in violation of Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board rules. The rules require bond dealers to buy and sell bonds at fair prices, the NASD said.

The NASD fined Charles Schwab & Co., Edward Jones & Co., First Trust Portfolios, Morgan Stanley, Prudential Financial Inc. and Wachovia Corp.

The firms neither admitted nor denied the charges in their settlements.

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