Municipal Bonds

Run away from Puerto Rico muni bonds: Analyst

Run away from Puerto Rico munis: Lebenthal
Run away from Puerto Rico munis: Lebenthal

Investors should avoid buying municipal bonds from Puerto Rico, the president and CEO of Lebenthal Holdings told CNBC on Wednesday.

"Run fast away from Puerto Rico," Alexandra Lebenthal said in a "Squawk Box" interview. "Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority has been the big issue that people have been focusing on for a long, long time." The big uncertainty is whether the authority will be able to make its January payment, she said.

"One little light of hope is the price of oil going down could be helpful," she said, "but it's a bad situation." CNBC has reached out to the utility, which did not immediately comment.

Earlier this year, there were concerns that tough times in Puerto Rico might destabilize the entire municipal bond market. "That has proven to be untrue," Lebenthal said.

On the flip side, she said she likes municipal bonds from states such as Virginia and Maryland.

When deciding on whether to buy muni bonds, the Lebenthal CEO said, investors should consider the tax implications. "It's your tax bracket and it's what state you live in," she said, "because remember, you are going to have to pay state taxes if you own bonds in a state in which you don't live."