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Foreign Investors Build Muni Market Clout
Foreign investors' buildup in U.S. municipal bond holdings has heightened significance in the current low-supply high-demand market environment, in which an emerging group of buyers could cause competition for the limited amount of bonds available to spike.
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Volume is expected to edge up for the second week in a row as over $7 billion is predicted to arrive in the primary market, anchored by a pair of billion-dollar deals from New York and California. more »
Sophisticated investors are grabbing for high-yield municipal debt whenever they can find it, creating demand for alternatives beyond the Puerto Rico, Detroit, and tobacco bonds that dominate the non-investment grade segment of the secondary market. more »
Inflows to municipal bond funds dropped by 58% in the week ending Sept. 17. more »
The weekly average yield to maturity of the Bond Buyer Municipal Bond Index, which is based on 40 long-term bond prices, was unchanged the week of Sept. 18 at 4.46%. more »
Moments after Janney Capital Markets cited "cracks" in the foundation of state credit quality nationwide, Pennsylvania said it would have to loan money to itself to keep running. more »
Municipal bond fund managers are finding they can stand out from the competition and lure new investors by taking advantage of this year's flood of green bonds. more »
Standard & Poor's has put the ratings of two double-A level not-for-profit health systems in Illinois, Advocate and NorthShore, on Credit Watch with positive credit implications following their announcement to join forces. more »
A $481 million San Francisco Airport Commission sale will lead the activity in the primary market this week as part of an estimated $6 billion of new-issue volume - the highest estimated volume in almost three months. more »
Increasing popular kicker bonds may seem like a sure bet for investors, but analysts warn the growing demand for the bonds is increasing their risk. more »
Inflow to municipal bond funds increased even though municipal bonds sold off most of the week. more »
While experts say municipals should have been included in the new liquidity coverage ratio ruling for large banks, they are at odds over its anticipated impact. more »
In its smallest cash-flow borrowing deal since 2006, California achieved a record-low interest rate on its $2.8 billion sale of revenue anticipation notes on Wednesday. more »
Municipal analysts should scrutinize local pension plans because they are subject to more event risk, according to a report by Loop Capital Markets. more »

Issuance of municipal MSA tobacco bonds by states was the subject of a highly critical article published by ProPublica. The article attempts to make a case that states erred in deciding to issue tobacco bonds. The article was widely circulated across social media. As we frequently observe, the national media focus on the muni market is appreciated, but the facts got muddied in the pursuit of a good story.

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