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Market Post: Rally Continues as New Deals Very Well Received

Even with record low yields, the tax-exempt market climbed higher Wednesday for the third session this week as both primary and secondary markets attracted buyers.

Many deals expected to price in the market later in the week were accelerated to take advantage of demand, and a few remaining large deals priced Wednesday.

"A lot of deals on Tuesday were accelerated from later in the week so issuers definitely captured that strength in the market," a New York trader said. "Deals are heavily oversubscribed and yield levels were reduced." He added that by Wednesday afternoon, secondary activity had died down from Tuesday's levels but the primary market was still active and going well.

"The market is still stronger," he added.

In the primary market Wednesday, Bank of America Merrill Lynch priced for institutions $491.6 million of Lower Colorado River Authority refunding revenue bonds, following a retail order period Tuesday. The bonds are rated A1 by Moody's Investors Service and A by Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings. Institutional pricing was not yet available.

On Tuesday, the first series of $289.5 million was not offered for retail.

In retail pricing Tuesday, yields on the second series of $202.1 million, ranged from 0.50% with a 3% coupon in 2014 to 3.52% with a 3.50% coupon in 2037. Bonds maturing in 2013 were offered via sealed bid. Credits maturing between 2026 and 2028, in 2031, 2032, and portions of 2037 were not offered for retail. The bonds are callable at par in 2022.

In the competitive market, B of A Merrill won the bid for $324 million of Virginia College Building Authority educational facilities revenue bonds, rated Aa1 by Moody's and AA-plus by Standard & Poor's and Fitch.

Yields ranged from 0.30% with a 5% coupon in 2014 to 2.98% with a 3% coupon in 2033. The bonds are callable at par in 2022.

The Hartford County Metropolitan District sold $246.7 million of general obligation bond anticipation notes in two series - $187.8 million and $58.9 million.

B of A Merrill won the bid for $187.8 million. The bonds yielded 0.20% with a 1.75% coupon.

JPMorgan won the bid for $58.9 million. The bonds yielded 0.17% with a 2.5% coupon.

The Municipal Market Data scale climbed higher Tuesday following a strong session Monday, setting more record lows. The 10-year MMD yield fell two basis points to 1.49%, a record low. The 1.49% beat the previous record low of 1.50% set Nov. 16.

The 30-year MMD yield dropped three basis points to 2.49%, also setting a record low, beating the previous record of 2.52% set Monday. Before Monday, the record low was 2.54% set Nov. 16.

The two-year finished steady at 0.30% for the 42nd consecutive trading session.

Yields have plunged throughout the month of November. Since the start of the month, the 10-year MMD yield has fallen 23 basis points from where it started at 1.72% while the 30-year yield has fallen 33 basis points from where it started the month at 2.82%.

Treasuries were still stronger, though they pared gains from the morning trading session. The benchmark 10-year yield and the 30-year yield fell one basis point each to 1.63% and 2.78%, respectively. The two-year yield increased one basis point to 0.28%.

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