LOS ANGELES — High demand for California’s general obligation bonds helped the state attain the lowest borrowing costs on 30-year bonds in the last three decades, according to the state treasurer’s office.
Low yields enabled the state to refinance $1.96 billion in higher-interest paying bonds to achieve $294 million in net-present value savings, according to Treasurer John Chiang.
“The market reception California received on this sale confirms that California is on the right track financially,” Chiang said. “The consistent restraint shown by the governor and Legislature in recent budgets, coupled with voter approval of Proposition 2, which strengthened the state’s rainy day fund, contributed to a positive investment environment that benefits all Californians.”
The spread between the state’s new general obligation bonds and the Municipal Market Data benchmark was the most favorable since 2005, Chiang said.
Yields on the bonds ranged from 2.17% for 10-year maturities to 3.05% for the longest maturity in 2045.
Both retail and institutional investors showed strong interest in the bonds. The $1.3 billion in orders from retail investors represented the most retail orders the state has seen from a single offering since 2010, according to the treasurer’s office.
Demand for the bonds caused the state to increase the amount of refunding bonds by more than $500 million, ratcheting up the total bond sale to $2.9 billion.
The Citi-led syndicate priced the general obligation bonds, originally sized at $2.3 billion, on Tuesday after a one-day retail order period.
The bonds were rated Aa3 by Moody's, AA-minus by S&P and A-plus by Fitch.
The state has saved taxpayers over $1.2 billion in interest costs for five general obligation bond refinancings since Chiang took office in January 2015, according to the treasurer’s office.