Issuers plan to price an estimated $11.69 billion of new deals this week, according to Ipreo LLC and The Bond Buyer. Participants are hoping the market continues to recover some of the ground it gave up last week when weakness put a damper on primary activity as yields rose by at least 10 basis points in the intermediate slope of the curve and forced postponement of at least two large deals.
A revised $5.12 billion priced last week, according to Thomson Reuters, but not every deal originally scheduled made it to market.
When the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 10,000 last Wednesday, the first time it had in a year, traders said tax-exempt yields in the secondary market were higher by about five basis points overall, but up about 10 basis points in the 10- to 15-year range.
The backup caused Merrill, Lynch & Co. to postpone its $655 million state of Hawaii GO refunding sale, while RBC Capital Markets followed suit by placing its $385 million Houston Independent School District offering — which was to include $151 million of taxable BABs — on the day-to-day calendar where it remained Friday. An underwriter at Merrill on Friday said since the Hawaii deal is rate-sensitive it is also day to day.
Losses were most evident in the 10-year generic, triple-A general obligation scale, which rose by as much as 13 basis points, ending at a 3.05% at the close of trading last Wednesday, up from 2.92% the day before, according to Municipal Market Data.
The long end saw losses of about four to six basis points, traders said. The generic triple-A GO due in 2039 ended at 4.09% last Wednesday after finishing at a 4.03% the previous day, according to MMD. The same bond ended at 4.09% on Thursday and 4.08% on Friday.
This week, an approximately $1.1 billion revenue financing on behalf of Catholic Health Initiatives planned for pricing Thursday by Morgan Stanley hopes to benefit from declining rates that brought some recovery to the market last Thursday and Friday.
The multi-state two-tranche CHI deal — issued by the Colorado Health Facilities Authority, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority, and Montgomery County, Ohio — consists of $762 million of Series 2009A and $322 million of Series B. Retail investors will get first crack at the bonds on Wednesday.
The bonds are rated Aa2 by Moody’s Investors Service and AA by Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings.
Minnesota plans to sell $906.2 million of GO bonds on Thursday, following a two-day retail order period tomorrow and Wednesday led by book-runner Barclays Capital.
In a three-pronged deal planned for Wednesday, the Alabama Public School and College Authority will issue $775.8 million of capital improvement and refunding bonds, structured to mature from one to 20 years and rated double-A by the three major rating agencies.
The bonds, limited, uninsured obligations of the authority payable with pledged revenues, consist of $539.2 million of Series 2009A refunding bonds, $198.5 million of Series 2009 B refunding bonds, and $38.1 million of Series 2009C capital improvement bonds.
Most of the proceeds from the Series A and B bonds will refund outstanding debt associated with swap options that the issuer is challenging in federal court, including $698 million of 1998-1999 bonds related to the dispute, along with $48.4 million of outstanding 2001A bonds.
Proceeds from the 2009C bonds, meanwhile, will be used to provide loans to local boards of education.
Elsewhere in the Southeast, the South Carolina Public Service Authority will bring to market $418.6 million of revenue obligation bonds on behalf of state-owned electric and water utility Santee Cooper, the state’s largest power producer.
Rated Aa2 by Moody’s, AA-minus by Standard & Poor’s, and AA by Fitch, the deal is expected to be priced by Goldman, Sachs & Co. on Thursday, following a retail order period scheduled for Wednesday.
The deal is structured with three series: 2009D, comprised of tax-exempt refunding bonds; 2009E, comprised of tax-exempt new-money debt, and 2009F, comprised of taxable bonds. The maturities were still being discussed at press time.
The California State Public Works Board is gearing up to sell $820 million of lease revenue bonds that include taxable Build America Bonds. The negotiated deal is being senior-managed by Morgan Stanley and scheduled for pricing Thursday.
According to the POS, the bonds in the Series 2009G1 and G2, which includes BABs and totals $790 million, are structured to mature from 2010 to 2034, while the Series 2009H bonds are scheduled to mature serially from 2010 to 2029.
The amounts of each sub-series will be determined at the time of the pricing. The bonds are rated Baa2 by Moody’s, A-minus by Standard & Poor’s and BBB-minus by Fitch, according to the POS.
In the Northeast, issuers in Maryland and Pennsylvania plan large sales.
Maryland is gearing up for a $794.8 million sale of GO debt in the competitive market on Wednesday. The bonds, which have natural triple-A ratings from all three agencies, are structured in three series.
Series A consists of $141.8 million of tax-exempt GO bonds and Series C consists of $594.8 million of tax-exempt GO refunding bonds, both of which are structured to mature from 2012 to 2021. Series B, however, will be designated as either tax-exempt GO bonds or federally taxable BABs, depending on the winning bidder.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission expects to sell $520 million of subordinate revenue bonds. The two-pronged deal is slated for pricing by Goldman either tomorrow or Wednesday and is rated A2 by Moody’s and A-minus by Standard & Poor’s. The tentative structure includes convertible capital appreciation bonds and fixed-rate current interest serials and terms.
Another sizable offering is a $400 million Cook County, Ill., refunding issue, which Loop Capital Markets LLC plans to price on Wednesday. The three series — $300 million of refunding GOs in Series 2009C, $95 million of capital equipment GOs in Series 2009D, and $5 million of taxable GOs in Series 2009E — mature serially from 2010 to 2029. Ratings were not yet confirmed at press time.