After a statewide push by Ohio Treasurer Richard Cordray, nearly 75% of the state’s annual issue of highway capital improvement bonds sold to retail investors, according to the treasurer’s office.
The retail sales came after Cordray toured across six of the state’s largest cities in mid-April to meet with investors and encourage them to buy the bonds, which he said would allow them to invest in the future of Ohio. For the state, retail investment allows better pricing and the chance to build a large network of local investors, Cordray said.
Of the recent $140 million GO highway bond sale that priced beginning April 21, roughly $105 million sold to individual investors, according to the treasurer’s office. That is significantly more than the 39% of last year’s $190 million sale that sold to retail. State officials had hoped that at least 40% of the bonds would sell to individual investors.
It is the fourth year in a row that Ohio has targeted local investors for the highway bonds, which are the state’s top rated bonds.
Bonds from last week’s issue mature from 2009 through 2018, with yields ranging from 1.65% with a 3.5% coupon in 2009 to 3.5% with a 5% coupon in 2018. The bonds are not callable.
The success of the recent retail sales has prompted state officials to take similar steps with other bond issues, Cordray said. In a recent sale of revenue revitalization bonds backed by liquor profits, for example, Ohio sold about 40% to retail investors.