The municipal market can expect about $5 billion in new issuance this week, making it the third week in a row to see volume at that relatively subdued level. Last week saw a revised $5.11 billion, following a revised $7.8 billion the week before.
Issuance has ticked up in recent weeks but is still running at about half of the volume sold in 2010.
Scheduled for the negotiated market this week is an estimated $3.23 billion, down slightly from a revised $3.88 last week, according to Ipreo and The Bond Buyer.
On the competitive calendar, $1.86 billion is expected to come to market, up from last week’s revised $1.22 billion.
The competitive calendar steals the spotlight for the week, with triple-A Georgia issuing almost $1 billion of general obligation bonds on Tuesday. The offering includes $40 million of Series 2011A bonds, $38 million of Series 2011B bonds, and $412.5 million of Series 2011C bonds. There also will be $77 million of taxable qualified school construction bonds. Another $70 million, $245.7 million, and $125.7 million of Series 2011E and Series 2011F GO refunding bonds will be sold Tuesday as well. They have maturities ranging from 2012 to 2031.
The New York City Transitional Finance Authority is issuing $300 million of building aid revenue bonds in the competitive market Wednesday. About $200 million will be tax-exempt, and the remaining $100 million are taxable QSCBs. The tax-exempt bonds have maturities ranging from 2027 to 2040.
In the negotiated market, the Kentucky State Property and Buildings Commission is issuing $362 million of revenue refunding bonds on Wednesday. Citi will underwrite the bonds, which are rated Aa3 by Moody’s Investors Service, A-plus by Standard & Poor’s, and AA-minus by Fitch Ratings. The serial bonds have maturities ranging from 2013 to 2031.
The Dormitory Authority of the State of New York will issue $260 million of lease revenue bonds on Tuesday. Priced by Siebert Brandford Shank & Co., the Series 2011A bonds are rated Aa3 by Moody’s and AA-minus by Fitch.
Laura LaRosa, director of fixed income at wealth management firm Glenmede, said that if this week’s slate is attractive in pricing she will continue to participate in the market.
“We participated in several deals last week, and some of them priced early in the week were very attractive,” LaRosa said. “As long as deals continue to be priced around the same range, we will probably continue to participate.”
Troy Willis, senior portfolio manager at OppenheimerFunds’ Rochester municipal group, said his firm participated in several deals last week that went well, including one from the New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority.
The authority “has a great name, is highly liquid, has an excellent credit, and was well-subscribed,” he said.
Willis added that while New York has several larger issues coming to market this week — on top of several large deals that already hit the market in the past few weeks — there is still a market for its debt. “Overall, issuance is down drastically, so there is plenty of demand for New York bonds,” he said.
LaRosa said one of the reasons muni prices have been attractive can be attributed to Treasuries.
“Treasury yields are much lower than they were even a month ago,” she said. “This brings muni yields way down and gives municipalities a great opportunity to come to market at attractive rates.”
However, there comes a point where LaRosa as a buyer will no longer consider yields attractive enough. “At that point, we may slow down a little on buying,” she said.
LaRosa added that the recent increased supply is encouraging. “The amount of CUSIPS that have been requested over the last few weeks have ramped up,” she said. “So there should be more supply coming in the market in the near future rather than this really low supply that has been going on.”