Although the largest new deal this week is $2 billion of taxable general obligation bonds from Connecticut, the calendar is also chock full of sizable new tax-exempt deals as the market makes room for an estimated $8.5 billion of competitive and negotiated volume.

The Connecticut deal will be priced on Wednesday by Bear, Stearns & Co. after the firm takes indications of interest from institutional investors today and tomorrow. Bear also held a week-long retail order period last week on the sale, the proceeds of which will finance the teacher's retirement fund.

The larger of the two airport deals will hail from Sacramento County, Calif., which is earmarked to sell $641 million of tax-exempt airport system revenue bonds on Thursday in a negotiated deal being senior-managed by Morgan Stanley.

The deal, which is insured by Financial Security Assurance, will finance the airport system's capital improvement and modernization plan from 2009 to 2013, totaling approximately $1.4 billion.

The larger portion of Series 2008 will be comprised of senior revenue bonds and will consist of $546.9 million, maturing in three subseries - $347.4 million subject to the alternative minimum tax, $186.4 million non-AMT, and $13 million taxable.

The smaller portion of Series 2008 will total $93.9 million and be comprised of subordinate revenue bonds and passenger facility charge revenue refunding bonds. Two subseries will include $45.2 million of AMT bonds and $48.7 million of non-AMT bonds.

The Hillsborough County, Fla., Aviation Authority, meanwhile, will sell a two-pronged offering of airport system revenue bonds in a negotiated deal being priced by Bear on Thursday totaling $155 million. The largest series consists of $137.6 million of bonds subject to the alternative minimum tax maturing from 2024 to 2038, followed by a $17.2 million series of non-AMT bonds maturing from 2024 to 2038. The deal is rated Aa3 by Moody's Investors Service, A-plus by Standard & Poor's, and AA-minus by Fitch Ratings.

Last week's largest deal was from California, which came thundering into the market with a $1.75 million GO sale on Thursday after a two-day retail order period in which Morgan Stanley netted $898 million in retail orders - or 51.3%.

The deal's final maturity in 2038 carried a 5% coupon and was lowered by one basis from the preliminary scale to yield 4.96%. It was one of the largest deals last week when a revised $5.9 billion in new volume came to market, according to Thomson Financial.

In the Far West, a $397.7 million offering from the Intermountain Power Agency in Utah is planned for pricing on Wednesday by Goldman, Sachs& Co. The subordinated power supply revenue refunding bonds will mature from 2009 to 2023 and have underlying ratings of A1 from Moody's, A from Standard & Poor's, and A-plus from Fitch.

Two sizable Arizona deals will round out the region's activity, the largest of which will be a $249.1 million water revenue offering from the Arizona Water Infrastructure Financing Authority.

RBC Capital MarketsLLC will price the deal tomorrow with a structure that includes bonds tentatively structured to mature from 2009 to 2028, according to the preliminary official statement. The bonds have natural triple-A ratings from all three major rating agencies.

Additionally, a $239 million sale of certificates of participation from the state of Arizonawill be officially priced for institutions on Wednesday by Wachovia Securities following a retail order period tomorrow.

The bonds are scheduled to mature from serials 2009 to 2027, and the deal will be insured by FSA, though there is a possibility that a few of the very short maturities will be uninsured, according to a source at RBC, but that was still being determined at press time Friday.

In the Northeast, meanwhile, a $475 million GO sale from New York City is one of two large deals from local issuers.

Following a three-day retail order period that began last Thursday, the issue will be priced tomorrow by Banc of America SecuritiesLLC. Structured to mature from 2013 to 2029, the bonds are rated Aa3 by Moody's, AA by Standard & Poor's, and AA-minus by Fitch.

UBS Securities LLC will price a $491 million New Jersey Economic Development Authority refunding sale of school facility construction bonds on Thursday with a structure that includes bonds maturing from 2008 to 2020 that are rated A1 by Moody's, A-plus by Standard & Poor's, and AA-minus by Fitch.

In addition, a $246.5 million Pennsylvania Turnpike Commissionsale of subordinate revenue bonds for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is being planned for pricing on Thursday by Citi. The deal, which will be structured with tax-exempt bonds maturing from 2022 through 2038, and taxable bonds maturing from 2009 to 2022, will be insured by Assured Guaranty.

The structure of the deal was not available at press time on Friday. The bonds are rated A2 by Moody's and A-minus by Standard & Poor's.

Under Act 44, which was passed last year, the commission is mandated to help fund the state's transportation shortfalls. The proceeds of the new deal will finance various road, bridge, and mass transit projects being conducted by PennDOT.

Switching gears to the health care sector, issuers in two separate states will come to market with a deal totaling $300 million that will convert outstanding Series 2006 C auction-rate bonds on behalf of Catholic Health Initiatives.

The larger of the deals will be a $250 million sale from the Colorado Health Facilities Authority, while Montgomery County, Ohio, will sell $50 million. The structure of the deals was still being hammered out on Friday at press time and was not available.

The deals will both be insured by FSA and priced on Wednesday by JP Morgan. At the time of the pricing, Catholic Health will select the interest-rate mode for the new bonds - either long-term rate or fixed-rate, according to the deal's official statement.

 

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