CHICAGO — Minnesota today launches its first formal retail-order period for a general obligation sale before opening the $475 million issue of new-money bonds and possibly some refunding bonds to institutional buyers on Thursday.

The state issued a preliminary offering statement early last week that alerted the market to the possible issuance of up to $906 million as the drop in interest rates earlier in the month opened up a range of advance refunding opportunities. However, the rise in rates over the last two weeks has sapped much of the potential savings, and this week’s heavy calendar and expected issuer concessions to attract buyers may not help.

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