Muni market hopes tax reform elevates issuance

Register now

Retail and institutional municipal bond investors hope volume of nearly $9 billion is a sign of consistent elevated weekly volume for the remainder of the year, with issuers trying to get as many private activity bonds and advance refundings in before tax reform changes the rules. Issuers are also getting more incentives to price soon, as yields are on their way down.

AP-MBIS 10-year muni at 2.301%, 30-year at 2.839%
The Associated Press-MBIS municipal non-callable 5% GO benchmark scale was stronger on early afternoon trading on Monday.

The 10-year muni benchmark yield dipped to 2.301% from 2.304% from the final read on Friday, according to Municipal Bond Information Services, a national consortium of municipal interdealer brokers. The AP-MBIS 30-year benchmark muni yield declined to 2.839% from 2.858%.

The AP-MBIS benchmark index is a yield curve built on market data aggregated from MBIS member firms and is updated hourly on the Bond Buyer Data Workstation.

Secondary market
Top-shelf municipal bonds were stronger on Monday around midday. The yield on the 10-year benchmark muni general obligation was between one and three basis points lower from 1.99% on Friday, while the 30-year GO yield was between two and four basis points lower from 2.75%, according to a read of Municipal Market Data's triple-A scale.

U.S. Treasuries were stronger on Monday around midday. The yield on the two-year Treasury dipped to 1.61% from 1.62%, the 10-year Treasury yield dropped to 2.32% from 2.33% and yield on the 30-year Treasury dipped to 2.80% from 2.81%.

On Friday, the 10-year muni-to-Treasury ratio was calculated at 84.9% compared with 85.2% on Thursday, while the 30-year muni-to-Treasury ratio stood at 97.4% versus 98.9%, according to MMD.

Previous week's top underwriters
The top municipal bond underwriters of last week included Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan Securities, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup, according to Thomson Reuters data.

In the week of Oct. 28 to Nov. 4, BAML underwrote $1.35 billion, JPMorgan $902 million, Wells Fargo $757 million, Morgan Stanley $631 million, and Citi $505 million.

Prior week's actively traded issues
Revenue bonds comprised 55.47% of new issuance in the week ended Nov. 3, down from 55.80% in the previous week, according to Markit. General obligation bonds made up 38.96% of total issuance, up from 38.58%, while taxable bonds accounted for 5.57%, down from 5.62%.

Some of the most actively traded bonds were from Massachusetts, Tennessee and Puerto Rico issuers.

In the GO bond sector, the Massachusetts 3s 2033 were traded 54 times. In the revenue bond sector, the Tennessee Energy Acquisition Corp. 4s of 2048 were traded 39 times. And in the taxable bond sector, Puerto Rico Commonwealth Government Development Bank 5s of 2023 were traded 30 times.

MSRB: Previous session's activity
The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board reported 33,947 trades on Friday on volume of $10.478 billion.

Primary market
Ipreo estimates volume will rise to $8.99 billion from the revised total of $5.34 billion sold in the past week, according to updated figures from Thomson Reuters. The calendar for the week ahead is composed of $6.62 billion of negotiated deals and $2.37 billion in competitive sales.

The action will get rolling on Tuesday, when Goldman Sachs is scheduled to price the largest negotiated deal of the week — Salt River Project’s $736 million of agricultural improvement and power district electric system revenue bonds on Tuesday. The deal is rated Aa1 by Moody Investors Service and AA by S&P Global Ratings.

Citi is scheduled to price Broward County, Fla.’s $307 million of airport system revenue bonds. The deal is rated A1 by Moody’s and A-plus by S&P.

JPMorgan is slated to price the Board of Regents of the University of Texas’ $300 million of system permanent fund taxable bonds. The deal carries top ratings of triple-A by Moody’s, S&P and Fitch Ratings.

In the competitive arena, the Virginia College Building Authority is on the docket to sell a total of $136.245 million of educational facilities revenue public higher education financing program and taxable bonds in two separate sales on Tuesday. The deals are rated Aa1 by Moody’s, AA by S&P and AA-plus by Fitch.

The overall deal of the week is scheduled to hit on Wednesday, when Pennsylvania sells $973.99 million of general obligation refunding bonds competitively. The deal is rated Aa3 by Moody’s, A-plus by S&P and AA-minus by Fitch.

Bond Buyer reports 30-day visible supply
The Bond Buyer's 30-day visible supply calendar increased $785.2 million to $11.96 billion on Monday. The total is comprised of $4.48 billion of competitive sales and $7.48 billion of negotiated deals.

Data appearing in this article from Municipal Bond Information Services, including the AP-MBIS municipal bond index, is available on the Bond Buyer Data Workstation. Click here for a brief tour of the Workstation, or contact Vanessa Kim at 212-803-8474 for more information.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.
Primary bond market Secondary bond market Tax reform Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement & Power District Broward County The University of Texas Board of Regents Virginia College Building Authority Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Commonwealth of Massachusetts Tennessee Energy Acquisition Corporation