Top-rated municipal bonds finished flat on Wednesday as the city of Chicago retuned to the market with a new water deal.

Primary Market
Cabrera Capital Markets priced the city’s $196.22 million of Series 2017 second lien water revenue refunding bonds.

The deal was priced to yield from 1.05% with a 5% coupon in 2017 to 3.50% with a 5% coupon in 2036.

The deal is rated A by S&P Global Ratings and AA-minus by Fitch Ratings and AA by Kroll Bond Rating Agency except for the 2030-2035 maturities which are insured by Assured Guaranty Municipal and rated AA by S&P and AA-plus by Kroll.

The deal received a good reception from buyers, according to a market source.

“The water deal was better received than the wastewater deal the day before,” a Midwest trader said on Wednesday. “It’s seen as a stronger credit.”Since 2007, the city of Chicago has issued roughly $28.44 billion of securities with the most issuance occurring in 2015 when it sold $4.24 billion.

The Windy City has issued more than $2 billion in a year eight times over the past decade and during the same time, has only issued less than $1 billion once – back in 2009 when it issued just $778 million.

Also on Wednesday, Citigroup priced and repriced the Macomb Interceptor Drain Drainage District, Mich.’s $126.8 million of Series 2017A limited tax general obligation drain and refunding bonds.

The issue was repriced to yield from 0.82% with a 5% coupon in 2018 to 3.17% with a 4% coupon in 2037; a 2042 maturity was repriced as 5s to yield 2.88%.

The deal is rated Aa1 by Moody’s Investors Service and AA-plus by S&P.

Ramirez priced the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs’ $133.7 million of single-family mortgage revenue and refunding bonds.

The $61.3 million of Series 2017A revenue bonds not subject to the alternative minimum tax were priced at 101 to yield approximately 2.70% with a 2.835% coupon in 2047.

The $29.61 million of Series 2017B taxable revenue refunding bonds were priced at par to yield 2.75% in 2038.

The $42.79 million of Series 2017C taxable revenue bonds were priced at par to yield 3.10% in 2047.

The deal is rated Aa1 by Moody’s and AA-plus by S&P.

Piper Jaffray received the written award on the Pearland Independent School District, Texas’ $105.51 million of Series 2017 unlimited tax school building bonds.

The issue was priced to yield from 1.03% with a 3% coupon in 2020 to 2.81% with a 5% coupon in 2039; a 2042 maturity was priced as 5s to yield 2.83%.

The deal, which is backed by the Permanent School Fund guarantee program, is rated triple-A by Moody’s and Fitch.

In the competitive arena on Wednesday, the state of Maine sold $98.17 million of bonds in two separate issues.

JPMorgan Securities won the $83.04 million of Series 2017B general obligation bonds with a true interest cost of 1.55%.

Morgan Stanley won the $15.13 million of Series 2017A taxable GOs with a TIC of 1.24%.

Both deals are rated Aa2 by Moody’s and AA by S&P.

Secondary market
The yield on the 10-year benchmark muni general obligation was unchanged from 1.83% on Tuesday, while the 30-year GO yield was steady from 2.66%, according to the final read of Municipal Market Data's triple-A scale.

U.S. Treasuries were weaker on Wednesday. The yield on the two-year Treasury rose to 1.31% from 1.29% on Tuesday as the 10-year Treasury yield gained to 2.18% from 2.15% while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond increased to 2.84% from 2.81%.

The 10-year muni to Treasury ratio was calculated at 84.0% on Wednesday, compared with 85.5% on Tuesday, while the 30-year muni to Treasury ratio stood at 93.8% versus 94.8%, according to MMD.

MSRB: Previous session's activity
The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board reported 44,024 trades on Tuesday on volume of $10.13 billion.

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Chip Barnett

Chip Barnett

Chip Barnett is a journalist with more than 40 years of experience. Barnett is currently Senior Market Reporter for The Bond Buyer.
Aaron Weitzman

Aaron Weitzman

Aaron Weitzman is a markets reporter for The Bond Buyer, focusing on the sell side of the municipal bond market.