The municipal market was unchanged to slightly firmer yesterday as Hawaii came to market with $721.6 million of debt, including $500 million of Build America Bonds, and snowy conditions blanketed much of the Northeast.
Citi priced $721.6 million of bonds for the Aloha State in two series, including $500 million of taxable BABs.
The general obligation BABs mature from 2015 through 2030, with yields ranging from 2.913% with a 3% coupon in 2015, or 1.89% after the 35% federal subsidy, to 5.484% with a 5.53% coupon in 2030, or 3.56% after the subsidy. The bonds were priced to yield between 20 and 135 basis points over the comparable Treasury yield, and contain a make-whole call at Treasuries plus 15 basis points.
Citi also priced $221.6 million of tax-exempt GO refunding bonds for Hawaii, which mature from 2015 through 2020. Yields range from 1.82% with a 3% coupon in 2015 to 3.16% with a 5% coupon in 2020. The bonds are not callable.
Both series are rated Aa2 by Moody’s Investors Service and AA by Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings.
Traders said tax-exempt yields were flat to slightly lower amid light trading activity. A trader in New York said the snow “definitely had an impact” on yesterday’s new issues.
“A lot of your buyers are in New York, so some people are out, and the ones that are in, they’re staring out the window and not focusing like they would on a normal day,” the trader said. “Even for an issuer like Hawaii, a good deal of their buyers are still here. So if I were an underwriter or an issuer bringing a big deal to market today, I’d definitely want to push it to next Tuesday.”
“People were generally in, they just left early,” the trader said. “It’s just been real quiet.”
A trader in Los Angeles also said the market was “pretty quiet.”
“There wasn’t a ton of activity,” the trader said. “We were a little better maybe in the intermediate part of the curve, but overall, I’d call it pretty quiet and pretty flat.”
The Treasury market showed losses yesterday. The benchmark 10-year note was quoted near the end of the session with a yield of 3.69% after opening at 3.64%. The yield on the two-year note was quoted near the end of the session at 0.87% after opening at 0.83%. The yield on the 30-year bond was quoted near the end of the session at 4.64% after opening at 4.58%.
The Municipal Market Data triple-A scale yielded 2.87% in 10 years and 3.78% in 20 years yesterday, even with Tuesday’s levels. The scale yielded 4.17% in 30 years yesterday, matching Tuesday’s level.
Tuesday’s triple-A muni scale in 10 years was at 79.5% of comparable Treasuries and 30-year munis were 91.9% of comparable Treasuries, according to MMD, while 30-year tax-exempt triple-A GOs were at 95.4% of the comparable London Interbank Offered Rate.
Elsewhere in the new-issue market yesterday, the Virginia Public Building Authority competitively sold $317.2 million of debt in two series.
The larger $256.7 million series was sold to JPMorgan with a true interest cost of 3.36%. Pricing information was not available by press time. The winning bidder on this series had the option to bid for the bonds either as tax-exempts or as taxable BABs. This information was also unavailable by press time.
The smaller $60.5 million series of tax-exempt public facilities revenue bonds was sold to Wells Fargo Securities with a TIC of 1.21%.
The bonds mature from 2011 through 2015, with yields ranging from 0.93% with a 5% coupon in 2013 to 1.63% with a 4% coupon in 2015. Bonds maturing in 2011 and 2012 were decided via sealed bid. The bonds are not callable.
The credit is rated Aa1 by Moody’s and AA-plus by Standard & Poor’s and Fitch.
Jefferies & Co. priced $184.5 million of permanent improvement refunding bonds for Harris County, Tex.
The bonds mature from 2011 through 2028, with yields ranging from 0.49% with a 1.5% coupon in 2011 to 3.91% with a 5% coupon in 2028.
The bonds, which are callable at par in 2020, are rated AAA by Standard & Poor’s and AA-plus by Fitch.
Triple-A rated Westchester County, N.Y., competitively sold $153.3 million of bonds in two series.
The larger $130.2 million series of GO bonds was sold to Barclays Capital with a TIC of 2.44%.
The bonds mature from 2011 through 2022, with yields ranging from 0.25% with a 2% coupon in 2011 to 3.04% with a 3% coupon in 2022. Bonds maturing in 2014 and 2015 were not formally re-offered. The bonds are callable at par in 2019.
Westchester also competitively sold $23.1 million of bonds, which could be bid on as either tax-exempts or taxable BABs. No further information on the pricing was available by press time.
In Minnesota, Brainerd Independent School District No. 181 competitively sold $52.9 million of GO school building refunding bonds to Citi with a TIC of 2.94%.
The bonds mature from 2013 through 2023, with yields ranging from 0.85% with a 3% coupon in 2013 to 3.31% with a 4% coupon in 2023. They are callable at par in 2019, and rated AAA by Standard & Poor’s.
In economic data released yesterday, the international trade deficit increased 10.4% in December to $40.2 billion, well above economists’ estimates. The November deficit was unrevised at $36.4 billion. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters had expected a $35.8 billion trade deficit for the month.