Top-shelf municipal bonds were mostly steady around lunchtime on Monday, as municipal market participants are gearing up for the busiest week in a while.
Weekly volume in the primary municipal bond market is expected to almost reach $10 billion in what should be the busiest week in 14 weeks — just in time to close out the third quarter on a good note.
Ipreo estimates volume will soar to $9.92 billion from the revised total of $5.37 billion sold in the past week, according to updated figures from Thomson Reuters. The calendar for the week ahead is composed of $7.15 billion of negotiated deals and $2.77 billion in competitive sales.
Morgan Stanley sent around pricing guidance on Monday for the largest deal of the week — Texas Water Development Board’s $1.04 billion of state water implementation revenue fund for Texas revenue bonds that is expected to price on Tuesday.
In the guidance, the bonds are priced to yield from 0.91% with a 5% coupon in 2019 to 3.11% with a 4% coupon in 2038. A term bond in 2042 was listed to yield 3.21% and 2.91% with 4% and 5% coupons in a split maturity. A term bond in 2047 was listed to yield 3.28% and 2.98% with 4% and 5% coupons in a split maturity. A term bond in 2052 was listed to yield 3.38% and 3.08% with 4% and 5% coupons in a split maturity. The 2018 maturity was offered as a sealed bid. The deal is the largest in the board’s history and carries ratings of triple-A from S&P and Fitch.
Raymond James priced the New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority’s $383.975 million of water and sewer system second general resolution revenue bonds for retail investors on Monday, ahead of institutional pricing on Tuesday.
The $217.315 million of fiscal 2018 series BB, subseries BB-1 bonds were priced for retail to yield from 3.45% and 3.00% with a 3.375% coupon and a 5% coupon in a split maturity. The 2037 and 2046 maturities were not available for retail.
The $166.660 million of subseries BB-2 bonds were priced for retail to yield 2.19% with a 5% coupon in 2028 and 2.82% and 2.39% with 2.75% coupon and 5% coupons in a split 2030 maturity. No retail was available in the 2029, 2031 and 2032 maturities. The deal is rated Aa1 by Moody’s Investors Service and AA-plus by S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings.
Previous week's top underwriters
The top municipal bond underwriters of last week included Citi, Barclays, JP Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Stifel, according to Thomson Reuters data.
In the week of Sept. 17 to Sept. 23, Citi underwrote $1.06 billion, Barclays $806 million, JPM $512 million, BAML $389 million, and Stifel $377 million.
Top-shelf municipal bonds were mostly unchanged on Monday around midday, as yields on the 2018 and 2019 maturities were as many as one basis point higher while all others were steady. The yield on the 10-year benchmark muni general obligation was flat at 1.92% from Friday, while the 30-year GO yield was unchanged from 2.78%, according to a read of Municipal Market Data's triple-A scale.
U.S. Treasuries were stronger around midday on Monday. The yield on the two-year Treasury was lower to 1.42% from 1.44%, the 10-year Treasury yield declined to 2.22% from 2.26% and the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond dipped to 2.76% from 2.79%.
On Friday, the 10-year muni-to-Treasury ratio was calculated at 85.0% compared with 84.8% on Thursday, while the 30-year muni-to-Treasury ratio stood at 99.5% versus 99.9%, according to MMD.
MSRB: Previous session's activity
The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board reported 28,983 trades on Friday on volume of $6.245 billion.
Prior week's actively traded issues
Revenue bonds comprised 56.08% of new issuance in the week ended Sept. 22, up from 55.98% in the previous week, according to Markit. General obligation bonds made up 37.56% of total issuance, up from 37.47%, while taxable bonds accounted for 6.36%, down from 6.55%.
Some of the most actively traded bonds by type were from New York and Virginia issuers, according to Markit.
In the GO bond sector, the New York City 3.25s of 2042 were traded 112 times. In the revenue bond sector, the Erie County, N.Y., 2s of 2018 were traded 65 times. And in the taxable bond sector, the University of Virginia 4.179s of 2017 were traded 29 times.
Bond Buyer reports 30-day visible supply
The Bond Buyer's 30-day visible supply calendar increased $80.9 million to $13.20 billion on Monday. The total is comprised of $5.70 billion of competitive sales and $7.50 billion of negotiated deals.