Munis weaken at midday as market scours House, Senate tax plans
Municipal bonds were markedly weaker at midday as market participants remain fixated on the newly released Senate tax reform proposal and how it compares with the House version.
Next week, the focus in the House will be on finding the votes needed for passage of HR1, while in the Senate, the finance panel is expected to deliberate on its plan, which is in conceptual form and not in legislative language.
The yield on the 10-year benchmark muni general obligation rose three to five basis points from 1.93% on Thursday, while the 30-year GO yield rose four to six basis points from 2.62%, according to a read of Municipal Market Data's triple-A scale.
U.S. Treasuries were weaker on Friday. The yield on the two-year Treasury rose to 1.65% from 1.63%, the 10-year Treasury yield gained to 2.39% from 2.33% and the yield on the 30-year Treasury increased to 2.88% from 2.81%.
On Thursday, the 10-year muni-to-Treasury ratio was calculated at 83.0% compared with 82.3% on Wednesday, while the 30-year muni-to-Treasury ratio stood at 93.5% versus 92.7%, according to MMD.
AP-MBIS 10-year muni at 2.258%, 30-year at 2.780%
The Associated Press-MBIS municipal non-callable 5% GO benchmark scale was weaker at mid-session.
The 10-year muni benchmark yield rose to 2.258% on Friday from the final read of 2.244% on Thursday, according to Municipal Bond Information Services, a national consortium of municipal interdealer brokers. The AP-MBIS 30-year benchmark muni yield gained to 2.780% from 2.757%.
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.
MSRB: Previous session's activity
The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board reported 38,386 trades on Thursday on volume of $13.50 billion.
Week's actively traded issues
Some of the most actively traded bonds by type in the week ended Nov. 10 were from California, Virginia and Texas issuers, according to Markit.
In the GO bond sector, the San Diego Unified School District, Calif., 4s of 2047 were traded 39 times. In the revenue bond sector, the Virginia Small Business Financing Authority 5s of 2056 were traded 97 times. And in the taxable bond sector, the University of Texas 3.376s of 2047 were traded 39 times.
Week's actively quoted issues
Puerto Rico, New Jersey and Illinois names were among the most actively quoted bonds in the week ended Nov. 10, according to Markit.
On the bid side, Puerto Rico Commonwealth GO 5s of 2041 were quoted by 54 unique dealers. On the ask side, New Jersey Turnpike Authority revenue 5s of 2043 were quoted by 205 dealers. And among two-sided quotes, Illinois taxable 5.1s of 2033 were quoted by 28 unique dealers.
Lipper: Muni bond funds see inflows
Investors in municipal bond funds reversed course and put cash back into the funds in the latest week, according to Lipper data released late Thursday.
The weekly reporters saw $463.044 million of inflows in the week of Nov. 8, after outflows of $654.999 million in the previous week.
Exchange traded funds reported inflows of $35.922 million, after outflows of $149.284 million in the previous week. Ex-ETFs, muni funds saw $427.122 million of inflows, after outflows of $505.715 million in the previous week.
The four-week moving average was positive at $151.552 million, after being in the green at $46.685 million in the previous week. A moving average is an analytical tool used to smooth out price changes by filtering out fluctuations.
Long-term muni bond funds had inflows of $315.728 million in the latest week after outflows of $635.982 million in the previous week. Intermediate-term funds had inflows of $100.973 million after outflows of $835.000 million in the prior week.
National funds had inflows of $462.979 million after outflows of $221.241 million in the previous week.
High-yield muni funds reported inflows of $206.612 million in the latest week, after outflows of $81.357 million the previous week.
Week’s primary market
In the competitive arena this week, Pennsylvania sold $973.99 million of its first refunding series of 2017 general obligation refunding bonds. JPMorgan won the bonds with a true interest cost of 2.3629%. The deal is rated Aa3 by Moody’s Investors Service, A-plus by S&P Global Ratings and AA-minus by Fitch Ratings.
The Washoe County School District, Nev., sold $252.25 million of GOs in two separate sales.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch won the $200 million of Series 2017C limited tax GO school improvement bonds additionally secured by pledged revenues with a TIC of 3.3203%. The bonds are rated A1 by Moody’s and AA by S&P except for the 2035-2040 and 2042 maturities which are insured by Assured Guaranty Municipal and are rated A2 by Moody’s and AA by S&P. JPMorgan Securities won the $52.25 million of Series 2017D limited tax GO school refunding bonds with a TIC of 2.4191%. The deal is rated A1 by Moody’s and AA by S&P.
In the competitive arena, the Florida Board of Education sold $239.71 million of Series 2017A lottery revenue refunding bonds. Wells Fargo Securities won the bonds with a TIC of 1.861%. The deal is rated A1 by Moody’s, AAA by S&P and AA by Fitch.
The Virginia College Building Authority sold $138.39 million of educational facilities revenue bonds, public higher education financing program, and taxable bonds in two separate sales. Citi won the $113.05 million of Series 2017A tax-exempts with a TIC of 2.6838%. Janney won the $24.89 million of Series 2017B taxables with a TIC of 3.0968%.The deals are rated Aa1 by Moody’s, AA by S&P and AA-plus by Fitch.
The County Commissioners of Charles County, Md., sold $102.18 million of consolidated public improvement and refunding bonds of 2017. BAML won the bonds with a TIC of 2.1426%. The deal is rated triple-A by Moody’s, S&P and Fitch.
In the negotiated sector, Goldman Sachs priced and repriced the Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District, Ariz.’s $739.61 million of Series 2017A electric system revenue bonds to lower yields by as much as 10 basis points in some maturities. The deal is rated Aa1 by Moody’s and AA by S&P.
Siebert Cisneros Shank priced the New York Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority’s $728.02 million of Series 2017C general revenue refunding bonds for MTA bridges and tunnels. The deal is rated Aa3 by Moody’s, AA-minus by S&P and Fitch and AA by Kroll Bond Rating Agency.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch priced Massachusetts' $564.8 million of Series 2017A transportation fund revenue bonds for rail enhancement and accelerated bridge programs and Series 2017A transportation fund revenue refunding bonds. The deal is rated Aa1 by Moody’s and AAA by S&P.
Citigroup priced the Los Angeles Community College District’s $350 million tax-exempts consisting of Series J 2008 election general obligation bonds and Series A-1 2016 election GOs. The deal is rated Aa1 and MIG1 by Moody’s Investors Service and AA-plus by S&P Global Ratings.
Citigroup priced Harris County, Texas’ $341.74 million of Series 2017A permanent improvement refunding bonds, road refunding bonds, and flood control district contract tax refunding bonds. The deal is backed by the Permanent School Fund guarantee program and is rated AAA by S&P and Fitch.
JPMorgan Securities priced the Board of Regents of the University of Texas System’s $302.64 million of Series 2017A permanent university fund taxable bonds. The deal is rated triple-A by Moody’s, S&P and Fitch.
Citigroup priced Broward County, Fla.’s $290.33 million of Series 2017 airport system revenue bonds subject to the alternative minimum tax to lower yields on most maturities. The deal is rated A1 by Moody’s and A-plus by S&P.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch priced the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority $135.07 million of tax-exempt Series I-1 revenue bonds and $26.06 million of Series I-2 taxable revenue bonds for Sacred Heart University. The deal is rated A3 by Moody’s and A by S&P.
Piper Jaffray priced the Southwestern Community College District, San Diego County, Calif.’s $140 million of Series A Election of 2016 general obligation bonds. The deal is rated Aa2 by Moody’s and AA-minus by S&P.
BAML priced the South Dakota Housing Development Authority’s $125 million of Series 2017D homeownership mortgage non-AMT bonds. The deal is eared triple-A by Moody’s and S&P.
BAML priced California’s $100 million of Series 2012A general obligation refunding bonds as a remarketing. The SIFMA Index floating rate bonds were priced at par to yield 25 basis points above the SIFMA rate in 2033 with a mandatory redemption date of 2021. BAML also priced California’s $100 million of Series 2013D GO refunding bonds as a remarketing. The SIFMA Index floating rate bonds were priced at par to yield 29 basis points above the SIFMA rate in 2028 with a mandatory redemption date of 2020. The deals are rated Aa3 by Moody’s and AA-minus by S&P and Fitch.
JPMorgan Securities priced the San Diego Association of Governments' $194.14 million of Series 2017A toll revenue first senior lien bonds for the South Bay Expressway. The deal is rated A by S&P and A-minus by Fitch Ratings.
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.