Three sizable Ohio deals, a large New York City utility financing, and a two-pronged Texas education sale greet investors as part of an estimated $6.72 billion of new issues in the first full week of trading and underwriting after the late summer holidays, according to Ipreo LLC and The Bond Buyer.
The volume is a welcome arrival on the heels of a revised $2.64 billion last week, according to Thomson Reuters.
The Midwest trio of deals will be led by a $741 million sale of general receipt bonds from the Ohio State University, which includes around $655 million of Build America Bonds with a 30-year bullet maturity in 2040 and $86 million of tax-exempt refunding debt maturing serially in the next 15 to 20 years.
The precedent-setting deal is the largest bond offering in the Big 10 university’s history, and also marks its first offering of a bullet maturity, according to school officials.
The BAB portion is planned for pricing by joint book-runners Morgan Stanley and Barclays Capital on Wednesday, following a retail order period expected on Tuesday. Morgan is the sole book-runner on the tax-exempt series.
The financing will help Ohio State launch a $2 billion capital expansion plan — also its largest construction project to date.
The bonds are rated Aa1 by Moody’s Investors Services and AA-minus by Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings. The bulk of the proceeds will finance a $1 billion expansion of the OSU Medical Center.
The Ohio Water Development Authority will add to the activity this week as it prepares to sell two separate offerings. The largest consists of $225 million of water pollution-control loan fund refunding revenue bonds structured as Series 2010C debt maturing serially from 2017 to 2025. They are being priced Thursday by JPMorgan.
The second sale is a $155 million offering of Series 2010A water development revenue bonds being priced by Barclays on Tuesday and secured by pledged revenues.
About $146.8 million of taxable, direct-pay BABs are structured as term bonds in each year from 2020 to 2025, and in 2030 and 2042, while another $7.1 million of tax-exempt securities are structured to mature from 2010 to 2012, according to the preliminary official statement.
Both of the authority’s deals are rated triple-A by Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s.
In the Northeast market, the New York City Municipal Finance Authority is on tap to issue $600 million of Fiscal Series 2011 AA water and sewer system second general resolution revenue bonds, secured by a pledge of and subordinate lien on the gross revenues of the system, according to the POS.
The negotiated deal, which is designated as taxable, direct-pay BABs, is planned for pricing on Thursday. Barclays and Jefferies & Co. will be book-running senior managers, leading a syndicate of nearly two dozen underwriting firms.
The bonds are expected to be rated Aa2 by Moody’s and AA-plus by Standard & Poor’s and Fitch. The exact structure of the deal was not available by press time.
The tax-exempt market will continue to be short on supply and lack direction as issuers focus on large BAB deals, according to Tom Spalding, senior portfolio manager at Nuveen Advisory Corp. in Chicago who manages $9.5 billion of national municipal bond mutual funds. A heavy volume of the taxable paper is expected again this week, he said.
“I don’t see that we are going to get any meaningful benchmark deals next week and I expect that the tone will be set by the taxable market,” Spalding said. “The intermediate slope gave way a little bit last week, but the long end has seen no appreciable give. So we need some volume on the long-end of the tax-exempt market.”
The generic triple-A general obligation bond due in 30 years remained at a 3.72% yield on Friday for the fourth consecutive day, according to Municipal Market Data.
With new tax-exempt volume scarce, Spalding said he has little interest in this week’s primary market.
Instead, he indicated that he will continue to dabble in the secondary, where he has been selectively buying current coupon or modest premium bonds, such as those with a 5% coupon priced at $102, from the intermediate and long end that provide protection from rising rates.
BABs will make a post-holiday appearance in the Southwest market when the University of Texas Board of Regents issues a two-pronged offering of direct-pay revenue financing system bonds totaling $630.7 million.
The largest portion of the deal is the $543.6 million in Series 2010C, which will consist of the BABs, while Series 2010E totals $87.1 million and consists of tax-exempts.
The deal is planned for pricing on Tuesday by JPMorgan and will be sold with triple-A ratings from the big three rating agencies.
Proceeds will be used to refund $22 million of the university’s commercial paper notes and to finance construction of campus improvements, which include around $434 million for the New University Hospital at UT Southwestern, according to the POS.
In the competitive market, Washington will bring over $600 million of state GO refunding debt to market Wednesday.
The two-pronged sale is structured as $325.36 million of Series R 2011C motor vehicle fuel-tax refunding bonds and $313.3 million of Series R 2011B various-purpose refunding GOs.
Both series are structured to mature from 2011 to 2027, though Series R 2011-B does not have a 2012 maturity, the POS said.