NYC TFA deal takes center stage; CUSIP data indicate slow volume ahead
Jefferies priced the New York City Transitional Finance Authority’s $1 billion of building aid revenue bonds for institutions on Wednesday after holding a two-day retail order period. The TFA also competitively sold $75 million of taxable fixed-rate bonds.
The TFA’s tax-exempts have been receiving a warm reception from retail buyers who snapped up the bonds over the past few days. Sources said $712 million of orders were placed on the first day alone.
“The market is surprisingly stable,” said one New York trader on Wednesday morning. “There’s plenty of money around, especially in New York. While the DASNY deal did front-run the TFA deal I think they won’t get in the way of each other. It may take a bit in the aftermarkets to clean them up but at wider spreads then recent trades it will be fine.”
A New Jersey municipal trader, when asked about the TFA deal, said following a “pretty strong” order period, the institutional demand was just as robust as evidenced by the repricing.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch won the TFA’s $75.28 million of taxable Fiscal 2018 Subseries S-4B BARBs with a true interest cost of 2.56%.
Since 2008, the NYC TFA has sold over $45 billion of bonds, with the most issuance occurring in 2017 when it issued $6.5 billion of securities. Prior to this year, it sold the least amount of bonds in 2008 when the TFA issued $1.3 billion.
A New Jersey municipal trader could only use the word “quiet” to describe market activity on Wednesday morning.
“Volumes are down and there’s not much going on,” he said. “Unfortunately, it’s another day in munis.”
In the competitive arena, Clark County, Nev., sold $200 million of Series 2018 limited tax general obligation Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority convention center expansion bonds additionally secured with pledged revenues.
Morgan Stanley won the deal with a TIC of 3.9204%.
Wednesday’s bond sales
NYC TFA BARBs
Click here for the institutional pricing
Muni CUSIP requests off 30% YOY
Municipal CUSIP requests were light again in February, CUSIP Global Services said on Tuesday. The report tracks requests by issuers for bond identifiers as an early indicator of new volume.
Total municipal CUSIP requests, which include bonds, long- and short-term notes and commercial paper, were up 1.1% last month to 740 from 732 in January, but municipal bond requests were down 3.0%.
Year-over-year, total municipal CUSIP requests are off by 30%.
“Municipal bond issuance has been trending downward following the implementation of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, which repeals advanced refunding of municipal bonds,” CUSIP said in its report.
The report indicates a slowdown in new muni issuance in the first quarter of 2018.
“Pre-trade activity among corporate equity and debt issuers has shown a steady appetite for new capital creation, but the downward trend in municipal request volume cannot be ignored,” said Gerard Faulkner, CUSIP’s director of operations. “The stark contrast between what we’re seeing in corporate and municipal markets so far this year underscores the impact that the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act is having in the municipal bond market. With all other market variables being equal, muni issuers have dramatically curbed their volume relative to corporates.”
Among top state issuers, CUSIPs for scheduled public finance offerings from Texas, Illinois, and California were the most active in February.
Previous session's activity
The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board reported 41,369 trades on Tuesday on volume of $11.36 billion.
California, New York and Texas were the states with the most trades, with the Golden State taking 17.697% of the market, the Empire State taking 12.058% and Lone Star State taking 11.146%.
Bond Buyer 30-day visible supply at $8.41B
The Bond Buyer's 30-day visible supply calendar decreased $1.64 billion to $8.41 billion on Thursday. The total is comprised of $3.46 billion of competitive sales and $4.95 billion of negotiated deals.
Data appearing in this article from Municipal Bond Information Services, including the 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.