DALLAS — The largest issue of tax and revenue anticipation notes by Texas in four years tops this week’s docket.
The state plans to competitively offer $6.4 billion of Series 2008 Trans Tuesday. RBC Capital Markets is the financial adviser while Vinson & Elkins LLP serves as bond counsel.
Texas sells notes annually to cover cash-flow gaps due to uneven revenue collections. New property-tax levies for school districts enacted by the Legislature two years ago contributed to a lower unrestricted general fund balance for fiscal 2008 ending Aug. 31 leading to the increased notes issuance. Last year’s sale was for $4.9 billion. This week’s sale is the largest since the state issued $6.6 billion of Trans in 2004. The amount peaked a year earlier with $7.4 billion and ebbed to $4.6 billion in 2006.
The state received the highest short-term debt ratings for the sale from all three major agencies.
Standard & Poor’s assigned its SP-1-plus rating, Fitch Ratings assigned its F-1-plus, and Moody’s Investors Service rates the debt at MIG 1.
Moody’s analysts said the rating reflects the state’s “projection of sufficient ending-cash balances and ample alternative liquidity.”
Fitch cited the state’s “excellent record of cash management” and conservative revenue estimates as credit strengths reflected in the rating.
Bexar County Hospital District is coming to market with its first tax-supported debt in 43 years with today’s negotiated sale of $274.1 million of combination tax and revenue certificates of obligation.
Merrill Lynch & Co. leads the underwriting team that includes Coastal Securities Inc., JPMorgan, Southwestern Capital Markets Inc., Siebert Brandford Shank & Co., and Wachovia Bank NA.
The district’s co-bond counsels are Fulbright & Jaworski LLP and the Law Offices of William T. Avila PC. Co-financial advisers are First Southwest Co. and Estrada Hinojosa & Co.
This is first issue from a $751.2 million debt program to help finance a $900 million expansion and renovation at medical facilities operated by the district’s University Health System. The district plans to issue $268.7 million of debt, possibly general obligation bonds, next year and $208.4 million in 2011.
The hospital district has no debt outstanding and has financed $130 million of capital projects over the past four years from available resources.
The district provides medical and hospital care to a 22-county service area in central and south Texas with a population of more than two million. The main service area of Bexar County includes San Antonio. The certificates carry underlying ratings of Aa2 from Moody’s, AA from Standard & Poor’s, and AA-plus from Fitch.
The Harris County Cultural Education Facilities Finance Corp. has a sale of $255 million of hospital revenue refunding bonds on tap Wednesday to take out some auction-rate debt and eliminate debt backed by Ambac Assurance Co. issued on behalf of Baylor College of Medicine in downtown Houston.
The conduit issuer plans to offer $200 million of refunding bonds to fix out Series 1998 and Series 2005 bonds and $55 million of variable-rate debt enhanced through letters of credit to refund Series 2005 bonds.
Standard & Poor’s assigned an A rating to the sale.
First Southwest is financial adviser to the district and Fulbright & Jaworski is bond counsel. Citi is lead manager for the negotiated sale.
Aldine Independent School District tops the list of about 10 Lone Star state school districts planning to sell bonds this week backed by the state’s triple-A rated Permanent School Fund.
The suburban district north of Houston is bringing $100 million of unlimited-tax school building bonds to market at some point this week through a negotiated issue.
This is the second slice of a $365 million bond package approved by voters in May 2007 for four new early childhood centers, two elementary schools, two intermediate schools, two middle schools, one ninth grade school and one high school. Officials project a total enrollment of more than 63,000 by 2010 with 80 campuses by 2013. The district currently has about 60,200 students attending class in 68 facilities.
Other school districts expected to offer PSF-backed bonds this week are:
• Beaumont Independent School District with $65 million of school building bonds.
• McKinney Independent School District with $49.7 million of school building unlimited tax bonds.
• Hitchcock Independent School District with $42.8 million of school building and refunding bonds.
• Manor Independent School District with $25 million of school building bonds.
• Franklin Independent School District with $24.8 million of GO bonds in two series.
• Montgomery Independent School District with about $23.4 million of school building bonds.
• Paris Independent School District with $12 million of school building bonds.
• Robert Lee Independent School District with $9.5 million of school building bonds.
• Millsap Independent School District with $2.4 million of school building bonds.