As the municipal market closes the book on the first half of 2008 and prepares for the start of the summer reinvestment season tomorrow, activity in the primary market will slow as underwriters, investors, and issuers cut the week short ahead of Friday's July 4th holiday.
Investors who are expecting proceeds from July 1 coupon payments, or maturing or called bonds will have little to choose from this week as volume is estimated at just $1.67 billion, according to Thomson Reuters. That pales in comparison to last week when a revised $10.24 billion made its way to market.
The only hefty pre-holiday deal planned for this week is a $518.3 million negotiated offering from the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York being priced by JPMorgan for mom and pop investors today, and for institutions tomorrow.
The deal is structured with five series of mental health improvement revenue bonds and is expected to carry ratings of AA-minus from Standard & Poor's and A-plus from Fitch Ratings.
Series 2008 A to B mature from 2009 to 2028 with term bonds in 2033 and 2038, while Series D and E, which are refundings, mature from 2009 to 2019. Only Series 2008C, which totals $38.4 million, is subject to the alternative minimum tax, and matures from 2009 to 2018 with term bonds in 2028 and 2033.
One of the only other somewhat sizable deals planned this week include a $155.2 million sale of redevelopment and refunding bonds from Oregon that is slated for pricing tomorrow by Banc of America Securities LLC.
Maturing serially from 2009 to 2019, the tax-exempt and taxable deal is expected to carry a Aa3 rating from Moody's Investors Service.
Elsewhere in the Far West region, the West Contra Costa, Calif., Unified School District is planning to sell $120 million of general obligation bonds tomorrow in the competitive market. The bonds, which mature from 2009 to 2035 and are payable from ad-valorem taxes, are rated A2 by Moody's and A-minus by Standard & Poor's and Fitch.
Proceeds from the California school deal will finance several projects, including school facility repairs, improvements to classroom safety and technology, and relieving overcrowding.
In the short-term market, investors will also notice a temporary lull in the summer note season, as issuers postpone deals until after the long, three-day holiday weekend. Last week, a trio of note offerings from Wisconsin, Oregon, and Colorado with a combined total of nearly $2 billion shared the primary spotlight along with a $1.5 billion California GO sale in the long-term market.
The California deal was priced with a final 2038 term bond that carried a 5 1/4% coupon and was priced to yield 5.30% - 21 basis points higher than the generic, triple-A GO scale published by Municipal Market Data at the time of the pricing last Wednesday.
The California GO bonds are rated A1 by Moody's and A-plus by Standard & Poor's and Fitch.