While summer sluggishness is expected to slow new high-grade issues this week, one syndicate official thinks some corporations may try to beat next week's Treasury auction.
"There's a lot of fence sitters and market timers that are waiting to come in here," he said.
A number of debt filings have been made with the Securities and Exchange Commission during the past six months, the official said, adding that a bond market with a firm tone might draw them in.
No new debt deals were noted by syndicate officials interviewed Friday.
"I think it's a summer phenomenon largely," said another syndicate desk member, who expects a quiet week. "It's a seasonal thing."
While many expect this week to be slow, some cautioned that a number of factors including interest rates may make forecasting difficult.
This week is apt to be busier than next, when the Treasury Department makes its quarterly refunding, the first syndicate official said. The week of Aug. 16 may see some better volume, provided the auction goes well.
The Treasury will announce the size of its refunding this week. Most economists expect a $38 billion package, with $16.5 billion in three-year notes, $11 billion of 10-year notes, and $10.5 billion of 30-year bonds.
As for the high-yield market, some $750 million of fresh debt is expected, led by Southern Pacific Rail's $375 million offering.
Southern Pacific is expected to offer its senior unsecured notes through Kidder, Peabody & Co.
Triangle Pacific Corp. is expected to issue $160 million of senior notes due 2003 through Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp. tomorrow or Wednesday. Price talk on that offering is 9 7/8% to 10 1/8%.
Subject to the SEC's review, Leucadia National Corp. is expected to price $100 million of senior notes through Jefferies & Co. either late this week or early next week.
F&M Distributors Inc. is expected to offer $75 million of senior subordinated notes due 2003 through Merrill Lynch & Co. in the middle of the week.
Also in junk news, Zale Corp., the country's largest retail jeweler, said it has officially emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company had been operating under Chapter 11 since January 1992, Zale said.
"We are coming out of Chapter 11 a stronger company, financially able to meet the retail challenges of the ~90s and beyond," Dean Groussman, Zale's chairman of the board, president, and chief executive officer, said in the release. "Zale is looking to the future and to strengthening our position of leadership in the jewelry industry."
Concurrent with its emergence, Zale closed on a $175 million working capital facility that the Bank of Boston arranged. It emerges from bankruptcy as a publicly traded company that is listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market.
Also Friday, the Tennessee Valley Authority announced plans to redeem on Sept. 1 its 4 3/4% power bonds 1992 Series H due 1995. Approximately $637.5 million of the bonds remain outstanding, TVA officials said. They will be redeemed at 100% of the principal amount plus accrued interest. When TVA issued the bonds last September. the original size was $1 billion. The agency tendered for the difference in March.
Chemical Banking Corp. also on Friday announced plans to redeem debt. The corporation will redeem several long-term debt issues totaling about $173 million on Sept. 1. The issues will be redeemed at the redemption price plus any accrued interest to the redemption date.
Chemical will redeem its $56 million of 8 1/4% debentures due 2002 at 101.54% of the principal amount; its $53.6 million of 8 1/8% sinking fund debentures due Aug. 15, 2007, at 102.70%; its $38.5 million of 8 1/8% sinking fund debentures due March 1, 2004, at 101.77%; and its $24.9 million of 8.40% debentures due April 15, 1999, at 100.42%.
In secondary trading Friday, spreads on high-grade bonds ended unchanged. High-yield bonds were also quiet in light trading.
Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. issued $250 million of debentures due 1994 at par. The debentures float weekly for the first six months at 12.5 basis points over three-month Treasuries. The debentures then yield a fixed rate of 3.47%. Goldman, Sachs & Co. was sole manager of the offering.
Wachovia Bank issued $175 million of 4.3% bank notes due 1995. The notes were priced initially at par to yield 17 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Moody's Investors Service rates the offering Aa2, while Standard & Poor's Corp. rates it AA-plus. Goldman Sachs was sole manager of the offering.
Dayton Hudson issued $100 million of 7.650% debentures due 2023 at par. Noncallable for 10 years, the notes were priced to yield 109 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Moody's rates the offering A3, while Standard & Poor's rates it A. Goldman Sachs was lead manager of the offering.
Colonial National Bank issued $50 million of 7% subordinated note due 2003. The noncallable notes were priced at 99.206 to yield 7.112% or 130 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Moody's rates the offering Baa3, while Standard & Poor's rates it BBB-minus. First Boston Corp. managed the offering.