Underwriters lowered yields as much as 10 basis points on $248 million Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority refunding bonds yesterday, reporting the issue oversubscribed, while secondary prices meandered in a tight range.
A group led by Bear, Stearns & Co. tentatively priced and repriced the Tribes to lower yields five to 10 basis points in the serial portion of the loan. Term bond yields were lowered two to five basis points.
Bear, Stearns officials said that institutions, including bond funds and some casualty companies, were the major buyers of the loan.
In addition, bond guarantors have qualified the issue for secondary market enhancement, and dealers were interested in using insurance in the secondary to satisfy demand from both in-state insured mutual funds and retail accounts, according to insurance officials.
Due to legal considerations, the authority close to forego new-issue insurance. Officials at the major insurers, meanwhile, reported a heavy round of inquiries from syndicate members. No actual secondary insurance was completed by late yesterday, but a significant number of transactions were expected today.
"There is very nice potential for secondary business," said one insurance executive. "It's parity debt; bonds will definitely be done secondarily."
The final terms included serials priced at par to yield from 5.20% in 1993 to 6.90% in 2007. A 2008 serial maturity, containing $24 million of the loan, was not formally reoffered to investors.
A 2010 term, containing $53 million of the loan, is priced at par to yield 7.10% and a 2015 term, containing $159 million of the loan, is priced to yield 7.04%.
The bonds are rated A1 by Moody's Investors Service and A-minus by Standard & Poor's Corp.
"We're very pleased with the market reception," a Bear, Stearns officer said. "By accessing the market and taking advantage of the current market situation we've set a new and very positive tone for New York issuers in general."
The new issue, which features an improved, two-pronged revenue stream, refunds the Authority's approximately $591 million in outstanding mortgage recording tax special obligation bonds.
In other action, First Boston Corp. as senior manager lowered serial yields 10 basis points, raised term yields two to five basis points, and raised capital appreciation bond yields five to 10 basis points on $110 million Colorado Housing and Finance Authority single-family housing revenue refunding bonds.
The final terms included serials priced to yield from 5.30% in 1993 to 6.30% in 2000.
A 2013 term is priced to yield 7.15% and a 2031 term, containing $68 million of the loan, is priced to yield 7.25%.
There are also capital appreciation bonds priced to yield from 6.70% in 2001 to 7% in 2006.
The issue is rated Aa by Moody's Investors Service and AA-minus by Standard & Poor's Corp.
In secondary market activity, prices are on hold while the market waits for a much anticipated ease in monetary policy by the Federal Reserve.
Traders were looking for a cut in the discount rate yesterday after Friday's weak employment data, but the session passed with no apparent Fed action.
Traders reported some business yesterday, but activity is likely to be limited at least until Friday's retail sales data are released.
In the debt futures market, the December contract rose as high as 6/32 on the day, but settled up only 2/32 to 93.08 with the December MOB spread calculated at negative 148.
"It faded a little bit as we wait to see what the Fed actually does," one New York trader said. "It's supposed to ease in here and it feels like it's 1/8 point away from a bunch of stuff trading."
In secondary dollar bond trading, New Jersey Turnpike Authority 6.90s of 2014 were quoted near the end of trading at 99 1/2-5/8 to yield 6.93%. New York LGAC 7s of 2016 were quoted at 98-1/2 to yield 7.12%. Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority 7s of 2021 were quoted at 99 1/2-3/4, where they returned 7.01%. And Colorado River Authority insured 65/8s of 2021 were quoted at 97 3/8-5/8 to yield 6.81%.
Yields were mostly unchanged in the short-term note sector as the market faces upcoming supply.
In late secondary trading, Los Angeles Transportation Authority notes were quoted at 4.75% bid, 4.70% offered as were New Jersey Trans. March California notes were quoted at 4.70% bid, 4.65% offered, while June Trans were quoted at 4.75% bid, 4.70% offered.
Looking ahead, several traders speculated that there would be strong investor demand for several large issues, including $1.4 billion Pennsylvania tax anticipation notes to be priced competitively later this week.
An issue of $89 million Gwinnet County Water and Sewerage Authority certificates of participation was tentatively priced by Merrill Lynch & Co. as senior manager.
The offering included serial maturities tentatively priced to yield from 4.90% in 1992 to 6.60% in 2003.
The bonds are rated double-A by both Moody's and Standard & Poor's.
A group led by John Nuveen & Co. tentatively priced and repriced $73 million California Health Facilities Financing Authority insured hospital revenue bonds for the Adventist Health System/West to lower yields five to 10 basis points from 1992 to 1997.
The final terms included serial bonds priced to yield from 4.65% in 1992 to 6.60% in 2003.
There are term bonds offered at an original issue discount: A 2007 term yields 6.70%; a 2011 term yields 6.75%; a 2014 term yields 6.75%, and a 2021 term yields 6.70%.
The bonds are MBIA insured and triple-A rated by both Moody's and Standard & Poor's Corp.
An issue of $47 million Fort Pierce, Fla., Utilities Authority refunding revenue bonds was priced by Merrill Lynch Capital Markets.
The offering included serials tentatively priced to yield from 4.60% in 1992 to 6.70% in 2008.
A 2013 term bond is tentatively priced to yield 6.80% and a 2016 term is tentatively priced to yield 6.80%.
There also was $4 million capital appreciation bonds tentatively priced to yield 6.85% in 2009 and 2010.
The bonds are AMBAC-insured and triple-A rated by both Moody's and Standard & Poor's.
Lehman Brothers as senior manager tentatively priced and repriced $41 million Charter County of Wayne, Michigan airport revenue bonds for the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport to lower the 2021 term yield by five basis points.
The issue was priced to yield from 5.50% in 1994 to 6.90% in 2007. A 2011 term was priced to yield 6.95% and a 2021 term, containing $24 million of the loan, was priced to yield 6.999%.
The bonds are MBIA-insured and triple-A rated by both Moody's and Standard & Poor's.