Tags: California | Bonds | Sold | muni

California Shops $1.55 Billion in Bonds With Half Already Sold

Monday, 24 Sep 2012 07:33 AM


California is set to offer individual investors a piece of $1.55 billion of tax-exempt bonds again today after taking orders for half of the debt, with a preliminary yield of 2.51 percent on 10-year securities.

Today is the second day the state gives individuals a chance to buy before institutions such as mutual funds wrap up the sale tomorrow. On Sept. 21, the state took orders for $809 million of the bonds, or about 52 percent, said Tom Dresslar, a spokesman for California Treasurer Bill Lockyer.

The bonds offer 0.73 percentage point more yield than top- rated debt maturing in 10 years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s down from 0.84 percentage point on bonds with similar maturities sold in April. Thirty-year bonds were offered at 3.75 percent, or 0.86 percentage point above AAA securities.

“This is an excellent result so far,” Dresslar said in a statement. “California GOs continue to perform well because the market recognizes the substantial strides we have made toward greater fiscal stability.”

California is selling $1 billion of general obligations for public-works projects and $550 million to refund debt. With another $500 million slated for market in October, Lockyer plans to offer about $5.3 billion this year, about a quarter of the state’s sales in 2009.

California’s economy is bigger than India’s, ranking ninth in the world as measured by gross domestic product, according to the state Finance Department. Its bonds have returned 6.6 percent in 2012, beating all but three states and the 5.7 percent gain for the broader $3.7 trillion muni market, according to Standard & Poor’s data.

S&P rates California A-, its seventh-lowest investment level and the worst grade it gives any state.

The yield on benchmark tax-free debt due in 10 years was 1.78 percent Sept. 21, according to a Bloomberg Valuation index. The interest rate set a record low of 1.63 percent in July.

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