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Fri, Jul. 11, 1:59 AM
- U.S. municipal bond funds had some of the biggest outflows since January, after investors pulled out $790M in the week ended July 9. $691M of the outflows was in the high-yield sector, being withdrawn due to default concerns of Puerto Rican debt.
- Adding to the worries is Puerto Rico's newest law which allows for public corporations to restructure their debt. The new law pushed ratings agencies last week to downgrade the commonwealth's bonds even lower within junk territory.
- Barclays High Yield Municipal Bond Index, up more than 9.5% in mid-June, was up less than 5.5% this past Wednesday.
- ETFs: MUB, HYD, BAB, PZA, MUNI, TFI, HYMB, ITM, MLN, SHM, CMF, XMPT, BABZ, BABS, PRB, SHYD, SMB, NYF, PZT, SUB, PWZ, CXA, PVI, SMMU, INY, MUAF, VRD, MUAD, MUAE, GMMB, MUAC, MUAG, RVNU, MUAH, FMB
Mon, Jul. 7, 1:45 PM
- As detailed in a recent regulatory filing, Invesco Powershares will update the names and underlying indexes for 3 of its 4 municipal bond ETFs on July 8th.
- The PowerShares Insured California Municipal Bond Portfolio (PWZ) will be renamed to the PowerShares California AMT-Free Municipal Bond Portfolio and will start tracking the BofA Merrill Lynch California Long-Term Core Plus Municipal Securities Index.
- The PowerShares Insured National Municipal Bond Portfolio (PZA) will be renamed to the PowerShares National AMT-Free Municipal Bond Portfolio and will start tracking the BofA Merrill Lynch National Long-Term Core Plus Municipal Securities Index.
- The PowerShares Insured New York Municipal Bond Portfolio (PZT) will be renamed to the PowerShares New York AMT-Free Municipal Bond Portfolio and will start tracking the BofA Merrill Lynch New York Long-Term Core Plus Municipal Securities Index.
- Other CA, NY and national municipal bond ETFs: PZT, NYF, INY, MUB, PZA, TFI, CMF, XMPT, PRB, PWZ, CXA, PVI, VRD, RVNU, FMB
Mon, Jun. 16, 3:21 PM
- Moody's boosts New York's credit rating by a notch to Aa1 with stable outlook from Aa2 with positive, reflecting "sustained improvements in fiscal governance, the strength of the recent economic recovery, a strong financial position reflected in improved reserves, and reduced spending growth in line with growth in the state’s economic capacity."
- "The stable outlook reflects our expectation that the state will preserve and improve upon the gains it has made in governance and its financial position."
- ETFs: MUB, PZA, TFI, XMPT, PRB, NYF, PZT, PVI, INY, VRD, RVNU, FMB
Tue, Jun. 3, 3:33 PM
- Issuers have scheduled $11.7B of long-term sales over the next month - the busiest pace in three months - and it's a good thing as investors are about to get the most cash ($104B) in two years from June through August from debt payments, according to JPMorgan's Peter DeGroot.
- The funds received will exceed issuance by about $23B over those months, according to DeGroot, helping to extend munis' best first half rally since 2009.
- ETFs: MUB, HYD, BAB, PZA, MUNI, TFI, ITM, HYMB, MLN, CMF, SHM, BABZ, BABS, XMPT, PRB, SHYD, SUB, SMB, NYF, PZT, CXA, PWZ, PVI, SMMU, INY, MUAF, VRD, MUAD, MUAE, GMMB, MUAC, MUAG, RVNU, MUAH, FMB
Fri, May. 30, 2:47 AM
- Municipal-bond prices have soared so far in 2014, compared to the same time one year ago. 2013 was the markets worst year in almost two decades, after registering losses nationwide - ranging from Detroit's municipal bankruptcy-protection filing to pension costs in Illinois.
- The revival of the $3.7T municipal-bond market comes as bond buyers attempt to find higher investment returns amid dropping U.S. interest rates.
- Investors have also poured $3.1B into municipal-bond mutual funds this year, compared with $2.9Bn over the same period in 2013.
- Municipal bonds have returned 5.8% in 2014, reflecting interest payments and price appreciation.
- Yields on municipal debt fell to 2.3% this past Wednesday, which was their lowest in almost a year. Yields fall when prices rise.
- ETFs: MUB, HYD, BAB, PZA, MUNI, TFI, ITM, HYMB, MLN, CMF, SHM, BABZ, BABS, XMPT, PRB, SHYD, SUB, SMB, NYF, PZT, CXA, PWZ, PVI, SMMU, INY, MUAF, MUAD, VRD, MUAE, MUAG, MUAC, GMMB, FMB, RVNU, MUAH
Fri, May. 23, 10:52 AM
- 2013 produced the slowest annual rate of municipal debt growth in 20 years, says Moody's, which expects the trend to continue this year. The trend "reflects a new conservative attitude toward debt among the states," says analyst Kimberly Lyons.
- The slow pace of borrowing led to a decline in net-tax support debt (NTSD) per capita to $1,054 from $1,074 in 2012.
- In other news, municipal bond funds posted their third straight week of big inflows, adding $664M in the week ended on Wednesday (previous weeks saw $616M and $943M of inflows).
- ETFs: MUB, HYD, BAB, PZA, MUNI, TFI, ITM, HYMB, MLN, CMF, SHM, BABZ, BABS, XMPT, PRB, SHYD, SUB, NYF, SMB, PZT, CXA, PWZ, PVI, SMMU, INY, MUAF, MUAD, VRD, MUAE, MUAG, MUAC, GMMB, MUAH, RVNU, FMB
Thu, May. 15, 4:04 PM
- “A lot of the opportunities have been washed away in the last month and a half,” says BNY Mellon fixed income director John Flahive. “There really isn’t much out there.”
- The muni market is ahead 6.2% YTD, its strongest start since 2009, and benchmark 10-year muni yields have dipped to 2.29%. At work is the general rally in fixed income coupled with a decline in issuance.
- The fund has about $961M in assets vs. an original target size of $1B, and has beaten 83% of peers over the past five years.
- Muni ETFs: MUB, HYD, BAB, PZA, MUNI, TFI, ITM, HYMB, MLN, CMF, SHM, BABZ, BABS, XMPT, PRB, SUB, NYF, SHYD, SMB, PZT, CXA, PWZ, PVI, SMMU, INY, MUAF, MUAE, MUAD, VRD, GMMB, MUAC, MUAG, MUAH, RVNU
Sun, Apr. 27, 3:47 AM
- Detroit has filed the latest version of its debt-reduction proposal after it forged a deal with representatives of tens of thousands of retired city workers.
- Detroit has agreed to ease healthcare and pension cuts, although retirees will still only receive 10-13% of what they would have originally been given for healthcare.
- The deal "puts the city that much closer to emerging from bankruptcy solvent, more credit worthy and better able to provide basic services to its nearly 700,000 residents," said Emergency Manager Kevin Orr.
- The agreement adds to those that Detroit has formulated with several banks, bond insurers and other retiree groups, boosting the chances of the city receiving approval from its creditors for its restructuring plan. However, some bond insurers and unions still haven't come to an agreement with Detroit.
- A vote on the debt restructure could start next month.
- More on Detroit
Fri, Apr. 11, 12:33 PM
- A two-week streak of outflows is broken as investors put a net $273M into municipal bond funds and ETFs last week, according to Lipper data. The funds have seen inflows for 7 of the past 9 weeks, but they've been small and choppy, averaging just $21.9M over the last month.
- RBC's Chris Mauro notes the typical late March/early April seasonal tax-time weakness is passing, and this week's inflows - like previous - have been nearly entirely concentrated in high-yield muni funds, with recorded their 14th consecutive week of net gains in assets.
- ETFs: MUB, HYD, BAB, PZA, MUNI, TFI, ITM, HYMB, MLN, CMF, SHM, BABZ, BABS, XMPT, PRB, SUB, SMB, PZT, NYF, SHYD, CXA, PWZ, PVI, SMMU, INY, MUAF, MUAE, MUAD, VRD, MUAC, MUAG, MUAH, GMMB, RVNU
Wed, Apr. 9, 11:44 AM
- The agreement with Assured Guaranty (AGO +2.2%), Ambac (AMBC +1.2%), and National Public Finance (MBI +1.8%) is an important one as - in what would have been a precedent-setting move - Detroit had asked a court to treat its general-obligation debt as unsecured and allow a recovery of just a few cents on the dollar, while treating debt owed to pensions
- Instead, $287.5M of $388M of debt in question will be reinstated at par, and the remaining paper will be assigned to establishing an income stabilization fund for the city's "most vulnerable retirees."
Tue, Apr. 8, 9:46 PM
- An agreement between Detroit and bond insurers Assured Guaranty (AGO), Ambac (AMBC), and National Public Finance Guaranty (MBI) would be a critical step as the city winds its way through Chapter 9 bankruptcy. Detroit emergency manager Kevin Orr has deemed about $410M of previously sacrosanct general-obligation debt as unsecured, a decision bond insurers - who would be on the hook for millions if the paper sees just the 15% recovery Orr has proposed - are howling about.
- "Time is growing shorter," said Michigan Governor Rick Snyder in an interview today. "A lot of work is going on in the mediation process, with great urgency ... [the] best case" is for parties to reach a settlement. A deal, says the Journal, could be struck as early as tomorrow.
- Muni ETFs: MUB, HYD, BAB, PZA, MUNI, TFI, ITM, HYMB, MLN, CMF, SHM, BABZ, BABS, XMPT, PRB, SUB, PZT, SMB, NYF, SHYD, CXA, PWZ, PVI, SMMU, INY, MUAF, MUAE, MUAD, VRD, MUAC, MUAG, MUAH, GMMB, RVNU
- Also watching with interest: Syncora Holdings (SYCRF).
Tue, Apr. 8, 4:36 AM
- Puerto Rico has hired restructuring lawyers from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, prompting speculation that the commonwealth is about to revamp its $70B of debt. Puerto Rico wouldn't be drawn on what the law firm's specific role would be.
- Cleary has represented a who's who of debt-laden countries, including Greece, Iceland and Argentina.
- News of the hiring comes after Puerto Rico raised $3.5B in high-yield municipal bonds last month.
- Related ETFs: MUB, HYD, BAB, PZA, MUNI, TFI, ITM, HYMB, MLN, CMF, SHM, BABZ, BABS, XMPT, SUB, NYF, PRB, PZT, SMB, CXA, SHYD, PWZ, PVI, SMMU, MUAF, INY, MUAE, MUAD, MUAC, VRD, MUAG, GMMB, MUAH, RVNU
Mon, Mar. 31, 11:27 AM
- So far defying predictions for a second straight year of losses, municipals are ahead 3.6% YTD, their best start to the year sine 2009's 4.4% advance.
- Supply remains tight, says fund manager Guy Davidson, but the big surprise has been stronger-than-expected demand. "Yields are still low by historical standards, and people are scratching their heads trying to figure out where to go now.”
- This quarter's big gains come even as munis lost a bit of value in March, but a BAML study shows municipal paper rebounding in April 11 of the 15 times since 1989 when March has been in the red. There may be good reason for this: March tends to be a big month for issuance, 2nd only to June. Localities issued $27B this month, about double that of February.
- ETFs: MUB, HYD, BAB, PZA, MUNI, TFI, ITM, HYMB, MLN, CMF, SHM, BABZ, XMPT, BABS, SUB, PRB, NYF, SMB, PZT, SHYD, CXA, PWZ, PVI, SMMU, INY, MUAF, MUAE, MUAD, VRD, MUAC, MUAG, GMMB, MUAH, RVNU
Thu, Mar. 20, 3:24 PM
- "Investing in fixed income today is almost the opposite of what it was one year ago," says BlackRock's Rick Rieder, believing those sectors which performed poorly last year will do well in 2014. As such, he sees the best value in long-dated munis and long-dated TIPs, and wants to avoid the belly of the curve - 3 to 7 years.
- He gives Janet Yellen good grades for her performance yesterday, saying she's merely acting appropriately to changing economic conditions. The "dots" are "a survey, not policy," says Rieder, but nevertheless, the markets quickly priced to them.
- ETFs: TIP, MUB, IEF, HYD, PST, BAB, PZA, MUNI, VTIP, IEI, IPE, TFI, SCHP, TYO, DTYS, LTPZ, STPZ, ITM, HYMB, TIPZ, UST, MLN, CMF, TBX, STIP, VGIT, SHM, BABZ, XMPT, BABS, SUB, PRB, GSY, NYF, PZT, SMB, SCHR, DTYL, ITE, CXA, SHYD, TYD, PWZ, TPS, FIVZ, PVI, DFVL, TDTT, TBZ, SMMU, INY, MUAF, TIPX, TDTF, DFVS, VRD, MUAG, MUAD, MUAE, TYNS, MUAC, GMMB, MUAH, RVNU, SIPE
Fri, Mar. 14, 3:01 PM
- "The removal of the ratings from CreditWatch reflects Puerto Rico's successful sale this week of $3.5 billion of GO term bonds with an 8.0% coupon and an effective yield of 8.73%," says S&P's David Hitchcock. "In our opinion, the sale will relieve near-term liquidity pressure on the commonwealth."
- The agency affirms the island's BB+ rating with negative outlook.
- Muni ETFs: MUB, HYD, BAB, PZA, MUNI, TFI, ITM, HYMB, MLN, CMF, SHM, BABZ, XMPT, BABS, SUB, PRB, NYF, PZT, SMB, CXA, SHYD, PWZ, PVI, SMMU, INY, MUAF, MUAE, MUAD, MUAC, VRD, MUAG, GMMB, MUAH, RVNU
Wed, Mar. 12, 3:29 AM
- Puerto Rico has sold $3.5B in tax-free bonds, above the $3B that the Commonwealth planned to sell, with the high yield of 8.727% helping to attract $16B in orders from 270 investors despite the risks - the government has been grappling with existing debt of $70B.
- The new paper will mature in 2035 and provides Puerto Rico with up to a year-and-a-half of liquidity.
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