Best Quarter EVER- Investment Grade Corporate Debt Issuance; Mischler DCM Comment
March 31, 2017   //   by Mischler MarCom   //   Debt Market Commentary  

Quigley’s Corner 03.30.17 – Top Ranked Quarter Ever for US IG Corp Issuance

 

Investment Grade New Issue Re-Cap – Q1 2017 Finishes as the #1 Ranked Quarter for IG Corporate-only and All-In IG Issuance.

On This Week’s Hawkish Fed-Speak

Point Counter-Point

IG Primary & Secondary Market Talking Points

Global Market Recap

NICs, Bid-to-Covers, Tenors, Sizes and Average Spread Compression from IPTs thru Launches

Syndicate IG Corporate-only Volume Estimates for This Week and March

New Issues Priced

Indexes and New Issue Volume

Lipper Report/Fund Flows – Week ending March 22nd

IG Credit Spreads by Rating

IG Credit Spreads by Industry

New Issue Pipeline

M&A Pipeline

Economic Data Releases

Rates Trading Lab

Tomorrow’s Calendar

 

6 IG Corporate issuers tapped the IG dollar DCM today pricing 12 tranches between them totaling $6.00b.  There was no activity from the SSA space.

 

  • “CHTR” (Ba1/BBB-/BBB-) rated 144a/REGS 30-year Senior Secured Notes new issue due 5/01/2047.  The deal was upsized to $1.25b from $750mm at the launch and at the tightest side of guidance. (Mischler served as passive co-manager)
  • CCO Holdings LLC/Capital Corp. (Charter Communications) High Yield-rated (B1/BB+/BB+) 144a/REGS tap of its 5.125% 10-year Senior Notes due 5/01/2027.  We thank the issuer for our inclusion. (Mischler served as passive co-manager)
  • The IG Corporate only WTD total is now over 83% of the syndicate midpoint average forecast or $22.15b vs. $26.50b.
  • MTD, we are now more than 13% above the IG Corporate mid-range syndicate projection for all of March or $129.998b vs. $114.31b. (scroll to the table below).
  • The all-in MTD total (IG Corporates plus SSA) now stands at $166.158b. March, 2017 has officially broken into 8th place as the highest volume month for all-in issuance (IG Corporates plus SSA).
  • The YTD IG Corporate only volume is now $393.085b. It is the highest quarterly volume total in history.
  • YTD we have officially priced $506.151b in all-in IG Corporate and SSA issuance also ranking it #1 as the highest quarterly volume total ever.

 

On This Week’s Hawkish Fed-Speak

 

Today, crude oil hit a 3-week high, gold slipped, equity markets were all in the black and U.S. Treasury yields compressed while the dollar strengthened.  Most all of that reflects the fluctuations of our fluid daily market gyrations.  Net, net, though it was a good day.  However, what garnered all the attention today – as it did all week – was the sudden overwhelmingly hawkish Fed-speak from just about every Fed member.  Yesterday, Boston FRB President Eric Rosengren said a rate increase at every other FOMC meeting this year “could and should be the committee’s default unless data change.” There are eight meetings left this year implying four additional rate hikes. He also said, four hikes in 2017 would be gradual but “more regular.” The market, however, is expecting 2.5 at the most!  The Fed is a laggard; the market is always accelerated.  Europe, meanwhile is worrying that its recent tiny monetary adjustments have investors concerned of a rate rise for still suffering laggard peripheral EU member economy’s.  They are clearly not home free by any stretch of the imagination. ……..and we do live in an inextricably global-linked world economy.

So, now let’s link all that to today’s major talking points from statements made by the Fed’s William Dudley –

 

  • Dudley says, “growth and inflation risks may be shifting to the upside.”
  • He is more confident that inflation is settling near its goal, medium-term.
  • “Forward-looking data points to further job-market gains.”
  • Calls job gains “sturdy” and labor market slack “diminishing.”
  • Says the Federal Reserve is not “removing the punch bowl, yet.”
  • Comments that the “economic outlook abroad also appears brighter.”
  • The Fed shouldn’t overreact to every “wiggle” in markets.
  • Fed cares about financial condition effects on the economy.
  • Fiscal policy is likely to shift in time to more stimulus.
  • Favors tapering reinvestments instead of an abrupt end to them

 

Point Counter-Point

The takeaway is that Fed-speak is clearly very hawkish.  That pervasive sentiment among FOMC members gives reason to pause.  Here is the point counterpoint of all this –

Several times I re-printed the following comment from a six-pack bulge bracket U.S. bank Chairman.  I also pointed out the banker is either from BAML, CITI, GS, JPM, MS or WFS.  I will always preserve anonymity folks. To clarify, no one person has tomorrow’s news today, BUT this person has a firm grip on what IS going on in the world and a track record that’s perhaps second to none. Here’s a re-print of what the Chairman said in the “QC” dated Friday, March 3rd, 12 days in advance of the most recent FOMC Rate Decision,

“Everyone is thinking a rate hike is coming in March but, the FED needs to be somewhat worried about the yield curve.  When they raised rates in December 2015 the 10yr Treasury rallied 70 bps in yield, thus crushing banks’ net interest margin or “NIM” and, having the effect of dampening growth.  When they raised rates this past December 2016, that did not happen…..instead all rates moved up a bit.  But when Yellen talked about March being a “live meeting’’, the UST 10 year went from 2.56% to 2.31%……The Fed needs to talk a good game to dampen the “animal spirits” that have elevated equity markets but, I really don’t think the Fed wants to raise rates and see the 10 year Treasury move to 2.25%. As a result, it’s a very close call…..I err on the side of thinking that the rate hike comes in June.  But, it’s  close.  If the Fed is committed to 2 to 3 hikes this year and they feel the markets are fully prepared for a March hike…they may just take advantage of that window.”

It seems that this week the historically lagging Fed is clearly attempting to talk up U.S. Treasury yields because they KNOW the CT10-year yield is going to go down…..down…..down much like it did in 2015, though perhaps not as dramatically.  Therefore, take what you are hearing with a massive grain of salt.  The market is priming itself for issuance.  As yields fall, and deals are well-priced, investor appetite remains voracious for better rated IG corporate credits.  There should be a robust amount of issuance ahead of black-outs as we head toward the Easter break.  The opportunities are creating themselves in here and the Fed doesn’t like what it sees from their prior December 2015 experience.  That’s why they ARE talking up yields.  It’s also why yields WILL contract.  The inference is clear – the Fed talks the talk but they will not walk the walk. And that’s how it is folks.

 

IG Primary & Secondary Market Talking Points

 

  • The average spread from IPTs and/or guidance thru the launch/final pricing of today’s 12 IG Corporate-only new issues was <17.67> bps.
  • BAML’s IG Master Index was unchanged at +122.  +106 represents the post-Crisis low dating back to July 2007.
  • Bloomberg/Barclays US IG Corporate Bond Index OAS was unchanged at 1.17.
  • Standard & Poor’s Investment Grade Composite Spread was unchanged at +164.  The +140 reached on July 30th 2014 represents the post-Crisis low.
  • Investment grade corporate bond trading posted a final Trace count of $20.7b on Wednesday versus $18.4b on Tuesday and $19.2b the previous Wednesday.
  • The 10-DMA stands at $17.3b.

 

Global Market Recap

 

  • U.S. Treasuries – Down day for USTs led by the 30yr for a host of reasons.
  • Overseas Bonds – JGB’s closed down. Mixed session in Europe.
  • Stocks – Solid gains heading into the close.
  • Overseas Stocks – Weak session in Asia. Europe closed with gains.
  • Economic – Personal consumption moved higher. Inflation data inched higher.
  • Overseas Economic – German CPI lower than expected/last. Big global calendar tomorrow.
  • Currencies – USD mixed vs. the Big 5 but a solid rally for the DXY Index.
  • Commodities – Good day for crude oil (back over 50) & bad day for gold.
  • CDX IG: -0.92 to 66.86
  • CDX HY: -4.28 to 337.98
  • CDX EM: -2.73 to 209.24

*CDX levels are as of 3:30PM ET today.

-Tony Farren

 

Syndicate IG Corporate-only Volume Estimates for This Week and March

 

IG Corporate New Issuance This Week
3/27-3/31
vs. Current
WTD – $22.15b
March 2017
Forecasts
vs. Current
MTD – $129.998b
Low-End Avg. $25.25b 87.72% $113.79b 114.24%
Midpoint Avg. $26.50b 83.58% $114.31b 113.72%
High-End Avg. $27.75b 79.82% $114.83b 113.21%
The Low $15b 147.67% $80b 162.50%
The High $31b 71.45% $140b 92.86

 
Below please find my synopsis of everything Syndicate and Secondary from today’s debt capital markets, including the investment grade corporate bond data drill down as seen from my seat here in Syndicate, Sales and DCM.

Have a great evening!
Ron Quigley, Managing Director and Head of Fixed Income Syndicate

 

NICs, Bid-to-Covers, Tenors, Sizes and Average Spread Compression from IPTs thru Launches

 

Here’s a review of this week’s five key primary market driver averages for IG Corporates only through Wednesday’s session followed by the averages over the prior six weeks:

KEY IG CORPORATE
NEW ISSUE DRIVERS
MON.
3/27
TUES.
3/28
WED.
3/29
AVERAGES
WEEK 3/20
AVERAGES
WEEK 3/13
AVERAGES
WEEK 3/06
AVERAGES
WEEK 2/27
AVERAGES
WEEK 2/20
AVERAGES
WEEK 2/13
New Issue Concessions 0.00 bps/flat 2.60 bps 1.39 bps 1.75 bps 0.00 bps 1.17 bps <3.15> bps <0.16> bps <0.86> bps
Oversubscription Rates 2.00x 3.76x 3.53x 2.90x 3.08x 2.73x 3.39x 3.26x 3.76x
Tenors 3.00 yrs 11.65 yrs 8.10 yrs 11.55 yrs 10.05 yrs 9.65 yrs 8.04 yrs 8.37 yrs 8.03 yrs
Tranche Sizes $500mm $727mm $475mm $692mm $859mm $671mm $738mm $695mm $744mm
Avg. Spd. Compression
IPTs to Launch
<17.50> bps <20.87> bps <19.12> bps <15.44> bps <17.99> bps <20.00> bps <16.79> bps <18.47> bps <18.45> bps

 

New Issues Priced

 

Today’s recap of visitors to our IG dollar Corporate and SSA DCM:

Please Note: for ratings I use the better two of Moody’s, S&P or Fitch.

Above is the opening extract from Quigley’s Corner aka “QC”  Thursday Mar 30 2017 edition distributed via email to institutional investment managers and Fortune Treasury clients of Mischler Financial Group, the investment industry’s oldest minority broker-dealer owned and operated by Service-Disabled Veterans.

Cited by Wall Street Letter in each of 2014, 2015 and 2016 for “Best Research / Broker-Dealer”, the QC observations is one of three distinctive research content pieces produced by Mischler Financial Group. The QC is a daily synopsis of everything Syndicate and Secondary as seen from the perch of our fixed income trading and debt capital markets desk and includes a comprehensive “deep dive” with optics on the day’s investment grade corporate debt new issuance and secondary market data encompassing among other items, comparables, investment grade credit spreads, new issue activity, secondary market most active issues, and upcoming pipeline.

To receive Quigley’s Corner, please email: rkarr@mischlerfinancial.com or via phone 203.276.6646

*Sources: Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, Bloomberg, Bond Radar, Dow Jones Newswire, IFR, Informa Global Markets, Internal Mischler, LCDNews, Market News International, Prospect News, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, S, Thomson Reuters and of course, a career of sources, contacts, movers and shakers from syndicate desks to accounts; from issuers to originators; from academicians to heads of research, and a host of financial journalists, et al.

Mischler Financial Group’s “U.S. Syndicate Closing Commentary”  is produced weekly by Mischler Financial Group. No part of this document may be reproduced in any manner without the permission of Mischler Financial Group. Although the statements of fact have been obtained from and are based upon sources Mischler Financial Group believes reliable, we do not guarantee their accuracy, and any such information may be incomplete.  All opinions and estimates included in this report are subject to change without notice.  This report is for informational purposes and is not intended as an offer or solicitation with respect to the purchase or sale of any security.   Veteran-owned broker-dealer Mischler Financial Group, its affiliates and their respective officers, directors, partners and employees, including persons involved in the preparation of this report, may from time to time maintain a long or short position in, or purchase or sell a position in, hold or act as market-makers or advisors or brokers in relation to the securities (or related securities, financial products, options, warrants, rights, or derivatives), of companies mentioned in this report or be represented on the board of such companies. Neither Mischler Financial Group nor any officer or employee of Mischler Financial Group or any affiliate thereof accepts any liability whatsoever for any direct, indirect or consequential damages or losses arising from any use of this report or its contents.

Best Quarter EVER- Investment Grade Corporate Debt Issuance; Mischler DCM Comment