Calling All US Corporate Bond Issuers-Are You There?
July 7, 2017   //   by Mischler MarCom   //   Debt Market Commentary  

Quigley’s Corner 07.07.17 – IG Fixed Income Syndicate Suffers from a Summer Slowdown…Calling All US Corporate Bond Issuers…Are You There?

Wall Street Syndicate desks Face Groundhog Day Dilemma as Investment Grade Corporate Debt Issuers Stand Down..For the Moment..

Investment Grade Corporate Bond New Issue Re-Cap
Today’s IG Primary & Secondary Market Talking Points

The “QC” Geopolitical Risk Monitor

Syndicate IG Corporate-only Volume Estimates This Week and July

The Best and the Brightest:  Fixed Income Syndicate Forecasts and Sound Bites for Next Week & July

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

This Week’s IG New Issues and Where They’re Trading

Indexes and New Issue Volume

Lipper Report/Fund Flows – Week ending July 5th

IG Credit Spreads by Rating

IG Credit Spreads by Industry

New Issue Pipeline

M&A Pipeline

Economic Data Releases

Rates Trading Lab

Upcoming Calendar

Nothing priced today in our IG dollar DCM wrapping up what is the slowest week of 2017. In fact, the primary markets are in the doldrums. Over the past four weeks, issuance represents the #1, #3, #4 and #6-ranked slowest weeks YTD. I think I’d have to go all the way back to the throes of the EU sovereign debt crisis to recall a less active period.  It’s all about the big FIGs that begin releasing their Q2 earnings next Friday, July 14th with Citigroup, J.P. Morgan and Wells Fargo followed by Tuesday, July 14th when BAML and GS are up concluding with MS on Wednesday, the 19th.  Until then there are currently 11 items in the IG new issue pipeline, 10 of which are Yankees.

So, without further ado, please skim thru the uneventful market wraps below prior to reading what the “Best and the Brightest” have to say about next week’s IG Corporate issuance expectations.  The respondents to today’s “QC” survey posted a midpoint average estimate of $18.25b in new IG Corporate supply for next week. The following week we should start to see things pick up a bit.

Let’s now take a look at how this week’s IG Corporate volume numbers stack up against the WTD and MTD syndicate estimates: 

  • The IG Corporate WTD total is 89.29% of this week’s syndicate midpoint average forecast or $5.75b vs. $6.44b.
  • MTD we’ve priced 84.40% of the syndicate forecast for June or $7.25b vs. $84.40b.
  • There are now 11 IG Corporate, Yankee and/or SSA new issues in the IG credit pipeline. 

Today’s IG Primary & Secondary Market Talking Points

  • BAML’s IG Master Index tightened 1 bp to +113 vs. +114.  +106 represents the post-Crisis low dating back to July 2007.
  • Bloomberg/Barclays US IG Corporate Bond Index OAS tightened 1 bp to 1.07 vs. 1.08.
  • Standard & Poor’s Investment Grade Composite Spread tightened 1 bp to +155 vs. +156.  The +140 reached on July 30th 2014 represents the post-Crisis low.
  • Investment grade corporate bond trading posted a final Trace count of $17.5b on Thursday versus $13.7b on Wednesday and $17.6b the previous Thursday.
  • The 10-DMA stands at $14.5b.


The “QC” Geopolitical Risk Monitor


Risk Level/Main Factor Geopolitical Risks
Asian Political Tensions
·          N. Korea launches ICBM on July 4th. Continues development, improving accuracy & distance in defiance of G-20 protests; Lack of Chinese mediation; Recent Otto Warmbier death; U.S.  sanctions certain Chinese banks and individuals to influence PROC pressure on NOKO.
BREXIT Fallout
·          U.K. PM May is on the hot seat. Macron-Merkel coalition to squeeze U.K. for all it can. Italian domestic bank bail-out outside EU “rule of law” concern for EU stability.
“U.S. political gridlock”
Escalating war in Syria
·          Trump financial, healthcare, tax and infrastructure reform challenges & consensus GOP support  to pass legislation questioned/Dems lose 4 consecutive special elections despite media bias.

·          U.S. shoots down Syrian SU-22 that bombed SDF backed-forces; Russia warns that it suspended   cooperation & will track down and shoot coalition planes west of Euphrates. Potential for  escalation between the U.S. & Russia is real. Turkey, Iran, Israel loom large in this scenario.

·          U.S. Senate sanctions Iran for missile testing and supporting terrorism; also expands sanctions against Russia in 98-2 vote; Russia in expansion mode; meddling in international elections.

·          GCC Crisis as Saudis, UAB, Egypt, Bahrain & 5 others accuse Qatar of backing terrorism/ Yemen, Mauritius, Maldives, Mauritania and Maldives join in severing diplomatic ties.

·          Italian debt-to-GDP ratio is 133% – world’s 3rd highest. €17bn gov’t. bail out of two Italian banks.

·          Closing in on ISIS has also scattered it across wider MENA region and Europe.

·          Cybercrime, ransomware, viruses & hacking are winning cyber wars. The latest attack hit four continents, law firms, food companies, power grids, pharma & gov’ts (Ukraine & Russia).

·          Central banks shrinking balance sheets/higher volatility in 2H17.

MODERATE ·          China hard landing – rising corporate debt have the OECD and IMF concerned.

·          Venezuela – tumbling oil prices could impact ability to repay debt; civil unrest.

2018 U.S. Recession
·          Increased chance of 2018 U.S. recession in light of recent very hawkish Fed-speak and sights on one more rate hike in 2017.


Syndicate IG Corporate-only Volume Estimates This Week and July


IG Corporate New Issuance This Week
vs. Current
WTD – $5.75b
July 2017
vs. Current
MTD – $7.25b
Low-End Avg. $5.71b 100.70% $83.87b 8.64%
Midpoint Avg. $6.44b 89.29% $84.40b 8.59%
High-End Avg. $7.17b 80.20% $84.92b 8.54%
The Low $0.0b N/A $70b 10.36%
The High $15b 38.22% $111b 6.53%


The Best and the Brightest”  Syndicate Forecasts and Sound Bites for Next Week & July

I am happy to announce that the “QC” once again received 100% unanimous participation from all 24 syndicate desks surveyed for today’s “Best & Brightest” edition!  21 of those participants are among 2017’s YTD top 23 ranked syndicate desks according to today’s Bloomberg’s U.S. IG U.S. Investment Grade Corporate Bond underwriting league table.  22 are in the top 26 of that same table. The 2017 League table can be found on your terminals at “LEAG” + [GO] after which you select (US Investment Grade Corporates).  The participating desks represent 81.49% of all IG dollar-denominated new issue underwriting as of today’s table share percentage which simply means they’re the ones with visibility.  But it’s not only about their volume forecasts, it’s also about their comments!  This core syndicate group does it best; they know best; so they’re the ones you WANT and NEED to hear from.  It’s a great look at the week ahead.

*Please note that these are Investment Grade Corporates only. They do not include SSA issuance unless otherwise noted. 

My weekly technical data re-cap and question posed to the “Best and the Brightest” yesterday morning and updated to reflect this morning’s levels, was framed as follows: 

Entering this morning’s session, here are this week’s IG new issue volume talking points:  

  • The IG Corporate WTD total fell over 10% shy of this week’s syndicate midpoint average forecast or $5.75b vs. $6.44b.
  • MTD we priced only 8.5% of the syndicate projection for June IG Corporates or $7.25b vs. $84.40b.
  • As of today, the YTD IG Corporate-only volume is $727.307b vs. $722.141b on July 6th, 2016 or 0.71% more than a year ago.
  • The all-in or IG Corporate plus SSA YTD volume is $895.292b vs $932.44b on July 6th, 2016 or 4.15% more than the year ago total.

 Entering this morning’s Thursday session, here are this week’s five key primary market driver averages from the 4 IG Corporate-only deals that priced: 

o   NICS:  2.25 bps

o   Oversubscription Rates: 2.38x

o   Tenors: 12.50 years

o   Tranche Sizes: $1,437mm

o   Spread Compression from IPTs to the Launch: <20.50> bps

Here’s how this week’s performance data compares against last week’s entering this morning’s session: 

  • Average NICs widened 2.49 bps to an average 2.25 bps vs. <0.24> bps across this week’s 4 IG Corporate-only new issues.
  • Over subscription or bid-to-cover rates, the measure of demand, decreased 0.91 x to 2.38x vs. 3.29x. 
  • Average tenors extended 3.07 years to 12.50 years vs. 9.43 years.
  • Tranche sizes blew way out by $910mm to $1,437mm vs.$527mm thanks to this week’s skewed numbers based on only two IG corporate transactions.
  • Spread compression from IPTs to the launch/final pricing of this week’s 4 IG Corporate-only new issues tightened by <3.15> bps to <20.50> vs. <17.35> bps.
  • Standard and Poor’s Investment Grade Composite Spreads tightened 2 bps to +155 vs. +157.
  • Bloomberg/Barclays US IG Corporate Bond Index OAS thru this morning tightened 2 bps to 1.07 vs. 1.09. 
  • Week-on-week, BAML’s IG Master Index tightened 2 bps to +113 vs. +115. 
  • Spreads across the four IG asset classes tightened <2.00> bps to 7.50 bps vs. 9.50 bps as measured against their post-Crisis lows. 
  • The 19 major industry sectors also tightened <1.48> bps to 11.63 vs. 13.11 bps also as measured against their post-Crisis lows.
  • Taking a look at the secondary trading performance of this week’s IG and SSA new issues, of the scant 5 deals that printed yesterday and this entire week for that matter, all tightened versus NIP for a 100.00% improvement rate.
  • For the week ended July 5th, Lipper U.S. Fund Flows reported an inflow of $2.535b into Corporate Investment Grade Funds (2017 YTD net inflow of $69.194b) and a net outflow of $1.155b from High Yield Funds (2017 YTD net outflow of $7.721b).

Entering today’s Friday session here’s how much we issued this week:

  • IG Corps: $5.75b
  • All-in IG (Corps + SSA): $7.25b 

The G-20 kicked off.  Trump attempted to sound Reagan-esque yesterday in Poland.  The big showdown between Trump and Putin takes place later today.  Our First Lady remains stuck in her Hamburg hotel due to security risks as over 100 German police are injured in rioting by protestors. North Korea brings an ICBM to its take-off pad aboard a Chinese military transport carrier and subsequently successfully launches it.  NOKO’s range missiles can now reach Anchorage Alaska and Honolulu.  An EMP or electromagnetic pulse (explosion from over 8,000 feet in the air) would knock out all power in Seoul and its 10 million people. Accuracy not applicable.  China has done nothing to help the situation.  NFP, this morning, came in 44k above forecasts (222k vs. 178k) yet wage growth missed again. Both the Employment and Underemployment Rates edged up 1/10 and 2/20 of 1% to 4.4% and 8.6% respectively. The CT10-year is currently yielding 2.377% and the 5s/30s differential is +98.9 bps. We posted the slowest week for issuance of the year and the past four weeks of IG dollar issuance rank as #1, #3, #4 and #6 YTD – a terrible run in what I’ve extolled here would be a long……..summer.  Next Friday Citigroup, J.P. Morgan and Wells Fargo announce Q2 earnings. BAML and GS follow on Tuesday July 18th and Morgan Stanley is on Wednesday July 19th.  They can’t come soon enough to lead a new charge for our IG DCM.

And now it’s time to ask the question, “what are your thoughts and numbers for next week’s IG Corporate new issue volume?”

The “Best and the Brightest” in Their Own Words

……..……and here are their formidable responses:



Above is the opening extract from Quigley’s Corner aka “QC” Friday, July 07, 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 is one of three distinctive market comment pieces produced by Mischler Financial Group, the securities industry’s oldest minority broker-dealer owned-operated by Service-Disabled Veterans. 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: 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 daily 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.

Quigley’s Corner 07.07.17 – IG Fixed Income Syndicate Suffers from a Summer Slowdown…Calling All US Corporate Bond Issuers…Are You There?