Quigley’s Corner 05.04.18 Debt Market Comment Week in Review and Looking Ahead

Mischler 2018 Memorial Day Month Pledge Dedicated To…

Today’s IG Primary & Secondary Market Talking Points : Reprieve

Syndicate IG Corporate-only Volume Estimates For This Week and April

The Best & Brightest Fixed Income Syndicate Forecasts and Sound Bites

QC Geopolitical Monitor

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

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

Indexes and New Issue Volume

Lipper Report/Fund Flows – Week ending May 2nd

IG Credit Spreads by Rating

IG Credit Spreads by Industry

New Issue Pipeline

M&A Pipeline

Economic Data Releases

Rates Trading Lab

Mischler 2018 Memorial Day Month Pledge Dedicated To…

Those not familiar with the financial industry’s oldest minority broker-dealer owned and operated by Service-Disabled Veterans should know that our capital market desk(s) work with more than 135 Fortune corporation treasury teams, each of Wall Street’s lead underwriter investment banks, dozens of municipal debt issuers and a discrete spectrum of the industry’s most demanding investment managers and public plan sponsors. Of equal importance, our ethos is driven by giving back and paying forward to those members of the US military service-disabled veteran community and their families who simply do not have the depth of resources and access to advanced education programs and private sector job opportunities that so many of us take for granted.

Throughout the year, Mischler Financial Group advocates on behalf of the SDV community through sponsorship of mentoring programs and direct financial assistance to veteran-centric philanthropic organizations. During the months of May and November, we dedicate a percentage of the firm’s profits to honor Memorial Day and Veterans Day respectively. In our recognition of Memorial Day 2018, we have made our annual Memorial Day Month pledge to the Semper Fi Fund, one of the highest rated non-profit organizations. A full release of this announcement was made May 1 and we thank our clients and partners in advance for working with our primary DCM and ECM teams and our secondary market trading desks to make this Memorial Day month memorable for the veterans and their family members who have sacrificed so much to make our lives safer.

Debt Market Comment | Investment Grade New Issue Re-Cap 

It was a great day for a goose egg with nothing having priced in our IG dollar DCM heading into the weekend and given the recent soft primary market tone in anticipation of a potentially much busier week ahead.  That’s right, I’ve spoken with the top 24 syndicate desks with some interesting sound bites. Most prominently, volume ahead can be heavily influenced by any one or a combination of anticipated M&A related financings among which are United Technologies Corp., Dr. Pepper Snapple GroupBayer AG and General Dynamics Corp. Also, “if” HSBC decides to print a massive transaction, it too can upward skew the numbers. The big assumption, as one person in the know expressed, is, “it’s going to be busy if the market doesn’t completely melt down!”

 But why listen to me when you can read it direct from the 24 syndicate desks who price over 80% of the IG debt deals in Corporate America? That’s what the Friday “QC” brings you every week and that’s why this edition is called the “Best and the Brightest!” They are all waiting patiently below with their numbers and meaningful comments but as always let’s first run through this week’s recaps before I set the table for you for next week.

Get informed and enjoy the read but most of all…

Have a great weekend!

Ron Quigley, Managing Director & Head of Fixed Income Syndicate

Here’s a look at the WTD and MTD IG Corporate new issue volume as measured against syndicate desk estimates:

  • The IG Corporate WTD total is 85.00% of this week’s syndicate midpoint average forecast or $22.05b vs. $25.94b.
  • MTD we’ve priced 10.29% of the syndicate forecast for April IG Corporate new issuance or $13.875b vs. $134.84b.
  • There are now 12 issuers in the IG credit pipeline.

Today’s IG Primary & Secondary Market Talking Points

  • BAML’s IG Master Index widened 1 bp to +116 vs. +115. (It’s post-Crisis low is +90 set on 2/01).
  • Bloomberg/Barclays US IG Corporate Bond Index OAS widened 1 bp to +111 vs. 1.10.  (0.85 is its post-Crisis low set on 1/30).
  • Standard & Poor’s Investment Grade Composite Spread widened 1 bp to +150 vs. +149. (+125 represents its post-Crisis low set 2/02).
  • Investment grade corporate bond trading posted a final Trace count of $16.4b on Thursday versus $19.3b on Wednesday and $22b the previous Thursday.
  • The 10-DMA stands at $18.8b.
  • Taking a look at the secondary trading performance of this week’s 35 IG Corporate and 1 SSA new issues, of the 36 IG deals that priced, 22 tightened versus NIP for a 61.00% improvement rate, widened  (19.50%) and were flat (19.50%).
  • For the week ended May 2nd, Lipper U.S. Fund Flows reported a net inflow of $996.495m into Corporate Investment Grade Funds (2018 YTD net inflow of $36.571b) and a net inflow of $526.111m into High Yield Funds (2018 YTD net outflow of $14.084b) which was the largest HY inflow since December 2016.

Syndicate IG Corporate-only Volume Estimates For This Week and April 

IG Corporate New Issuance This Week
vs. Current
WTD – $22.05b
May 2018 vs. Current
MTD – $13.875b
Low-End Avg. $25.24b 87.36% $133.64b 10.38%
Midpoint Avg. $25.94b 85.00% $134.84b 10.29%
High-End Avg. $26.64b 82.77% $136.04b 10.20%
The High $20b 110.25% $110b 12.61%
The Low $35b 63.00% $150b 9.25%


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

I am happy to announce that the “QC” once again received 100% unanimous participation from all 24 desks surveyed for today’s “Best & Brightest” Syndicate edition!  Thank you to all of them. 20 of today’s respondents are in the top 21 including 21 of the top 24 according to today’s Bloomberg U.S. IG U.S. Investment Grade Corporate Bond underwriting league table.  The 2018 League table can be found on your terminals at “LEAG” + [GO] after which you select (U.S. Investment Grade Corporates).  The participating desks represent 80.25% of all IG dollar-denominated new issue underwriting as of today’s table share percentage which simply means they are 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 are 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.  

As always “thank you” to all the syndicate desks that participated in today’s survey.  I greatly appreciate your time to contribute and for making this edition of the “QC” among Wall Street’s most widely read debt market commentaries.

Before we get to the technical data, let’s first review this week’s top geopolitical risk factors:

Kim Jong-Un offered to readjust North Korea’s “Pyongyang” time zone that runs 30 minutes behind South Korea to match its southern neighbor as a symbol of his commitment to peace. The heads of North and South Korea met on 4/27 in the demilitarized zone to begin negotiations and mutual commitments to completely denuclearize the Korean peninsula. The meeting was historic and made for great photo ops, but was devoid of details. Still, some are holding on to hope this meeting could be the start of one of the great foreign affairs coups of the past century. Meanwhile, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is “cautiously optimistic” about negotiations with China over trade tariffs and regulations in the aftermath of Trump’s $50b tariffs in retaliation for China’s stealing of corporate America’s intellectual property. Markets are fearful of a full blown trade war. Talks could reduce tensions, and perhaps even the playing field. China will NOT change its economic policies and was vocal when saying it won’t be “bullied” by the U.S. If talks do bear fruit, it could result in Trump backing off tariff threats. Members of the U.S. delegation include Peter Navarro, Larry Kudlow, Wilbur Ross, Robert Lighthizer and Ambassador Terry Branstad.

In the Middle East, Israeli PM Netanyahu held a televised address last Monday, revealing 50k+ documents and 180+ CDs of data proving Iran’s secret nuclear weapons program is underway in violation of the 2015 deal that Trump wants to renegotiate or abandon. Netanyahu said the docs were moved to a secret Tehran locale post deal. The IAEA, however, sees no “credible indications of activities in Iran relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device after 2009.”

Italian President Sergio Mattarella prefers to resolve the coalition deadlock by ruling with a short-term gov’t. rather than new national elections. On 4/30, Italy’s leftist 5-Star Movement head, Luigi Di Maio acknowledged his failure to form a coalition gov’t, calling for new elections. 5SM approached the center-left Democratic Party (“PD”) to enter into exploratory talks after it refused to negotiate with the right alliance lest ties with Berlusconi are severed. The nation has had no government for 58 days, or 24 days less than the record 82 set in 1992. Italy had 70 post WWII gov’ts in 72 post-WWII years – one every 1.02 years! – and it is the EU’s 3rd largest economy, the world’s 3rd highest debt-to-GDP ratio at 132.5% and a $2.8 trillion (equiv.) national debt. It’s the EU’s biggest economic risk. Italy’s banking sector holds $220bn of bad loans.

Soft market tone prevails in our IG dollar DCM. In terms of primary markets, of the last 69 IG Corporate deals that priced, 32 saw guidance stagnate “at the number” while 3 of those deals launched at the widest side of guidance. That’s 46.4% of all deals priced in the past 9 sessions!  What’s more, many have traded in the gray wider to much wider and with 4 bps average NIC across that period, that’s going in the wrong direction.  This week should have been a table setter for what’s expected to be a much bigger week next week in a month that is historically robust.

Now let’s take a look at the critical week-on-week primary market stats:

  • The IG Corporate WTD total stands at $22.05b. We priced $3.89b less than this week’s average midpoint estimate of $25.94b or <15.00%>.
  • MTD we priced 10.29% of the syndicate midpoint forecast for IG Corporate new issuance or $13.875b vs. $134.84b.
  • Entering today’s session, the YTD IG Corporate-only volume is $478.546b vs. the $515.420b YoY which is <$36.874b> or <7.15%> less than a year ago.
  • The all-in or IG Corporate plus SSA YTD volume is $622.111b vs. $647.736b YoY making it  <$25.625b> or <3.96%> less than vs. 2017.

Here are the five key primary market driver averages for the 35 IG Corporate-only deals that priced this week.

o   NICS:  5.92 bps

o   Oversubscription Rates: 2.16x

o   Tenors: 13.17 years

o   Tranche Sizes: $630mm

o   Spread Compression from IPTs to the Launch: <12.54> bps

Here’s how this week’s critical primary market data compares against last week’s numbers:

  • Week on week, average NICs widened 2.29 bps to an average 5.92 bps vs.  3.63 bps across this week’s 35 IG Corporate-only new issues that displayed relative value.
  • Over subscription or bid-to-cover rates, the measure of demand, decreased by 0.37x to an average 2.16x vs. 2.53x.
  • Average tenors extended by 3.98 years to an average 13. 17 years vs. 9.19 years.
  • Tranche sizes decreased by $156mm to $630mm vs. $786mm last week.
  • Spread compression from IPTs to the launch/final pricing of this week’s 35 IG Corporate-only new issues widened by 1.31 bps to <12.54> bps vs. <13.85> bps.
  • Standard and Poor’s Investment Grade Composite Spread widened 4 bps to +150 vs. +146 week-on-week.
  • Bloomberg/Barclays US IG Corporate Bond Index OAS thru this morning widened 3 bps to 1.11 vs. 1.08 week-on-week.
  • Investment grade corporate bond trading posted a final Trace count of $16.4b on Thursday versus $19.3b on Wednesday and $22b the previous Thursday.
  • The 10-DMA stands at $18.8b.
  • The VIX widened 0.49 or 3.18% to 15.90 at yesterday’s close vs. last Friday’s 15.41 close.
  • Week-on-week, BAML’s IG Master Index widened 4 bps to +116 vs. +112.
  • Spreads across the four IG asset classes widened 3.50 bps week-on-week to 22.00 vs. 18.50 bps as measured against its cumulative post-Crisis low.
  • Spreads across the 19 major IG industry sectors widened 4.84 bps to an average 27.05 vs. 22.21 bps as measured against their average cumulative post-Crisis lows!
  • For the week ended May 2nd, Lipper U.S. Fund Flows reported a net inflow of $996.495m into Corporate Investment Grade Funds (2018 YTD net inflow of $36.571b) and a net inflow of $526.111m into High Yield Funds (2018 YTD net outflow of $14.084b) which was the largest HY inflow since December 2016.

Entering today’s Friday session, here’s a look at this week’s IG issuance volume totals:

  • IG Corps: $22.05b
  • All-in IG (Corps + SSA): $22.60b

And now it’s time for today’s question posed  to the industry’s leading investment grade debt syndicate desks:  “What are your thoughts and numbers for next week’s IG Corporate new issue volume?”
Wishing you and yours a wonderful weekend!

The “Best and the Brightest” in Their Own Words

Above is the opening extract from Quigley’s Corner aka “QC”  Friday May 4 2018 weekend 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 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.

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