Miami-Dade port deal prices with 5.58 pct top tax-free yield

Sept 10 Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:34pm EDT

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Sept 10 (Reuters) - Underwriters on Tuesday trimmed top tax-free yields for institutional buyers of $383.6 million of revenue bonds sold by Florida's Port of Miami to improve its cargo facilities ahead of the expansion of the Panama Canal. The four-series deal - rated A3 by Moody's Investors Service - came with a final top tax-free yield of 5.58 percent on a 2042 maturity carrying a 5.50 percent coupon, according to a pricing schedule from underwriters led by Raymond James & Associates.

An initial pricing had the maturity with a 5.625 percent coupon priced at par.

But the bonds sold at a spread of more than 40 basis points above similar credits. The yield on single A GO bonds with 29-year maturities ended at the same level as on Monday at 5.15 percent, compared with 5.10 percent on Friday.

Better known for handling 4 million cruise-ship passengers each year, the port is dredging its channel, building tunnels for trucks and making other changes for cargo vessels before the 2015 completion of the canal expansion.

The industry-shifting expansion will allow much larger cargo ships to use the Central America passage and is widely expected to draw Asian ships to East Coast ports that now drop loads at West Coast facilities.

Owned by Miami-Dade County, the port handles 1,600 cargo vessels a year and is spending nearly $1 billion on capital improvements through 2018.

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