April 1 U.S. states, cities and other local
governments sold $31.2 billion of debt during March, up from
$23.4 billion in February but down from $34.4 billion in March
2012, according to Thomson Reuters data published on Monday.
For the first quarter, primary deals in America's $3.7
trillion tax-free debt market climbed 4 percent to $81.2 billion
from $78.1 billion during the first three months of 2012,
Thomson Reuters said.
New money deals, or offerings constituting fresh borrowing
for projects such as roads, schools and other infrastructure,
have been a diminishing share of the primary market but swelled
to $14.2 billion during March from $9.1 billion during February.
New money offerings totaled just over $10 billion in March
2012, Thomson Reuters said.
The number of refunding deals, in which issuers replace
higher-interest bonds with cheaper ones, declined 14.7 percent
to 1,660 in the first quarter from the 1,945 sold during the
same quarter last year. The number of new money deals in the
first quarter climbed to 1,124 from 1,010 a year earlier.
Separately, Thomson Reuters reported that Bank of America
Merrill Lynch was the top municipal bond bookrunning
underwriter for the first quarter, with 101 deals totaling $12.2
billion. That was a 15 percent share of the $81.2 deals done in
the first three months of 2013.
JP Morgan Securities LLC followed closely behind,
with $12.01 billion in deals, or a 14.8 percent share, and Citi
was third with $8.03 billion, which was equal to 9.9
percent of total deals.