SYRACUSE, N.Y., June 17, 2021 – Boost competition. Drive down interest rates. Increase transparency.
A hunt for these three capabilities drove New York State to embrace a more modern and efficient approach to selling municipal bonds.
Following legislation signed into law at the end of 2019, the New York State Department of Financial Services launched a pilot program in February 2021 to assess the advantages of auctioning bonds in an open online format.
In an open online auction, similar to an open outcry auction at Sotheby’s or Christie’s, bidders instantaneously learn their rank in the competitive bidding process. After learning their rank, if they are not in the lead, bidders have the ability and incentive to improve their bids by offering to purchase the bonds at a lower interest rate than the previous bidder.
On June 16, 2021, Syracuse issued a $47,916,968 bond offering on Grant Street Group’s MuniAuction® platform. Five underwriters submitted a total of 25 bids during the 30-minute auction. Four lead changes occurred. Citigroup won the auction on their fifth bid with less than three minutes remaining in the auction. After the auction, there was no second-guessing among the competing underwriters. Each firm knew where they stood in the field and had every opportunity to improve their bid one last time. And Syracuse was left with the confidence that they received the most competitive interest rate.
“This was a textbook open auction. Price discovery was evident as the competing underwriters improved their bids multiple times, several lead changes occurred and, at the conclusion of the auction, less than half a basis point separated the top three bidders,” said John McCarthy, Executive Director of Sales at Grant Street. “Congratulations to the City of Syracuse’s Finance Department and their Municipal Advisor Rick Ganci with Capital Markets Advisors.”
Cities and towns with populations greater than 100,000 and counties with populations exceeding 400,000 are eligible to participate in the New York State pilot program.
Grant Street Group remains the only open online auction municipal bond services provider approved by New York State.
For more information about MuniAuction, please contact John McCarthy at John.McCarthy@GrantStreet.com or (412) 246-1321.
About Grant Street Group
Grant Street Group specializes in cloud-based government solutions for tax collection, e-payments, and auctions. Every year we process over $30 billion in tax payments and $15 billion in e-payments. Over the past 20 years, Grant Street has hosted online auctions of financial instruments exceeding $12 trillion.