U.S. Public Finance

Assured Guaranty is the leading provider of municipal bond insurance in the United States.

Our municipal credit enhancement products include:

  • Municipal bond insurance policies covering principal and interest, for both new issues and those already trading in the secondary market
  • Surety policies that take the place of cash-funded reserves in municipal bond transactions

We guarantee a wide range of municipal bond types supported either by tax revenues or revenues from essential public projects or services. We insure both tax-exempt and taxable municipal bonds.

While we have two platforms – Assured Guaranty Municipal (AGM), insuring only U.S. public finance and non-U.S. transactions; and Assured Guaranty Inc. (AG), a diversified provider – we are one team, applying a uniform underwriting standard and dedicated to the highest level of customer service. In addition to the large municipal bond insurance department in AGM/AG’s New York headquarters, we maintain a fully staffed western regional office in San Francisco.

First Quarter 2024 Results

Assured Guaranty remained the market leader for bond insurance, insuring approximately 53% of all primary market insured par sold during the first quarter of 2024. The $3.8 billion of new issue par that we insured during the first quarter was 11% higher than during first quarter 2023. We continued to benefit from institutional investor demand for Assured Guaranty’s insurance on larger transactions, and we saw an uptick in issuance in the first quarter of 2024. During the quarter, we insured seven transactions with $100 million or more in insured par, totalling approximately $1.4 billion, including the two transactions with the largest insured par in the bond insurance industry. We were also pleased to continue adding value on double-A credits during the first quarter, as we insured $605 million of par on 23 deals.

In general, we were active across our usual range of bond sectors. That said, we did insure several prominent transactions for infrastructure development, including two of our largest transactions, which were in the transportation sector.

Supported by growth in the overall municipal market, total primary market volume utilizing bond insurance was up 24% year over year for the first quarter of 2024. For several years now, the market has shown increased recognition of the protection bond insurance provides against unforeseen circumstances and for the savings it can provide to issuers. While the number of first-quarter municipal market transactions insured was higher year over year (318 in 2024 compared with 260 in 2023), par penetration was somewhat lower (7.2% compared with 7.7%), primarily the result of a lower average par balance in 2024 compared with 2023.

2023 Full-Year Results

Assured Guaranty specifically, and the bond insurance industry in general, saw increased demand in 2023. The insured market par penetration rose to 8.8% in 2023 from 8.0% in 2022, the highest annual level since 2008.  Assured Guaranty was the main driver of the growth in the bond insurance industry, accounting for over $2.5 billion of the $3.0 billion (or 84%) of the year-over-year new issue par increase. While demand remains strong across our target rating spectrum, the rising growth has been notably observed in the A rated space, where insurance was used on more than 30% of 2023 municipal par sold – up from around 20% in the years prior to 2020 .We believe the growth in recent years reflects both investors’ appreciation of the benefits that bond insurance provides, especially during volatile economic or uncertain market conditions, and issuers’ recognition of its cost-effectiveness and capacity to increase investor demand and market access.

In 2023, we insured 61% of the insured market, representing $19.5 billion of new issue par, the highest in the industry by $7 billion, and 15% higher than last year. We have exceeded $19 billion of primary par in three of the last four years. We believe this heightened demand has proven our product’s value across a wide range of transaction sectors, rating levels and deal sizes.  We wrapped 645 new issues in 2023 with sizes as small as $1.0 million and as large as over $1.0 billion.

Assured Guaranty ended the year with a terrific fourth quarter, insuring $5.4 billion of new issue par, 32% higher than in the same period last year. 

Two statistics help illustrate the value we believe the market assigns to our insurance.  The first is the number of AA transactions we insured, which reflects the positive market perception of our value proposition.  In 2023, we insured 81 AA transactions with a total par of $3.3 billion, 71 of which were insured in the primary market. (Double-A credits are defined as those with underlying ratings in the AA/Aa category by S&P and/or Moody’s.) 

The second is the number of transactions on which we insured $100 million or more, which we believe signals strong institutional demand for our product.  In 2023, we insured 37 such large transactions with a total par of $10.4 billion.  The four largest were $1.1 billion of insurance on Dormitory Authority of the State of New York bonds, $800 million on John F. Kennedy International Airport bonds, $756 million on Houston, Texas Airport System bonds, and $732 million on Power Authority of the State of New York green bonds.  Additionally, we participated in three other such large transactions in Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania that were the winners of The Bond Buyer Deals of the Year award in their respective categories.

2022 Full-Year Results

In a market where yields surged higher by hundreds of basis points, causing issuance to contract by more than 20%, bond insurance and, more specifically, Assured Guaranty rose to the occasion to deliver value to a wide range of market participants. In no area was this displayed more prominently than new secondary market insurance on previously issued bonds. While always an important part of our business, this segment grew in significance this year as traders, investors and portfolio managers engaged with Assured Guaranty to produce record volume not seen in over a decade.

Assured Guaranty wrapped $3.3 billion of par across 364 secondary market transactions with over 30 firms. The surge in demand for our wrap on the secondary market is best illustrated when compared with the previous year’s volume of $437 million, demonstrating 650% annual growth. The product was particularly useful in giving investors market liquidity and portfolio management flexibility on lower coupon bonds as rates surged higher and bond prices fell.

While secondary market activity led the headlines for the year, primary market activity remains the cornerstone of our efforts to deliver savings to municipal issuers. The shift towards greater demand for insurance, which first occurred during the pandemic, was well‐maintained in 2022 as insured penetration remained at the 8% level for the third year in a row.  In the fourth quarter of 2022, the penetration rate reached 8.7% - the industry’s highest fourth quarter penetration rate since 2008.  

Assured Guaranty continued to lead the bond insurance market in 2022. Finishing the year with a 70% share of primary market insured par sold in the fourth quarter, Assured Guaranty’s 2022 market share was close to 60%, based on $17.1 billion of new issue insured par from nearly 650 tax-exempt and taxable new issues, including $4.1 billion in the fourth quarter. The transactions represented a broad spectrum of bond sectors, transaction sizes and deal structures, including public-private partnerships. Also, during the year, we guaranteed 31 transactions that each utilized over $100 million of Assured Guaranty insurance, including four where we insured more than $500 million.  

In aggregate for 2022, Assured Guaranty insured $20.4 billion of primary and secondary market insured par, including $2.7 billion from 121 transactions with underlying ratings of AA by S&P and/or Aa by Moody’s. With higher rates and widening spreads, Assured Guaranty’s value proposition and our ability to provide spread savings to issuers came into focus. 

Forward-Looking Statements
Any forward-looking statements made on this page reflect Assured Guaranty’s current views with respect to future events and are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in these statements. Assured Guaranty’s forward-looking statements, including but not limited to those related to the market for its credit protection products and to the financial health and resilience of the obligors underlying its insured portfolio, could be affected by the development, course and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and the governmental and private actions taken in response (including governmental responses that could reduce demand for the Company’s credit protection products), and the global consequences of the pandemic and such actions, and other factors identified in Assured Guaranty’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which are available on its website, and other risks and uncertainties that have not been identified at this time. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are made as of April11, 2024. Assured Guaranty does not undertake to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

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$1,075,205,000


School District Revenue Bond Financing Program Revenue Bonds
Series 2023A, B, C & D

 

Dormitory Authority of
the State of New York

 

MAY 2023

Contact Information

  • William J. Hogan
  • Senior Managing Director
  • Co-Head of Public Finance
  • 212 408 6006
  • Email
  •  
  • Christopher Chafizadeh
  • Senior Managing Director
  • Co-Head of Public Finance
  • 212 339 0832
  • 914 420 6530
  • Email
     

All U.S. Public Finance Contacts

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