Since American Dream’s $1.1 billion bonds were sold in June, prices on the longest-maturity securities have risen to 116 cents on the dollar from 103 cents. It’s “one of the last really exciting and last really cheap deals priced in the high yield area with size and liquidity in the last couple of months," said John Miller, Nuveen’s co-head of fixed income. Nuveen’s $15.6 billion high yield fund owned $370 million American Dream bonds as of August 31. The fund returned 9.3 percent through the third quarter. Miller invested about 7.5 percent of the fund’s assets in tobacco debt. Nuveen also reaped a windfall from its bet on its hometown school district. Chicago school bonds rallied after Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed a measure that boosts funding to the district by an additional $1.1 billion over the next five years. Chicago Board of Education bonds with a 7 percent coupon maturing in 2044 have returned 27 percent this year, Miller said. Nuveen owns $263 million of the securities. The performance of the American Dream bonds took Dreyfus, which doesn’t own any, by surprise. Not so, tobacco debt, whose cash flows can be modeled assuming varying degrees of cigarette consumption declines, Barton said.
Bloomberg the Company & Its Products Bloomberg Anywhere Remote LoginBloomberg Anywhere Login Bloomberg Terminal Demo Request Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world. Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world. Asia's Most Profitable Cigarette Maker Faces Cheap Cigar Flood Ceylon Tobacco says tax increases to narrow profit margins Smokers seen switching to leaf-rolled products like beedis British American Tobacco Plc ’s unit in Sri Lanka says it’s poised to lose its dominant position in the market to leaf-rolled cigars made by small local rivals. Ceylon Tobacco Co. ’s profit margin will continue to narrow as an increase in levies on cigarettes prompts some smokers to switch to the cheaper alternative, said Emma Ridley, finance director of the Colombo-based BAT unit. The company’s operating profit margin , the highest among listed Asian peers, narrowed to 64 percent in 2016 from 67 percent a year earlier in a cigarette market estimated at about $1.1 billion. The gap between the price of cigarettes and beedis, cheap tobacco wrapped in a coarse leaf, has widened after the government raised excise duties and slapped a 15 percent value-added tax last year. The lowest-priced offering sold by Ceylon Tobacco -- the only licensed manufacturer of cigarettes -- is about four times more expensive than leaf-rolled products, which are produced by a segment of the industry that’s relatively less regulated and has seen smaller increases in levies. “In 2017, we foresee the beedi industry capturing at least half the tobacco market, posing a serious threat to the legal cigarette industry,” said Ridley.