Tax-exempt healthcare bond volume dipped 6% to $5.1 billion for the quarter ended March 31, according to Securities Data Co., a Newark, N.J.-based provider of financial information.
A total of 145 tax-exempt healthcare issues were sold during the quarter.
By comparison, in the year-ago period, healthcare providers sold a total of 148 tax-exempt deals totaling $5.5 billion, Securities Data said.
A rise in interest rates last month limited quarterly bond volume, said Sharon Knight, a partner in the New York-based law firm of Brown & Wood. Some issuers are waiting for rates to come back down, she said.
As of March 28, the interest rate on an A-rated, 30-year hospital bond was 6.45%, up from 6.23% a month ago, according to Cain Brothers & Co.
According to Securities Data's ranking, Brown & Wood was the lead bond counsel for the quarter, serving as counsel on eight issues totaling $524.5 million.
The top managing underwriter was PaineWebber, which underwrote 15 deals with principal amounts totaling $857.8 million.