Yeshiva University Muni Trading Surges to Record on Moody’s Cut

Trading in Yeshiva University’s debt surged to a record after Moody’s Investors Service lowered the New York City school deeper into junk status.

Tax-exempt bonds due in July 2034 traded at an average price of 93.4 cents on the dollar yesterday, up from 92.3 cents when they last traded Feb. 24. At least $25 million of that maturity changed hands, the most since the revenue-backed securities were issued in 2004, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

The university, founded more than 100 years ago, is central to the Modern Orthodox Jewish community in the U.S. It lost about $100 million when Bernard Madoff, a trustee, was revealed to be a fraud in December 2008. The school is still struggling with budget deficits, which led Moody’s to drop its rating in January five levels to B1 from Baa2.

The ratings company cut the school two days ago to B3, six levels below investment grade. Standard & Poor’s said in a report last month that it’s maintaining an A rank, the sixth-highest grade.

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