ENB.PR.F To Reset At 4.689%

Enbridge Inc. has announced (emphasis added):

that it does not intend to exercise its right to redeem its currently outstanding Cumulative Redeemable Preference Shares, Series F (Series F Shares) (TSX: ENB.PR.F) on June 1, 2018. As a result, subject to certain conditions, the holders of the Series F Shares have the right to convert all or part of their Series F Shares on a one-for-one basis into Cumulative Redeemable Preference Shares, Series G of Enbridge (Series G Shares) on June 1, 2018. Holders who do not exercise their right to convert their Series F Shares into Series G Shares will retain their Series F Shares.

The foregoing conversion right is subject to the conditions that: (i) if Enbridge determines that there would be less than 1,000,000 Series F Shares outstanding after June 1, 2018, then all remaining Series F Shares will automatically be converted into Series G Shares on a one-for-one basis on June 1, 2018; and (ii) alternatively, if Enbridge determines that there would be less than 1,000,000 Series G Shares outstanding after June 1, 2018, no Series F Shares will be converted into Series G Shares. There are currently 20,000,000 Series F Shares outstanding.

With respect to any Series F Shares that remain outstanding after June 1, 2018, holders thereof will be entitled to receive quarterly fixed cumulative preferential cash dividends, as and when declared by the Board of Directors of Enbridge. The new annual dividend rate applicable to the Series F Shares for the five-year period commencing on June 1, 2018 to, but excluding, June 1, 2023 will be 4.689 percent, being equal to the five-year Government of Canada bond yield of 2.179 percent determined as of today plus 2.51 percent in accordance with the terms of the Series F Shares.

With respect to any Series G Shares that may be issued on June 1, 2018, holders thereof will be entitled to receive quarterly floating rate cumulative preferential cash dividends, as and when declared by the Board of Directors of Enbridge. The dividend rate applicable to the Series G Shares for the three-month floating rate period commencing on June 1, 2018 to, but excluding, September 1, 2018 will be 0.93764 percent, based on the annual rate on three month Government of Canada treasury bills for the most recent treasury bills auction of 1.21 percent plus 2.51 percent in accordance with the terms of the Series G Shares (the Floating Quarterly Dividend Rate). The Floating Quarterly Dividend Rate will be reset every quarter.

Beneficial holders of Series F Shares who wish to exercise their right of conversion during the conversion period, which runs from May 2, 2018 until 5:00 p.m. (EST) on May 17, 2018, should communicate as soon as possible with their broker or other intermediary for more information. It is recommended that this be done well in advance of the deadline in order to provide the broker or other intermediary time to complete the necessary steps. Any notices received after this deadline will not be valid.

ENB.PR.F is a FixedReset, 4.00%+251, that commenced trading 2012-1-18 after being announced 2012-1-9. It is tracked by HIMIPref™ but relegated to the Scraps subindex on credit concerns.

The most logical way to analyze the question of whether or not to convert is through the theory of Preferred Pairs, for which a calculator is available. Briefly, a Strong Pair is defined as a pair of securities that can be interconverted in the future (e.g., ENB.PR.F and the FloatingReset that will exist if enough holders convert). Since they will be interconvertible on this future date, it may be assumed that they will be priced identically on this date (if they aren’t then holders will simply convert en masse to the higher-priced issue). And since they will be priced identically on a given date in the future, any current difference in price must be offset by expectations of an equal and opposite value of dividends to be received in the interim. And since the dividend rate on one element of the pair is both fixed and known, the implied average rate of the other, floating rate, instrument can be determined. Finally, we say, we may compare these average rates and take a view regarding the actual future course of that rate relative to the implied rate, which will provide us with guidance on which element of the pair is likely to outperform the other until the next interconversion date, at which time the process will be repeated.

We can show the break-even rates for each FixedReset / FloatingReset Strong Pair graphically by plotting the implied average 3-month bill rate against the next Exchange Date (which is the date to which the average will be calculated).

pairs_fr_180502
Click for Big

The market appears to be relatively uninterested in floating rate product; the implied rates until the next interconversion are approximately equal to the current 3-month bill rate and the averages for investment-grade and junk issues reflect this, at +1.21% and +1.08%, respectively. Whatever might be the result of the next few Bank of Canada overnight rate decisions, I suggest that it is unlikely that the average rate over the next five years will be lower than current – but if you disagree, of course, you may interpret the data any way you like.

Since credit quality of each element of the pair is equal to the other element, it should not make any difference whether the pair examined is investment-grade or junk, although we might expect greater variation of implied rates between junk issues on grounds of lower liquidity, and this is just what we see.

If we plug in the current bid price of the ENB.PR.F FixedReset, we may construct the following table showing consistent prices for its soon-may-be-issued FloatingReset counterpart given a variety of Implied Breakeven yields consistent with issues currently trading:

Estimate of FloatingReset (received in exchange for ENB.PR.F) Trading Price In Current Conditions
  Assumed FloatingReset
Price if Implied Bill
is equal to
FixedReset Bid Price Spread 1.50% 1.00% 0.50%
ENB.PR.F 19.55 251bp 18.89 18.40 17.91

Based on current market conditions, I suggest that the FloatingResets that will result from conversion are likely to be cheap and trading below the price of their FixedReset counterparts. Therefore, it seems likely that I will recommend that holders of ENB.PR.F continue to hold the issue and not to convert, but I will wait until it’s closer to the May 17 notification deadline before making a final pronouncement. I will note that once the FloatingResets commence trading (if, in fact, they do) it may be a good trade to swap the FixedReset for the FloatingReset in the market once both elements of each pair are trading and you can – presumably, according to this analysis – do it with a reasonably good take-out in price, rather than doing it through the company on a 1:1 basis. But that, of course, will depend on the prices at that time and your forecast for the path of policy rates over the next five years. There are no guarantees – my recommendation is based on the assumption that current market conditions with respect to the pairs will continue until the FloatingResets commence trading and that the relative pricing of the two new pairs will reflect these conditions.

3 Responses to “ENB.PR.F To Reset At 4.689%”

  1. dodoi says:

    There is also ENB.PR.V (USD), 4%+3.14, which reset to https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/enbridge-provides-notice-of-series-1-preferred-shares-conversion-right-and-announces-reset-dividend-rates-681550231.html, an increase of almost 50% of the initial yield, though we should consider its lower rating. It is not hard to see why market is concerned about ENB.

    Back in August last year when ENB.PF.U (USD), 4%+3.15, reset to 4.959%, I made a note of the current rate for 3 month US Government treasury bill which was 1.08. For a floating preferred share to earn as much as the fixed reset, the 3 months treasury bill should have been 1.81%. Guess what? Nine months later the 3 months treasury bill is 1.85%. I would say the decision to convert or not also depends of your ability to “read” the future. Of course a recession could come and you will regret if you converted to the floating rate.

    I own a both these preferred shares and am quite happy with the increase. I am curious what will happen next year with ENB.PF.V (USD), 4.4+2.85%, fixed preferred share.

    James, thank you for educating us.

  2. Ticktock says:

    Thanks for the link dodoi. I have this pref also as well as 2 other US pays.
    It’s interesting that for the last 3 months the US pays have traded roughly in line with the common, which presently yields more than the prefs, a situation not repeated in recent memory.

    As for the ENB.PF.V Series 5 issue resetting, in all likelihood, on March 1, 2019, I have it as a 4.4 + 2.82%, not 2.85.

  3. jiHymas says:

    You are correct, Ticktock, ENB.PF.V was issued as a FixedReset, 4.40%+282.

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