With $10.5 billion priced and an additional $1.5 billion set to price late in the week, the U.S. ABS primary market is making its last push of the year. Sources did expect the supply to continue into this week before dying off before Christmas.

The highlight of the week came early, as Providian Financial made its return to the market after a one-year hiatus, pricing $500 million from its Gateway to Credit subprime shelf via Barclays Capital. The three-year Rule 144A offering, backed by a full FSA wrap, priced at 30 basis points over one-month Libor.

The 30 basis point spread shows the significantly improved market sentiment for subprime credit card issuers, compared to the last time Providian priced a credit card ABS. The $750 million PGMT 2002-B deal, also with a three-year average life, priced via Deutsche Bank Securities with a 70 basis point coupon over Libor. Ambac was the surety provider on 2002-B.

This was FSA's first wrap of the year in the credit card sector, as well as the first time Providian has hired the surety provider for one of its term securitizations. FSA does plan to increase its presence in the sector, company sources said, and hopes to wrap one to two credit card transactions in 2004. Meanwhile, look for Providian to step up its once-a-year presence over the past two years. Sources say the issuer plans to bring up to two deals next year from its Gateway shelf.

The only other credit card deal that priced as of last Thursday was the $750 million senior floater from Citibank N.A., which hit early in the week. The triple-A rated, 3.83-year deal, priced at five basis points over three-month Libor. Additionally, Citibank quickly tapped the primary market the previous Friday, pricing a $500 million 10-year 2003-A10 deal to yield 17 basis points over swaps.

It was a busy week for off-the run assets, with G.E. Capital Corp. bringing two deals to market, one backed by aircraft leases and one by business loans. GECC's $415 million corporate aircraft lease-backed deal priced via Citigroup Global Markets and SG Cowan. GECC's $391 million business loan deal priced via Goldman Sachs and Wachovia Securities.

This year has been a banner one for the triple-A rated GECC, having priced five term securitizations in four different asset classes, for a total of $3.5 billion. In addition to last week's aircraft and business loan deals, GECC has sold commercial equipment lease-backed and dealer floorplan ABS from its DFS Financial platform.

Bombardier Capital sold its second floorplan receivables-backed ABS via Banc One Capital Markets and JPMorgan Securities. The transaction was backed by a mix of wholesale loans to consumer and commercial vendors, including recreational vehicles and manufactured housing. The two-year floater, enhanced by a full XLCA wrap, priced at par with a coupon of 32 basis points over one-month Libor - at the tight end of indicative levels.

Late in the week Conectiv subsidiary Atlantic City Electric announced a $152 million fixed-rate stranded cost ABS, the issuer's second-ever. A.C. Electric's 2003 deal featured a single, 8.4-year fixed-rate class. Morgan Stanley, which also led the ACETF 2002 deal, is lead manager.

Home equity ABS totaled $5.6 billion in priced deals, with up to $1 billion making the rounds late in the week. Among issuers pricing deals were GMAC-RFC, with a pair of offerings totaling $1.7 billion as well as a pair of billion dollar principal finance shelf deals from Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley. Household Finance completed a $736 million home equity ABS via Banc of America Securities and JPMorgan jointly. The triple-A senior class, with a 2.25-year average life, priced at 33 basis points over one-month Libor, while the double-A rated M class priced at 58 basis points over Libor.

There were new names in the market as well, as Meritage Mortgage priced its first stand-alone term securitization via RBS Greenwich Capital as sole manager. Meritage's agency conforming I A1 class, with a 2.26-year average life, priced at 37 basis points over one-month Libor, while its non-conforming II A2 class priced at 42 basis points over.

Additionally, SoundviewMortgage was marketing, but had yet to price its second home equity ABS, also via RBS Greenwich.

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