New issue supply slowed last week to price $2.66 billion of paper, with a focus on the credit card sector, versus $5.5 billion the prior week. Frequent issuers MBNA and Providian Financial each tapped the market with card deals and Conseco Finance sold a home-equity loan securitization to round out the major deals of the week.

The largest offering of the week came from benchmark-issuer MBNA, which sold $1 billion of pre-enhanced senior paper via the joint leads of Banc of America Securities and Salomon Smith Barney, from the company's MBNAseries program. The single-tranche floating-rate series 2001-3 offering, with a five-year bullet structure, priced at par with a coupon of three-month Libor plus 11 basis points.

Investor demand for the issue was strong, as evidenced by the fact that the issue priced one day ahead of schedule.

Providian Financial tapped the market for $750 million of credit card paper from its "Gateway to Credit" program, which is aimed at borrowers with damaged or limited credit histories, via Credit Suisse First Boston. The company sold $350 million of three-year series 2001-F and $400 million of seven-year series 2001-G paper at levels of 22 and 36 basis points over one-month Libor, respectively. Both deals were guaranteed by full MBIA surety wraps.

Strong demand for longer-dated paper led the three-year offering to be reduced in size from an initial $500 million, and the seven-year class increased by $150 million from an initial size of $250 million.

In the home-equity loan sector, Conseco sold $589 million of a 2001-C deal via the lead of CSFB. The offering contained both fixed- and floating-rate classes and after some tweaking, including slight widening in most tranches, priced in line with launch levels, at the wide end of initial guidance.

In more esoteric asset classes, new issues priced this week from timeshare lender Fairfield Resorts, a unit of Cendant Corp. and Long Beach Mortgage, which sold a net interest margin (NIM) securitization.

Fairfield, scheduled to price the week previous, priced $213 million of timeshare-backed notes via the joint leads of Banc of America and Banc One Capital Markets. The series 2001-1 priced significantly wider than initial price guidance, coming in up to 26 basis points wider than initially expected for the senior class.

Long Beach followed up its most recent home-equity loan-backed deal with a $112 million net-interest margin securitization via Banc of America. The single-tranche deal priced in line with guidance, coming in at one-month Libor plus 25 basis points.

July ended with just over $25 billion of public and 144A supply having been brought to investors, according to Thomson Financial. Approximately half of that total was in the auto sector, according to Barclays Capital, with credit cards contributing approximately $4 billion.

The highlight of the auto sector in July was the $5 billion aggregate total of wholesale dealer floorplan paper from Ford Motor Credit. The capitive finance arm sold $3 billion of three-year 2001-1 and $2 billion of five-year 2001-2 notes, both via the lead of Lehman Brothers, in what some called the largest one-time asset securitization in the U.S. markets.

In the prime sector of the market, deals were priced from Chase and American Honda Finance. Chase priced $1.2 billion of series 2001-A fixed-rate notes via unit JP Morgan. Honda priced $1.56 billion of auto loan-backed notes via the lead of Salomon Smith Barney.

Non-prime deals hit this month from sector benchmark names AmeriCredit and WFS Financial as well as deals from Household Finance and Onyx Acceptance. Strong demand for all these names was seen, as many of the offerings were increased from initial sizes and still priced tight to guidance. With the exception of the Household deal, all of the non-prime issuance was wrapped.

The later part of the month saw numerous credit card deals price, as Chase, CompuCredit, Discover, MBNA and Providian all priced sizeable deals and a small offering from First Premier priced.

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