The U.S. ABS primary market generated $15 billion in issuance last week, carrying the market into its final month of what has been another record-breaking year. Issuance volume for 2005 has already surpassed last year by over 20% and, if prophecies about a pre-Reg AB issuance glut are correct, it could pass the $1 trillion barrier.
The advent of the Securities and Exchange Commission's much awaited Regulation AB, which becomes fully effective Jan. 1, is expected to unleash a flood of fresh supply, as issuers and banks grapple with the rule and become fully compliant, preferring to get deals done before Reg AB takes effect. The result is expected to be a drought in the first few weeks of 2006, which could extend farther into the quarter.
The week before, Thanksgiving hosted nearly $30 billion, and while this week's total is only half that, some think the rush to issue may be underway. As a strategy to cope with the expected stampede, one ABS banker in New York said he and his team had advised an issuer to downsize its coming deal and issue part, or all of it, after the New Year, this would avoid the possibility that the deal would be lost in the shuffle and not price as tightly as possible.
Among the deals this week, the real estate sector, as usual, stole the spotlight, with a healthy amount of auto deals and a few credit card offerings thrown into the mix. A manufactured housing deal also found its way into the market, but the student loan sector was noticeably absent.
Countrywide Securities had a busy week with two hefty real estate deals in the market. One was a $2 billion home equity deal that priced a one-year tranche at nine basis points over one-month Libor, a three-year tranche at 24 basis points over one-month Libor and a 6.75-year tranche at 35 basis points over one-month Libor. The other was a $2 billion home equity line of credit transaction that had yet to price as of press time.
One of the largest transactions to price last week was a retail loan deal from World Omni Financial. The deal was $1.8 billion, split over five triple-A-rated tranches, with a money market tranche talked at one basis point over four-month Libor and priced tight to guidance. The one-year tranche of the deal priced three basis points over EDSF, one point tight to guidance, with a two-year tranche priced flat to swaps and in-line with guidance. Wachovia Securities was sole lead underwriter.
Novastar Mortgage also had a whopper of a home equity transaction in the market, a $1.59 billion deal led by Deutsche Bank Securities. The one-year tranche of the deal priced nine basis points over one-month Libor, on the wide edge of guidance, which had been in the eight basis points to nine basis points over one-month Libor range. The two-year tranche priced flat to guidance at 15 basis points over one-month Libor.
C-BASS was in the market last week with an $801 million securitization of subprime MBS led by Citigroup Global Markets and Merrill Lynch. The one-year floating-rate tranche of the deal priced nine basis points over one-month Libor, while the one-year fixed-rate tranche priced three basis points over EDSF.
Bear Stearns priced a $681 million home equity issuance with a one-year tranche priced at 11 basis points over one-month Libor, one basis point wide to guidance, and a three-year tranche priced flat to guidance at 25 basis points over one-month Libor.
Susquehanna Financial priced a small $239 million HELOC deal via Bear Stearns and with a 2.5-year tranche priced at 19 basis points over one-month Libor and tight to guidance.
From the auto sector, Drive Financial brought a $650 million nonprime auto deal to market via Wachovia and with a half-year money market tranche priced flat to guidance at eight basis points over one-month Libor, and with a two-year tranche also priced flat to guidance at 12 basis points over EDSF.
General Motors Acceptance Corp. issued a $500 million dealer floorplan securitization led by Credit Suisse First Boston and Merill and with a 2.5-year tranche priced flat to guidance at 20 basis points over one-month Libor.
Bay View Acceptance Corp. brought a $215 million nonprime auto transaction to market via JPMorgan Securities. The deal priced a money market tranche flat to guidance at four basis points over one-month Libor, with a one-year tranche priced at 12 basis points over EDSF and a two-year at 17 basis points over swaps, also flat to guidance.
In credit cards, Advanta Corp. priced two $175 million credit card deals, representing the only entrants for the asset class last week. The 3.5-year deal priced six basis points under one-month Libor, one basis point tight to guidance, while the two-year tranche of the deal priced flat to guidance at three basis points over swaps. The deals were led by Deutsche and Merrill, and CSFB and Deutsche, respectively.
Of the deals yet to price, Franklin Capital Corp. was in the market with a nonprime auto loan securitization led by Citigroup and with a money-market tranche talked flat to four-month Libor and a one-year tranche talked five basis points over EDSF.
GMAC had a high LTV RMBS deal out of its RAMP trust set to price. The $408 million deal was being led by Bear Stearns and the one-year tranche was being talked in the 12 basis points over one-month Libor range, while the three-year tranche was being talked in the 26 basis points over one-month Libor range.
Friedman Billings Ramsey had a $769 million home equity deal in the market, self-led in conjunction with Bear Stearns. No talk was available for the deal as of press time. Origen Financial was also shopping a $157 million manufactured housing deal via Citigroup.
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