Primary ABS issuance picked up last week, with over $12.6 billion marketed as many in the market gathered in Barcelona for the global ABS conference being held there (see story p5). A pair of captive auto deals totaling $4.2 billion overshadowed the home equity sector, which saw continued supply from dealer shelves, as well as three offerings from regular issuers in the sector.

Leading the auto loan supply was General Motors Acceptance Corp., which priced $3 billion of 2003-2 paper from its CARAT issuance vehicle. Led by a three-way consortium of Barclays Capital, Banc One Capital Markets and Deutsche Bank Securities, the offering priced in line with expectations for both the fixed- and floating-rate classes.

Spreads for one-year fixed-rate notes came in at seven basis points over EDSF, inside price talk in the eight basis point area. One-year floaters also tightened, pricing at two basis points over one-month Libor, versus talk in the three basis point area. At the two-year part of the curve, which had seen widening across all issuers over the past two weeks, spreads held firm from guidance, pricing at six basis points over swaps for fixed- and four over for floating-rate notes.

Three-year seniors priced at six basis points over swaps for fixed- rate A4As and six over for floating-rate A4Bs. Additionally, the fixed-rate three-year class tightened a basis point from indicative levels.

Nissan Motor Credit, which typically issues on the heels of a Big-Three, sold its second auto ABS of the year via Merrill Lynch & Co. at levels mixed versus the GMAC CARAT deal. While one-year fixed-rate notes bested GMAC to priced at six basis points over EDSF, two-year A3 notes priced two basis points outside of GMAC, to yield sight basis points over swaps. Three-year A4s priced at five basis points over swaps, one basis point inside of GMAC for comparably tenured paper.

The softening in two-year A3s was credited to the rally in underlying rates that has persisted over the past two weeks, causing similar results in the Household Finance and Chase Manhattan Bank auto loan deals that priced over that timeframe.

One credit card deal hit the market last week, a 10-year fixed-rate subordinated class from the Citibank's Credit Card Issuance Trust, which was increased to $300 million, from the initial $200 million due to strong demand. The triple-B rate 10-year C4 class priced at 135 basis points over swaps, at the tight end of guidance.

The CIT Group Inc. brought its first equipment securitization of the year, a deal that tightened across the board prior to pricing. Led by Banc One and Wachovia Securities, the series 2003-VT1 offering saw particularly strong demand for subordinated classes, leading to five basis point tightening for double- and single-A rated tranches.

One-year triple-A seniors priced at 14 basis points over EDSF, in from the 15 basis point area initially offered to investors. Two-year supply, with both fixed- and floating-rate classes, saw two basis point tightening for the floaters, pricing at 13 basis points over one-month Libor and 25 basis points over swaps for fixed-rate notes.

In the home equity sector, in addition to shelf deals from Credit Suisse First Boston, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley, the market had offerings from AmeriQuest Mortgage, Centex Corp., GMAC-RFC and Option One Mortgage. AmeriQuest, which had announced its deal late the prior week, wrapped up early in the week. Late in the week, Countrywide Home Loans Inc. announced a $520 million 2003-BC3 offering.

Centex's $700 million 2003-B deal led by Banc of America Securities widened 10 basis points for triple-Bs, but otherwise priced in line with guidance. Indicative 1.6-year floating-rate AV1 notes priced at 28 basis points over one-month Libor. Even with the widening down in credit, both the straight triple-B and super sub triple-B minus classes priced inside of 400 basis points over one-month Libor, with the straight triple-Bs pricing at 310 basis points over.

Option One, in the market with a $1.2 billion 2003-4 offering via BofA and RBS Greenwich Capital priced its triple-A A2s, with a 2.86-year average life at 32 basis points over one-month Libor and its straight triple-B M5 class at 375 basis points over one-month Libor.

Yet to price as of press time, the $875 million RACS-KS5 subprime mortgage deal had launched and was on track for a Friday pricing. Lead manager Deutsche Bank was marketing the floating-rate 2.57-year triple-As in the 29 basis point area over one-month Libor. GMAC-RFC RASC 2003-KS5 was bolstered by a full Ambac surety wrap.

With its second securitization of the year, G.E. Capital Corp., was on track to price a $391 million business loan ABS late last or early this week. Goldman Sachs and Wachovia Securities were acting as joint leads on the 2003-1 offering, which offers investors triple-A and single-A rated floating-rate classes.

Deutsche Bank vehicle ACE Securities priced the second manufactured housing ABS of the year, following the February pricing of $289 million of 2003-A notes from Vanderbilt Mortgage. Late in the week, ACE completed its $152 million 2003-MH1 deal at the expected cheap levels topping 1200 basis points over swaps for triple-B rated notes.

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