As anticipated, the U.S. new-issue ABS market picked up steam last week, pricing $12 billion across the auto loan, credit card and home equity sectors. The field was represented from well-known top-tier issuers, well-known mid-tier issuers and a first-time name to the primary ABS market. After a fairly heavy week - which followed the Labor Day shortened session the prior week - deals came at a steady pace, with a few billion set to wrap up late last week or early this week.

The pair of offerings in the auto sector last week from Toyota Motor Credit and Capital One Financial showed the contrast in investor sentiment for corporate parents.

Toyota, the only captive to boast a triple-A rated parent - with Toyota Motor Co.'s recent unsecured debt upgrade to Aaa from Aa1 by Moody's Investors Service - priced its second auto loan securitization up to three basis points inside of average prime auto spreads (see chart p. 7). Both deals, however, were oversubscribed.

The $1.27 billion Toyota offering priced one-year fixed-rate A2 notes at six basis points over EDSF, its two-year A3 floaters at three basis points over one-month Libor and its three-year fixed-rate A4 notes at six over swaps. Toyota retained the $556.5 million 2a7 eligible money market A1 class. JPMorgan Securities, Lehman Brothers and Morgan Stanley led the deal jointly.

Capital One, still recovering from the summer 2002 memorandum of understanding (which it has since complied with on all fronts), has some of the most pristine credits in its prime auto loan portfolio. Some borrowers in the portfolio, according to Cap One, have not had as much as a 30-day delinquency in their entire credit history. Still, Cap One priced its 2003-2 deal up to seven basis points outside of the average and 11 back of Toyota for three-year fixed-rate notes.

Capital One Prime Auto Receivables Trust 2003-2, totaling $1 billion, brought its one-year fixed-rate A2 class at nine basis points over EDSF, its two-year A3 floaters at eight basis points over one-month Libor and its three-year A4 class at 16 basis points over swaps. Banc of America Securities and Barclays Capital led the COPAR transaction.

Capital One also tapped the credit card sector with a $200 million single-A rated five-year floater from its COMET trust that was increased from the initial $150 million. The Deutsche Bank Securities-led offering priced with a coupon of 80 basis points over Libor, in-line with guidance.

Bank One N.A., which also sold a five-year single-A credit card deal, priced $275 million of floating-rate notes at 32 basis points over one-month Libor. BOIT 2003-B4 was also increased in size, to $275 million, from $150 million.

Gracechurch Funding, the credit card issuance unit of Barclays plc, sold $1 billion of three-year fixed- and floating-rate notes.

The $600 million floating-rate seniors priced with a coupon of five basis points over one-month Libor. The $300 million senior fixed-rate notes priced at six basis points over swaps to yield 2.755%.

Rounding out the sector, MBNA America Bank was marketing $1 billion of five-year floating-rate senior notes from its MBNASeries shelf via BofA and Lehman Brothers in the 13 basis point area over one-month Libor. The 2003-A9 transaction launched at guidance Thursday and was on track for a Friday pricing. And Chase Manhattan came out with $600 million of 10-year floaters late Thursday.

In home equity, just $2.9 billion had priced as of Thursday's close, but an additional $4 billion was introduced late in the week to bring the total weekly volume to nearly $7 billion.

Pricing deals were GMAC-RFC, with $1.2 billion of RASC 2003-KS8 paper and Merrill's SURF shelf, with $370 million of 2003-BC3 notes. Hitting late in the week were two more offerings from GMAC-RFC - $785 million of RFMSII 2003-HS3 and RAMP 2003-RZ4 - RFMSII 2003-HS3 backed by the first MBIA wrap GMAC-RFC has used since the mid-1990s.

St. Georges Bank's Crusade Global Trust sold $1.4 billion of 2.76-year floaters via JPMorgan, which priced at 19 basis points over three-month Libor.

Chase Funding had a $1.1 billion fixed- and floating offering from its self-originated collateral CFAB trust. Delta Finding's Renaissance Mortgage trust was marketing $434 million of 2003-3 notes via Citigroup Capital Markets and Fieldstone Mortgage was hoping to price its first ever securitization of home-equity loans from its own shelf. Fieldstone 2003-1, led by Lehman, was offering collateral serviced by Chase.

On the horizon are an Australian MBS from Interstar Mortgage and an auto loan offering from Hyundai Motor Credit.

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