Investors from all corners of the ABS market, especially those from Europe, came out in full force last week. With such demand for ABS paper, market players expected the week's deal tally to reach $20 billion.
RMBS issuers from the U.K., Arran Funding and Granite, tipped the scales with issuance totaling $12 billion. Granite Master Issuer 2006-3 plowed $6 billion onto the market, requiring no less than seven lead managers to tame the three-currency transaction and bring it to investors. They were: Citigroup Global Markets, Lehman Brothers, UBS, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Securities, Barclays Capital and Merrill Lynch. The most senior tranche, a $1 billion, 0.95-year average life piece, sold stateside at two basis points over the one-month Libor.
Not to be outdone, American ABS players also put up an impressive deal, from the credit card sector. Bank of America's FIA Card Services priced a $750 million transaction through the BA Credit Card Trust. With Barclays Capital, Deutsche Bank Securities and Lehman Brothers acting as co-managers, the triple-A rated deal was, came in at two basis points under the one-month Libor. Although the RMBS deals from across the pond eclipsed it in size, the card transaction achieved pricing that made it the "tightest three-year print ever," putting it in the area where student loans usually price, according to one professional. Market sources say Banc of America Securities, which was lead manager was able to get that pricing because of demand for high-quality bullet assets.
Washington Mutual offered another large credit card ABS deal, a $1.25 billion transaction, through its Washington Mutual Master Note Trust. Citigroup Global Markets acted as lead manager on the single-tranche transaction. With a 2.99-year average life, the deal priced at three basis points over the one-month Libor.
The student loan sector came up with the GCO Education Loan Funding Trust, via Red Capital Markets. Rated triple-A across the board, the deal got two basis points over the three-month Libor on its 2.90-year tranche, and 12 basis points over the same benchmark for its 10.1-year piece.
In the auto ABS sector, the pricey BMW Vehicle Owner Trust gave investors the ultimate buying experience. That deal came to market via Barclays Capital and Banc of America Securities. Its short-term tranche rated P1/A1+ was sold into the ABCP market at four basis points under Libor. Investors paid up for every other tranche in the transaction, but got a slight price break on the single-A rated 3.18-year piece, which priced at 10 basis points over swaps.
Marlin Leasing Receivables Trust came to market with a $380 million transaction via Deutsche Bank Securities. Its short-term 0.41-year tranche was sold to the ABCP market at six basis points over Libor, while yield-seeking investors were able to get a piece of the 2.53-year tranche, which came in at 115 basis points over swaps.
As usual the HEL ABS sector offered up a substantial amount of deals for the week. Among them, Goldman Sachs acted as lead manager on a $633 million deal, the GSAMP Trust. The one-year tranche came in at a tight three basis point spread over the one-month Libor, while the triple-B rated, 4.28-year piece came in at 90 basis points over the same benchmark.
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